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

The Next SecDef?

FEATURED PROFILES

Michele Flournoy

Michele Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense for policy and a possible candidate for defense secretary in the second Obama administration, co-founded the Center for a New American Security, a “liberal hawk” think tank that has been a key source of counterinsurgency strategy for the Obama administration. Sometimes regarded as a “liberal realist,” Flournoy’s Pentagon candidacy has been supported by leading neoconservatives, in part of because of their opposition to other candidates, but also because of her backing for extended U.S. military engagement in the Middle East and “pro-Israel” sentiments.

Ashton Carter

Described by the Boston Globe as “the favorite” choice of the Pentagon bureaucracy to replace outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Ashton Carter is an accomplished academic and longtime Pentagon official who currently serves as deputy secretary of defense in the Barack Obama administration. Carter has been adamant in his insistence that the United States place force on the table in its efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons programs, arguing in numerous venues over the years that “coercion” should be seen as a legitimate tool to halt presumed weapons programs in countries hostile to the United States, including Iran.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

The Neocon Attack on Chuck Hagel

The pro-war and “pro-Israel” lobbies have pulled out all the stops to prevent former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel from receiving the nod to be the Obama administration’s next Pentagon chief.

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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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