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Paul Wolfowitz


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Order: 10th President of the World Bank
Term of Office: June 1, 2005 – present
Predecessor: James Wolfensohn
Date of Birth December 22, 1943
Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York
Spouse: Clare Selgin Wolfowitz (Separated)
Profession: Bureaucrat, University Professor
Political Party: Republican
U.S. President: George W. Bush

Paul Dundes Wolfowitz (born December 22, 1943) is an American academic and political figure. Wolfowitz is a polarizing and controversial figure both within the United States and abroad. He is often seen as a leading proponent of the 2003 Iraq War and architect of the ambitious foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration known as the Bush Doctrine. His views are often characterized as representing a modern American philosophy of neoconservatism. He is currently President of the World Bank.


[edit] Early life and education

Paul Wolfowitz was the second child of Jacob Wolfowitz and Lillian Dundes. He grew up in the university town of Ithaca, New York, where his father was an eminent Professor of Statistics at Cornell University.

Jacob Wolfowitz was a Polish national of Jewish descent who fled to the U.S.A. with his parents in 1920 to escape persecution. Many of Wolfowitz’s relatives left behind in Poland were to die in The Holocaust. James Mann, in Rise of the Vulcans, says that Jacob Wolfowitz "was a committed Zionist throughout his life and, in later years, was also active in organizing protests against Soviet repression of dissidents and minorities".

Jacob Wolfowitz took his family with him when he taught sabbatical semesters at UCLA and the University of Illinois, and in 1957, at the age of 14, Wolfowitz spent a year living in Israel while his father was teaching at Haifa University; Wolfowitz’s sister would later emigrate permanently to Israel. In 1961 Wolfowitz graduated from Ithaca High School, where he had worked on the Tattler student newspaper. Wolfowitz was excused from military service in the Vietnam War through student deferments in order to pursue his academic studies, this has lead critics to dub him as a chickenhawk.

[edit] Cornell University

Wolfowitz was expected to follow in his father’s footsteps and in 1961 he won a full scholarship to Cornell University that, according to Mann, despite his own personal desire to go to Harvard University, his father said was too good a bargain to turn down.

Professor Allan Bloom, Wolfowitz's mentor at Cornell

Wolfowitz was a member of the Telluride Association, of which his sister had been the first female member. The organization founded in 1910 aims to foster an everyday synthesis of self-governance and intellectual inquiry that enables students to develop their potential for leadership and public service. The students receive free room and board in the Telluride House on the Cornell campus and learn about democracy through the practice of running the house, hiring staff, supervising maintenance and organizing seminars.

In 1963 professor of philosophy Allan Bloom served as a faculty member living in the house and would have a major influence on Wolfowitz's political views with his assertion of the importance of political regimes in shaping peoples’ characters. That same year Wolfowitz joined the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom lead by Martin Luther King, Jr.. According to Mann, Jacob Wolowitz did not take well to his son’s new found passion or his mentor Bloom, Wolfowitz “reflected that his father and Bloom regarded each other with a mixture of wariness and admiration”.

Wolfowitz graduated in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and chemistry, and got a taste of government work as a managment intern at the U.S. Bureau of the Budget. Ignoring his fathers advice against pursuing a path in pure politics, suggesting economics as a possible compromise, Wolfowitz decided to go on to graduate school to study politics.

[edit] University of Chicago

Wolfowitz chose the University of Chicago, over his long-term favorite Harvard, as he wanted the chance to study under Bloom's mentor Leo Strauss who was teaching there at the time and who, according to Mann, he thought "was a unique figure, an irreplaceable asset."

Wolfowitz enrolled in a couple Strauss's courses on Plato and Montesquieu but, according to Mann, they "did not become especially close," as the aging professor was winding down his career and was to retire before Wolfowitz graduated. Fellow student Peter Wilson confirms that "Wolfowitz didn't talk much about Strauss in those days," but as Mann points out, "in subsequent years colleagues both in government and academia came to view Wolfowitz as one of the heirs to Leo Strauss's intellectual traditions." This legacy is discussed further in Political Views: Strausianism.

