Right Web

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

SPECIAL REPORT: An In-Depth Look at the Rise and Decline of an Influential Political Faction

The Rise and Decline of the Neoconservatives: A Right Web Special Report By Jim Lobe and Michael Flynn | November 17, 2006 Shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, an influential neoconservative-led pressure group called the Project for the New American Century issued a letter to the president calling for a dramatic…

The Rise and Decline of the Neoconservatives:
A Right Web Special Report
By Jim Lobe and Michael Flynn | November 17, 2006

Shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, an influential neoconservative-led pressure group called the Project for the New American Century issued a letter to the president calling for a dramatic reshaping of the Middle East as part of the war on terror. Although many of the items on the neoconservatives’ agenda, including ousting Saddam Hussein, were eventually adopted by the George W. Bush administration, the group’s remarkable string of successes has gradually given way to a steady decline, culminating most recently in the president’s decision after the November midterm elections to replace Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, an important erstwhile ally of the neocons, with Robert Gates. This special, in-depth report examines the rise and decline of the neoconservatives and their post-Cold War agenda. The authors conclude that although the neoconservatives and their allied aggressive nationalists like Vice President Dick Cheney retain sufficient weight to hamper efforts to push through major reversals in U.S. foreign policy, the increasing isolation of this political faction coupled with recent political events in the United States point to the potential emergence of a more cautious, realist-inspired agenda during the final two years of the Bush presidency. Read full report.

Rumors of a Neocon Death Are Highly Exaggerated
By Leon Hadar | November 15, 2006

It’s a new day dawning for neoconservatives. Yesterday’s power players and today’s apparent losers, the ideological band of brothers is making a desperate attempt to stay on top, as evidenced by their efforts to blame everyone but themselves. Read full story.

ALSO NEW THIS WEEK ON RIGHT WEB

Changing of the Guard
By Jim Lobe | November 13, 2006

The abrupt replacement of Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld by former Central Intelligence Agency Director Robert Gates, combined with the Democratic sweep in last Tuesday’s midterm elections, appears to signal major changes in U.S. foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East. Read full story.

Right Web Profile: Donald Rumsfeld

Rumsfeld, who steered the United States to war with Iraq, is leaving his helm at the Pentagon under a cloud of public criticism.

ODDS AND ENDS

In this week’s Right Web News, Leon Hadar, a scholar based at the Cato Institute, argues (in

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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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