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

The Rise of the Vulcans, Part II

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FEATURED ARTICLES

Rise of the Vulcans Redux

By Peter Certo

The purported “end of the neocon consensus” has hardly meant an end to hawkishness in the GOP fold. With the Republican candidates virtually all gunning for Iran, backing right-wing Israeli policies toward the Palestinians, and stabling a passel of neoconservative advisers (Ron Paul excepted), voters have plenty of clues about what the foreign policy of a new GOP administration would look like. And while some of the candidates have expressed wariness with neoconservative notions of armed democracy promotion, all the signs indicate that if a Republican wins next year, we will likely be in for a bit of George W. redux. Read article.

Turning the Tide on the Pro-Israel Debate

By Michael Flynn & Peter Certo

With key members of the "Israel Lobby" acknowledging the importance of providing a broader space to Israel’s critics, the indelibly beltway Politico recognizing the influence of such critics in a full-length feature, and core Democratic organizations showing an increasing sensitivity to inappropriate uses of the anti-Semite charge, is the United States finally willing to undertake a real debate on what are the best U.S. interests in the Middle East? Read article.

FEATURED PROFILES

Center for Security Policy

Long active in the promotion of neoconservative foreign policies, the Center for Security Policy, led by Frank Gaffney, has also distinguished itself as a banner member of the “Islamophobia network.”

Clarion Fund

A controversial film distribution company, the Clarion Fund has released several films that attack “Radical Islam” while promoting views on its website that call into question the trustworthiness of all Muslims.

Endowment for Middle East Truth

An “unabashedly pro-Israel and pro-American think tank,” EMET promotes the work of “pro-Israel” hawks in Washington, stokes fear of Islam and Muslims, and advocates a militarist U.S. posture toward the Middle East.

Block, Josh

Block, a former AIPAC spokesperson who defines himself as a progressive “pro-Israel” Democrat, has collaborated with neoconservatives and other hardliners to marginalize critics of Israel in the Democratic Party, in part by attempting to smear them as “anti-Semitic.”

Institute for the Study of War

Chaired by Liz Cheney and led by Kimberly Kagan, the ISW promotes hawkish stances on U.S counterinsurgency operations.

Kagan, Kimberly

A military historian, Kimberly Kagan heads the Institute for the Study of War, where she promotes the continuation of U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Keane, Jack

A decorated former general credited with helping conceive the Iraq “surge,” Jack Keane has used his military experience to promote long-term U.S. engagements abroad—and to turn a profit in the private sector.

UN Watch

The “nonpartisan” UN Watch, which devotes most of its energy to lambasting UN criticism of Israel, has counted on the financial support of the American Jewish Committee, the Becker Foundation, and a handful of other private donors in recent years.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Mass Tragedy Feared as Closure of MEK Camp Looms

U.S. officials fear that unless the MEK’s leaders approve of vacating their camp north of Baghdad, the residents could face violent raids from Iraqi forces or commit mass suicide.

Foreign Aid Spared Massive Cuts in 2012

Although Congress spared foreign aid the massive cuts favored by the GOP-led House, aid spending continues to pale beside Pentagon appropriations.

Iraq Intervention Ends with Scarcely a Whimper

The United States marked the formal end of its unpopular eight-and-a-half year war in Iraq with little fanfare.

Military Option Recedes amid Tug-of-War over Iran Policy

The Obama administration hasn’t shied away from confrontation with Iran, but some administration officials are resisting pressure from Congress to escalate the situation further.

Civil War Looms as Syrian Protests Grow Increasingly Complex

As the West ramps up its engagement with Syrian opposition figures, the behavior of armed opposition groups inside the country increasingly resembles that of the Assad regime.

LETTERS

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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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