Policy Forum on International Security Affairs

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The Policy Forum on International Security Affairs (also incorporated in the UK as Policy Forum on International Security Issues) is a London-based neoconservative PR grouping launched in November 2002 to reinforce the US government's overseas propaganda effort by hosting a "series of roundtable discussions, often off-the-record, with key American policymakers and leading columnists, editors, writers, and producers from the UK, European and Arabic press corps".[1][2]The briefings are delivered in exclusive clubs and cafes in London and Paris by neocons, senior Pentagon officials, and members of the neocon-dominated Defense Policy Board (DPB).[3]The choice of London has to do with 'the central role of the UK among America’s alliances', and because it also serves as 'the center of the Arab press'; the forum 'regularly gathers key Arab media in small sessions as well'. While the Forum works closely with the Pentagon 'it provides the media a certain distance from official circuits and offers both sides greater candor in discussions, many of which are off-the-record.'[4]


The Policy Forum is was officially incorporated in the UK on December 18, 2003 as a company under the name Policy Forum on International Security Issues.

Devon Cross visited London in connection with the Forum's activities in January 2004, according to a Financial Times article by Christopher Caldwell:

Cross hopes to start an NGO that will link American policy-makers and strategists with European journalists and publics - and, she hopes, promote a better understanding of how American foreign-policy thinking works and what the American government is trying to do. While she is a longtime friend of Donald Rumsfeld, and might be called a neo-conservative in the US, Cross says she will make it a priority to bring to London the widest possible variety of foreign-policy voices, from Bush Republicans (she has invited the under secretary of defence, Paul Wolfowitz, to participate) to Clinton Democrats (such as the former CIA director James Woolsey) to the human-rights activists of the Democratic left (who cluster around the Freedom House Foundation and American organised labour).[5]

Although Caldwell described this spectrum as a 'varied coalition' it could equally been as a description of the Democratic and Republican wings of the neoconservative movement.

Caldwell went on to note that Cross's view 'that America is losing the battle for the world's hearts and minds by neglecting "public diplomacy", of the sort that its government, foundations and labour unions carried out throughout the cold war - is held quite widely in the US'.

Cross's London operation is the first fruit of such thinking, but it is hard work starting up an organisation that aspires to do the work of such lavishly funded, celebrity-studded cold war organisations as the Congress for Cultural Freedom. The Chelsea house where she had hoped to locate her operation fell through, but at least now the organisation has acquired a name: The Policy Forum. Which is an improvement from the time Cross first had the idea to start such an organisation, at the nadir of trans-Atlantic relations in the days following the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom. "Back then," said Cross on her first day in London, "I had thought of calling it Operation Just Show Up."[6]

As of September 2006 the forum was granted tax exempt status in the US.[7]The Policy Forum is also incorporated in the State of New York, where Cross, whose husband is president of the New York Jets organization, has her primary residence. According to taxexemptworld.com, an organization known as “Policy Forum on International Security (c/o Devon Cross)” — described as a “charitable organization” involved in “housing development, construction, and management” — gained tax-exempt status in New York in September, 2006.[8]

According to the ICC Directory of UK Companies, the Policy Forum, initiated its dissolution on 11 March 2007, ten days after its managing director, German real estate magnate Zacharias Gertler, resigned his position. It filed its first dissolution on November 12, 2007 and its final dissolution on March 25 this year. Curiously, in between the two dates it was awarded the non-competitive contract by the Office of the Undersecretary for Planning at Pentagon.

London Base

According to Caldwell's February 2004 account, Cross had some difficulty establishing a London base as "The Chelsea house where she had hoped to locate her operation fell through".[9]

A Donors Guide produced by the Philanthropy Roundtable gave Policy Forum's London address as 44 Hays Mews.[10] This is the address of Annabel's private member's restaurant and nightclub.[11]

Pentagon Nexus

In September 2007, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman (a replacement for Douglas Feith, he is one of the Pentagon's last remaining neocons)awarded a $79,416 'sole source contract' to the Policy Forum 'for technical support and consulting services for public liaison and media outreach services in support of the diplomacy mission including addressing and informing European and Middle Eastern audiences on the challenges facing U.S. National Security policies. The awardee will engage London based European and Arab media in candid discussions on a wide variety of national security issues of interest to senior Department of Defense (DoD) officials.' The contract is for 'a 12-month base period and (4) 12-month option periods.'[12][13]

The Policy Forum closely coordinates with Eric Edelman, the neocon appointed by Cheney to replace Douglas Feith at the Pentagon. It is run by Devon Gaffney Cross whose name appears on company documents at an address in New York.


