Eliot A. Cohen

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Eliot A. Cohen, a "prominent neo-conservative hawk and leading champion" of the war in Iraq, was appointed as State Department counselor by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In April 2007, Cohen will replace the position "left vacant late last year by Rice's longtime confidant, 'realist' thinker Philip Zelikow." [1]

"A close friend and protege of former deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz and advisory board member of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Cohen most recently led the harsh neo-conservative attack on the bipartisan Iraq Study Group (ISG), co-chaired by former secretary of state James Baker and former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton," Jim Lobe wrote March 6, 2007, in the Asia Times.

"Like his fellow neo-cons, Cohen was particularly scathing about the ISG's recommendations for Washington to engage Syria and Iran directly and revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process - recommendations Rice herself has explicitly endorsed in the past few weeks," Lobe wrote.

"Cohen first gained national prominence shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when he published a Wall Street Journal column titled World War IV - a moniker quickly adopted by hardline neo-cons such as former director of central intelligence and fellow DPB member James Woolsey, former Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz, and Center for Security Policy president Frank Gaffney (on whose board Cohen also sits) - to put Bush's 'war on terror' in what he considered to be the appropriate historical context and to define its enemy as 'militant Islam'.

"After defeating the Taliban, Cohen argued, Washington should not only 'finish off' Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, whom he accused of having 'helped al-Qaeda', but also seek to overthrow 'the mullahs' in Iran whose replacement by a 'moderate or secular government would be no less important a victory in this war than the annihilation of [Osama] bin Laden'," Lobe wrote.


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Cohen, a professor and director at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, with an emphasis on strategic studies, the Middle East, Persian Gulf, Iraq, arms control, and NATO, has served on the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board (DPB) since 2001. Cohen has worked with the Secretary of Defense and taught at the U.S. Naval War College.

Cohen is believed to be a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and the Aspen Strategy Group.


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