Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Paul Dundes Wolfowitz (born December 22, 1943) is an American political figure and academic. He currently serves as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense under Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and will become President of the World Bank on June 1, 2005. Wolfowitz is the son of Jacob Wolfowitz, a Cornell University mathematician.
Born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Ithaca, NY, Paul Wolfowitz earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry and mathematics from Cornell University in 1965 and his doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago in 1972. While a student at Cornell, Wolfowitz was a member of the Telluride Association. Two professors who have played a large role in Wolfowitz's career are Allan Bloom at Cornell and Albert Wohlstetter at the University of Chicago. In the summer of 1969, through the help of Wohlstetter, Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and another student of Wohlstetter's Peter Wilson, joined the Committee to Maintain A Prudent Defense Policy in Washington DC. Set up by Paul Nitze and Dean Acheson, the lobbying group was designed to maintain support of the antiballistic missile system. After teaching at Yale for three years where one of his students was Lewis Libby, he joined the ACDA under Fred Ikle.
Prior to his appointment as Deputy Secretary of Defense, Wolfowitz was the dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University between 1993 and 2001. He taught international relations at SAIS and Yale University. At SAIS, Wolfowitz was instrumental in adding more than $75 million to the endowment, adding an international finance concentration as part of the curriculum and combining the various Asian studies programs into one department.
During the Reagan administration, Wolfowitz was the U. S. ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia between 1986 and 1989. Prior to that post, he was assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 1982 to 1986. Before that he headed the Policy-Planning Staff at the State Department and was Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Critics of Wolfowitz (including Indonesian human rights groups) have pointed out his lack of criticism and even outright support for the Suharto regime that was in power at the time. Wolfowitz's supporters, including people who served under him, point to his quiet support for human rights and dissidents during his tenure as ambassador. In addition, Wolfowitz's supporters point to his farewell remarks in 1989, in which he directly called for political reform, a statement which at the time was seen as giving direct support to Suharto's opponents. However in 1997 Wolfowitz still publicly lauded the dictator, praising his "strong and remarkable leadership" in testimony on Indonesia before the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations .
A military analyst under Ronald Reagan, Wolfowitz famously denounced U.S. support for Saddam Hussein in his conflict with Iran. Wolfowitz was later a leading participant in the Project for the New American Century, the think tank formed in 1997 during the Clinton presidency, and expressed a new foreign policy with regard to Iraq and other "potential aggressor states", dismissing "containment" in favor of "preemption"; strike first to eliminate threats and advocated the use of force in Iraq to "protect our vital interests in the Gulf", as evinced by the 1998 PNAC Letter to then President Bill Clinton. Clinton, along with George H. W. Bush, Colin Powell, and other former Bush administration officials, dismissed calls for "preemption" in favor of continued "containment." This was the policy of George W. Bush as well for his first several months in office (although former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill claims differently in Ron Suskind's book The Price of Loyalty). Many saw Wolfowitz's plan as a "blueprint for U.S. hegemony" and his "preemption" policy remained contained until the terrorist attacks of September 11 revived hawkish advocacy for defense through preemptive action.
Following the terrorist attacks of 9-11 debate began within the White House as to the degrees of action to take against Al Qaeda. Certain members of President Bush's cabinet, led by Wolfowitz, advocated preemptive strikes against Iraq alongside those against terror cells in Afghanistan. Out of this came the creation of what would later be dubbed the Bush Doctrine, centering on preemption and a broad-based anti-terrorism campaign.
Despite his support for Israel (Wolfowitz has family, including a sister, in Israel), Wolfowitz is also one of the few neoconservatives in the Bush administration to have endorsed the creation of a Palestinian state. Wolfowitz has acknowledged the sufferings of the Palestinian people in their conflict with Israel, and in 2002 was heckled for expressing such views at a pro-Israel rally.
In addition, Wolfowitz has been a notable backer of Iranian dissidents for more than 15 years, leading Azar Nafisi to dedicate her bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran to him.
On October 26, 2003, he was in Baghdad, Iraq, for a brief official tour. While he was staying at the Al-Rashid Hotel , it was hit by several rockets fired at the building. Army Lt. Col. Charles H. Buehring  was killed and 17 others wounded. There was nothing to indicate that Wolfowitz was the target of the attack. Wolfowitz and his DOD staffers escaped unharmed and Wolfowitz returned to the safety of the United States on October 28.
