May 27, 2013
Educating yourself about empire can be a challenging endeavor, especially since so much of the educational system is dedicated to avoiding the topic or
justifying the actions of imperialism in the modern era. If one studies political science or economics, the subject might be discussed in a historical
context, but rarely as a modern reality; media and government voices rarely speak on the subject, and even more rarely speak of it with direct and honest
language. Instead, we exist in a society where institutions and individuals of power speak in coded language, using deceptive rhetoric with abstract
meaning. We hear about 'democracy' and 'freedom' and 'security,' but so rarely about imperialism, domination, and exploitation.
The objective of this report is to provide an introduction to the institutional and social structure of American imperialism. The material is detailed, but
should not be considered complete or even comprehensive; its purpose is to function as a resource or reference for those seeking to educate themselves
about the modern imperial system. It's not an analysis of state policies or the effects of those policies, but rather, it is an examination of the
institutions and individuals who advocate and implement imperial policies. What is revealed is a highly integrated and interconnected network of
institutions and individuals - the foreign policy establishment - consisting of academics (so-called "experts" and "policy-oriented intellectuals") and
prominent think tanks.
Think tanks bring together prominent academics, former top government officials, corporate executives, bankers, media representatives, foundation officials
and other elites in an effort to establish consensus on issues of policy and strategy, to produce reports and recommendations for policy-makers,
functioning as recruitment centers for those who are selected to key government positions where they have the ability to implement policies. Thus, think
tanks function as the intellectual engines of empire: they establish consensus among elites, provide policy prescriptions, strategic recommendations, and
the personnel required to implement imperial policies through government agencies.
Among the most prominent American and international think tanks are the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderberg meetings, the Trilateral
Commission, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Brookings Institution, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the
Atlantic Council. These institutions tend to rely upon funding from major foundations (such as Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie, etc.) as well as corporations
and financial institutions, and even various government agencies. There is an extensive crossover in leadership and membership between these institutions,
and between them and their funders.
Roughly focusing on the period from the early 1970s until today, what emerges from this research is a highly integrated network of foreign policy elites,
with individuals like Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft, and Joseph Nye figuring prominently in sitting at the center of the American
imperial establishment over the course of decades, with powerful corporate and financial patrons such as the Rockefeller family existing in the background
of American power structures.
Meet the Engineers of Empire
Within the U.S. government, the National Security Council (NSC) functions as the main planning group, devising strategy and policies for the operation of
American power in the world. The NSC coordinates multiple other government agencies, bringing together the secretaries of the State and Defense
Departments, the CIA, NSA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and various other government bodies, with meetings directed by the National Security Adviser, who is
generally one of the president's most trusted and influential advisers. In several administrations, the National Security Adviser became the most
influential voice and policy-maker to do with foreign policy, such as during the Nixon administration (with Henry Kissinger) and the Carter administration
(with Zbigniew Brzezinski).
While both of these individuals were top government officials in the 1970s, their influence has not declined in the decades since they held such positions.
In fact, it could be argued that both of their influence (along with several other foreign policy elites) has increased with their time outside of
government. In fact, in a January 2013 interview with The Hill, Brzezinski stated: "To be perfectly frank - and you may not believe me - I really
wasn't at all conscious of the fact that the defeat of the Carter administration [in 1980] somehow or another affected significantly my own standing... I
just kept doing my thing minus the Office of the National Security Adviser in the White House." 
David Rothkopf has written the official history of the National Security Council (NSC) in his book, Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power, published in 2005. Rothkopf writes from
an insiders perspective, being a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment, he was Under Secretary of
Commerce for International Trade Policy and Development in the Clinton administration, and is currently president and CEO of Garten Rothkopf, an
international advisory firm, CEO of Foreign Policy magazine, previously CEO of Intellibridge Corporation, and was also a managing director at
Kissinger Associates, an international advisory firm founded and run by Henry Kissinger. In his book on the NSC, Rothkopf noted that, "[e]very single
national security advisor since Kissinger is, in fact, within two degrees of Kissinger," referring to the fact that they have all "worked with him as
aides, on his staff, or directly with him in some capacity," or worked for someone in those categories (hence, within "two degrees").
For example, General Brent Scowcroft, who was National Security Advisor (NSA) under Presidents Ford and George H.W. Bush, was Kissinger's Deputy National
Security Advisor in the Nixon administration; Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter's NSA, served on the faculty of Harvard with Kissinger, also served with
Kissinger on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board during the Reagan administration, both of them are also members (and were at times, board
members) of the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as members of the Trilateral Commission, and they are both currently trustees of the Center for
Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Other NSA's with connections to Kissinger include: Richard Allen, NSA under Reagan, who worked for Kissinger in
the Nixon administration; William P. Clark, NSA under Reagan, who worked for Kissinger's former aide, Alexander Haig at the State Department; Robert
McFarlane, also NSA under Reagan, worked with Kissinger in the Nixon administration; John Poindexter, also NSA for Reagan, was McFarlane's deputy; Frank
Carlucci, also NSA in the Reagan administration, worked for Kissinger in the Nixon administration; Colin Powell, NSA for Reagan (and Secretary of State for
George W. Bush), worked for Carlucci as his deputy; Anthony Lake, Clinton's NSA, worked directly for Kissinger; Samuel Berger, also NSA for Clinton, was
Lake's deputy; Condoleezza Rice, NSA for George W. Bush, worked on Scowcroft's NSC staff; and Stephen Hadley also worked for Kissinger directly.
The foreign policy establishment consists of the top officials of the key government agencies concerned with managing foreign policy (State Department,
Pentagon, CIA, NSC), drawing upon officials from within the think tank community, where they become well acquainted with corporate and financial elites,
and thus, become familiar with the interests of this group of people. Upon leaving high office, these officials often return to leadership positions within
the think tank community, join corporate boards, and/or establish their own international advisory firms where they charge hefty fees to provide
corporations and banks with strategic advice and use of their international political contacts (which they acquired through their time in office). Further,
these individuals also regularly appear in the media to provide commentary on international affairs as 'independent experts' and are routinely recruited to
serve as 'outside' advisors to presidents and other high-level officials.
