William & Mary Professor and RPI Academic Board Member Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, in an in-depth interview with this week with Paul Jay on the Real News Network, argues that oligarchs run United States foreign policy. Having served in US government positions including as chief of staff for Colin Powell when Powell was Secretary of State, Wilkerson has seen close up how US foreign policy operates. Here is Wilkerson’s summation:
Part of what I teach is how since World War II and the acquisition of this enormous power by what in essence is the new Rome in the world, the United States, part of the shift that takes place in manipulating and managing that new power is a centralization of foreign policy away from the old cabinet places where it used to take place, most prominently through the Foreign Service and through the Secretary of State, to the White House and to the creation of the 1947 National Security Act, the National Security Council. So if you ask me pro forma where does [the center of power for making US foreign policy] exist today, it exists more in the National Security Council and its staff than it does anywhere else, certainly anywhere else in the cabinet.
So what I’m saying is it’s centralized in the White House. But what does that mean in terms of, I think, your real question, who’s behind the White House, and who’s therefore behind U.S. foreign policy, more or less? I think the answer today is the oligarchs, which would be the same answer, incidentally, ironically, if you will, for Putin in Russia, the people who own the wealth, the people who therefore have the power and who more or less (and I’m not being too facetious here, I don’t think) buy the president and thus buy American foreign policy. So that’s as succinct an answer as I can give you and touch on a few historical points
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