Paul Dundes Wolfowitz, born December 22, 1943 is a former United States Ambassador to Indonesia, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, President of the World Bank, and former dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He is currently a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, working on issues of international economic development, Africa and public-private partnerships, and chairman of the US-Taiwan Business Council.
He is a leading neoconservative. As Deputy Secretary of Defense, he was "a major architect of President Bush's Iraq policy and ... its most hawkish advocate." Donald Rumsfeld in his interview with Fox News on February 8, 2011 said that Wolfowitz was the first to bring up Iraq after 9/11 attacks during a meeting at presidential retreat at Camp David. After serving two years, he resigned as president of the World Bank Group "ending a protracted and tumultuous battle over his stewardship, sparked by a promotion he arranged for his companion.
The second child of Jacob Wolfowitz (1910–1981) and Lillian Dundes, Paul Wolfowitz "was born in Brooklyn, New York, into a Polish Jewish immigrant family, and grew up mainly in Ithaca, New York, where his father was a professor of statistical theory at Cornell University. According to Shelemyahu Zacks, Jacob Wolfowitz "fought at the time for the liberation of Soviet Jewry. He was a friend and strong supporter of the state of Israel, AIPAC member and had many friends and admirers there. Strongly influenced by his father, Paul Wolfowitz became "a soft-spoken former aspiring-mathematician-turned-policymaker ... [whose] world views ... were forged by family history and in the halls of academia rather than in the jungles of Vietnam or the corridors of Congress .His father ... escaped Poland after World War I. The rest of his father's family perished in the Holocaust.
Wolfowitz read about the Holocaust and Hiroshima as a boy and calls them "the polar horrors".Speaking of the influence of the Holocaust on his views, Wolfowitz said:
"That sense of what happened in Europe in World War II has shaped a lot of my views ... It's a very bad thing when people exterminate other people, and people persecute minorities. It doesn't mean you can prevent every such incident in the world, but it's also a mistake to dismiss that sort of concern as merely humanitarian and not related to real interest.
Before moving to Ithaca, in the fall of 1952, the Wolfowitzes lived in Manhattan: "I was born in Brooklyn but we grew up in Manhattan, one block down on Morningside Drive ... from the President of Columbia who for part of that time was Dwight Eisenhower. After teaching for a year at Cornell, his father took a one year sabbatical accompanied by his family, spending half the time at UCLA, and half at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1957, Paul Wolfowitz lived in Israel, while his father was a visiting professor at the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion IIT), in Haifa.
Wolfowitz entered Cornell University in 1961, on full scholarship and was a member of the Telluride Association, a non-profit organization founded in 1910. He lived in the Telluride House in 1962 and 1963, while philosophy professor Allan Bloom served as a faculty mentor living in the house. Wolfowitz later studied with Albert Wohlstetter, who became a defense specialist at the Political Science department at the University of Chicago. In August 1963, he and his mother participated in the civil-rights march on Washington organized by Martin Luther King, Jr. Wolfowitz was a member of the Quill and Dagger society.
Wolfowitz graduated in 1965 with a Bachelor's degree degree in mathematics and chemistry. Against his father's wishes, Wolfowitz decided to go to graduate school to study politics. "One of the things that ultimately led me to leave mathematics and go into political science was thinking I could prevent nuclear war.
University of Chicago
Wolfowitz attended the University of Chicago where Leo Strauss was teaching. He completed his PhD dissertation under Albert Wohlstetter. In the summer of 1969, Wohlstetter arranged for his students Wolfowitz, Wilson, and Richard Perle to join the Committee to Maintain a Prudent Defense Policy which was set up by Cold War architects Paul Nitze and Dean Acheson.
From 1970 to 1972, Wolfowitz taught in the Department of Political Science at Yale University, where one of his students was I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. In 1972, Wolfowitz earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago, writing his doctoral dissertation on "nuclear proliferation in the Middle East".
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
In the 1970s Wolfowitz served as an aide to Democratic Senator Henry M. Jackson, who influenced several neoconservatives, including Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. Jackson was a Cold War liberal supporting higher military spending and a hard line against the Soviet Union, while also supporting social welfare programs, civil rights, and labor unions.
