In the 1970s, AEI gained major national prominence. It grew from 12 resident "thinkers" to 145 resident scholars, 80 adjunct ones, and considerable support staff.
Ronald Reagan called AEI "a revolution in ideas of which I, too, have been a part. (Its) remarkably distinguished body of work is testimony to the triumph of the think tank. For today the most important American scholarship comes out of our think tanks -- and none has been more influential than the American Enterprise Institute."
Post-9/11, AEI was one of the Bush administration's leading foreign policy architects. It was influential in promoting regime change through war on Iraq.
George Bush addressed AEI three times. He expressed admiration, saying he "consistently borrow(ed) some of (its) best people." Over 20 AEI scholars were administration members.
In June 2003, AEI and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies founded NGO Watch. It's a militantly pro-Israeli front group. It spurns truth, equity and justice. When Israel wants war, it champions it.
Corporate CEOs and other top officials comprise AEI's Board of Trustees. Dick Cheney is one of its prominent members. Scholars include Newt Gingrich, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, John Yoo, Richard Perle, Phil Gramm, Larry Lindsey, Glenn Hubbard, Charles Murray, Roger Noreiga, and Lynne Cheney.
AEI powerfully advances Washington's imperial agenda. Currently it's hawkish on Syria and Iran. It supports regime change in both countries. It's not shy about promoting war.
Maseh Zarif is AEI's "Critical Threats Project" research manager. On August 22, he headlined "Iran's military complex at Parchin and the nuclear connection," saying:
"Iran's nuclear weapons program poses a serious threat to American national security interests. Iran has been working to develop the key components of a nuclear weapons capability for decades - covertly when it can and openly when exposed - in contravention of nuclear nonproliferation pacts it has signed and international obligations it is required to meet."
"The regime has waged an intensive denial-and-deception campaign intended to facilitate the development of critical technologies and infrastructure and, ultimately, the fulfillment of its nuclear ambitions."
Zarif tried inventing reality and failed. No evidence whatever suggests an Iranian nuclear weapons program. Israeli, Washington, and other Western officials know it. So do AEI scholars. Perhaps Zarif should consult them.
Nonetheless, he persists in saying Iran "advanced along three interrelated, parallel tracks: acquiring fissile material, weaponization and bomb design, and delivery vehicle development."
Panchin, he claims, conducts nuclear weapons-related experiments. His accusations are spurious. Evidence is absent. Rhetoric substitutes for reality. Zarif's credibility is sorely lacking.
He's advancing the ball for war. So do other AEI scholars and trustees. They prioritize imperial dominance. Ravaging the world one country at a time is their way to get it. Jinsa and other hard-right groups concur. Societies they endorse aren't fit to live in.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Email address removed .