Paul Wolfowitz - Biography
Paul Dundes Wolfowitz (born December 22, 1943) is a former United States Ambassador to Indonesia, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, President of the World Bank, and former dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He is currently a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, working on issues of international economic development, Africa and public-private partnerships, and chairman of the US-Taiwan Business Council.
He is a leading neoconservative. As Deputy Secretary of Defense, he was "a major architect of President Bush's Iraq policy and ... its most hawkish advocate." Donald Rumsfeld in his interview with Fox News on February 8, 2011 said that Wolfowitz was the first to bring up Iraq after 9/11 attacks during a meeting at presidential retreat at Camp David. After serving two years, he resigned as president of the World Bank Group ending what a Reuters report called "a protracted battle over his stewardship, prompted by his involvement in a high-paying promotion for his companion."
The second child of Jacob Wolfowitz (1910–1981) and Lillian Dundes, Paul Wolfowitz was born in Brooklyn, New York, into a Polish Jewish immigrant family, and grew up mainly in Ithaca, New York, where his father was a professor of statistical theory at Cornell University." According to Shelemyahu Zacks, Jacob Wolfowitz "fought at the time for the liberation of Soviet Jewry. He was a friend and strong supporter of the state of Israel, AIPAC member and had many friends and admirers there." Strongly influenced by his father, Paul Wolfowitz became "a soft-spoken former aspiring-mathematician-turned-policymaker ... [whose] world views ... were forged by family history and in the halls of academia rather than in the jungles of Vietnam or the corridors of Congress ... [His father] ... escaped Poland after World War I. The rest of his father's family perished in the Holocaust."Wolfowitz read about the Holocaust and Hiroshima as a boy and calls them "the polar horrors". Speaking of the influence of the Holocaust on his views, Wolfowitz said:
"That sense of what happened in Europe in World War II has shaped a lot of my views ... It's a very bad thing when people exterminate other people, and people persecute minorities. It doesn't mean you can prevent every such incident in the world, but it's also a mistake to dismiss that sort of concern as merely humanitarian and not related to real interest."
Before moving to Ithaca, in the fall of 1952, the Wolfowitzes lived in Manhattan: "I was born in Brooklyn but we grew up in Manhattan, one block down on Morningside Drive ... from the President of Columbia who for part of that time was Dwight Eisenhower." After teaching for a year at Cornell, his father took a one year sabbatical accompanied by his family, spending half the time at UCLA, and half at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1957, Paul Wolfowitz lived in Israel, while his father was a visiting professor at the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion IIT), in Haifa.
Wolfowitz took classes at Cornell University while still a student at Ithaca High School. In the mid-1960s, while they were both undergraduate students at Cornell, he met Clare Selgin, who later became an anthropologist. They married in 1968, had three children, lived in Chevy Chase, Maryland. They separated in 1999, and, according to some sources, became legally separated in 2001 and divorced in 2002.
In late 1999, Wolfowitz began dating Shaha Ali Riza. Their relationship led to controversy later, during his presidency of the World Bank Group.
Wolfowitz speaks five languages in addition to English: Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, and Indonesian.
Wolfowitz entered Cornell University in 1961, on full scholarship and was a member of the Telluride Association, a non-profit organization founded in 1910. He lived in the Telluride House in 1962 and 1963, while philosophy professor Allan Bloom served as a faculty mentor living in the house. In August 1963, he and his mother participated in the civil-rights march on Washington organized by Martin Luther King, Jr. Wolfowitz was a member of the Quill and Dagger society. Wolfowitz graduated in 1965 with a bachelor's degree degree in mathematics and chemistry. Against his father's wishes, Wolfowitz decided to go to graduate school to study politics. "One of the things that ultimately led me to leave mathematics and go into political science was thinking I could prevent nuclear war."
University of Chicago
Wolfowitz did graduate work at the University of Chicago in political science, where he took two courses with Leo Strauss. James Mann points out: "quite a few neo-conservatives, like Wolfowitz, believed strongly in democratic ideals; they had taken from the philosopher Leo Strauss the notion that there is a moral duty to oppose a leader who is a 'tyrant.'" He completed his PhD dissertation under Albert Wohlstetter. In the summer of 1969, Wohlstetter arranged for his students Wolfowitz, Wilson, and Richard Perle to join the Committee to Maintain a Prudent Defense Policy which was set up by Cold War architects Paul Nitze and Dean Acheson.
