The Revolving Door Between the USG and Wonkdom Turns Yet AgainPosted: November 21, 2014
A few weeks ago I did a post noting William Burns’ move from the State Dept to the Carnegie Endowment, and I quoted an even earlier post arguing that there is systemic pro-government bias in the US nonproliferation think tank world.
Well, now the revolving door is swinging around the other way to carry Jon Wolfsthall of CNS from think-tankdom back into government; in his case to be Senior Director for Arms Control and Nonproliferation at the National Security Council. See the announcement here.
What’s the point of my bringing attention to this revolving door between the USG and arms control think tanks? The point is to show how close the connections are between the two, so readers can see that they should not view the work of these think tanks as objective, or independent. They are all, to one degree or another, dependent on the USG for patronage, favor, and access and it is incredulous to think that this dynamic does not influence their work – from the subjects that they choose to work on, to their actual analysis.
So the next time you see a piece written by someone at Carnegie, or CNS, or IISS, or ISIS, bear this in mind.