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Press Release No. 05-D 2005-01-28

Doug Feith: On the Record

As a public service, the Center for Security Policy is pleased to present a comprehensive sampling of Douglas Feith's collected works. Anyone who wishes to understand the actual, extraordinary caliber of this man - and the loss to the country represented by his departure from public service - is invited to peruse his record of profoundly thoughtful, well-reasoned and brilliantly articulated writings. And note will be taken of those who, by their persistent refusal to examine such materials, signal a laziness, indifference to the truth and/or partisanship that is truly worthy of criticism, if not contempt.

Collected Articles and Public Statements


"Of Lions, Lambs, and Ostriches"
The Jerusalem Post, March 23, 1990

Using the recent events and the overriding policy of the United States concerning the eastern European satellites of the Soviet Union as a prescient example, Feith argues that the historical tone of US Israeli policy has been misguided. He suggests that it is not the role of the victim of violence who should make concessions in the name of peace, but that those who threaten violence who should step back from the brink.[Read More]

"Why Are We in League with a Dictator?"
The Legal Times, July 8, 1991

Casting a wary eye on the Bush administrations warming relations with the Assad regime in Syria, Mr. Feith warns of the danger posed by the terrorist state. While the United States was concerned with the threat of Saddam Hussein and the effort to expel him from Kuwait, Assad moved to solidify his control over Lebanon, in defiance of international law. Evidence of the Damascus regime's totalitarian nature leads Feith to question why the President seems to pay little mind to the warnings of Syria's violent history. [Read More]

"Land for Peace IV: The Sorry Sequel"
The Jerusalem PostTimes, August 12, 1991

In his condemnation of the latest round of land concessions in order to secure a peace, Mr. Feith suggests that the United States does not fully understand the Arab mindset concerning the conflict. Stating that many Arabs understand the battle as an epically long one, Feith doubts that they will seriously consider a lasting peace. In his words, they view American interference as a temporary restraint to their long term goal of rendering Israel impotent and weak. [Read More]

"Mideast Peace Under Arabs' Control",
The Wall Street Journal, November 29, 199/p>

Questioning the intent of various Arab governments, Mr. Feith critiques the new "land for peace" initiatives making their way around foreign capitals. Feith points out that Israeli land holdings have always brought about aggression on the part of Israel's Arab neighbors, with borders never accepted by the defeated nations. Only now, when they find themselves unable to achieve their goals militarily have the various Arab regimes come to the peace table, with their hostile designs still in mind. [Read More]

"A Mandate for Israel"
The National Interest Spring 1993

In a complete review of recent peace initiatives regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Mr. Feith critiques the moral assault on the state of Israel. Feith examines the Palestinian claim for a separate state, and finds many of its ideological pillars unfounded in historical reality, finding instead that peace, at least in the short run, is dependent on Israel's military supremacy. Peace treaties, Feith suggests, may help in the long term solidifying the sovereignty of Israel in the Arab mind, but they make little strategic difference at the present. [Read More]

"The Big Picture is Bad"
The Jerusalem Post, September 23, 1993

In a starkly worded piece, Mr. Feith reminds policymakers that peace should be made with an eye to the future, not to the present. While Israel is the most powerful entity in the Middle East at the time, Feith predicts a darker and more challenging set of regional enemies to come. He sees the future of the region sliding towards dictatorship and extremism, not democracy and openness, factors that would ease the worries of Israelis. [Read More]

"Assessing Risk in the Israel PLO Deal"
The Washington Times, October 26, 1993

Amidst the euphoria of the agreement between Israel and the PLO, Secretary Feith points out the dangers inherent in Israeli concessions. In prophetic reasoning, Feith questions if Israel has any reasonable recourse to respond to the PLO violation of the agreement that he felt was sure to follow. [Read More]

"The East Bank"
The New Republic, May 16, 1994

Mr. Feith looks at the nature of the Israeli state and how it will affect the peace process in this insightful essay. Suggesting that the limited withdrawals that Israel has accomplished already have been betrayed by continued Arab reluctance to clamp down on violent terror groups, Mr. Feith questions their honest adherence to the idea of peace. Seeing the concentrated Arab attacks on the Israeli settlements as nothing more than a politically motivated assault on the idea of Israel itself, Feith warns against further Israeli retreat. [Read More]

