Foreign Policy

Mark Lippert was Barack Obama's only foreign policy adviser prior to launching his campaign for the presidency. He is a conservative, careful centrist who often moved Obama to the right on Iraq, Iran and the Middle East. Lippert has also been an unyielding advocate of increasing the (already 500 billion dollar) military budget. "Even before Obama announced for the presidency, Lippert wanted Obama to be seen as tough on Iran," said a lobbyist who worked on the Iran issue. "He's clearly more hawkish than the Senator."

Ivo Daalder, PNAC (Project for a New American Century) signatory, co-authored a Washington Post op-ed with neocon Robert Kagan arguing that interventionism is a bipartisan affair that should be undertaken with the approval of our democratic allies. Kagan and Daalder, in the article, do not rule out unilateral action, and considering their vigorous promotion of interventionism, this doesn't come as a surprise.

Anthony Lake, PNAC signatory, co-chaired the Princeton Project on National Security, whose most significant recommendation was to create a Concert of Democracies not unlike McCain's league. Kagan and Daalder are the foreign policy theorists who created that plan. Lake was also the impetus behind the US invasion of Haiti in the mid-Clinton years in which Aristide was brought back, essentially in chains, if and only if he pledged to support a World Bank/IMF overhaul of Haiti's economy.

Zbigniew Brzezinski is widely seen as the man who created Al Qaeda, and was involved in the Carter Administration plan to give arms, funding and training to the mujahideen in Afghanistan. Brzezinski admitted he was provoking Russia into a Vietnam-like conflict, and later said it was more important to end the Russian empire, than worry about creating Islamic jihadists . The Carter White House (with Brzezinski as National Security Adviser) approved sales of fighter jets and ground attack bombers to Indonesia's Suharto government whose military employed them in East Timor to bomb and napalm the population into oblivion. An Australian Paliamentary commission would later characterize the period as "one of indiscriminate killing on a scale unprecedented in post World War II history"-. Brzezinski once stated, "I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot. Pol Pot was an abomination. We could never support him, but China could."

Dennis Ross, also a PNAC signatory, oversaw US policy toward Israel/Palestine during the Clinton presidency. He pushed the principle that the legal rights of the Palestinians, the rights recognized under international law, must be subordinated to the needs of the Israeli government. Ross was one of the people who led the political assault on former Democratic President Jimmy Carter because, regarding Palestine, Carter went so far as to agree with Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa that what Israel was doing in the Occupied Territories was equivalent to South African apartheid.

Jonathan Scott Gration says he has now come around to support Obama's proposal to withdraw combat troops from Iraq, although he told the New York Sun in August 2007, "if it's very clear that the al-Maliki government is making significant progress, that we're turning the tide, it would be crazy not to re-adjust" that plan.


Michael Froman has been a Citigroup executive and former chief of staff to then-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, the Cabinet member most often identified with the Clinton administration's pro-free trade, business-friendly policies.

Austin Goolsbee held a meeting with Canadian officials where he told them Obama's rhetoric on NAFTA was simply "political posturing." Goolsbee himself is a rock-ribbed free trader. Goolsbee is an economist at the University of Chicago, and calls himself a "centrist market economist." He was the key architect of Obama's subprime agenda. In a column in the New York Times, Goolsbee questioned whether "subprime lending was the leading cause of foreclosure problems." He touted its benefits for credit-poor minority borrowers and argued that "regulators should be mindful of the potential downside in tightening too much." In October, no less a conservative icon than George Will devoted a whole column that paid homage to Goolsbee's "nuanced understanding" of traditional Democratic issues like globalization and income inequality. Will concluded that he "seems to be the sort of fellow--amiable, empirical, and reasonable--you would want at the elbow of a Democratic president, if such there must be."

William M. Daley was chairman of President Bill Clinton's NAFTA Task Force. Daley continues to believe in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), even though Obama has criticized it sharply and has said he plans to renegotiate it. Daley has said he has "a difference of opinion" with Obama on NAFTA. He also cautioned against making promises about NAFTA that would be hard to keep. Daley told the Chicago Tribune, "Saying to the Mexicans, if he were to win the presidency, 'Now, I've got a political problem here. Can we work this out?' That won't work."