In Bed with the Generals; Profiles on Fred Kagan, Institute for Study of War, Blackwater, and more
By Edited by Michael Flynn June 16, 2010
“The Surge of Ideas”
By Michael Flynn
In recent years, there has been a growing tendency for think tanks and military brass to jointly pursue policy objectives, some of which are opposed by the public or the White House—take, for example, the campaigns to build support for the troop “surges” in both Iraq and Afghanistan. This trend, say critics, raises important questions about the appropriate role of the military in promoting particular policies and whether there is enough transparency and accountability in the work of policy groups. Should military brass be more circumspect in how they influence public debates? At what point do “non-partisan” wonks cease being non-partisan? And, just as importantly, will there be a new joint campaign aimed at pressuring the Obama administration to delay troop withdrawal from Afghanistan? Read full article.
Institute for the Study of War
Although it calls itself a “non-partisan” think tank, ISW has repeatedly demonstrated its partisan preferences for longer and bigger wars.
O’Hanlon, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, has a knack for getting invited on military-sponsored tours of war zones and then promoting the views of the generals in op-eds for major newspapers.
In a recently published book, Kagan, a neoconservative writer at the American Enterprise Institute, argues that the United States must remain committed to fighting “Long Wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The controversial U.S. security contractor, Xe Services—formerly Blackwater—was recently put up for sale by it’s founder, Erik Prince.
A former Lockheed Martin CEO and board member at the Center for a New American Security, Augustine recently led a defense acquisitions task force organized by Business Executives for National Security, a group that aims to help government do national security “faster,” “better,” and “cheaper.”
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