Project for a New American Century (PNAC)

A Complete List of PNAC Signatories and Contributing Writers

This is a list of members of the PNAC pressure group who published and signed maybe over 100 ambitious studies and PR pieces explaining how and why America must wage war quickly, multiple simultaneous wars, and urgently establish America's greatness via military force, permanently, while there was still a window-of-opportunity to do so, and before any rivals might aspire to that role.

They wrote of "moral order" and "moral clarity", harkening back to the Cold War dichotomy of the USSR as the "Evil Empire" and the USA as the force representing absolute good.  (Straussians believe in selling foreign policy in terms of good v. evil, rather than just wise strategy.)

One irony, at least three of the PNAC members espousing this "moral clarity", Abrams and Wienberger and Armitage, were directly involved with Ollie North under Reagan and Bush Sr. (help from Bill Clinton) in the crime of illegal
secret arms sales to Iran even while US diplomats were still held hostage.  Neo-cons illegally armed and trained the ex-Nicaraguan Contra narco-terrorists (who flooded LA with crack), in violation of an order of Congress.  They were indicted and/or convicted, and later pardoned.  This is moral clarity?  I'd hate to see moral ambiguity. 

Oh, they meant the greater morality of fighting the commie threat represented by the starving peasants of Nicaragua, a terrifying threat which required them to sell weapons to the Iranian Mullahs.

TWO of these PNAC members, who were convicted of selling arms to Iran, and pardoned by Poppy, were then rehired by W to fight Islamo-fascism. 

Not that either Iran or Iraq honestly represent(ed) any kind of serious threat to America, which spends over 100x on weapons compared to Iran, but Neo-cons claim this threat is real.  It was WE who shot down an Iranian passenger plane, Iran did not shoot down ours.  It was WE who overthrew Iran's govt and installed a dictator, Iran did not overthrow our government.
It was WE who bombed Iraq for 12 years, based on the argument Iraq was at threat to America, yet Iraq's air force could not defend an inch of Baghdad.  Some US bombers had to fly a holding pattern over Baghdad to wait for their turn to drop a bomb on Iraq, the skies were so crowded.

Another irony of this "moral clarity" was that these PNAC and Heritage people also lobbied for arming and funding radical the Islamo-fascist Mujahideen and Al-Qaeda, with money from illegal weapons sales to Iran.

Also note that while John Kerry tried to prosecute some of these Neo-cons for BCCI, which is tied to Iran-Contra and arming terrorist groups, Kerry chose to NOT mention this fact during his campaign.

To round out the Axis of Evil, PNAC member Donald Rumsfeld was on the Board of Directors of ABB when they shipped nuclear fuel technology to North Korea.  Bill O'Reilly exposed in 2008 that GE is now fulfilling contracts with Iran.  US exports to Iran have gone up
10x since the Bush admin took office, approved by the State Dept, including some military exports.

One more irony is that a key component of maintaining this "moral order" include LYING to the American public, as a matter of policy.

"Is U.S. foreign policy
being run by followers of an obscure German Jewish political philosopher (Leo Strauss) whose views were elitist, amoral, and hostile to democratic government?" - Strong Must Rule the Weak: A Philosopher for an Empire, Jim Lobe
Note - This is not an "anti-Jew" slur.  Many Jewish Straussian neo-conservatives, such as Michael Ledeen, also admire and mimic Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, and the Waffen SS.

PNAC recognized that the American public was not eager about massive military pork-barrel spending on defense contracts.  Americans were looking forward to a "peace dividend" after 45 years of Cold War spending. So PNAC concluded that Americans
MUST experience a crisis, a "New Pearl Harbor" attack, if PNAC expected their vision of massive war and military spending to come to fruition.

