Concepts such as the Sicilian Mafia or Irish Mafia in the US have been in the American subconscious for a long time, since the story of these groups stretches back almost a century and a half.
But, in recent years, a new, seemingly persistent term has come into use in the US, the “West Point Mafia”, which refers not to crime families and criminal gangs, but to the US government. Or, to be more precise, a certain segment of this government. It is called the “West Point” Mafia because its “heads” once studied together at the US Military Academy, West Point.
The term first appeared in 2017, when the book West Point Mafia Revealed was published. It was written by Peter Ammon and Patina Thompson, who also added the term to the most recent political science dictionary.
They point out that, instead of serving the ideals of the US, these people have created a network of influence and control, and now that some of them have reached the heights of America’s political Olympus, they are bringing in their classmates and fellow students so that they can rule together, based on their own, fairly specific vision of political processes and democracy. In fact, the careers of many of these people are surprisingly intertwined.
Since 2018, the term has become an established meme, since the concerns raised in the book have been confirmed.
So, let us look at the US Military Academy’s graduating class of 1986.
The head of the West Point Mafia can be considered to be Mike Pompeo, who has worked his way up from tank platoon leader in Germany and congressman to head of the CIA and US state secretary. He was one of the best students at the academy and an unofficial leader among the students.
Next up is his coursemate, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. He also served in the military before getting involved in arms sales. Between 2017 and 2019, he was secretary of the US army, and, in 2019, Donald Trump appointed him to the position of defense minister.
Another classmate, Ulrich Brechbuhl, is now the counselor of the US Department of State. He was handed the position by Mike Pompeo, with whom he founded Thayer Aerospace. Brechbuhl also served as president and CEO of Migratec Inc., chief executive officer of Chamberlin Edmonds and Associates Inc., which is related to healthcare, president of Appenzeller Point, LLC, and executive chairman of Avadyne Health. Interestingly, only the last company in this list has been operating in the US for more than 50 years; the rest are more like pyramids and short-lived companies. It seems that, in the US State Department, he is engaged in this kind of optimisation in various areas.
Brechbuhl was also implicated in a scandal involving leaked information related to the interference of US diplomats – Democratic Party representatives – in the internal affairs of Ukraine.
The next West Point graduate is Brian Bulatao. He also worked at Thayer Aerospace and several private companies specialising in management and investment. In 2017, when Pompeo became director of the CIA, he immediately appointed Bulatao as one of his senior advisers, then made him chief operation officer, a position that had previously been called executive director. In the US State Department, he is under secretary of state for management, so looks after budget and real estate issues, and he is also a senior adviser.
Another of their old West Point study buddies is Mark Green, who is the senator for the state of Tennessee and defends Donald Trump’s position on the reform committee. Green was put forward for the position of secretary of the US army, but because of the scandal whipped up by the Democrats (they reminded people that Green had not been very politically correct when talking about sexual minorities and Muslims) in May 2017, he withdrew his candidacy.
Finally, there is lobbyist David Urban, who is also a political commentator for CNN. In 2016, he was an adviser to Donald Trump and led a successful campaign in Pennsylvania. Now, he is the chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission and is a trusted confidante of the president in the 2020 election campaign.
Urban previously set Pompeo up with the right people when he entered Congress.
Here are a few more star graduates from the class of ‘86 who are continuing their military careers: General Joseph Martin, vice chief of staff of the US army; Lieutenant General John Thomson, commander of NATO Allied Land Command; Daniel Hokanson, director of the Army National Guard; Major General Robin Fontes (who is dealing with the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan); and Patrick Antonietti, director for stabilization and peace operations.
Also of note is Lieutenant General Eric Wesley, deputy commanding general of Army Futures Command, which is responsible for modernising the US Army and developing new strategies. He enrolled at West Point after listening to Ronald Reagan’s horror stories about the USSR preparing for military operations against the US. He still has the same old fears, except that, now, they are represented by Russia and China.
It goes without saying that these important politicians never forget to help out their old friends. The president and CEO of the 7-Eleven store chain, Joe DePinto, who was also at West Point at the same time, stated in an interview that he “sleeps better at night knowing that those guys are in the positions they’re in”. Incidentally, the chain is a client of Thayer Leader Development Group, whose founder and director, Rick Minicozzi, also graduated from West Point in 1986, of course. Joe DePinto has never hidden the fact that they all still help each other, since “we were a close class“.
In any other country, this friendship would be described as nothing other than corruption. Just not in the US, where lobbying is officially permitted by law. Yet such links are unpopular even with West Pointers themselves.
In his article, a former history teacher at West Point and military strategist, Danny Sjursen, writes that this small cohort of men exerts immense influence from Congress to K Street – an area in Washington that is home to numerous lobbyists and advocacy groups that will fulfil whatever your heart desires – from discrediting politicians to coup d’états in other countries. Hence the motto for the class of ‘86 – “Courage never quits” – has a slightly different meaning for these people.
Politico magazine asserts that “the ‘West Point Mafia’ constitutes a uniquely powerful circle at the highest levels of government. They consult each other on matters of state and also lean on each other in matters more intimate, in informal dinners and social gatherings around Washington with their spouses.”
Incidentally, the “Mafiosi” themselves make no secret of their ties to each other and even jokingly refer to themselves as “the West Point Mafia”. On the eve of the forthcoming US presidential election, information on this network will provide better situational awareness.