No less significant in assessing influence within the foreign policy establishment is the relative proximity - and relationships - individuals have with
deeply entrenched power structures, notably financial and corporate dynasties. Arguably, both Kissinger and Brzezinski are two of the most influential
individuals within the foreign policy elite networks. Certainly of no detriment to their careers was the fact that both cultivated close working and
personal relationships with what can be said to be America's most powerful dynasty, the Rockefeller family.
Dynastic Influence on Foreign Policy
At first glance, this may appear to be a rather obscure addition to this report, but dynastic power in modern state-capitalist societies is largely
overlooked, misunderstood, or denied altogether, much like the concept of 'empire' itself. The lack of discourse on this subject - or the relegation of it
to fringe 'conspiratorial' views - is not reason enough to ignore it. Far from assigning a conspiratorial or 'omnipotent' view of power to dynastic
elements, it is important to place them within a social and institutional analysis, to understand the complexities and functions of dynastic influence
within modern society.
Dynastic power relies upon a complex network of relationships and interactions between institutions, individuals, and ideologies. Through most of human
history - in most places in the world - power was wielded by relatively few people, and often concentrated among dynastic family structures, whether
ancient Egypt, imperial Rome, ancient China, the Ottoman Empire or the European monarchs spreading their empires across the globe. With the rise of
state-capitalist society, dynastic power shifted from the overtly political to the financial and economic spheres. Today's main dynasties are born of
corporate or banking power, maintained through family lines and extended through family ties to individuals, institutions, and policy-makers. The
Rockefellers are arguably the most influential dynasty in the United States, but comparable to the Rothschilds in France and the UK, the Wallenbergs in
Sweden, the Agnellis in Italy, or the Desmarais family in Canada. These families are themselves connected through institutions such as the Bilderberg Group
and the Trilateral Commission, among others. The power of a corporate-financial dynasty is not a given: it must be maintained, nurtured, and strengthened,
otherwise it will be overcome or made obsolete.
The Rockefeller family has existed at the center of American power for over a century. Originating with the late 19th century 'Robber Baron'
industrialists, the Rockefellers established an oil empire, and subsequently a banking empire. John D. Rockefeller, who had a personal fortune surpassing
$1 billion in the first decade of the 20th century, also founded the University of Chicago, and through the creation and activities of the
Rockefeller Foundation (founded in 1913), helped engineer higher education and the social sciences. The Rockefeller family - largely acting through various
family foundations - were also pivotal in the founding and funding of several prominent think tanks, notably the Council on Foreign Relations, the Asia
Society, Trilateral Commission, the Group of Thirty, and the Bilderberg Group, among many others.
The patriarch of the Rockefeller family today is David Rockefeller, now in his late 90s. To understand the influence wielded by unelected bankers and
billionaires like Rockefeller, it would be useful to simply examine the positions he has held throughout his life. From 1969 until 1980, he was the
chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank and from 1981 to 1999 he was the chairman of the International Advisory Committee of Chase Manhattan, at which
time it merged with another big bank to become JPMorgan Chase, of Rockefeller served as a member of the International Advisory Council from 2000 to 2005.
David Rockefeller was a founding member of the Bilderberg Group in 1954, at which he remains on the Steering Committee; he is the former chairman of
Rockefeller Group, Inc. (from 1981-1995), Rockefeller Center Properties (1996-2001), and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, at which he remains as an advisory
trustee. He is chairman emeritus and life trustee of the Museum of Modern Art, and the founder of the David Rockefeller Fund and the International
Executive Service Corps.
David Rockefeller was also the chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations from 1970 to 1985, of which he remains to this day as honorary chairman; is
chairman emeritus of the board of trustees of the University of Chicago; honorary chairman, life trustee and chairman emeritus of the Rockefeller
University Council, and is the former president of the Harvard Board of Overseers. He was co-founder of the Global Philanthropists Circle, is honorary
chairman of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), and is an honorary director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
David Rockefeller was also the co-founder (with Zbigniew Brzezinski) of the Trilateral Commission in 1973, where he served as North American Chairman until
1991, and has since remained as honorary chairman. He is also the founder and honorary chairman of the Americas Society and the Council of the Americas.
It should not come as a surprise, then, that upon David Rockefeller's 90th birthday celebration (held at the Council on Foreign Relations) in
2005, then-president of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn delivered a speech in which he stated that, "the person who had perhaps the greatest influence on
my life professionally in this country, and I'm very happy to say personally there afterwards, is David Rockefeller, who first met me at the Harvard
Business School in 1957 or '58." He went on to explain that in the early 20th century United States, "as we looked at the world, a family, the
Rockefeller family, decided that the issues were not just national for the United States, were not just related to the rich countries. And where,
extraordinarily and amazingly, David's grandfather set up the Rockefeller Foundation, the purpose of which was to take a global view." Wolfensohn
So the Rockefeller family, in this last 100 years, has contributed in a way that is quite extraordinary to the development in that period and has
given ample focus to the issues of development with which I have been associated. In fact, it's fair to say that there has been no other single
family influence greater than the Rockefeller's in the whole issue of globalization and in the whole issue of addressing the questions which, in
some ways, are still before us today. And for that David, we're deeply grateful to you and for your own contribution in carrying these forward in
the way that you did. 
