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

Robert Kagan

  • Brookings Institution: Senior Fellow
  • Foreign Policy Initiative: Cofounder
  • Project for the New American Century: Cofounder

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Robert Kagan is a neoconservative writer and historian based at the Brookings Institution. A longtime proponent of an aggressive, interventionist U.S. foreign policy, Kagan has played an influential role in shaping the neoconservative agenda for more than two decades. Kagan is also one of a host of neoconservatives to have vocally criticzed Donald Trump, whom Kagan has called “the most successful demagogue-charlatan in the history of U.S. politics.”

Kagan was a cofounder of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a now defunct pressure group that helped build Beltway support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. In the early years of the Obama administration, he reprised this role as a cofounder of the Foreign Policy Initiative, a PNAC successor group.

He has also served as an adviser to the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a board member of the U.S. Committee on NATO, an “international patron” of the UK-based Henry Jackson Society, a contributing editor at the Weekly Standard, and a foreign policy adviser to the Republican presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney and John McCain.

“Never Trump”

During the 2016 presidential primaries Kagan described himself as a “former Republican”—despite his conservatism and long history with the GOP—because of his disappointment over the party’s 2016 presidential candidates. In a February 2016 op-ed for the Washington Post, Kagan expressed concern about the rise of Donald Trump, whom he called “the most successful demagogue-charlatan in the history of U.S. politics.” Blaming the Republican Party for the creation of Trump and the emergence of other disastrous candidates like Sen. Ted Cruz, Kagan wrote in Washington Post, “For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.”[1]

After Trump’s victory, Kagan’s criticism remained just as sharp. Mere days after the inauguration, he wrote, “With the election of Donald Trump, a majority of Americans have signaled their unwillingness to continue upholding the world order. …’America First’ is not just an empty phrase but a fairly coherent philosophy with a long lineage and many adherents in the American academy. It calls for viewing American interests through a narrow lens. It suggests no longer supporting an international alliance structure, no longer seeking to deny great powers their spheres of influence and regional hegemony, no longer attempting to uphold liberal norms in the international system, and no longer sacrificing short-term interests—in trade for instance—in the longer-term interest of preserving an open economic order.”[2]

As time went on, Kagan’s criticism became even more blunt. In April 2018, he wrote, “President Trump has shown that a president willing to throw off the moral, ideological and strategic constraints that limited U.S. action in the past can bend this intractable world to his will, at least for a while. Trump is not merely neglecting the liberal world order; he is milking it for narrow gain, rapidly destroying the trust and sense of common purpose that have held it together and prevented international chaos for seven decades.”

Kagan described how Trump’s vision of “America First” was playing out, writing, “The United States’ allies are about to find out what real unilateralism looks like and what the real exercise of U.S. hegemony feels like, because Trump’s America does not care. It is unencumbered by historical memory. It recognizes no moral, political or strategic commitments. It feels free to pursue objectives without regard to the effect on allies or, for that matter, the world. It has no sense of responsibility to anything beyond itself.”[3]

In July of 2018, Trump embarked on a calamitous trip overseas. He met with NATO leaders and antagonized the United States’ closest allies. He went on to the United Kingdom and insulted British prime minister Theresa May, stirring up political controversy there by suggesting her plan for the U.K.’s departure from the European Union would jeopardize any bilateral trade deal between the U.K. and the United States.[4] His coup de grace was a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin and a subsequent press conference—where Trump defended Russia and criticized the United States—that was scorned with unusual ferocity across the political spectrum.[5]

Before the summit with Putin, Kagan responded to Trump’s behavior. Concerned that an already fractious NATO alliance had been further eroded by Trump’s belligerence, he wrote, “NATO has never been a self-operating machine that simply chugs ahead so long as it is left alone. Like the liberal world order of which it is the core, it requires constant tending, above all by the United States. And because it is a voluntary alliance of democratic peoples, it survives on a foundation of public support. That foundation has been cracking in recent years. This week was an opportunity to shore it up. Instead, Trump took a sledgehammer to it. …In his press comments alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in his tweets and in his private comments to European leaders, Trump made clear that he does not believe in NATO. In fact, he used this summit to lay out for the American people why NATO was not only ‘obsolete,’ as he once said, but also a rotten deal for them.”

