Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

The Sun Sets On Richard N. Haass’s CFR Career

NYTimes’ new feature profiles Richard N. Haass, the longest serving president of the Council on Foreign Relations, focusing on his decision to step down from the institution itself regarded as the oldest of America’s policy thinktanks. The article delves into Haass’s slow disillusionment with the direction the country’s taking amid the changing world.

As mentioned, the CFR is arguably the oldest of American proto-globalist institutions. It partly had its start in the days of WW1 as the brainchild of Woodrow Wilson called ‘The Inquiry’, which was tasked with coming up with ways of favorably redrawing the map of post-WW1 Europe and the world. The first members were open “internationalists”—the precursor to globalism—and worked under the stated banner of ‘engineering government policy’.

The CFR took off when large organizations like the Ford and Carnegie Corporations, as well as the Rockefeller Foundation, began lavishing it with large yearly sums of money. David Rockefeller himself ultimately became the Council’s director, and the group was likewise formative in the early history of the CIA.

Richard Haass ruled the roost during the period of the PNAC ideal’s peak efflorescence. It was supposed to be the golden era of American stewardship over the globe after the downfall of its arch nemesis of the USSR—the ‘End of History’ proclaimed by fellow PNAC and CFR faithful, Francis Fukuyama.

But like Fukuyama, it seems Richard Haass’s blinkered worldview was soured by the intervening years, and he’s begun to see the light. I had once written before about the failures of that brief period of PNAC euphoria, and how even Fukuyama ultimately distanced himself from the neocons’ wanton Middle East barbarism of the 2000s:


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