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Neoconning the Trump White House

Over the last year critics have warned of the returning neoconservative influence on the executive branch’s national security apparatus, each day a little less confident that  President Donald Trump will keep to the seeming anti-interventionist impulses he  demonstrated during the 2016 campaign.

News flash: We’re already there.

Of course the most garish of the pro-war set—Sebastian Gorka, K.T. McFarland, John Bolton—are easy to identify in or on the periphery of Trump’s orbit (in Gorka’s case, he was cast out of the White House, only to flak away [1] in any media outlet that will pay attention). Meanwhile, elite neoconservative voices like Bill Kristol [2] and Max Boot [3] have become darlings of the “Never Trump” cadre, finding new life as conservative tokens on “Resistance” media like MSNBC.

What has been less obvious, but has become much clearer in these last few months, is that other neoconservatives are quietly filling the vacuum left by Obama’s cadre of liberal interventionists. Many of them had taken a pass on “Never Trumping” publicly, and are now popping up at the elbows of top cabinet officials.

Take Nadia Schadlow, for instance. Never heard of her? Unless you’ve been navigating the rice paddies of Washington’s post-9/11 national security enterprise for the last several years, there’s no reason you would have. But she has been at the National Security Council since last winter, and is set to replace Dina Powell as deputy national security advisor [4], at the right hand of NSC chief H.R. McMaster. She was also the lead on the White House National Security Strategy [5], released last month.  

This was Schadlow’s first recent position in government.* Sources place her [6]in the early-1990’s at the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the Eastern Europe, Eurasia and Russia section.  Her résumé includes doctoral degrees from Johns Hopkins Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) under the tutelage of vocal Never Trumper and Iraq war promoter Eliot Cohen, who runs the largely neoconservative Strategic Studies program [7] there, and whose last book, The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power, [8] argued that the U.S., backed by a more robust military, must be the “guardian of a stable world order.” In that vein, Schadlow published a book last year, War and the Art of Governance [9], that extols the virtues of long-term military intervention for “achieving sustainable political outcomes,” requiring “the consolidation of combat gains through the establishment of stable environments.” Schadlow has repeated this for years [10]as a mantra for reordering military strategy in the wake of the disastrous wars she and her contemporaries helped sustain, in Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere. Call it nation-building by another name.

Nadia Schadlow (center) at New America Foundation panel on “Hezbollah, Ukrainian Rebels, and ISIS: Are Hybrid Superguerrillas the Future of War?” in 2016.

In a 2012 Weekly Standard commentary [11], she criticized the Obama administration for saying “the tide of war is receding,” and exclaimed “the line of thinking that now pervades the Pentagon avoids recognizing that combat and the restoration of political order go hand and hand.” While she gives a nod to “civil-military operational planning and execution,” she never utters the words “State Department.” No surprise there, either, since her neocon friends were responsible for the long slide of Foggy Bottom’s resources and influence in favor of military leadership, beginning with the “political reconciliation” and reconstruction of Iraq, and then Afghanistan.   

What is significant about Schadlow’s role in the White House—she’s reportedly a trusted confidant” [12] of General McMaster, who was lionized [13]in the New Yorker for his T.E. Lawrence approach to counterinsurgency in Tal Afar in 2006—is not her bibliography, but her vast connections to Washington’s foreign policy and national security clique, especially its neoconservative elite. If one were using the metaphor of chain migration, she would have plenty of friends on either side of the Potomac to tap for high-level placement, consulting, and advice.

Why? As recent senior program director for the expansive, multi-million dollar International Security and Foreign Policy Program under the Smith Richardson Foundation [14], she has helped to fund and facilitate countless authors, conferences, think tanks, and university programs since 9/11, most of which hew to the doctrine of sustained military intervention towards the goal of U.S. global power and influence. That includes preemptive war strategy, counterinsurgency, democracy promotion, and the continued push for bigger military budgets and solutions to regional conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine. If there was a prominent player in the U.S. security community over the last 20 years, you can bet Schadlow and Smith Richardson were more often than not connected to him.  

But it goes back so much further than that. The foundation has a rich history cleaved to neoconservative pioneers such as Irving Kristol, father of Bill, who in his own memoirs credits the philanthropic institution and its then-director Randall Richardson (heir to the Vicks [15] fortune) with helping him jumpstart the Public Interest, known as the premier neoconservative organ, a label Irving fully embraced [16]. The foundation also served as a key backer of Commentary magazine after Norman Podhoretz took the helm in 1960.

