Wolfowitz is back

state-departmentChairman Appointed for the International Security Advisory Board

The Department of State is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Paul Wolfowitz as the Chairman of the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board (ISAB). Dr. Wolfowitz is currently a visiting scholar in foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies development issues. He has spent more than three decades in public service and higher education. Most recently, he served as President of the World Bank and Deputy Secretary of Defense. Prior to that, he was Dean and Professor of International Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. Other previous positions include Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (1989–1993), U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia (1986–1989), Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs (1982–1986) and Director of Policy Planning (1981-1982) at the Department of State.

The ISAB provides the Department of State with a source of independent insight, advice, and innovation on all aspects of arms control, disarmament, nonproliferation, political-military issues, and international security and related aspects of public diplomacy. The ISAB provides analysis and insight into current issues-of-interest for the Secretary on a regular basis.

oh crap!
Top Obama adviser has long ties to conservatives

Because of Obama’s relative inexperience on foreign policy, it is this part of his team that is getting much of the attention, and one adviser in particular —Dennis Ross, Bill Clinton’s Mideast envoy, whose record includes supporting the pro-Iraq War advocacy campaigns of the Project for the New American Century and serving as a consultant to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a bastion of Israel-centric policy thinking in Washington. ….

Ross got his start in high-level policy-making working under Paul Wolfowitz in the Pentagon during the Carter administration. Wolfowitz — who is better known for his role pushing the Iraq War after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and for his controversial tenure as World Bank head — tasked Ross with helping draft a study assessing threats to US interests in the Persian Gulf.

The 1979 study, titled the Limited Contingency Study, concluded that aside from the Soviet Union, a key threat to the region’s oil fields was Iraq.

In his 2004 book the Rise of the Vulcans, James Mann writes that this study, the Pentagon’s “first extensive examination of the need for the United States to defend the Persian Gulf,” would go on to “play a groundbreaking role in changing American military policy toward the Persian Gulf over the coming decades.”

When Wolfowitz was tapped to head the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff after the election of Ronald Reagan, he included Ross in his team of assistants, which, according to Mann, would go on to become, over the next two decades, “the heart of a new neoconservative network within the foreign policy bureaucracy.”

Other Wolfowitz team members from that time included I Lewis Libby, a Washington lawyer who later became notorious as the disgraced former chief aide to Vice -President Dick Cheney; James Roche, President George W Bush’s Air Force Secretary who resigned after being implicated in the Boeing tanker leasing scandal; Zalmay Khalilzad, US Ambassador to the UN and post-invasion ambassador to Iraq; Alan Keyes, the perennial Republican presidential candidate; and Francis Fukuyama, the “end of history” theorist and erstwhile neoconservative ally who turned against the faction after the Iraq invasion.

Ross’s close association with neoconservatives has deepened over the years, becoming especially pronounced in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Ross served as the co-convenor of WINEP’s Presidential Task Force on the Future of US-Israel Relations, which issued the June 2008 report “Strengthening the Partnership: How to Deepen US-Israel Cooperation on the Iranian Nuclear Challenge”.


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