Category Archives: Doctrine / Strategy

The US’ Dark Empire Has Secret Operations in Over 100 Countries

http://www.alternet.org/world/us-dark-empire-has-secret-operations-over-100-countries

The US’ Dark Empire Has Secret Operations in Over 100 Countries

The United States deployed special forces to 70 percent of the nations on earth.

By Nick Turse / Tom Dispatch. January 24, 2015

In the dead of night, they swept in aboard V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. Landing in a remote region of one of the most volatile countries on the planet, they raided a village and soon found themselves in a life-or-death firefight.  It was the second time in two weeks that elite U.S. Navy SEALs had attempted to rescue American photojournalist Luke Somers. And it was the second time they failed.

On December 6, 2014, approximately 36 of America’s top commandos, heavily armed, operating with intelligence from satellites, drones, and high-tech eavesdropping, outfitted with night vision goggles, and backed up by elite Yemeni troops, went toe-to-toe with about six militants from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. When it was over, Somers was dead, along with Pierre Korkie, a South African teacher due to be set free the next day. Eight civilians were also killed by the commandos, according to local reports. Most of the militants escaped.

That blood-soaked episode was, depending on your vantage point, an ignominious end to a year that saw U.S. Special Operations forces deployed at near record levels, or an inauspicious beginning to a new year already on track to reach similar heights, if not exceed them.

During the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2014, U.S. Special Operations forces (SOF) deployed to 133 countries — roughly 70% of the nations on the planet — according to Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bockholt, a public affairs officer with U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). This capped a three-year span in which the country’s most elite forces were active in more than 150 different countries around the world, conducting missions ranging from kill/capture night raids to training exercises. And this year could be a record-breaker. Only a day before the failed raid that ended Luke Somers life — just 66 days into fiscal 2015 — America’s most elite troops had already set foot in 105 nations, approximately 80% of 2014’s total.

Despite its massive scale and scope, this secret global war across much of the planet is unknown to most Americans. Unlike the December debacle in Yemen, the vast majority of special ops missions remain completely in the shadows, hidden from external oversight or press scrutiny.  In fact, aside from modest amounts of information disclosed through highly-selective coverage by military media, official White House leaks, SEALs with something to sell, and a few cherry-picked journalists reporting on cherry-picked opportunities, much of what America’s special operators do is never subjected to meaningful examination, which only increases the chances of unforeseen blowback and catastrophic consequences.

The Golden Age

“The command is at its absolute zenith. And it is indeed a golden age for special operations.” Those were the words of Army General Joseph Votel III, a West Point graduate and Army Ranger, as he assumed command of SOCOM last August.

His rhetoric may have been high-flown, but it wasn’t hyperbole. Since September 11, 2001, U.S. Special Operations forces have grown in every conceivable way, including their numbers, their budget, their clout in Washington, and their place in the country’s popular imagination.  The command has, for example, more than doubled its personnel from about 33,000 in 2001 to nearly 70,000 today, including a jump of roughly 8,000 during the three-year tenure of recently retired SOCOM chief Admiral William McRaven.

Those numbers, impressive as they are, don’t give a full sense of the nature of the expansion and growing global reach of America’s most elite forces in these years.  For that, a rundown of the acronym-ridden structure of the ever-expanding Special Operations Command is in order. The list may be mind-numbing, but there is no other way to fully grasp its scope.

The lion’s share of SOCOM’s troops are Rangers, Green Berets, and other soldiers from the Army, followed by Air Force air commandos, SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen and support personnel from the Navy, as well as a smaller contingent of Marines. But you only get a sense of the expansiveness of the command when you consider the full range of “sub-unified commands” that these special ops troops are divided among: the self-explanatory SOCAFRICA; SOCEUR, the European contingent; SOCKOR, which is devoted strictly to Korea; SOCPAC, which covers the rest of the Asia-Pacific region; SOCSOUTH, which conducts missions in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean; SOCCENT, the sub-unified command of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) in the Middle East; SOCNORTH, which is devoted to “homeland defense”; and the globe-trotting Joint Special Operations Command or JSOC — a clandestine sub-command (formerly headed by McRaven and then Votel) made up of personnel from each service branch, including SEALs, Air Force special tactics airmen, and the Army’s Delta Force, that specializes in tracking and killing suspected terrorists.

And don’t think that’s the end of it, either. As a result of McRaven’s push to create “a Global SOF network of like-minded interagency allies and partners,” Special Operations liaison officers, or SOLOs, are now embedded in 14 key U.S. embassies to assist in advising the special forces of various allied nations. Already operating in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, France, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Poland, Peru, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, the SOLO program is poised, according to Votel, to expand to 40 countries by 2019. The command, and especially JSOC, has also forged close ties with the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Security Agency, among others.

Shadow Ops

Special Operations Command’s global reach extends further still, with smaller, more agile elements operating in the shadows from bases in the United States to remote parts of Southeast Asia, from Middle Eastern outposts to austere African camps. Since 2002, SOCOM has also been authorized to create its own Joint Task Forces, a prerogative normally limited to larger combatant commands like CENTCOM.  Take, for instance, Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) which, at its peak, had roughly 600 U.S. personnel supporting counterterrorist operations by Filipino allies against insurgent groups like Abu Sayyaf. After more than a decade spent battling that group, its numbers have been diminished, but it continues to be active, while violence in the region remains virtually unaltered.

A phase-out of the task force was actually announced in June 2014. “JSOTF-P will deactivate and the named operation OEF-P [Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines] will conclude in Fiscal Year 2015,” Votel told the Senate Armed Services Committee the next month. “A smaller number of U.S. military personnel operating as part of a PACOM [U.S. Pacific Command] Augmentation Team will continue to improve the abilities of the PSF [Philippine Special Forces] to conduct their CT [counterterrorism] missions…”  Months later, however, Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines remained up and running. “JSOTF-P is still active although the number of personnel assigned has been reduced,” Army spokesperson Kari McEwen told reporter Joseph Trevithick of War Is Boring.

Another unit, Special Operations Joint Task Force-Bragg, remained in the shadows for years before its first official mention by the Pentagon in early 2014. Its role, according to SOCOM’s Bockholt, is to “train and equip U.S. service members preparing for deployment to Afghanistan to support Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan.” That latter force, in turn, spent more than a decade conducting covert or “black” ops “to prevent insurgent activities from threatening the authority and sovereignty of” the Afghan government. This meant night raids and kill/capture missions — often in concert with elite Afghan forces — that led to the deaths of unknown numbers of combatants and civilians. In response to popular outrage against the raids, Afghan President Hamid Karzai largely banned them in 2013.

U.S. Special Operations forces were to move into a support role in 2014, letting elite Afghan troops take charge. “We’re trying to let them run the show,” Colonel Patrick Roberson of the Afghanistan task force told USA Today. But according to LaDonna Davis, a spokesperson with the task force, America’s special operators were still leading missions last year. The force refuses to say how many missions were led by Americans or even how many operations its commandos were involved in, though Afghan special operations forces reportedly carried out as many as 150 missions each month in 2014. “I will not be able to discuss the specific number of operations that have taken place,” Major Loren Bymer of Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan told TomDispatch. “However, Afghans currently lead 96% of special operations and we continue to train, advise, and assist our partners to ensure their success.”

And lest you think that that’s where the special forces organizational chart ends, Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan has five Special Operations Advisory Groups “focused on mentoring and advising our ASSF [Afghan Special Security Force] partners,” according to Votel.  “In order to ensure our ASSF partners continue to take the fight to our enemies, U.S. SOF must be able to continue to do some advising at the tactical level post-2014 with select units in select locations,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Indeed, last November, Karzai’s successor Ashraf Ghani quietly lifted the night raid ban, opening the door once again to missions with U.S. advisors in 2015.

There will, however, be fewer U.S. special ops troops available for tactical missions. According to then Rear-, now Vice-Admiral Sean Pybus, SOCOM’s Deputy Commander, about half the SEAL platoons deployed in Afghanistan were, by the end of last month, to be withdrawn and redeployed to support “the pivot in Asia, or work the Mediterranean, or the Gulf of Guinea, or into the Persian Gulf.” Still, Colonel Christopher Riga, commander of the 7th Special Forces Group, whose troops served with the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan near Kandahar last year, vowed to soldier on. “There’s a lot of fighting that is still going on in Afghanistan that is going to continue,” he said at an awards ceremony late last year. “We’re still going to continue to kill the enemy, until we are told to leave.”

Add to those task forces the Special Operations Command Forward (SOC FWD) elements, small teams which, according to the military, “shape and coordinate special operations forces security cooperation and engagement in support of theater special operations command, geographic combatant command, and country team goals and objectives.” SOCOM declined to confirm the existence of SOC FWDs, even though there has been ample official evidence on the subject and so it would not provide a count of how many teams are currently deployed across the world. But those that are known are clustered in favored black ops stomping grounds, including SOC FWD Pakistan, SOC FWD Yemen, and SOC FWD Lebanon, as well as SOC FWD East Africa, SOC FWD Central Africa, and SOC FWD West Africa.

Africa has, in fact, become a prime locale for shadowy covert missions by America’s special operators. “This particular unit has done impressive things. Whether it’s across Europe or Africa taking on a variety of contingencies, you are all contributing in a very significant way,” SOCOM’s commander, General Votel, told members of the 352nd Special Operations Group at their base in England last fall.

The Air Commandos are hardly alone in their exploits on that continent. Over the last years, for example, SEALs carried out a successful hostage rescue mission in Somalia and a kidnap raid there that went awry. In Libya, Delta Force commandos successfully captured an al-Qaeda militant in an early morning raid, while SEALs commandeered an oil tanker with cargo from Libya that the weak U.S.-backed government there considered stolen. Additionally, SEALs conducted a failed evacuation mission in South Sudan in which its members were wounded when the aircraft in which they were flying was hit by small arms fire. Meanwhile, an elite quick-response force known as Naval Special Warfare Unit 10 (NSWU-10) has been engaged with “strategic countries” such as Uganda, Somalia, and Nigeria.

A clandestine Special Ops training effort in Libya imploded when militia or “terrorist” forces twice raided its camp, guarded by the Libyan military, and looted large quantities of high-tech American equipment, hundreds of weapons — including Glock pistols, and M4 rifles — as well as night vision devices and specialized lasers that can only be seen with such equipment. As a result, the mission was scuttled and the camp was abandoned. It was then reportedly taken over by a militia.

In February of last year, elite troops traveled to Niger for three weeks of military drills as part of Flintlock 2014, an annual Special Ops counterterrorism exercise that brought together the forces of the host nation, Canada, Chad, France, Mauritania, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Senegal, the United Kingdom, and Burkina Faso. Several months later, an officer from Burkina Faso, who received counterterrorism training in the U.S. under the auspices of SOCOM’s Joint Special Operations University in 2012, seized power in a coup. Special Ops forces, however, remained undaunted. Late last year, for example, under the auspices of SOC FWD West Africa, members of 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, partnered with elite Moroccan troops for training at a base outside of Marrakech.

A World of Opportunities

Deployments to African nations have, however, been just a part of the rapid growth of the Special Operations Command’s overseas reach. In the waning days of the Bush presidency, under then-SOCOM chief Admiral Eric Olson, Special Operations forces were reportedly deployed in about 60 countries around the world. By 2010, that number had swelled to 75, according to Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post. In 2011, SOCOM spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told TomDispatch that the total would reach 120 by the end of the year. With Admiral William McRaven in charge in 2013, then-Major Robert Bockholt told TomDispatch that the number had jumped to 134. Under the command of McRaven and Votel in 2014, according to Bockholt, the total slipped ever-so-slightly to 133. Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel noted, however, that under McRaven’s command — which lasted from August 2011 to August 2014 — special ops forces deployed to more than 150 different countries. “In fact, SOCOM and the entire U.S. military are more engaged internationally than ever before — in more places and with a wider variety of missions,” he said in an August 2014 speech.

He wasn’t kidding. Just over two months into fiscal 2015, the number of countries with Special Ops deployments has already clocked in at 105, according to Bockholt.

SOCOM refused to comment on the nature of its missions or the benefits of operating in so many nations. The command would not even name a single country where U.S. special operations forces deployed in the last three years. A glance at just some of the operations, exercises, and activities that have come to light, however, paints a picture of a globetrotting command in constant churn with alliances in every corner of the planet.

In January and February, for example, members of the 7th Special Forces Group and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment conducted a month-long Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) with forces from Trinidad and Tobago, while troops from the 353rd Special Operations Group joined members of the Royal Thai Air Force for Exercise Teak Torch in Udon Thani, Thailand. In February and March, Green Berets from the 20th Special Forces Group trained with elite troops in the Dominican Republic as part of a JCET.

In March, members of Marine Special Operations Command and Naval Special Warfare Unit 1 took part in maneuvers aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens as part of Multi-Sail 2014, an annual exercise designed to support “security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.” That same month, elite soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines took part in a training exercise code-named Fused Response with members of the Belizean military. “Exercises like this build rapport and bonds between U.S. forces and Belize,” said Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Heber Toro of Special Operations Command South afterward.

In April, soldiers from the 7th Special Forces Group joined with Honduran airborne troops for jump training — parachuting over that country’s Soto Cano Air Base. Soldiers from that same unit, serving with the Afghanistan task force, also carried out shadowy ops in the southern part of that country in the spring of 2014. In June, members of the 19th Special Forces Group carried out a JCET in Albania, while operators from Delta Force took part in the mission that secured the release of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan. That same month, Delta Force commandos helped kidnap Ahmed Abu Khattala, a suspected “ringleader” in the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, while Green Berets deployed to Iraq as advisors in the fight against the Islamic State.

In June and July, 26 members of the 522nd Special Operations Squadron carried out a 28,000-mile, four-week, five-continent mission which took them to Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Japan, among other nations, to escort three “single-engine [Air Force Special Operations Command] aircraft to a destination in the Pacific Area of Responsibility.” In July, U.S. Special Operations forces traveled to Tolemaida, Colombia, to compete against elite troops from 16 other nations — in events like sniper stalking, shooting, and an obstacle course race — at the annual Fuerzas Comando competition.