It is in international affairs that Smith Richardson has made some of its biggest impacts, during the anti-communist Reagan era [17] and into the Middle East conflicts under Presidents Clinton, Bushes, Obama, and Trump. To say the foundation was involved at every level in the lobbying for and crafting of the so-called global war on terror after 9/11 would be an understatement. Example: Former Smith Richardson research director Devon Gaffney Cross became a director of the Project for a New American Century, the intellectual vehicle that drove the removal of Saddam Hussein and shaped George W. Bush’s foreign policy. In 2000, Cross was listed as one of the participants in PNAC’s seminal treatise, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century.” [18] The rest of the contributors are a who’s who of Washington’s war theocracy, most of whom have benefitted from Smith Richardson support.

Meanwhile, since 1998, the foundation has given over $10 million to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI was built, literally, [19] on Smith Richardson money), which fielded many of the Iraq war architects and promoters, including Frederick Kagan, John Bolton, former vice president Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Eliot Cohen, Michael Ledeen, Joshua Muravchik, David Frum, and Danielle Pletka.

Just as telling is Smith Richardson’s continued backing of the Institute for the Study of War [20], headed by Kimberly Kagan, wife of Frederick, with whom she was a “de facto advisor” to General Petraeus for a year [21] as he set about his then-vaunted COIN strategy in Afghanistan. ISW, chaired by retired General Jack Keane, known as the “godfather of the surge [22],” was founded in part by the generosity of Smith Richardson in 2007. It not only promoted more troops, but an extended occupation in Afghanistan, regime change in Syria [23], and ongoing hostilities with Iran. No surprise, then, that ISW has numerous intertwining relationships with the military and the defense industry. It received $895,000 for program work from Smith Richardson between 2014 and 2016 alone.

According to Philip Rojc of Inside Philanthropy [24], other recipients of Smith Richardson grants since 1998 include the the Hudson Institute ($6,032,230), the Jamestown Institute ($5,779,475), the Hoover Institution ($3,645,314), and the Center for a New American Security ($1,595,000). Totals have been adjusted to include 2016 numbers.

The last one—CNAS—is more indicative of Smith Richardson’s broader strategy, in that it doesn’t only give to hardline neoconservative outfits like, say, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies [25] (which has received no less than $500,000 since 2014 and says it helped write Trump’s new Iran policy [26]). On the contrary, Smith Richardson has been a major patron of the conventional establishment, too, even largely Democratic think tanks like CNAS, Brookings Institute, and the Carnegie Endowment—all of which invariably host scholars and programs that promote America’s military-driven global influence, counterinsurgency doctrine (CNAS was a virtual hothouse for COIN [27] early in Obama’s presidency), and democracy promotion [28] in places like Russia and Ukraine, a major yet failed project of humanitarian interventionists in the Obama administration.  

No surprise, then, that the worldview of people like Nadia Schadlow is no different from the wider Washington policy orbit that has enjoyed a pipeline of patronage from her former employer. She is not only affiliated with the Foreign Policy Institute, but is a full member of the Council on Foreign Relations. When she was named to the NSC staff in March 2017, along with “Kremlinologist” and former Eurasian Foundation [29] strategist Fiona Hill, national security establishment courtier Thomas Ricks called them both [30] “well-educated, skeptical, and informed. In other words, the opposite of the president they serve.”

You know the “right” kind of operator has arrived in the White House when establishment commentariat like Ricks and Josh Rogin [31] get all gushy about their calming, “soft power” influence over Trump, which sounds like a lot of bunk when you consider their well-documented points of view.

Simply put, after years of cross-pollination brought on by a slush fund of wealthy private donors like Smith Richardson and an even more eager defense industry, neoconservative views are no longer distinguishable from the sanctioned goals of the Washington policy establishment. They are all working, really, as proper stewards of the military-industrial complex, which is essential for advancing their (sometimes competing) visions of world power politics and American exceptionalism. There is little room for realism and restraint, as voiced by this magazine and other critics.

