Complicity of U.S. Universities in Making Bad Policy

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Just as the nuclear negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran reach a decisive stage, the U.S. is pushing for a massive new arms sales package to Saudi Arabia, in an attempt to address Iran’s perceived military threat the region.

A number of well-known American universities and think tanks have been promoting a significant ramping up of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia. Harvard University, in particular, is leading the way to promote and facilitate $100-150 billion worth of American weapons for the Kingdom:Click Here

The role of leading American universities in promoting war and arms sales reached a peak during the disastrous decision of the George W. Bush administration to invade Iraq and dissolve that country’s main institutions. In the months and years before this ill-fated decision, leading U.S. academics and “area experts” were either serving as cheerleaders for war or acquiescing to the war doctrine by their deafening silence.

For another recent example of this phenomenon, please see Georgetown University’s Professor Matthew Kroenig, who spoke earlier this month at the Heritage Foundation, making the case for a U.S. military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities if negotiations fail: Click Here

Since such universities and think tanks are now active in opening satellite offices across the Persian Gulf region, it is incumbent on the international community to further scrutinize what types of educational efforts these institutions are undertaking, and what values they are promoting. This issue has become more salient in recent weeks with the New York Times’ coverage of what amounts to the employment of slave labor in the building of New York University’s campus in Abu Dhabi: Click Here

Over a decade since the decision to “liberate” Iraq, U.S. universities, mainstream media, think tanks, and other idea generating institutions have remained largely mum about the impact of U.S. policies in promoting “democracy and development” internationally. Since they have largely relinquished their expected role as objective analysts, it is up to the international community to better scrutinize the ways in which once-venerable U.S. institutions are now merely in the business of make-believe.

Over five-and-half years into the tenure a president who ran on the mantra of “change,” it has become clearer that in the absence of compelling international pressure — political, economic, and legal– the U.S. remains unlikely to change its policies, and far more likely to shroud it in mythical accounts of American history and culture.

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