From 1970 to 1972, Wolfowitz taught in the Department of Political Science at Yale University, where one of his students was I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. In 1972, Wolfowitz earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago, writing his doctoral dissertation on "nuclear proliferation in the Middle East".
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
In the 1970s Wolfowitz served as an aide to Democratic Senator Henry M. Jackson, who influenced several neoconservatives, including Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. Jackson was a Cold War liberal supporting higher military spending and a hard line against the Soviet Union, while also supporting social welfare programs, civil rights, and labor unions.
In 1972 U.S. President Richard Nixon, under pressure from Senator Jackson, dismissed the head of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) and replaced him with Fred Ikle. Ikle brought in a new team including Wolfowitz. Wolfowitz wrote research papers and drafted testimony, as he had previously done at the Committee to Maintain a Prudent Defense Policy. He traveled with Ikle to strategic arms limitations talks in Paris and other European cities. He helped dissuade South Korea from reprocessing plutonium that could be diverted into a clandestine weapons program.
Under President Gerald Ford, the American intelligence agencies came under attack over their annually published National Intelligence Estimate. According to Mann: "The underlying issue was whether the C.I.A. and other agencies were underestimating the threat from the Soviet Union, either by intentionally tailoring intelligence to support Kissinger's policy of détente or by simply failing to give enough weight to darker interpretations of Soviet intentions." Attempting to counter these claims, the new Director of Central Intelligence, George H.W. Bush formed a committee of anti-Communist experts, headed by Richard Pipes, to reassess the raw data. Based on the recommendation of Richard Perle, Pipes picked Wolfowitz for this committee, which was later called Team B.
The team's 1976 report, which was leaked to the press, stated that "All the evidence points to an undeviating Soviet commitment to what is euphemistically called the 'worldwide triumph of socialism,' but in fact connotes global Soviet hegemony," highlighting a number of key areas where they believed the government's intelligence analysts had failed. According to Jack Davis, Wolfowitz observed later:
The B-Team demonstrated that it was possible to construct a sharply different view of Soviet motivation from the consensus view of the [intelligence] analysts and one that provided a much closer fit to the Soviets' observed behavior (and also provided a much better forecast of subsequent behavior up to and through the invasion of Afghanistan). The formal presentation of the competing views in a session out at [CIA headquarters in] Langley also made clear that the enormous experience and expertise of the B-Team as a group were formidable.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Regional Programs
In 1977, during the Carter administration, Wolfowitz moved to the Pentagon. He was U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Regional Programs for the U.S. Defense Department, under U.S. Secretary of Defense Harold Brown.
In 1980, Wolfowitz resigned from the Pentagon and became a visiting professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. According to The Washington Post; "He said it was not he who changed his political philosophy so much as the Democratic Party, which abandoned the hard-headed internationalism of Harry Truman, Kennedy and Jackson."
State Department Director of Policy Planning
Following the 1980 election of President Ronald Reagan, the new National Security Advisor Richard V. Allen formed the administration's foreign policy advisory team. Allen initially rejected Wolfowitz's appointment but following discussions, instigated by former colleague John Lehman, Allen offered Wolfowitz the position of Director of Policy Planning at the Department of State.
President Reagan's foreign policy was heavily influenced by the Kirkpatrick Doctrine, as outlined in a 1979 article in Commentary by Jeane Kirkpatrick entitled "Dictatorships and Double Standards".
Although most governments in the world are, as they always have been, autocracies of one kind or another, no idea hold greater sway in the mind of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize governments, anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances.... (But) decades, if not centuries, are normally required for people to acquire the necessary disciplines and habits.
Wolfowitz broke from this official line by denouncing Saddam Hussein of Iraq at a time when Donald Rumsfeld was offering the dictator support in his conflict with Iran. James Mann points out: "quite a few neo-conservatives, like Wolfowitz, believed strongly in democratic ideals; they had taken from the philosopher Leo Strauss the notion that there is a moral duty to oppose a leader who is a 'tyrant.'" Other areas where Wolfowitz disagreed with the administration was in his opposition to attempts to open up dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and to the sale of Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft to Saudi Arabia. "In both instances," according to Mann, "Wolfowitz demonstrated himself to be one of the strongest supporters of Israel in the Reagan administration."
