But he relied upon a group called the Vulcans—an inner circle of advisers with a long, shared experience in government, dating back to the Nixon, Ford, Reagan and first Bush administrations. After returning to power in , the Vulcans were widely expected to restore U. Bush and previous Republican administrations. Rise of the Vulcans is nothing less than a detailed, incisive thirty-five-year history of the top six members of the Vulcans—Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, and Condoleezza Rice—and the era of American dominance they represent.
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Introduction Rise of the Vulcans is an excellent, fascinating account of the backgrounds of the six principal foreign policy advisers of President George W. According to Mann the name arises because there is a fifty-six-foot statue of the Roman god Vulcan overlooking the downtown of the steel city of Birmingham, Alabama, the town where Condoleezza Rice grew up.
To most Americans the name Vulcans congers up the steely rational race of Mr. Spock of the Star Trek story. And undoubtably the Star Trek allusion is the correct one. Vulcan was a singular god, a lame one at that. It makes no more sense to pluralize Vulcan that it would to refer to some group of high policy makers as Jupiters. But Mr. Spock comes from the planet Vulcan and so all members of the race, male and female, are Vulcans.
And there is no allusion to lameness or proletarian blacksmithery for the residents of the planet. Spock and his race are notable for being coldly rational and unemotional. The following summaries are largely based upon The Rise of the Vulcans, but here and there some extraneous commentary has been added. To be continued. His ideology is a bit ambiguous. Generally he would be characterized as a liberal Republican but political circumstances have required that he take political stances at variance with that label.
And that flexibility too is part of winning in politics. When Rumsfeld went on to Princeton he was the captain of the wrestling team there. Wrestling competition at this level requires a large amount of drive and determination. After graduation from Princeton Rumsfeld went into the Navy for three years.
The Navy was also the service which his father served in. Rumsfeld became a Navy pilot and flight instructor. Again this indicate a great deal of dedication and drive. After his stint in the Navy Rumsfeld, where incidentally he was also a wrestling champion, he felt he had a shot at being a member of the U. Olympic team for , until a shoulder injury took him out of the running. Rumsfeld won a seat in Congress. In Congress Rumsfeld was conservative on economic issues but willing to support social issues such as civil rights and the abolishment of the military draft.
He allied himself with a think tank studying foreign policy strategy at Georgetown University. When Barry Goldwater lost the presidential election of to Lyndon Johnson, Rumsfeld participated in a purge of the Goldwater supporter who was House Minority Leader and his replacement with then Congressman Gerald Ford.
Rumsfeld became an adviser of Ford. In Rumsfeld was ready to move on to something else after serving three terms in the House of Reprsentatives. Generally Rumsfeld was opposed to social engineering ventures but when put in charge of OEO he tried to make it work.
What the Nixon administration wanted Rumsfeld to do was to rein in the political activists who were using the programs of legal aid to the poor to bedevil state governors. Rumsfeld did curb the abuses but within a few months he was pursuing the mandate of the OEO.
To handle the management of the organization Rumsfeld hired Richard Cheney. Cheney was quiet, efficient and nonconfrontational.
That left Rumsfeld free to concentrate on the political and public image of the organization. One major initiate that Rumsfeld introduced to the political arena is tax credits for private school tuition. In Rumsfeld was ready to move on.
Nixon was generally pleased with the political image which Rumsfeld projected of moderate Republicanism. Nixon wanted to give Rumsfeld a cabinet appointment, either as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development or Secretary of Transportion but the holders of those positions would not resign. Interestingly enough that appointment was held up because Nixon political operatives wanted Rumsfeld available to help with strategy for the presidential campaign. Rumsfeld then brought Dick Cheney to the White House to be his assistant.
Cheney was the dependable functionary who handled the details, freeing Rumsfeld to deal with the bigger issues of bureaucratic politics. When Ford assumed office Henry Kissinger was given complete jurisdiction over foreign policy. Kissinger was emphasizing detente with the Soviet Union. Rumsfeld began a campaign to overturn that policy and soon dethroned Kissinger.
Mann quotes a saying that apparently was common among Republicans at the time: Donald Rumsfeld does not lose. His opponents acused Rumsfeld of chosing his position on policy issues not on the basis of conviction but on the basis of what would give him victory in the bureacratic power struggles.
He was a highschool football star in Casper and that fame served him well when he ran for Congress. Cheney was however a major political figure at the time he ran for that office. He had been the White House chief of staff for Gerald Ford.
