While we're on the subject of neocons, I ought to mention the recent CSIS report entitled Towards A Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Renewing Transatlantic Partnership.
The report was ostensibly written by five former NATO generals, including Britain's Lord Inge, the chairman of Aegis Defence Services.However, a postscript adds that "to assist in the writing process, the authors were joined by Benjamin Bilski, who lectures in philosophy at the Faculty of Law of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands; and by Douglas Murray, an author and Director of the Centre for Social Cohesion in Westminster."
Douglas Murray happens to be the author of Neoconservatism - Why We Need It, so it's not surprising that the report reiterates familar neocon themes:
Concerning our capacities to assess and analyse threats and to predict behaviour or future events, another experience is that too much analysis is driven by our own Western logic – the problem of ‘mirroring’. That is, assuming rational behaviour on the basis of what we would do in a similar situation, rather than taking the opponent’s history, culture, behaviour and statements as a basis. Merely because we believe we are rational or well-intentioned does not make other actors so. In the Cold War, a rational opponent could be relied upon, to a large degree, to act in his own interests. Irrationality on a large scale, on the other hand, has become a feature of contemporary politics and geopolitics, and may include opponents acting suicidally against their own interests, because this would cause greater damage to the West. (p.79)
Neoconservative threat analysis ought to be a joke at this stage. These are the people that gave the world the Missile gap in the 60s, Team B in the 70s, The Terror Network in the 80s, and Saddam Hussein's WMD in the 21st Century.They were comprehensively wrong on every count, but apparently it's our fault for not listening to them:
There are currently inadequate national and international capabilities to deal with these problems – and, more importantly, there is a lack of coordination among allies. There is, additionally, little public awareness, and thus little political will to address them. Such a lack of resolve is itself a vulnerability that increases risk.. The main reason for this attitude, from both the general public and their political leaders, is a heavy focus on social and domestic matters, and an unwillingness to face up to complex realities. Adequate institutional reform has only just begun in many Western countries, and it is still far from being accepted, let alone implemented. With the short attention span of the public, and the focus of politicians on little beyond the next election, it will be no small challenge to muster the necessary will to seriously tackle long-term challenges. This lack of awareness and political will has had strange results, not least in the flight towards the irrational, the condemnation of those who act, and praise of those who do nothing. (p.27)
For a fuller analysis of this alarming paper, which is due to be discussed at the NATO summit in April, see Paul Rogers at openDemocracy, and Moon of Alabama. The latter concludes:
A certain way to further proliferation of nuclear weapons is the threat of preemptive use of such against non-nuclear states. A certain way towards wider wars is NATO under "directorate" control dropping bombs wherever the "directorate" policies see advantage in doing so. And a certain way to madness is to get neoconned by this report.