Instead Wolfowitz came under the tutelage of Professor Albert Wohlstetter who had studied mathematics with Wolfowitz's father at Columbia University and was according to Mann "the sort of scholar of whom the mathematician Jacob Wolfowitz would have approved." Wohlstetter instilled in his students the importance of maintaining US supremacy through advanced weaponry. Wohlstetter feared that plutonium produced as a by-product of U.S.-sponsored nuclear-powered desalination plants to be built near the Israeli-Egyptian border could be used in a nuclear weapons program. He returned from a trip to Israel with a number of Hebrew language documents on the program that he handed over to Wolfowitz, these would form the basis of Wolfowitz's doctoral dissertation.

In the summer of 1969 Wohlstetter arranged for his students Wolfowitz and Wilson, along with an old acquaintance Richard Perle, to join the Committee to Maintain A Prudent Defense Policy in Washington D.C. Set up by Cold War architects Paul Nitze and Dean Acheson, the lobbying group was designed to maintain support in the U.S. Congress for the antiballistic missile (ABM) system. The opposition to ABM in congress had started employing scientific experts to argue against the system so Nitze and Acheson turned to Wohlstetter and his young protégés to counter these arguments. Together they set to work writing and distributing research papers and drafting testimony for U.S. Senator Henry M. Jackson. Nitze later wrote; “The papers they helped us produce ran rings around the misinformed papers produced by polemical and pompous scientists.” Senate eventually approved ABM by 51 votes to 50. U.S. President Richard Nixon would however later sign-up to the ABM Treaty restricting the construction of such systems.

From 1970-72 Wolfowitz taught at Yale University where one of his students was Lewis Libby who would become a long-term political associate. At this time Wolfowitz was also a regular speaker at Social Democrats USA conferences alongside so-called Shachtmanites such as Irving Kristol and Jeane Kirkpatrick. In 1972 Wolfowitz earned his doctorate in political science with a thesis on the dangers posed by the nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. In particular he highlighted:

  • The inefficiencies of international nuclear inspections.
  • The risk of materials being diverted to clandestine weapons programs.
  • The dangers of aiding a nation to develop nuclear technologies.

All these factors would reappear in his later analysis of Iraq.

[edit] U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

In 1972 U.S. President Richard Nixon under pressure from U.S. Senator Henry M. Jackson, who was unhappy with the SALT I strategic arms limitations talks and the policy of détente, dismissed the head of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) and replaced him with Fred Ikle. Ikle brought in a completely new team including Wolfowitz, who had been recommended by his old tutor Albert Wohlstetter. Wolfowitz once again set to work writing and distributing research papers and drafting testimony, as he had previously done at the Committee to Maintain A Prudent Defence Policy. He also traveled with Ikle to strategic arms limitations talks in Paris and other European cities. His greatest success was in dissuading South Korea from reprocessing plutonium that could be diverted into a clandestine weapons program, a situation that would re-occur north of the border during the George W. Bush administration.

Under U.S. President Gerald Ford the American intelligence agencies had come under attack from Professor Wohlstetter amongst others over their annually published National Intelligence Estimate. According to Mann; "The underlying issue was whether the C.I.A. and other agencies were underestimating the threat from the Soviet Union, either by intentionally tailoring intelligence to support Kissenger's policy of détente or by simply failing to give enough weight to darker interpretations of Soviet intentions.” In an attempt counter these claims, the newly appointed Director of Central Intelligence, George H.W. Bush authorized the formation of a committee of anti-communist experts headed by Richard Pipes to reassess the raw data. Wolfowitz, who was still employed by the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, was assigned to this commitee, which came to be known as Team B. According to Mann “Wolfowitz viewed himself as Kissinger's opposite, his adversary in the realm of ideas.”

The team's report delivered in 1976, and quickly leaked to the press, stated that; "All the evidence points to an undeviating Soviet commitment to what is euphemistically called the 'worldwide triumph of socialism,' but in fact connotes global Soviet hegemony," before going on to highlight a number of key areas where they believed the 'professional' analysts had got it wrong. Wolfowitz has since claimed; "The B-Team demonstrated that it was possible to construct a sharply different view of Soviet motivation from the consensus view of the analysts, and one that provided a much closer fit to the Soviet's observed behavior." The conclusions of Team B have since been proven to be for the most part highly inaccurate worst-case scenarios but they did prove to be highly effective in discrediting the policy of détente and the SALT II strategic arms limitations talks and won over U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and future U.S. President Ronald Reagan giving Wolfowitz two very influential allies. Another invaluable ally was Harvard University graduate student Francis Fukuyama whom Wolfowitz invited to work for him as an intern over that summer.

[edit] U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Regional Programs

In 1977 under U.S. President Jimmy Carter Wolfowitz made the move to the Pentagon to broaden his experience of military issues as, according to Mann, he believed; “The key to preventing nuclear wars was to stop conventional wars.” Wolfowitz was employed as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Regional Programs for the U.S. Defense Department under then U.S. Secretary of Defense Harold Brown where he was put to work on the Limited Contingency Study, ordered to examine possible areas of threat to the U.S. in the third world.

One of the first seminars Wolfowitz attended after taking up the post was given by Professor Geoffrey Kemp of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in which it was argued that the U.S. was concentrating too much on defending against the possibility of a Soviet invasion of Europe through the Fulda Gap in Germany and ignoring the far more likely possibility of them turning southward to seize the oil fields of the Persian Gulf. “This warning struck a chord with Wolfowitz,” according to Mann, as it “fit well with the conclusion he had just reached in the Team B intelligence review.” Wolfowitz hired Kemp and Dennis Ross a Soviet specialist from the University of California to work with him on preparing the study. “We and our major industrialized allies have a vital and growing stake in the Persian Gulf region because of our need for Persian Gulf oil and because events in the Persian Gulf affect the Arab-Israeli conflict,” the report stated, going on to conclude that Soviet seizure of the Persian Gulf oil field would “probably destroy NATO and the US-Japanese alliance without recourse to war by the Soviets.”

Wolfowitz then took the study one step further by questioning what would happen if another country in the region were to seize the oil field. He quickly identified that “Iraq has become the militarily pre-eminent in the Persian Gulf,” which was “a worrisome development” because of its:

  • Radical-Arab stance
  • Anti-Western attitudes
  • Dependence on Soviet arms sales
  • Willingness to foment trouble in other local nations

The study concluded “Iraq’s implicit power will cause currently moderate local powers to accommodate themselves to Iraq” and that “Iraq may in the future use her military forces against such states as Kuwait or Saudi Arabia.” To solve this the US must “be able to defend the interests of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and ourselves against an Iraqi invasion or show of force,” and make manifest its “capabilities and commitments to balance Iraq’s power,” requiring “an increased visibility for U.S. power.” As Mann explains “Iraq was a subject to which Wolfowitz would return over and over again during his career.”

According to Ross “no one believed that Iraq posed a serious or immanent threat to the Saudis,” but Wolfowitz had told him; “When you look at contingencies, you don’t focus only on the likelihood of the contingency but also on the severity of its consequences.” Brown felt differently, worried that if the report leaked it would damage U.S. relations with Iraq and destabilize Saudi Arabia, but the study did however have eventual effect. “The whole thrust of the study” according to Ross, “was to say that [the U.S.] had a big problem, that it would take us a long time to get any significant military force into the area.” The study’s recommendations laid the groundwork for what would become the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), conceived as Rapid Deployment Forces for the Persian Gulf, it would go on to play a key role in the 1991 Gulf War after the study’s prediction apparently came true and the subsequent 2003 invasion of Iraq for which Wolfowitz was a major driving force.

In late 1979 Jeanne Kirkpatrick began a migration of neoconservatives from their traditional base in the U.S. Democratic Party over to the U.S. Republican Party and its Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan. Wolfowitz joined this exodus after receiving a phone call from his old boss Fred Ikle, then working on the Reagan campaign, in which he said “Paul, you’ve got to get out of there. We want you in the new administration.” A short time later, in early 1980, Wolfowitz resigned from the Pentagon and went to work as a visiting professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University.