In August, soldiers from the 20th Special Forces Group conducted a JCET with elite units from Suriname. “We’ve made a lot of progress together in a month. If we ever have to operate together in the future, we know we’ve made partners and friends we can depend upon,” said a senior noncommissioned officer from that unit. In Iraq that month, Green Berets conducted a reconnaissance mission on Mount Sinjar as part an effort to protect ethnic Yazidis from Islamic State militants, while Delta Force commandos raided an oil refinery in northern Syria in a bid to save American journalist James Foley and other hostages held by the same group. That mission was a bust and Foley was brutally executed shortly thereafter.

In September, about 1,200 U.S. special operators and support personnel joined with elite troops from the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Finland, Great Britain, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Slovenia for Jackal Stone, a training exercise that focused on everything from close quarters combat and sniper tactics to small boat operations and hostage rescue missions. In September and October, Rangers from the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment deployed to South Korea to practice small unit tactics like clearing trenches and knocking out bunkers. During October, Air Force air commandos also conducted simulated hostage rescue missions at the Stanford Training Area near Thetford, England. Meanwhile, in international waters south of Cyprus, Navy SEALs commandeered that tanker full of oil loaded at a rebel-held port in Libya. In November, U.S. commandos conducted a raid in Yemen that freed eight foreign hostages. The next month, SEALs carried out the blood-soaked mission that left two hostages, including Luke Somers, and eight civilians dead. And these, of course, are only some of the missions that managed to make it into the news or in some other way onto the record.

Everywhere They Want to Be

To America’s black ops chiefs, the globe is as unstable as it is interconnected. “I guarantee you what happens in Latin America affects what happens in West Africa, which affects what happens in Southern Europe, which affects what happens in Southwest Asia,” McRaven told last year’s Geolnt, an annual gathering of surveillance-industry executives and military personnel. Their solution to interlocked instability?  More missions in more nations — in more than three-quarters of the world’s countries, in fact — during McRaven’s tenure. And the stage appears set for yet more of the same in the years ahead. “We want to be everywhere,” said Votel at Geolnt. His forces are already well on their way in 2015.

“Our nation has very high expectations of SOF,” he told special operators in England last fall. “They look to us to do the very hard missions in very difficult conditions.” The nature and whereabouts of most of those “hard missions,” however, remain unknown to Americans. And Votel apparently isn’t interested in shedding light on them. “Sorry, but no,” was SOCOM’s response to TomDispatch’s request for an interview with the special ops chief about current and future operations. In fact, the command refused to make any personnel available for a discussion of what it’s doing in America’s name and with taxpayer dollars. It’s not hard to guess why.

Votel now sits atop one of the major success stories of a post-9/11 military that has been mired in winless wars, intervention blowback, rampant criminal activity, repeated leaks of embarrassing secrets, and all manner of shocking scandals. Through a deft combination of bravado and secrecy, well-placed leaks, adroit marketing and public relations efforts, the skillful cultivation of a superman mystique (with a dollop of tortured fragility on the side), and one extremely popular, high-profile, targeted killing, Special Operations forces have become the darlings of American popular culture, while the command has been a consistent winner in Washington’s bare-knuckled budget battles.

This is particularly striking given what’s actually occurred in the field: in Africa, the arming and outfitting of militants and the training of a coup leader; in Iraq, America’s most elite forces were implicated in torture, the destruction of homes, and the killing and wounding of innocents; in Afghanistan, it was a similar story, with repeated reports of civilian deaths; while in Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia it’s been more of the same. And this only scratches the surface of special ops miscues.  

In 2001, before U.S. black ops forces began their massive, multi-front clandestine war against terrorism, there were 33,000 members of Special Operations Command and about 1,800 members of the elite of the elite, the Joint Special Operations Command. There were then also 23 terrorist groups — from Hamas to the Real Irish Republican Army — as recognized by the State Department, including al-Qaeda, whose membership was estimated at anywhere from 200 to 1,000. That group was primarily based in Afghanistan and Pakistan, although small cells had operated in numerous countries including Germany and the United States.

After more than a decade of secret wars, massive surveillance, untold numbers of night raids, detentions, and assassinations, not to mention billions upon billions of dollars spent, the results speak for themselves. SOCOM has more than doubled in size and the secretive JSOC may be almost as large as SOCOM was in 2001. Since September of that year, 36 new terror groups have sprung up, including multiple al-Qaeda franchises, offshoots, and allies. Today, these groups still operate in Afghanistan and Pakistan — there are now 11 recognized al-Qaeda affiliates in the latter nation, five in the former — as well as in Mali and Tunisia, Libya and Morocco, Nigeria and Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen, among other countries. One offshoot was born of the American invasion of Iraq, was nurtured in a U.S. prison camp, and, now known as the Islamic State, controls a wide swath of that country and neighboring Syria, a proto-caliphate in the heart of the Middle East that was only the stuff of jihadi dreams back in 2001. That group, alone, has an estimated strength of around 30,000 and managed to take over a huge swath of territory, including Iraq’s second largest city, despite being relentlessly targeted in its infancy by JSOC.

“We need to continue to synchronize the deployment of SOF throughout the globe,” says Votel. “We all need to be synched up, coordinated, and prepared throughout the command.” Left out of sync are the American people who have consistently been kept in the dark about what America’s special operators are doing and where they’re doing it, not to mention the checkered results of, and blowback from, what they’ve done. But if history is any guide, the black ops blackout will help ensure that this continues to be a “golden age” for U.S. Special Operations Command.

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The Rise of German Imperialism and the Phony “Russian Threat”

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40412.htm

The Rise of German Imperialism and the Phony “Russian Threat”

By James Petras

December 08, 2014 “ICH” – The principle Nazi ideological prop that secured massive financial and political support from Germany’s leading industrialists was the Communist and Soviet threat.  The main Nazi military drive, absorbing two-thirds of its best troops, was directed eastward at conquering and destroying Russia.  The ‘Russian Threat’ justified Nazi Germany’s conquest and occupation of the Ukraine, the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, with the aid of a substantial proportion of local Nazi collaborators.

After Germany’s defeat , division  and  disarmament, and with the extension of Soviet power,  the US reinstated the Nazi industrial and banking giants, officials and intelligence operatives. At first they were engaged in rebuilding their domestic economy and consolidating political power, in collaboration with the US military occupation forces.

By the late 1960’s Germany regained economic primacy in Europe and was at the forefront of European ‘integration’, in association with France and England. It soon came to dominate the principle decision – making institutions of the European Union(EU). The EU served as Germany’s instrument for conquest by stealth. Year by year, through ‘aid’ and low interest loans,the EU  facilitated German capitalist’s  market penetration and financial expansion,through out south and central Europe. Germany set the agenda for Western Europe, gaining economic dominance while benefiting from US subversion and encirclement of Eastern Europe, Russia and the Baltic and Balkan states.

Germany’s Great Leap Forward:  The Annexation of East Germany and the Demise of the USSR

Germany’s projection of power on a world scale would never have occurred if it had not annexed East Germany. Despite the West German claims of beneficence and ‘aid’ to the East, the Bonn regime secured several million skilled engineers, workers and technicians, the takeover of factories, productive farms and, most important, the Eastern European and Russian markets for industrial goods, worth  billions of dollars. Germany was transformed from an emerging influential EU partner, into the most dynamic expansionist power in Europe, especially in the former Warsaw Pact economies.

The annexation of East Germany and the overthrow of the Communist governments in the East allowed German capitalists to dominate markets in the former  Eastern bloc. As the major trading partner, it seized control of major industrial enterprises via corrupt privatizations decreed  by the newly installed pro-capitalist client regimes.  As the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgarian, the Baltic States “privatized” and “de-nationalized” strategic economic, trade, media and social service sectors, ‘unified’ Germany was able to resume a privileged place.  As Russia fell into the hands of gangsters, emerging oligarchs and political proxies of western capitalists, its entire industrial infrastructure was decimated and Russia was converted into a giant raw-material export region.

Germany converted its trade relations with Russia from one between equals into a ‘colonial’ pattern:  Germany exported high value industrial products and imported gas, oil and raw materials from Russia.

German power expanded exponentially, with the annexation of the “other Germany”, the restoration of capitalism in Eastern Europe and the ascendancy of client regimes eager and willing to submit to a German dominated European Union and a US directed NATO military command.

German political-economic expansion via ‘popular uprisings’, controlled by local political clients, was soon accompanied by a US led military offensive – sparked by separatist movements. Germany intervened in Yugoslavia, aiding and abetting separatists in Slovenia and Croatia .It backed the US-NATO bombing of Serbia and supported the far-right, self-styled Kosovo Liberation Army ( KLA),engaged in a terrorist war in  Kosovo .  Belgrade was defeated and regime change led to a neo-liberal client state.  The US built the largest military base in Europe in Kosovo. Montenegro and Macedonia became EU satellites.

While NATO expanded and enhanced the US military presence up to Russia’s borders, Germany became the continent’s pre-eminent economic power.

Germany and the New World Order

While President Bush and Clinton were heralding a “new world order”, based on  unipolar military supremacy, Germany advanced its new imperial order by exercising its  political and economic levers.  Each of the two power centers, Germany and the US, shared the common quest of rapidly incorporating the new capitalist regimes into their regional organizations –the European Union (EU) and NATO– and extending their reach globally. Given the reactionary origins and trajectory into vassalage of the Eastern, Baltic and Balkan regimes, and given their political fears of a popular reaction to the loss of employment, welfare and independence resulting from their implementation of savage neoliberal “shock policies”, the client rulers immediately “applied” for membership as subordinate members of the EU and NATO, trading sovereignty, markets and national ownership of the means of production for economic handouts and the ‘free’ movement of labor, an escape valve for the millions of newly unemployed workers.  German and English capital got millions of skilled immigrant workers at below labor market wages, and unimpeded access to markets and resources. The US secured NATO military bases, and recruited military forces for its Middle East and South Asian imperial wars.

US-German military and economic dominance in Europe was premised on retaining Russia as a weak quasi vassal state, and on the continued economic growth of their economies beyond the initial pillage of the ex-communist economies.

For the US, uncontested military supremacy throughout Europe was the springboard for near-time imperial expansion in the Middle East, South Asia, Africa and Latin America.  NATO was ‘internationalized’ into an offensive global military alliance: first in Somalia, Afghanistan then Iraq, Libya, Syria and the Ukraine.

The Rise of Russia, The Islamic Resistance and the New Cold War

During the ‘decade of infamy’ (1991-2000) extreme privatization measures by the client rulers in Russia on behalf of EU and US investors and gangster oligarchs, added up to vast pillage of the entire economy, public treasury and national patrimony.  The image and reality of a giant prostrate vassal state unable to pursue an independent foreign policy, and incapable of providing the minimum semblance of a modern functioning economy and maintaining the rule of law, became the defining view of Russia by the EU and the USA. Post-communist Russia, a failed state by any measure, was dubbed a “liberal democracy” by every western capitalist politician and so it was repeated by all their mass media acolytes.

The fortuitous rise of Vladimir Putin and the gradual replacement of some of the most egregious ‘sell-out’ neo-liberal officials, and most important, the reconstruction of the Russian state with a proper budget and functioning national institutions, was immediately perceived as a threat to US military supremacy and German economic expansion.  Russia’s transition from Western vassalage to regaining its status as a sovereign independent state set in motion, an aggressive counter-offensive by the US-EU. They financed a neo-liberal-oligarchy backed political opposition in an attempt to restore Russia to vassalage via street demonstrations and elections. Their efforts  to oust Putin and re-establish Western vassal state failed. What worked in 1991 with Yeltsin’s power grab against Gorbachev was ineffective against Putin. The vast majority of Russians did not want a return to the decade of infamy.

In the beginning of the new century, Putin and his team set new ground-rules, in which oligarchs could retain their illicit wealth and conglomerates, providing they didn’t use their economic levers to seize state power.  Secondly, Putin revived and restored the scientific technical, military, industrial and cultural institutions and centralized trade and investment decisions within a wide circle of public and private decision makers not beholden to Western policymakers.  Thirdly, he began to assess and rectify the breakdown of Russian security agencies particularly with regard to the threats emanating from Western sponsored ‘separatist’ movements in the Caucuses, especially, in Chechnya, and the onset of US backed ‘color revolutions’ in the Ukraine and Georgia.

At first, Putin optimistically assumed that, Russia being a capitalist state, and without any competing ideology, the normalization and stabilization of the Russian state would be welcomed by the US and the EU.  He even envisioned that they would accept Russia  as an economic, political, and even NATO partner.   Putin even made overtures to join and co-operate with NATO and the EU.  The West did not try to dissuade Putin of his illusions .In fact they encouraged him, even as they escalated their backing for Putin’s internal opposition and prepared a series of imperial wars and sanctions in the Middle East, targeting traditional Russian allies in Iraq, Syria and Libya.

As the ‘internal’ subversive strategy failed to dislodge President Putin, and the Russian state prevailed over the neo-vassals, the demonization of Putin became constant and shrill. The West moved decisively to an ‘outsider strategy’, to isolate, encircle and undermine the Russian state by undermining allies, and trading partners

US and Germany Confront Russia:  Manufacturing the “Russian Threat”

Russia was enticed to support US and NATO wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya in exchange for the promise of deeper integration into Western markets.  The US and EU accepted Russian co-operation, including military supply routes and bases, for their invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. The NATO powers secured Russian support of sanctions against Iran. They exploited Russia’s naïve support of a “no fly zone” over Libya to launch a full scale aerial war. The US financed  so-called “color revolutions” in Georgia and the Ukraine  overt, a dress rehearsal for the putsch in 2014  Each violent seizure of power allowed NATO to impose anti-Russian rulers eager and willing to serve as vassal states to Germany and the US.

Germany spearheaded the European imperial advance in the Balkans and  Moldavia, countries with strong economic ties to Russia.  High German officials “visited” the Balkans to bolster their ties with vassal regimes in Slovenia, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Croatia.  Under German direction, the European Union ordered  the vassal Bulgarian regime of Boyko “the booby” Borisov to block the passage of  Russian owned South Stream pipeline to Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia and beyond.  The Bulgarian state lost $400 million in annual revenue . . .  Germany and the US bankrolled pro-NATO and EU client politicians in Moldavia – securing the election of Iurie Leanca as Prime Minister.  As a result of Leanca’s slavish pursuit of EU vassalage, Moldavia lost $150 million in exports to Russia.  Leanca’s pro-EU policies go counter to the views of most Moldavians – 57% see Russia as the country’s most important economic partner.  Nearly 40% of the Moldavian working age population works in Russia and 25% of the Moldavians’ $8 billion GDP is accounted for by overseas remittances.

