Sur le site de The Guardian
Washington hawks get power boost
Rumsfeld is winning the debate
Julian Borger in Washington
Monday December 17, 2001

America's top sabre-rattlers
Donald Rumsfeld - A veteran of the cold war chosen by the vice-president, Dick Cheney, in the face of opposition from Colin Powell, now secretary of state. His radical policies and abrasive manner initially provoked resistance from the Pentagon generals. But the war on terrorism has made him the most powerful member of the cabinet and he is expanding his influence into foreign policy fields normally managed by the secretary of state.
Paul Wolfowitz
- Mr Rumsfeld's deputy, and the foremost exponent of a new war against Saddam Hussein. He is a former academic with a wide-ranging network of travellers and sympathisers, commonly referred to in Washington as the "Wolfowitz cabal".
Doug Feith
- The Pentagon's policy supremo and a former director of the Centre for Security Policy (CSP), who has led the charge for a more pro-Israel Middle East policy.
Frank Gaffney
- a former defence policy official and Rumsfeld acolyte who now runs the CSP - a thinktank and ideological seminary for young hawks. He advocates the scrapping of the Oslo peace process, the forceful promotion of the national missile defence system, and a settling of scores with Baghdad.
Richard Perle
- Known as Ronald Reagan's "prince of darkness" for his distaste for disarmament treaties, and his hawkish attitude towards the Soviet Union. Mr Perle retains an important role in the defence policy board, a Pentagon thinktank which he chairs.
John Bolton
- The hawks' man inside the state department. Despite the objections of Colin Powell, he was appointed undersecretary of state for arms control, non-proliferation and international security, even though he is a committed unilateralist who opposes global arms treaties on principle.
Zalmay Khalilzad
- the top Afghan-American in the administration. Three years ago, he signed a joint letter with Donald Rumsfeld and other hawks, calling on the Clinton administration to topple Saddam.
He is seeking to take over the Middle East portfolio when Bruce Reidel steps down later this month.

The gathering for a recent dinner at an expensive Washington hotel was officially to honour the "Keepers of the Flame" - US security officials deemed by their more conservative colleagues to have fought the good fight for bigger defence budgets and tougher policies.
It was also a celebration.
The mostly casualty-free military successes in Afghanistan have significantly boosted the power of Washington's "super-hawks" - a tight-knit group of former cold warriors who have returned from more than a decade in policy exile to grasp the levers of power once more.
"It's taken us 13 years to get here, but we've arrived," the evening's host, Frank Gaffney, the head of a hawkish Washington thinktank, declared to applause and murmurs of agreement.
The new defence establishment clustered around the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, is clearly winning the policy debate against the state department.
In the latest of a string of setbacks for Colin Powell's multilateralist approach, the secretary of state's attempts to keep negotiations going with Moscow over missile defence was abruptly brought to an end last week with the announcement that the United States would withdraw from the anti ballistic missile (ABM) treaty.
Meanwhile, the hardliners are capturing key squares on the chessboard of Washington power, at the expense of the moderates at state.
Barring a military disaster in the Afghan endgame, the Pentagon is almost certain to win its battle to pursue the war of terrorism into Iraq and suspected terrorist havens across the world.
"This is the third significant military campaign, after Desert Storm and Kosovo, in which air power has been the decisive element and where casualties have been negligible," John Pike, the chief analyst at the online security newsletter <>, said.
"To the extent that the administration now can't tell the difference between a war and a firepower display, there is a greater temptation to resort to force."
But the hawk ascendancy has had other far-reaching implications.
Significant foreign policy issues have been annexed by the Pentagon and its militant allies, including the negotiation of key international treaties and the handling of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
John Bolton - the Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz group's own man in the state department - was forced on Mr Powell despite the secretary of state's strenuous objections.
Mr Bolton is under secretary of state for arms control and international security. He serves as senior adviser to the president on non-proliferation and disarmament - a role which causes grim amusement in the state department as he opposes multilateral arms agreements on principle.
Inserted into the department to oversee the destruction of the ABM treaty, Mr Bolton was also instrumental in torpedoing international negotiations in Geneva earlier this month aimed at enforcing the toothless 1972 biological weapons convention.
Mr Powell does not have a counterweight to Mr Bolton in the Pentagon, and he is about to lose an important ally in the White House.
Bruce Reidel, a Clinton holdover who has echoed the state department's emphasis on the need to maintain an Arab coalition, is due to leave his job as head of the national security council Middle East desk next week.
The hawks' candidate to take over is Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghan-American with little experience in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, whose empire will include the Middle East, Iran and Iraq.
Three years ago, he co-signed a letter to the then president, Bill Clinton, calling on him to throw his weight wholeheartedly into an effort to topple Saddam Hussein. The letter was also signed by Mr Rumsfeld, Mr Wolfowitz, Mr Bolton and others.
And for the Washington hawks, Israel is a strategic ally which should not be bullied into giving ground - a view promoted by Doug Feith at the Pentagon, and Frank Gaffney, his former colleague at the Centre for Security Policy (CSP).
"The so-called Middle East 'peace process,' which began with secret Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in Oslo, has materially contributed to the present, catastrophic situation," the CSP argues on its website.
"Successive concessions made in the name of advancing the 'peace process' by both Labour and Likud-led governments of Israel have not appeased demands for further concessions, only whetted Arab appetites for more."
The CSP has now established itself as an influential player in Washington, a policy powerhouse focused on establishing a radical, unilateralist and aggressive new defence doctrine.
The ballroom for the "Keepers of the Flame" gathering was packed with the high priests of the new security establishment. They included Mr Rumsfeld, Mr Feith and another Pentagon advisor, JD Crouch, sitting alongside the former CIA director, James Woolsey, a leading proponent of a new war against Saddam.
Among them was Richard Perle, known as the "prince of darkness" in the Reagan-era arms race, who has been reborn as the chairman of the defence policy board.
Mr Rumsfeld was the night's keynote speaker. He declared his happiness at being able to speak his mind "among friends" and embraced the mood by telling a cheering audience that after finishing off al-Qaida and the Taliban, "we'd best go after the rest of the terrorists".
For the time being, at least, there is little in Washington to stop Mr Rumsfeld chasing America's foes all the way to Baghdad.