Jul 18, 2007

The American Coup Plot

LAST UPDATED: JUNE 2005 Empire builders: Neoconservatives and their blueprint for US power Key figures Key Figures To the left are some of neoconservatism's most influential leaders. Click on a person to learn about his background. Irving Kristol Irving Kristol Widely referred to as the "godfather" of neoconservatism, Mr. Kristol was part of the "New York Intellectuals," a group of critics mainly of Eastern European Jewish descent. In the late 1930s, he studied at City College of New York where he became a Trotskyist. From 1947 to 1952, he was the managing editor of Commentary magazine, later called the "neocon bible." By the late 1960s, Kristol had shifted from left to right on the political spectrum, due partly to what he considered excesses and anti-Americanism among liberals. Kristol built the intellectual framework of neoconservatism, founding and editing journals such as The Public Interest and The National Interest. Kristol is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of numerous books, including "Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea." He is the father of Weekly Standard editor and oft-quoted neoconservative William Kristol. Norman Podhoretz Norman Podhoretz Considered one of neoconservatism's founding fathers, Mr. Podhoretz studies, writes, and speaks on social, cultural, and international matters. From 1990 to 1995, he worked as editor-in-chief of Commentary magazine, a neoconservative journal published by the American Jewish Committee. Podhoretz advocated liberal political views earlier in life, but broke ranks in the early 1970s. He became part of the Coalition for a Democratic Majority founded in 1973 by Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson and other intervention-oriented Democrats. Podhoretz has written nine books, including "Breaking Ranks" (1979), in which he argues that Israel's survival is crucial to US military strategy. He is married to like-minded social critic Midge Decter. They helped establish the Committee on the Present Danger in the late 1970s and the Committee for the Free World in the early 1980s. Podhoretz' son, John, is a New York Post columnist. Paul Wolfowitz Paul Wolfowitz After serving as deputy secretary of defense for three years, Mr. Wolfowitz, a key architect of the Iraq war, was chosen in March 2005 by President Bush to be president of the World Bank. From 1989 to 1993, Wolfowitz served as under secretary of defense for policy in charge of a 700-person team that had major responsibilies for the reshaping of military strategy and policy at the end of the cold war. In this capacity Wolfowitz co-wrote with Lewis "Scooter" Libby the 1992 draft Defense Planning Guidance, which called for US military dominance over Eurasia and preemptive strikes against countries suspected of developing weapons of mass destruction. After being leaked to the media, the draft proved so shocking that it had to be substantially rewritten. After 9/11, many of the principles in that draft became key points in the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States, an annual report. During the 1991 Gulf War, Wolfowitz advocated extending the war's aim to include toppling Saddam Hussein's regime. Richard Perle Richard Perle Famously nicknamed the "Prince of Darkness" for his hardline stance on national security issues, Mr. Perle is one of the most high-profile neoconservatives. He resigned in March 2003 as chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board after being criticized for conflicts of interest. From 1981 to 1987 he was assistant secretary of defense for international security policy. Perle is a chief architect of the "creative destruction" agenda to reshape the Middle East, starting with the invasion of Iraq. He outlined parts of this agenda in a key 1996 report for Israel's right-wing Likud Party called "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm." Perle helped establish two think tanks: The Center for Security Policy and The Jewish Institute for National Security. He is also a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, an adviser for the counter-terrorist think tank Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and a director of the Jerusalem Post. Douglas Feith Douglas Feith The defense department announced in January 2005 that Mr. Feith will resign this summer as undersecretary of defense for policy, the Pentagon's No. 3 civilian position, which he has held since being appointed by President Bush in July 2001. Feith also served in the Reagan administration as deputy assistant secretary of defense for negotiations policy. Prior to that, he served as special counsel to Richard Perle. Before his service at the Pentagon, Feith worked as a Middle East specialist for the National Security Council in 1981-82. Feith is well-known for his support of Israel's right-wing Likud Party. In 1997, Feith was honored along with his father Dalck Feith, who was active in a Zionist youth movement in his native Poland, for their "service to Israel and the Jewish people" by pro-Likud Zionist Organization of America at its 100th anniversary banquet. In 1992, he was vice president of the advisory board of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Mr. Feith is a former chairman and currently a director of the Center for Security Policy. Lewis scooter libby Lewis "Scooter" Libby Mr. Libby is currently chief of staff and national security advisor for Vice President Dick Cheney. He's served in a wide variety of posts. In the first Bush administration, Mr. Libby served in the Department of Principal Deputy Under Secretary (Strategy and Resources), and, later, as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Libby was a founding member of the Project for the New American Century. He joined Paul Wolfowitz, William Kristol, Robert Kagan, and others in writing its 2000 report entitled, "Rebuilding America's Defenses - Strategy, Forces, and Resources for a New Century." Libby co-authored the once-shocking draft of the 'Defense Planning Guidance' with Mr. Wolfowitz for then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney in 1992. Libby serves on the advisory board of the Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies of the RAND Corporation. John Bolton John Bolton In February 2005, Mr. Bolton was nominated US ambassador to the UN by President Bush. If