Wolfensohn of course would be in a position to know something about the influence of the Rockefeller family. Serving as president of the World Bank from
1995 to 2005, he has since founded his own private firm, Wolfensohn & Company, LLC., was been a longtime member of the Steering Committee of the
Bilderberg Group, an honorary trustee of the Brookings Institution, a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation, and is a member of the Council on Foreign
Relations. Wolfensohn's father, Hyman, was employed by James Armand de Rothschild of the Rothschild banking dynasty (after whom James was named), and
taught the young Wolfensohn how to "cultivate mentors, friends and contacts of influence." In his autobiography of 2002, Memoirs, David
Rockefeller himself wrote:
For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my
encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic
institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and
me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure--one
world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it. 
In the United States, the Rockefeller family has maintained a network of influence through financial, corporate, educational, cultural, and political
spheres. It serves as a logical extension of dynastic influence to cultivate relationships among the foreign policy elite of the U.S., notably the likes of
Kissinger and Brzezinski.
Intellectuals, 'Experts,' and Imperialists Par Excellence: Kissinger and Brzezinski
Both Kissinger and Brzezinski served as professors at Harvard in the early 1950s, as well as both joining the Council on Foreign Relations around the same
time, and both also attended meetings of the Bilderberg Group (two organizations which had Rockefellers in leadership positions). Kissinger was a director
at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund from 1956 until 1958, and thereafter became an advisor to Nelson Rockefeller. Kissinger was even briefly brought into the
Kennedy administration as an advisor to the State Department, while Brzezinski was an advisor to the Kennedy campaign, and was a member of President
Johnson's Policy Planning Council in the State Department from 1966 to 1968. When Nixon became president in 1969, Kissinger became his National Security
Advisor, and eventually also took over the role of Secretary of State.
In 1966, prior to entering the Nixon administration, Henry Kissinger wrote an article for the journal Daedalus in which he proclaimed the modern
era as "the age of the expert," and went on to explain: "The expert has his constituency - those who have a vested interest in commonly held opinions;
elaborating and defining its consensus at a high level has, after all, made him an expert."  In other words, the "expert" serves entrenched and
established power structures and elites ("those who have a vested interest in commonly held opinions"), and the role of such an expert is to define and
elaborate the "consensus" of elite interests. Thus, experts, as Henry Kissinger defines them, serve established elites.
In 1970, Brzezinski wrote a highly influential book, Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era, which attracted the interest of
Chase Manhattan Chairman (and Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations) David Rockefeller. The two men then worked together to create the Trilateral
Commission, of which Kissinger became a member. Kissinger remained as National Security Advisor for President Ford, and when Jimmy Carter became President
(after Brzezinski invited him into the Trilateral Commission), Brzezinski became his National Security Advisor, also bringing along dozens of other members
of the Trilateral Commission into the administration's cabinet.
In a study published in the journal Polity in 1982, researchers described what amounted to modern Machiavellis who "whisper in the ears of
princes," notably, prominent academic-turned policy-makers like Walt Rostow, Henry Kissinger, and Zbigniew Brzezinski. The researchers constructed a
'survey' in 1980 which was distributed to a sample of officials in the State Department, CIA, Department of Defense and the National Security Council (the
four government agencies primarily tasked with managing foreign policy), designed to assess the views of those who implement foreign policy related to how
they measure influence held by academics. They compared their results with a similar survey conducted in 1971, and found that in both surveys, academics
such as George Kennan, Hans Morgenthau, Henry Kissinger, and Zbigniew Brzezinski were listed as among the members of the academic community who most
influenced the thinking of those who took the survey. In the 1971 survey, George Kennan was listed as the most influential, followed by Hans Morgenthau,
John K. Galbraith, Henry Kissinger, E.O. Reischauer and Zbigniew Brzezinski; in the 1980 survey, Henry Kissinger was listed as the most influential,
followed by Hans Morgenthau, George Kennan, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Stanley Hoffmann. 
Of the fifteen most influential scholars in the 1980 survey, eleven received their highest degree from a major East Coast university, eight held a
doctorate from Harvard, twelve were associated with major East Coast universities, while seven of them had previously taught at Harvard. More than half of
the top fifteen scholars had previously held prominent government positions, eight were members of the Council on Foreign Relations, ten belonged to the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences and eight belonged to the American Political Science Association. Influence tended to sway according to which of the
four government agencies surveyed was being assessed, though for Kissinger, Morgenthau and Brzezinski, they "were equally influential with each of the
agencies surveyed." The two most influential academic journals cited by survey responses were Foreign Affairs (run by the Council on Foreign
Relations), read by more than two-thirds of those who replied to the survey, and Foreign Policy, which was read by more than half of respondents.
In a 1975 report by the Trilateral Commission on The Crisis of Democracy, co-authored by Samuel Huntington, a close associate and friend of
Zbigniew Brzezinski, the role of intellectuals came into question, noting that with the plethora of social movements and protests that had emerged from the
1960s onwards, intellectuals were asserting their "disgust with the corruption, materialism, and inefficiency of democracy and with the subservience of
democratic government to 'monopoly capitalism'." Thus, noted the report: "the advanced industrial societies have spawned a stratum of value-oriented
intellectuals who often devote themselves to the derogation of leadership, the challenging of authority, and the unmasking and delegitimation of
established institutions, their behavior contrasting with that of the also increasing numbers of technocratic policy-oriented intellectuals." In other
words, intellectuals were increasingly failing to serve as "experts" (as Henry Kissinger defined it), and were increasingly challenging authority and
institutionalized power structures instead of serving them, unlike "technocratic and policy-oriented intellectuals."
The influence of "experts" and "technocratic policy-oriented intellectuals" like Kissinger and Brzezinski was not to dissipate going into the 1980s.
Kissinger then joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), taught at Georgetown University, and in 1982, founded his own consulting
firm, Kissinger Associates, co-founded and run with General Brent Scowcroft, who was the National Security Advisor for President Ford, after being
Kissinger's deputy in the Nixon administration. Scowcroft is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, CSIS, and The
Atlantic Council of the United States, which also includes Kissinger and Brzezinski among its leadership boards. Scowcroft also founded his own
international advisory firm, the Scowcroft Group, and also served as National Security Advisor to President George H.W. Bush.