In 1998 "The Project for the New American Century" letter
(PNAC Letter) was sent to President Bill Clinton. The letter urged Clinton to target the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power in Iraq due to erosion of the Gulf War Coalition's containment policy and the resulting possibility that Iraq might develop weapons of mass destruction.  PNAC wrote many editorials and letters urging the White House to attack Iraq.  PNAC was relentless, and well paidPNAC was founded with donations from the Bradley Foundation, which funded AEI and other groups.

The most famous PNAC document
(which contains the quote about the need for a New Pearl Harbor) is an ambitious 90-page study packed with detailed suggestions on transforming the military, increased spending across the board, what to change with the Navy, Army, Air Force, and militarization of Space.  Full Spectrum Dominance.  This plan was called Rebuilding America's DefensesThe highlighted quote below is on page 51 of the document, page 63 in Acrobat.

"At present the United States faces no global rival. America’s grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible."
"To carry out these core missions, we need to provide sufficient force and budgetary allocations.

In particular, the United States must:"
"DEVELOP AND DEPLOY GLOBAL MISSILE DEFENSES to defend the American homeland and American allies, and to provide a secure basis for U.S. power projection around the world. CONTROL THE NEW 'INTERNATIONAL COMMONS' OF SPACE AND 'CYBERSPACE', and pave the way for the creation of a new military service – U.S. Space Forces – with the mission of space control."

“Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.”

In particular, we need to:
- fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars ...

the PNAC blueprint of September 2000 states that the process of transforming the US into "tomorrow's dominant force"
"... the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor."

The 9/11 attacks allowed the US to press the "go" button for a strategy in accordance with the PNAC agenda which it would otherwise have been (according to PNAC) politically impossible to implement.    (more below)

Original chart detailing which statements they signed:

