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Asking the question, where should our nation be headed?

Also asking, whose credentials are valid in providing answers to that question?

For example, Peter Berman, once a journalist for CNN, now a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, has an op-ed on how we should proceed in regard to Afghanistan in today's New York Times:

His final conclusion:

Afghanistan is no longer the graveyard of any empire. Rather, it just might become the model of a somewhat stable Central Asian state.

The cockles of my heart are not warmed.

Also, rising phoenixlike from the ashes of PNAC is the newly formed Foreign Policy Initiative, which is rumored to have profoundly influenced the Afghanistan policy of President Obama.

The New America Foundation has an interesting array of programs:

Asset Building, The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Education Policy, Health Policy, Wireless Future, American Strategy, Climate Policy, Economic Growth, Fiscal Policy, Political Reform, Workforce and Family

I do not recognize any of the names of those who serve on the board of directors of the foundation, none of the fellows, none of the staff. However, that is more a reflection on my ignorance of the coming people to know than anything else. I would assume that folk on Kos who know things and know people probably recognize a few of these people.

So... is the New America Foundation to be trusted?

As to the Foreign Policy Initiative, this from Interpress Services:

POLITICS-US:  Neo-Con Ideologues Launch New Foreign Policy Group
By Daniel Luban and Jim Lobe*
WASHINGTON, Mar 25 (IPS) - A newly-formed and still obscure neo-conservative foreign policy organisation is giving some observers flashbacks to the 1990s, when its predecessor staked out the aggressively unilateralist foreign policy that came to fruition under the George W. Bush administration.

The blandly-named Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) - the brainchild of Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, neo-conservative foreign policy guru Robert Kagan, and former Bush administration official Dan Senor - has thus far kept a low profile; its only activity to this point has been to sponsor a conference pushing for a U.S. "surge" in Afghanistan.

But some see FPI as a likely successor to Kristol’s and Kagan’s previous organisation, the now-defunct Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which they launched in 1997 and which became best known for leading the public campaign to oust former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein both before and after the Sep. 11 attacks.

.... FPI was founded earlier this year, but few details are available about the group, which has so far attracted no media attention. The organisation’s website lists Kagan, Kristol, and Senor, who came to prominence as a spokesman for the occupation authorities in Iraq, as the three members of its board of directors.

Two of FPI’s three staffers, policy director Jamie Fly and Christian Whiton, have come directly from foreign policy posts in the Bush administration, while the third, Rachel Hoff, last worked for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Contacted by IPS at the group's office, Fly referred all questions to Senor, who did not return the call.

FPI's first event in Washington DC, March 31, is a conference entitled "Afghanistan: Planning for Success".

Speakers include Senator John McCain, AEI fellow Frederick Kagan (brother rto Robert Kagan, founder of FPI), one of the key proponents of the "surge" strategy in Iraq. Also featured are counterinsurgency expert Lt. Col. John Nagl, the new director of Center for a New American Security, and New Democrat Congressional Representative Jane Harman (CA-36), who never saw a grant for military spending she did not love.

Ahem! (Cough! Cough!) The New Democrat Coalition does not warm my heart's cockles either.

As to Center for a New American Security, its watchword is:

Developing strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies that promote and protect American interests and values.

Values and interests such as what?

New This!

New That!

I ask you: What's wrong with the old?

Old stuff like The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933?

The sentiments of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1961:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

Rumor has it that Ike wanted to call the thing the militaryindustrialcongressional complex but his staff urged him to nix it.

So... I ain't buying this fluffy NEW bunch of NEW crapola. It's sounds like a foul bunch of old crapola served up in a new sauce.

Originally posted to Karen Hedwig Backman on Sat Mar 28, 2009 at 11:45 AM PDT.

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