During Wolfowitz's pre-war testimony before Congress, he dismissed General Eric K. Shinseki's estimates of the size of the post war occupation force as incorrect and estimated that fewer than 100,000 troops would be necessary in the war, however the US alone was estimated to have over 140,000 troops in Iraq in October 2003.
Wolfowitz married Clare Selgin Wolfowitz in 1968. They had three children and reportedly divorced in 2002 (although his wife has refused to confirm this). She currently works for IRIS at the University of Maryland in the Governance Institutions Group, primarily on its projects in Indonesia and with the Programs and Policy Coordination office of USAID.
Opinions on Wolfowitz
Wolfowitz's recent appointment for the World Bank presidency has been surrounded with both approvals and disapprovals by various politicians, organizations and foreign countries.
Japan, a U.S. ally in the Iraq war, backed his appointment. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda praised Wolfowitz, saying: "He's a great person and he is well-versed in issues regarding development in Asia."
- "The World Bank will once again become a hate figure. This could bring street protests and violence across the developing world."*
In a speech at the U.N. Economic and Social Council Economist Jeffrey Sachs was quite vocal in his opposition to Wolfowitz.
- "It's time for other candidates to come forward that have experience in development. This is a position on which hundreds of millions of people depend for their lives," he said. "Let's have a proper leadership of professionalism."*
The Wall Street Journal commented:
- "Mr. Wolfowitz is willing to speak the truth to power. He saw earlier than most, and spoke publicly about, the need for dictators to plan democratic transitions. It is the world's dictators who are the chief causes of world poverty. If anyone can stand up to the Robert Mugabes of the world, it must be the man who stood up to Saddam Hussein."*
- Paul Wolfowitz, White House biography
- Paul Wolfowitz: Deputy Secretary of Defense Department of Defense biography
- Paul Wolfowitz at Sourcewatch (extensive list of sources)
- LookSmart - Paul Wolfowitz directory category
- Yahoo - Paul Wolfowitz directory category
- "Paul Wolfowitz, velociraptor" from The Economist, February 7, 2002
- DoD's transcript of the phone conversation that served as the basis for Wolfowitz's famous interview with Vanity Fair magazine, March 9, 2003
- "Indonesia Rights Groups Decry Wolfowitz" by Slobodan Lekic for the Associated Press, March 22, 2005
- "The War Behind Closed Doors" Public Broadcasting Service's Frontline, February 20, 2003
- "The Believer" by Peter J. Boyer, The New Yorker, November 1, 2004
- Paul Wolfowitz's political donations at Newsmeat
- "Giving Wolfowitz His Due" David Brooks op-ed in The New York Times, March 8, 2005 (requires registration)
- "Bush nominates Wolfowitz for World Bank" Suzanne Goldenberg for The Guardian, March 17, 2005
- "The World Bank Nominee; Bush Makes His Mark" Todd S. Purdum for The New York Times, March 17, 2005 (requires registration)
- "Man in the News; The World Is His Stage; Paul Dundes Wolfowitz" profile by Eric Schmitt for The New York Times, March 17, 2005 (requires subscription)
- "Profile: Paul Wolfowitz: Hawk with a lot of loot needs a bit of lady luck" from The Times (London), March 20, 2005
- "Will a British divorcee cost 'Wolfie' his job?" Sharon Churcher and Annette Witheridge for The Daily Mail, March 20, 2005, about reaction to Wolfowitz's nomination to head the World Bank
- "Jakarta Tenure Offers Glimpse of Wolfowitz" Alan Sipress and Ellen Nakashima for The Washington Post, March 28, 2005, on Wolfowitz's tenure as Ambassador to Indonesia
- The Guardian Profile: Paul Wolfowitz, Suzanne Goldenberg for The Guardian, April 1, 2005
- Challenges for Wolfowitz and the World Bank, Center for Global Development
- Seymour Hersh. 2004. Chain of Command: From 9/11 to Abu Ghraib. New York: Harper Collins. ISBN 0060195916.
- James Mann . 2004. Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet New York: Viking. ISBN 0670032999.
- Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke. 2004. America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521838347.
- Stephen F. Hayes and D.A.H. Hirshey. 2005. The Brain: Paul Wolfowitz and the Making of the Bush Doctrine, HarperCollins. ISBN 0060723467.
- Bob Woodward. 2004. Plan of Attack. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 074325547X.
| Preceded by:|
John P. White (acting)
| United States Deputy Secretary of Defense|
| Succeeded by:|
Gordon R. England (nominated)
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