"The crazies in the basement": Russophobia of Eastern European Diaspora and its negative influence on the USA foreign policy
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, at the time Colin Powell's chief of staff, described neocons status enhancement from "lunatic fringe"
to top executives in the White House with his Southern sense of humor, adding that they had become the Cheney "Gestapo".
Communities Influencing U.S. Foreign Policy Wilson Center
Thomas Ambrosio, Assistant Professor of Political Science, North Dakota State University and Yossi
Shain, Professor of Comparative Government and Diaspora Politics, Georgetown University
In an age marked by the greater ease of communication and travel, recent research on ethnic groups and
conflict has begun to examine the influence of diaspora groups. Of particular interest are their efforts to
affect political environments in their "home" and host countries through their remittance of funds, lobbying
and the dissemination of information. Dr. Thomas Ambrosio, Assistant Professor at North Dakota University
presented material from his recent edited volume Ethnic Identity Groups and U.S. Foreign Policy. Commentary was
provided by Yossi Shain, Professor at Georgetown and Tel Aviv Universities, author of "Marketing the American
Creed Abroad: Diasporas in the U.S. and their Homelands" and a contributor to Ambrosio's book. The meeting
marked what moderator Carla Koppell, Interim Director of the Wilson Center's Conflict Prevention Project
called, "a relatively new area of analysis and dialogue for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for
Ambrosio, stated that as we seek to understand diaspora groups and their influence on U.S. foreign policy,
the question is not should ethnic groups influence foreign policy but how they effect foreign policy, what are
their goals and why do they mobilize. He began his presentation by defining ethnic identity groups as
"politically relevant social divisions based on a shared sense of cultural distinctiveness." This would include
racial, religious, national and ethnic identities. Ethnic identity groups often form institutions that effect
U.S. foreign policy or ethnic communities abroad, most commonly in the form of ethnic lobbies.
These ethnic lobbies seek to influence U.S. policy in three ways. First, by framing the issues "they
help set the terms of debate" or "put items on the country's agenda." Second, they are a source of information
and analysis that provide a great deal of information to members of Congress and serve as a resource for other
branches of government and non-governmental organizations, and shaping general perspectives. Finally, ethnic
group lobbies provide policy oversight. "They examine the policies of the U.S. government, propose policies,
write letters and [are] involved in electioneering activities."
Ambrosio cautioned, that we must not believe that the effort by "ethnic groups to influence U.S. foreign
policy is new." It has a long history but "has become increasingly active in recent years." To illustrate, he
presented five periods of ethnic lobbying in the United States--Pre-WWI, WWI, Cold War, post-Cold war, and
Since before WWI, there has been a "steady rise in the number of ethnic groups in the U.S. mobilizing to
influence the foreign policy process." Both the WWI and Cold War periods saw an explosion in the number of
interest groups affecting domestic and foreign policy. According to Ambrosio, however, it was the post-Cold War
period that gave way to a real increase in American multiculturalism. U.S. interests during this period were
not clearly defined, and the Congress had more influence than the Executive Branch over policy-making. That
balance of power according to Ambrosio allowed ethnic lobbying groups greater access to policy-makers and
potential influence in policy formation. Since September 11 quite the opposite is true; there is a
re-centralization of foreign policy in the White House. That re-centralization is restricting influence over
Ambrosio concluded by suggesting several areas for future research. First, the question of the legitimacy of
ethnic group influence on foreign policy deserves some attention. Second, more case study analysis is need. In
Ambrosio's view, we need to look at specific groups, and why or how they influence policy. In particular,
greater attention should be paid to the case of Muslim Americans. Third, is the need to examine the
relationship between ethnic and non-ethnic interest groups. For instance, Ambrosio suggested that a comparison
of the influence of "the Oil lobby versus the Armenian lobbies over the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh and
Azerbaijan" could provide some interesting insights. Fourth, the reliance on natives for intelligence
information should be examined more closely. In the case of Iraq, there is the question of "how Iraq exiles
influence U.S. foreign policy." Finally, the export of American values must be better understood. Further
research could help the U.S. government mobilize diaspora groups in the United States to deal with growing
anti-Americanism throughout the world.
