Yet again the Bush administration manages to put a fox in charge of guarding the henhouse. Neoconservative Paul Wolfowitz is to be chairman of the International Security Advisory Board, a key government advisory body on arms control and non-proliferation issues.
The move by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice marks a return to government for Wolfowitz, a conservative with close ties to the White House. As deputy defense secretary under President Bush, he was a major architect of the Iraq war.It beggars belief that anyone this side of Dr. Strangelove thinks this man, a charter member of the black-helicopter paranoid set who have so wrecked US foreign policy, in charge of such a body is a good idea.
Wolfowitz was replaced as World Bank chief last June after a stormy two-year tenure. His leadership was undermined by a furor over a hefty compensation package he arranged in 2005 for a bank employee who was also his girlfriend.
Wolfowitz will become chairman of the International Security Advisory Board, which reports to the secretary of state. The panel is charged with supplying independent advice on arms control, disarmament, nonproliferation and related subjects.
The portfolio includes commentary on several high-profile issues, including pending nuclear deals with India and North Korea and an offer to negotiate with Iran over its disputed nuclear program.
Wolfowitz currently is a defense and foreign policy studies expert at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington think tank.
Wolfowitz has a long track record of producing influential—and controversial—policy proposals on key aspects of U.S. defense policy: In the late 1970s, he participated on the Team B Strategic Objectives Panel, a notorious effort to reinterpret CIA intelligence on the Soviet threat that helped put the country on a confrontational path with the Soviet Union and set the stage for the Reagan arms buildup; as Dick Cheney's undersecretary of defense for policy in the Bush Sr. administration, he drafted (with I. Lewis Libby) a controversial "Defense Planning Guidance" report that is widely regarded as an early blueprint for the George W. Bush administration's preemptive defense posture and interventionist foreign policies; and he collaborated with the Project for the New American Century's advocacy campaign calling for war in Iraq. He has also been associated, along with Douglas Feith, with the work of the Office of Special Plans, the Pentagon outfit that George Tenet and others blamed for twisting the intelligence on Iraq.His former employers at Northrop Grumman and the neocon lobby who had seemed to be losing its grip on the White House will certainly be celebrating, though.