In 1972 U.S. President Richard Nixon, under pressure from Senator Jackson, dismissed the head of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) and replaced him with Fred Ikle. Ikle brought in a new team including Wolfowitz. Wolfowitz wrote research papers and drafted testimony, as he had previously done at the Committee to Maintain a Prudent Defense Policy. He traveled with Ikle to strategic arms limitations talks in Paris and other European cities. He helped dissuade South Korea from reprocessing plutonium that could be diverted into a clandestine weapons program.
Under President Gerald Ford, the American intelligence agencies came under attack over their annually published National Intelligence Estimate. According to Mann: "The underlying issue was whether the C.I.A. and other agencies were underestimating the threat from the Soviet Union, either by intentionally tailoring intelligence to support Kissinger's policy of détente or by simply failing to give enough weight to darker interpretations of Soviet intentions." Attempting to counter these claims, the new Director of Central Intelligence, George H.W. Bush formed a committee of anti-Communist experts, headed by Richard Pipes, to reassess the raw data. Based on the recommendation of Richard Perle, Pipes picked Wolfowitz for this committee, which was later called Team B.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Regional Programs
In 1977, during the Carter administration, Wolfowitz moved to the Pentagon. He was U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Regional Programs for the U.S. Defense Department, under U.S. Secretary of Defense Harold Brown.
In 1980, Wolfowitz resigned from the Pentagon and became a visiting professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. According to the Washington Post; "He said it was not he who changed his political philosophy so much as the Democratic Party, which abandoned the hard-headed internationalism of Harry Truman, Kennedy and Jackson."
State Department Director of Policy Planning
Following the 1980 election of President Ronald Reagan, the new National Security Advisor Richard V. Allen formed the administration's foreign policy advisory team. Allen initially rejected Wolfowitz's appointment but following discussions, instigated by former colleague John Lehman, Allen offered Wolfowitz the position of Director of Policy Planning at the Department of State.
President Reagan's foreign policy was heavily influenced by the Kirkpatrick Doctrine, as outlined in a 1979 article in Commentary by Jeane Kirkpatrick entitled "Dictatorships and Double Standards".
Although most governments in the world are, as they always have been, autocracies of one kind or another, no idea hold greater sway in the mind of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize governments, anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances.... (But) decades, if not centuries, are normally required for people to acquire the necessary disciplines and habits.
Wolfowitz broke from this official line by denouncing Saddam Hussein of Iraq at a time when Donald Rumsfeld was offering the dictator support in his conflict with Iran. James Mann points out: "quite a few neo-conservatives, like Wolfowitz, believed strongly in democratic ideals; they had taken from the philosopher Leo Strauss the notion that there is a moral duty to oppose a leader who is a 'tyrant.'" Other areas where Wolfowitz disagreed with the administration was in his opposition to attempts to open up dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and to the sale of Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft to Saudi Arabia. "In both instances," according to Mann, "Wolfowitz demonstrated himself to be one of the strongest supporters of Israel in the Reagan administration."
Mann stresses: "It was on China that Wolfowitz launched his boldest challenge to the established order." After Nixon and Kissinger had gone to China in the early 70s, U.S. policy was to make concessions to China as an essential Cold War ally. The Chinese were now pushing for the U.S. to end arms sales to Taiwan, and Wolfowitz used the Chinese incentive as an opportunity to undermine Kissinger's foreign policy toward China. Instead, Wolfowitz advocated a unilateralist policy, claiming that the U.S. did not need China’s assistance but that the Chinese needed the U.S. to protect them against the far-more-likely prospect of a Soviet invasion of the Chinese mainland. Wolfowitz soon came into conflict with Secretary of State Alexander Haig, who had been Kissinger’s assistant at the time of the visits to China. On March 30, 1982, The New York Times predicted that "Paul D. Wolfowitz, the director of policy planning ... will be replaced," because "Mr. Haig found Mr. Wolfowitz too theoretical." Instead, on June 25, 1982, George P. Shultz replaced Haig as U.S. Secretary of State, and Wolfowitz was promoted.