"Toxic Treaty: How Not to Ban Chemical Weapons "
The New Republic, September 5, 1994

Mr. Feith and Mr. Frank J. Gaffney deliver a sober condemnation of the Chemical Weapons Convention agreement. While the convention appears to be a satisfactory accomplishment, a comprehensive international accord to ban chemical weapons, Feith and Gaffney charge that the ban is anything but effective. Instead, the utopian treaty will generate an unrealistic feeling of safety when, in actuality, no such security blanket exists. Only through deterrence and careful preparation can the world truly be safe from these weapons, not through hopeful and idealistic diplomatic forays. [Read More]

"Policing the Golan? No."
The National Interest, Winter 1994/1995

Responding to a proposal in which American troops would patrol the strategic Golan Heights in order to enforce a peace settlement, Mr. Feith registers his disagreement. He states that US troops in the region would be subject to attacks by nearby terrorist groups, who could move freely in the inhabited region, unlike the relatively peaceful Sinai dessert stations. [Read More]

""Blowing Smoke about Making Deadly Gas"
The Washington Times, May 9, 1995

In yet another far sighted piece, Secretary Feith criticizes the rush to sign a Chemical Weapons Ban treaty following the chemical attack on the Tokyo subway system. Feith reasons that such a treaty would be ineffectual, and only serve to highlight the failure of the international community in preventing weapons proliferation; an extremely pertinent point. [Read More]

"About as Radical as the Reaganites"
The Washington Times, June 18th, 1996

Trying to explain the election of Benjamin Netanyahu and the rise of the Likud Party to an American audience, Mr. Feith compares them to the mainstream Republican Party. Outlining Netanyahu's adherence to the security of Israel and the responsibility of its Arab neighbors to make a good faith effort in peace, Feith compares these beliefs to President Reagan's negotiating strategy concerning agreements with the Soviets. [Read More]

"Chemical Reaction"
The New Republic, March 24, 1997

Identifying a terribly dangerous caveat to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) then in front of the US Senate, Mr. Feith lobbies for its rebuke. Pointing out that signatories would be entered into a binding agreement, Feith theorizes that nations such as Iran or Cuba could manipulate the mechanisms of the treaty, allowing them to procure more advanced chemical weapon knowledge. [Read More]

"Live Missiles and Dead Letters"
The National Review, August 3, 1998

In this editorial dealing with the ABM treaty, Mr. Feith signals the current administrations policy concerning missile defense. He decries the Clinton administration's outdated insistence that the ABM treaty, signed with the Soviet Union, was still in force, blocking any move towards the development of missile defense technology, even in pursuit of great national security. Castigating both the administration and the Congress for its inaction, Feith theorizes as to what the real motivation is behind the movement against a ballistic missile shield.<. [Read More]

"Go Ahead"
The New Republic, September 11, 2000

In response to the threat of Yasser Arafat that he would unilaterally declare a Palestinian state within days, Mr. Feith challenges the chairman of the PLO to do just that. Suggesting that such a state would immediately fail under the leadership of corrupt figures and violent extremists, Mr. Feith views this as a prime opportunity to highlight the deceitful role Mr. Arafat has played in the lengthy "peace process". Feith also examines the benefits and the motivations of both sides within the process itself, criticizing the Oslo accords' emphasis on Israeli withdrawals, rather than bilateral actions. [Read More]

"A War Plan That Cast a Wide Net"
The Washington Post, August 7, 2004

In this response to the allegations made by Washington Post writer David Ignatius that administration officials did not recognize the Al-Qaeda threat soon after 9/1t , Secretary Feith explains a memo he had written on September 20th, 2001. The memo came to light in the 9/11 commissions report, and stated that Secretary Feith thought it was wise to examine multiple attack points outside of just Afghanistan. In his response, Secretary Feith explains these words, stating that intelligence concerning the Al-Qaeda operation that had carried out the attack and the Al-Qaeda positions in Afghanistan was still very sketchy. In a move to keep the worldwide terrorist network off balance, Feith suggested hitting them by surprise by fighting a more unpredictable and far reaching war. The Secretary clearly outlines his meaning then and its continuing importance today. [Read More]