That is why there seemed to be such relief upon the recent release of the Trump administration’s National Security Strategy, with Washington scribblers lauding it aswell within the bipartisan mainstream of American foreign policy [32]” and “a well crafted document that should reassure allies and partners.” [33]

What it actually does is to reinforce Trump’s turn towards a harder line against Iran, as evidenced in McMaster’s recent speeches [34]. Nikki Haley, ambassador to the UN, is threatening fellow members on the Security Council [35]and the Trump administration is seen as taking sides with Israel [36] in the fragile Middle East peace process (or what’s left if it). Meanwhile, the White House has just given a green light to arming Ukraine against Russia. [37]

Call it the new “adults in the room,” if you want, or peg it as the neoconservative influence that it is. Strikingly, Dan Drezner writes that the NSS is “Straussian” [38] in that its “subtext matters at least as much as the text.” The preeminent scholar Leo Strauss is considered one of the key founders of the neoconservative movement, a fact the Washington Post columnist should be well aware of. Like most of the elites here in Washington, however, Drezner is trying to have it both ways—calling it neocon without have the guts to say it outright.

* Story has been updated to include additional information regarding Schadlow’s experience in the Pentagon.

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos is executive editor of The American Conservative. Follow her on Twitter @Vlahos_at_TAC. [39]

23 Comments (Open | Close)

23 Comments To "Neoconning the Trump White House"

#1 Comment By Iron Felix On January 15, 2018 @ 9:48 pm

It is a sad state of affairs when the American people are literally dependent on sane people in Beijing, Moscow, Ankara, Tehran, and other capitals to keep a completely out of control neo-con foreign and defense policy establishment from plunging our people on the world into yet more pointless warfare.

#2 Comment By MEOW On January 15, 2018 @ 10:57 pm

Mainstream media seems “All Neocon.” A star studded group of rationalizers. We are being gently taught to hate what the neocons hate. South Pacific had the recipe. Not for the reasons intended. Au contraire.

#3 Comment By Beltway Roach Motels? On January 16, 2018 @ 4:22 am

So. Well-heeled foreign interests and interventionists are buying nosebagger politicians and shaping our foreign policy under Trump, just like they did under Obama, Bush II, and Clinton.

Why do we bother having elections if neocon crap is the only item on the menu?

It’s incredible. No matter how often they lie and fail, no matter how many colossally expensive disasters they cause, someone keeps letting the filth back in. They’re as hardy and resilient as cockroaches, and we need to start dealing with them as such.

#4 Comment By george Archers On January 16, 2018 @ 9:26 am

Neocons?

#5 Comment By Hal Donahue On January 16, 2018 @ 9:41 am

Trump ‘needs a war’ to be re-elected. He knows this and who else to better start one than the neo-cons?

What is terrifying is that these same people and their ancestors actually attempted to convince Reagan that the US could win a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Reagan wisely chose ‘Trust but Verify’ over their strongest objections. Trump is a far cry from a Reagan.

The generations long war to destroy the State Department appears to have completely obscured the greatest US victory of last century. The defeat of the Soviet Union with little more than skirmishes.

The gloved fist approach, while frustrating to the military, was a massive success. Military solutions fail badly. One look at the history of military governments confirms their abysmal record. Yet, we have an administration preparing for war. Not at all certain, the people will follow.

#6 Comment By mike flynn On January 16, 2018 @ 9:59 am

Now that Trump has been effectively body snatched in foreign policy (neo-cons) and domestic (wall st) where does main st turn?

#7 Comment By peter murray On January 16, 2018 @ 10:35 am

As a matter of interest, and in the light of kite-flying about arming the Ukrainian nationalists, where is Ms ‘Toria Nuland hanging out these days?

#8 Comment By Peter B. Gemma On January 16, 2018 @ 11:06 am

Good article. Trump is easily distracted from his (often right) gut feelings on policy (China, NATO, etc.) by titles: military rank, highbrow think tanks, Wall St. moguls, and power elites from the Council on Foreign Relations. With no moral compass or basic understanding of the Constitution or the ways Washington works, he is hapless and his agenda is hamstrung.

#9 Comment By Michael Kenny On January 16, 2018 @ 11:53 am

I wondered how far down I’d have to go down in the article before Ukraine and Putin popped up! It’s the usual “let Putin win in Ukraine” propaganda. What astonishes me as a European is why people who call themselves “conservatives”, whom you would naturally expect to be patriotic, often indeed excessively so, are frantically trying to persuade their fellow citizens to submit to a foreign power inflicting a humiliating defeat on their country, possibly the most humiliating that it has ever suffered in its history. I couldn’t imagine Europeans behaving like that.