confirmed, he would move to this position from the Department of State where he was Under Secretary for Arms Control, the top US non-proliferation official. Prior to this appointment, Bolton was senior vice president of the neoconservative think tank American Enterprise Institute. He also held a variety of positions in both the George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan administrations. Bolton has often made claims not fully supported by the intelligence community. In a controversial May 2002 speech entitled, "Beyond the Axis of Evil," Bolton fingered Libya, Syria, and Cuba as "other rogue states intent on acquiring weapons of mass destruction." In July 2003, the CIA and other agencies reportedly objected strongly to claims Bolton made in a draft assessment about the progress Syria has made in its weapons programs. Elliott Abrams Elliott Abrams In February of 2005 Elliott Abrams was appointed deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for global democracy strategy. From December 2002 to February 2005, Mr. Abrams served as special assistant to the president and senior director for Near East and North African affairs. Abrams began his political career by taking a job with the Democratic Senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson. He held a variety of State Department posts in the Reagan administration. He was a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute from 1990 to the 1996 before becoming president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, which "affirms the political relevance of the great Western ethical imperatives." Abrams also served as chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. In 1991, Abrams pleaded guilty to withholding information from Congress about the Iran-Contra affair. President George H. W. Bush pardoned him in 1992. In 1980, he married Rachel Decter, daughter of neocon veterans Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter. Robert Kagan Robert Kagan Mr. Kagan writes extensively on US strategy and diplomacy. Kagan and fellow neoconservative William Kristol co-founded the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) in 1997. Kagan signed the famous 1998 PNAC letter sent to President Clinton urging regime change in Iraq. After working as principal speechwriter to Secretary of State George P. Shultz from 1984-1985, he was hired by Elliott Abrams to work as deputy for policy in the State Department's Bureau of Inter-American Affairs. He is a senior associate at the Carnegie endowment for International Peace (CEIP). He is also an international affairs columnist for The Washington Post, and contributing editor at The New Republic and The Weekly Standard. He wrote the bestseller "Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order." Kagan's wife, Victoria Nuland, was chosen by Vice President Dick Cheney as his deputy national security adviser. Michael Ledeen Michael Ledeen Seen by many as one of the most radical neoconservatives, Mr. Ledeen is said to frequently advise George W. Bush's top adviser Karl Rove on foreign policy matters. He is one of the strongest voices calling for regime change in Iran. In 2001, Ledeen co-founded the Coalition for Democracy in Iran. He served as Secretary of State Alexander Haig's adviser during the Reagan administration. Ledeen is resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute, where he works closely with Richard Perle. he is also a member of the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs' advisory board and one of its founding organizers. He was Rome correspondent for the New Republic magazine from 1975-1977, and founding editor of the Washington Quarterly. Ledeen also wrote "The War Against the Terror Masters," which advocates regime change in Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. William Kristol William Kristol Son of "godfather" of neoconservatism Irving Kristol, Bill Kristol is currently chairman of the Project for a New American Century, which he co-founded with leading neoconservative writer Robert Kagan. He is also editor of the influential Weekly Standard. Like other neoconservatives Frank Gaffney Jr. and Elliott Abrams, Kristol worked for hawkish Democratic Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson. But by 1976, he became a Republican. he served as chief of staff to Education Secretary William Bennett during the Reagan administration and chief of staff to former Vice President Dan Quayle during the George H. W. Bush presidency. Kristol continuously called for Saddam Hussein's ouster since the 1991 Gulf War. With the like-minded Lawrence Kaplan, Kristol co-wrote "The War Over Iraq: Saddam's Tyranny and America's Mission." He is on the board of advisers of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, established as a counterterrorist think tank after 9/11. Frank Gaffney Jr. Frank Gaffney Jr. Mr. Gaffney is the founder, president, and CEO of the influential Washington think tank Center for Security Policy, whose mission is "to promote world peace through American strength." In 1987, President Reagan nominated Gaffney to be assistant secretary of defense for international security policy. he earlier served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy under then-Assistant Secretary Richard Perle. In the late 1970s, Gaffney served as a defense and foreign policy adviser to Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson. He is columnist for the Washington Times and a contributor to Defense News and Investor's Business Daily. He is a contributing editor to National Review Online, WolrdNetDaily.com and JewishWorldReview.com. Gaffney is also one of 25 mostly neoconservative co-signers of the Project for a New American Century's Statement of Principles. Neocon 101 Don't know much about neoconservatism? Learn basic concepts. Key figures Who are these guys? Learn the path to power for leading neocon lights. Interactive quiz Are you a "neocon"? Expert Q&A Two leading US foreign policy thinkers discuss the neocon movement. Max BootMax Boot How much power do neoconservatives really have? Walter Russell MeadWalter Russell Mead Which leaders in US history would be neoconservatives today? Birth of a superpower Timeline of key events in the history of US foreign policy. In their own words Remarks from leading figures. Spheres of influence Neocon think tanks, documents, and periodicals.

