HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Retired » Retired Forums » 2016 Postmortem (Forum) » Hillary's neocon foreign ...

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 08:23 PM


Hillary's neocon foreign policy adviser wants more war. [View all]

Robert Kagan


A co-founder of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century,[2][3][4] he is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[5] Kagan has been a foreign policy adviser to U.S. Republican presidential candidates as well as Democrats such as Hillary Clinton, when Clinton was Secretary of State under President Obama. He writes a monthly column on world affairs for the Washington Post, and is a contributing editor at The New Republic.


Robert Kagan Thinks America's Problem Is Too Little War

—By Kevin Drum | Mon Aug. 31, 2015 11:00 AM EDT

Over the weekend Robert Kagan wrote an essay in the Wall Street Journal titled "America's Dangerous Aversion to Conflict." That seemed....wrong, somehow, so I read it. Mostly it turned out to be a tedious history lesson about the run-up to World War II basically a long version of the "Munich!" argument that conservatives make every time we fail to go to war with somebody. But there was also this:

President George H.W. Bush and his national security adviser, Brent Scowcroft, sent half a million American troops to fight thousands of miles away for no other reason than to thwart aggression and restore a desert kingdom that had been invaded by its tyrant neighbor.

....A little more than a decade later, however, the U.S. is a changed country. Because of the experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, to suggest sending even a few thousand troops to fight anywhere for any reason is almost unthinkable. The most hawkish members of Congress don't think it safe to argue for a ground attack on the Islamic State or for a NATO troop presence in Ukraine. There is no serious discussion of reversing the cuts in the defense budget, even though the strategic requirements of defending U.S. allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East have rarely been more manifest while America's ability to do so has rarely been more in doubt.

This is one of the tropes that conservative hawks haul out with tiresome predictability, but it's flat wrong. Even now, when Americans have every reason to be skeptical of military action in the Mideast, poll after poll shows a surprising acceptance of it. Whether the subject is Iran, Syria, or ISIS, it's plain that many Americans are already primed for military action, and many more can be talked into it pretty easily. The United States has fought half a dozen major wars in the past quarter century, and the surprising thing isn't that we've gotten war weary. Quite the contrary: the surprising thing is that we're plainly ready to keep it up given the right incentive...

Read more:

Here's a letter to President Clinton from The Project for a New American Century urging war with Iraq BEFORE 9/11. Please note the signatories :

January 26, 1998

The Honorable William J. Clinton
President of the United States
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy
toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle
East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War. In
your upcoming State of the Union Address, you have an opportunity to chart a
clear and determined course for meeting this threat. We urge you to seize that
opportunity, and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of
the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim,
above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power. We stand
ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor.

The policy of “containment” of Saddam Hussein has been steadily eroding over
the past several months. As recent events have demonstrated, we can no
longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War coalition to continue to uphold the
sanctions or to punish Saddam when he blocks or evades UN inspections. Our
ability to ensure that Saddam Hussein is not producing weapons of mass
destruction, therefore, has substantially diminished. Even if full inspections
were eventually to resume, which now seems highly unlikely, experience has
shown that it is difficult if not impossible to monitor Iraq’s chemical and biological
weapons production. The lengthy period during which the inspectors will have
been unable to enter many Iraqi facilities has made it even less likely that they
will be able to uncover all of Saddam’s secrets. As a result, in the
not-too-distant future we will be unable to determine with any reasonable level of
confidence whether Iraq does or does not possess such weapons.

Such uncertainty will, by itself, have a seriously destabilizing effect on the entire
Middle East. It hardly needs to be added that if Saddam does acquire the
capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction, as he is almost certain to do if
we continue along the present course, the safety of American troops in the
region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a
significant portion of the world’s supply of oil will all be put at hazard. As you
have rightly declared, Mr. President, the security of the world in the first part of
the 21st century will be determined largely by how we handle this threat.
Given the magnitude of the threat, the current policy, which depends for its
success upon the steadfastness of our coalition partners and upon the
cooperation of Saddam Hussein, is dangerously inadequate. The only
acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to
use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this
means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing.
In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from
power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy.

We urge you to articulate this aim, and to turn your Administration's attention to
implementing a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power. This will
require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts.
Although we
are fully aware of the dangers and difficulties in implementing this policy, we
believe the dangers of failing to do so are far greater. We believe the U.S. has
the authority under existing UN resolutions to take the necessary steps,
including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf. In any case,
American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on
unanimity in the UN Security Council.

We urge you to act decisively. If you act now to end the threat of weapons of
mass destruction against the U.S. or its allies, you will be acting in the most
fundamental national security interests of the country. If we accept a course of
weakness and drift, we put our interests and our future at risk.


Elliott Abrams
Richard L. Armitage
William J. Bennett
Jeffrey Bergner
John Bolton
Paula Dobriansky
Francis Fukuyama
Robert Kagan
Zalmay Khalilzad
William Kristol
Richard Perle
Peter W. Rodman
Donald Rumsfeld
William Schneider, Jr.
Vin Weber
Paul Wolfowitz
R. James Woolsey
Robert B. Zoellick


19 replies, 2109 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread