Edward Luttwak

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Person.png Edward Luttwak  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(spook, academic)

Edward Nicolae Luttwak is a Senior Fellow in Preventive Diplomacy at The Center for Strategic and International Studies. Luttwak is an associate of Michael Ledeen, Charlie Wilson, Barbara Studley and William Casey. Luttwak is also known for his hawkish zionist stance.

Luttwak was born in Arad, Romania, and later attended the London School of Economics and Johns Hopkins University, where he received a doctorate. His first academic post was at the University of Bath. As of 2004, he is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.. He has served as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and the U.S. Department of State. He is a member of the National Security Study Group of the U.S. Department of Defense, and an associate of the Japan Finance Ministry's Institute of Fiscal and Monetary Policy.

Niger Uranium forgeries

Many of these past associations emerged in a recent episode revealed during my meeting with Luttwak: that he was shown the infamous Niger forgeries by a friend with the Italian intelligence agency Sismi, when he was working as a consultant to a Sismi contractor named Luciano Monti in the 2001-2002 time frame, but that he refused to back-channel them to the Bush administration. (He never agrees to back-channel intelligence, Luttwak said, and these looked like forgeries to him.) The allegations in the forgeries, of course, became one of the Bush White House’s most controversial casus belli for the Iraq war — and, after proven phony even on the eve of the invasion, among the most embarrassing and politically damaging for the president and vice president, who cited the bogus uranium allegations despite warnings from the CIA not to.[1]

Obama apostate smear

In a May 2008 article, Luttwak claimed that Barack Obama was a Muslim under Muslim law:

Of course, as most Americans understand it, Senator Obama is not a Muslim. He chose to become a Christian, and indeed has written convincingly to explain how he arrived at his choice and how important his Christian faith is to him.
His conversion, however, was a crime in Muslim eyes; it is “irtidad” or “ridda,” usually translated from the Arabic as “apostasy,” but with connotations of rebellion and treason. Indeed, it is the worst of all crimes that a Muslim can commit, worse than murder (which the victim’s family may choose to forgive).[2]

Hawkier than thou

There is a competition among cheerleaders for war to appear hawkier than their fellow Dr. Strangeloves. There are many such operators populating think-tanks in Washington, and the only way to stand out is to propose wars in terms that are media-friendly, or to appear far more hawkish than proposed government policy. On both counts such "operators" are useful for propaganda campaigns. First, they promote wars by making them more saleable. On this count Luttwak wrote "Give War a Chance" (picking on Lennon's slogan) [3]. And this refrain has been repeated often to justify other wars. Second, by appearing more hawkish than a government, these "intelligence experts" provide a service because they make government policy appear "moderate". Luttwak is one of these "super hawks".


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  1. The Operator: The Double Life of a Military Strategist, by Laura Rozen, Forward, 5 June 2008.
  2. President Apostate?, by Edward N. Luttwak, New York Times, 5 June 2008.
  3. Edward N. Luttwak , Give War a Chance, Foreign Affairs, July/August 1999