Kagan made the case that Trump was trying to discredit NATO in the eyes of his domestic base, laying the groundwork for an eventual U.S. departure, despite his words of support at the end of the meeting. Kagan wrote, “In his tweets, he asked, ‘What good is NATO’ if Germany was paying Russia for gas? Why should the United States pay billions to ‘subsidize Europe’ while it was losing ‘Big on Trade’? Those comments were not aimed at Europe. They were designed to discredit the alliance in the eyes of his faithful throng back home.” [6]

In September 2018, Kagan delivered a full broadside against Trump with a new book, The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World. Commenting on the book, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote, “Kagan’s core thesis. … is that if you look at the broad sweep of human history, ‘democracy is the rarest form of government.’ That’s because for most of history great powers constantly clashed and most people were constantly poor. ‘But for the last 70-plus years we have been living in the greatest prosperity ever known — globally — and we’ve witnessed the most widespread booming of democracy and the longest period of great-power peace ever known.’”

Friedman cites Kagan’s disapproval of Trump’s foreign policy, opining, “So when Trump says that we are just going to look out for ourselves, he shows his ignorance of both history and economics. Trump is pursuing ‘a great American fantasy,’ added Kagan. And it is not a fantasy that we can be ‘isolationists’ and we’ll be O.K. It’s a fantasy that we can be ‘irresponsible’ and we’ll be O.K. The world will be far more threatened by too little American order-making than too much.”[7]

Going a step further, neoconservative columnist Eli Lake made explicit the case for a neoconservative approach that Kagan made. “In clear and forceful language, [Kagan] makes the case for America continuing its role as the guarantor of a liberal world order. Without a powerful liberal democracy as the anchor of that system, the world that gave rise to European and Japanese fascism will return. Other great powers will seek to dominate their weaker neighbors. Accepting the world as it is requires accepting a world in which war is more likely. Kagan illustrates this point by asking critics of American interventionism to consider the last quarter of a century. Despite terrorist attacks, the war in Iraq, the atrocities in Syria and the migration crisis in Europe, the last 25 years ‘have been characterized by great-power peace, a rising global GDP, and widespread democracy,’ he writes. This compares favorably to the first 45 years of the 20th century, which saw two world wars, the rise of communism and fascism, the Holocaust and the Ukrainian famine. This relative prosperity, peace and freedom did not happen by accident. It happened because of U.S. military, economic and diplomatic power.”[8]

Kagan has expressed skepticism about strategies that depend on dictatorial allies to achieve U.S. foreign policy goals. Writing in November 2018, amid a swirling scandal around the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia and its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, Kagan opined, “In both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, we may ultimately find that supporting dictators in those countries produces precisely the outcome we had hoped to avoid. Then the weapons we begged them to buy from us will wind up in the hands of the very radicals they were supposed to save us from. Today, the Saudi crown prince’s U.S. supporters are asking how he could have been so foolish if he, as it appears, ordered the murder of [Washington Post columnist Jamal] Khashoggi. But who are the fools here? Dictators do what dictators do. We are the ones living in a self-serving fantasy of our own devising, and one that may ultimately come back to bite us.”[9]

In 2014, Kagan foreshadowed his endorsement of Hillary Clinton during an interview with the New York Times. “I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy,” he said. “If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue, it’s something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else.”[10]

Kagan has maintained several bipartisan affiliations. For example, he visited helped establish a bipartisan civilian advisory board for Democratic Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.[11] According to a July 2014 New York Times report, “Kagan has also been careful to avoid landing at standard-issue neocon think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute” and has “insisted on maintaining the link between modern neoconservatism and its roots in muscular Cold War liberalism.” In fact, Kagan has even shied away from the “neoconservative” label, saying he prefers to be described as a “liberal interventionist.”[12]

