The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) is an American right-wing think tank. It was established in the spring of 1997 as a non-profit, educational organization whose goal is to promote American global leadership. It is based in the same building as the American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC.
The PNAC has raised the concern of many because it proposes military and economic domination of land, space, and cyberspace by the United States, so as to establish American dominance in world affairs for the indefinite future—hence, "the New American Century".
The chairman of PNAC is William Kristol, former editor of Commentary Magazine. Present and former members include Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, Richard Perle, Richard Armitage, Dick Cheney, Lewis Libby, William J. Bennett, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Ellen Bork, the wife of Judge Robert Bork. A large number of its ideas and its members are associated with the hawkish neoconservative school of political theory.
The Project is an initiative of the New Citizenship Project, a non-profit 501c3 organization that is funded by the Bradley Foundation . PNAC declares itself to be dedicated to the fundamental propositions that
The PNAC and its members had long called for the United States to abandon the ABM Treaty. The PNAC also proposes to control the new "international commons" of space and "cyberspace" and pave the way for the creation of a new military service - U.S. Space Forces - with the mission of space control.
In September 2000, the PNAC issued a 80-page report entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces, And Resources For A New Century. The report has been the subject of much analysis and criticism.
Critics, mostly from the far-left and the far-right, frequently quote out of context a line from Rebuilding America's Defenses which refers to the possibility of a "catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor" (page 51), citing this as being suspiciously prescient of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks and suggesting that the PNAC or its associates wanted, knew about, or even were involved in the attacks. This quote is considered by some to be part of the evidence of a plot to use the attacks as a pretext for the implementation of their policies. Many even incorrectly claim that the report directly states that this "new Pearl Harbor" is needed to justify war on Iraq. However, a full reading of the text shows it says nothing of the sort. The line is in the middle of a discussion about the military's employment of emerging information technologies, and the report guesses that full transformation to new technologies is likely to be a slow process, absent some "catalyzing" event which would presumably cause the military to upgrade much more quickly. By comparison, the military involvement of the US in Vietnam served to accelerate, refine, and test the development and growth of military technology.
With the election of George W. Bush, many of PNAC's members, e.g., Richard Perle, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Lewis Libby, were appointed to key positions within the new President's administration. Zalmay Khalilzad became USA ambassador to Afghanistan.
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2 External links
3 Analysis of PNAC
Analysis of PNAC