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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 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

Bernard Lewis was a renowned historian of Islam and the Middle East who stirred controversy with his often chauvinistic attitude towards the Muslim world and his associations with high-profile neoconservatives and foreign policy hawks.


John Bolton, the controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN and dyed-in the-wool foreign policy hawk, is President Trump’s National Security Adviser McMaster, reflecting a sharp move to the hawkish extreme by the administration.


Michael Joyce, who passed away in 2006, was once described by neoconservative guru Irving Kristol as the “godfather of modern philanthropy.”


Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s second secretary of state, is a long time foreign policy hawk and has led the public charge for an aggressive policy toward Iran.


Max Boot, neoconservative military historian at the Council on Foreign Relations, on Trump and Russia: “At every turn Trump is undercutting the ‘get tough on Russia’ message because he just can’t help himself, he just loves Putin too much.”


Michael Flynn is a former Trump administration National Security Advisor who was forced to step down only weeks on the job because of his controversial contacts with Russian officials before Trump took office.


Since taking office Donald Trump has revealed an erratic and extremely hawkish approach to U.S. foreign affairs, which has been marked by controversial actions like dropping out of the Iran nuclear agreement that have raised tensions across much of the world and threatened relations with key allies.


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From the Wires

Soon after a Saudi-led coalition strike on a bus killed 40 children on August 9, a CENTCOM spokesperson stated to Vox, “We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the U.S. sold to them.”


The West has dominated the post-war narrative with its doctrine of liberal values, arguing that not only were they right in themselves but that economic success itself depended on their application. Two developments have challenged those claims. The first was the West’s own betrayal of its principles: on too many occasions the self interest of the powerful, and disdain for the victims of collateral damage, has showed through. The second dates from more recently: the growth of Chinese capitalism owes nothing to a democratic system of government, let alone liberal values.


Falsely demonizing all Muslims, their beliefs, and their institutions is exactly the wrong way to make Americans safer, because the more we scare ourselves with imaginary enemies, the harder it will be to find and protect ourselves from real ones.


Division in the ranks of the conservative movement is a critical sign that a war with Iran isn’t inevitable.


Donald Trump stole the headlines, but the declaration from the recent NATO summit suggests the odds of an unnecessary conflict are rising. Instead of inviting a dialogue, the document boasts that the Alliance has “suspended all practical civilian and military cooperation between NATO and Russia.” The fact is, NATO was a child of the Cold War, when the West believed that the Soviets were a threat. But Russia today is not the Soviet Union, and there’s no way Moscow would be stupid enough to attack a superior military force.


War with Iran may not be imminent, but neither was war with Iraq in late 2001.


Donald Trump was one of the many bets the Russians routinely place, recognizing that while most such bets will never pay off a few will, often in unpredictable ways. Trump’s actions since taking office provide the strongest evidence that this one bet is paying off handsomely for the Russians. Putin could hardly have made the script for Trump’s conduct at the recent NATO meeting any more to his liking—and any better designed to foment division and distrust within the Western alliance—than the way Trump actually behaved.


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