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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Seth Cropsey


seth-cropsey
    • Hudson Institute: Senior Fellow
    • American Enterprise Institute: Former fellow
    • Former deputy undersecretary of the navy (1984-90)

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Seth Cropsey is a senior fellow at the neoconservative Hudson Institute and a long-time government official who has served in several Republican administrations. Cropsey has also worked as a consultant to U.S. defense contractors, including Delex Systems Inc., a Virginia-based firm that provides "advanced systems engineering, security, intelligence support, software, simulation, interactive training and information technology solutions for domestic and international clients."[1]

The son of Joseph Cropsey, a well known acolyte of Leo Strauss, Seth Cropsey has worked for or supported a number of rightist organizations. He has been a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; a signatory to various open letters published by the Project for the New American Century; a program director at the Heritage Foundation; and an editor of the Irving Kristol-founded Public Interest magazine.[2]

From his perch at Hudson, Cropsey has written on a range of issues for various right-wing media outlets, including the William Kristol-founded Weekly Standard and the Washington Times. Crospey's writings typically channel neoconservative rhetoric on U.S. foreign and defense policies, championing a hard line on purported threats and berating the "weakness" of western Europeans.[3] He often pushes increased defense spending as well, warning that spending cuts threaten America's security. In an April 2012 article for the right-wing Pajamas Media, Cropsey claimed that the Obama administration was depleting the U.S. navy, which he said could result in "a self-inflicted loss of America's great power status as a direct consequence of its navy's inability to shape events, to project power, and to defend American and allied interests at a distance from our borders."[4]

Cropsey has focused many of his writings on the purported failures of President Obama's foreign and defense policies. In a February 2012 article for the National Review, Cropsey and coauthor Douglas Feith—a discredited former Bush administration official—charged that Obama had failed to provide leadership on Iran as well as on a host of other issues, including China, Palestinian-Israeli peace, Libya, Syria, and the U.S. defense budget. "Mr. Obama has grounds to claim credit for killing bin Laden," wrote Cropsey and Feith. "But that did not alter the direction of American national-security policy. Renouncing American leadership does."[5]

Earlier, in September 2009, after Obama announced that the United States would not continue to pursue controversial missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic developed by the Bush administration, Cropsey accused the president of "appeasement," a chargeheard from many neoconservatives and other militarists. He wrote in the Weekly Standard, "The Obama administration chose an historic month to appease the Russians by reneging on the U.S. proposal to place ballistic missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic. September 1st of 2009 was the 70th anniversary of the Nazis' unprovoked attack on Poland. In the middle of the same month the Red Army invaded Poland—70 years ago to the day. At the end of this month is the 71st anniversary of the Munich agreement in which England and France agreed to allow Hitler to annex large portions of western Czechoslovakia."[6]

In a June 2009 article for the Weekly Standard, Cropsey blamed President Obama's June 2009 Cairo speech on Mideast policy for encouraging the likes of Muammar Qaddafi to equate U.S. actions with those of Osama bin Laden. He wrote, "In [the Cairo] speech Obama called the 9/11 attacks 'an enormous trauma to our country . . . that led us to act contrary to our ideals.' Specifically, Guantanamo. The president reduced the evil of destroying several thousand innocents to a psychological episode that produced aberrant American behavior. Other parts of the same speech are equally unbalanced. 'Israel must live up to its obligations' to allow Palestinians to lead decent lives. However, no such 'obligation' exists for Palestinians to recognize Israel's right to exist. No one should be surprised that Qaddafi's remarks followed Obama's so quickly. If the American president sees his international role as a great exhorter with a lot of explaining to do, why shouldn't the leaders of other countries, especially those who share serious misgivings about the role of the United States in the world join the chorus?"[7]

Bush Administration and Before

A deputy undersecretary of the navy under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Cropsey was appointed during the first George W. Bush administration as head of the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), the government entity that oversees the Voice of America, Radio Marti, and other U.S. government international broadcasting programs. According to his Hudson Institute bio, Cropsey managed IBB "as successful efforts were undertaken to increase radio and television broadcasting to the Muslim world."[8]

Before being tapped by the Bush administration to direct the IBB, Cropsey was the director of governmental affairs at the Greenberg Traurig law firm, a top lobbying outfit. According to New York Lawyer, Greenberg Traurig's lobbying fees "exceeded $8 million in the first half of 2001, the fifth most of any firm in Washington, according to rankings by National Journal."[9] After Cropsey joined the Bush administration, the law firm's government relations activities skyrocketed. According to a September 2003 Greenberg Taurig press release, "In the recent semi-annual Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) filing, Greenberg Traurig reported nearly $13.5 million in income for their government relations work from January 1 to June 30, 2003, representing a 66 percent increase in revenue compared to last year's $8.14 million. Over the past year, Greenberg represented 108 clients, including city governments, multi-national businesses, non-profit organizations and Native American nations."[10]

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Sources

[1] Delex Systems Inc, http://delex.com/default.aspx; Delex Systems, "Seth Cropsey," http://delex.com/sol_CSACropsey.aspx.

[2] American Enterprise Institute, "Seth Cropsey, http://202.121.129.66/transcend/www.aei.org/scholars/cropsey.htm; Philip H. Burch, Research in Political Economy: Reagan, Bush, and Right-Wing Politics, Supplement 1, Part A (Greenwhich, Conn.: Jai Press), 1997, pp. 98

[3] For a list of Cropsey's writings, see Hudson Institute, "Seth Cropsey," http://www.hudson.org/cropsey.

[4] Seth Cropsey, "Defeat at Sea," PJ Media, April 16, 2012, http://www.hudson.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=publication_details&id=8885.

[5] Douglas Feith and Seth Cropsey, "Obama's Failure to Lead," National Review, Febraury 24, 2012, http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/291868/obama-s-failure-lead-douglas-j-feith?pg=1.

[6] Seth Cropsey, "Obama's Appeasement," Weekly Standard, September 17, 2009.

[7] Seth Cropsey, "Words Have Consequences," Weekly Standard, June 16, 2009.

[8] Hudson Institute, "Seth Cropsey," http://www.hudson.org/cropsey.

[9] "Hiring GOP Lobbyist Pays Big for Greenberg Traurig," New York Lawyer, April 3, 2002, http://www.nylawyer.com/news/02/04/040302f.html.

[10] "Greenberg Traurig's Governmental Affairs Group Reports 66 Percent Growth in Fees," Greenberg Traurig, September 23, 2003.

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Seth Cropsey Résumé

    Affiliations

    • Hudson Institute: Senior fellow
    • Project for the New American Century: Signatory
    • American Enterprise Institute: Visiting Fellow, 1998-2001
    • George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies: First Departmental Chairman and Professor, 1994-1998
    • Heritage Foundation: Director, Asia Studies Center, 1994-1998
    • Fortune: Reported on U.S. private enterprise and public policy, 1977-1980
    • Public Interest: Assistant Editor, 1976-1977

    Government

    • U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau: Former Director
    • Department of the Navy: Deputy Undersecretary, 1984-1990
    • Department of Defense: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, 1989-1991
    • Voice of America (U.S. Information Agency): Director of Policy, 1982-1984
    • Department of Defense: Assistant to the Secretary, 1981

    Business

    • Delex Systems Inc.: Consultant
    • Greenberg Traurig: Director of Governmental Affairs

    Education

    • Boston College: M.A. in Political Science
    • St. John's College (Santa Fe, N.M.): B.A.

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