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News > U.S.

Charles Kupperman: A Bolton-Style Hawk Is Trump’s Acting National Security Advisor

  • Charles Kupperman was one of the many young conservative Republicans that were given jobs in his administration.

    Charles Kupperman was one of the many young conservative Republicans that were given jobs in his administration. | Photo: U.S. Archives 1987

Published 10 September 2019

In 2015, Kupperman and Bolton founded the Foundation for American Security and Freedom, a nonprofit to run advertisements attacking the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. 

Out with the old, in with the same? This seems to be the case as the White House informed Tuesday that Charles Kupperman will be serving as acting National Security Advisor to replace sacked John Bolton. 

Donald Trump Fires National Security Advisor John Bolton

On Tuesday morning, U.S. President surprised many announcing in a series of tweets he had decided to fire Bolton, saying that he had "disagreed with many of his [Bolton’s] suggestions." 

The U.S. president announced he will name a new advisor next week, but in the meantime, a White House spokesman reported that deputy national security advisor Charles Kupperman has been appointed an acting National Security Advisor

Bolton has been a leading voice for regime change and U.S. interventionist policies in Venezuela, Iran, Cuba and other countries around the world over policies that do not fit within U.S. interests. Yet with Kupperman’s appointment, it means that a Bolton-style hawk will continue to serve in the post. 

“He is Bolton’s longtime ally. Kupperman and another Bolton associate, Matthew Freedman, a former lobbyist, assisted Bolton with vetting job applicants for the National Security Council as he prepared to take over the job last spring,” Politico reported on Jan. 11, 2019 after Trump appointed him as deputy advisor. 

Kupperman, 68, is a longtime defense contractor executive and neoconservative policy campaigner. 

Despite his silent political trajectory, Kupperman has been around since the 1970s when he began ascent among hawks in Washington. He served as a policy advisor to the Committee on the Present Danger, a neoconservative-led advocacy group with an aggressive anti-Soviet posture. 

In 1980, Kupperman worked for the Reagan-Bush campaign team and was part of what became known as the October Surprise Group, whose objective was to prepare for “any last-minute foreign policy or defense-related event, including the release of the hostages, that might favorably impact President Carter in the November election.”

From Boeing to Raytheon: A New Lobbyist to Run the Pentagon

“The group was instrumental in pushing the Iranian hostage crisis to the forefront of the election in an attempt to tarnish the presidency and campaign of Jimmy Carter,” according to IPS Right Web.

After far-right candidate Ronald Reagan was elected, Kupperman was one of the many young conservative Republicans that were given jobs in his administration. He mainly served as director of the General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament, among other positions. After Reagan’s terms were over, he went into the military private sector. 

Kupperman served as vice president of Lockheed Martin’s missile defense sector and then as vice president of Boeing’s strategic operations and missile defense operations, a post he retired from in 2006. 

Despite the years, he has maintained a conservative borderline far-right stance, as in recently from 2001 to 2010, he served on the board of directors of the Center for Security Policy, an anti-Muslim think tank led by Frank Gaffney Jr. that promotes aggressive missile defense programs and militarist policies. 

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an Alabama-based hate monitor, designates the CSP as an anti-Muslim hate group, pointing to the group's promotion of conspiracy theories claiming that Muslims have infiltrated the U.S. government and seek to establish Islamic law in the country. 

Like-minded CSP's founder, Gaffney Jr., has promoted several anti-Muslim conspiracies, including that former U.S. President Barack Obama was secretly a Muslim and that Hillary Clinton's top adviser Huma Abedin worked for the Muslim Brotherhood.

And his hawkish warmongering attitude goes even further, as in the case of Bolton he supports other policy groups, including the National Institute for Public Policy (NIPP), an organization that promotes primarily known of promoting missile defense.

Kupperman and Freedman also worked closely with Bolton before Trump’s election. In 2015, the three men established the Foundation for American Security and Freedom, a nonprofit to run advertisements attacking the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. 

In March 2018, on the same day that Bolton was named national security adviser, the three established another nonprofit called the Institute for a Secure America. 

"Charlie Kupperman has been an advisor to me for more than thirty years, including during my tenure as National Security Advisor to President Trump," Bolton said in a White House statement in January. 

So for the time being, although Bolton is out, a similar neocon is still in office. 

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