posted on Nov. 11, 2003

Who Are These (PNAC) People?


PNAC, The Project for a New American Century, was adjudged the most under-reported story of the year in late 2003. In February of that year, it had attracted the attention of the Buddhist Peace Group. Various group members studied/researched the document in preparation for a series of public PNAC study sessions, that took place throughout September. On November 15, 2003, we presented a workshop on the topic at 'The People's Assembly' in Albany, NY. It was entitled The 'Project for a New American Century' Study - Grounding Action in Research. This page is an excerpt, in outline form, of part of that presentation.


For additional background on the subject of 'Who?', please see 'Who Commissioned the PNAC and Where Did They Come From? and 'Precursors to the Project for a New American study - which includes Chomsky's (1993) discussion of the secret pentagon report written by Wolfowitz, called 'Defense Planning Guidance'.

So who are these people? Lets start with the some simple facts.

1. They are the 25 people who commissioned the 90 page report (hold up cover) that was published in 2000, entitled 'Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New American Century', and signed its 1997 'Statement of Principles' (holdup page):

Elliott Abrams, Gary Bauer, William J. Bennett, Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Eliot A. Cohen, Midge Decter, Paula Dobriansky, Steve Forbes, Aaron Friedberg, Francis Fukuyama, Frank Gaffney, Fred C. Ikle, Donald Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, I. Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz, Dan Quayle, Peter W. Rodman, Stephen P. Rosen, Henry S. Rowen, Donald Rumsfeld, Vin Weber, George Weigel, Paul Wolfowitz

2. They are its Project Co-Chairmen: Donald Kagan and Gary Schmitt, and its principal author: Thomas Donnelly.

3. They are the 27 'project participants' - individuals who "participated in at least one project meeting or contributed a paper for discussion" - a list which includes Abram Shulsky, William Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, and I. Lewis Libby:

[from REBUILDING AMERICA’S DEFENSES: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century - A Report of The Project for the New American Century, September 2000, page 90]

Roger Barnett
U.S. Naval War College

Alvin Bernstein
National Defense University

Stephen Cambone
National Defense University

Eliot Cohen
Nitze School of Advanced International
Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Devon Gaffney Cross
Donors' Forum for International Affairs

Thomas Donnelly
Project for the New American Century

David Epstein
Office of Secretary of Defense,
Net Assessment

David Fautua
Lt. Col., U.S. Army

Dan Goure
Center for Strategic and International Studies

Donald Kagan
Yale University

Fred Kagan
U. S. Military Academy at West Point

Robert Kagan
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Robert Killebrew
Col., USA (Ret.)

William Kristol
The Weekly Standard

Mark Lagon
Senate Foreign Relations Committee

James Lasswell
GAMA Corporation

I. Lewis Libby
Dechert Price & Rhoads

Robert Martinage
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment

Phil Meilinger
U.S. Naval War College

Mackubin Owens
U.S. Naval War College

Steve Rosen
Harvard University

Gary Schmitt
Project for the New American Century

Abram Shulsky
The RAND Corporation

Michael Vickers
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment

Barry Watts
Northrop Grumman Corporation

Paul Wolfowitz
Nitze School of Advanced International Studies,
Johns Hopkins University

Dov Zakheim
System Planning Corporation

The above list of individuals participated in at least one project meeting or contributed a paper for discussion. The report is a product solely of the Project for the New American Century and does not necessarily represent the views of the project participants or their affiliated institution.

4. They are the 133 signatories to the PNAC document (REBUILDING AMERICA’S DEFENSES) published in 2000. Here are the 133:

  1. listed in alphabetical order

  2. listed in a flip-down window that does a special google search of each name.

But the above lists are just the tip of the iceberg. There are countless others who were signatories to earlier drafts of the PNAC vision - the 1998 letter to Clinton, urging him to invade Iraq. And there were other similar letters written in 1996 and earlier. These precursors date back, as mentioned above, to Paul Wolfowitz 1992 'Defense Planning Guidance' document, which he authored as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy in the final days of the George HW Bush Administration.

Moreover, the principle PNAC architects not only came to play a central role in defining foreign policy for the George W. Bush administration, they were a tight-knit group that held key positions - often as Secretaries of Defense - in previous administrations: the George H.W. Bush Administration, the Reagan Administration, the Ford Administration, and the Nixon Administration. Their lineage can be traced back to the days immediately following the second World War, in which Paul Nitze - and other military hardliners who were the architects of the 'Cold War' - commandered foreign U.S. policy under the pretext of the threat of nuclear annihilation at the hands of the Soviet Union. To trace the careers and inter-relationships of the principle PNACers through the numerous administrations they served, it became necessary to map out each of the administrations in detail, and with chronologically accuracy in mind - so that questions about who was working with whom at what points in their careers could be answered definitively. Thus providing a framework against the backdrop of which the neocon lineage could be accurately mapped. The results (which were surprising) can be seen at: The Rest of the Iceberg.

Also see:

  • the Cheney page, to learn how Cheney championed a number of PNAC signatories for key positions in the George W. Bush administration.

  • the Eisenhower page, on how Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz are holders of a lineage of ideological fanatics that traces back to the Dulles brothers.

  • the Truman page, to learn how Paul Nitze, Wolfowitz's mentor, hijacked Truman foreign policy in 1950.

  • the Ford and Carter pages, to learn how Nitze and Paul Wolfowitz participated in 'Team B', a group appointed (by Director of Central Intelligence George H.W. Bush during the Ford Administration) to do an end run around the CIA and hijack Jimmy Carter's foreign policy.

  • the Gang of Four and Nixon pages, to learn how three of four Defense Secretaries from previous Republican administrations became PNAC signatories. All four worked together under Nixon: Rumsfeld (and under him, Cheney), Caspar Weinberger (and under him, Carlucci).
    This is a tight-knit group of individuals who have, in various combinations under various administrations since the days of Nixon, sought to promote the right-wing conservative agenda that failed to come to fruition when the Nixon administration collapsed under the weight of the Watergate scandal [see Elliot Richardson].

  • the Nixon page, to learn how Wolfowitz met Paul Nitze during the Nixon years, and other like-minded neocons - Richard Perle and Elliot Abrams - who served on the Senate staff of Henry "Scoop" Jackson.

  • the Reagan page, and see how many of Reagan's top cabinet members would, twenty years later, become PNAC signatories.
  • the Carlucci page, to learn how one of the Gang of Four was to become chairman of the Carlysle Group.

In 1992, in the final days of that administration, he wrote a document called 'Defense Planning Guidance'. This document was not only a precursor to PNAC (200), [3] it was a tool for undermining Clinton foreign policy (see Clinton/TeamB) in much the same way that Ford's 'Team B', commissioned by George HW Bush (then-Director of the CIA under Reagan), undermined Carter's foreign policy. Wolfowitz was a member of 'Team B'(see: Ford/TeamB) along with Paul Nitze, his mentor. Both incidents were modeled on the way that Nitze had commandeered Truman foreign policy by writing National Security Memorandum # 68 (NSC-68)


The Rest of the Iceberg