U.S. Intervention and the “Global Order”

A key theme in Kagan’s work concerns the maintenance of the “liberal world order,” which he believes amounts to a U.S.-enforced international state system. “In my view, the willingness of the United States to use force and to threaten to use force to defend its interests and the liberal world order has been an essential and unavoidable part of sustaining that world order since the end of World War II,” he wrote in a 2014 column for the Washington Post.[13]

Kagan spelled out this view in a long 2014 essay for The New Republic entitled “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire.” The piece argued that active, forceful U.S. intervention in the affairs of other countries had reshaped the international system for the better. “In the twenty-first century, no less than in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, force remains the ultima ratio,” he claimed. “If there has been less aggression, less ethnic cleansing, less territorial conquest over the past 70 years, it is because the United States and its allies have both punished and deterred aggression, have intervened, sometimes, to prevent ethnic cleansing, and have gone to war to reverse territorial conquest.”[14]

Kagan warned darkly that if the United States didn’t enforce its will on the international system, other powers would. “When Vladimir Putin failed to achieve his goals in Ukraine through political and economic means, he turned to force, because he believed that he could,” Kagan wrote. He added: “What might China do were it not hemmed in by a ring of powerful nations backed by the United States? For that matter, what would Japan do if it were much more powerful and much less dependent on the United States for its security? We have not had to find out the answers to these questions, not yet, because American predominance, the American alliance system, and the economic, political, and institutional aspects of the present order, all ultimately dependent on power, have mostly kept the lid closed on this Pandora’s box.”

Lamenting public war weariness and the Obama administration’s reluctance to intervene in Syria and Ukraine, among other venues, Kagan warned that “there is no democratic superpower waiting in the wings to save the world if this democratic superpower falters.”[15]

Some liberal hawks and neoconservatives hailed the piece as a rejoinder to the prevailing public skepticism in the United States about the use of force overseas. According to the New York Times, it “struck such a nerve in the White House that many in the foreign policy establishment considered part of Mr. Obama’s speech [in June 2014] at West Point outlining a narrower vision for American force in world affairs to be a rebuttal, and the president even invited Mr. Kagan to lunch to compare world views.”[16]

However, Kagan’s critics argued that he had badly exaggerated the role of the United States in shaping world events throughout the post-World War II period and glossed over many of Washington’s more morally dubious policies. Calling Kagan a “polemicist and an ideologue,” Andrew Bacevich argued that the piece’s central assertions about the benevolence of U.S. foreign policy failed to stand up “to even casual scrutiny.” Among other things, Bacevich said Kagan had overlooked Washington’s steadfast support for violent, anti-democratic forces in its own sphere of influence, as well as neglected to seriously consider the fallout from catastrophic interventions in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. “If Americans appear disinclined to have a go at overthrowing Syria’s Assad or at restoring the Crimea to Ukrainian control, it’s due to their common-sense assessment of what U.S. policy in very recent years has produced,” Bacevich concluded. “On this subject, astonishingly, Kagan has almost nothing to say.”[17]

Writing for the realist National Interest, Jacob Heilbrunn observed that Kagan’s 2014 ode to American superpower “is not a novel thesis. Rather, it is Kagan’s latest variation on a theme that he has consistently sounded on behalf of American global activism” since at least the 1990s. “Superpowers don’t retire,” Heilbrunn quipped, “but Robert Kagan should.”[18]

Kagan followed on the New Republic essay with a September 2014 Wall Street Journal op-ed which bemoaned the “yearning for an escape from the burdens of power and a reprieve from the tragic realities of human existence.” He compared the current world order to pre-World War II Europe, writing: “As we head deeper into our version of the 1930s, we may be quite shocked, just as our forebears were, at how quickly things fall apart.”[19]

In response, John Heilbrunn of the National Interest wrote: “The military solution that Kagan appears to endorse, first and foremost, is hardly the best ambassador for freedom and democracy. Quite the contrary. … Maybe Kagan should have more confidence in America and its values. For all his disdain for declinism, Kagan, in blaming America first, comes dangerously close to submitting to it himself.”[20]

