Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, an all-but-announced 2016 presidential contender, unveiled his foreign policy advisory team on the eve of what looks to be a major speech — and Q&A — Wednesday to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
The 21 people on the list, as our colleague Ed O’Keefe noted, “embrace the legacies of his father, George H. W. Bush and his brother, George W. Bush,” and appear to be a composite of both groups.
There are two venerable secretaries of state — James Baker, in Bush’s father’s administration, and George Shultz, who had the post in Reagan’s — and two CIA directors, Porter Goss and Michael Hayden, who worked in his brother’s administration. Former Vice President Dick Cheney is not on the list, but his former aide and national security adviser John Hannah made it.
The selection of three Cuba policy hard-liners — Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), former assistant secretary of state for Latin America Roger Noriega and former special envoy Otto Reich — gives a strong clue to a most abrupt reversal of policy toward Havana in a third Bush administration.
Curiously, very few of the founding 25 members of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) made the list of the new 21. PNAC, Loop Fans may recall, long advocated removing Saddam Hussein well before 9/11.
And nine days after that attack, PNAC sent a letter to Bush II saying that “even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism.”
But only two (two!) of the 25 original signers of PNAC’s statement of principles are on Bush’s advisers list: former undersecretary of state Paula Dobriansky and our old pal, former deputy secretary of defense and then president of the World Bank Paul Wolfowitz.
Oh. Wait! There was another PNAC original who might count: John Ellis “Jeb” Bush.