[edit] U.S. State Department Director of Policy Planning

In 1981, following the election of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, the newly appointed U.S. National Security Advisor Richard V. Allen was put in charge of putting together the administrations foreign policy advisory team. Allen initially rejected Wolfowitz’s appointment; “He had worked for Carter. I thought he was a Carter guy,” Allen later recalled; “He was goner, as far as I was concerned,” but following discussions, instigated by former colleague John Lehman, Allen offered him the position of Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. State Department. In this position Wolfowitz and his newly selected staff, that included Lewis Libby, Francis Fukuyama, Dennis Ross, Alan Keyes, Zalmay Khalizad, Stephen Sestanovich and James Roche, would be responsible for defining the administrations long-term foreign goals.

Reagan’s foreign policy had been heavily influenced by a 1979 article in Commentary by Jeanne Kirkpatrick titled Dictatorships and Double Standards. In the article, written in the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution, Kirkpatrick had argued that; “We seem to accept the status quo in Communist nations (in the name of ‘diversity’ and national autonomy) but not in nations ruled by ‘right-wing’ dictators or white oligarchies,” pointing out that the regimes that the Carter administration had pushed for democratic reforms “turn out to be those in which non-Communist autocracies are under pressure from revolutionary guerillas,” such as key Cold War allies Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran and Anastasio Somoza Debayle, dictator of Nicaragua. “Although most governments in the world are, as they always have been, autocracies of one kind or another, no idea hold greater sway in the mind of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize governments, anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances,” a belief which Kirkpatrick disagreed with as; “Decades, if not centuries, are normally required for people to acquire the necessary disciplines and habits.” This is known as the Kirkpatrick Doctrine

Wolfowitz famously broke from this official line by denouncing Saddam Hussein of Iraq at a time when Donald Rumsfeld, acting as Reagan's official envoy, was offering the dictator support in his conflict with Iran. As James Mann points out "quite a few neo-conservatives, like Wolfowitz, believed strongly in democratic ideals; they had taken from the philosopher Leo Strauss the notion that there is a moral duty to oppose a leader who is a 'tyrant.'" Other areas where Wolfowitz disagreed with the administration was in his opposition to attempts to open up dialogue with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and to the sale of Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft to Saudi Arabia. "In both instances," according to Mann "Wolfowitz demonstrated himself to be one of the strongest supporters of Israel in the Reagan administration."

According to Mann however; "It was on China that Wolfowitz launched his boldest challenge to the established order." Ever since Nixon and Kissinger had gone to China in the early 70s it had been U.S. policy to make concessions to China as an essential Cold War ally. The Chinese were now pushing for the U.S. to end arms sales to Taiwan and Wolfowitz used this as an opportunity to undermine the Kissingerian policy. Wolfowitz advocated a unilateralist policy claiming that the U.S. didn’t need China’s assistance, and in fact that Chinese needed the U.S. to protect them against the far more likely prospect of a Soviet invasion of China. Wolfowitz soon came into conflict with U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig, who had been Kissinger’s assistant at the time of the visits to China. “Paul D. Wolfowitz, the director of policy planning... will be replaced,” reported the March 30th 1982 issue of the New York Times as “Mr. Haig found Mr. Wolfowitz too theoretical.” This report proved to be untrue and on June 25th George Schultz replaced Haig as U.S. Secretary of State and Wolfowitz was promoted.

[edit] U.S. State Department Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

In 1982 Wolfowitz was appointed Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs by new U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz who would become an influential mentor. At the time the Reagan’s foreign policy was beset with difficulties caused by conflict between Schultz and U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Wolfowitz was able to turn this to his favor by forming a powerful alliance with Weinberger’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia Richard Armitage and Gaston Sigur of the National Security Council. Between them these three men controlled the administration’s policy for Asia.

Jeanne Kirkpatrick, on a visit to the Philippines, had been eagerly welcomed by the dictator Ferdinand Marcos who quoted heavily from her 1979 Commentary article Dictatorships and Double Standards and although Kirkpatrick had been forced to speak-out in favor of democracy the article continued to influence Reagan’s policy toward Marcos. Following the assassination of Philippine opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr. in 1983 many within the Reagan administration including the President himself began to fear that the Philippines could fall to the communists and the U.S. military would lose it’s strongholds at Clark Air Force Base and Subic Bay Naval Station. Wolfowitz took this opportunity to re-orientate the administration’s policy, stating in an April 15th 1985 article in The Wall Street Journal that; The best antidote to Communism is democracy. This was already the administration’s policy in Eastern Europe and Wolfowitz has since argued that; “You can’t use democracy, as appropriately you should, as a battle with the Soviet Union, and turn around and be completely hypocritical about it when it’s on your side of the line.”

Wolfowitz claims that this policy did not deviate from that lain out by Kirkpatrick in her 1979 article as the “necessary disciplines and habits” she wrote of were already in place. “When we went to work on Marcos, it was not to dismantle the institutions of the Philippines; it was actually to get him to stop dismantling them himself,” Wolfowitz later argued of the specifics of the policy; “Military reform, economic reform, getting rid of crony capitalism, relying on the church, political reform: It was very institutionally oriented.” In pursuance of this policy Wolfowitz and his assistant Lewis Libby made trips to Manila where they called for democratic reforms and met with non-communist opposition leaders but the approach was still very soft. As Wolfowitz later explained; “If we had said, ‘We are enemies of the Marcos regime. We want to see it’s demise rather than reform,’ we would have lost all influence in Manila and would have created a situation highly polarized between a regime that had hunkered down and was prepared to do anything to survive and a population at loose ends,” that would have strengthened the communists. So at the same time Wolfowitz also fought against moves by the U.S. Congress to end military aide to the Marcos regime.

As Mann point out “the Reagan administration’s decision to support democratic government in the Philippines had been hesitant, messy, crisis-driven and skewed by the desire to do what was necessary to protect the American military instillations,” but it did eventually pay-off when, following massive street protests, Marcos fled the country on a U.S. Air Force plane and Reagan reluctantly recognized the government of Corazón Aquino. Wolfowitz has since claimed that this demonstrates that democracy “needs the prodding of the U.S.” but critic Noam Chomsky dismisses this in Hegemony or Survival (2003) stating that the Reagan Administration “backed Marcos until he could no longer be sustained in the face of popular opposition joined even by the business classes and the army.” Wolfowitz’s commitment to democracy would be put to the test in his next posting.

[edit] U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia

Wolfowitz at press conference in Jakarta

From 1986-89 Wolfowitz was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia while General Suharto was still dictator. Of Wolfowitz's time as Ambassador former foreign policy adviser Dewi Fortuna Anwar told ABC News that "he was extremely able and very much admired and well-liked on a personal level, but he never intervened to push human rights or stand up to corruption."[1]

After Suharto stood down in 1998 Wolfowitz himself stated that the General was guilty "of suppressing political dissent, of weakening alternative leaders and of showing favoritism to his children's business deals, frequently at the expense of sound economic policy" while ABC News clarifies that "at the time, thousands of leftists detained after the 1965 U.S.-backed military coup that brought Suharto to power were still languishing in jail without trial." ABC News goes on to claim that "tens of thousands of people in East Timor a country Suharto's troops occupied in 1975 died during the 1980s in a series of army anti-insurgency offensives." Director of the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development Binny Buchori told ABC News Wolfowitz " went to East Timor and saw abuses going on, but then kept quiet."

Perhaps most significantly considering Wolfowitz’s current position is ABC News' claim that "during his 32-year reign, Suharto, his family and his military and business cronies transformed Indonesia into one of the most graft-ridden countries in the world, plundering an estimated $30 billion", much of this money is believed to have come from Wolfowitz new employers, the World Bank. Binny Buchori says that Wolfowitz "never alluded to any concerns about the level of corruption or the need for more transparency." Officials involved in the AID program during Wolfowitz's tenure told The Washington Post that he "took a keen personal interest in development, including health care, agriculture and private sector expansion"[2] and that "Wolfowitz canceled food assistance to the Indonesian government out of concern that Suharto's family, which had an ownership interest in the country's only flour mill, was indirectly benefiting." According to The Washington Post Wolfowitz gave a farewell speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Jakarta in which he stated that "the cost of the high-cost economy remains too high, for the private sector to flourish, special privilege must give way to equal opportunity and equal risk for all." Wolfowitz has since stated in The Wall Street Journal "that he [Suharto] allowed this, and that he amassed such wealth himself, is all the more mysterious since he lived a relatively modest life."

