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

The Nowhere Debate; Profiles on Blackwater, Julie Finley, Michael Evans; And More.

FEATURED ARTICLE A Nowhere Foreign Policy Debate By Leon Hadar The next occupant of the White House will inherit a number of sensitive international situations left over from the Bush presidency, all of which will require fresh insight and new approaches. But with a financial crisis looming and foreign policy slipping downward on the public’s…

FEATURED ARTICLE

A Nowhere Foreign Policy Debate
By Leon Hadar

The next occupant of the White House will inherit a number of sensitive international situations left over from the Bush presidency, all of which will require fresh insight and new approaches. But with a financial crisis looming and foreign policy slipping downward on the public’s list of priorities, any significant change to the course of U.S. foreign policy in any new administration seems unlikely—a fact made sorely obvious during the recent McCain-Obama debate, during which the candidates made clear that they share a similar vision of America’s position in the world. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Blackwater
For some observers, Erik Prince’s controversial private security firm Blackwater Worldwide serves as a potential model for how countries can fight unpopular wars.

Michael Evans
A prominent Christian Zionist writer who claims that “Islamofascists” pose the “greatest threat America has faced since the Civil War,” Evans has also been a strident proponent of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Julie Finley
After raising millions for her political party and supporting the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Julie Finley, a founding member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, was appointed ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Pushing Islamophobia
By Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton (Inter Press Service)

A network of hardline neoconservatives in the United States who support right-wing settler groups in Israel is funding the mass distribution of a controversial DVD that critics have denounced as Islamophobic. Read full story.

The Most Secretive Government Ever?
By William Fisher (Inter Press Service)

Government secrecy and surveillance have increased dramatically during the George W. Bush administration, and billions in no-bid contracts have been awarded to contractors in the Iraq War, according to a new report. Read full story.

EU Takes the Diplomatic Lead on Georgia
Analysis by Zoltán Dujisin (Inter Press Service)

The European Union, driven by pragmatic concerns over energy supplies and a desire to avoid a new Cold War, has split dramatically with the United States over the best way to encourage peace between Georgia and Russia. Read full story.

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Featured Profiles

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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