Shain, began by commenting that while the topic of diaspora group influence on U.S. foreign policy is
important, "it is perhaps an overblown topic." He agreed with Ambrosio that the idea of transnational influence
on U.S. foreign policy is not new. However, Shain contends that people have always been wary of such
influences. The topic, according to Shain, became more salient in the 1990's with the end of the Cold War when
the "us versus them posture was no longer in existence." It was also a time when more people began "shuttling
back and forth," retaining greater ties to their home country. According to Professor Shain, the question is
"who really speaks [in U.S. foreign policy]?" This was the period of increasing American multiculturalism; the
identity of the U.S. itself was changing. As a result, attention to issues reflected the makeup of the U.S. For
instance, before September 11, relations between the United States and Mexico in the age of NAFTA, had center
Shain suggested that while ethnic Americans mobilize to influence U.S. foreign policy, their ability to do
so is quite limited. Ethnic lobbies have more often been used to market American ideals in their home countries
or to "democratize their countries of origin." When they do have influence, it has generally been at the
electoral level in connection with a domestic issue, or when an issue is of little importance to the
administration. Professor Shain continued contending that the influence of ethnic lobbies relies on their
ability to advance a message that resonates with the American values and ideals. This is one reason he believes
Arab-Americans have had difficulty influencing U.S. foreign policy; there is a perception that they are
attempting to influence policy in ways that would be contrary to American values. When issues promoted by an
ethnic lobby are priorities, and are in line with the administration, ethnic lobbies have the greatest
influence in policy oversight.
According to Shain there are several issues that warrant future research and understanding. The first is to
understand the explosion of Islam in the United States; rather than lobbying for national country interests,
there is greater mobilization around religious beliefs. According to Shain, this has little to do with ethnic
lobbies; rather it is a question of who is mobilizing communities. This is a difficult question to examine
because, depending on the time period, different people will speak for a community. Another issue for further
study involves tracking and better understanding economic influence. For example, donations for Israel at the
same time support local organizations and Jewish-American issues; financial support drives diaspora politics.
At the same time, many country economies depend on money sent from abroad; this gives diasporas a greater say
in their "home" countries. "When you do any politics in Haiti, there is the 10th department... the 10th
department is here. This is the community that can mobilize and has money."
The final issue for further study according to Shain is the concept of identity in America. While there is
identity as an American, many still "retain some affinity and memories" of their home country. This is
particularly galvanizing where there is still instability in the country of origin. Shain concluded that the
subject of the influence of diaspora communities in the U.S. was most important in regard to identity in
America. "Identity is critical for America because the American makeup has always been changing." "The market,
democracy and human rights are much more on the minds of ethnic groups as they relate to their country of
Carla Koppell, Conflict Prevention Project, Interim Director, 202-691-4083
Drafted by Channa Threat
Derived from Wikipedia.
America has, and intends to keep, military strengths beyond challenge
Wolfowitz Doctrine is an unofficial name of the Defense Planning
Guidance for the 1994–99 fiscal years (dated February 18, 1992) authored by
Secretary of Defense for Policy
Paul Wolfowitz and his deputy
Scooter Libby. Not intended
for public release, it was leaked to the
New York Times on March
and sparked a public controversy about US foreign and defense policy. The document was openly imperialist
outlined a policy of unilateralism
and pre-emptive military actions (wars) in forign policy. Please note that personally Wolfowitz was a chicenhawk.
It connected with the US elite desire to create a rule the global neoliberal empire and was symptomatic for the period of
"Triumphal march of neoliberalism form 1980 till 2000, especially the decade after the collapse of the USSR (1991-2001)
They key idea is to prolog dominant position the USA acquired due to collapse of the USSR (which interpreted by neocons as the
victory in the Cold War, while in reality was the result of adoption of neoliberalism by the Bolsheviks elite, a coup d'état from
above), attempt to weaken and possible balkanize Russia, loot xUUSR republics (see
Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia), and suppress
any threat to the current "superpower". If necessary by force. As such it is viewed by many researchers as a concise summary of the ideology of Neoconservatism
and the most recently it was applied in Ukraine
Due to the outcry that the document was hastily re-written under supervision of
US Secretary of
Defense Dick Cheney and
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Colin Powell before being
officially released on April 16, 1992. Many of its postulates re-emerged in the
 which was described by Senator
Edward M. Kennedy as "a call
for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept."
