The American Enterprise Institute and others

January 11, 2007

In modern times there is a new expression to call organisations that have been set up to house persons whose apparent only mission in this world is to serve leaders to proceed in the course of their public career. They are the so-called “Think Tanks”. To use a bellicose name in a club exclusively dedicated to the thought carries along an eerie implication.

In the case of the “American Enterprise Institute” there seems to be a confirmation that this organisation has had an important hand in the recent decision taken by the American President to send more troops to Iraq in an attempt, according to his words, to stabilise that Middle East country, a decision that is contrary to the report and recommendations given by the James Baker group who strongly advocated dialogue with Syria and Iran as the first step to the pacification of the late Saddam’s domain.

I read a commentary in one of the “Truthout”‘s regular communication


which attributes to a scholar, Frederick Kagan, the writing of President Bush’s plan to increase the number of his troops. Frederick Kagan appears to be a senior member of the American Enterprise Institute.

Apart from the considerations that Frederick Kagan exposes, what I find really striking is the number of this kind of organisations in the political field of the United States, and how much weight they have with the White House. The American Enterprise Institute, the Henry Jackson Society, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, etc, etc, seem to have in their hands the foreign policy of Washington DC. And I wonder why this is so, not only because it worries me that an entity whose democracy is little less than dubious, but that a President of the US follows its recommendations to the letter, so to speak, does not tell favourably about the democratic system of that self-named most important democracy in the world. The more so when the American people has so clearly expressed in polls their adverse opinion on the Iraq affair.

Hundreds of persons form the body of counsellors of a person who is considered the most powerful person in the world, but this body of counsellors is eventually useless because what should be decided in its ambit needs the use of a “Think Tank” that is private, not elected by the people. Elected by the people are the Senate and the House of Representatives who are essentially in accordance with the Constitution of the United States and who should decide on the foreign politics of the nation. In a separate post I transcribe the report given by Frederick Kagan who has needed the collaboration of a retired General of the US Army.

It is fantastic, indeed, and unimaginable in a country of the relevance of the United States of America. And what is still more worrying is that these American Think Tanks have crossed the Atlantic Ocean and appear snugly set up in Europe, concretely in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Really worrying.


20 Responses to “The American Enterprise Institute and others”

  1. Jose said

    Transcription of report by Frederick Kagan:

    Executive Summary

    Victory is still an option in Iraq. America, a country of 300 million people with a GDP of $12 trillion and more than 1 million soldiers and Marines, has the resources to stabilize Iraq, a state the size of California with a population of 25 million and a GDP under $100 billion. America must use its resources skillfully and decisively to help build a successful democratically elected, sovereign government in Iraq.

    Victory in Iraq is vital to America’s security. Defeat will likely lead to regional conflict, humanitarian catastrophe, and increased global terrorism.

    Iraq has reached a critical point. The strategy of relying on a political process to eliminate the insurgency has failed. Rising sectarian violence threatens to break America’s will to fight. This violence will destroy the Iraqi government, armed forces, and people if it is not rapidly controlled.

    Victory in Iraq is still possible at an acceptable level of effort. We must adopt a new approach to the war and implement it quickly and decisively.

    We must act now to restore security and stability to Baghdad. We and the enemy have identified it as the decisive point.

    There is a way to do this.

    * We must balance our focus on training Iraqi soldiers with a determined effort to secure the Iraqi population and contain the rising violence. Securing the population has never been the primary mission of the U.S. military effort in Iraq, and now it must become the first priority.
    * We must send more American combat forces into Iraq and especially into Baghdad to support this operation. A surge of seven Army brigades and Marine regiments to support clear-and-hold operations that begin in the spring of 2007 is necessary, possible, and will be sufficient to improve security and set conditions for economic development, political development, reconciliation, and the development of Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) to provide permanent security.
    * American forces, partnered with Iraqi units, will clear high-violence Sunni and mixed Sunni-Shia neighborhoods, primarily on the west side of the city.
    * After those neighborhoods are cleared, U.S. soldiers and Marines, again partnered with Iraqis, will remain behind to maintain security, reconstitute police forces, and integrate police and Iraqi Army efforts to maintain the population’s security.
    * As security is established, reconstruction aid will help to reestablish normal life, bolster employment, and, working through Iraqi officials, strengthen Iraqi local government.
    * Securing the population strengthens the ability of Iraq’s central government to exercise its sovereign powers.

