birth of the American Neo-Conservative Movement
begins on June 3, 1997 with the following
Statement of Principles by the
for the New American Century.
and intelligently it is a
clarion call for global domination.
American foreign and defense policy
is adrift. Conservatives have criticized the incoherent policies
of the Clinton Administration. They have also resisted isolationist
impulses from within their own ranks. But conservatives have not
confidently advanced a strategic vision of America's role in the
world. They have not set forth guiding principles for American
foreign policy. They have allowed differences over tactics to
obscure potential agreement on strategic objectives. And they
have not fought for a defense budget that
would maintain American security and advance American interests
in the new century.
We aim to change this. We aim to make the
case and rally support for American global leadership.
As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands
as the world's preeminent power. Having led the West to victory
in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge:
Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements
of past decades? Does the United States
have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American
principles and interests?
We are in danger of squandering the opportunity and failing the
challenge. We are living off the capital -- both the military
investments and the foreign policy achievements -- built up by
past administrations. Cuts in foreign affairs and defense spending,
inattention to the tools of statecraft, and inconstant leadership
are making it increasingly difficult to
sustain American influence around the world.
And the promise of short-term commercial benefits threatens to
override strategic considerations. As a consequence, we are jeopardizing
the nation's ability to meet present threats and to deal with
potentially greater challenges that lie ahead.
We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan
Administration's success: a military that is strong and ready
to meet both present and future challenges; a
foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American
principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts
the United States' global responsibilities.
Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises
its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of
global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise.
America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in
Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities,
we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The
history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important
to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet
threats before they become dire. The history of this century
should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.
Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their
consequences for today. Here are four consequences:
Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity
may not be fashionable today. But it is
necessary if the United States is to build on the successes
of this past century and to ensure our security and our
greatness in the next.
of Note, 1997
Statement of Principles
Project for the New American Century.
of US Invasion of Iraq
Letter to President Clinton
from the Project for the New American Century
DATE: January 26, 1998
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing you because we are convinced that current American
policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face
a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known
since the end of the Cold War. In your upcoming State of the Union
Address, you have an opportunity to chart a clear and determined
course for meeting this threat. We urge you to seize that opportunity,
and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests
of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world. That
strategy should aim, above all, at the removal
of Saddam Husseins regime from power. We stand ready
to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor.
... Our ability to ensure that Saddam Hussein is not producing
weapons of mass destruction, therefore, has substantially diminished.
Even if full inspections were eventually to resume, which now
seems highly unlikely, experience has shown that it is difficult
if not impossible to monitor Iraqs chemical and biological
weapons production. The lengthy period during which the inspectors
will have been unable to enter many Iraqi facilities has made
it even less likely that they will be able to uncover all of Saddams
secrets. As a result, in the not-too-distant future we will be
unable to determine with any reasonable level of confidence whether
Iraq does or does not possess such weapons. ...
... The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the
possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons
of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness
to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing.
In the long term, it means removing Saddam
Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become
the aim of American foreign policy. ...
... We urge you to act decisively. If you act now to end the
threat of weapons of mass destruction against the US or its allies,
you will be acting in the most fundamental national security interests
of the country. If we accept a course of weakness and drift, we
put our interests and our future at risk.
DATE: September 18, 1998
this point more than two years before the election of George
W. Bush Neo-conservative opinion-makers were proposing
that the CIA and DOD could provide sufficient political
and economic as well as military components to foment the
overthrow of Saddam Hussein from within. Of course, when that
failed and the U.N. refused to support the invasion, Bush and
British P.M. Tony Blair used the phony pretense of "weapons
of mass destruction and connections to al Qaeda" to pre-emptively
invade and occupy the oil-rich nation.)
MEMORANDUM TO: Opinion Leaders
FROM: Gary Schmitt, Project for the New American Century
SUBJECT: Statement by Paul Wolfowitz on US Policy Toward Iraq
to the House National Security Committee on Iraq. An abbreviated
version of his statement before the committee follows.
"Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the invitation to testify before
this distinguished committee on the important subject of US policy
toward Iraq. ...
" ... The problem with US policy toward Iraq is that the administration
is engaged in a game of pretending that everything is fine, that
Saddam Hussein remains within a strategic box and if
he tries to break out our response will be swift and strong.
The fact is that it has now been 42 days since there have been any
weapons inspections in Iraq and the swift and strong response that
the Administration threatened at the time of the Kofi Annan agreement
earlier this year is nowhere to be seen....
"... (Clinton) Administration officials continue to claim
that the only alternative to maintaining the unity of the UN Security
Council is to send US forces to Baghdad. That is wrong. As has
been said repeatedly in letters and testimony to the President
and the Congress by myself and other former defense officials,
including two former secretaries of defense, and a former director
of central intelligence, the key lies not in marching US soldiers
to Baghdad, but in helping the Iraqi people to liberate themselves
"Saddams main strength -- his ability to control his
people though extreme terror -- is also his greatest vulnerability.
The overwhelming majority of people, including some of his closest
associates, would like to be free of his grasp if only they could
safely do so.
"A strategy for supporting this enormous latent opposition
to Saddam requires political and economic as well as military
components. It is eminently possible for a country that possesses
the overwhelming power that the United States has in the Gulf.
The heart of such action would be to create a liberated zone in
Southern Iraq comparable to what the United States and its partners
did so successfully in the North in 1991. Establishing a safe
protected zone in the South, where opposition to Saddam could
rally and organize, would make it possible:
For a provisional government of free Iraq to organize,
begin to gain international recognition and begin to publicize
a political program for the future of Iraq;
For that provisional government
to control the largest oil field in Iraq and make available to
it, under some kind of appropriate international supervision,
enormous financial resources for political, humanitarian and eventually
Provide a safe area to which Iraqi army units could rally
in opposition to Saddam, leading to the liberation of more and
more of the country and the unraveling of the regime.
"This would be a formidable undertaking, and certainly not
one which will work if we insist on maintaining the unity of the
UN Security Council. But once it began it would begin to change
the calculations of Saddams opponents and supporters --
both inside and outside the country -- in decisive ways. One Arab
official in the Gulf told me that the effect inside Iraq of such
a strategy would be devastating to Saddam. But the
effect outside would be powerful as well. Our friends in the Gulf,
who fear Saddam but who also fear ineffective American action
against him, would see that this is a very different US policy.
And Saddams supporters in the Security Council -- in particular
France and Russia -- would suddenly see a different prospect before
them. Instead of lucrative oil production contracts with the Saddam
Hussein regime, they would now have to calculate the economic
and commercial opportunities that would come from ingratiating
themselves with the future government of Iraq. ..."
Project for the New American Century
Signatories of Note, 1997 Statement of Principles