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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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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.


Laurence Silberman, a senior justice on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was a mentor to controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and has been a vocal supporter of right-wing foreign and domestic agendas, including the campaign to support the invasion of Iraq.


The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, advocates regime change in Iran and has strong connections with a wide range of top political figures in the U.S.


Haim Saban is a media mogul and major donor to the Democratic Party known for his hardline stance on Israel and opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.


Eli Lake is a columnist for Bloomberg View who has a lengthy record of advocating for aggressive U.S. foreign policies towards the Middle East.


Brian Hook is the director of policy planning and senior policy advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and is the head of the Iran Action Group.


Josh Rogin is a journalist known for his support for neoconservative policies and views.


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From the Wires

The contradictions in Donald Trump’s foreign policy create opportunities for both rivals and long-standing (if irritated) US allies to challenge American influence. But Trump’s immediate priority is political survival, and his actions in the international arena are of little concern to his domestic supporters.


While the notion that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is decades old, it has been bolstered in recent years, by the campaign to add to the definition of anti-Semitism any criticism that singles Israel out and doesn’t apply the same standard to other countries. The bottom line is that this entire effort is designed not to combat anti-Semitism but to silence criticism. 


Short-term thinking, expedience, and a lack of strategic caution has led Washington to train, fund, and support group after group that have turned their guns on American soldiers and civilians.


Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


In many ways, Donald Trump’s bellicosity, his militarism, his hectoring cant about American exceptionalism and national greatness, his bullying of allies—all of it makes him not an opponent of neoconservatism but its apotheosis. Trump is a logical culmination of the Bush era as consolidated by Obama.


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.”


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