This study surveys the development of think tanks and their growing influence in the realm of foreign policy juxtaposed with historical American isolationism. Using the Council of Foreign Relations as a key model, the author uses five questions to guide the reader in a case study of Iraq policy across the three administrations to discover the extent of think tank influence on the evolution of policy. Concrete examples are provided linking the influence of five separate think tanks across the evolution of Iraq policy. The author suggests that association by members across a multitude of administrations, corporations, think tanks, and universities, often held simultaneously, provides a great deal of authority and opportunity to formulate and execute policy. The study finds one of the major roles these elite serve is to formulate the justification for continued interventions and expanded economic interdependence in order to keep the American public from its isolationist tendencies.