Hawkish Track Record

Kagan hails from a well established neoconservative family. He is the son of the conservative classicist Donald Kagan and the brother of Frederick Kagan, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who helped promote the U.S. “troop surge” in Iraq. His spouse , Victoria Nuland, is often credited as an editor of Kagan’s work and is a veteran diplomat and former deputy national security adviser to Dick Cheney.[21]

Kagan launched his career in the early 1980s as a foreign policy adviser to Rep. Jack Kemp (R-NY), a future vice presidential candidate who was closely associated with the hawkish wing of the Republican Party. Then, after a stint on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, Kagan was appointed by Elliott Abrams in 1985 to head the Office of Public Diplomacy, which was created to push for U.S. support of the anti-communist “Contra” rebels in Nicaragua. (In his 1996 book A Twilight Struggle, which was touted as the “definitive history” of the U.S. anti-Sandinista campaign, Kagan neglected to mention Abrams’ subsequent criminal conviction for lying to Congress about the Reagan administration’s support for the Contras).[22] Kagan served in the State Department until 1988, leaving the government to become a public scholar.

In 1997, in a bid to press the Clinton administration to pursue a “Reaganite” foreign policy, Kagan and veteran neoconservative activist William Kristol cofounded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Among other hawkish policies, the group played a key role in building elite support for a U.S. invasion of Iraq, issuing an open letter after the 9/11 attacks arguing that the United States should respond by invading Iraq “even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack.”[23]

Resistance to the movement for war in Iraq from Europe and elsewhere spurred Kagan, who was then based at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, to sharpen his theses on U.S. interventionism. In a 2002 article for Policy Review that became the basis for his book Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order (2003), Kagan argued, “On the all-important question of power—the efficacy of power, the morality of power, the desirability of power—American and European perspectives are diverging. Europe is turning away from power, or to put it a little differently, it is moving beyond power into a self-contained world of laws and rules and transnational negotiation and cooperation. It is entering a post-historical paradise of peace and relative prosperity, the realization of Kant’s ‘Perpetual Peace.’ The United States, meanwhile, remains mired in history, exercising power in the anarchic Hobbesian world where international laws and rules are unreliable and where true security and the defense and promotion of a liberal order still depend on the possession and use of military might.”[24]

Of Paradise and Power was widely panned for its support of U.S. unilateralism. Reviewing the book, leftist historian Howard Zinn wrote that “it is part of the corruption of contemporary language that an analysis of American foreign policy by a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace should argue for the right of the United States to use military force, regardless of international law, and international opinion, whenever it unilaterally decides its ‘national interest’ requires it.” Zinn opined that Kagan’s book supplies “intellectual justification, superficial as it is, for the bullying and violence of United States foreign policy.”[25]

Kagan maintained his support for the Iraq War even after many of his assertions about the conflict—including that it would come to an early close and that the Bush administration’s claims about WMDs in the country would be vindicated—proved wildly inaccurate.[26] Instead of walking back his support, however, Kagan called for a troop escalation. “It is precisely the illusion that a political solution is possible in the midst of rampant violence that has gotten us where we are today,” he wrote in November 2006. “What’s needed in Iraq are not more clever plans but more U.S. troops to provide the security to make any plan workable. Even those seeking a way out of Iraq as soon as possible should understand the need for an immediate surge in U.S. troop levels to provide the stability necessary so that eventual withdrawal will not produce chaos and an implosion of the Iraqi state.”[27]

In March 2009, around the time that President Obama announced a plan to increase troop levels in Afghanistan, Kagan and Kristol launched the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), which liberal blogger Matt Duss dubbed “The Project for the Rehabilitation of Neoconservatism.”[28] Among Kagan’s early forays on behalf of the group, he promoted the escalation of the war in Afghanistan[29] and criticized the Obama administration for not taking a more confrontational line on Iran.[30]

