March 2015 article on neocon power couple, Victoria Nuland and Robert Kagan:
3/20/2015, "A Family Business of Perpetual War," Consortium News, Robert Parry
"Exclusive: Victoria Nuland and Robert Kagan have a
great mom-and-pop business going. From the State Department, she
generates wars and from op-ed pages he demands Congress buy more
weapons. There’s a pay-off, too, as grateful military contractors kick
in money to think tanks where other Kagans work, writes Robert Parry."
"Neoconservative pundit Robert Kagan and his wife, Assistant Secretary
of State Victoria Nuland, run a remarkable family business: she has
sparked a hot war in Ukraine and helped launch Cold War II with Russia
and he steps in to demand that Congress jack up military spending so
America can meet these new security threats.
This extraordinary husband-and-wife duo makes quite a one-two punch
for the Military-Industrial Complex, an inside-outside team that creates
the need for more military spending, applies political pressure to
ensure higher appropriations, and watches as thankful weapons
manufacturers lavish grants on like-minded hawkish Washington think
Not only does the broader community of neoconservatives stand to
benefit but so do other members of the Kagan clan, including Robert’s
brother Frederick at the American Enterprise Institute and his wife
Kimberly, who runs her own shop called the Institute for the Study of
Robert Kagan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution (which doesn’t disclose details on its funders), used his prized perch
on the Washington Post’s op-ed page on Friday to bait Republicans into
abandoning the sequester caps limiting the Pentagon’s budget, which he
calculated at about $523 billion (apparently not counting extra war
spending). Kagan called on the GOP legislators to add at least $38
billion and preferably more like $54 billion to $117 billion:
[Kagan]: “The fact that [advocates for more spending] face a steep uphill
battle to get even that lower number passed by a Republican-controlled
Congress says a lot, about Republican hypocrisy. Republicans may be
full-throated in denouncing [President Barack] Obama for weakening the
nation’s security, yet when it comes to paying for the foreign policy
that all their tough rhetoric implies, too many of them are nowhere to
“The editorial writers and columnists who have been beating up Obama
and cheering the Republicans need to tell those Republicans, and their
own readers, that national security costs money and that letters and
speeches are worse than meaningless without it.
“It will annoy the part of the Republican base that wants to see the
government shrink, loves the sequester and doesn’t care what it does to
defense. But leadership occasionally means telling people what they
don’t want to hear. Those who propose to lead the United States in the
coming years, Republicans and Democrats, need to show what kind of
political courage they have, right now, when the crucial budget
decisions are being made.”
So, the way to show “courage” in Kagan’s view is to ladle ever more
billions into the Military-Industrial Complex, thus putting money
where the Republican mouths are regarding the need to “defend Ukraine”
and resist “a bad nuclear deal with Iran.”
Yet, if it weren’t for Nuland’s efforts as Assistant Secretary of
State for European Affairs, the Ukraine crisis might not exist. A neocon
holdover who advised Vice President Dick Cheney, Nuland gained
promotions under former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and received
backing, too, from current Secretary of State John Kerry.
Confirmed to her present job in September 2013, Nuland soon undertook
an extraordinary effort to promote “regime change” in Ukraine. She
personally urged on business leaders and political activists to
challenge elected President Viktor Yanukovych.
She reminded corporate
executives that the United States had invested $5 billion in their
“European aspirations,” and she literally passed out cookies to
anti-government protesters in Kiev’s Maidan square.
Working with other key neocons, including National Endowment for
Democracy President Carl Gershman and Sen. John McCain, Nuland made
clear that the United States would back a “regime change” against
Yanukovych, which grew more likely as neo-Nazi and other right-wing
militias poured into Kiev from western Ukraine.
In early February 2014, Nuland discussed U.S.-desired changes with
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt (himself a veteran of a
“regime change” operation at the International Atomic Energy Agency,
helping to install U.S. yes man Yukiya Amano as the director-general in 2009).
