Here are the latest details from Stephen Semler, co-founder of the Security Policy Reform Institute (SPRI):
Think tanks are said to be free from the ugly forces that bias in-house policy planning—namely, all the lobbying and campaign cash that encourage members of Congress to make decisions based on parochial interests and not the public’s. The problem is that establishment think tanks are corrupted by the same monied interests members of Congress are. In this case, we’re talking about the arms industry.
Every think tank represented in a House Armed Services Committee hearing to provide expert testimony from January 1, 2020 through September 16, 2022 that disclosed its donors received funding from military contractors (the one that didn’t disclose its donors was the hawkish American Enterprise Institute).
As Ben Freeman of the Quincy Institute has pointed out, AEI has taken money from the military industry by way of its board chair, Daniel D'Aniello, co-founder of the Carlyle Group, which owns several defense contractors.