While The Washington Post has "Wolfowitz's colleagues and friends, both Indonesian and American" pointing to the "U.S. envoy's quiet pursuit of political and economic reforms in Indonesia" Binny Buchori denies this stating that "he was an effective diplomat, but he gave no moral support for dissidents." ABC News quotes the head of the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission Abdul Hakim Garuda Nusantara as saying "of all former U.S. ambassadors, he was considered closest to and most influential with Suharto and his family, but he never showed interest in issues regarding democratization or respect of human rights. Wolfowitz never once visited our offices. I also never heard him publicly mention corruption, not once." Dewi Fortuna Anwar suggests that "at the time, Washington didn't care too much about human rights and democracy; it was still the Cold War and they were only concerned about fighting communism," Jeffrey Winters from Northwestern University goes even further by stating in The Guardian that Wolfowitz "had his chance, and he toed the Reagan hawkish line."[3]

However in Wolfowitz's May 1989 farewell remarks at Jakarta's American Cultural Center he stated that "if greater openness is a key to economic success, I believe there is increasingly a need for openness in the political sphere as well." As The Washington Post goes on to explain "this single, unexpected sentence stunned some members of Suharto's inner circle." Wolfowitz has stated in an article he wrote in The Wall Street Journal following the Indonesian 1998 Revolution that Suharto blaimed this "plea for greater political openness" as "the cause of the violent incidents that marked Indonesia's largely stage-managed elections in 1997."[4] Jeffrey Winters dismisses this saying in The Guardian that "it is really too much to claim that he played any kind of role in leading Indonesia to democracy."

In 1997 Wolfowitz was still publicly praising Suharto's "strong and remarkable leadership" in testimony on Indonesia before the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations. In the article for The Wall Street Journal, Wolfowitz wrote that "The tragedy for Mr. Suharto and his country is that he would have been widely admired by his countrymen if he had stepped down 10 years ago." Wolfowitz goes on to explain, as his reasoning for his support, that "achieving peace among a population so diverse requires a strong leader and a unified military." In the aftermath of the 2002 Bali bombing he stated that "the reason the terrorists are successful in Indonesia is because the Suharto regime fell and the methods that were used to suppress them are gone."

[edit] U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy

From 1989-93 under U.S. President George H.W. Bush Wolfowitz served as U.S. Under-Secretary of Defense reporting to the then U.S. Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. Wolfowitz was charged with realigning U.S. military strategy in the post-cold war environment. During the 1991 Persian Gulf War Wolfowitz’s team were charged with the co-ordination and review of military strategy as well as the raising of $50 billion in allied financial support for the operation. Wolfowitz was reportedly distraught by the administrations decision to stop short of removing Saddam Hussein and the betrayal of the Kurdish and Shiite revolutionaries encouraged to rise up against their dictator that this policy entailed. In the aftermath of the war Wolfowitz wrote the Defense Planning Guidance to "set the nation’s direction for the next century" that many saw as a "blueprint for U.S. hegemony". At the time the official administration line was one of containment and the contents of Wolfowitz’s highly controversial plan that included calls for preemption and unilateralism proved unpalatable to the more moderate members of the administration including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell and the President himself, so Cheney was charged with producing the watered-down version that was finally released in 1992.

Wolfowitz fell out of favor under U.S. President Bill Clinton and left government for a short while.

[edit] Dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies

Wolfowitz at his SAIS office in 1991

From 1993-2001 returned to academia where he was dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University and was instrumental in adding more than $75 million to the endowment, adding an international finance concentration as part of the curriculum and combining the various Asian studies programs into one department. He also put his years of defense experience to good use as a paid consultant for aerospace and defense conglomerate Northrop Grumman.