FPI’s platform “is a watered-down version of the bellicose neoconservative program that worked so well over the past decade, producing a disastrous war in Iraq and a deteriorating situation in Central Asia and bringing America’s image around the world to new lows,” wrote Harvard international relations professor Stephen M. Walt for Foreign Policy. “The new group’s modus operandi is likely to be similar to the old Project for a New American Century: bombard Washington with press releases and email alerts, draft open letters to be signed by assorted pundits and former policymakers, and organize conferences intended to advance the group’s interventionist agenda.”[31]

Kagan has on occasion broken with some of his neoconservative colleagues.

One notable instance occurred in 2013, following a coup in Egypt that toppled the country’s elected Muslim Brotherhood government and restored the military to power. While some neoconservatives argued that the Egyptian military would be a more reliable U.S. ally than the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, Kagan argued unequivocally that support for the military’s dictatorial rule was short-sighted. It has become “fashionable,” Kagan wrote, “to argue that Muslim Arabs are incapable of democracy—this after so many millions of them came out to vote in Egypt, only to see Western democracies do little or nothing when the product of their votes was overthrown.” He went on to call for “a complete suspension of all aid to Egypt, especially military aid, until there is a new democratic government, freely elected with the full participation of all parties and groups in Egypt, including the Muslim Brotherhood.”[32]

Kagan’s critique was notable in part for its direct confrontation of the U.S. “Israel lobby,” which supported sending aid to Egypt’s coup government. “To Israel, which has never supported democracy anywhere in the Middle East except Israel,” wrote Kagan, “the presence of a brutal military dictatorship bent on the extermination of Islamism is not only tolerable but desirable.” But, he added, “in Egypt, U.S. interests and Israel’s perceptions of its own interests sharply diverge. If one believes that any hope for moderation in the Arab world requires finding moderate voices not only among secularists but also among Islamists, America’s current strategy in Egypt is producing the opposite result.”[33]

Kagan is the author of several books on U.S. interventionism, including A Twilight Struggle: American Power and Nicaragua, 1977-1990 (1996), Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order (2003), Dangerous Nation: America’s Place in the World from its Earliest Days to the Dawn of the Twentieth Century (2006), The Return of History and the End of Dreams (2008), and The World America Made (2012).

SOURCES

[1] Robert Kagan, “Trump is the GOP’s Frankenstein monster. Now he’s strong enough to destroy the party,” Washington Post, February 25, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-the-gops-frankenstein-monster-now-hes-strong-enough-to-destroy-the-party/2016/02/25/3e443f28-dbc1-11e5-925f-1d10062cc82d_story.html

[2] Robert Kagan, “The twilight of the liberal world order,” Brookings, January 24, 2017, https://www.brookings.edu/research/the-twilight-of-the-liberal-world-order/

[3] Robert Kagan, “Trump’s America does not care,” Washington Post, June 14, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/donald-trumps-america-the-rogue-superpower/2018/06/14/c01bb540-6ff7-11e8-afd5-778aca903bbe_story.html?utm_term=.a6723c4c963d

[4] Mitchell Plitnick, “Trump’s Scorched Earth Tour Of Europe,” Lobelog, July 13, 2018, https://lobelog.com/trumps-scorched-earth-tour-of-europe/

[5] Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Nicholas Fandos and Thomas Kaplan, “Republicans Rebuke Trump for Siding With Putin as Democrats Demand Action,” New York Times, July 16, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/16/us/politics/republicans-trump-putin.html

[6] Robert Kagan, “Things will not be okay,” Washington Post, July 12, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/everything-will-not-be-okay/2018/07/12/c5900550-85e9-11e8-9e80-403a221946a7_story.html?utm_term=.c32e2653dfdc

[7] Thomas L. Friedman, “Donald Trump Versus the Jungle,” New York Times, October 9, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/09/opinion/donald-trump-international-relations-diplomacy.html