DynCorp has big role, little oversight in war efforts

Contractor with Texas ties operates with secrecy, arouses suspicion By TOD ROBBERSON The Dallas Morning News First of two parts. DynCorp International runs its operational hub from a dark glass building bearing another firm's logo. The office complex, on the outskirts of Irving, gives no indication of the huge footprint the military services company is leaving around the world. Using billions of taxpayer dollars, DynCorp is quietly doing the U.S. government's work in Iraq, Afghanistan and other world hot spots. Its paramilitary forces can kill or be killed in combat, but there's little public accounting of what DynCorp does or whether tax dollars are being well spent. cont....

Neocons 101: Christian Science Monitor



Special: Empire Builders | Christian Science Monitor
Neocon 101 Some basic questions answered. What do neoconservatives believe? "Neocons" believe that the United States should not be ashamed to use its unrivaled power – forcefully if necessary – to promote its values around the world. Some even speak of the need to cultivate a US empire. Neoconservatives believe modern threats facing the US can no longer be reliably contained and therefore must be prevented, sometimes through preemptive military action. Most neocons believe that the US has allowed dangers to gather by not spending enough on defense and not confronting threats aggressively enough. One such threat, they contend, was Saddam Hussein and his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Since the 1991 Gulf War, neocons relentlessly advocated Mr. Hussein's ouster. Most neocons share unwavering support for Israel, which they see as crucial to US military sufficiency in a volatile region. They also see Israel as a key outpost of democracy in a region ruled by despots. Believing that authoritarianism and theocracy have allowed anti-Americanism to flourish in the Middle East, neocons advocate the democratic transformation of the region, starting with Iraq. They also believe the US is unnecessarily hampered by multilateral institutions, which they do not trust to effectively neutralize threats to global security. What are the roots of neoconservative beliefs? The original neocons were a small group of mostly Jewish liberal intellectuals who, in the 1960s and 70s, grew disenchanted with what they saw as the American left's social excesses and reluctance to spend adequately on defense. Many of these neocons worked in the 1970s for Democratic Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a staunch anti-communist. By the 1980s, most neocons had become Republicans, finding in President Ronald Reagan an avenue for their aggressive approach of confronting the Soviet Union with bold rhetoric and steep hikes in military spending. After the Soviet Union's fall, the neocons decried what they saw as American complacency. In the 1990s, they warned of the dangers of reducing both America's defense spending and its role in the world. Unlike their predecessors, most younger neocons never experienced being left of center. They've always been "Reagan" Republicans. What is the difference between a neoconservative and a conservative? Liberals first applied the "neo" prefix to their comrades who broke ranks to become more conservative in the 1960s and 70s. The defectors remained more liberal on some domestic policy issues. But foreign policy stands have always defined neoconservatism. Where other conservatives favored d├ętente and containment of the Soviet Union, neocons pushed direct confrontation, which became their raison d'etre during the 1970s and 80s. Today, both conservatives and neocons favor a robust US military. But most conservatives express greater reservations about military intervention and so-called nation building. Neocons share no such reluctance. The post 9/11-campaigns against regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate that the neocons are not afraid to force regime change and reshape hostile states in the American image. Neocons believe the US must do to whatever it takes to end state-supported terrorism. For most, this means an aggressive push for democracy in the Middle East. Even after 9/11, many other conservatives, particularly in the isolationist wing, view this as an overzealous dream with nightmarish consequences. How have neoconservatives influenced US foreign policy? Finding a kindred spirit in President Reagan, neocons greatly influenced US foreign policy in the 1980s. But in the 1990s, neocon cries failed to spur much action. Outside of Reaganite think tanks and Israel's right-wing Likud Party, their calls for regime change in Iraq were deemed provocative and extremist by the political mainstream. With a few notable exceptions, such as President Bill Clinton's decision to launch isolated strikes at suspected terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, their talk of preemptive military action was largely dismissed as overkill. Despite being muted by a president who called for restraint and humility in foreign affairs, neocons used the 1990s to hone their message and craft their blueprint for American power. Their forward thinking and long-time ties to Republican circles helped many neocons win key posts in the Bush administration. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 moved much of the Bush administration closer than ever to neoconservative foreign policy. Only days after 9/11, one of the top neoconservative think tanks in Washington, the Project for a New American Century, wrote an open letter to President Bush calling for regime change in Iraq. Before long, Bush, who campaigned in 2000 against nation building and excessive military intervention overseas, also began calling for regime change in Iraq. In a highly significant nod to neocon influence, Bush chose the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) as the venue for a key February 2003 speech in which he declared that a US victory in Iraq "could begin a new stage for Middle Eastern peace." AEI – the de facto headquarters for neconservative policy – had been calling for democratization of the Arab world for more than a decade. What does a neoconservative dream world look like? Neocons envision a world in which the United States is the unchallenged superpower, immune to threats. They believe that the US has a responsibility to act as a "benevolent global hegemon." In this capacity, the US would maintain an empire of sorts by helping to create democratic, economically liberal governments in place of "failed states" or oppressive regimes they deem threatening to the US or its interests. In the neocon dream world the entire Middle East would be democratized in the belief that this would eliminate a prime breeding ground for terrorists. This approach, they claim, is not only best for the US; it is best for the world. In their view, the world can only achieve peace through strong US leadership backed with credible force, not weak treaties to be disrespected by tyrants. Any regime that is outwardly hostile to the US and could pose a threat would be confronted aggressively, not "appeased" or merely contained. The US military would be reconfigured around the world to allow for greater flexibility and quicker deployment to hot spots in the Middle East, as well as Central and Southeast Asia. The US would spend more on defense, particularly for high-tech, precision weaponry that could be used in preemptive strikes. It would work through multilateral institutions such as the United Nations when possible, but must never be constrained from acting in its best interests whenever necessary.


