Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Think Tanks Feature Prominently in Wikileaks

Many Washington think tanks are mentioned in various US cables that were leaked to the public by Wikileaks.  You can do your own search here.  Following are some interesting cables that mention specific think tanks:
  • A cable from Embassy Kabul (Afghanistan) says that former Finance Minister and presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani suggested establishing bi-weekly teleconferences with think tanks in the US, such as Atlantic Council (ACUS), Brookings, CSIS, USIP, and CNAS.
  • One cable outlines an Iran Intelligence Ministry's release of a "soft enemy" list, a list of about 60 organizations that they think are seeking to overthrow the Iranian regime.  Many think tanks are on the list, including: Wilson Center, Hoover Institute, WINEP, Aspen Institute, American Enterprise Institute (AEI), New America Foundation (NAF), Meridian International Center, German Marshall Fund (GMF), Brookings, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).
  • This cable discusses a June 4, 2009 event hosted by the Brookings Doha Center just after President Obama's "Speech to the Muslim world."  It notes how the Brookings event "amplified" the President's speech and that it was the most well-attended event in the Center's two-year history. 
  • This cable talks about the US-Qatar relationship and says that Qatar's leaders have invested a major portion of their wealth in the education of their citizens, and have turned decisively to the US for help.  It notes how Qatar has so far imported branch campuses of six US universities, and that Brookings and RAND Corporation have also opened up offices in Qatar "at the Qataris request."
  • This cable talks about how a US Ambassador met with Riad Khawaji, Founder and CEO of the Dubai-based defense think tank the Institute for Near East and Military Affairs (INEGMA).  It notes how INEGMA was planning to hold Track II talks on Iran, and the US Ambassador urged him to invite think tanks such as Brookings and USIP, among others.
  • This cable talks about a November 2009 conference being hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (Indonesia) and notes how it is extremely important that the US government attends in order to "convey US policy to key regional players and to demonstrate the depth of US engagement in Asia."