Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee

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Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee (DPBAC) is more commonly known by the shorter form Defense Advisory Board.

Controversies

Historically, the DPBAC has mostly served as a method for the Pentagon to leverage consulting expertise in the private sector. However, the DPBAC now serves a very powerful and influential role in foreign policy and the George Walker Bush Presidency. One time chairman Richard Perle, a neo-conservative, is a staunch supporter for a war with Iraq. Perle and other members of the Board have strong ties to private interests that can potentially profit financially from a war. Some of his ties have raised conflict of interest and ethical issues, leading Perle to resign his chairmanship in an attempt to quiet the criticism. [1] Other members of the board also have strong ties to private business, especially defense contractors. Members disclose their business interests with the Pentagon, but they are not made available to the public, leaving only the Pentagon as the ethical arbitar of the Board. Companies with ties to DPBAC include Bechtel, Boeing, TRW, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Booz Allen Hamilton and smaller players like Symantec Corp., Technology Strategies and Alliance Corp., and Polycom Inc. [2]

Board Members (2002 and 2003)

In 2008, Vin Weber Chief Executive Officer with lobbying firm Clark & Weinstock is reported to be a member of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee. [3] Vin is also Chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy, serves on the Board of The Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the U.S. Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion, is a senior fellow at the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota (where he is co-director of the Policy Forum) and is on the Board of ITT Educational Services, The Lenox Group, and the Aspen Institute (where he serves on the Institute’s Middle East Strategy Group). He is also Policy Chairman of Romney for President Inc. (overseeing all policy development for Governor Mitt Romney).

Weber served in the United States House of Representatives from 1981 to 1993 and according to his biography,

'Vin is one of the most prominent and successful strategists in the Republican Party and enjoys strong bipartisan relationships across the Legislative and Executive branches of government. He serves as a trusted advisor to senior officials in the Administration and on Capitol Hill, and has counseled numerous Presidential campaigns'.

Weber previously co-chaired a major 'independent' task force on U.S. Policy Toward Reform in the Arab World with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Prior to 1994, Vin was president and co-director of Empower America a public policy advocacy group alongside other co-directors Jack Kemp, Jeane Kirkpatrick and Bill Bennett. He was a member of the Appropriations Committee and an elected member of the House Republican Leadership and prior to this was campaign manager and chief Minnesota aide to Senator Rudy Boschwitz (1978-1980)

Weber is a contributing columnist to The Hill newspaper and was the publisher of The Murray County Herald from 1976-1978. He has featured in numerous national publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, National Journal and The New Republic. He has also appeared on NBC’s Nightly News, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, ABC’s This Week, the CBS Early Show, Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC.

External Links

Profiles

Articles & Commentary

2002

2003

Notes

  1. Stephen Labaton, 'Pentagon Adviser Is Stepping Down', The New York Times, 28 March, 2003. (Accessed 31 March, 2009)
  2. André Verlöy and Daniel Politi, 'Advisors of Influence: Nine Members of the Defense Policy Board Have Ties to Defense Contractors', web.archive.org/The Center for Public Integrity website, 28 March, 2003. (Accessed 31 March, 2009)
  3. 'Vin Weber', web.archive.org/Clark & Weinstock website, accessed 31 March, 2009.