Joseph W. Ralston

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Retired Air Force General Joseph W. Ralston is a participant in the Pentagon military analyst program, a military analyst for CBS and a lobbyist for The Cohen Group. [1] He's also appeared on PBS's "Charlie Rose" show [2]

Ralston is one of three retired four-star generals reported to have declined the offer to become "war czar" "to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies." [1]

In August 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice named Ralston, a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "to serve as her special envoy for countering the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, a group designated a terrorist organization by the United States." [2]

"General Ralston has served as Vice Chairman of The Cohen Group since 2003; as a director of Lockheed Martin since 2003; and as a director of The Timken Company since 2003. General Ralston's military career began in 1965 and concluded in 2003, when he retired from active duty." [3]

The Pentagon's military analyst program

In April 2008 documents obtained by New York Times reporter David Barstow revealed that Ralston had been recruited as one of over 75 retired military officers involved in the Pentagon military analyst program. Participants appeared on television and radio news shows as military analysts, and/or penned newspaper op/ed columns. The program was launched in early 2002 by then-Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke. The idea was to recruit "key influentials" to help sell a wary public on "a possible Iraq invasion." [1]


The U.S. Senate Office of Public Records lists Ralston on the following lobbying contracts (note that dollar amounts given may be for contract that include other lobbyists), as a lobbyist working with the firm The Cohen Group: [5]

  • For the Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation, lobbying the Defense Department for "support for the Kodiak Launch Complex" in 2007;
  • For Fischer Properties, lobbying the U.S. Senate and Defense Department on "identifying military family housing opportunities" in 2006 and 2007;
  • For General Dynamics, lobbying the State Department on "researching federal funding of demilitarization efforts abroad" in 2006;
  • For Lockheed Martin, lobbying the Defense Department on "issues related to export of tactical fighter aircraft and defense technnology" in 2006;
  • For Olgoonik Development, lobbying the Department of the Interior on "exploring additional small business outsourcing opportunities with the Federal government" in 2006;
  • For Oracle, lobbying the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security on "information technology modernization" in 2005 and 2006;
  • For Pratt & Whitney, lobbying the Defense Department to identify "market opportunities for military aircraft engines" in 2006 and 2007; and
  • For Rolls-Royce North America, lobbying the U.S. Senate and Defense Department to "assist company with development of military equipment" in 2005 and 2006;

SourceWatch resources

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 David Barstow, "Behind Analysts, the Pentagon’s Hidden Hand," New York Times, April 20, 2008.
  2. "A conversation with Joseph W. Ralston and William F. Kernan about Iraq," Charlie Rose show, March 31, 2003.
  3. Directors, URS, accessed February 7, 2009.
  4. Directors, URS, accessed February 7, 2009.
  5. Senate Office of Public Records online database, accessed April 2008.


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