The Project for a New American Century

The Project for a New American Century

The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) is a Washington based think tank formed in 1997. Current Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is the ideological father of the group. Some other founding members are current Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Defense Policy Board chairman Richard Perle. William Kristol, famed conservative writer for The Weekly Standard, is also a co-founder of the group and it’s current chairman. Robert Kagan, Devon Gaffney Cross, Bruce P. Jackson and John R. Bolton serve as directors. Gary Schmitt is executive director of the Project (PNAC, 2000). The PNAC Statement of Principles, originally drafted and sent to President Bill Clinton in 1998, is signed by Cheney, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld, as well as by Eliot Abrams, Jeb Bush, President George W. Bush’s special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, and many others. Of the original 18 signatories of this letter, 10 are now involved in the George W. Bush presidency(Pitt, 2003). Because of the number of original PNAC members currently holding office in the Bush Administration, it is safe to say the foreign policy of this presidency was drafted even before George Bush took office. PNAC’s “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” report issued in 2000 is the institutionalization of plans and ideologies that have been formulated for decades by the men currently running American government. On September 11th, 2001 the fellows from PNAC saw a door of opportunity open wide before them, and stormed right through it. Bush released on September 20, 2001 the “National Security Strategy of the United States of America.” It is an ideological match to PNAC’s “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” report issued a year earlier. In many places, it uses exactly the same language to describe America’s new place in the world (Pitt, 2003). A full year before the events of 9/11, it described the need for a new “Pearl Harbor” if the monumental policy changes…


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