German and the US empire-builders steamroll over dissenting voices in Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia, as well as Moldova and Bulgaria, who’s economy and population suffer from the impositions of the blockade of  the Russian gas and oil pipeline.  But Germany’s, all out economic warfare against Russia takes precedent over the interests of its vassal states: its theirs to sacrifice for the ‘Greater Good’ of the emerging German economic empire and the US – NATO military encirclement of Russia. The extremely crude dictates of German imperial interests articulated through the EU, and the willingness of Balkan and Baltic regimes to sacrifice fundamental economic interests, are the best indicators of the emerging German empire in Europe.

Parallel to Germany’s rabid anti-Russian economic campaign, the US via NATO is engaged in a vast military build-up along the length and breadth of Russia’s frontier.  The US stooge, NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg, boasts that over the current year, NATO has increased 5-fold the warplanes and bombers patrolling Russian maritime and land frontiers, carried out military exercises every two days and vastly increased the number of war ships in the Baltic and Black Sea.

Conclusion

What is absolutely clear is that the US and Germany want to return Russia to the vassalage status of the 1990’s.  They do not want ‘normal relations’. From the moment Putin moved to restore the Russian state and economy, the Western powers have engaged in a series of political and military interventions, eliminating Russian allies, trading partners and independent states.

The emergent of extremist, visceral anti-Russian regimes in Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania served as the forward shield for NATO advancement and German economic encroachment.  Hitler’s ‘dream’ of realizing the conquest of the East via unilateral military conquest has now under Prime Minister Merkel taken the form of conquest by stealth in Northern and Central Europe, by economic blackmail in the Balkans, and by violent putsches in the Ukraine and  Georgia.

The German economic ruling class is divided between the dominant pro-US sector that is willing to sacrifice lucrative trade with Russia today in hopes of dominating and pillaging the entire economy in a post-Putin Russia (dominated by ‘reborn Yeltsin clones’); and a minority industrial sector, which wants to end sanctions and return to normal economic relations with Russia.

Germany is fearful that its client rulers in the East, especially in the Balkans are vulnerable to a popular upheaval due to the economic sacrifices they impose on the population. Hence, Germany is wholly in favor of the new NATO rapid deployment force, ostensibly designed to counter a non-existent “Russian threat” but in reality to prop up faltering vassal regimes.

The ‘Russian Threat’, the ideology driving the US and German offensive throughout Europe and the Caucuses, is a replay of the same doctrine which Hitler used to secure support from domestic industrial bankers, conservatives and right wing overseas collaborators among extremists in Ukraine, Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria.

The US-EU seizure of power via vassal political clients backed by corrupt oligarchs and Nazi street fighters in Ukraine detonated the current crisis. Ukraine power grab posed a top security threat to the very existence of Russia as an independent state.  After the Kiev take-over, NATO moved its stooge regime in Kiev forward to militarily eliminate the independent regions in the Southeast and seize the Crimea .thus totally eliminating Russia’s strategic position in the Black Sea. Russia the victim of the NATO power grab was labelled the “aggressor”. The entire officialdom and mass media echoed the Big Lie. Two decades of US NATO military advances on Russia’s borders and German-EU economic expansion into Russian markets were obfuscated.  Ukraine is the most important strategic military platform from which the US-NATO can launch an attack on the Russian heartland and the single largest market for Germany since the annexation of East Germany

The US and Germany see the Ukraine conquest as of extreme value in itself but also as the key to launching an all-out offensive to strangle Russia’s economy via sanctions and dumping oil and to militarily threaten Russia. The strategic goal is to reduce the Russian population to poverty and to re-activate the quasi-moribund opposition  to overthrow the Putin government and return Russia to permanent vassalage. The US and German imperial elite, looking beyond Russia, believe that if they control Russia, they can encircle ,isolate and attack China from the West as well as the East.

Wild-eyed fanatics they are not.  But as rabid proponents of a permanent war to end Russia’s presence in Europe and to undermine China’s emergence as a world power, they are willing to go to the brink of a nuclear war.

The ideological centerpiece of US-German imperial expansion and conquest in Europe and the Caucuses is the “Russian Threat”.  It is the touchstone defining adversaries and allies.  Countries that do not uphold sanctions are targeted.  The mass media repeat the lie.  The “Russian Threat” has become the war cry for cringing vassals – the phony justification for imposing frightful sacrifices to serve their imperial ‘padrones’ in Berlin and Washington –  fearing the rebellion of the ‘sacrificed’ population.  No doubt, under siege, Russia will be forced to make sacrifices.  The oligarchs will flee westward; the liberals will crawl under their beds.  But just as the Soviets turned the tide of war in Stalingrad, the Russian people, past the first two years of a bootstrap operation will survive, thrive and become once again a beacon of hope to all  people looking to get from under the tyranny of US-NATO militarism and German-EU economic dictates.

James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York.

Our Friends in Riyadh

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/10/our-man-in-riyadh/
Our Friends in Riyadh

by Toby C. Jones

The United States is allies with Saudi Arabia not in spite of the country’s authoritarian political order, but because of it.

Last Wednesday, a criminal court in Saudi Arabia sentenced Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, one of the kingdom’s most visible political dissidents, to death. Saudi authorities have justified the verdict in terms of national security. Convicted on vague charges of sedition, Al-Nimr was tried in a court established to judge cases of terrorism.

As is often the case in Saudi Arabia, what passes for the rule of law and national security is more often the theater of the absurd. The execution verdict, which could be commuted to a lengthy prison sentence, is the product of a system based on political exclusion, a system that sacrifices human beings to maintain centralized authority and elite privilege.

Al-Nimr was arrested and subsequently sentenced not because he is a danger to Saudi society, but because he has long been a critic of oppression, has agitated against sectarian discrimination, and led protests demanding reforms to an unjust political order. Al-Nimr has been a prominent figure in supporting what has been a largely unseen, but nevertheless persistent protest movement in the predominantly Shiite communities of eastern Saudi Arabia.

Since 2011, shortly after citizens mobilized against the al-Khalifa in neighboring Bahrain, Saudi Shiites also took to the streets. In response, the authorities have cracked down brutally, criminalizing a broad range of activism, aggressively policing Shiite communities, and chasing down, arresting, or killing scores of activists.

Al-Nimr only poses a threat to the regime itself. The state’s repression, cloaked in the language of security and sedition, is a weak effort to mystify this fundamental fact. Given the stakes of expressing anger at the regime, particularly for the Shiite community, it is noteworthy that street protests have continued daily since the sentence against al-Nimr.

Of course, even casual observers of Saudi Arabian politics are likely unsurprised by the decision to execute a prominent Shia cleric. After all, the kingdom is widely believed to be a center of religious extremism and sectarian ferment. And it is certainly true that anti-Shiism has a history in Saudi Arabia.

Shiites, who make up as much as 15 percent of the Saudi population, have been targeted historically by both religious zealots and a central government tantamount to an imperial regime. The community has faced systematic discrimination and exclusion since the imperial expansion of the Al-Saud from central Arabia in the early twentieth century.

But sectarian pathologies, even in Saudi Arabia, have particular histories. And they are hardly as widespread as we might assume. It is certainly the case that discriminatory sentiment has become more entrenched in the last generation, but the worst varieties of anti-Shiism, especially those advocating violence and supportive of the regionalization of a Sunni-Shiite war, are a small, but powerful minority.

Anti-Shiism today is not so much the product of a retrograde or orthodox interpretation of Islam — widely labeled Wahhabism — as it is the convergence of several political forces, the most important of which is a vulnerable state.

Confronted by a number of internal and external threats — the Iranian pursuit of influence in the Gulf; the rise of Shiite power in post-invasion Iraq; the uprising in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia’s satellite state; and most importantly, the rise of a range of domestic challenges to Saudi authority since 2003, including criticism of deep state corruption and the absence of political rights — leaders in Riyadh have responded by fomenting discriminatory anti-Shiism. Rather than broadening participation or overturning inequalities, the regime’s impulse has been to pursue the politics of sectarian escalation.

Seen this way, the verdict against al-Nimr is not so much about national security or a reflection of deeply conservative, anti-Shiite sentiment as it is an indication of the regime’s vulnerability.

It is tempting to say that in threatening to execute al-Nimr the state seeks to dissuade other Shiite dissidents from challenging its authority. This is certainly true. But the regime is also throwing red meat to the worst reactionaries in its midst, engaging in the politics and practice of distraction, and, providing political legitimacy for the strident and virulent forms of sectarianism that have settled in across the region.  The obvious effect is that anti-Shiism, both at home and abroad, has and will continue to gain greater currency, as it seemingly has with the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). More subtly, the Saudi gambit is also based on a clear understanding that other potential forms of dissent — against charges of corruption or frustration at what is a heavy-handed security state — can be deflected or set aside by stoking anti-Shiism and by sacrificing Shiite bodies.

The sectarianization of Saudi politics is also political-economic and bound up in the kingdom’s “special relationship” with the United States. Since the uprising in Bahrain in 2011, United States has continued to support the autocratic Arab regimes in the Gulf rather than democracy or human rights. Justifications include priorities around “security,” the need to contain Iran, and ensuring that oil flows from the Gulf to global markets.

With these priorities in mind, it is unlikely that American officials will do much to challenge Riyadh on either al-Nimr’s verdict or try to alter its sectarian behavior more generally. Critics have called on the United States to rethink its strategic ties to Riyadh. But doing so would require confronting not only the contradictions in American policy, especially given that it is close to a Saudi state that supported the rise of ISIS, even if indirectly, even while it now claims to be committed to the Islamic State’s destruction.

In any case, the United States’ unwillingness to confront Saudi Arabia’s role in ISIS’s rise, aside from comments from Secretary of State John Kerry that seemed to acknowledge this, enables the kingdom’s contradictory behavior. Whatever the limits of American power, the plain reality is that Washington has never meaningfully pressed the Saudis on their complicity in the spread of post-2003 sectarianism or anti-Shiite terrorism.

Beyond these contradictions, it is important to keep in sight the role that the United States government and that American capital have played in the rise of autocracy and discriminatory politics in Saudi Arabia in the first place.

Al-Nimr comes from a small village called Awamiyya in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, a place where American influence runs deep. It is in the east where almost all of the kingdom’s Shiite community lives, and where almost all of its oil sits. For a regime worried about internal threats, Shiite challenges to power are meaningful not only for their content, but also because of their location. The US government and American capital know this all very well.

Although American political and corporate interests surrendered direct control of Saudi Arabia’s oil resources in the early 1980s, they were present in the eastern province, in and around Shiite communities, from the late 1930s through much of the twentieth century.

Fearful of politically mobilized Saudi labor in the mid twentieth century, the Arabian American Oil Company (which was known to employ CIA officials) coordinated closely with Saudi leaders from the 1940s until the 1970s in building a centralized, discriminatory political order that was anti-democratic, anti-labor, and that sought to create disciplined and docile bodies in a place where the al-Saud lacked much in the way of political legitimacy. The very political order that Saudi authorities seek to shore up by way of show trials and capital punishment is the legacy of this twentieth century cooperation.

American policymakers no longer think in terms of the interests of an American oil company that controls Saudi oil. But its practical and political economic interests have changed very little. Since the late 1970s, in fact, these connections have proliferated, most importantly through weapons sales and the entanglement of the American military-industrial complex with Saudi oil wealth. There is no greater engine for the recycling of Saudi and Gulf Arab petrodollars than massive and expensive weapons systems. These sales are largely justified in the language of security and by invoking regional threats like Saddam Hussein and whatever regime sits in Tehran. The reality, though, is that they are hugely profitable.

While it has sometimes bristled at American policy over the last decade, Riyadh remains committed to its relationship with Washington. The opposite is also true. American policymakers continue to see Saudi Arabia as indispensable not because it has shown itself willing to change or develop a more inclusive and tolerant political order, but because it does not.

To push for democracy in Saudi Arabia, or even simply a more critical approach to the ways that Riyadh’s domestic political maneuvering courts regional catastrophe, would be to open up the possibility of a government that wouldn’t subordinate the interests of its citizens to American energy needs. That’s a risk the US government and capital aren’t willing to take.

Germany Redoubles Support for Israel

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140224/DEFREG04/302240016

Germany Redoubles Support for Israel

Feb. 24, 2014 –  
By BARBARA OPALL-ROME  

TEL AVIV — Germany is redoubling its already considerable security assistance to Israel with last week’s approval of a discounted submarine deal and a recently delivered cost-free Patriot loaner air defense radar.

A senior German government official told the Associated Press Nov. 30 that the Cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel approved a longstanding Israeli request for an additional Dolphin submarine, Israel’s sixth, and has earmarked €135 million (US $180 million) to subsidize about a third of its cost.

Spokesmen from the German MoD and the German Economics Ministry could not confirm the report when contacted Dec. 1, but Defense News has learned that the director-general of Israel’s MoD, retired Maj. Gen. Udi Shani, plans to visit Germany early this week to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for Israel’s sixth Dolphin-class submarine.

Israeli sources here declined to discuss details of the prospective deal, yet noted that costs for the sixth submarine would exceed €600 million.

The German subsidy would cover about a third of the costs to construct the hull at Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW), the Kiel, Germany-based shipbuilding division of Thyssen-Krupp Marine Systems (TKMS). Remaining costs would be covered by Israeli national funds and US Offshore Procurement, meaning the portion of US military aid that is converted into Israeli shekels for development, production and integration of indigenous combat systems.

The subsidized submarine deal is a follow-on option to a 2005 agreement under which Germany underwrote about a third of the cost of two new air-independent propulsion (AIP) Dolphins. Those two submarines – Dolphin 4 and Dolphin 5 in Israel’s planned six-submarine Dolphin fleet – are still undergoing construction in Kiel. They are slated to be delivered in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Once delivered, they will join three diesel electric Dolphins operational since 2001; two of them fully funded by Germany and the third of which was funded jointly by the two countries.

“Israel is enormously appreciative of Germany’s support for our underwater defense capabilities. But it’s not just a one-way street … This subsidy, like previous ones, goes directly to the shipyard and serves to support Germany’s industrial base,” a senior Israeli defense official said.