[edit] Project for a New American Century

Wolfowitz however could not remain completely out of politics for long and in 1997 he became one of the charter members, alongside Donald Rumsfield, Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, Richard Perle and others, of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). William Kristol and Robert Kagan founded this neo-conservative think-tank with the stated aim of "American global leadership" through military strength. In 1998 Wolfowitz was one of the signatories of the PNAC open letter to President Bill Clinton that was highly critical of his continued policy of containing Iraq. The PNAC advocated preemptive U.S. military intervention against Iraq and other "potential aggressor states" to "protect our vital interests in the Gulf". In 2000 the PNAC produced its magnum opus the 90-page report on Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century that advocated the redeployment of U.S. troops in permanent bases in strategic locations throughout the world where they can be ready to act to protect U.S. interests abroad. The Clinton administration however remained unmoved and pressed on with containment.

[edit] The Vulcans

In the run-up to the controversial 2000 U.S. Presidential Election, Wolfowitz joined Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Richard Perle amongst others on an advisory group known as The Vulcans put together to advise Republican Party Presidential candidate George W. Bush on foreign policy.

[edit] U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense

Image:Paul Wolfowitz.jpg
Paul Wolfowitz: U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense

Wolfowitz returned to government from 2001-05 under U.S. President George W. Bush serving as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense reporting to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Almost immediately upon confirmation he leapt into action in May 2001 during the height of Sino-American tensions that surrounded the U.S.-China Spy Plane Incident. Wolfowitz defused a very tricky situation when he ordered the recall and destruction of 600,000 Chinese-made berets that had been issued to troops stating "U.S. troops shall not wear berets made in China"[5]. Apart from this peak of hubris Wolfowitz was for the most part sidelined in the early months of the administration as Bush seemed to follow the containment policies of his predecessors (although former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill denies this was the policy in Ron Suskind's book The Price of Loyalty).

[edit] 9-11 and the War on Terror

Following the terrorist attacks of 9-11 debate began within the White House as to the degrees of action to take against Al Qaeda. Certain members of President Bush's cabinet, led by Wolfowitz, readvocated pre-emptive strikes against Iraq, alongside those against terror cells in Afghanistan. Out of this came the creation of what would later be dubbed the Bush Doctrine, centring on pre-emption and a broad-based anti-terrorism campaign, as well as the war on Iraq which the PNAC advocated in their earlier letters. The Bush administration has been accused of "fixing intelligence to support policy" with the aim of influencing congress in its use of the War Powers Act. The administration continues to rhetorically connect Iraq and terrorism allegedly to influence popular opinion in support of the war. During Wolfowitz's pre-war testimony before Congress, he dismissed General Eric K. Shinseki's estimates of the size of the post war occupation force as incorrect and estimated that fewer than 100,000 troops would be necessary in the war, however the US alone was estimated to have over 140,000 troops in Iraq in October 2003. On October 26, 2003, he was in Baghdad, Iraq, for a brief official tour. While he was staying at the Al-Rashid Hotel, it was hit by several rockets fired at the building. Army Lt. Col. Charles H. Buehring [6] was killed and 17 others wounded. There was nothing to indicate that Wolfowitz was the target of the attack. Wolfowitz and his DOD staffers escaped unharmed and Wolfowitz returned to the United States on October 28.

[edit] President of the World Bank

In January 2005 Wolfowitz was nominated to be President of the World Bank. The nomination brought praise and criticism from leaders worldwide*[7]. Nobel Prize winner and former chief economist for the world bank Joseph Stiglitz has said

"The World Bank will once again become a hate figure. This could bring street protests and violence across the developing world."*[8]

In a speech at the U.N. Economic and Social Council Economist Jeffrey Sachs was quite vocal in his opposition to Wolfowitz.

"It's time for other candidates to come forward that have experience in development. This is a position on which hundreds of millions of people depend for their lives," he said. "Let's have a proper leadership of professionalism."*[9]

The Wall Street Journal commented:

"Mr. Wolfowitz is willing to speak the truth to power. He saw earlier than most, and spoke publicly about, the need for dictators to plan democratic transitions. It is the world's dictators who are the chief causes of world poverty. If anyone can stand up to the Robert Mugabes of the world, it must be the man who stood up to Saddam Hussein."*


He was finally confirmed and took up the position on June 1, 2005.