Kissinger Associates, which included not only Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft, but also Lawrence Eagleburger, Kissinger's former aide in the Nixon
administration, and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in the Reagan administration, and briefly as Deputy Secretary of State in the George H.W.
Bush administration. These three men, who led Kissinger Associates in the 1980s, made a great deal of money advising some of the world's leading
corporations, including ITT, American Express, Coca-Cola, Volvo, Fiat, and Midland Bank, among others. Kissinger Associates charges corporate clients at
least $200,000 for "offering geopolitical insight" and "advice," utilizing "their close relationships with foreign governments and their extensive
knowledge of foreign affairs."
While he was Chairman of Kissinger Associates, advising corporate clients, Henry Kissinger was also appointed to chair the National Bipartisan Commission
on Central America by President Reagan from 1983 to 1985, commonly known as the Kissinger Commission, which provided the strategic framework for Reagan's
terror war on Central America. As Kissinger himself noted in 1983, "If we cannot manage Central America... it will be impossible to convince threatened
nations in the Persian Gulf and in other places that we know how to manage the global equilibrium."  In other words, if the United States could not
control a small region south of its border, how can it be expected to run the world?
Between 1984 and 1990, Henry Kissinger was also appointed to Reagan's (and subsequently Bush Sr.'s) Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, an organization
that provides "advice" to the President on intelligence issues, which Brzezinski joined between 1987 and 1989. Brzezinski also served as a member of
Reagan's Chemical Warfare Commission, and from 1987 to 1988, worked with Reagan's U.S. National Security Council-Defense Department Commission on
Integrated Long-Term Strategy, alongside Henry Kissinger. The Commission's report, Discriminate Deterrence, issued in 1988, noted that the United
States would have to establish new capabilities to deal with threats, particularly in the 'Third World,' noting that while conflicts in the 'Third World'
"are obviously less threatening than any Soviet-American war would be," they still "have had and will have an adverse cumulative effect on U.S. access to
critical regions," and if these effects cannot be managed, "it will gradually undermine America's ability to defend its interest in the most vital regions,
such as the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean and the Western Pacific."
Over the following decade, the report noted, "the United States will need to be better prepared to deal with conflicts in the Third World" which would
"require new kinds of planning." If the United States could not effectively counter the threats to U.S. interests and allies, notably, "if the warfare is
of low intensity and protracted, and if they use guerrilla forces, paramilitary terrorist organizations, or armed subversives," or, in other words,
revolutionary movements, then "we will surely lose the support of many Third World countries that want to believe the United States can protect its
friends, not to mention its own interests." Most 'Third World' conflicts are termed "low intensity conflict," referring to "insurgencies, organized
terrorism, [and] paramilitary crime," and therefore the United States would need to take these conflicts more seriously, noting that within such
circumstances, "the enemy" is essentially "omnipresent," meaning that the enemy is the population itself, "and unlikely ever to surrender."
From Cold War to New World Order: 'Containment' to 'Enlargement'
At the end of the Cold War, the American imperial community of intellectuals and think tanks engaged in a process that continues to the present day in
attempting to outline a geostrategic vision for America's domination of the world. The Cold War had previously provided the cover for the American
extension of hegemony around the world, under the premise of 'containing' the Soviet Union and the spread of 'Communism.' With the end of the Cold War came
the end of the 'containment' policy of foreign policy. It was the task of 'experts' and 'policy-oriented intellectuals' to assess the present circumstances
of American power in the world and to construct new strategic concepts for the extension and preservation of that power.
In 1990, George H.W. Bush's administration released the National Security Strategy of the United States in which the Cold War was officially
acknowledged as little more than a rhetorical deception. The document referenced U.S. interventions in the Middle East, which were for decades justified on
the basis of 'containing' the perceived threat of 'communism' and the Soviet Union. The report noted that, "even as East-West tensions diminish, American
strategic concerns remain." Threats to America's "interests" in the region, such as "the security of Israel and moderate Arab states" - otherwise known as
ruthless dictatorships - "as well as the free flow of oil - come from a variety of sources." Citing previous military interventions in the region, the
report stated that they "were in response to threats to U.S. interests that could not be laid at the Kremlin's door." In other words, all the rhetoric of
protecting the world from communism and the Soviet Union was little more than deception. As the National Security Strategy noted: "The necessity
to defend our interests will continue." 
When Bush became president in 1989, he ordered his national security team - headed by Brent Scowcroft - to review national security policy. Bush and
Scowcroft had long discussed - even before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait - the notion that the U.S. will have to make its priority dealing with "Third World
bullies" (a euphemism referring to U.S. puppet dictators who stop following orders). At the end of the Cold War, George Bush declared a 'new world order,'
a term which was suggested to Bush by Brent Scowcroft during a discussion "about future foreign-policy crises." 
Separate from the official National Security Strategy, the internal assessment of national security policy commissioned by Bush was partly leaked
to and reported in the media in 1991. As the Los Angeles Times commented, the review dispensed with "sentimental nonsense about democracy." 
The New York Times quoted the review: "In cases where the U.S. confronts much weaker enemies, our challenge will be not simply to defeat them, but
to defeat them decisively and rapidly... For small countries hostile to us, bleeding our forces in protracted or indecisive conflict or embarrassing us by
inflicting damage on some conspicuous element of our forces may be victory enough, and could undercut political support for U.S. efforts against them."
 In other words, the capacity to justify and undertake large-scale wars and ground invasions had deteriorated substantially, so it would be necessary
to "decisively and rapidly" destroy "much weaker enemies."
