Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

High Frontier

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

High Frontier, founded in 1981, is a small pressure group that promotes extravagant missile defense programs, including the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), or “Star Wars,” launched under President Ronald Reagan. Though initially focused on building a national missile defense system, High Frontier’s scope expanded to regional theaters in Asia, Middle East, and Europe, as part of a global defense system.[1] High Frontier has also sponsored a project titled “Jamestown on the Moon,” with the aim of ensuring that future moon settlements would bear “the flag of Freedom and Enterprise.”[2]

According to Edwin J. Feulner, founder of the Heritage Foundation, High Frontier got its start when Joseph Coors “joined a small group assembled by [Hydrogen Bomb inventor Edward] Teller that called itself High Frontier.”[3] The Heritage Foundation funded the first study that High Frontier published on missile defense.[4]

Lieutenant General Daniel O. Graham, the organization’s founder, was a military affairs adviser to Reagan during his 1976 and 1980 presidential campaigns. He was also a high intelligence official, serving as CIA Deputy Director (1973-74) and then director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (1974-76). Even when working within the intelligence apparatus, Graham was a harsh critic of the CIA’s intelligence estimates, which he accused of underestimating Soviet military capacity and imperial ambitions.[5] Although discredited by impartial observers, this view was widely shared among neoconservatives and other hawkish policy ideologues, eventually leading to the establishment of the controversial Team B initiative in the late 1970s.

As an early supporter of the flexible deterrence and nuclear weapons strategies proposed by RAND’s Albert Wohlstetter, Graham believed that U.S. intelligence estimates about the purported Soviet threat should be driven by the assumption that the Soviet Union intended to defeat the United States.[6]

The chairman of High Frontier’s board is Henry Cooper, the former director of George H.W. Bush’s Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO).[7] Cooper was the chief negotiator for Reagan during the Geneva Defense and Space Talks, where he advocated for SDI programs.[8] He held a number of other positions during Reagan’s tenure, including assistant director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force. Cooper also conducted an independent review of SDI programs for then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney during the George H.W. Bush administration.[9]

In 2001, Cooper led the charge to reinvigorate the Star Wars programs, successfully lobbying former president George W. Bush to desert the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.[10] That same year he addressed the “Defending the Northeast, America and Our Allies from Ballistic Missile Attack” conference sponsored by former Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) and the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis. Of the 200 participants, at least 70 represented the top defense contractors: Raytheon, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin.[11]

Cooper is chairman emeritus of Applied Research Associates, Inc., whose defense services include “assessing the potential effects of weapons against critical national defense systems.”[12] Cooper has also served as a member of the Center for Security Policy’s National Security Advisory Council, labeled by Michelle Ciarrocca and William Hartung of the Arms Trade Resource Center as the “Star Wars Hall of Fame.”[13]

High Frontier and other proponents of missile defense systems contend that the 9/11 attacks underscore the need for a global missile defense shield, despite the fact that Star Wars systems have yet to be proven technically feasible and is not intended to defend against the type of attack perpetrated on the 9/11.[14]

High Frontier has received significant funding from organizations such as the Carthage Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, and the Sarah Scaife Foundation.

Share RightWeb

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.


[1]High Frontier, “Meet The Staff,” http://www.highfrontier.org/Highfrontier/main/Contact/Meet%20the%20Staff.htm.

[2]High Frontier, “Jamestown on the Moon,” http://www.jamestownonthemoon.org/.

[3]Edwin J. Feulner, “Coors, R.I.P.,” National Review Online, March 18, 2003, http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/206203/coors-r-i-p/edwin-j-feulner.

[4] Edwin J. Feulner, “Coors, R.I.P.,” National Review Online, March 18, 2003, http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/206203/coors-r-i-p/edwin-j-feulner.

[5]Congressional Record, “Tribute to General D.O. Graham,” February 1, 1996, http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/1996_cr/h960201a.htm.

[6]Ted Hayes, “Henry Cooper Says U.S. Should Build SDI NOW,” Insight on the News, August 6, 2001, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1571/is_29_17/ai_77074807/.

[7]High Frontier, “Staff Biographies,” http://www.highfrontier.org/hf_biography_page.html.

[8]Missile Defense Study Team, “Defending America: Ending America’s Vulnerability to Ballistic Missiles,” The Heritage Foundation, March 25, 1996, http://www.heritage.org/Research/MissileDefense/BG1074.cfm.

[9]High Frontier, “Staff Biographies,” http://www.highfrontier.org/hf_biography_page.html.

[10]Henry F. Cooper, “Pentagon’s Bad Move,” National Review Online, December 18, 2001, http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-cooper121801.shtml.

[11]William D. Hartung and Michelle Ciarrocca, “Axis Of Influence: Behind the Bush Administration’s Missile Defense Revival,” World Policy Institute Special Report, July 2002, http://www.worldpolicy.org/projects/arms/reports/axisofinfluence.html.

[12] Applied Research Associates, Inc., “National Defense and Aerospace,” http://www.ara.com/Capabilities/defense.htm.

[13]William D. Hartung and Michelle Ciarrocca, “Axis Of Influence: Behind the Bush Administration’s Missile Defense Revival,” World Policy Institute Special Report, July 2002, http://www.worldpolicy.org/projects/arms/reports/axisofinfluence.html.

[14]Jeremy Singer, “Attacks Intensify Missile Defense Debate in U.S.,” Space News International, September 17, 2001. http://www.space.com/spacenews/missile_debate_010917.html.

Share RightWeb

High Frontier Résumé


High Frontier
500 N. Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703-535-8774
E-mail: info@highfrontier.org
Website: www.highfrontier.org




High Frontier is the nation’s leading non-government authority on missile defense issues including missile defense, arms control, nuclear weapons, and strategic systems. Through our publications, research, congressional testimony and nationwide network of volunteers and supporters we provide a powerful voice that actively supports the deployment of an effective defense againstballistic missiles.”




For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.