Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution was once ubiquitous in the nation’s newspapers. Along with Ken Pollack, he was instrumental in providing allegedly independent scholarly expert judgment on why Iraq needed to be invaded.
Eventually history had its way with him. As it did with all of the neo-cons who provided sophistry in cover for the war.
While you don’t get fired at the nation’s war-pushing think tanks when you screw up royally, the real estate you’re invited to scribble on goes from high rent to slum.
Today, O’hanlon’s on the opinion page of the Washington Times, the newspaper for DC’s extreme right, sharing space with the usual tumbleweeds blowing through that neighborhood — Medicare must be destroyed, Newt Gingrich is a genius, Obama is the greatest enemy Americans have ever known, etc.
What’s the subject?
Consider a few examples from Iraq. The task force helped Iraqi banks set up electronic funds transfer capabilities at 233 private banks. About 100,000 jobs were restored in Iraq after the invasion as the direct result of task force interventions. At least $2 billion in investment licenses were issued for new business development by an Iraqi government agency that the [Pentagon’s jobs program task force] helped set up. Dozens of international companies, including Boeing, GE, Case New Holland, Google and Microsoft, have begun work in Iraq as a result.
Then he makes the pitch for the same in Afghanistan because it is a mineral goldmine, a story flogged in 2010 to keep up enthusiasm for involvement in the place.
“Do we really want to concede the foreign role in developing mineral interests in Afghanistan, estimated at more than $1 trillion in value, to Chinese companies because American firms don’t have access to compete themselves?” write O’Hanlon at the WaTimes.