Zbigniew Brzezinski was quite blunt in his assessment of the Cold War - of which he was a major strategic icon - when he wrote in a 1992 article for Foreign Affairs, the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, that the U.S. strategic discourse of the Cold War as a battle between Communist
totalitarianism and Western democracy was little more than rhetoric. In Brzezinski's own words: "The policy of liberation was a strategic sham, designed to
a significant degree for domestic political reasons... the policy was basically rhetorical, at most tactical."  In other words, it was all a lie,
carefully constructed to deceive the American population into accepting the actions of a powerful state in its attempts to dominate the world.
In 1992, the New York Times leaked a classified document compiled by top Pentagon officials (including Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney) devising a
strategy for America in the post-Cold War world. As the Times summarized, the Defense Policy Guidance document "asserts that America's political
and military mission in the post-cold-war era will be to ensure that no rival superpower is allowed to emerge in Western Europe, Asia or the territories of
the former Soviet Union." The document "makes the case for a world dominated by one superpower whose position can be perpetuated by constructive behavior
and sufficient military might to deter any nation or group of nations from challenging American primacy." 
In the Clinton administration, prominent "policy-oriented intellectuals" filled key foreign policy positions, notably Madeleine Albright, first as
ambassador to the UN and then as Secretary of State, and Anthony Lake as National Security Advisor. Anthony Lake was a staffer in Kissinger's National
Security Council during the Nixon administration (though he resigned in protest following the 'secret' bombing of Cambodia). Lake was subsequently
recruited into the Trilateral Commission, and was then appointed as policy planning director in Jimmy Carter's State Department under Secretary of State
(and Trilateral Commission/Council on Foreign Relations member) Cyrus Vance. Richard Holbrooke and Warren Christopher were also brought into the Trilateral
Commission, then to the Carter administration, and resurfaced in the Clinton administration. Holbrooke and Lake had even been college roommates for a time.
Madeleine Albright had studied at Columbia University under Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was her dissertation advisor. When Brzezinski became National Security
Adviser in the Carter administration, he brought in Albright as a special assistant. 
Anthony Lake was responsible for outlining the 'Clinton Doctrine,' which he elucidated in a 1993 speech at Johns Hopkins University, where he stated: "The
successor to a doctrine of containment must be a strategy of enlargement - enlargement of the world's free community of market democracies." This strategy
"must combine our broad goals of fostering democracy and markets with our more traditional geostrategic interests," noting that, "[o]ther American
interests at times will require us to befriend and even defend non-democratic states for mutually beneficial reasons."  In other words, nothing has
changed, save the rhetoric: the interest of American power is in "enlarging" America's economic and political domination of the world.
In 1997, Brzezinski published a book outlining his strategic vision for America's role in the world, entitled The Grand Chessboard. He wrote that
"the chief geopolitical prize" for America was 'Eurasia,' referring to the connected landmass of Asia and Europe: "how America 'manages' Eurasia is
critical. Eurasia is the globe's largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most
advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail African
subordination." The "twin interests" of the United States, wrote Brzezinski, were, "in the short-term preservation of its unique global power and in
the long-run transformation of it into increasingly institutionalized global cooperation." Brzezinski then wrote:
To put it in a terminology that hearkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to
prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from
The officials from the George H.W. Bush administration who drafted the 1992 Defense Policy Guidance report spent the Clinton years in neoconservative think
tanks, such as the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Essentially using the 1992 document as a blueprint, the PNAC published a report in 2000
entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces, and Resources for a New Century. In contrast to previous observations from strategists
like Brzezinski and Scowcroft, the neocons were not opposed to implementing large-scale wars, declaring that, "the United States must retain sufficient
forces able to rapidly deploy and win multiple simultaneous large-scale wars." The report stated that there was a "need to retain sufficient combat forces
to fight and win, multiple, nearly simultaneous major theatre wars" and that "the Pentagon needs to begin to calculate the force necessary to protect,
independently, US interests in Europe, East Asia and the Gulf at all times."
Drafted by many of the neocons who would later lead the United States into the Iraq war (including Paul Wolfowitz), the report recommended that the United
States establish a strong military presence in the Middle East: "the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional
security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf
transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."
When the Bush administration came to power in 2001, it brought in a host of neoconservatives to key foreign policy positions, including Paul Wolfowitz,
Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. As one study noted, "among the 24 Bush appointees who have been most closely identified as neocons or as close to them,
there are 27 links with conservative think tanks, 19 with their liberal counterparts and 20 with 'neocon' think tanks," as well as 11 connections with the
Council on Foreign Relations.
The 2002 U.S. National Security Strategy announced by the Bush administration, thereafter referred to as the "Bush doctrine," which included the usual
rhetoric about democracy and freedom, and then established the principle of "preemptive war" and unilateral intervention for America's War of Terror,
noting: "the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively. The United States will not use force in all cases to preempt emerging threats, nor should
nations use preemption as a pretext for aggression. Yet in an age where the enemies of civilization openly and actively seek the world's most destructive
technologies, the United States cannot remain idle while dangers gather." The doctrine announced that the U.S. "will constantly strive to enlist the
support of the international community, [but] we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively
A fusion of neoconservative and traditional liberal internationalist "policy-oriented intellectuals" was facilitated in 2006 with the release of a report
by the Princeton Project on National Security (PPNS), Forging a World of Liberty Under Law: U.S. National Security in the 21st Century,
co-directed by G. John Ikenberry and Anne-Marie Slaughter. Ikenberry was a professor at Princeton and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International
Affairs. He had previously served in the State Department Policy Planning staff in the administration of George H.W. Bush, was a senior associate at the
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Anne-Marie
Slaughter was Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, has served on the board of the Council on Foreign Relations, the New
America Foundation, the National Endowment for Democracy, New American Security, the Truman Project, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies
(CSIS), and has also served on the boards of McDonald's and Citigroup, as well as often being a State Department adviser.
