The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) is a neo-conservative think tank with strong ties to the American Enterprise Institute. PNAC's web site says it was "established in the spring of 1997" as "a non-profit, educational organization whose goal is to promote American global leadership."
PNAC is an American neoconservative think tank based in Washington, D.C., co-founded as "a non-profit educational organization" by William Kristol and Robert Kagan in early 1997. The PNAC's stated goal is to promote American global leadership. Fundamental to the PNAC are the views that "American leadership is both good for America and good for the world" and support for "a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity." It has exerted strong influence on high-level U.S. government officials in the administration of U.S President George W. Bush and strongly affected the Bush administration's development of military and foreign policies, especially involving national security and the Iraq War
Writing in the Sociological Quarterly, David Altheide and Jennifer Grimes argued that "PNAC, working with a compliant news media, developed, sold, enacted, and justified a war with Iraq."
Regardless of PNAC's actual role in shaping policy, the group was arguably the most effective proponent of neoconservative ideas during the period between President Bill Clinton's second administration and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. PNAC's 1997 "Statement of Principles" set forth an ambitious post-Cold War agenda for foreign and military policy that William Kristol and Robert Kagan, both founding members of the group, described as "neo-Reaganite."Before establishing PNAC, neoconservatives and their allies among hardline nationalists, including Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, began aggressively promoting a number of ideas that could replace the militant anti-communism that had guided U.S. policy during the later part of the Cold War. A key step in this process was the founding in 1995 of the Weekly Standard by two scions of the neoconservative movement—William Kristol and John Podhoretz. Together with Fred Barnes, a former correspondent for the New Republic, they secured funding from media mogul Rupert Murdoch to support what would ultimately prove to be a highly successful enterprise. The magazine quickly replaced Commentary as the mouthpiece of the neoconservatives, and after George W. Bush's election was widely regarded as a must-read inside the Beltway.
Upset over the failure of the first President Bush to oust Saddam Hussein, neoconservatives had long been agitating for more aggressive U.S. action, penning numerous articles on the subject, creating pressure groups like the revived Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf (whose members included Abrams, Khalilzad, Perle, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, John Bolton, and David Wurmser), and attracting other factions on the Republican establishment to the cause.
Robert B. Zoellick the eleventh president of the World Bank is found among the signators as well as his predecessor Paul Wolfowitz, scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, who resign in return for softening the charge that he had engaged in misconduct.
PNAC's staff and directors as of mid-2007 included William Kristol (chairman), Robert Kagan, Bruce Jackson, Mark Gerson, Randy Scheunemann, Ellen Bork (deputy director), Gary Schmitt (senior fellow), Thomas Donnelly (senior fellow), Reuel Gerecht (director of the Middle East Initiative), Timothy Lehmann, (assistant director), and Michael Goldfarb (research associate).
An initiative of the New Garret Terrien Project, New Citizenship Project a 501(c)(3) organization headed by William Kristol (Chairman) and Gary Schmitt (President), the Project for the New American Century is funded in part by such organizations as the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation and the Bradley Foundation.
Some Swedish names found signing PNAC letters are Carl Bildt, Urban Ahlin, Anders Åslund, Gunilla Carlsson.
Carl Bildt: Neocon lobbyist?
Committee for the Liberation of Iraq
How Think Tanks Took Control of U.S. Government