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

Whither Pakistan’s Hearts and Minds; Profiles on Max Boot, Joshua Muravchik, and James Roche.

FEATURED ARTICLE Losing Pakistan’s Hearts and Minds—and the “War on Terror” By Najum Mushtaq & Qurat-ul-Ain Sadozai Pakistan is facing one of the worst internal crises in its history. The turmoil, which is intimately tied to the antiterror war being waged by the Bush administration, is pushing Pakistani citizens against the tenuous U.S.-Pakistani alliance, the…

FEATURED ARTICLE

Losing Pakistan’s Hearts and Minds—and the “War on Terror”
By Najum Mushtaq & Qurat-ul-Ain Sadozai

Pakistan is facing one of the worst internal crises in its history. The turmoil, which is intimately tied to the antiterror war being waged by the Bush administration, is pushing Pakistani citizens against the tenuous U.S.-Pakistani alliance, the volatility of which was recently underscored when U.S. and Pakistani forces exchanged fire. As U.S. strategists focus their military campaign on cross-border strikes against Taliban elements in Pakistani territory, they seem to be neglecting the plight of the average Pakistani. Without the hearts and minds of the population, Washington stands no chance of winning its war on terror on any front. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Max Boot
Boot, a Los Angeles Times columnist and Council on Foreign Relations fellow, worries that human rights standards prohibiting torture could be a “suicide pact” and that closer U.S. relations with Syria would threaten Lebanese democracy.

Joshua Muravchik
A scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and former head of the Young People’s Socialist League, Muravchik wants the United States to bomb Iran.

James Roche
After leaving his top Air Force post under the cloud of scandal, the former Northrop Grumman executive and advisor to the Center for Security Policy returned to the defense industry.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Pakistan: "Greatest Single Challenge" to Next President
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

Trouble in Pakistan means that U.S. efforts in the “war on terror” in Afghanistan could be seriously jeopardized. Read full story.

Brief Talks with Syria Spur Speculation
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

With the Bush administration drawing to a close, the U.S.-Syria relationship could finally be thawing out as the State Department tries its hand again at diplomacy. 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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