Monday, February 25, 2013

Who Funds the War Party?

By Justin Raimondo

Who funds the War Party? Before we answer that very interesting question, it’s important to define just what (and who) it is we’re talking about. I use the "War Party" phraseology as shorthand for a number of different groups and individuals, all of whom are linked by an ideological and/or financial interest in promoting a foreign policy of perpetual war. This includes those groups pushing for budget-busting"defense" outlays, as well as those whose commitment to militarism is more ideological. Then there are the foreign lobbyists who have an interest in maintaining and expanding the American Empire: and while there are a number of foreign interests involved in this vector, the one that stands out on account of the sheer quantity of its resources is the Israel lobby, which combines a rich source of funding with an ideologically-based activism second to none on Capitol Hill.

The following list is by no means exhaustive: that would require an entire book rather than a relatively short column. However, what follows should serve as an introduction to those who are seeking to impose their foreign policy agenda on a war-weary and dead-broke country.
American Enterprise Institute
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is a Washington thinktank founded in 1943, as the American Enterprise Association, by Lewis H. Brown, former president of Johns Mansville, an asbestos company, and one of the chief architects of the postwar Marshall Plan. Originally headquartered in New York, the organization moved to Washington, changed its name to the American Enterprise Institute, and has since become the preferred home of the neoconservatives. In the run-up to the war, and afterwards, AEI housed a number of neoconservative intellectuals, including Richard Perle, John Bolton, Lynne Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and the ubiquitous Kagan family, among many others.
According to its Form 990, AEI has assets of $150,096,627. Its latest annual operating budget of record (2011) was $34,977,193. Of this, around $6 million was spent on its foreign policy programs, although the number is no doubt much higher when one takes into consideration other programs which cannot be separated out from its foreign policy propaganda. AEI’s foreign policy component is headed by AhmedChalabi groupie and inveterate interventionist Danielle Pletka.
AEI was the source of and inspiration for the Iraq "surge": a study done by Frederick W. Kagan and retired Gen. Jack Keane, "Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq," provided the rationale for the Bush administration’s effort to save a disastrous war from becoming a complete rout.

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