[edit] Personal life

Wolfowitz met anthropologist Clare Selgin Wolfowitz while they were both studying at Cornell University in the mid-60s. They married in 1968 and had three children. According to The Daily Mail they separated in 2001 “after allegations of an affair with an employee at the School of Advanced International Studies where he was dean for seven years” and “Clare was so upset by rumours about the affair that she wrote to then President Elect Bush, saying if the story were true it could pose a national security risk.” [11] They reportedly divorced in 2002 (although she has refused to confirm this).

Following his World Bank presidential nomination Wolfowitz was reported[12] to be in a relationship with World Bank senior gender co-ordinator Shaha Riza an Arab feminist who according to The Times “shares Wolfowitz’s passion for spreading democracy in the Arab world” and “is said to have reinforced his determination to remove Saddam Hussein’s oppressive regime.” [13]

This lent further controversy to Wolfowitz’s nomination to head-up the organisation whose regulations forbid couples to work on the staff if one reports directly to the other. The Daily Mail quotes one World Bank employee as saying that "Unless Riza gives up her job, this will be an impossible conflict of interest" and a Washington insider as saying that; "His womanising has come home to roost, Paul was a foreign policy hawk long before he met Shaha but it doesn't look good to be accused of being under the thumb of your mistress." Wolfowitz was able to overcome these objections responding that; “If a personal relationship presents a potential conflict of interest, I will comply with bank policies to resolve the issue.”

[edit] Political views

Wolfowitz is considered by many political analysts a neoconservative and possibly a Straussian known for his passionate pro-Israel advocacy and staunch support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

[edit] Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Despite his support for Israel Wolfowitz is one of the few neoconservatives in the Bush administration to have endorsed the creation of a Palestinian state. Wolfowitz has acknowledged the sufferings of the Palestinian people in their conflict with Israel, and in 2002 was heckled for expressing such views at a pro-Israel rally.

[edit] Iran

Since the 1979 Iranian Revolution Wolfowitz has been a notable backer of Iranian dissidents, including the bestselling author of Reading Lolita in Tehran Azar Nafisi.

[edit] Pre-emption

Wolfowitz has been a long-term advocate of a policy to strike first to eliminate threats but this remained contained until the terrorist attacks of 9/11 revived hawkish advocacy for defense through pre-emptive action.

[edit] Opinions on Wolfowitz

Prior to his nomination to the World Bank, Wolfowitz was described by James Mann in his 2004 book Rise of the Vulcans as "the most influential underling in Washington."

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda praised Wolfowitz after his nomination for President of the World Bank saying: "He's a great person and he is well-versed in issues regarding development in Asia."

Perhaps the most famous quote regarding Wolfowitz is one attributed by various sources to a former colleague who is reported to have said "Hawk doesn't do him justice. What about velociraptor?"

[edit] Media portrayals of Wolfowitz

The title character of the novel Ravelstein (2000) by Saul Bellow was based on Wolfowitz’s mentor at Cornell University Allan Bloom, while the character of one of his students Philip Gorman whose father is a fellow professor who comes into conflict with Ravelstein and who goes on to work for the U.S. Department of Defense is believed to be based on Wolfowitz. According to James Mann, in Rise of the Vulcans (2004), however “Wolfowitz thought that the novelist’s portrait was simply inaccurate or possibly a composite based in part on some other Bloom students and their fathers.”

Paul Wolfowitz found public prominence through his involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the subsequent Michael Moore film Fahrenheit 9/11 that criticized it. According to The Guardian “one of the most indelible moments of the film… is when Paul Wolfowitz… puts a generous dollop of spit on his comb before smoothing his hair for a television appearance.” The report, which describes Wolfowitz as the “intellectual high priest of the Bush administration's hawks”, goes on to point out; “Iffy grooming habits are the least of Wolfowitz's worries as he takes on the presidency of the World Bank.”

[edit] See also

[edit] External links


[edit] Official biographies

[edit] Unofficial biographies

[edit] Interviews

[edit] Other reports

[edit] Directory categories

[edit] Further reading

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