Although Wolfowitz was ultimately responsible for the Defense Planning Guidance, as it was released
through his office and was reflective of his overall outlook of Bush I administration. While associated with Wolfowitz, the document
was prepared by Libby, who delegated the process of writing the new strategy
to Zalmay Khalizad, a member
of Libby's staff and longtime aide to Wolfowitz. Khalizad
solicited the opinions of a wide cross-section of Pentagon insiders and outsiders, including
Andrew Marshall, Richard Perle,
and Wolfowitz's University of Chicago mentor, the nuclear strategist
Completing the draft in March of 1992, Khalizad requested permission from Libby to circulate it to other
officials within the Pentagon. Libby assented and within three days Khalizad's draft was released to
the New York Times by "an official who believed this post-cold war strategy debate should be carried
out in the public domain."
The doctrine announces the US’s status as the world’s only remaining superpower following the collapse
of the Soviet Union at the
end of the Cold War and proclaims its main objective to be
retaining that statUS
Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or
elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration
underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region
whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.
This was substantially re-written in the April 16 release.
Our most fundamental goal is to deter or defeat attack from whatever source... The second goal
is to strengthen and extend the system of defense arrangements that binds democratic and like-minded
nations together in common defense against aggression, build habits of cooperation, avoid the renationalization
of security policies, and provide security at lower costs and with lower risks for all. Our preference
for a collective response to preclude threats or, if necessary, to deal with them is a key feature
of our regional defense strategy. The third goal is to preclude any hostile power from dominating
a region critical to our interests, and also thereby to strengthen the barriers against the re-emergence
of a global threat to the interests of the US and our allies.
The doctrine establishes the US’s leadership role within the new world order.
The US must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds
the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue
a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. In non-defense areas, we must account
sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging
our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. We must maintain
the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global
This was substantially re-written in the April 16 release.
One of the primary tasks we face today in shaping the future is carrying long standing alliances
into the new era, and turning old enmities into new cooperative relationships. If we and other leading
democracies continue to build a democratic security community, a much safer world is likely to emerge.
If we act separately, many other problems could result.
The doctrine downplays the value of international coalitions.
Like the coalition that opposed Iraqi aggression, we should expect future coalitions to be
ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted, and in many cases carrying
only general agreement over the objectives to be accomplished. Nevertheless, the sense that the world
order is ultimately backed by the US will be an important stabilizing factor.
This was re-written with a change in emphasis in the April 16 release.
Certain situations like the crisis leading to the Gulf War are likely to engender ad hoc coalitions.
We should plan to maximize the value of such coalitions. This may include specialized roles for our
forces as well as developing cooperative practices with others.
The doctrine stated the US’s right to intervene when and where it believed necessary.
While the US cannot become the world's policeman, by assuming responsibility for righting
every wrong, we will retain the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs
which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends, or which could seriously
unsettle international relations.
This was softened slightly in the April 16 release.
While the United States cannot become the world's policeman and assume responsibility for solving
every international security problem, neither can we allow our critical interests to depend solely
on international mechanisms that can be blocked by countries whose interests may be very different
than our own. Where our allies interests are directly affected, we must expect them to take an appropriate
share of the responsibility, and in some cases play the leading role; but we maintain the capabilities
for addressing selectively those security problems that threaten our own interests.
The doctrine highlighted the possible threat posed by a resurgent Russia.