Richard B. Cheney
Donald Rumsfeld
Richard Armitage - Deputy Secretary of State, blamed for severe human rights violations, torture and death, in Latin Am under Reagan, made Ambasso President of Armitage Associates. Former board member for CACI International, the private military contractor, which "is being investigated by no less than 5 US agencies for possible contract violations" and "employed four interrogators at Abu Ghraib prison" in Iraq, one of whom was singled out by General Taguba in his report on abuses of Iraqi detainees at the prison, which Generals have stated cost the lives of US soldiers.  One of the Iran-Contra plotters, U.S. Government stipulations in the Oliver North trial specifically named Armitage as one of the DoD officials responsible for illegal transfers of weapons to Iran and the Contras.  Board member of Database Technologies (DBT)/ChoicePoint Inc, subsidiary of SAIC.
Paul Wolfowitz - controversial former deputy defense secretary pushing the Iraq War, lost his post as president of the World Bank, visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, DC. AEI houses former George W. Bush admin figures, former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and former chair of the Defense Policy Board Richard Perle.  His connection with the Iraq War and his controversial choice to staff the bank with close associates and supporters of the Bush administration's "war on terror" spurred widespread dissension within the bank's staff and board.
Elliott Abrams  Deputy National Security Adviser, Founding Member of PNAC, convicted (and later pardoned) on charges related to the Iran-Contra scandal, using behind-the-scenes tactics that don't reveal his role, very careful about not leaving fingerprints, fought a rearguard effort within the Reagan administration aimed at blocking peace initiatives in Nicaragua that were supported by some Reagan officials, shunning negotiations in favor of confrontational, militaristic U.S. policies. Bush appointed Abrams chief human rights officer and then senior director of Near East and North African Affairs,
John Bolton
Jeb Bush - president's brother, governor of Florida
Frederick Kagan - Kagan is credited as one of the "intellectual architects" of the Surge plan.
Robert Kagan
Donald Kagan
I. Lewis Libby - "Scooter", charged with revealing the name of a CIA official, to avenge the Bush admin by dissing Joe Wison
Frank Carlucci - Carlyle Group, fmr Sec Def
Zalmay Khalilzad - Unocal consultant, appointed 2nd in Afghanistan, the Bush-Cheney Defense Department transition team. He became an adviser to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and then shifted to the National Security Council, where he worked under Rice.
Jeane Kirkpatrick
William Kristol
Charles Krauthammer
James Lindsay - see apathy.html
William J. Bennett
William F. Buckley, Jr. - old CIA hack writer for major newspapers
Edwin Meese III
Frank Gaffney
Dan Quayle
Dennis Ross - Camp David negotiator w Clinton, who blamed the rejection completely on Arafat, later disputed by others present, and by President Clinton himself.
Max Boot - fmr Editorial Editor of the WSJ, Boot is a contributing editor—along with the likes of Irwin Stelzer, Charles Krauthammer, and Robert Kagan—of the neoconservative flagship magazine the Weekly Standard, edited by William Kristol.
Norman Podhoretz  Committee for Present Danger, Hudson Institute, Aside from Irving Kristol, few of the writers and ideologues associated with neoconservatism can claim as lasting an influence on the political faction as Norman Podhoretz
Eliot A. Cohen  "the most influential neocon in academe," Eliot Cohen is a prominent scholar of military affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
Richard N. Perle  Once dubbed the “Prince of Darkness” because of his advocacy of extremely hawkish anti-Soviet policies while in Ronald Reagan's Department of Defense, served as chairman of then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld' s Defense Policy Board (DPB) in the years leading up to the Iraq War gave him a privileged perch from which he helped shape Bush administration foreign policies.
Daniel Pipes  Daniel Pipes, son of the well known anti-Soviet crusader Richard Pipes, is an outspoken promoter of the "Islamofascism threat" theory and is closely aligned with many high-profile neoconservatives, many of whom are associated with Pipes' Middle East Forum, President George W. Bush nominated Pipes to serve on the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP).
Caspar Weinberger - Secretary of Defense under President Reagan, known for his roles in the Strategic Defense Initiative program (popularly known as Star Wars) and the Iran-Contra Affair (resulting in his indictment and later pardon).
William Howard Taft IV
R. James Woolsey fmr CIA Director (Tim McVeigh's helper, which he cites, was "his" Iraqi, not Saddam's)
Dov S. Zakheim - comptroller for Defense Dept, Lubbavitcher
Robert Zoellick - Deputy Secretary of State
Paul Weyrich - fake Christian right icon, CNP member, co-founder of Heritage has often acknowleged that he does not intend to "conserve" anything."We are different from previous generations of conservatives," Weyrich explained."We are no longer working to preserve the status quo. We are radicals, working to overturn the present power structure of the country."
Gary Bauer - CNP member, major figure of the Christian Right, former presidential candidate, key organizer of campaigns linking rightist pro-Israel Christian groups and conservative Christian evangelicals. A close friend of William Kristol, dates back to the Reagan administration, where he served in a number of posts under Secretary of Education William Bennett.  vociferous advocate of an aggressive war on terror, Bauer compared today's "anti-war left" to that of the 1960s, arguing that in both cases the "ugly aggression by the so-called peace movement" ultimately plays into the hands of those supporting war.
Gary Schmitt  - co-founder of PNAC, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and author of numerous texts on intelligence reform and national security, second generation neoconservatives heavily influenced by the arcane political philosopher Leo Strauss,  see Jim Lobe, “The Strong Must Rule the Weak,” Foreign Policy In Focus, May 12, 2003. "Is U.S. foreign policy being run by followers of an obscure German Jewish political philosopher whose views were elitist, amoral, and hostile to democratic government?"
Francis Fukuyama - The poorly executed nation-building strategy in Iraq will poison the well for future such exercises, undercutting domestic political support for a generous and visionary internationalism, just as Vietnam did.  "Neoconservatism, whatever its complex roots, has become indelibly associated with concepts like coercive regime change, unilateralism, and American hegemony. (except it was ALWAYS that) What is needed now are new ideas, neither neoconservative nor realist, for how America is to relate to the rest of the world—ideas that retain the neoconservative belief in the universality of human rights, but without its illusions about the efficacy of American power and hegemony to bring these ends about."  came under the sway of Allan Bloom, an important follower of Leo Strauss
End of History: With the fall of the USSR, and American 'liberalism' remaining standing, Fukuyama contends, history has reached its destination. This is not a happy ending, however. The loss of great ideological conflicts will bring a consumer society, a universal homogenous state, bureaucratization, and 'centuries of boredom.' Nietzsche's prediction may come true: we will become a civilization of last mendull, satisfied customers— 'without daring, courage, imagination, and idealism'
Dennis DeConcini
Midge Decter  wife of Norman Podhoretz (one of the key forefathers of neoconservatism), has been a major player for decades in the peace-through-strength ideological movement. She was a founding member of the hawkish Coalition for a Democratic Majority, served on the Committee on the Present Danger, directed the Nicaraguan Freedom Fund, and founded the Committee for a Free World. She continues to advocate hard-line policies from her perch at the neoconservative Institute on Religion and Public Life, and she is affiliated with the Project for the New American Century as well as the Heritage Foundation and Hoover Institution, and ACPC, a group "fomenting peace" with Al-Qaeda in Chechnya, along with CIA, Brzezinski, and some oil barons.
Thomas Donnelly Project for the New American Century: Fellow, American Enterprise Institute: Fellow, The National Interest: Former editor,
Lockheed Martin: Former communications director.  argues that the U.S. military needs to be upgraded and expanded to meet the “strategic and military realities of our post-September 11 world.” According to Donnelly, “The gap between America's strategic reach and its military grasp has reached a point of crisis.”   Criticizing the Bush admin in 2005, he said “It's time to stop thinking and start spending."  one of the few neoconservative ideologues to support U.S. intervention in Liberia in mid-2003.

