The Washington Post’s World of Hawks

The Washington Post (9/28/08) gathered reactions from “foreign policy analysts and others” to last Friday’s debate on international policy, and what’s striking is how hawkish the Post‘s circle of foreign policy experts is. The lineup included Henry A. Kissinger–inevitably–and a bunch of hawks from right-wing think tanks and/or the Bush administration: Danielle Pletka of AEI, Michael Rubin of AEI and Rumsfeld’s Pentagon, Patrick Clawson of WINEP (who co-wrote a book with Rubin) and David Makovsky of WINEP. Michael O’Hanlon works at the centrist Brookings but is a famous Iraq hawk.

Those who aren’t obvious hawks mostly have Republican connections: Michael J. Green of CSIS worked for G.W. Bush’s NSC, Karen Donfried of the German Marshall Fund was an aide to Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Soderberg used to work for Bill Clinton and now advises Michael Bloomberg. Ronald D. Asmus was a former Clinton aide but is best known for his advocacy of NATO expansion. For a change of pace, they’ve got David M. Walker of the Peter G. Petersen Foundation, who’s a deficit hawk.

The only bona fide dove on the list would seem to be Russia specialist Stephen P. Cohen of Princeton. You’d think the disasters of the Bush years would create interest in new ideas on international policy–but at the Washington Post, a debate between alumni of Bush’s Pentagon and State Department really is considered balanced.

Update: I mixed up my Stephen Cohens–the Russia expert is Stephen F. Cohen. The Post‘s Stephen Cohen is an expert on Pakistan who used to work for the Reagan State Department. So virtually everyone in the Post‘s rolodex of foreign policy experts is either a hawk or has Republican ties.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.