"A Smarter Way to Use Our Troops"
The Washington Post, August 19, 2004

Following the President's announcement concerning force restructure, Secretary Feith lays out a defense and a justification for the fairly radical new plans. Finally recognizing that the Cold War is over, the military will change in order to meet the very different threats and challenges at the present time. Feith outlines the benefits of the changes, including a smarter, more balanced force, able to move rapidly to regional hotspots. Also benefiting from the announced changes will be relations with American military allies and the quality of life of our soldiers and their families. [Read More]

Public Statements

"The War on Terrorism: America's War and Israel's War"
April 21, 2002

Text of a speech given by Mr. Feith to AIPAC, outlining the challenges faced by both Israel and the United States. Feith describes the threat, which, fundamentally, is very similar in both instances. He also suggests measures and methods that should be adopted in order to counter the threat. [Read More]

"Post War Planning"
February 11th, 2003

Testimony given by Secretary Feith in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, concerning DOD plans for a post war Iraq. The testimony is striking in part because it strikes down the supposition made by many that the United States was totally unprepared for a post Saddam Iraq. The testimony also highlights the emphasis on democratic government and national reconstruction efforts, including the protection of Oil Production facilities. [Read More]

"DOD Briefing on Policy and Intelligence Matters"
June 4th, 2003

Responding to press criticism that he had headed a separate Pentagon intelligence "cell" which had made inaccurate assumptions concerning the Al-Qaeda/Iraq connection, Secretary Feith delivers a detailed briefing concerning the objective and the makeup of his team. Undermining some of the more outlandish charges against his special plans section, Feith makes the point that the group had a critical and necessary role in the leadup to the Iraq war. [Read More]

"Remarks to the Council of Foreign Relations"
November 13th, 2003

In some of the most enlightening words found in this index, Secretary Feith details many aspects of the war on terror, along with the security foundation of the war in Iraq. Outlining both the broader nature of US defense after 9/11 and the individual cases of US involvement in locales such as Afghanistan and Iraq, Feith presents a balanced and well thought out defense of past and present action. The most insightful part of the article is the conclusion, in which Feith puts up a spirited defense against several questioners. [Read More]

"Strategy and the Idea of Freedom"
November 24th, 2003

In a speech given to the Heritage Foundation, Feith explains the ideological motivations behind the current war on terror and the expected upcoming conflict with Iraq. He explains the moral and political underpinnings of US efforts around the globe, but specifically in the Middle East. He very eloquently connects the policy of today to the opposition to the Soviet Empire during the Cold War. [Read More]

"Transforming the Global Defense Posture"
Remarks to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, December 22nd, 2003

Addressing the needs of the United States military in the 21st century, Secretary Feith provides a harbinger for military strategy to come. It what amounts to a sneak preview of the new force alignment plans still to come, the secretary identifies the challenges a Cold War posture pose to the military and its ability to respond to a wide range of threats. While primarily seeking an improvement in American military ability, Feith reminds his listeners that America's allies will also benefit from the proposed changes. [Read More]

"US Strategy for the War on Terror"
April 14th, 2004

Remarks by Secretary Feith in Chicago, outlining US efforts to combat terrorism internationally. Secretary Feith outlines a point by point set on initiatives that should be implemented in order to better degrade the efforts of Islamic militants to hurt the United States and its allies.
[Read More]

"Iraq: One Year Later"
May 4th, 2004

Speech given by Secretary Feith to the Amewrican Enterprise Institute in Washington, concerning the state of affairs in Iraq a year after coalition forces overthrew the Baathist regime. Feith gives a detailed overview of the substantial progress made in country since then, but is also specific in outlining the challenges still posed by insurgents to US forces and the Iraqi people themselves. [Read More]

"Prepared Statement for the House Armed Services Committee" June 23rd, 2004
In this speech given before the House, Secretary Feith lays out the Pentagon's plans for force realignment, on the basis of more flexible forces and less adherence to outdated Cold War strategy. This plan gives an increased emphasis to trans-national threats and rapid deployment forces, initiatives vital in the war on terror. He also highlights the new plans use of allied forces and nations, a departure from critics' accusations of "unilateralist" military force structure.

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