In addition to being a football star in his highschool Dick Cheney had been class president. When he graduated from highschool he received a scholarship to go to Yale. Yale did not suit the young Cheney. In Wyoming, while it may be cold it is usually sunny and the snow does not stay on the ground for long. In any case, Dick Cheney left Yale after two years and worked in the West building power lines.
This was a significant experience and gave him training in organization. He later entered the University of Wyoming and completed his undergraduate degree in political science. He also married during that period.
After completion of his Ph. Dick Cheney is a laconic Westerner and he did not impress all of the Congressmen who interviewed him. In particular, he was flatly turned down by Representative Donald Rumsfeld.
While working for Steiger, Cheney wrote a memorandum on how to staff a Federal agency. It was not a particularly welcome organization in the Nixon Administration. He saw in Dick Cheney someone who could keep the organization running smoothly and efficiently and so he hired Dick Cheney to be his administrative assistant. This working relationship between Cheney and Rumsfeld lasted, off and on, for three decades. It came as result of his academic training under Allan Bloom at Cornell University, who in turn, drew upon the philosophizing of Leo Strauss of the University of Chicago.
Wolfowitz went to the University of Chicago just before Leo Strauss retired and was more influenced by Albert Wohlstetter who specialized in nuclear weapon strategy analysis.
Jacob was a childhood immigrant from Poland. He earned a degree from the City College of New York which allowed him to teach in a high school where he earned enough to finance his graduate education in mathematics at New York University.
After Jacob Wolfowitz earned his Ph. In Jacob Wolfowitz moved to Cornell University. He had initially intended to go to college at Harvard but he received a scholarship to Cornell which provided a great financial inducement to attend Cornell. His father wanted him to major in mathematics or one of the hard sciences.
Paul did major in mathematics but he found himself drawn to political science. The first was his military career; a career that was quite successful on its own. The second was the far more spectacular rise to political prominence and international statesmanship. Colin Powell was the son of Jamaican immigrants to the South Bronx.
Such immigrants are sometimes labeled West Indian and the popular image of them is of people who are willing to work multiple jobs and do whatever it takes to make it in America. The first generation from these immigrants are understandably reluctant to live the rigorous life of their parents.
Colin Powell wanted something different from the life of his father. College is one avenue of escape and the military is another. Colin Powell combined the two. He attended the City College of New York. With an enrollment of approximately one thousand this was a significant command. Under the terms of his ROTC participation he had to serve three years of active duty. This was in the years of through When the ROTC hitch was up he opted to join the army as a career. This was at a time that the U.
Powell was given special training in countering guerillas and sent to South Vietnam at the end of At this stage the American soldiers in Vietnam were military advisers. He spent it in a remote valley until he was injured and taken to Hue. He experienced the frustration of having armchair officials in the Pentagon making decisions inappropriately for the soldiers in the field. It may have been at this time that he became interested in political and military policy making.
Powell returned to South Vietnam for a one year tour of duty in By this time the U. Powell was in the Americal Division which provided supplies for the other troops.
The commander of the Americal Division made Powell the staff officer in charge of operations and planning. It was a perfect fit for Powell.
Rise of the Vulcans
But he relied upon a group called the Vulcans—an inner circle of advisers with a long, shared experience in government, dating back to the Nixon, Ford, Reagan and first Bush administrations. After returning to power in , the Vulcans were widely expected to restore U. Bush and previous Republican administrations. Rise of the Vulcans is nothing less than a detailed, incisive thirty-five-year history of the top six members of the Vulcans—Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, and Condoleezza Rice—and the era of American dominance they represent. Separately, each of these stories sheds astonishing light not only on the formative influences that brought these nascent leaders from obscurity to the pinnacle of power, but also on the experiences, conflicts and competitions that prefigured their actions on the present world stage. Over the past three decades, since the time of Vietnam, these individuals have gradually led the way in shaping a new vision of an unchallengeable America seeking to dominate the globe through its military power.
Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet
Introduction Rise of the Vulcans is an excellent, fascinating account of the backgrounds of the six principal foreign policy advisers of President George W. According to Mann the name arises because there is a fifty-six-foot statue of the Roman god Vulcan overlooking the downtown of the steel city of Birmingham, Alabama, the town where Condoleezza Rice grew up. To most Americans the name Vulcans congers up the steely rational race of Mr. Spock of the Star Trek story. And undoubtably the Star Trek allusion is the correct one. Vulcan was a singular god, a lame one at that.