Defense and industry sources say it will take about seven years to ready the sixth Dolphin for deployment.

Free Loaner Radar

In another manifestation of expanding German-Israeli defense ties, the Israel Air Force (IAF) recently took delivery of a German Patriot radar provided as a cost-free loaner during the three or four years it takes Israel to retrofit its own inventory of AN/MPG-53 radars in the United States.

German, US and Israeli sources confirmed the trilateral cooperation, aimed at filling potential gaps in Israeli air defense coverage while IAF Patriot PAC-2 air defense radars are being serviced at the US Army’s Letterkenny Depot in Pennsylvania.

The loaner radar provided by the German Bundeswehr arrived here in-late October, shortly before the first of three Israeli Patriot radar sets was shipped to the United States for servicing. The German delivery marks an expansion of strategic cooperation with Israel, which received two full-up Patriot PAC-2 batteries from Luftwaffe stocks in 2003 in the run-up to the US-led coalition war in Iraq.

Sources say each radar will take about a year to replace aging components, extend service life, and improve its ability to interoperate with US European Command’s Patriot batteries that participate in biannual US-Israel exercises and could be rushed here for emergency deployment during wartime.

The entire upgrade program is estimated at $15 million and will be funded through annual US Foreign Military Financing (FMF) assistance to Israel. Israeli and German officials confirmed that the German loaner radar would remain here until the upgrade program is complete and all Israeli radars are redeployed and integrated with other elements of the IAF’s Air Defense Force.

“Germany has contributed to the Air Defence System of Israel since 2003 with the loan of two Patriot systems. Additional components are temporarily on loan to maintain the operational capability of the systems,” Lt. Col. Holger Neumann, a German MoD spokesman, told Defense News.

An IAF officer emphasized that the recently launched Patriot radar upgrade is more logistical in nature and is not aimed at converting Israel’s PAC-2 air defense force to the PAC-3 ballistic missile intercepting configuration at this time.

Separating Politics From Security

The prospective submarine deal and the German loaner radar come amid unusually public tension between Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over deadlocked peace talks with the Palestine Authority.

Since Merkel’s visit here in late January, the German chancellor has repeatedly and publicly prodded Netanyahu to move more decisively toward a Palestinian peace deal and to refrain from additional construction in disputed East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Such urgings became more acute over the summer and early autumn, when Merkel urged Netanyahu to seize opportunities inherent in the democratically inspired grassroots uprisings of the so-called Arab Spring.

But despite widely perceived Israeli intransigence on the political front, security ties with Germany — like strategic cooperation — are stronger than ever, and continue to expand, noted Shimon Stein, a former Israeli ambassador to Berlin.

“There appears to be parallel tracks that allow Germany and the United States, for that matter, to augment security cooperation regardless of the frustration at the political and even personal level,” Stein said.

“And while steps taken by the Netanyahu government have caused more than a little irritation, the Iranian issue and other security concerns compel friendly countries like Germany to stand by Israel and to continue to strive to meet its security needs.

“The question is whether and at what point these two lines will intersect if core political differences remain unresolved,” he added.

Email: bopallrome@defensenews.com

Financial Times applauds Chuck Hagel’s Pentagon plans

A US army that is leaner but stronger

Financial Times, February 26, 2014

Editorial

Hagel’s vision is right – but needs the backing of Congress

It is never easy to slim the Pentagon behemoth. In times of emergency, such as after the 9/11 attacks, US defence spending tends to balloon rapidly. In times of relative calm, previous gains are rarely clawed back. Chuck Hagel, the Pentagon chief, this week broke with the trend, outlining a vision for a leaner US defence posture. It is a vision to be applauded.

The defence secretary’s budget unveiled a reduction in US forces to just 440,000 – its lowest since before Pearl Harbor. From now on, the US would be equipped to fight just one conventional war rather than two simultaneously. Yet it would extend its technological edge and remain more powerful than the combined capability of the next few powers in the world rankings. Mr Hagel’s vision makes sense as far as it goes. However, sketching it out was the easy part. Now he must persuade Congress to put it into effect.

The case for a smaller US army is strong. After the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the American public has little appetite for prolonged foreign occupations. Results on the ground offer little evidence that they have been worth the expense in lives and money. This week President Barack Obama told Hamid Karzai that the US would consider withdrawing altogether from Afghanistan by the end of this year unless Kabul agreed to a treaty putting the US presence on a legal footing. Such an agreement looks remote. After the deaths of 2,313 US personnel and more than $1tn in expenditure, this is a terrible return on investment.

The US army was never equipped to build civil societies in faraway lands. But it will continue to win wars. A slimmer army only reflects the exponential growth in military technology. In 2001, it cost $2,300 to equip a US marine. That has since risen tenfold. The age of the underequipped “grunt” is over. The US army can achieve more with fewer people.

It can also achieve more with a far leaner system of procurement. Mr Hagel offered some cuts to overextended weapons programmes – notably the Combat Littoral Ship, which is billions of dollars over budget and vulnerable to Chinese anti-ship missiles. He also promised to close down the antiquated A10 attack aircraft fleet. But he stopped short of more radical steps to curb the hugely expensive F35 joint strike fighter programme, or wind down the US aircraft carrier fleet from 11 battle groups to 10. Such decisions cannot be ducked. Mr Hagel rightly proposed more spending on US special operations forces and on cyber defence. Both are smart investments against the threats of the future. But he will need to convince Congress to close outdated – but job-generating – weapons systems in order to free up the resources. That political battle has yet to be joined.

In an election year, Pentagon budgets usually go up. Mr Hagel is going against the grain by proposing a virtual freeze on military pay and a reduction in benefits in advance of midterm polls. He has set himself an ambitious task. Leaders in Congress have already signalled they will ignore Mr Hagel’s budget and produce a more lavish one of their own. Critics of his proposal have quite wrongly said it would reduce America’s ability to defend itself and embolden its enemies.

Even in less fiscally austere times, the case for a less bloated Pentagon would be overwhelming. It is supported by US military chiefs and by successive defence secretaries, both Republican and Democratic. Those who fight America’s wars do not mistake waste and duplication for military readiness. Congress specialises in such myopia. It is now up to Mr Hagel and the White House to take the case to the US public. The future of the Pentagon is far too important to be left to business as usual on Capitol Hill.

[Comment by the Web Administrator:  This Editorial illustrates how terms and concepts are abused to convey an ideology]

The War on Libya : An Imperialist Project to Create Three Libyas

The War on Libya : An Imperialist Project to Create Three Libyas

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, July 29, 2011

TRIPOLI, July 28, 2011 The division of Libya into three separate countries is part of the US-NATO imperial design. It is part of a project shared by the U.S., Britain, Italy, and France.

The NATO war launched against Libya in March 2011 was geared towards the breakup of the country into three separate entities.

The NATO led war, however, is back firing. The Libyan people have united to save their country and Tripoli is exploring its strategic options.

Preface: Reality versus Fiction

Almost all of the text herein was written a few months prior to my trip to Tripoli. It is part of a series of articles on Libya which I have been updating. It is fitting to conclude it in Tripoli, Libya. To be here on the ground in Libya is to be witness to the lies and warped narratives of the mainstream media and the governments. These lies have been used to justify this criminal military endeavor.

The mainstream media has been a major force in this war. They have endorsed and fabricated the news, they have justified an illegal and criminal war against an entire population.

Passing through the neighbourhood of Fashloom in Tripoli it is apparent that no jets attacked it as Al Jazeera and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) falsely claimed. Now the same media networks, newspapers, and wires claim on a daily basis that Tripoli is about to fall and that the Transitional Council is making new advances to various cities. Tripoli is nowhere near falling and is relatively peaceful. Foreign journalists have also all been taken to the areas that are being reported to have fallen to the Transitional Council, such as Sabha and its environs.

The mainstream media reporting out of Tripoli have consistently produced false reports. They report about information from “secure internet services” which essentially describes embassy and intelligence communication media. This is also tied to the “shadow internet” networks that the Obama Administration is promoting as part of a fake protest movement directed against governments around the world, including Latin America, Africa and Eurasia.

The foreign press operating out of Libya have deliberately worked to paint a false picture of Libya as a country on the brink of collapse and Colonel Qaddafi as a despot with little support.

A journalist was filmed wearing a bulletproof vest for his report in a peaceful area where there was no need for a bulletproof vest. These journalists broadly transmit the same type of news as the journalists embedded with the armed forces, the so-called embedded journalists. Most of the foreign press has betrayed the sacred trust of the public to report accurately and fairly.

Not only are they actively misreporting, but are serving the interests of the military coalition. They are actively working “against Libya.” They and their editors have deliberately fashioned reports and taken pictures and footage which have been used to portray Tripoli as an empty ghost town.

Le Monde for example published an article on July 7, 2011 by Jean-Philippe Rémy, which included misleading photographs that presented Tripoli as a ghost city. The photographs were taken by Laurent Van der Stickt, but it was the editors in Paris who selected the pictures to be used for publication. Le Monde is an instrument of war propaganda. It is publishing material which serves to mislead French public opinion.

Sky News is no better. Lisa Holland of Sky News has always used the words “claimed,” “claim,” and “unverified” for anything that Libyan officials say, but presents everything that NATO says without the same doubt-casting language as if it is an unquestionable truth. She used every chance she had to degrade the Libyans. When she visited the bombed home of the daughter of Mohammed Ali Gurari, where the entire family was killed by NATO, she repeatedly asked if Qaddafi was responsible for the bombing to the dismay of those present, with the exception of the reporters who helped paint distorted pictures in the mind of their audiences and readers. She has deliberately distorted the underlying the reality of the situation, blaming Qaddafi, while knowing full well who had killed the Gurari family.

Other reports include those of Liseron Boudoul., Boudoul is a reporter for Télévision française 1 (TF1), who has been in Tripoli for months. She reported on March 22, 2011 that all the reports coming out of Tripoli are reviewed and censored by Tripoli. This statement was fabricated. If the Libyans had been censoring the news, they would not have allowed her to make that statement or for her and her colleagues to continue their disinformation campaign. Like all the other foreign journalists in Libya, she has witnessed the popular support for Colonel Qaddafi, but this important information has been deliberately withheld from her reports.

Much of what is being passed on as news by foreign reporters on the ground is a mirror of the US-NATO’s fake humanitarian mandate.


There is a real military-industrial-media complex at work in North America and Western Europe. Most of the media claims are nonsensical and contrary to the facts on the ground. They ignore the realities and hard facts. Were these to have been revealed, people in NATO countries would be mobilizing against their governments and against the NATO led war on Libya.

They have helped portray the victim as the aggressor. They use every chance they have to demonize the Libyan government, while upholding the legitimacy of NATO. Essentially many of these so-called journalists are professional propagandists.

The mainstream media has also basically worked as an intelligence branch of the Pentagon and NATO in multiple ways. The mainstream media has been party to atrocities and crimes and that point should not be lost when analyzing the war in Libya. British journalists have even been said to have given coordinates for bombings to NATO.

Libya: A Nation and its Society

Because of its geographic location, Libya has been at the crossroads, a meeting point of various ethnic groups and nationalities, The inhabitants of Libya are a mixed people of various stocks from Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, Europe, and Southwest Asia. Berbers, Egyptians, Greeks, people of Italian descent, people from the Levant, Iranians, Arabs, Turks, Vandals, Hadjanrais, Tuaregs (the Kel Tamajaq or Kel Tamashq), and several other groups have all contributed to the mosaic that constitutes the present population and society of Libya.

The genesis of the concept of a Libyan nation as a loosely-knit entity started with the imperial rule of the Ottoman Empire in North Africa. For the inhabitants of Libya it resulted in a shared feeling of similarity that intensified after the Italo-Ottoman War. After this war between the Ottoman Empire and Italy, the three Ottoman provinces in Libya fell under Italian colonial control.

From the Ottoman and Italian periods onwards up until the years after the Italian defeat the Eastern Libyans had much in common with their kindred in Egypt, while Western Libyans had much in common with their kindred in Tunisia and Algeria, and while Southern Libyans had much in common with their kindred in Niger, Chad, and Sudan. The inhabitants of Libya, however, also had much in common with each other. This included a shared history, a shared language with similar dialects of Arabic, a shared faith, and shared political goals.


Geographic proximity and a united feeling of animosity towards the Italians were also important ingredients in establishing a sense of nationhood. Under Italian rule of Libya this feeling of similarity amongst the local inhabitants eventually developed into a national identity as well as a resistance movement to Italian colonial rule. The aspirations of this indigenous resistance were local sovereignty and unity without any foreign yoke.

The Devil’s Game: Divide and Conquer

Libya has fallen deeper and deeper into a trap. The flames of internal fighting have been fuelled in Libya with the aim of replicating the same divisive scenarios that occurred in the former Yugoslavia and in Iraq. These plans are also aimed at igniting chaos in North Africa and West Africa in an effort to re-colonize Africa in its entirety.

The objective of Washington and its allies consists in confiscating and managing Libya’s vast wealth and controlling its resources. The have initiated a foreign-propelled civil war in Libya. Meanwhile the forces of Colonel Qaddafi have regained control of most of Libyan territory.

The coalition then decided to intervene when the Benghazi-based Transitional Council was lying in its deathbed and was in very desperate shape. If it had to, the Transitional Council was willing to make a deal with the “Devil” for its survival. Thus, the Transitional Council embraced its NATO enablers even closer.

It must also be asked, which Libyan tribes have publicly sided with the Transitional Council? This is a very important question that allows one to establish the extent of public support for the rebellion. Anyone who understands Libyan society also understands the heavy political weight and representation the tribes have.

Also, how many people remain in Benghazi? The demographics of that city have changed since the start of the conflict. Many people have fled to Egypt and abroad from Benghazi. This is not due to the fighting alone, but is tied to a lack of support for the Transitional Council, not to mention the foreign fighters that the TNC has brought, and the lawlessness prevailing in Benghazi.

Dividing Libya into Three Trusteeships

There have been longstanding designs for dividing Libya that go back to 1943 and 1951. This started with failed attempts to establish a trusteeship over Libya after the defeat of Italy and Germany in North Africa during the Second World War.