[8] Eli Lake, “Welcome to the post-American jungle,” Winona Daily News, October 4, 2018, https://www.winonadailynews.com/chp/opinion/columnists/eli-lake-welcome-to-the-post-american-jungle/article_d5c35206-ef43-5ff5-92b5-b6800e0f6e22.html

[9] Robert Kagan, “The myth of the modernizing dictator,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 26, 2018, https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/Op-Ed/2018/11/25/Robert-Kagan-The-myth-of-the-modernizing-dictator/stories/201811250100

[10] Jason Horowitz, “Events in Iraq Open Door for Interventionist Revival, Historian Says,” New York Times, June 15, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/16/us/politics/historians-critique-of-obama-foreign-policy-is-brought-alive-by-events-in-iraq.html?_r=1.

[11] Jason Horowitz, “Events in Iraq Open Door for Interventionist Revival, Historian Says,” New York Times, June 15, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/16/us/politics/historians-critique-of-obama-foreign-policy-is-brought-alive-by-events-in-iraq.html?_r=1.

[12] Jacob Heilbrunn, “The Next Act of the Neocons,” New York Times, July 5, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/06/opinion/sunday/are-neocons-getting-ready-to-ally-with-hillary-clinton.html.

[13] Robert Kagan, “U.S. needs a discussion on when, not whether, to use force,” Washington Post, July 15, 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/robert-kagan-us-needs-a-discussion-on-when-not-whether-to-use-force/2014/07/15/f8bcf116-0b65-11e4-8341-b8072b1e7348_story.html.

[14] Robert Kagan, “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire,” New Republic, May 26, 2014, http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117859/allure-normalcy-what-america-still-owes-world.

[15] Robert Kagan, “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire,” New Republic, May 26, 2014, http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117859/allure-normalcy-what-america-still-owes-world.

[16] Jason Horowitz, “Events in Iraq Open Door for Interventionist Revival, Historian Says,” New York Times, June 15, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/16/us/politics/historians-critique-of-obama-foreign-policy-is-brought-alive-by-events-in-iraq.html?_r=1.

[17] Andrew Bacevich, “The Duplicity of the Ideologues,” Commonweal Magazine, June 4, 2014, https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/duplicity-ideologues.

[18] Jacob Heilbrunn, “Superpowers Don’t Retire, but Robert Kagan Should,” National Interest, June 4, 2014, http://nationalinterest.org/feature/superpowers-dont-retire-robert-kagan-should-10596.

[19] Robert Kagan, “America’s Dangerous Aversion to Conflict,” The Wall Street Journal, September 5, 2014, http://online.wsj.com/articles/robert-kagan-why-the-u-s-wants-to-avoid-conflict-1409942201.

[20] Jacob Heibrunn, “Robert Kagan Blames America First,” The National Interest, September 9, 2014, http://nationalinterest.org/feature/robert-kagan-blames-america-first-11233?page=2.

[21] Jason Horowitz, “Events in Iraq Open Door for Interventionist Revival, Historian Says,” New York Times, June 15, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/16/us/politics/historians-critique-of-obama-foreign-policy-is-brought-alive-by-events-in-iraq.html?_r=1.

[22] Philip H. Burch, Research in Political Economy: Reagan, Bush, and Right-Wing Politics, Supplement 1 (Greenwich, CT: Jai Press, 1997), pp. 275.

[23] Project for the New American Century, Letter to George W. Bush, September 20, 2001, https://web.archive.org/web/20131010233647/http://www.newamericancentury.org/Bushletter.htm

[24] Robert Kagan, “The Power and Weakness,” Policy Review, June/July 2002, http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/bush/kagan.htm.

[25] Howard Zinn, “Of Paradise and Power,” Zmag.org, February 9, 2004,  http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/9099.

[26] Glenn Greenwald, “Why would any rational person listen to Robert Kagan?” Salon.com, March 11, 2007, http://www.salon.com/2007/03/11/kagan_11/.

[27] Robert Kagan, “Send More Troops,” The New Republic, November 27, 2006, http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=18884.

