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The Return of the Nuclear Warriors

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This Week on the Right

The Return of the Nuclear Warriors

When Stephen Hadley was nominated to succeed Condoleezza Rice as National Security Adviser last November, it marked the latest in a string of appointments by President Bush of hawks who have long promoted a high profile role for nuclear weapons in U.S. policy. Many of these figures cut their teeth during the heady days of the Cold War, promoting the notion that a first strike against the Evil Empire was indeed possible and that nuclear war was “winnable.” Now, with the Cold War over and the “peace dividend” dead, buried, and forgotten, these nuclear warriors are poised to rejuvenate U.S. efforts to build a new breed of “usable” bombs.

Like many of Bush’s other appointees—including Keith Payne, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, Linton Brooks, the head the National Nuclear Security Administration, and Stephen Cambone, a long-standing Rumsfeld side-kick and the first ever undersecretary of defense for intelligence—Hadley was a member of a team of “experts” who, working under the auspices of the National Institute for Public Policy (NIPP), produced an influential study in 2000-2001 advocating a number of hawkish nuclear weapons policies. The study, called “Rationale and Requirements for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control,” went on to serve as a blueprint for the Bush administration’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which among other things called for developing usable, “low-yield” nuclear weapons. Many of those who served on the NIPP study subsequently got tapped to serve on the Deterrence Concepts Advisory Panel, a specialized Pentagon panel that was charged with implementing the policies outlined in the NPR.

More recently, in mid-2005, Bush further bolstered this contingent of unreformed nuclear warriors when he nominated Robert Joseph to replace John Bolton in the State Department. Like Payne, Hadley, Brooks, and Cambone, Joseph participated on the NIPP study and has been a long-standing supporter of a number of other hardline policy institutes, including the Center for Security Policy.

In this issue of Right Web News, we present a passel of profiles of figures and institutions involved in efforts to make nuclear weapons a central U.S. policy tool in the post-Cold War world. (For more on the growing clique of nuclear warriors in the Bush administration, see “ The Counterproliferationist” by Tom Barry.)

Featured Profiles

Nuclear Warrior Replaces Bolton
Arms control chief Robert Joseph is a new breed of militarist who believes that in a world where weapons of mass destruction may be proliferating the United States should bolster its own WMD arsenal and then threaten to use it against proliferators.
Right Web Profile Robert Joseph

Rumsfeld’s Henchman
Stephen Cambone, the first-ever undersecretary of defense for intelligence and a Rumsfeld sidekick, is a key figure in the right’s web of militarists, with ties to the neoconservative Project for the New American Century, the Strangelovian National Institute for Public Policy, and the missile defense and space weapons lobbies.
Right Web Profile Stephen Cambone

Bunker Busting Brain
Linton Brooks and the National Nuclear Security Administration are involved in efforts to develop so-called bunker-busting nuclear bombs, including the proposed Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Weapon—and, according to one respected critic, “coming up with all the crazy ideas” about how the U.S. military can use nuclear weapons.
Right Web Profile Linton Brooks

A Fire-Tested Vulcan
Stephen Hadley, the new National Security Adviser,is a hardliner close to Vice President Dick Cheney and to the nuclear hawks in the neoconservative camp.
Right Web Profile Stephen Hadley

Nuclear Enthusiast as Top National Security Official
J.D. Crouch, a virulent nationalist, enthusiast of nuclear weapons, and Christian-right adherent, has recently become the right-hand man of National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.
Right Web Profile J.D. Crouch II

Rational Nuclear War
Led by Keith Payne, a hyper-hawk who once co-authored an article that argued the United States must possess the means to wage “nuclear war rationally,” the National Institute for Public Policy is an influential—if not well-known—think tank which since the 1980s has been front and center in the efforts to get the United States to pursue ever-more aggressive strategic policies.
Right Web Profile National Institute for Public Policy

See also:

Center for Security Policy

Deterrence Concepts Advisory Panel

Rumsfeld Missile Commission

Rumsfeld Space Commission

Letters From Our Readers

(Editors Note: We encourage feedback and comments, which can be sent for publication through our feedback page, at: https://rightweb.irc-online.org/form_feedback.html. Thank you.)

Re: Patrick Fitzgerald

Mr. Kristol:

Pardon me if I address you by your real title, since you are another in a long line of neocons claiming degrees you did not earn.

Your quote re Plamegate: “The problem for the White House (sic) is Patrick J. Fitzgerald, and we have no idea what he knows,” is both uniformed and childish. Had you actually gone on to earn a doctorate (as opposed to the tried and true GOP method of purchasing/claiming non-existent ones), perhaps you would not have made such a petulant and fearful statement.

In the words of reality based folks everywhere: “So the investigator that Bush claims he wanted to unravel an act

of national betrayal is now ‘the problem’ for the White House. Why? Because he is trying to find out the truth.” (BuzzFlash, July 15, 2005).

Sorry, little man, but BuzzFlash is much more informed than you and your insulated, intellectually-challenged friends. Commander Bunnypants’ approval rating is now below 40% and you are desperately trying to spin reality to fit your agenda. Go back to college and actually enroll in a graduate program; perhaps you will learn how to do legitimate research before spouting off White House talking points in the manner of a slow eight year old.

And, with regard to Iraq: Enlist, or shut up!

Cheers,

– Dr. James Ackman
(Sorry, but mine is real, unlike yours)

Re: Consider the possibility: We’ve been Duped by the Neocons!

In my opinion, we need to pay a very great deal more attention to the possibility/likelihood that we have been duped by the neocons now in power in Washington, DC.

It seems likely to me that the most recent plot to excuse the Iraq war as an attempt to install a democratic government is nothing more than the latest excuse (since WMD, War on Terror, etc. didn’t work!) to hide the efforts to develop the neocon policy of Global Dominance being pursued by Cheney and Rumsfeld (who managed to train Bush well enough to let him be spokesperson).

What can we do to promote thorough analysis and public discussion of this poisonous policy ??

– H. Milton Peek

In the next issue of Right Web News

Democracy for whom, by whom, of whom? A round-up of influential individuals, government-supported groups, and policy institutes behind U.S. efforts to make the world “safe for democracy,” whether the world likes it or not.

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Featured Profiles

Paul Ryan (R-WI), Speaker of the House from 2015-2018, was known for his extremely conservative economic and social views and hawkish foreign policies.


On August 16, 2018, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the formation of the Iran Action Group (IAG). It would “be responsible for directing, reviewing, and coordinating all aspects of the State Department’s Iran-related activity, and it will report directly to me,” he stated. Amid speculation that the Donald Trump administration was focused on…


Norm Coleman is a lobbyist for the Saudi Arabian government, chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition, and former senator from Minnesota, known for hawkish, pro-Likud, and anti-Iran foreign policy views.


The millionaire pastor of the Cornerstone Church in Texas, John Hagee argues that U.S. support for Israel will play a “a pivotal role in the second coming” of Jesus. He has also risen to new prominence during the Trump administration.


Michael Gerson, an evangelical Christian who served as a chief aide and speechwriter in the George W. Bush White House, is a conservative columnist for the Washington Post and one of Donald Trump’s harshest critics on the right, calling him an “unhinged president.”


Robert Kagan, a cofounder of the Project for the New American Century, is a neoconservative policy pundit and historian based at the Brookings Institution.


Mira Ricardel, former weapons marketer for Boeing, is the deputy national security adviser under John Bolton. She is a well-known foreign policy hawk who has served in key positions in the administration of George W. Bush and, earlier, in the office of former Senator Robert Dole (R-KS).


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