Nuland treated her proposed new line-up of Ukrainian officials as if
she were trading baseball cards, casting aside some while valuing
others. “Yats is the guy,” she said of her favorite Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
Disparaging the less aggressive European Union, she uttered “Fuck the
EU” and brainstormed how she would “glue this thing” as Pyatt pondered
how to “mid-wife this thing.” Their unsecure phone call was intercepted and leaked.
Ukraine’s ‘Regime Change’
The coup against Yanukovych played out on Feb. 22, 2014, as the
neo-Nazi militias and other violent extremists overran government
buildings forcing the president and other officials to flee for their
lives. Nuland’s State Department quickly declared the new regime
“legitimate” and Yatsenyuk took over as prime minister.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had been presiding over the
Winter Olympics at Sochi, was caught off-guard by the coup next door and
held a crisis session to determine how to protect ethnic Russians and a
Russian naval base in Crimea, leading to Crimea’s secession from
Ukraine and annexation by Russia a year ago.
Though there was no evidence that Putin had instigated the Ukraine
crisis and indeed all the evidence indicated the opposite, the State
Department peddled a propaganda theme to the credulous mainstream U.S.
news media about Putin having somehow orchestrated the situation in
Ukraine so he could begin invading Europe. Former Secretary of State
(Hillary) Clinton compared Putin to Adolf Hitler.
As the new Kiev government launched a brutal “anti-terrorism
operation” to subdue an uprising among the large ethnic Russian
populations of eastern and southern Ukraine, Nuland and other American
neocons pushed for economic sanctions against Russia and demanded arms
for the coup regime. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis.”]
Amid the barrage of “information warfare” aimed at both the U.S. and
world publics, a new Cold War took shape. Prominent neocons, including
Nuland’s husband Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the Project for the New
American Century which masterminded the Iraq War, hammered home the
domestic theme that Obama had shown himself to be “weak,” thus inviting
In May 2014, Kagan published a lengthy essay in The New Republic entitled “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire,”
in which Kagan castigated Obama for failing to sustain American
dominance in the world and demanding a more muscular U.S. posture toward
According to a New York Times article
about how the essay took shape and its aftermath, writer Jason Horowitz
reported that Kagan and Nuland shared a common world view as well as
professional ambitions, with Nuland editing Kagan’s articles, including
the one tearing down her ostensible boss.
Though Nuland wouldn’t comment specifically on her husband’s attack
on Obama, she indicated that she held similar views. “But suffice to
say,” Nuland said, “that nothing goes out of the house that I don’t
think is worthy of his talents. Let’s put it that way.”
Horowitz reported that Obama was so concerned about Kagan’s assault
that the President revised his commencement speech at West Point to
deflect some of the criticism and invited Kagan to lunch at the White
House, where one source told me that it was like “a meeting of equals.”
[See Consortiumnews.com’s “Obama’s True Foreign Policy ‘Weakness.’”]
Sinking a Peace Deal
And, whenever peace threatens to break out in Ukraine, Nuland jumps
in to make sure that the interests of war are protected. Last month,
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande
hammered out a plan for a cease-fire and a political settlement, known
as Minsk-2, prompting Nuland to engage in more behind-the-scenes
maneuvering to sabotage the deal.
In another overheard conversation — in Munich, Germany — Nuland
mocked the peace agreement as “Merkel’s Moscow thing,” according to the
German newspaper Bild, citing unnamed sources, likely from the
German government which may have bugged the conference room in the
luxurious Bayerischer Hof hotel and then leaked the details.
Picking up on Nuland’s contempt for Merkel, another U.S. official called the Minsk-2 deal the Europeans’ “Moscow bullshit.” Nuland suggested that Merkel and Hollande cared only about the
practical impact of the Ukraine war on Europe: “They’re afraid of damage
to their economy, counter-sanctions from Russia.”
According to the Bild
story, Nuland also laid out a strategy for countering Merkel’s
diplomacy by using strident language to frame the Ukraine crisis.
“We can fight against the Europeans, we can fight with rhetoric against them,” Nuland reportedly said.