[28] Mass Duss, “Project For The Rehabilitation Of Neoconservatism,” The Wonk Room, March 26, 2009, http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/03/26/project-for-the-rehabilitation-of-neoconservatism/.

[29] Foreign Policy Initiative, “Afghanistan: Planning for Success,” March 31, 2009, http://www.foreignpolicyi.org/files/pdfs/planningforsuccesskeyquotes.pdf.

[30] Robert Kagan, “Obama, Siding With the Regime,” Washington Post, June 17, 2009. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/16/AR2009061601753.html

[31] Stephen M Walt, “Would you Buy a Used Foreign Policy From These Guys?.” ForeignPolicy, March 31, 2009, http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/03/31/would_you_buy_a_used_foreign_policy_from_these_guys.

[32] Robert Kagan, “In Egypt, it’s past time for the Obama administration to use what power the U.S. has,” Washington Post, July 5, 2013, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/in-egypt-its-past-time-for-the-obama-administration-to-use-what-power-the-us-has/2013/07/05/86e0bd0a-e5a2-11e2-aef3-339619eab080_story.html.

[33] Robert Kagan, “Why the United States shouldn’t support Egypt’s ruling generals,” Washington Post, May 1, 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/robert-kagan-why-the-united-states-shouldnt-support-egypts-ruling-generals/2014/05/01/e7a7403e-d154-11e3-9e25-188ebe1fa93b_story.html.

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Sources

[1] Robert Kagan, “Trump is the GOP’s Frankenstein monster. Now he’s strong enough to destroy the party,” Washington Post, February 25, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-the-gops-frankenstein-monster-now-hes-strong-enough-to-destroy-the-party/2016/02/25/3e443f28-dbc1-11e5-925f-1d10062cc82d_story.html

[2] Jason Horowitz, “Events in Iraq Open Door for Interventionist Revival, Historian Says,” New York Times, June 15, 2014,http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/16/us/politics/historians-critique-of-obama-foreign-policy-is-brought-alive-by-events-in-iraq.html?_r=1.

[3] Jason Horowitz, “Events in Iraq Open Door for Interventionist Revival, Historian Says,” New York Times, June 15, 2014,http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/16/us/politics/historians-critique-of-obama-foreign-policy-is-brought-alive-by-events-in-iraq.html?_r=1.

[4] Jacob Heilbrunn, “The Next Act of the Neocons,” New York Times, July 5, 2014,http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/06/opinion/sunday/are-neocons-getting-ready-to-ally-with-hillary-clinton.html.

[5] Robert Kagan, “U.S. needs a discussion on when, not whether, to use force,” Washington Post, July 15, 2014,http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/robert-kagan-us-needs-a-discussion-on-when-not-whether-to-use-force/2014/07/15/f8bcf116-0b65-11e4-8341-b8072b1e7348_story.html.

[6] Robert Kagan, “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire,” New Republic, May 26, 2014,http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117859/allure-normalcy-what-america-still-owes-world.

[7] Robert Kagan, “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire,” New Republic, May 26, 2014,http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117859/allure-normalcy-what-america-still-owes-world.

[8] Jason Horowitz, “Events in Iraq Open Door for Interventionist Revival, Historian Says,” New York Times, June 15, 2014,http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/16/us/politics/historians-critique-of-obama-foreign-policy-is-brought-alive-by-events-in-iraq.html?_r=1.

[9] Andrew Bacevich, “The Duplicity of the Ideologues,” Commonweal Magazine, June 4, 2014,https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/duplicity-ideologues.

[10] Jacob Heilbrunn, “Superpowers Don’t Retire, but Robert Kagan Should,” National Interest, June 4, 2014,http://nationalinterest.org/feature/superpowers-dont-retire-robert-kagan-should-10596.

[11] Robert Kagan, “America’s Dangerous Aversion to Conflict,” The Wall Street Journal, September 5, 2014,http://online.wsj.com/articles/robert-kagan-why-the-u-s-wants-to-avoid-conflict-1409942201.