Mann stresses: "It was on China that Wolfowitz launched his boldest challenge to the established order." After Nixon and Kissinger had gone to China in the early 70s, U.S. policy was to make concessions to China as an essential Cold War ally. The Chinese were now pushing for the U.S. to end arms sales to Taiwan, and Wolfowitz used the Chinese incentive as an opportunity to undermine Kissinger's foreign policy toward China. Instead, Wolfowitz advocated a unilateralist policy, claiming that the U.S. did not need China’s assistance but that the Chinese needed the U.S. to protect them against the far-more-likely prospect of a Soviet invasion of the Chinese mainland. Wolfowitz soon came into conflict with Secretary of State Alexander Haig, who had been Kissinger’s assistant at the time of the visits to China. On March 30, 1982, The New York Times predicted that "Paul D. Wolfowitz, the director of policy planning ... will be replaced," because "Mr. Haig found Mr. Wolfowitz too theoretical." Instead, on June 25, 1982, George P. Shultz replaced Haig as U.S. Secretary of State, and Wolfowitz was promoted.
State Department Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
In 1982, the new U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz appointed Wolfowitz as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
Jeane Kirkpatrick, on a visit to the Philippines, was welcomed by the dictator Ferdinand Marcos who quoted heavily from her 1979 Commentary article Dictatorships and Double Standards and although Kirkpatrick had been forced to speak-out in favor of democracy the article continued to influence Reagan’s policy toward Marcos. Following the assassination of Philippine opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr. in 1983 many within the Reagan administration including the President himself began to fear that the Philippines could fall to the communists and the U.S. military would lose its strongholds at Clark Air Force Base and Subic Bay Naval Station. Wolfowitz tried to change the administration’s policy, stating in an April 15, 1985 article in The Wall Street Journal that "The best antidote to Communism is democracy." Wolfowitz and his assistant Lewis Libby made trips to Manila where they called for democratic reforms and met with non-communist opposition leaders.
Mann points out that "the Reagan administration’s decision to support democratic government in the Philippines had been hesitant, messy, crisis-driven and skewed by the desire to do what was necessary to protect the American military installations." Following massive street protests, Marcos fled the country on a U.S. Air Force plane and the U.S. recognized the government of Corazón Aquino.
Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia
From 1986 to 1989, during the military-backed government of President Suharto, Wolfowitz was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia.According to Peter J. Boyer,
Wolfowitz’s appointment to Indonesia was not an immediately obvious match. He was a Jew representing America in the largest Muslim republic in the world, an advocate of democracy in Suharto's dictatorship. But Wolfowitz’s tenure as Ambassador was a notable success, largely owing to the fact that, in essence, he went native. With tutoring help from his driver, he learned the language, and hurled himself into the culture. He attended academic seminars, climbed volcanoes, and toured the neighborhoods of Jakarta.
Sipress and Nakashima report that "Wolfowitz's colleagues and friends, both Indonesian and American" pointed to the "U.S. envoy's quiet pursuit of political and economic reforms in Indonesia." Dewi Fortuna Anwar, a foreign policy adviser to B J Habibie, Suharto's successor as head of state (1998–1999), stated "that Wolfowitz was a competent and popular envoy." But "he never intervened to push human rights or stand up to corruption."
Officials involved in the AID program during Wolfowitz's tenure told The Washington Post that he "took a keen personal interest in development, including health care, agriculture and private sector expansion" and that "Wolfowitz canceled food assistance to the Indonesian government out of concern that Suharto's family, which had an ownership interest in the country's only flour mill, was indirectly benefiting."
In "The Tragedy of Suharto", published in May 1998, in The Wall Street Journal, Wolfowitz states:
Although it is fashionable to blame all of Asia's present problems on corruption and the failure of Asian values, it is at bottom a case of a bubble bursting, of too many imprudent lenders chasing too many incautious borrowers. But the greed of Mr. Suharto's children ensured that their father would take the lion's share of the blame for Indonesia's financial collapse. The Suharto children's favored position became a major obstacle to the measures needed to restore economic confidence. Worst of all, they ensured that the economic crisis would be a political crisis as well. That he allowed this, and that he amassed such wealth himself, is all the more mysterious since he lived a relatively modest life.