The attempts to divide Libya then eventually resulted in a strategy that forced a monarchical federal system onto the Libyans similar to the “federal system” imposed on Iraq following the illegal 2003 Anglo-American invasion. If the Libyans had accepted federalism in their relatively homogenous society they could have forfeited their independence in 1951. [1]

Great sacrifices were made by the Libyans who fought to liberate their nation. During the Second World War the Libyans allowed Britain to enter their country to fight the Italians and the Germans. Benghazi fell to British military control on November 20, 1942, and Tripoli on January 23, 1943.[2] Despite its promises to allow Libya to become an independent country, London intended to administer the two Libyan provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica separately as colonies, while Paris was given control over the region of Fezzan (Fazzan), which is roughly one-third of Libya and the area to the southwest of the country bordering Algeria, Niger, and Chad. [3]

Following the end of the Second World War the victors and Italy attempted to partition Libya into territories that they would govern over as trust territories. It is because of the failure of this project that the Libyans gained independence as a united nation.

The political scientist Henri Habib describes this best:

The Allies, hav[ing] introduced a division in [Libya], hoped to have enough time to achieve their own ambitions. In the meantime, the Four Big Powers – the U.S.A., the U.S.S.R., the U.K., and France – met on two occasions at Potsdam and at San Francisco to discuss among other things the future of the former Italian colonies in Africa, including Libya. They referred the matter to the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Big Four. The latter met in London in September, 1945, and later in April, 1946, but were unable to agree. The U.S. proposed a collective United Nations Trusteeship over Libya; the U.S.S.R. proposed a Soviet Trusteeship over Tripolitania; while France wanted it returned to Italy. Eventually, the Soviets adopted the French view, but insisted on a Soviet-Italian Trusteeship. The British were ambiguous on the future; Britain and the U.S. later accepted an Italian Trusteeship on the condition, Britain insisted, that Cyrenaica be excluded. On February 10, 1947, a peace treaty with Italy was signed in Paris without settling the question of the Italian colonies. The Italians renounced all rights to their former colonies. They were secretly encouraged to make this renunciation in exchange for a vague promise of a U.N. Trusteeship over some of their former colonies. The Paris Conference had established as a corollary to the 1947 Peace Treaty with Italy a special Four Power Commission of Investigation to study the conditions in the former Italian colonies. They visited Libya from March 6, to May 20, 1948. They also consulted with the Italian government. The Commission was unable to arrive at a common decision, and conflicting recommendations were made, despite a strong desire made by the Libyan people for their independence. […] When the foreign ministers of the Big Four met on September 13, 1948, to receive the recommendations, they had little choice but to refer the whole matter to the General Assembly of the U.N. scheduled to meet on September 15, 1948.
Thus the question of the Libyan and other Italian colonies was placed on the U.N. General Assembly agenda. [4]

Once the matter was handed to the U.N. General Assembly, the British and the Italians made a last-ditch proposal on May 10, 1949, called the Bevin-Sfora Plan for Libya that consisted in dividing Libyan territory into an Italian-controlled Tripolitania, a British-controlled Cyrenaica, and a French-ruled Fezzan. [5] The motion failed by a vote of one and if it were not for the crucial vote of Haiti the U.N. would have portioned Libya into three separate countries. [6] (See map below)

The defeat of the plans to divide Libya at the U.N. would not be the end of the project to divide the North African country. There was still the internal card, division from within. This is where King Idris came into the picture.

Soft Balkanization through a Federal Emirate

Libya could have ended up like Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the Trucial Sheikhdoms which subsequently formed the United Arab Emirates. The British, the French, and the Italians did not give up their design for Libya, even when the U.N. General Assembly voted in favour of a united and independent Libya. They continued to try to divide Libya and even establish spheres of influence in consultaiton with the U.S. The focus was on Libyan federalism through an unelected National Assembly controlled by King Idris and a small circle of Libyan chieftains. [7]

The federalist system was unacceptable to many Libyans, which saw the new undemocratic National Assembly as a means of sidestepping the Libyan people. Moreover, the elected representatives from the heavily populated region of Tripolitania would be outweighed by the unelected chieftains from Cyrenaica and Fezzan. The official U.S. position was that the so-called “indigenous political leadership” of Cyrenaica and Fezzan enter the National Assembly with the elected representatives from Tripolitania on the “basis of equal representation for all parts of Libya.” [8] This was Orwellian double-speak that was meant to sidestep the will of the Libyan people. What was being pushed for by the U.S., Britain, France, and Italy was a country similar to the Arab sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf.

In 1951, the U.S. State Department had this to say about the unelected National Assembly and King Idris:
The Department hopes and expects that all powers previously exercised by the Administering Authorities [meaning France and Britain] will, by the date fixed by the [U.N. General Assembly] (i.e., January 1, 1952) “have been transferred to the duly constituted Libyan Government”. Proclamation of independence is expected to follow thereafter, together with the assumption by [the] Emir (Idris Al Senusi) of his position as constitutional monarch of United Libya. [9]

This did not sit well with many Arabs. Egypt was highly critical and saw through the diplomatic deceit. The Egyptian and wider Arab opposition were based on the following rationale:

(a) the National Assembly (which prepared the [Libyan] constitution) should have been an elected rather than an appointed body (Egypt has contended previously that only an elected [or democratic] National Assembly in which the three parts of Libya […] were represented in proportion to their population could properly represent the people of Libya in the constitution-making process […]) ; (b) the form of government should be unitary rather than federal ; and (c) the present federation plan is merely a disguised method of maintaining old imperialist control over Libya by the interested great powers. [10]

In this regard, Henri Habib states: “When Libya obtained its independence in December 1951, federalism was imposed upon the country by King Idris and the foreign powers [specifically Britain, France, the U.S., and Italy] despite opposition from the majority of Libyans.” [11] He adds further: “Libyans saw their country deliberately divided by Britain and France, and [the] seeds of division planted among them.” [12]


Federalism, however, would be defeated by the steadfast pan-Arab demands for unity by the Libyan people:
Despite the initially strong opposition of King Idris and his British mentors, the country was forced by the nature of things to adopt the unitary system in April 1963. The federal experiment was a failure and even the king had to acknowledge it. A special royal decree was issued on April 27, 1963, abolishing federalism and establishing the unitary system. [13]

If Washington, London, Paris, and Rome had succeeded in their design, modern-day Libya would in all likelihood not have become a republic. Instead Libya would most probably have mirrored the model of the United Arab Emirates, as an Arab petro-sheikhdom in the Mediterranean and the only Arab sheikhdom outside of the Persian Gulf littoral.

Calculated Balkanization via Civil War: Dividing Libya into Trusteeships

There was more than just fate on the side of the Libyan people who had fought for their independence. The imperialist attempt to divide Libya into three territories was defeated by the Libyan people. In the words of Henri Habib:

Despite the attempts made by a number of powers to keep Libya divided and weak after 1951 by establishing a federal system in a homogenous state, the Libyans amended their own constitution in 1963, established a unitary state and removed a major obstacle to the unity of [Libya]. This obstacle was an administrative or structural impediment to the fuller evolution of independence which the Libyans sacrificed so much to achieve. [14]

During the previous scheme to divide their country many Libyans realized that the objective of the former colonial powers was to enhance the powers of King Idris. Idris was to serve as a foreign vassal and the “local manager” of foreign interests. His role would have been similar to the Arab monarchs in Jordan and Morocco. The purpose was to install a neocolonial regime while weakening Libya as a nation-State. [15]

Today, in the context of the US-NATO led war, the objectives to divide Libya into the three territories of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, and Fezzan are very much alive. James Clapper Jr., the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, had testified to the U.S. Senate in March 2011 that at the end of the conflict Libya would revert to its previous federalist divisions which existed under the monarchy and that the country would have two or three different administrations. [16]


Thus, effectively Britain, France and Italy have resumed their neocolonial project to balkanize Libya into three separate states. All three countries have acknowledged sending military advisors to the Transitional Council: “Italian Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa said 10 military instructors would be sent and details were being worked out. He spoke Wednesday [April 20, 2011] after meeting with his British counterpart, Liam Fox.” [17] It is most likely that hundreds of NATO and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) military advisors and special troops are operating on the ground in Libya.

France has openly admitted funnelling weapons into the Western Mountains to forces hostile to the Tripoli government. [18] This constitutes a breach of U.N. security council resolution 1973. It constitutes a blatant violation of international law. The French government claims that they are sending weapons to civilians to protect themselves. This is a non-sequitur argument. It has no legal standing whatsoever and is an utter lie.

Weapons’ shipments have also been flown into Benghazi by these Western European powers and the U.S. under the disguise of humanitarian aid. Moreover there are signs that the small insurgency in the Western Mountains was coordinated by U.S. diplomats in November 2010. [19] One U.S. diplomat was asked to leave Libya in November 2010 for making unauthorized secret trips to the area, just as U.S. and French diplomats have done in Hama to stroke tensions in Syria. [20]

This war seeks to create divisions within Libyan society. Admiral Stravridis, the U.S. commander in charge of NATO, has told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee in March 2011 that he believed that Qaddafi’s support base would shrink as the tribal cleavages in Libya came “into play” as the war proceeded. [21] What Stravridis indirectly spelled out is that the NATO operations in Libya will cause further internal divisions through igniting tribal tensions that will cement regional differences. This is one of the real aims of the bombing campaign. [22] The U.S. and NATO also know full well that if Colonel Qaddafi is gone that the Libyan tribes would bicker amongst themselves for power and be politically divided. This is why they have been very adamant about removing Qaddafi.

The U.S., Britain, France, Italy, and NATO have all banked on a power vacuum that would be left by Qaddafi if he leaves power or dies. This is why they want to kill him. They have calculated that there will be a mad dash to fill the power vacuum that will help divide Libya further and promote violence. They are also very well aware that any tribal conflicts in Libya will spread from North Africa into West Africa and Central Africa.

The NATO-led coalition against Libya is supported by covert intelligence operaitons on the ground as psychological operations (PSYOPS) to create internal divisions within the Tripoli government. This is intended to not only weaken the regime and to make it act more desperately, but it is also intended to compound the internal divisions within Libya.
Britain’s William Hague has offered sanctuary to any Libyan officials, such as Musa Al-Kusa, that wish to defect from Tripoli and has said that London will exempt them from international sanctions. [23] This British offer of “exemption” also illustrates that the international sanctions against Libya are a political weapon with very little moral or ethical meaning or drive.

Even within the Benghazi-based Transitional Council there are divisions that the Pentagon and NATO have been exploiting. The Wall Street Journal had this to report about the animosity between the so-called jihadist elements and the rest of the Transitional Council: “Some rebel leaders are wary of their [meaning the jihadists] roles. ‘Many of us were concerned about these people’s backgrounds,’ said Ashour Abu Rashed, one of Darna’s representatives on the rebel’s provisional government body, the Transitional National Council.” [24] It has also been disclosed that the Transitional Council forces are also fighting each other and using NATO against each other. [25]

Sowing the Seeds of Chaos: Al-Qaeda and Libya

U.S. officials have increasingly been talking about the expansion of Al-Qaeda in Africa and how the “Global War on Terrorism” must be extended into the African continent. This talking point severes the following objectives:

1. To bolster U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and a NATO-like alliance in Africa.

2. To control the Transitional Council, which is integrated by an Islamic militia as well prevent the development of an authentic and progressive opposition within Libya.

The U.S. and the E.U. would not not accept a truly independent Libyan government. In this regard, there are contingency plans which would allow the US and the E.U., if they so choose, to betray the Transitional Council or dispose of it like an outdated utensil. This is why the Pentagon and the mainstream media have started to speak about an Al-Qaeda presence in Libya.

Such scenario of betrayal should come as no surprise. The U.S. and its allies have consistently betrayed former allies. Saddam Hussein is one example and another is the Taliban government in Kabul, which was directly supported by the US.

Washington and its cohorts are deliberately keeping the Al-Qaeda card in reserve to use against the Transitional Council in case it refuses to cooperate with Washington and NATO. Regardless of a Transitional Council victory, they also want to use the Al-Qaeda card as a a justificaiton for future military interventions in Libya under the banner of the “war on terrorism”.

It is very likely that terrorist attacks will occur in Libya in some form like they did in Iraq following its 2003 invasion and occupation. These acts of terrorism will be covertly coordinated by Washington and its NATO allies.

In the words of Robin Cook the former foreign minister of Britain, Al-Qaeda is “originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians [sic.; Soviets].” [26] Washington and NATO are now planning to use Al-Qaeda and the militant Islamists that they themselves created to fight countries opposed to their agenda, such as Syria and Libya, and to implant a new generation of subservient Islamist politicians into Arab countries, such as Egypt.

Dividing Libya: Destroying the Nation State

This war in Libya has nothing to do with saving lives. Truth is turned upside down: Killing is saving lives, being dead is being alive, war is peace, destruction is preservation, and open lies are presented as the truth. People have been blinded by a slew of lies and utter deception.

In this conflict most of the propaganda, most of the lies, and most of the hatred have invariably come from people who are not actually involved in the fighting. Others have been used as their pawns and Libya as their battlefield. All the known advocates of Pentagon militarism and global empire demanded for this war to take place, including Paul Wolfowitz, John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, Eliott Abrahams, Leon Wieseltier, John Hannah, Robert Kagan, and William Kristol.

There has been a blatant infringement of international law. War crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed by NATO in Libya. These crimes will never be investigated by the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) or the U.N. Quite the opposite: the U.N. Security Council and the I.C.C. are political weapons, which are being used against Libya. The UN is silent on the use of depleted uranium (D.U.) ammunition or the bombing of civilian targets

This is not a a humanitarian war: the first target of the war was the Mint which prints and issues Libyan dinars and the country’s food storage facilities. Several humanitarian organizations were targetted including schools, a children center, hospitals, the offices of the Down’s Syndrome Society, the Handicapped Women’s Foundation, the National Diabetic Research Centre, the Crippled Children’s Foundation. Among the hospitals and medical facilities which have been bombed is a complex used for medical oxygen production.


The bombings have also targetted residential areas, a hotel, restaurants, a bus filled with civilians, Nasser University (a campus of Al-Fatah University), and a conference hall with participants involved in anti-war activism. Meanwhile NATO was supplying the rebels with offensive weapons [27]

What is happening in Libya is an insidious process.
The underlying objective is create divisions within Libyan society.

