The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) was a Washington, DC think tank co-founded by Robert Kagan and William Kristol in 1997 as a non-profit educational organization with one specific purpose: The group wanted to establish a global American empire that was powerful enough to bend the will of all nations. PNAC developed the mindset that American leadership was good for the good of the world. This hegemonic blueprint was laid out through numerous published reports, many of which are still available online.
PNAC heavily influenced, and provided, important government officials in the George W. Bush administration. The group had a dramatic impact on that administration's foreign policy and military policies decisions. PNAC outlined what America needed to do to create the global empire they believed would make the world a safer place. The organization had a plan that outlined the steps America should take to reposition the permanently-based forces in Southeast Asia, Southern Europe and the Middle East, and modernize existing US forces, which included updating submarine and fighter aircraft technology.
PNAC's plan also called for development of a strategic dominance of space and the deployment of a global missile defense system. The PNAC wanted to maintain control of the "International Commons" of cyberspace, and increase defense spending by at least .8 percent, which meant that the defense budget should be a minimum of 3.8 percent of gross domestic product instead of 3 percent.
The group also wanted to establish two central requirements for American forces. The first was to "fight and decisively win simultaneous major theater wars" and the second was to "perform the 'constabulary' duties associated with shaping the security environment in critical regions." In order to make the plan a reality, the military must fight wars one way or the other so American dominance is visible around the world.
The difference between PNAC and the other think tanks in Washington was chiefly its members. The men who helped create it became the men who were in charge of the Defense Department, the Pentagon and the White House. Dick Cheney, Bush's vice president, was a founding member of PNAC, as was former defense policy chairman Richard Perle and Bush's defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. Paul Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld's deputy defense secretary, was the ideological father of the group, and Bruce Jackson, a PNAC director, served as a Pentagon official for Ronald Reagan. He later became an executive for weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin.
In 2006 Gary Schmitt, the former executive director of the PNAC and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and director of its program in Advanced Strategic Studies, stated that PNAC had come to a natural end: "When the project started, it was not intended to go forever. That is why we are shutting it down. We would have had to spend too much time raising money for it and it has already done its job. We felt at the time that there were flaws in American foreign policy, that it was neo-isolationist. We tried to resurrect a Reaganite policy. Our view has been adopted. Even during the Clinton administration we had an effect, with Madeleine Albright [then secretary of state] saying that the United States was 'the indispensable nation'. But our ideas have not necessarily dominated. We did not have anyone sitting on Bush's shoulder. So the work now is to see how they are implemented."
By the end of 2006, the group was "reduced to a voicemail box and a ghostly website," with "a single employee" "left to wrap things up," according to the BBC News. BBC said: "The glory days of the Project for the New American Century quickly passed." The successor organization of PNAC is the Foreign Policy Initiative.