After the 2002 Bali bombing, on October 18, 2002, then Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz observed that "the reason the terrorists are successful in Indonesia is because the Suharto regime fell and the methods that were used to suppress them are gone."
Undersecretary of Defense for Policy
From 1989 to 1993, Wolfowitz served in the administration of George H.W. Bush as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, under then U.S. Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Wolfowitz’s team co-ordinated and reviewed military strategy, raising $50 billion in allied financial support for the operation. Wolfowitz was present with Cheney, Colin Powell and others, on 27 February 1991 at the meeting with the President where it was decided that the troops should be demobilised.
On February 25, 1998, Wolfowitz testified before a congressional committee that he thought that "the best opportunity to overthrow Saddam was, unfortunately, lost in the month right after the war." Wolfowitz added that he was horrified in March as "Saddam Hussein flew helicopters that slaughtered the people in the south and in the north who were rising up against him, while American fighter pilots flew overhead, desperately eager to shoot down those helicopters, and not allowed to do so." During that hearing, he also stated: "Some people might say—and I think I would sympathise with this view—that perhaps if we had delayed the ceasefire by a few more days, we might have got rid of Saddam Hussein."
After the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Wolfowitz and his then-assistant Scooter Libby wrote the Wolfowitz Doctrine to "set the nation’s direction for the next century." At that time the official administration line was "containment", and the contents of Wolfowitz’s plan calling for "preemption" and "unilateralism" which was opposed by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell and President Bush. Defense Secretary Cheney produced a revised plan released in 1992. Many of the ideas in the Wolfowitz Doctrine later became part of the Bush Doctrine. He left the government after the 1992 election.
At the Helm of SAIS - Johns Hopkins University
From 1994 to 2001, Wolfowitz served as Professor of International Relations and Dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. He was instrumental in adding more than $75 million to the university's endowment, developing an international finance concentration as part of the curriculum, and combining the various Asian studies programs into one department. He also advised Bob Dole on foreign policy during his 1996 U.S. Presidential election campaign, which was managed by Donald Rumsfeld.
According to Kampfner, "Wolfowitz used his perch at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies as a test-bed for a new conservative world vision." Wolfowitz was associated with the Project for the New American Century (PNAC); he signed both the PNAC's June 3, 1997 "Statement of Principles", and its January 26, 1998 open letter to President Bill Clinton.
In February 1998 Wolfowitz testified before a Congressional hearing, stating that the current administration lacked the sense of purpose to "liberate ourselves, our friends and allies in the region, and the Iraqi people themselves from the menace of Saddam Hussein."
In September 2000 the PNAC produced a 90-page report entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century, advocating the redeployment of U.S. troops in permanent bases in strategic locations throughout the world where they can be ready to act to protect U.S. interests abroad. During the 2000 U.S. Presidential election campaign, Wolfowitz served as a foreign policy advisor to George W. Bush as part of the group led by Condoleezza Rice calling itself The Vulcans.
Deputy Secretary of Defense
From 2001 to 2005, during the George W. Bush administration, Wolfowitz served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense reporting to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
The terrorist attack of 9-11 was a turning point in administration policy, as Wolfowitz later explained: "9/11 really was a wake up call and that if we take proper advantage of this opportunity to prevent the future terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction that it will have been an extremely valuable wake up call," adding: "if we say our only problem was to respond to 9/11, and we wait until somebody hits us with nuclear weapons before we take that kind of threat seriously, we will have made a very big mistake."
In the first emergency meeting of the National Security Council on the day of the attacks, Rumsfeld asked, "Why shouldn’t we go against Iraq, not just al-Qaeda?" with Wolfowitz adding that Iraq was a "brittle, oppressive regime that might break easily—it was doable," and, according to John Kampfner, "from that moment on, he and Wolfowitz used every available opportunity to press the case." The idea was initially rejected, at the behest of Secretary of State Colin Powell, but, according to Kampfner, "Undeterred Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz held secret meetings about opening up a second front—against Saddam. Powell was excluded." In such meetings they created a policy that would later be dubbed the Bush Doctrine, centering on "pre-emption" and the war on Iraq, which the PNAC had advocated in their earlier letters.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to fight Al-Qaeda, which orchestrated the attack . The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001. And, although victory was declared on March 6, 2002, fighting continues as of June 21, 2011. On October 10, 2001, George Robertson, then Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, went to the Pentagon to offer NATO troops, planes and ships to assist. Wolfowitz rebuffed the offer, saying: "We can do everything we need to." Wolfowitz later announced publicly, according to Kampfner, "that 'allies, coalitions and diplomacy' were of little immediate concern."