The war is dragging out, which in turn creates a situation in which the Transitional Council becomes increasingly dependent on the US and NATO military alliance. This is why NATO has deliberately prolonged the war and reduced its support to the Transitional Council’s forces on the battlefield. This is one of the reasons why rebel forces have been pushed back. Even the so-called “friendly fire” incidents whereby NATO bombed the Transitional Council’s tank column heading towards Tripoli are suspect. Was this a deliberate attack with a view to prolonging the fighting. [28]

NATO has now bombed advancing Transitional Council forces several times. The Transitional Council has found it hard to explain why NATO has been bombing its forces and has even been placed in a position where it had to apologize on April 2, 2011 to NATO when its frontline volunteers were killed by NATO war planes. [29] Internal political fighting within the Transitional Council may also be a factor behind these “friendly fire” NATO bombings.

Many reports have described the conflict as intensifying:

The pro-Qadhafi forces mounted a fierce assault on Ajdabiyah since Saturday morning [April 9, 2011]. Following classic military tactics, regime forces first resorted to the heavy artillery firing, which was followed by incursions by infantry troops inside the town. By afternoon, shells were landing at Istanbul street in the city centre, causing panic among several opposition fighters, who chose to hastily flee in their vehicles towards Benghazi. However, some among the opposition ranks stood their ground, and managed to control the north-eastern access to the town. But another artillery barrage appeared to have dislodged them from their fragile moorings. As the battle raged, NATO forces were pitching in with air strikes, which seemed unable to silence the regime’s heavy guns. On Sunday [April 10, 2011], NATO claimed that air strikes had destroyed 11 regime tanks ahead of Ajdabiyah. The government said it had shot down two opposition helicopters, signalling the high intensity of the fighting on the ground as well as in the air. [30]

In reality there is a virtual stalemate. The Transitional Council is not moving westward, but has also been entrenched in its eastward positions due to NATO support.

One objective of NATO is to control both sides. The idea is that as both sides become more desperate they will also increasingly turn to Washington and Brussels for a way out of the war and make more concessions to U.S. and E.U. demands. The Israelis are also another player that can be turned to by both sides in Libya.

Both Tripoli and Benghazi have talked with the U.S. and the E.U. through different channels, which include using individuals in unofficial positions. Kurt Weldon, a former member of the U.S. Congress for Pennsylvania, went to meet with Libyan officials at the start of April 2011. Weldon made the trip to Tripoli in coordination with the White House. The U.S. media tried to casually gloss over Weldon’s visit running articles about how he did not meet Qaddafi.

At the onset of the fighting Tripoli accepted Venezuelan offers for mediation, which the U.S. and the E.U. undermined and the Transitional Council rejected. Tripoli even said that it accepted an initial March 2011 African Union ceasefire and reform plan, which were ignored by Washington and its allies. Tripoli even requested that the African Union, the U.N., and the E.U. investigate for themselves the claims against the Libyan government. Worldwide, most governments, from Brazil and Nigeria to Malaysia and China, voiced support for a negotiated settlement in Libya, but this has been ignored by the U.S., NATO, and the unrepresentative group of Arab dictators they call their allies.

The Qaddafi family’s subsequent requests for diplomatic negotiations were also turned down by the U.S. and the main E.U. powers. [31] Afterwards, Tripoli again accepted African Union offers for mediation spearheaded by the Republic of South Africa and a repeated African Union proposal for a ceasefire, which the U.S. and the E.U. undermined again and the Transitional Council rejected. [32] The repeated African Union proposal called for a ceasefire, the creation of humanitarian corridors, protection of foreigners, and finally dialogue between both sides in bringing democratic reform. [33] A massive people’s initiative for a reconciliation march across the war zone in Libya was even started, which received little press coverage outside of Africa and a few countries. [34]

The government in Tripoli has even put together a new constitution. [35] Tripoli even gave orders for the military to leave Misurata (Misrata/Misratah) and allow the local tribes to establish political order and security in the city and its surrounding district. [36] During talks with Greece officials from Libya even tried to use billions of frozen dollars to provide humanitarian aid to the Libyan people on both sides of the conflict, but had their plan obstructed and blocked by France. [37]

As they did during the invasion of Iraq, the political ranks have started to show breaks in London. Conservative parliamentarians in the British Parliament, such as John Baron, David Davis, and Peter Bone, are starting to criticize their leader, Prime Minister Cameron. [38]
Baron told the British press that the war on Libya has changed significantly: “When it was put before the House, the emphasis was very much on humanitarian assistance. This has changed into a mission of regime change [in Libya].” [39]

The Geo-Politics of Dividing Libya

Of significance, Washington does not want to have a visible presence in the war in North Africa. It has deliberately let its allies take the lead in the operation and painstakingly tried to distance itself from the war. It has presented itself as cautious and reluctant to go to war. [40] Washington’s allies are in reality acting on behalf of the Empire. NATO is also in the process of performing the role of global military force acting indirectly on behalf of the United States.

This war is not exclusively about controlling energy reserves and the Libyan economy. The war also encompasses a strategy to entrench U.S. and E.U. control over Africa as well balkanize the entire African region. The U.S. and the E.U. were adamant regarding Tripoli’s project to develop and unify Africa, as opposed to the neocolonial strategy of maintaining Africa as a provider of raw materials and (unmanufactured) natural resources. [41]

It is worth noting, in this regard, that the Director of National Intelligence, in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee during a session focusing on Libya, stated that Russia and China constitute “mortal threats” to the United States. [42] The war in Libya is also meant to shore up the drive into Eurasia, which targets Russia, China, Iran, and Central Asia.

The Arab sister-republics of Lebanon and Syria are targets too. Syria has been destabilized and the groundwork is underway in Lebanon with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). Control over Libya, Syria, and Lebanon would also complete the Mediterranean Union, which is a geo-political project of the E.U. and Washington to control the entire Mediterranean. [43]

Towards An African NATO

The war against Libya will also be used to create a NATO-like military structure in Africa that will be tied to AFRICOM. While speaking to the U.S. Senate Arms Services Committee, General Ham of AFRICOM pointed out that a military partnership with African states and support for regional military cooperation in Africa were strategic for Washington. General Ham was pointing to the fact that U.S. was planting the seeds of a NATO-like military structure in Africa that would be subordinate to Washington. In General Ham’s own words:

Secondly, building the Coalition to address the situation in Libya was greatly facilitated through the benefits of longstanding relationships and inter-operability, in this case through NATO. This is the kind of regional approach to security that U.S. Africa Command seeks to foster on the continent [of Africa]. U.S. Africa Command’s priority efforts remain building the security capacity of our African partners. We incorporate regional cooperation and pursuit of inter-operability, in all of our programs, activities, and exercises so our African partners are postured to readily form coalitions to address African security challenges as they arise. [44]

Libya is the crown of Africa and from Libya there is a perfect opening for the U.S., NATO, and the E.U. into the African continent. U.S. and NATO bases may also be established in the eastern portion of Libya and used as a staging ground for a possible war against Sudan. These bases could be established at the request of the Transitional Council and justified as a means of providing stability to North Africa and as a means of protecting the Libyan people in Benghazi.

The Destruction of the Libyan State

Washington and the E.U. want to privatize the Libyan public sector under the control of their corporations, take over Libyan industries, and control every aspect of the Libyan economy. On March 19, 2011 the Transitional Council declared that it had established a new Benghazi-based Libyan oil corporation and a new national bank under the auspicious of the Central Bank of Benghazi, which would be responsible for all of Libya’s monetary policies. [45] The new Benghazi-based institutions are an opening for an economic invasion and the colonization of Libya. The Central Bank of Benghazi, which is controlled by Britain’s Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), could also be given control of the Arab Banking Corporation, which could be used as an umbilical cord by Wall Street and Canary Wharf for infiltrating Libya.

The Benghazi-based Transitional Council is already starting the process of exporting oil with the aid of Qatar from the Libyan seaport of Tobruk (Tobruq) near the Egyptian border. [46] The countries and corporations trading with the Transitional Council are all breaching international law. This act is not only intended to weaken Libya, but it also criminal and a form of economic exploitation.

Moreover, Libyan oil will be used to finance weapons sales. The Transitional Council will use the funds from oil sales that it receives to purchase weapons to fight the Libyan military. This will also violate the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The Associated Press reported about this on April 1, 2011 saying:

A plan to sell rebel-held oil to buy weapons and other supplies has been reached with Qatar, a rebel official said Friday, in another sign of deepening aid for Libya’s opposition by the wealthy Gulf state after sending warplanes to help confront Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.

It was not immediately clear when the possible oil sales could begin or how the arms would reach the rebel factions, but any potential revenue stream would be a significant lifeline for the militias and military defectors battling Gadhafi’s superior forces. [47]

France, Italy, and Qatar have all recognized the Transitional Council as the government of Libya. [48] The U.S., Britain, Germany, Turkey, and their allies have also all given various forms of recognition to the Transitional Council. They are all working now to control the new institutions of the Benghazi administered areas of Libya. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is also hovering over Libya under the pretext of furthering democracy amongst the Arabs. [49] They all plan on profiting off the interests from the loans that they are now giving to the Transitional Council.

Two Parallel Administrations in Libya

The U.S. and the E.U. are trying to manipulate the Libyan people to their advantage; they are using the Libyan people as cannon fodder. The objective is to create a deadlock and foment chaos across North Africa. Even the sniper attacks on both Libyan sides could be the work of U.S., British, French, NATO, Egyptian, and Khaliji (Gulf) Arab agent provocateurs. The objective is to manipulate the Libyans into destroying their country from the within. The destruction of Yugoslavia, namely the “Balkanization of the Balkans” is the model which is being applied to Libya, leading to its division and political subordination to Washington and Brussels.

There have been discussions about splitting the country up, between the regimes in Tripoli and Benghazi. The government in Tripoli would keep everything from Tripoli to somewhere near Misurata, while the Transitional Council would get to administer all the territory in the east running to the Egyptian border. [50] Two parallel Libyan governments are at present a reality. Benghazi already has U.N., U.S., E.U., Qatari, British, French, German, Turkish, and Italian diplomatic missions.

As mentioned earlier, the U.S. and the E.U. waited until the Libyan military had reached the doors of Benghazi and the Transitional Council was nearly on its deathbed to take action. This was no mere coincidence. David Owen, a member of the British House of Lords is worth quoting about the timing of the military intervention: “Without it, within hours, Benghazi would have fallen, and [Colonel Qaddafi] would have won.” [51] This was made to insure the indispensability of NATO to an acquiescent Transitional Council.
Israel and Libya

The supporters of the Transitional Council accuse the Qaddafi regime of being supported by Israel, while they themselves are openly supported by NATO and the Arab petro-sheikhdoms, which oppose democracy and freedom in their own countries. Both sides in Libya have to realize that NATO and Israel, as well as Saudi Arabia and the Arab petro-sheikhdoms, are allies and work closely together against the legitimate aspirations of the Arab peoples. They are merely being played one against the other.

Israel is also involved in this equation. The visit of Bernard-Henri Lévy to Benghazi serves Israeli interests. [52] Tel Aviv has sought to play both sides. Rumours about an Israeli plan to establish a military base on the Libyan eastern border with Egypt have also been circulating for months. What should also be considered is that just like the natural gas deal between Israel and Egypt, where Egyptian natural gas was sold to Israel below market prices, Libyan water from the Great Man-Made River could be diverted to Israel from a pipeline running through Egypt. Like South Sudan, it is being said that the Transitional Council will recognize Israel. Lévy has also said that the Transitional Council has told him that they intend to recognize Israel. [53]

The Role of Banks and Currency in the War on Libya

Banks have a role to play in this war. U.S. and European financial institutions are major players. The vast overseas financial holdings and sovereign funds owned by Libya are the “spoils of war” accruing to major Western banks and financial institutions.

In 2008, Goldman Sachs was given 1.3 billion dollars (U.S.) by the Libyan Investment Authority. [54] In unfathomable terms, Goldman Sachs told the Libyans that 98% of the investment value was lost, which means that the Libyans lost almost all their investment. [55] Goldman Sachs had merely appropriated Libya’s money wealth. The Libyan government and Goldman Sachs would then try to work something out by giving Libya huge shares in Goldman Sachs, but the negotiations failed in 2009. Nor was Goldman Sachs alone in taking Libyan money; the Société Générale SA, the Carlyle Group, J.P. Morgan Chase, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group and Lehman Brothers Holdings were all also holding vast amounts of Libyan funds. [56]


Signs of Hope: Libya’s Promise of Tomorrow. A New Strategic Axis?

The Libyans have realized that they need to continue on a pan-African path and to follow a model of self-sufficiency. Many in Tripoli have also started thinking about the future. Old disputes and animosities may also be put aside with other global players that are opposed to U.S. hegemony and opposed to NATO.

A strategic axis between Libya, Algeria, Syria, and Iran that will later include Lebanon may blossom as the Libyans begin to explore their strategic options on the political and security levels. Libya has realized that it has made mistakes and now knows that it must find a place in some sort of a global counter-alliance against the U.S. and its allies. Tripoli will eventually try to find a strategic equilibrium for itself in a geo-strategic concept that will balance Russia, China, and Iran.

A new strategic concept for the Libyans would also include Venezuela and the Bolivarian Bloc in Latin America. Venezuela, along with Syria, has been Libya’s staunchest supporter during the NATO war.

Eventually, Lebanon and Libya will also mend fences. The dossier of Musa Al-Sadr only remains between Lebanon and Libya on the insistence of Nabih Berri. The upper echelons within Hezbollah, including Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, have tried not to antagonize Berri and the leadership of the Amal Movement on the issue of Musa Al-Sadr as part of an effort to prevent divisions in the Shiite Muslim community of Lebanon, but if a strategic axis begins to form between Algeria, Libya, Syria, and Iran the issue of Al-Sadr will have to be resolved in Lebanon.

In France and Western Europe tensions are also rising internally and against Washington. Gaullism may become reinvigorated in a declining France. The people of Africa have also become even more aware of the exploitation of their continent and the importance of Libya to the rest of Africa.

Most importantly, the NATO bombings have helped bring much of Libya together too and have given the nation a new sense of mission.

The Libyan people have been reinvigorated with this sense of mission. They have been energized and a revolutionary spirit has been stirred and awakened in the youth.

When the dust settles, the people of Libya will begin to weed out political corruption. The worst enemy of all for the Libyans has been the enemy from within.