We continue to recognize that collectively the conventional forces of the states formerly comprising
the Soviet Union retain the most military potential in all of Eurasia; and we do not dismiss the
risks to stability in Europe from a nationalist backlash in Russia or efforts to reincorporate into
Russia the newly independent republics of Ukraine, Belarus, and possibly others....We must, however,
be mindful that democratic change in Russia is not irreversible, and that despite its current travails,
Russia will remain the strongest military power in Eurasia and the only power in the world with the
capability of destroying the United States.
This was removed from the April 16 release in favour of a more diplomatic approach.
The US has a significant stake in promoting democratic consolidation and peaceful relations
between Russia, Ukraine and the other republics of the former Soviet Union.
Middle East and Southwest Asia
The doctrine clarified the overall objectives in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.
In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside
power in the region and preserve US and Western access to the region's oil. We also seek to deter
further aggression in the region, foster regional stability, protect US nationals and property,
and safeguard our access to international air and seaways. As demonstrated by Iraq’s invasion of
Kuwait, it remains fundamentally important to prevent a hegemon or alignment of powers from dominating
the region. This pertains especially to the Arabian peninsula. Therefore, we must continue to play
a role through enhanced deterrence and improved cooperative security.
The April 16 release was more circumspect and it reaffirmed US commitments to Israel as well as
its Arab allies.
In the Middle East and Persian Gulf, we seek to foster regional stability, deter aggression
against our friends and interests in the region, protect US nationals and property, and safeguard
our access to international air and seaways and to the region's oil. The United States is committed
to the security of Israel and to maintaining the
that is critical to Israel's security. Israel's confidence in its security and US-Israel strategic
cooperation contribute to the stability of the entire region, as demonstrated once again during the
Persian Gulf War. At the same time, our assistance to our Arab friends to defend themselves against
aggression also strengthens security throughout the region, including for Israel.
2002, p. 52: "Preemption […] requires hegemony. Although Bush speaks, in his letter of transmittal,
of creating 'a balance of power that favors human freedom' while forsaking 'unilateral advantage,' the
body of the NSS makes it clear that 'our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries
from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States.'
The West Point speech put it more bluntly: 'America has, and intends to keep, military strengths beyond
challenge.' The president has at last approved, therefore, Paul Wolfowitz's controversial recommendation
to this effect, made in a 1992 'Defense Planning Guidance' draft subsequently leaked to the press and
then disavowed by the first Bush administration. It's no accident that Wolfowitz, as deputy secretary
of defense, has been at the center of the new Bush administration's strategic planning."
Leiva 2007, p. 10.
Mann, James (2004).
Rise of the Vulcans : the history of Bush's war cabinet (1. publ. ed.). New York, NY [u.a.]: Viking.
p. 209. ISBN
Mann 2004, p. 210.
- Mann 2004, p. 210
- Bush, George W.
(1 June 2002).
to the US Military Academy".
Retrieved 12 May 2013.
Gaddis, John Lewis
(2002). "Grand Strategy of Transformation".
(133): 50–57. JSTOR
Gaddis's essay is reprinted in Paul Bolt, Damon V. Coletta and Collins G. Shackleford Jr.,
eds., (2005), American Defense Policy (8th ed.), Baltimore, MD:
Hopkins University Press.
- Caputo Leiva, Orlando (2007).
"The World Economy and the United States at the Beginning of the Twenty-first Century".
Perspectives 34 (1): 9–15.
- Tyler, Patrick E. (8 March 1992).
"US Strategy Plan Calls For Insuring No Rivals Develop".
The New York Times.
Retrieved 30 October 2013.
Defense Policy Guidance 1992–1994
- Defense Strategy for the 1990s: The Regional Defense Strategy, (PDF 1.6MB)
- Patrick Tyler. US Strategy Plan Calls for Insuring No Rivals Develop: A One-Superpower World,
New York Times, March
- Jim Lobe.
The Anniversary of a Neo-Imperial
Moment, AlterNet, September
- David Armstrong.
Drafting a plan
for global dominance,
- David Yost.
Allies, Strategic Insights, February 2005.
- Patrick J. Buchanan
Conservative, March 2003.
- Applying the Wolfowitz Doctrine post the
September 11 attacks:
9/11, Fear and the Selling of American Empire, 2004.