Ten months later, on January 15, 2003, with hostilities still continuing, Wolfowitz made a fifteen-hour visit to the Afghan capital, Kabul, and met with the new president Hamid Karzai. Wolfowitz stated, "We’re clearly moving into a different phase, where our priority in Afghanistan is increasingly going to be stability and reconstruction. There’s no way to go too fast. Faster is better." Despite the promises, according to Hersh, "little effort to provide the military and economic resources" necessary for reconstruction was made. This criticism would also re-occur after the U.S. invasion of Iraq later that year.
On April 16, 2002 the National Solidarity Rally for Israel was called in Washington to promote US support and collaboration with Israel. Wolfowitz was the sole representative of the Bush administration to attend, speaking alongside Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. As reported by the BBC, Wolfowitz told the crowd that US President George W. Bush "wants you to know that he stands in solidarity with you". Sharon Samber and Matthew E. Berger reported for Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) that Wolfowitz continued by saying that "Innocent Palestinians are suffering and dying as well. It is critical that we recognize and acknowledge that fact," before being booed and drowned out by chants of "No more Arafat."
Following the declaration of victory in Afghanistan the Bush administration had started to plan for the next stage of the War on Terror. According to John Kampfner, "Emboldened by their experience in Afghanistan, they saw the opportunity to root out hostile regimes in the Middle East and to implant very American interpretations of democracy and free markets, from Iraq to Iran and Saudi Arabia. Wolfowitz epitomised this view." Wolfowitz "saw a liberated Iraq as both paradigm and linchpin for future interventions." The 2003 invasion of Iraq began on March 19.
Prior to the invasion, Wolfowitz actively championed it, as he later stated: "For reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason"
The job of finding WMD and providing justification for the attack would fall to the intelligence services, but, according to Kampfner, "Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz believed that, while the established security services had a role, they were too bureaucratic and too traditional in their thinking." As a result "they set up what came to be known as the 'cabal', a cell of eight or nine analysts in a new Office of Special Plans (OSP) based in the U.S. Defense Department." According to an unnamed Pentagon source quoted by Hersh, the OSP "was created in order to find evidence of what Wolfowitz and his boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, believed to be true—that Saddam Hussein had close ties to Al Qaeda, and that Iraq had an enormous arsenal of chemical, biological, and possibly even nuclear weapons that threatened the region and, potentially, the United States."
Within months of being set up, the OSP "rivaled both the CIA and the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, the DIA, as President Bush’s main source of intelligence regarding Iraq’s possible possession of weapons of mass destruction and connection with Al Qaeda." Hersh explains that the OSP "relied on data gathered by other intelligence agencies and also on information provided by the Iraqi National Congress, or I.N.C., the exile group headed by Ahmad Chalabi." According to Kampfner, the CIA had ended its funding of the I.N.C. "in the mid-1990s when doubts were cast about Chalabi’s reliability." Nevertheless "as the administration geared up for conflict with Saddam, Chalabi was welcomed in the inner sanctum of the Pentagon" under the auspices of the OSP, and "Wolfowitz did not see fit to challenge any of Chalabi’s information." The actions of the OSP have led to accusation of the Bush administration "fixing intelligence to support policy" with the aim of influencing Congress in its use of the War Powers Act.
Kampfner outlined Wolfowitz’s strategy for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which "envisaged the use of air support and the occupation of southern Iraq with ground troops, to install a new government run by Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress." Wolfowitz believed that the operation would require minimal troop deployment, Hersh explains, because "any show of force would immediately trigger a revolt against Saddam within Iraq, and that it would quickly expand." The financial expenditure would be kept low, Kampfner observes, if "under the plan American troops would seize the oil fields around Basra, in the South, and sell the oil to finance the opposition."
