Center for Security Policy/Controversies

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V-22 Osprey backing

The Center for Security Policy maintains that its slogan of "Peace through Strength" refers to for world peace through all manner of means and is not just a byword for military power. But journalist Jason Vest argues that Gaffney and CSP's prescriptions for national security have been fairly simple: Gut all arms control treaties, push ahead with weapons and military systems virtually everyone agrees should be killed (such as the V-22 Osprey helicopter), give no quarter to the Palestinians and, most important, go full-steam ahead on just about every national missile defense program.[1]

The CSP, and Gaffney in particular, are outspoken supporters of weapons systems made by companies such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing, which for their part are prominent donors to the CSP cause, according to an Arms Trade Resource Center report.[2]

In the case of the V-22 Osprey, an armed forces helicopter manufactured by Boeing, Gaffney gave it his unwavering support despite several notable accidents proving the V-22 not to be 100% reliable for the United States servicemen and women aboard. Despite these accidents where several V-22s fell from the skies, Frank Gaffney spoke out in 2001 in support of this system saying, “The V-22 was named for the osprey to recognize their shared and extraordinary aerodynamic abilities.”[3]

In a separate press article, in answer to the interviewer's question, "Is the V-22 Osprey aircraft a must-buy for the United States?", Gaffney replied, "Yes: The combat performance and mission flexibility the Osprey offers are unequaled."[4]

The Gulf Wars

A massive success of neoconservative foreign policy in the past couple of years has been the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Arguably, the illegal war in and occupation of Iraq has been coming ever since the war that George H.W Bush presided over and the arms deals which the Americans and the British signed with Saddam Hussein when he was ‘our extremist’.

However, the wheels were really set in motion when the neocon hawks saw in the loss of several thousand innocent American lives the perfect justification to “justify a new military doctrine of preventive war, regime change and US military supremacy.[5] With the Bush administration’s network of neoconservative associates of the CSP, JINSA and the CPD occupying senior advisory and official positions there was never going to be any doubt that the 9/11 attacks would be the cause for an increase in pro-war rhetoric within government and a new threat being created.

The replacement for the 1980s ‘red threat’ was ‘Islamic extremism’ and ‘rogue states’, all of which were given far more credence in their created threat than the actual threat. On false intelligence and riding the emotions of a country hurt by terrorist attacks, the neoconservatives, orchestrated by men like Gaffney, Perle and Wolfowitz, managed to encourage American military assaults on both Afghanisation and Iraq.

When the public support for the latter of these attacks was waning, Gaffney reincarnated the committee on which he based his Center for Security Policy, the Committee on the Present Danger to increase the level of war rhetoric and attempt to raise the threat level and increase the level of fear within the country. The CSP and the CPD rubbished intelligence that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda were working in cohorts to bring about the demise of the United States of America and pushed for war on this and other falsified claims.

Paul Wolfowitz has been one of major proponents of war in Iraq and journalist Jason Vest found that even though he knew that his arguments were entirely porous he argued them to the hilt; “Keep in mind that bin Laden wanted a jihad against Saddam for invading Kuwait," says one intelligence analyst. "He hates Saddam." Adds the Pentagon consultant: "It makes no sense to do anything like expand this. But Paul's convinced Saddam played a role here, and Paul wants to use this as an excuse."[6]

Neocon networks

A further issue over which the Center for Security Policy has attracted controversy is its links to weapons manufacturers and right wing groups through its funding and through its influence in the Bush administration. Links to JINSA, the Project for a New American Century, Lockheed, Boeing and Northrop Grumman have all been explored and shown to prove beneficial to both sides and further strengthening to the neoconservative grip on US foreign policy.



References

  1. Jason Vest, The Men From JINSA and CSP, The Nation, 15 Aug 2002, accessed 25 Aug 2007
  2. William D. Hartung and Jonathan Reingold, About Face: The Role of the Arms Lobby In the Bush Administration's Radical Reversal of Two Decades of U.S. Nuclear Policy, Arms Trade Resource Center, May 2002, accessed 26 Aug 2009
  3. Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., The Osprey as Phoenix, WorldNet Daily Commentary, 23 January 2001, accessed 26 Aug 2009
  4. Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., Christopher Hellman, Insight on the News, BNet UK, 26th February 2001, accessed 26 Aug 2009
  5. Tom Barry US: Danger, danger everywhere Asia Times Online, 23 June, 2006 accessed 21st March 2008
  6. Jason Vest Bush’s War Hawk The American Prospect, 5 November, 2001 accessed 20th March 2008