[12] Jacob Heibrunn, “Robert Kagan Blames America First,” The National Interest, September 9, 2014,http://nationalinterest.org/feature/robert-kagan-blames-america-first-11233?page=2.

[13] Jason Horowitz, “Events in Iraq Open Door for Interventionist Revival, Historian Says,” New York Times, June 15, 2014,http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/16/us/politics/historians-critique-of-obama-foreign-policy-is-brought-alive-by-events-in-iraq.html?_r=1.

[14] Philip H. Burch, Research in Political Economy: Reagan, Bush, and Right-Wing Politics, Supplement 1 (Greenwich, CT: Jai Press, 1997), pp. 275.

[15] Project for the New American Century, Letter to George W. Bush, September 20, 2001,https://web.archive.org/web/20131010233647/http://www.newamericancentury.org/Bushletter.htm

[16] Robert Kagan, “The Power and Weakness,” Policy Review, June/July 2002,http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/bush/kagan.htm.

[17] Howard Zinn, “Of Paradise and Power,” Zmag.org, February 9, 2004, http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/9099.

[18] Glenn Greenwald, “Why would any rational person listen to Robert Kagan?” Salon.com, March 11, 2007,http://www.salon.com/2007/03/11/kagan_11/.

[19] Robert Kagan, “Send More Troops,” The New Republic, November 27, 2006,http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=18884.

[20] Mass Duss, “Project For The Rehabilitation Of Neoconservatism,” The Wonk Room, March 26, 2009,http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/03/26/project-for-the-rehabilitation-of-neoconservatism/.

[21] Foreign Policy Initiative, “Afghanistan: Planning for Success,” March 31, 2009,http://www.foreignpolicyi.org/files/pdfs/planningforsuccesskeyquotes.pdf.

[22] Robert Kagan, “Obama, Siding With the Regime,” Washington Post, June 17, 2009. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/16/AR2009061601753.html

[23] Stephen M Walt, “Would you Buy a Used Foreign Policy From These Guys?.” ForeignPolicy, March 31, 2009,http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/03/31/would_you_buy_a_used_foreign_policy_from_these_guys.

[24] Robert Kagan, “In Egypt, it’s past time for the Obama administration to use what power the U.S. has,” Washington Post, July 5, 2013, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/in-egypt-its-past-time-for-the-obama-administration-to-use-what-power-the-us-has/2013/07/05/86e0bd0a-e5a2-11e2-aef3-339619eab080_story.html.

[25] Robert Kagan, “Why the United States shouldn’t support Egypt’s ruling generals,” Washington Post, May 1, 2014,http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/robert-kagan-why-the-united-states-shouldnt-support-egypts-ruling-generals/2014/05/01/e7a7403e-d154-11e3-9e25-188ebe1fa93b_story.html.


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Robert Kagan Résumé

Affiliations

  • Brookings Institution: Senior Fellow
  • Foreign Policy Initiative: Cofounder, Board of Directors
  • Henry Jackson Society: International Patron
  • Project for the New American Century:Co-founder and Former Co-director
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:Former Senior Associate
  • U.S. Committee on NATO:Former Member, Board of Directors
  • Council on Foreign Relations:Member
  • Weekly Standard:Contributing Editor
  • The New Republic:Contributing Editor
  • Washington Post:Monthly Columnist
  • German Marshall Fund:Former Transatlantic Fellow
  • American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus:Member
  • Committee for the Liberation of Iraq:Former Member, Advisory Board
  • Public Interest:Assistant Editor, 1981

Government

  • State Department:Deputy for Policy, Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, 1985-1988
  • Office of the Secretary of State:Principal Speechwriter for Secretary George P. Schultz and Member of Policy Planning Staff, 1984-1985
  • U.S. Information Agency:Special Assistant to the Deputy Director, 1983
  • Office of Rep. Jack Kemp (R-NY):Foreign Policy Adviser, 1983

Education

  • Yale University:B.A.
  • Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University:M.A., Public Policy
  • American University:Ph.D., History

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