#10 Comment By Stephen J. On January 16, 2018 @ 11:57 am

Interesting article with good info. I believe “the Trump White House” is just continuing the policies of the past occupants of “The House of Blood.”
[More info at link below]

August 9, 2016
The House of Blood

Its color is white but it is red with blood
The residents’ name should really be mud
Instead they get fancy honors and titles
Wars for them is a musical recital

The hum of their drones flying through the air
Are killing children without due care
This is hellishly called “collateral damage”
These are the words of the resident savage

Immaculately dressed in a business suit
An eloquent speaker is this callous brute
Surrounded by sycophants and flunkeys too
Evil is what these people plan and do

War and more war is their hellish aim
Are they all devils and bloody insane?
Countries are reduced to smoking rubble
These well-dressed maniacs are big trouble

People are fleeing and dying too
From the hell produced by this satanic crew
Refugees are drowning in deadly waters
Trying to escape the endless slaughters

These helpless victims once had homes
Now they have nothing, and just roam
Helpless, homeless people on the move
With nothing really left to improve

The perpetrators call their crimes “bringing democracy”
Surely creating hell on earth is really hypocrisy
But when criminals rule there is no justice
And law and order is totally corrupted

The war criminals slogan is “responsibility to protect”
They tell that to the people whose countries they wrecked
Those still alive can hear the bombs explode and thud
A hellish “courtesy” from the House of Blood

[40]

#11 Comment By Bobber On January 16, 2018 @ 12:27 pm

Why would a big drug company have so much interest in foreign policy?

#12 Comment By spite On January 16, 2018 @ 12:58 pm

“where does main st turn?”

It turns to new parties, this endless Democrat/Republican cycle is a joke. Surely there are no more people out there that can rationally argue for the two party state as being a good setup for America.

#13 Comment By bacon On January 16, 2018 @ 1:11 pm

There is a term soldiers sometimes use to characterize those who have never fought, will never fight, but are nevertheless positive that fighting is the answer to their dissatisfactions. Chickenhawks.

#14 Comment By JEinCA On January 16, 2018 @ 1:26 pm

The Neocons are a cancer upon the American Body Politik.When Trump was elected I and many others were hopeful that this cancer could be effectively treated, but it could not for the cancer has spread to all vital organs and is terminal and our nation will die because of it.

#15 Comment By Minnesota Mary On January 16, 2018 @ 1:46 pm

@ george archers

“Neocons?”

Actually what they are is Neocoms or Neocommunists. World domination is the name of their game.

#16 Comment By deef On January 16, 2018 @ 1:49 pm

It is painfully obvious that the executive editor suffers from a lack of understanding of very basic defense and foreign policy facts.

Take the following quotes: “America’s military-driven global influence…”

“programs that promote America’s military-driven global influence, counterinsurgency doctrine (CNAS was a virtual hothouse for COIN early in Obama’s presidency), and democracy promotion in places like Russia and Ukraine”

“she never utters the words ‘State Department.’ No surprise there, either, since her neocon friends were responsible for the long slide of Foggy Bottom’s resources and influence in favor of military leadership, beginning with the “political reconciliation” and reconstruction of Iraq, and then Afghanistan.”

American global dominance is not just driven by military means. It is driven by alliances to dozens of nations, and partnerships on numerous policy issues. Foreign policy is not just war, virtually every type of issue has a foreign policy dimension, and virtually every bureaucracy these days has an international affairs office. It is ironic that the author blames someone for not naming the State Department, yet clearly her worldview is barely informed by what the State Department does (unfortunately common problem in the discourse on these issues). If one knew what the State Department was doing all these decades and across numerous policy issues they would realize the U.S. has built a lot of genuine goodwill with other nations. If a worldview is informed mostly by cherry-picked wars and regime change operations that one finds disagreeable, then their viewpoint isn’t just skewed, it is deeply ignorant of virtually everything that constitutes foreign policy besides war.