Stephen Cambone  former undersecretary of defense for intelligence, longtime associate of Donald Rumsfeld. collaborated with rightist and neoconservative outfits—including the National Institute for Public Policy (NIPP) and the Project for the New American Century (PNAC)—on developing hardline defense and security proposals just prior to the election of George W. Bush, regarded as a core member of a hawkish faction in the Bush administration.  split hairs on whether the Geneva Conventions were applicable to intelligence gathering in Iraq,  defense of the role of military intelligence in interrogations.
Ellen Bork - daughter of conservative icon and former Supreme Court justice nominee Robert Bork, deputy director of the Project for the New American Century.
Paula Dobriansky - Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Hudson Institute: Former fellow, supporter of HUMAN RIGHTS and against TORTURE, unless the US or it's allies is doing the torture, in which case it becomes "abuses".
Max M. Kampelman - Max Kampelman is a retired diplomat and Cold War-era arms control negotiator who has supported the work of several neoconservative-led advocacy groups that have been instrumental in pushing militarist U.S. policies as part of the “war on terror.” Such groups include the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Kampelman also supported the work of some advocacy groups that emerged in the 1970s to push for hardline, anti-Soviet policies and that served as building blocks for the then-burgeoning neoconservative political faction. Among these were Social Democrats USA, a group that splintered from the Socialist Party USA in 1972 2; the Coalition for a Democratic Majority (CDM), which was created in the early 1970s by disgruntled Democrats who were angered by the emergence of antiwar elements in the party, and the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), a group that helped push for an end to détente with the Soviet Union and many of whose members joined the Reagan administration. (For more on CDM, see Right Web Profile: Penn Kemble; for an account of the work of CPD, see Anne Hessing Cahn, Killing Détente: The Right Attacks the CIA, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998.)

Kampelman also supports the work of a number of other organizations known for their militarist “war on terror” agendas and support of policies in line with Israel’s Likud Party, which is largely supportive of the settler movement and has opposed peace efforts aimed at creating a Palestinian state. He is a “Distinguished Advisor” to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, 5 a member of the Board of Advisors of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, 6 and a member of a new (4th) version of the Committee on the Present Danger created after the 9/11 attacks to promote a hardline agenda for the “war on terror.” 7 Kampelman is also chairman emeritus of the Board of Trustees of Freedom House, 8 a U.S.-government-funded group that has been criticized for being an instrument of propaganda.

