Corporate Influence in Foreign Policy

In one of my earlier articles, War and Foreign Policy, I discussed how the foreign policy of the office of the President of the United States is influenced by the corporate interests that are represented by those who surround the inhabitant of that office. The most prominent of these groups of influencers are those individuals that are collectively referred to as cabinet officials. 

Established in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, the Cabinet’s role is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member’s respective office. These offices are: Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, and the Attorney General.

Behind each of these positions are corporations that serve these varying interests, and their corporate interests are ultimately derived from the interests of multinational conglomerates that express their desires through an influential group that are referred to as the Round Table Organizations and Think Tanks with members such as The Trilateral Commission, The Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Club of Rome, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and The United Nations.

It is easy to visualize the influence that can be wielded by these networks by looking at the connections between the various members of said networks and the positions they can rise to in all governments. Let us consider Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, an example of which is by no means unique. 

Mr. Ross, known as the “bankruptcy king” of Wall Street, spent 21 years working for Rothschild New York, a branch representing the North American interests of Rothschild & Co, beginning in 1976. As a bankruptcy adviser, Ross represented bondholders in the bankruptcies of companies run by Donald Trump and T. Boone Pickens. 

Rothschild & Co functions as one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory groups and is owned by members of the Rothschild family, a banking dynasty originating from Frankfurt Germany and gaining prominence in the 19th century. 

Today, Rothschild holdings span across many industries from financial services to energy. They are also actively engaged in advisory positions of many companies within those industries. Of particular interest to us for the purposes of this article is Genie Energy founded by Howard Jonas. 

Let us examine the members of Genie Energy’s strategic advisory board: Dick Cheney (former vice president of the United States), Rupert Murdoch (media mogul and chairman of News Corp), James Woolsey (former CIA director), Larry Summers (former head of the US Treasury), Mary Landrieu (former United States Senator from Louisiana), Bill Richardson (former Governor of New Mexico, ex-ambassador to the United Nations and United States Energy Secretary), Mike Castle, Michael Steinhardt, and finally Jacob Rothschild.

Genie Energy owns 89% of Genie Oil and Gas (GOGAS) with Jacob Rothschild, Rupert Murdoch, and Michael Steinhardt (among others) having minority interests. 

Through its subsidiary Afek Oil and Gas (run by a close friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu), Genie Oil and Gas has dedicated to explore the Golan Heights, a contested piece of real-estate between Syria and Israel since the 1967 Middle East War when Israel seized the land from Syria. 

On February 21, 2013 Israeli authorities awarded Afek Oil and Gas an exclusive 36-month petroleum exploration license to a 153-square-mile plot in the Golan Heights. In 2015, South of Katzrin in the southern Golan Heights, Afek discovered a substantial amount of oil and natural gas reserves. Unfortunately, the UN recognizes this area to be Syrian territory.

On February 26, 2019 The United States senate introduce a new bill (S. 567) sponsored by Ted Cruz (R-Tx) to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights which promoted, amongst other things, the U.S. and Israel conducting “joint projects” including “industrial research and development” to extract the large oil reserves that were recently discovered. This was to provide enough diplomatic cover for the extraction of these resources as it is not an effort that is recognized internationally. 

Unsurprisingly, the following month, Dick Cheney former vice president of the United States and strategic advisor to Genie Energy was back in the news. 

In an article published by the Washington Post on March 11, 2019 titled “Former vice president Cheney challenges Pence at private retreat, compares Trump’s foreign policy to Obama’s approach”, Robert Costa and Ashley Parker wrote:

A chummy discussion between Vice President Pence and former vice president Richard B. Cheney quickly turned into a vigorous back-and-forth over President Trump’s foreign policy at a private gathering Saturday, with Cheney comparing the president’s instincts to those of his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, according to a transcript obtained by The Washington Post.

Cheney also worried aloud to Pence that “we’re getting into a situation when our friends and allies around the world that we depend upon are going to lack confidence in us” and then offered a blunt criticism of the current administration’s response to foreign policy challenges.

In what could potentially have been an attempt to persuade a foreign policy power play through manipulation for the benefit of Genie Energy, Cheney took to the lecturing of Vice President Pence over President Trump’s foreign policy by drawing comparisons to former President Barack Obama that were seemingly engineered to unleash the competitive instincts of Trump. 

This ultimately must have had the desired effect. It was only 10 days later on March 21, 2019 that the Washington Post published an article titled “Trump endorses Israeli control of the disputed Golan Heights”. Anne Gearan, Loveday Morris and Carol Morello wrote:

President Trump abruptly reversed decades of U.S. policy Thursday by endorsing permanent Israeli control of the disputed Golan Heights, saying on Twitter that the area seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war is “of critical strategic and security importance” to Israel.

The consequences of these actions remain to be seen; however, the maneuvering by corporate back room interests through the interconnected network of influence that manipulates foreign policy does so specifically for the gain of a select few who represent those corporate interests (in this specific case Genie Energy) at the expense of the many who do not gain anything and whose lives may ultimately be negatively affected by these policy decisions.  

2 thoughts on “Corporate Influence in Foreign Policy

  1. Well done sir. Love the insight.
    Cheney is indeed a master manipulator and I often find myself simultaneously in awe of his art in this while fearfull of any outcome, particularly with easy to influence minds as our current administration.


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