Iraq, the Neocons and the Israel Lobby – John Mearsheimer

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Author and political scientist John J. Mearsheimer argues that neoconservative and pro-Israel lobby groups were both greatly influential to the U.S. decision to go to war in Iraq.


John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt discuss “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.”

What is at the heart of the special relationship between the United States and the state of Israel? Does Israel truly represent a strategic U.S. asset in the Middle East? Are the two nations really partners in the same “War on Terror”, with the same threats up against them, and the same interests at stake?

Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt had become well-known authorities in our understanding of contemporary international relations theory, security, and policy long before their collaboration on The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. Atlantic Monthly approached the pair in the fall of 2002 to research the depth of influence of the pro-Israel lobby on U.S. policy. By the time they returned with the results of their research, the magazine’s editor had decided not to go ahead with the piece, and was not even interested in a revision. At the prompting of an American academic peer, they decided to submit the article to the London Review of Books where it was finally published in March of 2006.

Mearsheimer and Walt argue that if there ever truly were significant strategic (i.e. balance of power considerations during the Cold War) and/or moral (i.e. common Judeo-Christian and democratic values) grounds to justify the unique level of American support afforded the Jewish state, they have long been exhausted. Has this unwavering support made Israel a liability in U.S. foreign policy? And, does this special relationship threaten, rather than enhance, American security in the Middle East, in the world, and at home? – World Affairs Council of Oregon

John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and the co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago, where he has taught since 1982.



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