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Kelley Vlahos On Iraq, The Neocon Influence & Ukraine

In todays video, I spoke with Kelly Vlahos, of the Quincy Institute For Responsible Statecraft. We spoke about the Neocon role in starting and pushing for the Iraq War and the influence of their hawkish push in further wars, up until this day in Ukraine.

Previous Video -

Previous Interview -

Please feel free to comment if I have missed any links in the show notes.

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Kelley's Links


BIO - Kelley Beaucar Vlahos comes to QI from The American Conservative, where for the last three years she served as the magazine’s executive editor. Before joining TAC in 2017, Vlahos served as a contributing editor to the magazine, reporting and publishing regular articles on US war policy, civil liberties, foreign policy, veterans, and Washington politics since 2007. She also organized the magazine’s major annual foreign policy conference for the last three years. Prior to that, Vlahos was director of social media and a digital editor at WTOP News in Washington, DC from 2013 to 2017. She spent 15 years as an online political reporter for FOX News at the channel’s Washington D.C. bureau, as well as Washington correspondent for Homeland Security Today magazine. She is on the board of, a non-profit media project promoting informed Left-Right debate. Her recent media appearances include C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, Tucker Carlson Tonight, NPR’s 1A, POTUS on Sirius XM, and Al Jazeera. Before moving to the nation’s capital, Vlahos earned her degree in Journalism-Mass Media at Central Connecticut State University and worked her way through local and regional newspapers in her home state of Connecticut, including The New Britain Herald and The Torrington Register Citizen. She is co-host of the Crashing the War Party podcast with Daniel Larison.

Twitter -


Scott Horton - Scotts Books -

Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan By Scott Horton

Enough Already: Time To End The War On Terrorism By Scott Horton

Jeremy Scahill - Jeremy's Books

Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill

Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill

The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government's Secret Drone Warfare Program by Jeremy Scahill

Michael Hastings

The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan by Michael Hastings

Peter Van Buren

We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People (2012) by Peter Van Buren

Gian Gentile

Wrong Turn: America's Deadly Embrace of Counterinsurgency (2013) by Gian Gentile

Show Notes

Previous interview with Kelley -

1980s Contra Proxy

Iraq Liberation Act 1998

Letter to Bill Clinton - January 26, 1998

"Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor" PNAC, Rebuilding America's Defences Page 51

“confirming Iraqi use of chemical weapons. We also know that Iraq has acquired CW production primarily from Western firms, including possibly a U.S. foreign subsidiary” “Iraq Use of Chemical Weapons,” unclassified memo from Jonathan Howe to the secretary of state, November 1, 1983, National Security Archives,

U.S. ASSERTS IRAQ USED POISON GAS AGAINST THE KURDSBy Julie Johnson, Special To the New York Times Sept. 9, 1988

"Normal relations between the United States and Iraq would serve our longer-term interests and promote stability in both the Gulf and the Middle East. The United States Government should propose economic and political incentives for Iraq to moderate its behavior and to increase our influence with Iraq. At the same time, the Iraqi leadership must understand that any illegal use of chemical and/or biological weapons will lead to economic and political sanctions, for which we would seek the broadest possible support from our allies and friends. Any breach by Iraq of IAEA safeguards in its nuclear program will result in a similar response. Human rights considerations should continue to be an important element in our policy toward Iraq. In addition, Iraq should be urged to cease its meddling in external affairs, such as in Lebanon, and be encouraged to play a constructive role in negotiating a settlement with Iran and cooperating in the Middle East peace process. (5)

We should pursue, and seek to facilitate, opportunities for U.S. firms to participate in the reconstruction of the Iraqi economy, particularly in the energy area, where they do not conflict with our non-proliferation and other significant objectives. Also, as a means of developing access to and influence with the Iraqi defense establishment, the United States should consider sales of non-lethal forms of military assistance, é.g., training courses and medical exchanges, on a case by case basis." NSD 26 10/02/1989 U.S. Policy Toward the Persian Gulf (3 pages)

Foreign Affairs Committee 28th June 2022 Parliament TV - 11 hour 18 min

Ben Norton's article: UK refuses to admit Saudi Arabia is authoritarian, while condemning China and Russia

First Debate Transcript: Page 5 By ABC News Oct. 3, 2000

Elliott Abrams

Bill Kristol and Scott Horton Debate U.S. Interventionism Reason TV

Conservative group launches campaign to push for GOP support for Ukraine By Mariana Alfaro August 15, 2023 WAPO

Sir Tony Blair knighthood: More than one million sign petition calling for ex-prime minister to have honour removed There is opposition to Sir Tony Blair's appointment as a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter due to his record while in 10 Downing Street, including the 2003 military invasion of Iraq By Greg Heffer, political reporter Saturday 8 January 2022 Sky

MI6 regrets helping Vladimir Putin to win power, says ex-spy chief The Times October 1st 2018

Second Chechen War

War in Ukraine: The Economist interviews Tony Blair

Ukraine’s counteroffensive might yet surprise critics By David Petraeus and Frederick W. Kagan August 24, 2023 WAPO

Kimberley Kagan ISW

Amazon and Microsoft battle for $10bn 'war cloud' contract with Pentagon

iraq rebuilding contracts awarded Halliburton, Stevedoring Services of America get government contracts for early relief work. March 25, 2003 CNN Money

Halliburton Subsidiary Wins Follow-On Oil Contract In Iraq

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