Peddlers of Crisis and the Committee on the Present Danger: The Big Lie, from the Cold War to the War on Terror
Morton I. Abramowitz
Gordon Adams
Ken Adelman
Richard V. Allen
Mark A. Anderson
Ronald Asmus
Andrew Y. Au
Nina Bang-Jensen
Roger Barnett
Jeffrey Bell
Jeffrey Bergner
Alvin Bernstein
Robert L. Bernstein
George Biddle
Rudy Boshwitz
James W. Ceasar
Linda Chavez
Steven C. Clemons
Seth Cropsey
Devon Gaffney Cross
Ivo H. Daalder
Helle Dale
James Dobbins
Nicholas Eberstadt
Robert Edgar
David Epstein
Amitai Etzioni
David Fautua
Lee Feinstein
Edwin J. Feulner, Jr.
Steve Forbes
Hillel Fradkin
Aaron Friedberg
Peter Galbraith
Jeffrey Gedmin
Sam Gejdenson
Robert S. Gelbard
Reuel Marc Gerecht
Merle Goldman
Phillip Gordon
Daniel Goure
Morton H. Halperin
John Hefferman
James R. Hooper
Charles Hill
Fred C. Ikle
Martin S. Indyk
Bruce P. Jackson
Eli S. Jacobs
Michael Joyce
Adrian Karatnycky
Penn Kemble
Craig Kennedy
Harold Hongju Koh
Robert Killebrew
Lane Kirkland
Peter Kovler
Mark Lagon
James Lasswell
John Lehman
Lewis E. Lehrman
Todd Lindberg
Bette Bao Lord
Rich Lowry
Connie Mack
Christopher  Makins
Christopher Maletz
Mary Beth Markey
Will Marshall
Robert Martinage
Clifford May
Daniel McKivergan
Phil Meilinger
Ross H. Munro
Joshua Muravchik
Michael O’Hanlon
Mackubin Owens
Wayne Owens
Martin Peretz
Danielle Pletka
John Edward Porter
Peter W. Rodman
Stephen P. Rosen
Henry S. Rowen
Randy Scheunemann
William Schneider Jr.
Richard H. Schultz
Sin-Ming Shaw
Abram Shulsky
Paul Simon
Henry Sokolski
Stephen Solarz
Helmut Sonnenfeldt
Walter Slocombe
James B. Steinberg
Leonard Sussman
John J. Sweeney
Dick Thornburgh
John Tkacik
Ed Turner
Michael Vickers
Arthur Waldron
Malcolm Wallop
Barry Watts
James Webb
Vin Weber
George Weigel
Leon Wieseltier
Chris Williams
Jennifer Windsor
Marshall Wittmann
Larry Wortzel

History and Impact

From an office in the same building that houses the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in downtown Washington and with funding from the Bradley Foundation, in 1993 William Kristol established the Project for the Republican Future in anticipation of the 1994 congressional elections. Following the resounding victory of right-wing Republicans, in 1995 he founded the Weekly Standard in the vacated offices of his Project for the Republican Future. In 1996, Kristol and Robert Kagan established PNAC, whose offices are also located in the AEI building and which is also generously supported by the Bradley Foundation

By the time Kristol and Kagan organized PNAC, the widespread conservative frustration at having to endure another four years of Clinton liberals had largely papered over the conservative rift of the late 1980s. Newt Gingrich's “Contract with America” played a key role in unifying conservatives around an almost exclusively domestic agenda of big-government bashing, glorifying traditional family values, and attacking secular humanism. The domestic side of a reinvigorated right wing was coming together nicely in the 1990s, as seen in the winning role played by the Contract with America in ushering in a Republican majority in both houses of Congress under the Clinton presidency.

