Right Web

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

The Narco-Terror War and Fallout from Libya to Afghanistan

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FEATURED ARTICLE

The Narco-Terror War

By Charles Davis

Despite vocal efforts by some foreign policy hawks to view the war on drugs as an extension of the war on terror, the emerging consensus—even among the political establishment—is that the war on drugs has been a dismal failure. Drug production—and body counts—surge in Latin America, opium is a staple crop in Afghanistan despite the presence of tens of thousands of occupying troops, and anti-drug policies that have helped put hundreds of thousands of non-violent offenders behind bars have had no discernible impact on usage. But for much of the rightwing establishment, drug prohibition is just like any other war: deserving of uncritical support even in the face of defeat. Read article.


MILITARIST MONITOR

With President Obama’s announcement that he would withdraw 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2011 and an additional 23,000 the following year, the president effectively ruptured the uneasy alliance his administration had maintained with prominent foreign policy hawks and neoconservatives ever since his progressive base began to question his escalation of the war. However much Obama’s conservative critics accused him of “dithering” in advance of his earlier decision to “surge” U.S. forces in the country, they were nonetheless among his more reliable backers when it came to the war in Afghanistan. This alliance, however, is no more. Militarist Monitor.


FEATURED PROFILES

Zalmay Khalilzad

The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United Nations during the Bush presidency, Khalilzad is president of the international consulting firm Khalilzad Associates and an outspoken supporter of aggressive U.S. support for toppling Mideast regimes caught up in the “Arab Spring” as part of an effort to contain Iran.

David Gompert

Gompert, a former vice president of the RAND Corporation known for his hawkish views on defense, served briefly as President Barack Obama’s acting director of national intelligence before becoming a director at Pentagon contractor Global Integrated Security.

Michael Rubin

Rubin, a “scholar” at the American Enterprise Institute who has attacked what he call’s Right Web’s “fake, conspiracy riddled biographies,” views the revolt in Egypt through the lens of Iran’s Islamic revolution.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Hirsi Ali, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who has a made a career denouncing Islam, argues that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood may be more dangerous than Al Qaeda precisely because it has given up armed struggle.

Jay Garner

Garner, the erstwhile “mayor of Baghdad,” has capitalized on his experiences in Iraq to pursue oil deals in Kurdish areas of the country.


ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Kerry, McCain Come to Obama’s Rescue Over Libya

In the face of growing congressional criticism over the legal basis for the Libyan War, Barack Obama received a lifeline from two Senate allies: John Kerry and John McCain.

Obama Leaves Door Open to Long-Term US Afghan Combat

Despite Barack Obama's announcement of a gradual withdrawal from Afghanistan, the reality is that U.S. troops are far from coming home.

Obama Takes the Centrist Option on Withdrawal

By announcing a small troop drawdown, but refraining to set a deadline for full troop withdrawal, Barack Obama is trying to stake out a middle ground in the Afghan war debate.

Neoconservatives Losing Hold Over Republican Foreign Policy

Neoconservative dominance of Republican Party foreign policy trends is steadily waning, with leading 2012 candidates expressing doubt about U.S. military engagements abroad and massive majorities of Republican voters turning their backs on the Bush-era “Freedom Agenda.”

Obama’s Claim of Libya War Powers Widely Disputed

The lengthening U.S. intervention in Libya has prompted Congress to angrily claim President Obama is not complying with the 1973 War Powers Act.


LETTERS

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Featured Profiles

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts and two-time failed presidential candidate, is a foreign policy hawk with neoconservative leanings who appears set to become the next senator from Utah.


Vin Weber, a former Republican congressman and longtime “superlobbyist” who has supported numerous neoconservative advocacy campaigns, has become embroiled in the special prosecutor’s investigation into the Donald Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.


Jon Lerner is a conservative political strategist and top adviser to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. He was a key figure in the “Never Trump” Campaign, which appears to have led to his being ousted as Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser.


Pamela Geller is a controversial anti-Islam activist who has founded several “hate groups” and likes to repeat debunked myths, including about the alleged existence of “no-go” Muslim zones in Europe.


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.”


Although overlooked by President Trump for cabinet post, Gingrich has tried to shape affairs in the administration, including by conspiring with government officials to “purge the State Department of staffers they viewed as insufficiently loyal” to the president.


Former Sen Mark Kirk (R-IL) is an advisor for United Against Nuclear Iran. He is an outspoken advocate for aggressive action against Iran and a fierce defender of right-wing Israeli policies.


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From the Wires

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Other than the cynical political interests in Moscow and Tehran, there is no conceivable rationale for wanting Bashar al-Assad to stay in power. But the simple fact is, he has won the war. And while Donald Trump has reveled in positive press coverage of the recent attacks on the country, it is clear that they were little more than a symbolic act.


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The reality is that the Assad regime is winning the Syrian civil war, and this matters far less to U.S. interests than it does to that regime or its allies in Russia and Iran, who see Syria as their strongest and most consistent entrée into the Arab world. Those incontrovertible facts undermine any notion of using U.S. military force as leverage to gain a better deal for the Syrian people.


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An effective rhetorical tool to normalize military build-ups is to characterize spending increases “modernization.”


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The Pentagon has officially announced that that “long war” against terrorism is drawing to a close — even as many counterinsurgency conflicts  rage across the Greater Middle East — and a new long war has begun, a permanent campaign to contain China and Russia in Eurasia.


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Revelations that data-consulting firm Cambridge Analytica used ill-gotten personal information from Facebook for the Trump campaign masks the more scandalous reality that the company is firmly ensconced in the U.S. military-industrial complex. It should come as no surprise then that the scandal has been linked to Erik Prince, co-founder of Blackwater.


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As the United States enters the second spring of the Trump era, it’s creeping ever closer to more war. McMaster and Mattis may have written the National Defense Strategy that over-hyped the threats on this planet, but Bolton and Pompeo will have the opportunity to address these inflated threats in the worst way possible: by force of arms.


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We meet Donald Trump in the media every hour of every day, which blots out much of the rest of the world and much of what’s meaningful in it.  Such largely unexamined, never-ending coverage of his doings represents a triumph of the first order both for him and for an American cult of personality.


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