NATO Commander Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove was quoted as saying
that sending more weapons to the Ukrainian government would “raise the
battlefield cost for Putin.” Nuland interjected to the U.S. politicians
present that “I’d strongly urge you to use the phrase ‘defensive
systems’ that we would deliver to oppose Putin’s ‘offensive systems.’”
Nuland sounded determined to sink the Merkel-Hollande peace
initiative even though it was arranged by two major U.S. allies and was
blessed by President Obama. And, this week, the deal seems indeed to
have been blown apart by Nuland’s hand-picked Prime Minister Yatsenyuk,
who inserted a poison pill into the legislation to implement the Minsk-2
The Ukrainian parliament in Kiev added a clause that, in effect,
requires the rebels to first surrender and let the Ukrainian government
organize elections before a federalized structure is determined. Minsk-2
had called for dialogue with the representatives of these rebellious
eastern territories en route to elections and establishment of broad
autonomy for the region.
Instead, reflecting Nuland’s hard-line position, Kiev refused to
talks with rebel leaders and insisted on establishing control over these
territories before the process can move forward. If the legislation
stands, the result will almost surely be a resumption of war between
military forces backed by nuclear-armed Russia and the United States, a
very dangerous development for the world. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine’s Poison Pill for Peace Talks.”]
Not only will the Ukrainian civil war resume but so will the Cold War
between Washington and Moscow with lots of money to be made by the
Military-Industrial Complex. On Friday, Nuland’s husband, Robert Kagan,
drove home that latter point in the neocon Washington Post.
But don’t think that this unlocking of the U.S. taxpayers’ wallets is
just about this one couple. There will be plenty of money to be made by
other neocon think-tankers all around Washington, including Frederick
Kagan, who works for the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, and
his wife, Kimberly, who runs her own think tank, the Institute for the
Study of War [ISW].
According to ISW’s annual reports, its original supporters were
mostly right-wing foundations, such as the Smith-Richardson Foundation
and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, but it was later backed by a
host of national security contractors, including major ones like
General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and CACI, as well as lesser-known
firms such as DynCorp International, which provided training for Afghan
police, and Palantir, a technology company founded with the backing of
the CIA’s venture-capital arm, In-Q-Tel. Palantir supplied software to
U.S. military intelligence in Afghanistan.
Since its founding in 2007, ISW has focused mostly on wars in the
Middle East, especially Iraq and Afghanistan, including closely
cooperating with Gen. David Petraeus when he commanded U.S. forces in
those countries. However, more recently, ISW has begun reporting
extensively on the civil war in Ukraine. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Neocons Guided Petraeus on Afghan War.”]
In other words, the Family Kagan has almost a self-perpetuating,
circular business model working the inside-corridors of government
power to stimulate wars while simultaneously influencing the public
debate through think-tank reports and op-ed columns in favor of more
military spending and then collecting grants and other funding from
thankful military contractors.
To be fair, the Nuland-Kagan mom-and-pop shop is really only a
microcosm of how the Military-Industrial Complex has worked for decades:
think-tank analysts generate the reasons for military spending, the
government bureaucrats implement the necessary war policies, and the
military contractors make lots of money before kicking back some to the
think tanks — so the bloody but profitable cycle can spin again.
The only thing that makes the Nuland-Kagan operation special perhaps is that the whole process is all in the family."
Comment: America's political class has become the greatest force for human suffering the world has ever known. "Neocons"
at one time were considered fringe, lunatic Republicans. Now
they've taken over the entire political and media machine, though they
may describe themselves as "humanitarian interventionists" rather than
neocons. The Washington Post and the NY Times are on their side which is
all you really need.
News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.
Friday, January 6, 2017
Neocon power couple: Victoria 'Regime Change' Nuland's husband Robert Kagan rages from his perch at the Washington Post that billions more taxpayer dollars must be spent on weapons for endless foreign wars. The grateful include think tanks where other Kagan parasites cash in on the circular neocon business model-Parry, Consortium News, 3/20/2015
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