The right, however, had not recovered from the loss of its chief mobilizing principle: militant anticommunism. Central to the right's role in winning the White House for Ronald Reagan in 1980 was the fusion of three core conservative constituencies: social conservatives, economic libertarians, and national security militarists. In the late 1970s, neoconservatives played a strategic role in engineering this right-wing fusion, providing many of the key intellectual and ideological frameworks for the right wing's expanding counter-establishment and for the right-wing populists.

If they were to reprise this same unifying role in the late 1990s, the neocons knew that the old political messages daring the Democrats to associate themselves with the “L” word of liberalism would no longer suffice. Positioning themselves as New Democrats, Bill Clinton and Al Gore had stolen the neoconservative thunder on free market and big government issues.

To resurrect a right-wing populist movement, the challenge became creating a “neo-Reaganite” agenda—one that would appeal to the same “moral majority” citizens who were still fighting the backlash cultural wars against multiculturalism and the counterculture of the 1960s, citizens who responded to messages about moral clarity and America's mission, and whose sense of patriotism and nationalism could again be rallied to support increased military spending and interventionism abroad. Collectively, the neoconservatives, the Republican Party's hawks, and the social conservatives aimed to awaken America from its slumber to wage the good fight against the forces of evil that were gathering round the world. PNAC's founding statement in 1997 crystallized this new sense of American power and moral mission.

Liberals and progressives might regard PNAC's success at setting a new foreign policy agenda as an example of how the right's unity, messaging skills, networking, and focused political agenda of its small circle of foundations have enabled it to affect radical political change. Recalling the group's origins, PNAC Executive Director Gary Schmitt told a different story: “It is actually just the opposite. We started up precisely because the right was so divided—between the realists and the neo-isolationists.” According to Schmitt, “What we thought was that a tradition that was both more American and more particularly Reaganite had been dropped from the agenda.” 

That agenda—one of U.S. moral clarity and the exercise of American power against evil—was articulated in 1996 by Kristol and Kagan in their Foreign Affairs essay on creating a neo-Reaganite foreign policy agenda.  PNAC, said Schmitt, was the result of Kristol and Kagan's decision to institutionalize their vision.

PNAC struck a discordant note in the dominant political discourse. At a time when most pundits and politicians were caught up in national debates about the price of prescription drugs, the future of social security, and the impact of globalization, PNAC warned of “present dangers” to U.S. national security.

On the whole, however, PNAC's associates, many of whom joined the George W. Bush administration, were hopeful. If conservatives continued to resist “isolationist impulses from within their own ranks” and if a new government adopted the history-tested principle of “peace through strength,” the “greatness” of the United States would be ensured in the next century. If the American people were to again embrace “a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity,” they could look forward to a New American Century

The rhetoric, political tactics, and assumptions about America's moral mission articulated by PNAC all had deep historical resonance. The three signature features of PNAC—the coalition-building to confront the “present danger,” the vision of a planetary Pax Americana, and the laying of nationalist claim to an entire century—were echoes of former visionaries, statesmen, and political leaders.

In raising the alarm about the present danger, PNAC sounded a traditional refrain of post-World War II militarists and internationalists. Since the late 1940s, factions of the U.S. foreign policy elite have stoked the patriotism and paranoia of Americans with warnings about the “present danger” the United States faces if lulled to sleep by dovish political and economic elites. For hawks and ideologues, the term “present danger,” along with the phrase “peace through strength,” has been the recurring rallying cry of those who argue for a more aggressive national security strategy.

In the advent of the 2000 presidential election, PNAC founders Kristol and Kagan, in their edited volume Present Dangers, invoked the words of the Henry Robinson Luce, who before the United States entered World War II predicted that the 20th century could be the “American Century,” if it created “an international moral order.”  The combination of military strength, “a vital international economic order” established by the United States, and foreign policy guided by America's God-ordained moral mission would, according to Luce, ensure American supremacy and international peace.