    This approach requires a national commitment to victory in Iraq:

    * The ground forces must accept longer tours for several years. National Guard units will have to accept increased deployments during this period.
    * Equipment shortages must be overcome by transferring equipment from non-deploying active-duty, National Guard, and reserve units to those about to deploy. Military industry must be mobilized to provide replacement equipment sets urgently.
    * The president must request a dramatic increase in reconstruction aid for Iraq. Responsibility and accountability for reconstruction must be assigned to established agencies. The president must insist upon the completion of reconstruction projects. The president should also request a dramatic increase in Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP) funds.
    * The president must request a substantial increase in ground forces end strength. This increase is vital to sustaining the morale of the combat forces by ensuring that relief is on the way. The president must issue a personal call for young Americans to volunteer to fight in the decisive conflict of this generation.
    * The president and his representatives in Iraq must forge unity of effort with the Iraqi government.

    Other courses of action have been proposed. All will fail.

    * Withdraw immediately. This approach will lead to immediate defeat. The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are entirely dependent upon American support to survive and function. If U.S. forces withdraw now, the Iraqi forces will collapse. Iraq will descend into total civil war that will rapidly spread throughout the Middle East.
    * Engage Iraq’s neighbors. This approach will fail. The basic causes of violence and sources of manpower and resources for the warring sides come from within Iraq. Iraq’s neighbors are encouraging the violence, but they cannot stop it.
    * Increase embedded trainers dramatically. This approach cannot succeed rapidly enough to prevent defeat. Removing U.S. forces from patrolling neighborhoods to embed them as trainers will lead to an immediate rise in violence. This rise in violence will destroy America’s remaining will to fight and escalate the cycle of sectarian violence in Iraq beyond anything an Iraqi army could bring under control.

    Failure in Iraq today will require far greater sacrifices tomorrow in far more desperate circumstances.

    Committing to victory now will demonstrate America’s strength to our friends and enemies around the world.

  2. Jose said

    Who is Frederick Kagan?

    Frederick Kagan, along with father Donald and brother Robert, belongs to the influential neoconservative Kagan family, in the same vein as the Kristol and Podhoretz clans. Like his father and brother, Frederick favors hawkish foreign policies and extravagant defense budgets. He is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and is associated with the now largely defunct Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which his brother cofounded.

  3. Richard said

    An excellent analysis of ‘think-tanks’…thanks.

  4. anticant said

    I agree that some of these outfits appear to carry far more clout than their intellectual credentials merit, but that is because they are “fronts” for the political and business interests who finance them. Lobbying is the main, and most lucrative, business of Washington. One wonders if even those who, like President Bush, seize upon their offerings to bolster unpopular policies are fully aware of just who is behind them and what their motives are.

    But while the bulk of the wider electorate are uneducated about, ignorant of, and not interested in, politics what is the alternative? Yet again, it is the issue of small tails wagging large dogs. How do we use the Internet to change this?

  5. Jose said

    In my opinion simply by speaking out, giving facts that eventually reach the heart of the homes of electors and hopefully educate them. Nothing else can we do, just hope that this means of comunication will not be tampered with more than it already is.

    Perhaps time and adverse times will help us achieve this end.

  6. Jose said

    Another think-tank: US Council on Foreign Affairs, see its Board of Directors is not formed by anybody, they are important business persons. Your attention is drawn to David Rockefeller, an Honorary Chairman.

    What surprises me is that there normally is a Jewish participation in those Boards of Directors.

  7. Jose said


    Centre for Strategic and International Studies – Washington

    As you may observe Henry Kissinger is here, and I notice some of its members also belong to the previously given think-tank

  8. Jose said

    The International Institute for Strategic Studies’ name has coincidences with the previous given one.

