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

The Pitfalls of Forecasting Foreign Policy; Plus, Profiles on Freedom’s Watch, 1992 Draft Defense Pl

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FEATURED ARTICLE

The Pitfalls of Forecasting Foreign Policy
By Leon Hadar

With change imminent in the Oval Office, it is fashionable to predict how the future occupant will handle foreign policy. Yet the popular method for doing this, examining campaign statements, is problematic and unreliable, as history makes clear. According to the Cato Institute’s Leon Hadar, a far better barometer is one that assesses basic foreign policy dispositions by asking which camp candidates fall into—Hamiltonian, Jeffersonian, Jacksonian, or Wilsonian. But even then, surprises likely await.
Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Freedom’s Watch
The pro-Iraq War advocacy group, known for its multimillion-dollar ad campaign aimed at supporting the "surge," has seen many of its staff resign in recent weeks.

1992 Draft Defense Planning Guidance
The 1992 draft Defense Planning Guidance played a singular role in shaping the "war on terror" strategies of the George W. Bush administration. Recently declassified documents shed light on the document’s origins.

Stephen Cambone
Cambone made headlines in 2004 for his role in the prison abuse scandal; now the former czar for defense intelligence is back in the news for the sweet contracts his former department is giving to his new employer.

Fred Iklé
A former anti-Soviet hardliner and backer of neoconservative policy, Iklé has soured on the Bush administration’s "war on terror" and says that an attack on Iran would be a "catastrophic failure."

Reuel Marc Gerecht
As with some other neoconservatives, Gerecht’s seemingly diplomatic line on Iran is thin cover for his unrepentant interventionism.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

The Growing Militarization of Foreign Policy
By Jim Lobe

Military commanders are taking the reins of U.S. foreign policy, jeopardizing civilian control of foreign relations, and Congress is doing nothing to stop it. Read full story

The Vanishing Laptop Scoop
By Gareth Porter

As the International Atomic Energy Agency investigates Iranian nuclear weapons activities, the origins of one part of the evidence against Tehran— the so—called laptop documentspurportedly revealing weapons plans—remain in doubt. Read full story

LETTERS

Congratulations on an excellent overview that serves as an essential introduction to the right-wing forces that have shaped our domestic and foreign policies for so long-though mostly unknown and hidden from public view and scrutiny.

This in itself is more than reason enough to support your work.

-Rudy Rasin

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Featured Profiles

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


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.


Right Web readers will be familiar with Mr. Fleitz, the former CIA officer who once threatened to take “legal action” against Right Web for publicizing reports of controversies he was associated with in the George W. Bush administration. Fleitz recently left his job at the conspiracy-mongering Center for Security Policy to become chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council.


Norm Coleman is chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a former senator from Minnesota known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


Billionaire hedge fund mogul Paul Singer is known for his predatory business practices and support for neoconservative causes.


Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, is a passionate supporter of Trump’s foreign policy.


Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest “pro-Israel” advocacy group in the United States, is known for its zealous Christian Zionism and its growing influence in the Republican Party.


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From the Wires

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The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


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A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


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Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


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The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


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Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


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To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


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The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


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