Monday, May 13, 2013

The Price of Peace

The Heritage Foundation, which has been a bulwark of the War Party since its inception in 1973, has an annual budget of $82.4 million: much of this is spent lobbying on behalf of larger military appropriations and US military intervention worldwide. The American Enterprise Institute (otherwise known as Neocon Central) has an annual budget in excess of $30 million: an influential Washington actor during the Bush II years, AEI has been the locus of neoconservative influence in the foreign policy realm, offering a quasi-academic perch to virtually every neocon known to man in between their stints in government. These two mega-giants are complemented by a brace of neocon foundations, thinktanks, and ad hoc front groups, such as the Hudson Institute ($12.2 million), the Foreign Policy Initiative ($1.6 million), the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies ($8 million), JINSA ($3.3 million) and a host of others whose combined budget is more than a match for the oldest, most well-established peace groups.

Standing behind the War Party are some of the biggest corporate donors around: Martin-Marietta, Lockheed, General Electric, all the big military contractors, and the biggest (and most bailed-out) banks. This is not to mention the big neocon foundations: the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Olin Foundation, the Scaife Foundation, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, as well as smaller right-wing nonprofits such as Carthage, Earhart, and Castle Rock.

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