On March 27, 2003, Wolfowitz told the House Appropriations Committee that oil revenue earned by Iraq alone would pay for Iraq's reconstruction after the Iraq war; he testified his "rough recollection" was: "The oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years. Now, there are a lot of claims on that money, but ... We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon." By October of that year, "Lawrence Di Rita, the Pentagon's chief spokesman, said 'prewar estimates that may be borne out in fact are likelier to be more lucky than smart.' [He] added that earlier estimates and statements by Mr. Wolfowitz and others 'oozed with uncertainty.'" Di Rita's comments came as a much less optimistic secret Pentagon study -- which had been complete at the time of Wolfowitz's testimony -- was coming to public light, and when actual production results in Iraq were coinciding with those projected in the less optimistic Pentagon study.During Wolfowitz's pre-war testimony before Congress, he dismissed General Eric K. Shinseki's estimates of the size of the post war occupation force and estimated that fewer than 100,000 troops would be necessary in the war. Two days after Shinseki testified, Wolfowitz said to the House Budget Committee on February 27, 2003:
There has been a good deal of comment—some of it quite outlandish—about what our postwar requirements might be in Iraq. Some of the higher end predictions we have been hearing recently, such as the notion that it will take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq, are wildly off the mark. It is hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam's security forces and his army—hard to imagine.
On October 26, 2003, while in Baghdad staying at the Al-Rashid Hotel Wolfowitz narrowly escaped an attack when six rockets hit the floors below his room. Army Lt. Col. Charles H. Buehring was killed and seventeen other soldiers were wounded. Wolfowitz and his DOD staffers escaped unharmed and returned to the United States on October 28, 2003.
President of the World Bank
In March 2005, Wolfowitz was nominated to be president of the World Bank by U.S. President George W. Bush. Criticism of his nomination appeared in the media. Nobel Laureate in Economics and former chief economist for the World Bank Joseph Stiglitz said: "'The World Bank will once again become a hate figure. This could bring street protests and violence across the developing world.'" In a speech at the U.N. Economic and Social Council, economist Jeffrey Sachs also opposed Wolfowitz: "It's time for other candidates to come forward that have experience in development. This is a position on which hundreds of millions of people depend for their lives ... Let's have a proper leadership of professionalism."
In the U.S. there was some praise for the nomination. An editorial in The Wall Street Journal states: "Mr. Wolfowitz is willing to speak the truth to power ... he saw earlier than most, and spoke publicly about, the need for dictators to plan democratic transitions. It is the world's dictators who are the chief causes of world poverty. If anyone can stand up to the Robert Mugabes of the world, it must be the man who stood up to Saddam Hussein."
He was confirmed and became president on June 1, 2005. He soon attended the 31st G8 summit to discuss issues of global climate change and the economic development in Africa. When this meeting was interrupted by the July 7, 2005 London bombings, Wolfowitz was present with other world leaders at the press conference given by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Several of Wolfowitz's initial appointments at the Bank proved controversial, including two US nationals (Robin Cleveland and Kevin Kellems) formerly with the Bush administration, whom he appointed as close advisors with $250,000 tax-free contracts. Another appointee, Juan José Daboub was criticized by his colleagues and others for attempts to change policies on family planning and climate change towards a conservative line."
Wolfowitz gave special emphasis to two particular issues. Identifying Sub-Saharan Africa as the region most challenged to improve living standards, he traveled widely in the region. He also made clear his focus on fighting corruption. Several aspects of the latter program raised controversy. Overturning the names produced by a formal search process, he appointed a figure linked to the US Republican party to head the Bank's internal watchdog. Member countries worried that Wolfowitz's willingness to suspend lending to countries on grounds of corruption was vulnerable to selective application in line with US foreign policy interests. In a debate on the proposed Governance and Anti-Corruption Strategy at the Bank's 2006 Annual Meetings, shareholders directed Wolfowitz to undertake extensive consultations and revise the strategy to show how objective measures of corruption would be incorporated into decisions and how the shareholders' representatives on the Bank's Board would play a key role. Following the consultations and revisions, the Board approved a revised strategy in spring 2007.
As a 'Visiting Scholar' of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Wolfowitz has blogged with the group, and he also appeared in group events. In 2011, he wrote columns that appeared in publications such as The Independent, The Sunday Times, and Newsweek.
Wolfowitz is a former steering committee member of the Bilderberg group.
