In October, Presidential contender Mitt Romney released the 20 names of those he had selected to advise him in foreign policy and national security matters, more than half of whom, eleven to be exact, are members of the elite, semi-secret Council on Foreign Relations.  It isn’t that most of these persons are not qualified to advise, nor is it that very few of the twenty can be said to be conservative, even in a stretch, but it is the fact that for decades the CFR has been the special interest group, Think Tank if you prefer, that provides a majority of the “experts” in every administration, Democrat or Republican.

No special interest group has had more impact than the CFR over foreign policy in the 20th Century, leading many to question if we have but one political party in the United States with two arms.  Indeed, many see no significant difference in foreign policy between George W. Bush and Barack Obama.  Nor was there between George Bush and Bill Clinton.  CFR candidate Barack Obama, probably the most anti-war candidate in a couple of decades, and so condemnatory of his predecessor in this area, as president not only continued the Bush wars but added Libya and central Africa to the list while sponsoring drone killings in Pakistan, Syria, and Somali.  History will view him as having been as pro-war as his predecessor.

Obama’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, probably admitted more than she was supposed to in her address at the recent dedication of a branch CFR in Washington D. C. when she said that her source of direction was the CFR sub-center down the street.  “I am delighted to be at these new headquarters.  I have been often to the mother ship in New York City but it is good to have an outpost of the Council right here down the street from the State Department.  We get a lot of advice from the Council so this will mean that I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.”  See audio capture of these remarks on post of this article on

Notable political scientist Lester Milbraith observed in his work Domestic Sources of Foreign Policy, page 247, that “the influence of the CFR throughout government is so pervasive that it is difficult to distinguish the CFR from government programs.”  Prominent political scientist Thomas R. Dye in his textbook Who’s Running America? The Bush Restoration, page 188, wrote “The history of CFR policy accomplishments is dazzling” then traced in detail their dominating role in foreign policy accomplishment from the 1920’s through the George Bush Administration from their own boasts of success in Council on Foreign Relations Annual Reports.

I have told my students for over 25 years that the next UN Ambassador, Secretary of State, Ambassadors to both Russia and China will be from this organization, as will a third of his/her cabinet.  Not might be!!  Will be!!  Also no one gets to be president without their approval.  No exception!!  We get to choose which one of their approved party finalists we want, but the first election is theirs.  I make the same prediction today for who ever becomes the republican presidential candidate.  Such has been the case since the Council on Foreign Relations was founded by its Wall Street creators J.P. Morgan and et. in 1921.  It is the special interest group of Wall Street, supported by grants from the Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford foundations.  Its journal, Foreign Affairs, is “considered throughout the world to be the unofficial mouthpiece of U.S. foreign policy.  Few important initiatives in U.S. policy have not been first outlined in articles in this publication.”

But what is the Romney CFR connection?  The current CFR membership roster does not list him as a member.  In 2007, he also denied such.   That said, the CFR website does have a very comprehensive and favorable outline of his policies on 22 foreign policy areas seemingly to invite support for him.  They cite him as having published in their July/August 2007 magazine Foreign Affairs.  Long-time readers know that no one gets published unless seen favorably by them.  His selection of their organization as the source for a majority of his foreign policy and national security advisors suggests that a Romney Presidency will be managed by the CFR as with his predecessors. In fact, I can almost see the face and voice of George W. Bush as I read through Romney’s 22 foreign policy areas—a comparison that Bush would not find objectionable.  No wonder the Tea Party movement, which opposes elitist semi-secret government and Bush, because such too surrounded him, is unenthused.

Harold Pease

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