    Established as you can see in London, Washington and Singapore.

  9. Jose said

    As Anticant has said the names that conduct these think-tanks are mainly business persons or persons formerly related to the military and political establishments of various countries.

    The organisations are distributed all over the world, and they are really influential people near governments and parliaments.

    On many an occasion I have wondered how politics everywhere in the world are so similar, how coincidental they are in the steps governments take. One of the explanations could well be these think-tanks’ tentacles around the world.

    I cannot help thinking how deep in the international organisations such as the United Nations, the NATO, etc, they may be introduced.

    Which leads one to think which is most important money and the power it gives on one side or, on the other side, human rights and democracy.

    A silly question, don’t you think so?

  10. anticant said

    Jose, you say you are “surprised” that there are usually Jewish names on the boards of these outfits. It doesn’t surprise me. The influence of the Jewish lobby – and not just the Zionists – on US policy has always been disproportionate since before the foundation of the state of Israel. Gorer makes this quite clear in his book “The Americans” [1948]. It is a “given” in the politics of both major parties, and goes far to explain the current involvement of the USA in the Middle East.

    In saying this I in no way intend to be anti-Semitic. It is simply an observable fact.

  11. Jose said

    I know you are not anti-Semitic. You’ve given proofs of it, although these days it seems Semites are very sensitive in this respect.

    There are so many Jews in politics nowadays that it is practically impossible not to refer to them whenever we analyse situations.

  12. anticant said

    What is so interesting is that the Jews in Britain and USA achieve their influence by integrating and shedding at least their outward Jewishness, while Muslims appear determined to do precisely the opposite while complaining that they are victims and are discriminated against.

  13. Jose said

    Their strength lies on this trait they have to integrate. And, yes, it is interesting because they are a minimal part of the world’s population, very few by comparison to others among which the Muslims are really important in numbers.

    And it is perhaps the conscience of these numbers that makes Muslims forget prudence in their relations with other people.

  14. anticant said

    I don’t think Muslims are interested in prudence. They are the children of Allah, and all the rest of us are “Infidels”.

  15. Jose said

    Well, Anticant, I have several Muslim friends and they don’t appear to be so exclusivist. It is true that everything in their world turns around Islam, but I can’t see but perhaps a reminiscence of past colonial epochs.

    It isn’t pleasant to live under somebody else’s boot.

  16. anticant said

    You have just stated the problem in a nutshell: “everything in their world turns around Islam”. Even if ‘Islam’ is just a figment of the imagination, when believed in by 2 billion – is it? – people it becomes a potentially threatening, and sometimes actually grim, part of the reality of the remainder of humanity who do not share the belief.

  17. Richard said

    And how many billion Judaeo-Christians do we have in this world, anticant ?

    That politico-religious group can be just as dangerous, and extremist, in my book.

  18. anticant said

    Agreed. A plague on all their houses/faiths/creeds. Two wrongs don’t make a right. They are ALL enemies of rationality, tolerance, and live-and-let-live. If humanity is to be wiped out during the 21st century, it will be because of these sad peddlers of fanaticism and gobbledygook.

  19. Jose said

    You state something that should have the world on tenterhooks, Anticant. Fanaticism, or should I say the use of fanaticism by hidden interests is hovering over all of us. If people do not realise this latent danger, then the world will be bound to undergo extermination.

    As you may know there are rumours that one of the so-called Neo-Cons, or Neo-fascists’s intentions is the control of demographics everywhere, something that makes me remind the olden history of Sparta and their culling of human beings to produce a perfect race.

    A way to do away with hunger, illnesses, as it is being done with agricultural genetically modified crops. The cloning of animals being the first step towards cloning of human beings, if this already is not being done in a guileful way, occult to the knowledge of those not involved in it.

    We, the human beings, are too tranquil, too much at ease with ourselves, not realising we are subjected to higher designs by those who believe themselves god-like, the all-knowing superior race that was not extinguished when those fascists of old were (?) exterminated.

    If there have been changes they have only been for the worse.

  20. Smoky said

    I agree. The think tanks need to re-think their reason for existence.



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