While the Bush administration and the neoconservatives within it had articulated a single vision of a 'global war on terror,' the objective of the
Princeton Project's report was to encourage the strategic acknowledgement of multiple, conflicting and complex threats to American power. Essentially, it
was a project formed by prominent intellectual elites in reaction to the myopic and dangerous vision and actions projected by the Bush administration; a
way to re-align strategic objectives based upon a more coherent analysis and articulation of the interests of power. One of its main critiques was against
the notion of "unilateralism" advocated in the Bush Doctrine and enacted with the Iraq War. The aim of the report, in its own words, was to "set forth
agreed premises or foundational principles to guide the development of specific national security strategies by successive administrations in coming
The Honourary Co-Chairs of the Project report were Anthony Lake, Clinton's former National Security Adviser, and George P. Shultz, former U.S. Secretary of
Labor and Secretary of the Treasury in the Nixon administration, U.S. Secretary of State in the Reagan administration, president of Bechtel Corporation,
and was on the International Advisory Council of JP Morgan Chase, a director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a member of the Hoover
Institution, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and was on the boards of a number of corporations.
Among the co-sponsors of the project (apart from Princeton) were: the Brookings Institution, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace, the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Oxford, Stanford, the German Marshall Fund, and the Hoover Institution, among
others. Most financing for the Project came from the Woodrow Wilson School/Princeton, the Ford Foundation, and David M. Rubenstein, one of the world's
richest billionaires, co-founder of the global private equity firm the Carlyle Group, on the boards of Duke University, the Brookings Institution, the
Council on Foreign Relations, President of the Economic Club of Washington, and the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum. 
Among the "experts" who participated in the Project were: Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Eliot Cohen, Francis Fukuyama, Leslie Gelb, Richard Haas,
Robert Kagan, Jessica Tuchman Matthews, Joseph S. Nye, James Steinberg, and Strobe Talbott, among many others. Among the participating institutions were:
Princeton, Harvard, Yale, CSIS, the Brookings Institution, Council on Foreign Relations, Carnegie Endowment, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, World Bank,
the State Department, National Security Council, Citigroup, Ford Foundation, German Marshall Fund, Kissinger Associates, the Scowcroft Group, Cato
Institute, Morgan Stanley, Carlyle Group. Among the participants in the Project were no less than 18 members of the Council on Foreign Relations, 10
members of the Brookings Institution, 6 members of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and several representatives from foreign governments,
including Canada, Australia, and Japan.
The Road to "Hope" and "Change"
After leaving the Clinton administration, Madeleine Albright founded her own consulting firm in 2001, The Albright Group, since re-named the Albright
Stonebridge Group, co-chaired by Albright and Clinton's second National Security Adviser Samuel Berger, advising multinational corporations around the
world. Albright is also chair of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment firm which focuses on 'emerging markets.' Albright is also on the board of
directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, is a professor at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, chairs the National Democratic Institute
for International Affairs, the Pew Global Attitudes Project, and is president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation. She is also on the board of trustees of
the Aspen Institute, a member of the Atlantic Council, and in 2009 was recruited by NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to chair the 'group of
experts' tasked with drafting NATO's New Strategic Concept for the world.
Kissinger, Scowcroft, and Albright are not the only prominent "former" statespersons to have established consulting firms for large multinational
conglomerates, as the far less known Brzezinski Group is also a relevant player, "a consulting firm that provides strategic insight and advice to
commercial and government clients," headed by Zbig's son, Ian Brzezinski. Ian is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and also sits on its Strategic
Advisors Group, having previously served as a principal at Booz Allen Hamilton, a major global consulting firm. Prior to that, Ian Brzezinski was Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO Policy in the Bush administration, from 2001 to 2005, and had previously served for many years on
Capitol Hill as a senior staff member in the Senate. Zbigniew Brzezinski's other son, Mark Brzezinski, is currently the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden, having
previously been a corporate and securities associate at Hogan & Hartson LLP, after which he served in Bill Clinton's National Security Council from
1999 to 2001. Mark Brzezinski was also an advisor to Barack Obama during his first presidential campaign starting in 2007. Among other notable advisors to
Obama during his presidential campaign were Susan Rice, a former Clinton administration State Department official (and protégé to Madeleine
Albright), as well as Clinton's former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake. 
No less significant was the fact that Zbigniew Brzezinski himself was tapped as a foreign policy advisor to Obama during the presidential campaign. In
August of 2007, Brzezinski publically endorsed Obama for president, stating that Obama "recognizes that the challenge is a new face, a new sense of
direction, a new definition of America's role in the world." He added: "Obama is clearly more effective and has the upper hand. He has a sense of what is
historically relevant and what is needed from the United States in relationship to the world." Brzezinski was quickly tapped as a top foreign policy
advisor to Obama, who delivered a speech on Iraq in which he referred to Brzezinski as "one of our most outstanding thinkers." According to an Obama
campaign spokesperson, Brzezinski was primarily brought on to advise Obama on matters related to Iraq. 
Thus, it would appear that Brzezinski may not have been exaggerating too much when he told the Congressional publication, The Hill, in January of
2013 that, "I really wasn't at all conscious of the fact that the defeat of the Carter administration somehow or another affected significantly my own
standing... I just kept doing my thing minus the Office of the National Security Adviser in the White House." While Brzezinski had advised subsequent
presidents Reagan and Bush Sr., and had close ties with key officials in the Clinton administration (notably his former student and NSC aide Madeleine
Albright), he was "shut out of the George W. Bush White House" when it was dominated by the neoconservatives, whom he was heavily critical of, most
especially in response to the Iraq War. 
