News Release

Bill Kristol’s Foreign Policy Record


KristolWeekly Standard editor William Kristol claimed on Twitter over the weekend: “There will be an independent candidate — an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance.” This set off a back and forth between him and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. Kristol has — like Trump — been widely mocked for a series of inaccuracies. Other “neo-conservatives,” like Robert Kagan, have backed Hillary Clinton.

JIM LOBE, jlobe at, @lobelog
Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington, D.C. bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.

His most recent piece is “The Neocon-Liberal Hawk Convergence is Worse Than I Thought.”

He recently gave a talk: “Neoconservativism in a Nutshell,” in which he states: “neoconservatives believe that spineless liberals, military weakness, diplomatic appeasement, and American isolationism are ever-present threats that must be fought against at all costs. This is an integral part of their worldview, and you can often hear it in their polemics. For them, the importance of maintaining overwhelming military power — or what they call ‘peace through strength’ — as well as constant — as well as constant American engagement, or unilateral intervention, if necessary, outside its borders, cannot be overstated.

“The latter point is particularly critical because neocons believe that, in the absence of a tangible threat to our national security, Americans naturally retreat into isolationism. As a result, they have engaged in a consistent pattern of threat-inflation — or fear-mongering — over the past 40 years, from Team B’s exaggeration of alleged Soviet preparations for nuclear war in the mid-1970s to the hyping of the various threats allegedly posed by Iraq, radical Islamists, and Iran after 9/11. … For neocons, a new Hitler is always just around the corner, and we must be in a permanent state of mobilization against him.”

Lobe notes that in 1992, “alienated by George H.W. Bush’s pressure on Israel to halt settlement activity and enter into serious peace talks after the Gulf War, many neocons opted for [Bill] Clinton. …

“It’s often said that neocons are Wilsonians devoted to the spread of democracy and liberal values. I think this is way overplayed. I agree with Zbigniew Brzezinski who has sometimes observed that when neoconservatives talk about democratization, they usually mean destabilization.” See video of Lobe’s talk.

See Rightweb’s profile of Kristol. Lobe’s colleague Eli Clifton has written extensively about neoconservative funding, for example: “Emergency Committee for Israel Spends Big on Rep. Cotton.”