PUBLICATIONS               background             PRIMER MAIN




       --PNAC PRIMER--                                                                                

               The Players



Since its founding in 1997, the Project for a New American Century has always sought, and continues to seek, individuals of power and influence from academia, business, and politics.  You may notice some familiar names on the list of current staff, but the most profound connections exist between the extensive roster of alumni, nearly half of whom serve in a direct capacity within the Bush administration.


PNAC’s current staff:

William KristoL, Chairman - Gary SchmitT, Executive Director

Robert Kagan - Ellen BorK, Deputy Director - Lewis E. Lehrman

Thomas DonnellY, Senior Fellow - Randy Scheunemann

Mark Gerson - Christopher Maletz, Assistant Director

Bruce P. Jackson - Daniel McKivergaN, Deputy Director

Reuel Marc GerechT, Senior Fellow, Director of the Middle East Initiative




Notable PNAC Alumni:                                            


         DICK CHENEY


Vice President Dick Cheney was a founding member of the Project for the New American Century, and along with others mentioned here was a signatory to its Statement of Principles.  At the time that Cheney was helping PNAC to build pressure for war with Iraq – well before 9/11/2001 – he was also serving as CEO of Halliburton, a company that has profited extensively from the war.  While hardly alone in his position to profit from an aggressively militarized US foreign policy, Cheney’s deep and numerous conflicts of interest are exemplary of the inherency of substitution of corporate interests for public interests within the neoconservative ideology.






Current Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld signed his name to a number of PNAC’s statements and “letters” throughout the late 1990’s, including the 1998 Letter to President Clinton on Iraq, and the voluminous rebuilding america’s defenses.  Rumsfeld’s association with the Project for a New American Century, as well as his contributions to its proposals, make clear his ideological and political predisposition to frame foreign policy in terms of military hegemony.



                                              PAUL WOLFOWITZ


Paul Wolfowitz, presently deputy secretary of defense, had a tenure in PNAC that ran concurrently to Rumsfeld’s.  A protégé of political philosopher Leo Strauss, Wolfowitz has often been credited with being a driving intellectual force behind the neoconservatives.  Wolfowitz admitted in a recent Vanity Fair article that the Bush administration chose to focus on allegation about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction for "Bureaucratic" reasons.  He also stated, on the topic of a September 15, 2001 meeting with Bush at Camp David, that “there was a long discussion during the day about what place if any Iraq should have in a counterterrorist strategy. On the surface of the debate it at least appeared to be about not whether but when. There seemed to be a kind of agreement that yes it should be, but the disagreement was whether it should be in the immediate response or whether you should concentrate simply on Afghanistan first.”



                                                 RICHARD PERLE


Richard Perle, known to friends as the prince of darkness, still sits on the Defense Policy Board; he resigned his chairmanship of the body in March, 2003, due to controversy over his financial stake in the war on Iraq.  Aside from his participation in PNAC, Perle personally wrote a 1996 piece titled A clean break: a new strategy for securing the realm, which argued that broader regional security for Israel must begin with regime change in Iraq.



                                                        WILLIAM KRISTOL


Kristol, also a Straussian, was the founder of the Project for a New American Century.  He also publishes the neoconservative journal the weekly standard, bankrolled by Rupert Murdoch, owner of FOX NEWS, to whom Kristol also contributes.  Kristol’s many nebulous ties are indicative of PNAC’s stealthy permeation of diverse instruments of American media and policymaking.



      I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby


Assistant to the President and chief of staff to the vice president, Libby was a signatory to the 2000 PNAC manifesto rebuilding america’s defenses, which urged military action against Iraq, decreased international cooperation, and restriction of American civil liberties.  Later, he became the author of the now-controversial report that Colin Powell called “bullshit” before begrudgingly presenting it to the UN.  This manipulation of intelligence data was perhaps the most profound example thus far of neoconservative ideology tempering decision-making.




                                                                         WILLIAM J. BENNETT


Bennett, former US Secretary of Education, is one of several links between the neoconservatives and the Reagan administration.  A frequent commentator on religion and morality, despite recent troubles, Bennett is an extremely wealthy patron of right-wing media, and a committed ideologue.



This is only a sampling of the overlap between today’s power structure and yesterday’s radical political movement, and certainly an arbitrary stopping point.  The web formed by the many-fold corporate, ideological, and personal connections between this single think tank and those populating our current government is too dense to unravel at one time.  Simply googling any of the following names is guaranteed to turn up some more interesting links:


Elliott Abrams -- Richard L. Armitage -- Jeffrey Bergner -- John Bolton -- Paula Dobriansky Francis Fukuyama -- Robert Kagan -- Zalmay Khalilzad -- Peter W. Rodman -- William Schneider, Jr. -- Vin Weber -- R. James Woolsey -- Robert B. Zoellick