Wolfowitz's relationship with Shaha RizaAfter President George W. Bush's nominated Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank, journalists reported that Wolfowitz was involved in a relationship with World Bank Senior Communications Officer (and Acting Manager of External Affairs) for the Middle East and North Africa Regional Office Shaha Ali Riza. According to Richard Leiby, of The Washington Post, Riza is "an Oxford-educated British citizen, was born in Tunisia and grew up in Saudi Arabia. She's known for her expertise on women's rights and has been listed on the bank's Web site as a media contact for Iraq reconstruction issues." According to Leiby and Linton Weeks, in their essay "In the Shadow of a Scandal", Riza's employment at the World Bank predated Wolfowitz's nomination as Bank president: "Riza started at the World Bank as a consultant in July 1997 and became a full-time employee in 1999"; and the relationship between Riza and Wolfowitz pre-dated it as well:
In the early 1990s, Riza joined the National Endowment for Democracy and is credited there with development of the organization's Middle East program. Wolfowitz was on the endowment's board—which is how Riza first met him, according to Turkish journalist Cengiz Candar, a friend of the couple. "Shaha was married at the time and Paul was married," Candar recalled, and it wasn't until late 1999—after Riza divorced and Wolfowitz had separated from his wife of 30 years, Clare Selgin Wolfowitz—that the couple began dating."
When Wolfowitz was considered for head of the CIA after the 2000 election, Clare Wolfowitz wrote President-elect George Bush a letter telling him that her husband's relationship with a foreign national—Riza—posed a national security risk. It has been reported that Scooter Libby intercepted the letter. Sidney Blumenthal also reported on the letter Clare Wolfowitz wrote:
According to the London Sunday Times on March 20, 2005, despite their cultural differences, "Riza, an Arab feminist who confounds portrayals of Wolfowitz as a leader of a 'Zionist conspiracy' of Jewish neoconservatives in Washington ... [and who] works as the bank’s senior gender co-ordinator for the Middle East and north Africa ... not only shares Wolfowitz’s passion for spreading democracy in the Arab world, but is said to have reinforced his determination to remove Saddam Hussein’s oppressive regime."
The relationship created further controversy over Wolfowitz’s nomination to head the World Bank, because the bank's ethics rules preclude sexual relationships between a manager and a staff member serving under that manager, even if one reports to the other only indirectly through a chain of supervision. Sharon Churcher and Annette Witheridge, in The Daily Mail, quote one World Bank employee's statement that "Unless Riza gives up her job, this will be an impossible conflict of interest"; the observation of "a Washington insider": "His womanizing has come home to roost ... Paul was a foreign policy hawk long before he met Shaha, but it doesn't look good to be accused of being under the thumb of your mistress"; and Wolfowitz's response: "If a personal relationship presents a potential conflict of interest, I will comply with Bank policies to resolve the issue."
Wolfowitz initially proposed to the World Bank's Ethics Committee that he recuse himself from personnel matters regarding Riza, but the committee rejected that proposal. Riza was "seconded to the State Department", or placed on "external assignment," assigned "a job at the state department under Liz Cheney, the daughter of the vice-president, promoting democracy in the Middle East ..." She "was also moved up to a managerial pay grade in compensation for the disruption to her career," resulting in a raise of over $60,000, as well as guarantees of future increases; "The staff association claims that the pay rise was more than double the amount allowed under employee guidelines." A promotion and raise had been among the options suggested by a World Bank ethics committee that was set up to advise on the situation. According to Steven R. Weisman, however, in a report published in The New York Times, the then-current chair of the committee emphasized that he was not informed at the time of the details or extent of the present and future raises built into the agreement with Riza. Wolfowitz referred to the controversy concerning his relationship with Riza in a statement posted on the website of the World Bank at the time (April 12, 2007).
The affair resurfaced in headlines in 2011.