In the first four years of the Obama administration, Brzezinski was much sought out for advice from Democrats and Republicans alike. On this, he stated:
"It's more a case of being asked than pounding on the doors... But if I have something to say, I know enough people that I can get in touch with to put [my
thoughts] into circulation." When Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited Washington, D.C. in early 2013, Brzezinski was invited to a special dinner hosted
by the Afghan puppet leader, of which he noted: "I have a standard joke that I am on the No. 2 or No. 3 must-visit list in this city... That is to say, if
a foreign minister or an ambassador or some other senior dignitary doesn't get to see the President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the
National Security Adviser, then I'm somewhere on that other list as a fallback."
Today, Zbigniew Brzezinski is no small player on the global scene. Not only is he an occasional and unofficial adviser to politicians, but he remains in
some of the main centers of strategic planning and power in the United States. Brzezinski's background is fairly well established, not least of all due to
his role as National Security Adviser and his part in the creation of the Trilateral Commission with David Rockefeller in 1973. Brzezinski was also (and
remains) a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and was a director of the CFR from 1972 to 1977. Today, he is a member of the CFR with his son Mark
Brzezinski and his daughter Mika Brzezinski, a media personality on CNBC. Brzezinski is a Counselor and Trustee of the Center for Strategic and
International Studies (CSIS), and he is also co-Chair (with Carla A. Hills) of the Advisory Board of CSIS, composed of international and US business
leaders and current and former government officials, including: Paul Desmarais Jr. (Power Corporation of Canada), Kenneth Duberstein (Duberstein Group),
Dianne Feinstein (U.S. Senator), Timothy Keating (Boeing), Senator John McCain, Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, and top officials from Chevron, Procter
& Gamble, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Exxon Mobil, Toyota, and United Technologies.
And now we make our way to the Obama administration, the promised era of "hope" and "change;" or something like that. Under Obama, the two National
Security Advisors thus far have been General James L. Jones and Tom Donilon. General Jones, who was Obama's NSA from 2009 to 2010, previously and is now
once again a trustee with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Just prior to becoming National Security Advisor, Jones was president
and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy, after a career rising to 32nd commandant of the Marine
Corps and commander of U.S. European Command. He was also on the boards of directors of Chevron and Boeing, resigning one month prior to taking up his post
in the Obama administration.
Shortly after Jones first became National Security Advisor, he was speaking at a conference in February of 2009 at which he stated (with tongue-in-cheek),
"As the most recent National Security Advisor of the United States, I take my daily orders from Dr. Kissinger, filtered down through General Brent
Scowcroft and Sandy Berger... We have a chain of command in the National Security Council that exists today." Although said in jest, there is a certain
truth to this notion. Yet, Jones only served in the Obama administration from January 2009 to October of 2010, after which he returned to more familiar
Apart from returning as a trustee to CSIS, Jones is currently the chairman of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security and is on the board and
executive committee of the Atlantic Council (he was previously chairman of the board of directors from 2007 to 2009). Jones is also on the board of the
East-West Institute, and in 2011 served on the board of directors of the military contractor, General Dynamics. General Jones is also the president of his
own international consulting firm, Jones Group International. The Group's website boasts "a unique and unrivaled experience with numerous foreign
governments, advanced international relationships, and an understanding of the national security process to develop strategic plans to help clients succeed
in challenging environments." A testimonial of Jones' skill was provided by Thomas Donohue, the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: "Few
leaders possess the wisdom, depth of experience, and knowledge of global and domestic economic and military affairs as General Jones."
Obama's current NSA, Thomas E. Donilon, was previously deputy to General James Jones, and worked as former Assistant Secretary of State and chief of staff
to Secretary of State Warren Christopher in Clinton's administration. From 1999 to 2005, he was a lobbyist exclusively for the housing mortgage company
Fannie Mae (which helped create and pop the housing bubble and destroy the economy). Donilon's brother, Michael C. Donilon, is a counselor to Vice
President Joseph Biden. Donilon's wife, Cathy Russell, is chief of staff to Biden's wife, Jill Biden.  Prior to joining the Obama administration,
Thomas Donilon also served as a legal advisor to banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. 
CSIS: The 'Brain' of the Obama Administration
While serving as national security advisor, Thomas Donilon spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in November of 2012. He began
his speech by stating that for roughly half a century, CSIS has been "the intellectual capital that has informed so many of our national security policies,
including during the Obama administration... We've shared ideas and we've shared staff."
Indeed, CSIS has been an exceptionally influential presence within the Obama administration. CSIS launched a Commission on 'Smart Power' in 2006,
co-chaired by Joseph S. Nye, Jr. and Richard Armitage, with the final report delivered in 2008, designed to influence the next president of the United
States on implementing "a smart power strategy." Joseph Nye is known for - among other things - developing the concept of what he calls "soft power" to
describe gaining support through "attraction" rather than force. In the lead-up to the 2008 presidential elections, Nye stated that if Obama became
president, it "would do more for America's soft power around the world than anything else we could do."
Joseph Nye is the former Dean of the Kennedy School, former senior official in the Defense and State Departments, former Chair of the National Intelligence
Council, and a highly influential political scientist who was rated in a 2008 poll of international relations scholars as "the most influential scholar in
the field on American foreign policy," and was also named as one of the top 100 global thinkers in a 2011 Foreign Policy report. Nye is also
Chairman of the North American Group of the Trilateral Commission, is on the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the board
of trustees of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and a former director of the Institute for East-West Security Studies, the
International Institute of Strategic Studies, and a former member of the advisory committee of the Institute of International Economics.
Richard Armitage, the other co-chair of the CSIS Commission on Smart Power, is the President of Armitage International, a global consulting firm, and was
Deputy Secretary of State from 2001-2005 in the George W. Bush administration, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the
Reagan administration, and is on the boards of ConocoPhillips, a major oil company, as well as ManTech International and Transcu Group, and of course, a
trustee at CSIS.
