Richard Perle

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Richard Perle in 2009

Richard Norman Perle (born September 16, 1941) is an American political advisor who served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs under President Ronald Reagan. He began his political career as a senior staff member to Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson on the Senate Armed Services Committee in the 1970s. He served on the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee from 1987 to 2004 where he served as chairman from 2001 to 2003 under the Bush Administration before resigning due to conflict of interests.


  • National sovereignty is an obligation as well as an entitlement. A government that will not perform the role of a government forfeits the rights of a government.
    • An End To Evil: How To Win the War on Terror, David Frum, Richard N. Perle, Ballantine (reprint,2004), Chapter 5 'The War Abroad,' p. 102 : ISBN 0345477170
  • Sometimes the things we have to do are objectionable in the eyes of others.
  • I’ve never thought much of Joe Nye’s writings on soft power.
  • Dictators must have enemies. They must have internal enemies to justify their secret police and external enemies to justify their military forces.
    • 2005 February 17 - In a debate with DNC Chairman Howard Dean at Pacific University
  • I think there is a potential civic culture in Arab countries that can lead to democratic institutions and I think Iraq is probably the best place to put that proposition to the test
  • Well, you’re going to find a disproportionate number of Jews in any sort of intellectual undertaking.
  • The programme of the British Labour Party under Neil Kinnock is so wildly irresponsible, so separate and apart from the historic NATO strategy, that I think a Labour government that stood by its present policies—and I rather doubt that they would—would, if it didn't destroy the Alliance, at least diminish its effective ability to do the task for which it was created.
    • The Times (25 September, 1986).
  • About George W. Bush: "He came ill-equipped for the job and has failed to master it."
    • Source: "Perle Turns on Bush in Harsh Terms", by Nicholas Wapshott, New York Sun, May 15, 2007 [1]
    • Notes: newspaper article reporting on Perle's statements at a meeting of the Hudson Institute on May 14, 2007.

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