Wolfowitz's leadership of the World Bank Group
In early 2007, Fox News published on a series of investigative stories on the World Bank, based in part on leaks of internal bank documents. On April 11, 2007, Reuters and Al Kamen in The Washington Post, reported that Wolfowitz and the World Bank board had hired the Williams & Connolly law firm to oversee an investigation into the leaking of internal bank documents to Fox News. Those reports cite an internal memo to the bank staff later posted on the internet, dated April 9, 2007, in which the World Bank's general counsel, Ana Palacio, states that the Bank's legal staff was scrutinizing two articles by investigative reporter Richard Behar published on the website of Fox News on January 31 and March 27, 2007. A day after the second report published by Behar, on March 28, 2007, Kamen had disclosed that "Bank records obtained by the Government Accountability Project" documented pay raises in excess of Bank policies given to Shaha Riza
On April 12, 2007 the London Financial Times reported that, in a 2005 memorandum, Wolfowitz had personally directed the Bank's human resources chief to offer Riza a large pay rise and promotion, according to two anonymous sources who told the Financial Times that they had seen the memo. The memo was part of a package of 102 pages of documents released by the bank on April 14, 2007.
On April 14, 2007, after reviewing these documents, the Financial Times concluded that it was "a potentially fatal blow" to Wolfowitz. In contrast, Fox News concluded that the new documents might offer Wolfowitz a "new lifeline" in the scandal, because the Bank's ethics committee had launched a review of the Riza compensation case in early 2006 and concluded that it did not warrant any further attention by the committee. Wolfowitz failed, on April 19, 2007, to attend a high-profile meeting and the controversy led to disruption at the World Bank when some employees wore blue ribbons "in a display of defiance against his leadership."
World Bank Group's board of executive directors and staffers complained also that Wolfowitz was imposing Bush Administration policies to eliminate family planning from World Bank programs. According to Nicole Gaouette, in her report published in the Los Angeles Times on April 19, 2007, Juan José Daboub—the managing director whom Wolfowitz had appointed who has also been criticized for overly-conservative policies concerning climate change and "a Roman Catholic with ties to a conservative Salvadoran political party"—repeatedly deleted references to family planning from World Bank proposals.
On May 14, 2007 the World Bank committee investigating the alleged ethics violations reported (in part):
- "Mr. Wolfowitz's contract requiring that he adhere to the Code of Conduct for board officials and that he avoid any conflict of interest, real or apparent, were violated";
- "The salary increase Ms. Riza received at Mr. Wolfowitz's direction was in excess of the range established by Rule 6.01";
- "The ad hoc group concludes that in actuality, Mr Wolfowitz from the outset cast himself in opposition to the established rules of the institution"; and
- "He did not accept the bank's policy on conflict of interest, so he sought to negotiate for himself a resolution different from that which would have applied to the staff he was selected to head."
Wolfowitz appeared before the World Bank Group's board of executive directors to respond on May 15. Adams speculated that "With Mr Wolfowitz so far refusing to step down, the board may need to take radical action to break the stalemate. Members have discussed a range of options, including sacking Mr Wolfowitz, issuing a vote of no confidence or reprimanding him. Some board members argue that a vote of no confidence would make it impossible for him to stay in the job." By Wednesday, May 16, 2007, The New York Times, reported that "after six weeks of fighting efforts to oust him as president ... Wolfowitz began today to negotiate the terms of his possible resignation, in return for the bank dropping or softening the charge that he had engaged in misconduct ..." After expressions from the Bush administration that it "fully" supported Wolfowitz as World Bank president and its urging a "fair hearing" for him, President Bush expressed "regret" at Wolfowitz's impending resignation.
On May 17, 2007 the World Bank Group's board of Executive Directors announced that Paul Wolfowitz would resign as World Bank Group president at the end of June 2007.
- Joint Vision 2020
- Project for the New American Century
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- Immerman, Richard H. Empire for Liberty: A History of American Imperialism from Benjamin Franklin to Paul Wolfowitz (2010) pp 196-231 excerpt and text search
- The Power of Nightmares Paul Wolfowitz blurs historical American values forever
- Paul Wolfowitz at the American Enterprise Institute's website
- Official biographical accounts
- "Biography: Paul Wolfowitz: President, The World Bank Group", at web.worldbank.org (World Bank Group). Accessed May 4, 2007.
- "Paul Wolfowitz—Department of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense". Search result in obsolete directory of "The President and His Leadership Team". Accessed May 4, 2007.
- "Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense"—Archived biography at the United States Department of Defense. Last updated: March 16, 2005. Accessed May 2, 2007.
- Wolfowitz, Paul."Statement by Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank Group WB/IMF Spring Meetings 2007". Online posting. World Bank Group, Worldbank.org, April 12, 2007. Accessed May 1, 2007. (Video and audio links.)