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

Profiles on the Foreign Policy Initiative, Paul Wolfowitz, Robert Kagan, and more

FEATURED PROFILES Foreign Policy Initiative In a replay of the modus operandi of the Project for the New American Century, the newly enshrined Foreign Policy Initiative released an open letter to President Obama on human rights in Russia that included signatories from both the neocon camp and established human rights organizations. Paul Wolfowitz The former…

FEATURED PROFILES

Foreign Policy Initiative
In a replay of the modus operandi of the Project for the New American Century, the newly enshrined Foreign Policy Initiative released an open letter to President Obama on human rights in Russia that included signatories from both the neocon camp and established human rights organizations.

Paul Wolfowitz
The former Pentagon number two and ex-head of the World Bank added his voice to the chorus of hardliners denouncing President Obama’s “weakness” in confronting the election crisis in Iran.

Robert Kagan
The neoconservative foreign policy guru recently cofounded a letterhead group that some see as a transparent attempt to rehabilitate neoconservatism.

Richard Allen
Ensconced at the conservative Hoover Institution, this former member of Donald Rumsfeld’s Defense Policy Board now seems to spend much of his time lambasting President Obama and venerating the memory of Ronald Reagan.

Otto Reich
The controversial Iran-Contra veteran who served as an assistant secretary of state under George W. Bush remains a divisive figure in U.S.-Latin American relations.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

U.S. Uses False Taliban Aid Charge to Pressure Iran
By Gareth Porter

In an effort to put pressure on Iran, the Obama administration has revived the false Bush administration claim that Tehran is providing military training and aid to the Taliban.

Iraq: Questions Remain About the U.S. Role
Analysis by Helena Cobban

The pivotal role that Vice President Biden is likely to play in U.S.-Iraqi affairs has raised fears that partition may be back on the agenda.

Honduras: Dictatorships and Double Standards Revisited
Analysis by Daniel Luban and Jim Lobe

Neoconservatives’ support for the recent military coup against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is a reminder of their history as apologists for dictatorial regimes in Latin America.

Media Focus on Anti-Regime Exiles Plays Into Amhadinejad’s Hands
By Ali Gharib

Western’s media’s recent focus on pro-regime change Iranian exile groups has given the authorities in Tehran a new way to discredit the opposition movement.

“Obama Effect” Versus “Freedom Agenda”
By Daniel Luban

Beltway pundits and partisans are debating which U.S. president deserves more credit for helping pave the way for the Iranian opposition movement—Bush or Obama.

Electoral Chaos Energizes Neoconservative Hawks
By Daniel Luban

As President Obama navigates the treacherous currents of Iran’s post-election political crisis, he faces a heated attack from right-wing hawks, who are pressing him to speak out more forcefully in support of protesters and abandon engagement with Tehran.

McChrystal’s High-Tech Spin on Afghan Civilian Deaths
Analysis by Gareth Porter

Rather than reining in the special ops units mainly responsible for civilian casualties, the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan apparently plans to curb “collateral damage” through enhanced high-tech battlefield surveillance.

Will “Changed” Iran Complicate U.S. Engagement?
By Ali Gharib

The Obama administration remains quiet on how Iran’s post-election crisis will affect U.S. plans to engage the Islamic Republic.

Cautious U.S. Response to Iran Election Crisis
By Jim Lobe and Daniel Luban

As President Barack Obama takes a wait-and-see approach to the violent aftermath of Iran’s contested election, U.S. neoconservatives are pushing the administration to demonstrate support for the protestors in Tehran.

Palestinian Leaders Critical of Netanyahu’s Speech
By Mel Frykberg

Despite receiving some support from the United States, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for a qualified Palestinian state was widely unpopular with Palestinian leaders, spurring one prominent figure to call for the annulment of the Arab Peace Initiative.

 

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Featured Profiles

Zalmay Khalilzad is Donald Trump’s special representative to the Afghan peace process, having previously served as ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq under George W. Bush.


Robert Joseph played a key role in manipulating U.S. intelligence to support the invasion of Iraq and today is a lobbyist for the MEK.


Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is one of the Senate’s more vocal hawks, and one of the prime vacillators among Republicans between objecting to and supporting Donald Trump.


Elliott Abrams, the Trump administration’s special envoy to Venezuela, is a neoconservative with a long record of hawkish positions and actions, including lying to Congress about the Iran-Contra affair.


Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump second secretary of state, has driven a hawkish foreign policy in Iran and Latin America.


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is known for his hawkish views on foreign policy and close ties to prominent neoconservatives.


Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s first U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and is widely considered to be a future presidential candidate.


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From the Wires

François Nicoullaud, the former French ambassador to Iran, discusses the ups and downs of Iran-France relations and the new US sanctions.


Effective alliances require that powerful states shoulder a far larger share of the alliance maintenance costs than other states, a premise that Donald Trump rejects.


The new imbroglio over the INF treaty does not mean a revival of the old Cold War practice of nuclear deterrence. However, it does reveal the inability of the West and Russia to find a way to deal with the latter’s inevitable return to the ranks of major powers, a need that was obvious even at the time the USSR collapsed.


As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump appeared to recognize the obvious problem of the revolving door. But as the appointment of Patrick Shanahan, who spent 30 years at Boeing, as the Trump administration’s acting secretary of defense reveals, little has changed. America is indeed great again, if you happen to be one of those lucky enough to be moving back and forth between plum jobs in the Pentagon and the weapons industry.


Domestic troubles, declining popularity, and a decidedly hawkish anti-Iran foreign policy team may combine to make the perfect storm that pushes Donald Trump to pull the United States into a new war in the Middle East.


The same calculus that brought Iran and world powers to make a deal and has led remaining JCPOA signatories to preserve it without the U.S. still holds: the alternatives to this agreement – a race between sanctions and centrifuges that could culminate in Iran obtaining the bomb or being bombed – would be much worse.


With Bolton and Pompeo by his side and Mattis departed, Trump may well go with his gut and attack Iran militarily. He’ll be encouraged in this delusion by Israel and Saudi Arabia. He’ll of course be looking for some way to distract the media and the American public. And he won’t care about the consequences.


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