This war has chiefly been against the Libyan people. It has not been the Libyan military that has kept the country standing, but the Libyan people themselves and their resistance.

NATO has become tired and faces many internal and external pressures. Italy has now been forced to withdraw from the war. [58] Norway will also withdraw in August 2011. [59] France has even accepted what Paris and NATO refused to accept from the start of the conflict, namely to end the war and to stop bombing Libya if both sides in Tripoli and Benghazi start political talks. [60] In reality, Tripoli has been calling for political dialogue with an entire international chorus for months, but it has been the U.S. and the E.U. that have refused to listen. This also exposes the guilt of the U.S. and the E.U. in waging a war of aggression against Libya.

It should also be noted that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has also said that he was told that the war would end when the population of Tripoli revolted against Colonel Qaddafi. [61] This is a significant statement by the Italian Prime Minister. An analysis of cause and effect is very important here. It means that the war did not start as a result of any revolts, but was intended to instigate revolts against the Libyan government. This would explain why NATO has deliberately been targeting and punishing the civilian population. The aim has been to instigate them against Colonel Qaddafi.

The security of the familiar is gone. The issue of succession to Colonel Qaddafi was something that the Libyans thought little about or largely ignored prior to the conflict in Libya, but it is now something that has been addressed. If the war never happened, it is likely that there would have been a civil war in Libya once Qaddafi left. Now this is something that has been prepared for. Many of the corrupt people in Libya have also been exposed and have shown their true colours too. Libyans are no longer ignoring these problems as they did before.

Libya is not perfect and many of the Libyan people will be amongst the first to admit it. Now many of them are prepared to fix their problems at home for the sake of saving their country, their society, and their families. They face an uphill battle, but they are willing to fight and to make all the sacrifices needed for a better tomorrow. This inner recognition and will to change is the start of authentic change. These people will not give up even if NATO were to launch an invasion or increasing its bombings to devastating levels. Although the conflict is far from over, in the end history will judge the NATO war against Libya as a huge mistake and as the beginning of the end for NATO.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)


NOTES

•    [1] Henri Pierre Habib, Politics and Government of Revolutionary Libya (Montmagny, Québec: Le Cercle de Livre de France Ltée, 1975), pp.19-20.
•    [2] Ibid., p.68.
•    [3] Ibid.
•    [4] Ibid., pp.70-71.
•    [5] Ibid., p.72.
•    [6] Ibid., p.73.
•    [7] Eds. Fredrick Aandahl et al., The United Nation; The Western Hemisphere, vol. 2 of Foreign Relations of the United States 1951 (Washington, D.C.: United States Government, 1979), p.25.
•    [8] Ibid.
•    [9] Ibid.
•    [10] Ibid.
•    [11] Habib, Revolutionary Libya, Op. cit., p.19.
•    [12] Ibid., p.68
•    [13] Ibid., p.20.
•    [14] Ibid., p.2.
•    [15] Ibid., p.68.
•    [16] U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Testimony on the current and future worldwide threats to the national security of the United States, 112th Congress, 2011, 1st Session, 10 March 2011.
•    [17] Los Angeles Times, “3 Western powers sending military advisors to Libya,” April 20, 2011.
•    [18] Louis Charbonneau and Hamuda Hassan, “France defends arms airlift to Libyan rebels,” Reuters, June 30, 2011.
•    [19] Reuters, “Libya orders US diplomat to leave: report,” November 8, 2010.
•    [20] Ibid.; Voice of America (VOA), “US, Syria Clash Over Ambassador’s Hama Visit,” July 8, 2011; Bassem Mroué, “Syrian protesters attack US embassy,” Associated Press (AP), July 11, 2011.
•    [21] United States Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. European Command and U.S. Strategic Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2012 and the Future Years Defense Program,112th Congress, 2011, 1st Session, 29 March 2011; Infra. n.22 and n.61 (the bombings are meant to cause regime change).
•    [22] Infra. n.61; see the omission of the Italian Prime Minister that the NATO bombings are not a result of any revolt, but are intended to cause a revolt in Tripoli against Colonel Qaddafi.
•    [23] Harriet Sherwood, “UK paves way for flight of Libyan defectors,” The Guardian (U.K.), April 5, 2011; the important details on Hague’s announcement and London’s position are as follows: “Libyan ministers and officials who were prepared to abandon the regime would be ‘treated with respect and in accordance with our laws’, he added. ‘In the case of anyone currently sanctioned by the EU and UN who breaks definitively with the regime, we will discuss with our partners the merits of removing the restrictions that currently apply to them, while being clear that this does not constitute any form of immunity whatsoever.’”
•    [24] Charles Levinson, Ex-Mujahedeen Help Lead Libyan Rebels, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), April 2, 2011.
•    [25] This information has been passed on through numerous sources on the ground in Libya including members of the Non-Governmental Fact Finding Commission on the Current Events in Libya.
•    [26] Robin Cook, “The struggle against terrorism cannot be won by military means,” The Guardian (U.K.), July 8, 2005.
•    [27] “Arms Embargo – NATO Boarding,” The NATO Channel (May 24, 2011); Mike Mühlberger was the videos producer and reporter. Because of the legal ramifications this video would have NATO removed this video.
•    [28] Stephen Fidler, Charles Levinson, and Alistair Mcdonald, “Friendly Fire Raises Tensions in Libya,” The Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2011.
•    [29] Tara Bahrampour, “Libyan rebels struggle to explain rift,” The Washington Post, April 2, 2011; Transitional Council leadership statements to the international press about the death of its volunteers are as follows: “‘It was a terrible mistake, and we apologize, and we will not let it happen again,’ said Abdul Hafidh Ghoga, vice president and spokesman of the opposition’s Transitional National Council.”
•    [30] Atul Aneja, “AU begins mediation as Qadhafi forces advance,” The Hindu, April 11, 2011.
•    [31] Elle Ide, “Italy recognizes Libyan opposition council,” Associated Press (AP), April 4, 2011.
•    [32] Chris McGreal and Harriet Sherwood, “Libya: Gaddafi has accepted roadmap to peace, says Zuma,” The Guardian (U.K.), April 11, 2011; Quoting from the article: “The [African Union] delegation, consisting of the presidents of South Africa, Congo-Brazzaville, Mali and Mauritania, plus Uganda’s foreign minister, landed at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport after Nato gave permission for their aircraft to enter Libyan airspace. The planes were the first to land in Tripoli since the international coalition imposed a no-fly zone over the country more than two weeks ago.”
•    [33] Simon Denyer and Leila Fadel, “Gaddafi accepts African Union’s road map for peace,” The Washington Post, April 10, 2011.
•    [34] Ian Black, “Libya’s biggest tribe joins march of reconciliation to Benghazi,” The Guardian (U.K.), March 23, 2011; On a personal note, I also was told by sources inside Tunisia and Libya that any people attempting reconciliation marches were attacked.
•    [35] Maria Golovnina, “Libya pledges constitution but Gaddafi role unclear,” Reuters, April 10, 2011.
•    [36] Michael Georgy, “McCain visits rebels, Libya adjusts Misrata tactics,” Reuters, August 22, 2011.
•    [37] Solomon Hughes and Kim Sengupta, “Gaddafi regime staked £12bn on secret deal in bid to open peace talks,” The Independent (U.K.), June 10, 2011.
•    [38] The Daily Mail (U.K.), “MPs rebel over Libya mission creep as Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy promise to keep bombing until Gaddafi regime is gone,” April 15, 2011.
•    [39] Ibid.
•    [40] Julian Borger and Ewen MacAskill, “No-fly zone plan goes nowhere as US, Russia and Nato urge caution,” The Guardian (U.K.), March 1, 2011.
•    [41] Discussion with Mohammed Siala (Libyan Minister of International Cooperation), July 4, 2011.
•    [42] U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Testimony on the current, Op. cit.
•    [43] Lebanon and Syria are already members and Libya is an observer member. Libya was scheduled to become a full member, but Colonel Qaddafi changed his mind, which upset France and the European Union.
•    [44] U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Transportation Command, Op. cit.
•    [45] William Varner, “Libyan Rebel Council Forms Oil Company to Replace Qaddafi’s,” Bloomberg, March 22, 2011.
•    [46] Al Jazeera, “Libyan rebels ‘disappointed’ by NATO, April 5, 2011; Atul Aneja, “Opposition allies mull ‘political solution’ in Libya,” The Hindu, April 8, 2011.
•    [47] Brian Murphy and Adam Schreck, “Libyan opposition says it has oil deal with Qatar,” Associated Press (AP), April 1, 2011.
•    [48] Scott Peterson, “Italy rejects Qaddafi, recognizes Libyan rebel government,” Christian Science Monitor, April 4, 2011.
•    [49] Daryna Krasnolutska and Agnes Lovasz, “North African and Mideast Democracy a Condition for EBRD Loans, Mirow Says,” Bollomberg, April 21, 2011.
•    [50] Alan Fisher, “Libya leaders talk exit strategy,” Al Jazeera, March 4, 2011.
•    [51] Ibid.
•    [52] Kim Willsher, “Libya: Bernard-Henri Lévy dismisses criticism for leading France to conflict,” The Observer, March 27, 2011.
•    [53] Radio France Internationale, “Libyan rebels will recognise Israel, Bernard-Henri Lévy tells Netanyahu,” June 2, 2011.
•    [54] Margaret Coker and Liz Rappaport, “Libya’s Goldman Dalliance Ends in Losses, Acrimony,” The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), May 31, 2011.
•    [55] Ibid.
•    [56] Ibid.
•    [57] The Daily Mail (U.K.), “U.S. rescue chopper shoots six Libyan villagers as they welcome pilots of downed Air Force jet,” March 22, 2011.
•    [58] Voice of America (VOA), “Berlusconi Opposes Libya Mission; Rome Cuts Involvement,” July 7, 2011.
•    [59] Agence-France Presse (AFP), “Nato capabilities will be exhausted within 90 days in Libya,” July 11, 2011.
•    [60] Agence-France Presse (AFP), “France backs ‘political solutions’ in Libya crisis,” July 11, 2011.
•    [61] Lamine Chikhi et al., “Italy’s Berlusconi exposes NATO rifts over Libya,” ed. Elizabeth Fullerton, Reuters, July 7, 2011; Nicolas Carey (who was expelled from Tripoli and managed to immediately reappear in Misurata) also contributed to this report. As a note the reporting of Carey has to be carefully scrutinized.

Afghanistan as an empty space

Afghanistan as an empty space
by Marc W. Herold (Department of Economics and Women’s Studies, Whittemore School of Business and Economics, University of New Hampshire), February 26, 2006

Argument: Four years after the U.S.-led attack on Afghanistan, the true meaning of the U.S occupation is revealing itself. Afghanistan represents merely a space that is to be kept empty. Western powers have no interest in either buying from or selling to the blighted nation. The impoverished Afghan civilian population is as irrelevant as is the nation’s economic development. But the space represented by Afghanistan in a volatile region of geo-political import, is to be kept vacant from all hostile forces. The country is situated at the center of a resurgent Islamic world, close to a rising China (and India) and the restive ex-Soviet Asian republics, and adjacent to oil-rich states.

The only populated centers of any real concern are a few islands of grotesque capitalist imaginary reality — foremost Kabul — needed to project the image of an existing central government, an image further promoted by Karzai’s frequent international junkets. In such islands of affluence amidst a sea of poverty, a sufficient density of foreign ex-pats, a bloated NGO-community, carpetbaggers and hangers-on of all stripes, money disbursers, neo-colonial administrators, opportunists, bribed local power brokers, facilitators, beauticians (of the city planner or aesthetician types), members of the development establishment, do-gooders, enforcers, etc., warrants the presence of Western businesses. These include foreign bank branches, luxury hotels (Serena Kabul, Hyatt Regency of Kabul), shopping malls (the Roshan Plaza, the Kabul City Centre mall), import houses (Toyota selling its popular Land Cruiser), image makers (J. Walter Thompson), and the ubiquitous Coca-Cola1.

The “other,” the real economy — is a vast informal one in which the Afghan masses creatively eke out a daily existence.2 They are utterly irrelevant to the neo-colonist interested in running an empty space at the least cost. The self-financing opium economy reduces such cost and thrives upon invisibility. The invisible multitudes represent a nuisance — much like Kabul’s traffic — upon maintaining the empty space. Only the minimal amount of resources — whether of the carrot or stick type — will be devoted to preserving their invisibility. Many of those who returned after the overthrow of the Taliban are now seeking to emigrate abroad, further emptying the space.3

The means to maintain and police such an empty space are a particular spatial distribution of military projection by U.S. and increasingly NATO forces: twenty-four hour high-level aerial surveillance; a three-level aerial presence (low, medium, high altitude); pre-positioned fast-reaction, heavily-armed ground forces based at heavily fortified key nodal points; and the employ of local satraps’ expendable forces. The aim of running the empty space at least cost is foundering upon a resurgent Taliban, who have developed their own least cost insurgency weapons (e.g., improvised explosive devices and suicide bombings) and are putting them to good use.

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“Responsibility to Protect” as Imperial Tool: The Case for a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/20/the-case-for-a-non-interventionist-foreign-policy/

February 20, 2012
“Responsibility to Protect” as Imperial Tool
The Case for a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy

by JEAN BRICMONT
Louvain-la-Neuve

The events in Syria, after those in Libya last year, are accompanied by calls for a military intervention, in order to “protect civilians”, claiming that it is our right or our duty to do so. And, just as last year, some of the loudest voices in favor of intervention are heard on the left or among the Greens, who have totally swallowed the concept of “humanitarian intervention”. In fact, the rare voices staunchly opposed to such interventions are often associated with the right, either Ron Paul in the US or the National Front in France. The policy the left should support is non-intervention.

The main target of the humanitarian interventionists is the concept of national sovereignty, on which the current international law is based, and which they stigmatize as allowing dictators to kill their own people at will.  The impression is sometimes given that national sovereignty is nothing but a protection for dictators whose only desire is to kill their own people.

But in fact, the primary justification of national sovereignty is precisely to provide at least a partial protection of weak states against strong ones. A state that is strong enough can do whatever it chooses without worrying about intervention from outside. Nobody expects Bangladesh to interfere in the internal affairs of the United States.  Nobody is going to bomb the United States to force it to modify its immigration or monetary policies because of the human consequences of such policies on other countries. Humanitarian intervention goes only one way, from the powerful to the weak.