Here are some examples. Some, in their claims to suggest the U.S. is an “empire”, use the presence of over 800 overseas bases and deployments to 170+ countries as evidence of “empire.” Except that is not evidence of empire alone, the terms of such things need to be understood. What an empire does is take things by force or the threat of force by making a nation a protectorate that pays tribute and contributes troops when that is demanded of them. Those are the terms of empire. Has the U.S. conquered 170+ countries or made them protectorates? Obviously not.

What are the terms in reality? Those overseas bases are grounded in agreements signed by the host nation and the U.S. government. The host nation has complete power to decide what those troops are allowed to do, where they can be, and they can kick them out at any time. They can do all of this even if they a treaty ally of the U.S. and even if it impedes active combat operations. These rights have been exercised by U.S. partners in the past and in recent times. And now it becomes obvious that you wouldn’t be able to station troops on so many other nations’ soil without giving them such sweeping guarantees agreements. Permanently hosting foreign troops is an extremely sensitive issue domestically and countries would obviously not host a permanent presence if they felt threatened by that nation. Similar terms are seen in how the U.S. interacts with countries across numerous policy areas involving hundreds of cooperative activities and programs. You cannot obviously work well together with other nations if you simply try to coerce them all the time (such is the nature of diplomacy), and the amount of cooperation and the terms of such cooperation are key metrics to assess relations between nations.

Another example can be seen in the work of USAID. The Bush administration authorized PEPFAR and PMI, and these programs provide targeted assistance for AIDS/HIV and malaria, respectively. Together these programs have saved millions of lives in Africa. These aid programs are some of the most astonishing and benevolent achievements of mankind yet virtually nobody knows of them. There are plenty more USAID programs than these, obviously. Development has also been a huge line of effort in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as those conflicts were not conducted with purely military means and military success could not be consolidated by such means alone.

To also suggest counterinsurgency is somehow militaristic or an example of inherently selfish policy defeats the basic nature of modern counterinsurgency. Modern COIN places preeminent focus on good governance, protecting the population, working with the development community, promoting host nation self-sufficiency, and fostering reconciliation and amnesty. COIN does not have to be 100,000 troops on the ground and $140 billion in development funding given to Afghanistan by 60+ nations, it could also be a single NGO teaching a government ministry how to digitize their payrolls. Anything that contributes to good governance can be placed in a COIN context. Anyone who actually knows what modern counterinsurgency is would know this.

The reason there is little appetite for “restraint” (in the way the author conceives of it) is not that some ideological problem has taken hold of the national security thinkers of DC, it is that the U.S. is party to dozens of alliances that obligate it to think expansively in terms of what constitutes a threat. Those alliances don’t care about neocons or liberals or anything of that sort, they are institutions that have outlasted many administrations. Globalization also increases threat proliferation, because if Iran decides to close the Strait of Hormuz or if there is war with the DPRK then there will be severe global economic shockwaves that accompany those contingencies because of the closely interconnected nature of the global economy. Markets respond to risk, and people’s quality of life can in fact be affected by what happens in distant places.

It is also completely absurd to suggest that among all these think tanks and research orgs there is no difference of opinion or real scholarly debate among the hundreds if not thousands of thinkers/practitioners/commentators that are implicated in this piece. Questions about the role of the U.S. and the use of force abound in this discourse on defense and foreign policy, but I’m not sure the author is aware of this because she may have written almost everybody off as paid shills anyway. And just because someone donates to an organization does not guarantee that they dictate that organization’s research agenda or findings. The author is also running the risk of assuming that a facts-based consensus is just groupthink, which is the kind of thinking that leads people like Rex Tillerson to destroy entire bureaucracies. One could only imagine the kind of chaos that would be unleashed if someone with the author’s extreme cynicism and conspiratorial bent were put in a top DoD post.

I also hope that the executive editor never professionally identifies as a journalist, because a real journalist would know better than to put their worldview on blast for all to see. This is clearly an opinion piece meant to create an impression in the minds of the reader for the sake of advancing a perspective, not an objective piece meant to purely inform. The author is a pundit seeking to shape a debate to their preference rather than trying to set the stage for the debate alone.

Inb4 getting called a neocon military-industrial complex shill because that’s the neat little box we like to put everyone we disagree with into.

#17 Comment By Steve in Ohio On January 16, 2018 @ 2:34 pm

“…where does Main St turn?”

