Ken Adelman

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Ken Adelman, also known as Kenneth L. Adelman, served as Assistant to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld from 1975 to 1977. Adelman was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations during the Ronald Reagan administration as well as serving as Reagan's director of arms control. He is a frequent media commentator including with Fox News, CNN, NPR.

He is the Executive Director of USA for Innovation. A biographical note states that he has been the national editor of Washingtonian magazine "for 15 years and is a senior counselor at Edelman Public Relations Worldwide." [1]

In Spring 2007, USA for Innovation began a controversial and aggressive attack on the Thailand government over the decision by the Thailand Ministry of Health to issue compulsory licenses on patents on two AIDS drugs and one heart disease drug. Edelman Public Relations lists several drug companies as clients. His wife Carol Adelman is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.

Iraq no longer "a cakewalk"

A "'onetime member of the Iraq war brain trust,' who has fallen out with Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney," Ken Silverstein wrote in Harper's Magazine November 20, 2006, Adelman told the Washington Post that "'the President is ultimately responsible' for the 'debacle' in Iraq."

"Adelman's hypocrisy is stunning," Silverstein wrote. "In 2002 it was he who famously predicted that American forces would enjoy 'a cakewalk' in Iraq, and during the run-up to the invasion he derided war critics for their stupidity and naiveté. 'There's always the chicken littles, running around and saying 'oh my God, it's terrible,' he said on Hardball, six days before the war began, when asked about the possibility that things might not go as smoothly as he and his fellow-hawks had predicted."

The now-famous Adelman quote was posted by This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow, among others, apparently by way of Bob Woodward's 2002 book Bush at War:

"... In February 2002, Kenneth Adelman, an assistant to Donald Rumsfeld in the 1970s and now a leading neoconservative defense intellectual, wrote, 'demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk.' He predicted that Saddam Hussein would quickly fall if the US military attacked his 'headquarters, communications, air defenses and fixed military facilities through precision bombing.' ..."

Adelman has taken to likening President George W. Bush to Shakespeare's Henry V (original quotation from 1999 Washington Magazine):

Adelman is openly and significantly to the right of the Bush administration, advocating the pre-emptive invasion of Iran and Saudi Arabia. An entertaining, provocative and at times frustrating speaker, Adelman is known for taking news interviews on foreign policy in his inimitable Rumsfeldian style of never yielding an inch. With wild, gesticulating hands, and passion when discussing warfare of any kind, he resembles a cartoon character.

"GEORGE W. BUSH -- Henry V. A son who wishes to redeem his father's reign, Hal puts the indiscretions of his youth behind him to get serious and go straight: 'Presume not that I am the thing I was, for God doth know [and] so shall the world perceive, that I have turned away my former self.' The young king leads a robust and relentless campaign that ends in stunning victory. (Okay, I'm a Republican, but Henry V ruled as one, too.)"


From Movers & Shakespeares:

"Ken, began teaching Shakespeare in 1977 at Georgetown University, and then for honors students at George Washington University. A former U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations and U.S. Arms Control Director, he has also managed a publicly traded company. He and Norm Augustine, ex-Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, wrote 'Shakespeare in Charge', a unique book on Shakespeare's lessons for today's leaders."

Adelman also works for:


"Carol, President of Movers & Shakespeares, has over 25 years of theatrical experience. She holds a Doctorate from Johns Hopkins University and headed a $3 billion yearly overseas assistance program with the U.S. Agency for International Development. Carol has worked in the private sector consulting for multinational corporations and non-profits on international business and philanthropic opportunities." Movers & Shakespeares At the Hudson Institute, an institution that receives funding from the pharmaceutical industry, Carol Adelman has written a number of articles attacking the use of generic AIDS drugs.

Organizational affiliations

Books, authored by or contributed to

  • In print:
    • Shakespeare in Charge: The Bard's Guide to Learning and Succeeding on the Business Stage (with Norman R. Augustine)
  • Out of print:
    • The Defense Revolution: Intelligent Downsizing of America's Military (with contributions from Norman R. Augustine)
    • The Great Universal Embrace: Arms Summitry--A Skeptic's Account
    • Great Universal Embrace Arms Summit
    • The Defense Revolution: Strategy for the Brave New World: By an Arms Controller and an Arms Builder by Kenneth L. Adelman (Contributor), Norman R. Augustine
    • African Realities (this might have been a text book)

External links

  • UI Energy Corporation Advisory Board, organizational web page, accessed September 23, 2012.