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Aaron Friedberg


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    • Project for the New American Century: Founding member

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Aaron Friedberg is a professor of international affairs at Princeton University who served as a national security advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney. A well known Asia hawk who has been associated with a number of research institutions and universities, Friedberg was also a founding member of the Project for the New American Century, a neoconservative pressure group that helped build public support for attacking Iraq after the 9/11 attacks.

When Friedberg was appointed in May 2003 to the post of deputy national security advisor working under I. Lewis Libby in the Office of the Vice President, many observers saw it as a sign that the Bush administration was going to take a harder stance toward China. It was also seen as a victory for neoconservative ideologues both in and outside the administration.

John Gershman, an Asia specialist at New York University, said of the appointment: "There really haven't been top people under Bush who knew much about China. He's the first one. ... [Friedberg] fits clearly into the group that has been dominant in the administration since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and the Pentagon. ... He's a China-threat person without being hysterical about it. But his appointment is a clear sign that the cooperation that has emerged between the U.S. and China on the war on terrorism and North Korea is entirely tactical, and that Cheney is still inclined to see China as a strategic competitor." [1]

After his brief stint in government, Friedberg returned to Princeton, where he has continued to focus on Asian security affairs. Commenting on President Obama's Fall 2010 trip to Asia, when the president pointedly declined to visit Beijing, Friedberg wrote in The New Republic: "Over the last several years, many Chinese analysts and strategic thinkers have concluded that American power is rapidly on the wane, and some appear to believe that it may now be possible for Beijing to act more decisively in reshaping Asia according to its own preferences. In order to reduce the risk of Chinese miscalculation, the United States and its Asian friends and allies will need to act in ways designed to insure that the overall balance of power remains overwhelmingly in their favor. This will require closer coordination on strategic issues among countries like Japan, South Korea, India, and Australia, as well as between each of them and the United States. And it will necessitate some new defense programs designed to counter and neutralize the more troubling elements of China's ongoing military build-up. Beijing will object strenuously to any such moves, but neither the United States nor its democratic partners should allow themselves to be dissuaded from taking measures whose true purpose is to bolster stability and keep the peace. " [2]

Friedberg is the author of several books, including The Weary Titan, 1895-1905: Britain and the Experience of Relative Decline (Princeton University Press, 1988) and In the Shadow of the Garrison State: America's Anti-Statism and Its Cold War Grand Strategy (Princeton University Press, 2000). [3] His latest book is A Contest for Supremacy: China, America and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia, published in 2011 by W.W. Norton. [4]

Friedberg contributed a chapter on the China threat for Present Dangers, a 2000 book edited by Project for the New American Century co-founders William Kristol and Robert Kagan that also included chapters by former Defense Policy Board Chairman Richard Perle and former Central Intelligence Agency chief James Woolsey. Friedberg was also a signatory to the Project for the New American Century's founding statement of principles in 1997 and PNAC's September 20, 2001 letter to George W. Bush urging the president to target Iraq as part of the war on terrorism. [5]

According to his Princeton bio, Friedberg joined the faculty in 1987 and served as "Director of Princeton's Research Program in International Security at the Woodrow Wilson School from 1992-2003, as well as Acting Director and then Director of the Center of International Studies at Princeton in 2000-2001 and 2002-2003. From June 2003 to June 2005 he served as a Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs in the Office of the Vice President. In November 2006 he was named to the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion. He is a former fellow at the Smithsonian Institution's Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Norwegian Nobel Institute, and Harvard University's Center of International Affairs." [6]

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Sources

[1] Jim Lobe, "China Hawk Settles in Neocons' Nest," Asia Times Online, May 13, 2003

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/EE13Ad03.html .

[2] Aaron Friedberg, "How Barack Obama Became a China Hawk," The New Republic, November 10, 2010, http://www.tnr.com/blog/foreign-policy/79030/obamas-china-containment-tour-2010.

[3] Program in Law and Public Affairs, "Aaron L. Friedberg," http://lapa.princeton.edu/peopledetail.php?ID=305.

[4] Aaron Friedberg, "How Barack Obama Became a China Hawk," The New Republic, November 10, 2010, http://www.tnr.com/blog/foreign-policy/79030/obamas-china-containment-tour-2010.

[5] Jim Lobe, "China Hawk Settles in Neocons' Nest," Asia Times Online, May 13, 2003

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/EE13Ad03.html.

[6] Program in Law and Public Affairs, "Aaron L. Friedberg," http://lapa.princeton.edu/peopledetail.php?ID=305.

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Aaron Friedberg Résumé

    Affiliations

    • Princeton University: Professor of Politics and International Affairs
    • Project for the New American Century: Signatory
    • National Committee on United States-China Relations: Member
    • National Bureau of Asian Research, Strategic Asia Project: Research Director, 2002-2003
    • Princeton University, Center of International Studies: Director, 2002-2003
    • Princeton University, Research Program in International Security: Director, 1992-2003
    • George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies: Consultant
    • Smithsonian Institution's Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars: Fellow, 1989-1990
    • Norwegian Nobel Institute: Senior Fellow, 1998
    • Harvard University, Center for International Affairs: Fellow, 1986-1987
    • Foreign Policy: Contributor to "Shadow Government" blog, 2009
    • Joint Forces Quarterly: Editorial Board, 1993-present
    • World Politics: Associate Editor, 1988-2003; Review Articles Editor, 1993-1997

    Government Service

    • Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs and Director of Policy
    • Planning, Office of the Vice President, 2003-2005
    • Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion: Member, 2006-2008
    • Defense Policy Board, 2007-2008
    • Library of Congress, Henry Alfred Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations: First Holder, 2001-2002
    • National Security Council: Consultant
    • Department of Defense: Quadrennial Defense Review 'Red Team," 2005-2006
    • Central Intelligence Agency: Consultant
    • Los Alamos National Laboratory: Consultant

    Education

    • Harvard University: B.A., 1978 in Government
    • Harvard University: M.A., in Government
    • Harvard University: Ph. D., 1986 in Government

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