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PNAC Makes US Foriegn Policy Decisions

Analysis
  • "Afghanistan: The War Without End" (within a war without end)
  • "Regime Change" Ambitions in Iran
  • "The Believer": In-depth look at Paul Wolfowitz "defending his war"
  • 1958-1991, Iraq: A Classic Case of Divide and Conquer
  • A Debate Over U.S. 'Empire' Builds in Unexpected Circles
  • An Economist's Case Against an Interventionist Foreign Policy
  • An Iran Trap?
  • Analysis: Wolfowitz's 1992 vision as 2002 U.S. Foreign Policy Reality
  • Article: Conservatives and exiles [begin to consider that they may have to think about having to] desert war campaign
  • Briefing - The rise of the Washington "neo-cons"
  • Empire Builders: Neoconservatives and their blueprint for US power
  • Getting Out of Iraq: Our Strategic Interest
  • Iraq war to gain US foothold in South Eastern Asia (college paper)
  • Is Iraq the opening salvo in a war to remake the world?
  • Is the Neoconservative Moment Over?
  • Jim Lobe's Neo-Con Focus Area from IPS
  • Neoconservatism Made Kristol Clear
  • Op-Ed: From Republic to Empire
  • Pay no attention to the neocon behind the curtain
  • Pentagon Office Home to Neo-Con Network
  • PNAC College Paper
  • PNAC on NPR's "Fresh Air"
  • Puppet Show: Will Ahmed Chalabi Govern Post-War Iraq?
  • Reference Materials for "Debating Empire"
  • Rep. Ron Paul's Speech to Congress: "Neo-conned"
  • Richard Perle's connections
  • The American Conservative: The Weekly Standard’s War
  • The Bush Foreign Policy Team's Shared Vision
  • The Conservative Split I: An Introduction to Neoconservatism
  • The Conservative Split III: A Call to Action
  • The Hawks Loudly Express Their Second Thoughts
  • The Neo-Conservative Ascendancy in the Bush Administration
  • The New Al Qaeda: More Dangerous than the Old Version
  • This war is brought to you by...
  • William Arkin connects the "Syria's next" dots


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    The Origins of the Bush Doctrine: February, 1992



    The Washington Post
    Key Sections of Pentagon Document on Post-Cold-War Strategy Initial Draft (Feb. 18, 1992) 1) Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to general global power.

     2) The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. In non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.

    3) Like the coalition that opposed Iraqi aggression, we should expect future coalitions to be ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted, and in many cases carrying only general agreement over the objectives to be accomplished. Nevertheless, the sense that the world order is ultimately backed by the U.S. will be an important stabilizing factor.

    4) While the U.S. cannot become the world's policeman, by assuming responsibility for righting every wrong, we will retain the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends, or which could seriously unsettle international relations.

    5) We continue to recognize that collectively the conventional forces of the states formerly comprising the Soviet Union retain the most military potential in all of Eurasia; and we do not dismiss the risks to stability in Europe from a nationalist backlash in Russia or efforts to reincorporate into Russia the newly independent republics of Ukraine, Belarus, and possibly others....We must, however, be mindful that democratic change in Russia is not irreversible, and that despite its current travails, Russia will remain the strongest military power in Eurasia and the only power in the world with the capability of destroying the United States.

    6) In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve U.S. and Western access to the region's oil.


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