Trump won with a coalition of conservative and populist support. The two partners agree on judges, but not too much else. For those of the latter persuasion, you at least have a seat at the table in the current administration (thank you, Lord, for Stephen Miller!) Populists need to run candidates at all levels and start to groom future leaders. Somebody with Rand Paul’s FP views and Tom Cotton’s immigration views would be perfect.

#18 Comment By One Guy On January 16, 2018 @ 2:49 pm

@Michael Kenny,
Why should America care what Putin wins in Ukraine? Why doesn’t the EU fight its own battles? Go on, oppose Putin. You have more to lose than America does.

#19 Comment By Thaomas On January 16, 2018 @ 4:37 pm

The folks who thought President Trump would have a less belligerent foreign policy than Sec. Clinton would have deserve as much intellectual sympathy as those who thought that he would lower premiums and increase coverage of ACA.

#20 Comment By likbez On January 17, 2018 @ 1:46 am

@One guy

As far as I remember his posts Michael Kenny is “Israel-firster.”

He does not care much about the US national security by definition, having different priorities.

BTW it’s a news for me that AEI launched such neocon stalwarts as “Frederick Kagan, John Bolton, former vice president Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Eliot Cohen, Michael Ledeen, Joshua Muravchik, David Frum, and Danielle Pletka.”

It is a sad fact that Trump administration now is infiltrated with neocons, but in reality how it can be different.

POTUS no longer defines the US foreign policy; MIC does (neocons can probably be better understood as professional lobbyists of MIC). In a way, POTUS is now by-and-large ceremonial figure, although Trump at least during the election campaign (and shortly after, say, before April 2017 and Mueller commission) has had somewhat more isolationist views (his bellicosity toward Iran and NK notwithstanding.) But he was quickly brought into the fold. Now he acts like a regular Republican President, say, like Bush III.

The latter just demonstrates the power of MIC.

That’s why there a surprising level of continuity of foreign policy between different administrations.

My impression is that Israel also is effectively acting as a MIC lobbyist injecting some money they got via military help into the USA politics directly, or indirectly.

#21 Comment By jk On January 19, 2018 @ 1:02 pm

@deef, the ad hominem you begin with against the author shows where you are coming from. George the Lesser revisionists like you never learn.

Where is the ROI on global policing? Selective sampling of wars? Where have you been for the last 15 years as the US digs deeper within the biggest strategic blunder in the history of the US? We could have done more useful things with the $5,000,000,000,000+ that was spent on these dumb wars of choice such as manned mission to mars, universal insurance, pave the freeways in gold…

The US causes more unintended consequences and greater conflicts and deaths than the good intentions they believe they are performing. See Syria, Iraq, Yemen, et al.

What’s the casualty/death/missing numbers of Iraqis during the US’s invasion vs. Saddam’s time? Is the average Iraqi happy to be there? I guess all that matters is that the US is supposedly safer. Would any US citizen agree to that for the past 15 years?

And let’s not kid ourselves, the State Dept. in any neocon administration is an extension of the Department of Defense.

As a former service member, Uncle Sam paid me to live in Europe for a couple years and sure opened my eyes (though they got their money out of me from an Iraq and A-stan deployment). I realized that many parts of US are overrated, crime ridden dumps even when compared to most places even in Eastern Europe.

Europeans can thank US promoted defense freeloading so they can focus on beating the US on all quality of life measure including crime rates, mortality, longevity, health care, and other measures of happiness other than GDP such as not worrying about your kids getting massacred at school from yet another mass shooting.

I’m a proud American but these infinitely proved wrong neocons keep resurrecting themselves.

#22 Comment By jk On January 20, 2018 @ 1:16 pm

I stand corrected, it is 17 years of continuous hole digging, tax dollar burning, and amortization of the decline of future prosperity continues un-abated.

Sons and daughters born in 2001 of vets of these stupid wars of choice are now eligible to fight the same end-stateless, no condition of victory wars with an expanded enemy set to include peer competitors of Russia, China, N. Korea.

The annual soldier that dies on Jan. 1 of year X hand wringing editorial can continue indefinitely.

#23 Comment By your call On January 23, 2018 @ 8:49 am

@jk “I’m a proud American but these infinitely proved wrong neocons keep resurrecting themselves.”

Because we let them. We don’t laugh them off television programs or kick them out of the auditoriums where they keep inviting each other to appear. We don’t punish elected politicians (like Trump) who keep hiring them because they think we won’t notice.