On its website Policy Forum describes its mission as creating "an open channel of dialogue between those who create the international news and those who report it, in an effort to articulate more clearly and accurately the animating forces behind American foreign policy."

The response to our efforts, among the media, has been both prompt and enthusiastic – editors of The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The London Times, The Economist, The Sun and The Spectator have all participated in our discussions.
Leading columnists and members of editorial boards have at various times been included, and visiting participants have written to us emphasizing how important our gatherings have been in elevating the level of discourse in the British press about American politics and diplomacy.[14]

The Carlton Club in London, and Le Meurice in Paris are favorites for these meetings.[15]

Israel Connection

Policy Forum has overlapping membership and strong institutional ties with the Israel lobby groups One Jerusalem and Case for Freedom. All three participated in the June 2007 Prague Democracy and Security Conference co-organized by the Adelson Institute. Jim Lobe reports that the interrelationship is underlined by the fact that until July 2007, Policy Forum's email account, press@policyforumuk.com, was hosted by the “onejerusalem.org” mail server, according to VisualRoute tracking software as was the one for Case for Freedom. All three organizations also share a common, Israel-based IP address ( which, incidentally, also hosts the personal website of Caroline Glick, the editor of the Jerusalem Post.[16]


  • US Department of Defense - In September 2007, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman awarded a $79,416 'sole source contract' to Policy Forum.
  • Smith Richardson Foundation - According to the Foundation's annual report for 2006, Policy Forum received a grant for $25,000 to “organize a series of events that bring current and former U.S. policy makers and strategic thinkers together with leading European journalists and opinion makers to discuss key foreign and security policy issues.”[17]
  • In the same year, the Smith Richardson Foundation gave the Policy Forum a separate grant of $176,000 to enable Neil O'Brien to research and write a book on the future of the European Union.[18]


Roundtable Speakers

Contact, Resources, Notes


The forum is registered as tax exempt to an address in New York, though strangely its function is said to be 'Housing Development, Construction, Management' at 153 E 53rd ST 49th Flr, New York, NY 10022-4611[19]


External Resources



  1. About Us, Policy Forum for International Security Affairs, accessed 10 August 2009
  2. Jim Lobe, More on That Meeting in Prague…, Lobelog.com, 14 June 2007
  3. Jim Lobe, Update on Gaffney Cross’ Policy Forum, Lobelog.com, 3 August 2008
  4. "Donor's guide" entitled “The Struggle Against Radical Islam” compiled by the Smith Richardson Foundation cited in Jim Lobe, More on That Meeting in Prague…, Lobelog.com, 14 June 2007
  5. With friends like these, by Christopher Caldwell, FT.com, 13 February 2004.
  6. With friends like these, by Christopher Caldwell, FT.com, 13 February 2004.
  7. New York, NY 10022 Tax Exempt/NonProfit Organizations
  8. New York, NY 10022 Tax Exempt/NonProfit Organizations
  9. With friends like these, by Christopher Caldwell, FT.com, 13 February 2004.
  10. Nadia Schadlow, The Struggle Against Radical Islam, A Donors Guide, Philanthropy Roundtable, December 2006, p51.
  11. Company Details, Annabel's, accessed 3 September 2009.
  12. Jim Lobe, Is the Pentagon Policy Shop Funding Likudist Fronts?, Lobelog.com, 18 March 2008
  13. Sole Source Notification GovCB Opps ID : ADP11852426910000360 Document Type: Presolicitation Notice FSC Code: R - Professional, Administrative and Management Support Services, Set Aside: Total Small Business, Solicitation No.: HQ0034-07-P-1090, Source: http://www1.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/WHS/REF/HQ0034%2D07%2DP%2D1090/SynopsisP.html Posted Date: Jul 23, 2007]
  14. About Us
  15. Lobe, op. cit
  16. Lobe, 18 March 2008
  17. Lobe, 3 August 2008
  18. Annual Report 2006], Smith Richardson Foundation, Inc. Accessed 27 December 2008.
  19. POLICY FORUM ON INTERNATIONAL SECURITY Tax Exempt/NonProfit Organization Information