In the Commission's final report, A Smarter, More Secure America, the term 'smart power' was defined as "complementing U.S. military and economic
might with greater investments in soft power," recommending that the United States "reinvigorate the alliances, partnerships, and institutions that serve
our interests," as well as increasing the role of "development in U.S. foreign policy" which would allow the United States to "align its own interests with
the aspirations of people around the world." Another major area of concern was that of "[b]ringing foreign populations to our side," which depended upon
"building long-term, people-to-people relationships, particularly among youth." Further, the report noted that "the benefits of free trade must be
expanded" and that it was America's responsibility to "establish global consensus and develop innovative solutions" for issues such as energy security and
climate change. 
The forward to the report was authored by CSIS president and CEO, John Hamre, who wrote: "We have all seen the poll numbers and know that much of the world
today is not happy with American leadership," with even "traditional allies" beginning to question "American values and interests, wondering whether they
are compatible with their own." Hamre spoke for the American imperial establishment: "We do not have to be loved, but we will never be able to accomplish
our goals and keep Americans safe without mutual respect." What was needed, then, was to utilize their "moment of opportunity" in order "to strike off on a
big idea that balances a wiser internationalism with the desire for protection at home." In world affairs, the center of gravity, wrote Hamre, "is shifting
to Asia." Thus, "[a]s the only global superpower, we must manage multiple crises simultaneously while regional competitors can focus their attention and
efforts." What is required is to strengthen "capable states, alliances, partnerships, and institutions." Military might, noted Hamre, while "typically the
bedrock of a nation's power," remains "an inadequate basis for sustaining American power over time."
In their summary of the report, Nye and Armitage wrote that the ultimate "goal of U.S. foreign policy should be to prolong and preserve American
preeminence as an agent for good." The goal, of course, was to 'prolong and preserve American preeminence,' whereas the notion of being 'an agent for good'
was little more than a rhetorical add-on, since for policy-oriented intellectuals like those at CSIS, American preeminence is inherently a 'good' thing,
and therefore preserving American hegemony is - it is presumed - by definition, being 'an agent for good.' Nye and Armitage suggested that the U.S. "should
have higher ambitions than being popular," though acknowledging, "foreign opinion matters to U.S. decision-making," so long as it aligns with U.S.
decisions, presumably. A "good reputation," they suggested, "brings acceptance for unpopular ventures." This was not to mark a turn away from using
military force, as was explicitly acknowledged: "We will always have our enemies, and we cannot abandon our coercive tools." Using "soft power," however,
was simply to add to America's arsenal of military and economic imperialism: "bolstering soft power makes America stronger."
Power, they wrote, "is the ability to influence the behavior of others to get a desired outcome," noting the necessity of "hard power" - military and
economic strength - but, while "[t]here is no other global power... American hard power does not always translate into influence." While technological
advances "have made weapons more precise, they have also become more destructive, thereby increasing the political and social costs of using military
force." Modern communications, they noted, "diminished the fog of war," which is to say that they have facilitated more effective communication and
management in war-time, "but also heightened the atomized political consciousness," which is to say that it has allowed populations all over the world to
gain access to information and communication outside the selectivity of traditional institutions of power.
These trends "have made power less tangible and coercion less effective." The report noted: "Machiavelli said it was safer to be feared than to be loved.
Today, in the global information age, it is better to be both." Thus, "soft power... is the ability to attract people to our side without coercion," making
"legitimacy" the central concept of soft power. As such, if nations and people believe "American objectives to be legitimate, we are more likely to
persuade them to follow our lead without using threats and bribes." Noting that America's "enemies" in the world are largely non-state actors and groups
who "control no territory, hold few assets, and sprout new leaders for each one that is killed," victory becomes problematic: "Militaries are well suited
to defeating states, but they are often poor instruments to fight ideas." Thus, victory in the modern world "depends on attracting foreign populations to
our side," of which 'soft power' is a necessity. 
Despite various "military adventures in the Western hemisphere and in the Philippines" in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, "the U.S.
military has not been put in the service of building a colonial empire in the manner of European militaries," the report read, acknowledging quite plainly
that while not a formal colonial empire, the United States was an imperial power nonetheless. Since World War II, "America has sought to promote rules and
order in a world in which life continues to be nasty, brutish, and short for the majority of inhabitants." While "the appeal of Hollywood and American
products can play a role in inspiring the dreams and desires of others," soft power is not merely cultural, but also promotes "political values" and "our
somewhat reluctant participation and leadership in institutions that help shape the global agenda." However, a more "interconnected and tolerant world" is
not something everyone is looking forward to, noted the authors: "ideas can be threatening to those who consider their way of life to be under siege by the
West," which is to say, the rest of the world. Smart power, then, "is neither hard nor soft - it is the skillful combination of both," and "means
developing an integrated strategy, resource base, and tool kit to achieve American objectives, drawing on both hard and soft power." 
Other members of the CSIS Commission on Smart Power included: Nancy Kassebaum Baker, former US Senator and member of the advisory board of the Partnership
for a Secure America; General Charles G. Boyd, former president and CEO of the Business Executives for National Security, former director of the Council on
Foreign Relations (CFR); as well as Maurice Greenberg, Thomas Pickering, David Rubenstein and Obama's newest Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel.
It's quite apparent that members of the CSIS Commission and CSIS itself would be able to wield significant influence upon the Obama administration. Joseph
Nye has even advised Hillary Clinton while she served as Secretary of State.  Perhaps then, we should not be surprised that at her Senate confirmation
hearing in January of 2009, Clinton declared the era of "rigid ideology" in diplomacy to be at an end, and the foreign policy of "smart power" to be
exercised, that she would make decisions based "on facts and evidence, not emotions or prejudice."
Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Clinton declared: "We must use what has been called smart power, the full range of tools at our disposal -
diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal, and cultural - picking the right tool, or combination of tools, for each situation." She quoted the
ancient Roman poet Terence, "in every endeavor, the seemly course for wise men is to try persuasion fir