Go to contents

“The Conservative and Hawkish Four” Dominate White House, Pentagon

“The Conservative and Hawkish Four” Dominate White House, Pentagon

Posted January. 19, 2005 14:34,   


Hawks Are Alive and Well-

When he was a House Representative, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld interviewed 27-year-old “Young Cheney,” but turned him down, saying that he was not impressive. However, he soon hired Cheney as his aide, after reading Cheney’s written report. This is how the special relationship began between the two men who created the framework of the Republican Party’s security policy.

Cheney succeeded Rumsfeld as chief of staff in 1975 under the Gerald Ford presidency. At that time in Washington, “challenging Rumsfeld and the quiet problem-solver Cheney” were called a dream team. It was the vice president that called Rumsfeld, who was working as the CEO of a private company in 2001, into the government again 26 years after he left office, aiming to check the reputation of State Secretary Powell.

Vice President Cheney is so convinced of being a conservative that he even asked the Washington Post to correct a description of him from “moderate” to “conservative”, when he was a House Representative in his late 30s.

Deputy secretary Paul Wolfowitz is a representative theorist among Neocons (neo-conservatives). He denies the liberalists’ relativism, “I am right, but you can be right, too,” and believes in the superiority of the U.S. democracy. He focuses on work so much that he has two secretaries; one for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the other for 4 p.m. to midnight.

He enjoys a reputation of being a “slow but insightful” official within the Defense Department. There is even a joke, “You can’t see Wolfowitz when he is sitting at his desk in his room because of the piles of documents there.” After the 1970s, he opposed detente and diplomacy based on balance of power which former state secretary Henry Kissinger promoted.

He went to Israel as a 14-year-old and lived there quite a while with his father who was an exchange professor. His sister married an Israeli and has been living in the country. Some people point out that he looks at the Middle East issue from Israel’s perspective due to such a background.

Head of the Defense Advisory Board, Libby, is a hidden hawk who was a former student of Wolfowitz’s at Yale University. In 1981, when he was tired of dealing with legal documents as a lawyer, his former professor Wolfowitz invited him into the Republican government, saying, “Let’s do a big thing.” Under Secretary Wolfowitz and head of the Defense Advisory Board Libby have a gathering every year on the birthday of former British prime minister Winston Churchill. They compare their fate of being at war against terrorism to that of Churchill, saying that Churchill alone stood up against Hitler when nobody dared to do so.

Rice and Zoellick’s State Department-

State secretary-designate Rice, who is single, is known as the closest aide of President Bush, doing “overtime” of closely assisting the president. She led the “Vulcan Group” with undersecretary Wolfowitz in 1999. The group is a gathering of aides who worked to elect Mr. Bush as president.

The name “Vulcan,” meaning Vulcanus, the god of fire and forge, suggests the determined characteristic of Rice.

State under secretary-designate Robert Zoellick is one of the eight members of the Vulcan Group. The New York Times reported on January 17 that appointment of Zoellick, who is an expert in the economy as under secretary, hinted at Rice’s areas of interest.

Zoellick argued in an article run in Foreign Affairs in 2000 that the U.S. should consider perspectives of history and national interests of neighboring countries while respecting its power, that allies should not depend on the U.S. too much, but should shoulder their fair share of responsibility according to their abilities, and that international issues cannot be addressed by fascinating speeches, but require appropriate actions.

Deployment of Korea Experts on the Front-

The second-term Bush administration’s intention to “know Korea” is evident in the designation of Christopher Hill, U.S. ambassador to Korea, as assistant secretary of state in charge of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the entry of Professor Vitor Cha of Georgetown University.

Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Lawless, another Korea expert, will stay in office. There was no shift in personnel for the past two years in the Korea team of the Defense Department that consists of Assistant Secretary Lawless, Michael Finnigan in charge of South Korea, and Scott Feeney in charge of North Korea. A diplomatic source said, “Pay attention to the words of the Lawless Team.”

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com