The very starting point of the United Nations was to save humankind from “the scourge of war”, with reference to the two World Wars.  This was to be done precisely by strict respect for national sovereignty, in order to prevent Great Powers from intervening militarily against weaker ones, regardless of the pretext.  The protection of national sovereignty in international law was based on recognition of the fact that internal conflicts in weak countries can be exploited by strong ones, as was shown by Germany’s interventions in Czechoslovakia and Poland, ostensibly “in defense of oppressed minorities”.  That led to World War II.

Then came decolonization. Following World War II, dozens of newly independent countries freed themselves from the colonial yoke. The last thing they wanted was to see former colonial powers openly interfering in their internal affairs (even though such interference has often persisted in more or less veiled forms, notably in African countries).  This aversion to foreign interference explains why the “right” of humanitarian intervention has been universally rejected by the countries of the South, for example at the South Summit in Havana in April 2000. Meeting in Kuala Lumpur in February 2003, shortly before the US attack on Iraq, “The Heads of State or Government reiterated the rejection by the Non-Aligned Movement of the so-called ‘right’ of humanitarian intervention, which has no basis either in United Nations Charter or in international law” and “also observed similarities between the new expression ‘responsibility to protect’ and ‘humanitarian intervention’ and requested the Co-ordinating Bureau to carefully study and consider the expression ‘the  responsibility to protect’ and its implications on the basis of the principles of non-interference and non-intervention as well as  the respect  for territorial integrity and national sovereignty of  States.”

The main failure of the United Nations has not been that it did not stop dictators from murdering their own people, but that it failed to prevent powerful countries from violating the principles of international law: the United States in Indochina and Iraq, South Africa in Angola and Mozambique, Israel in its neighboring countries, Indonesia in East Timor, not to speak of all the coups, threats, embargoes, unilateral sanctions, bought elections, etc. Many millions of people lost their lives because of such repeated violation of international law and of the principle of national sovereignty.

In a post-World War II history that includes the Indochina wars, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, of Panama, even of tiny Grenada, as well as the bombing of Yugoslavia, Libya and various other countries, it is scarcely credible to maintain that it is international law and respect for national sovereignty that prevent the United States from stopping genocide. If the US had had the means and the desire to intervene in Rwanda, it would have done so and no international law would have prevented that.  And if a “new norm” is introduced, such as the right of humanitarian intervention or the responsibility to protect, within the context of the current relationship of political and military forces, it will not save anyone anywhere, unless the United States sees fit to intervene, from its own perspective.

US interference in the internal affairs of other states is multi-faceted but constant and repeatedly violates the spirit and often the letter of the UN Charter.  Despite claims to act on behalf of principles such as freedom and democracy, US intervention has repeatedly had disastrous consequences: not only the millions of deaths caused by direct and indirect wars, but also the lost opportunities, the “killing of hope” for hundreds of millions of people who might have benefited from progressive social policies initiated by leaders such as Arbenz in Guatemala, Goulart in Brazil, Allende in Chile, Lumumba in the Congo, Mossadegh in Iran, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, or President Chavez in Venezuela, who have been systematically subverted, overthrown or killed with full Western support.

But that is not all. Every aggressive action led by the United States creates a reaction. Deployment of an anti-missile shield produces more missiles, not less. Bombing civilians – whether deliberately or by so-called “collateral damage” – produces more armed resistance, not less. Trying to overthrow or subvert governments produces more internal repression, not less. Encouraging secessionist minorities by giving them the often false impression that the sole Superpower will come to their rescue in case they are repressed, leads to more violence, hatred and death, not less. Surrounding a country with military bases produces more defense spending by that country, not less, and the possession of nuclear weapons by Israel encourages other states of the Middle East to acquire such weapons. If the West hesitates to attack Syria or Iran, it is because these countries are stronger and have more reliable allies than Yugoslavia or Libya. If the West complains about the recent Russian and Chinese vetoes about Syria, it has only to blame itself: indeed, this is the result of the blatant abuse by Nato of Resolution 1973, in order to effect regime change in Libya, which the resolution did not authorize. So, the message sent by our interventionist policy to “dictators” is: be better armed, make less concessions and build better alliances.

Moreover, the humanitarian disasters in Eastern Congo, which are probably the largest in recent decades, are mainly due to foreign interventions (mostly from Rwanda, a US ally), not to a lack of them. To take a most extreme case, which is a favorite example of horrors cited by advocates of the humanitarian interventions, it is most unlikely that the Khmer Rouge would ever have taken power in Cambodia without the massive “secret” US bombing followed by US-engineered regime change that left that unfortunate country totally disrupted and destabilized.

Another problem with the “right of humanitarian intervention” is that it fails to suggest any principle to replace national sovereignty. When NATO exercised its own self-proclaimed right to intervene in Kosovo, where diplomatic efforts were far from having been exhausted, it was praised by the Western media. When Russia exercised what it regarded as its own responsibility to protect in South Ossetia, it was uniformly condemned in the same         Western media. When Vietnam intervened in Cambodia, to put an end to the Khmer Rouge, or India intervened to free Bangladesh from Pakistan, their actions were also harshly condemned in the United States. So, either every country with the means to do so acquires the right to intervene whenever a humanitarian reason can be invoked as a justification, and we are back to the war of all against all, or only an all-powerful state, namely the United States (and its allies) are allowed to do so, and we are back to a form of dictatorship in international affairs.

It is often replied that the interventions are not to be carried out by one state, but by the “international community”. But the concept of “international community” is used primarily by the United States and its allies to designate themselves and whoever agrees with them at the time.  It has grown into a concept that both rivals the United Nations (the “international community” claims to be more “democratic” than many UN member states) and tends to take it over in many ways.

In reality, there is no such thing as a genuine international community. NATO’s intervention in Kosovo was not approved by Russia and Russian intervention in South Ossetia was condemned by the West. There would have been no Security Council approval for either intervention. The African Union has rejected the indictment by the International Criminal Court of the President of Sudan. Any system of international justice or police, whether it is the responsibility to protect or the International Criminal Court, would need to be based on a relationship of equality and a climate of trust. Today, there is no equality and no trust, between West and East, between North and South, largely as a result of the record of US policies. For some version of the responsibility to protect to be consensually functional in the future, we need first to build a relationship of equality and trust.

The Libyan adventure has illustrated another reality conveniently overlooked by the supporters of humanitarian intervention, namely that without the huge US military machine, the sort of safe no-casualty (on our side) intervention which can hope to gain public support is not possible. The Western countries are not willing to risk sacrificing too many lives of their troops, and waging a purely aerial war requires an enormous amount of high technology equipment. Those who support such interventions are supporting, whether they realize it or not, the continued existence of the US military machine, with its bloated budgets and its weight on the national debt. The European Greens and Social Democrats who support the war in Libya should have the honesty to tell their constituents that they need to accept massive cuts in public spending on pensions, unemployment, health care and education, in order to bring such social expenses down to an American level and use the hundreds of billions of euros thus saved to build a military machine that will be able to intervene whenever and wherever there is a humanitarian crisis.

If it is true that the 21st century needs a new United Nations, it does not need one that legitimizes such interventions by novel arguments, such as responsibility to protect, but one that gives at least moral support to those who try to construct a world less dominated by a single military superpower. The United Nations needs to pursue its efforts to achieve its founding purpose before setting a new, supposedly humanitarian priority, which may in reality be used by the Great Powers to justify their own future wars by undermining the principle of national sovereignty.

The left should support an active peace policy through international cooperation, disarmament, and non-intervention of states in the internal affairs of others. We could use our overblown military budgets to implement a form of global Keynesianism: instead of demanding “balanced budgets” in the developing world, we should use the resources wasted on our military to finance massive investments in education, health care and development. If this sounds utopian, it is not more so than the belief that a stable world will emerge from the way our current “war on terror” is being carried out.

Moreover, the left should strive towards strict respect for international law on the part of Western powers, implementing the UN resolutions concerning Israel, dismantling the worldwide US empire of bases as well as NATO, ceasing all threats concerning the unilateral use of force, stopping all interference in the internal affairs of other States, in particular all operations of “democracy promotion”, “color” revolutions, and the exploitation of the politics of minorities.  This necessary respect for national sovereignty means that the ultimate sovereign of each nation state is the people of that state, whose right to replace unjust governments cannot be taken over by supposedly benevolent outsiders.

It will be objected that such a policy would allow dictators to “murder their own people”, the current slogan justifying intervention.  But if non-intervention may allow such terrible things to happen, history shows that military intervention frequently has the same result, when cornered leaders and their followers turn their wrath on the “traitors” supporting foreign intervention.  On the other hand, non- intervention spares domestic oppositions from being regarded as fifth columns of the Western powers – an inevitable result of our interventionist policies.  Actively seeking peaceful solutions would allow a reduction of military expenditures, arms sales (including to dictators who may use them to “murder their own people”) and use of resources to improve social standards.

Coming to the present situation, one must acknowledge that the West has been supporting Arab dictators for a variety of reasons, ranging from oil to Israel, in order to control that region, and that this policy is slowly collapsing. But the lesson to draw is not to rush into yet another war, in Syria, as we did in Libya, claiming this time to be on the right side, defending the people against dictators, but to recognize that it is high time for us to stop assuming that we must control the Arab world. At the dawn of the 20th century, most of the world was under European control. Eventually, the West will lose control over that part of the world, as it lost it in East Asia and is losing it in Latin America. How the West will adapt itself to its decline is the crucial political question of our time; answering it is unlikely to be either easy or pleasant.

JEAN BRICMONT teaches physics at the University of Louvain in Belgium. He is author of Humanitarian Imperialism.  He can be reached at Jean.Bricmont@uclouvain.be

Paul Nitze’s legacy: for a new world

Paul Nitze’s legacy: for a new world

Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz – Transcript

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0PAH/is_2004_April_15/ai_116668579/?tag=content;col1

Remarks as delivered by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, to the Aspen Institute at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC, Thursday, April 15, 2004.

Wolfowitz: Thank you, Walter [Isaacson, President and CEO, The Aspen Institute], I guess, for that warm introduction. I think you’ve set me up, though, for possibly disappointing the audience. But I couldn’t resist the invitation to come and speak on this occasion because Paul Nitze has had a huge mark on my career over many, many years, starting with 1969, when I was still a very much wet-behind-the-ears graduate student who came to Washington to work with three great men: Paul Nitze, Dean Acheson and Albert Wohlstetter who had formed a small, but extraordinarily effective lobby to support what was then known as the Safeguard ABM System. History has moved on a long way from that time, in part, because of what those three men did. But of course, by the time I met Paul, he was already well into his sixties. But as we know, he’s always got the energy and the vitality of someone 20 years his junior. And I must say, in some ways, I think he bested me, 30 years his junior, 30-plus.

But it is a pleasure and an honor to be able to share this day with you. I noticed Walter mentioned that I was one of Paul’s many less illustrious successors as head of the Policy Planning Staff. And I have to confess that when George Shultz took over as Secretary of State and I was head of Policy Planning, he asked me to give him a memo on how we could restore policy planning to the position of influence that it enjoyed under George Kennan and Paul Nitze, which I didn’t take as a terribly complimentary description of my year and half in that job. But, anyway, I moved on to something else fairly soon.

But then I went to the Pentagon in the late ’80s, early ’90s, as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, which, in many ways, was a transformation of a job Paul held, called the Assistant Secretary of Defense for ISA [International Security Affairs]. And of course, as everyone knows, Paul was one of our most distinguished Deputy Secretaries of Defense, even though it was for a relatively short period, but a very decisive one. A good friend of mine, who was one of the best of our military attaches, retired as a colonel who worked for Paul at ISA, described him once to me as the best Secretary of Defense we never had. And I think we all know that probably one reason we never had him as a cabinet officer was he was a little bit too outspoken about his views when he was less than a cabinet officer, but that is part of why we love him, and it’s part of why he was so influential.

Paul and I once did enumerate the various jobs we have in common and we ended up by talking about our mutual love for the school that Paul co-founded the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. I pointed out at the time that I had one thing on him–he may have founded SAIS [the Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies], but he had never been dean of the Paul Nitze School. Of course, in many ways, he was the spiritual dean of SAIS for many decades, so I don’t really have that one on him.

On Saturday, as I think some of you know and I’m told, by the way, that Paul–and we know Paul isn’t here for lunch and part of it is they hope to save his energy and vitality to go up to Maine for the christening of the U.S.S. Paul Nitze destroyer named in his honor. To name a destroyer after a living American is an honor bestowed on very, very few people and, I confess, I don’t expect to follow in Paul’s footsteps on that one.

But I do have one more item to add to your list, Walter. When you hear what it is, you might think I would have done better to leave it off, but in the warm spirit of this occasion, I want to confess something else that Paul and I have in common. When the Eisenhower administration began–we learned this when we asked Paul to do a sort of oral history on videotape–Paul described how when the Eisenhower administration began and he found himself out of government and went to academia to his own beloved SAIS, he’d spent almost a decade, in his words, “being supported by the facilities of the government,” which in this case I think translates into “Paul no longer had a driver.” So he went out to buy himself a car.

It turns out that closing the deal was the easy part. It was the next step in the process that required some truly delicate negotiation. Paul got behind the wheel of the car, put it into reverse and ran into the car behind him. He tried again, this time going forward and hit the car in front of him. In Paul’s telling of the story, he refers vaguely to some further trouble getting out of the parking lot, but I’m happy to report that things quickly improved, once he was on the road because, by the time he got to SAIS, as he put it, “there were only those three grievous errors.”

And here’s where I have to tell a story on myself. At SAIS, we also had a very tight parking lot. I had a reserved parking space, which I’m told new employees were instructed firmly to avoid. I only recently learned that it was worse than that. They weren’t just warned to avoid parking in the space reserved for my car, they were told it would be wise to avoid parking anywhere near my car [laughter] which, apparently was referred to as “the red Blazer, with all the dents.” So I guess I managed to emulate Paul in some other things as well.

On a more serious note, I’d like to commend the Aspen Institute for its continuing emphasis on elevating the national debate. It’s no surprise that among the other things, Paul Nitze found time to establish in his remarkable career is the Aspen Institute which he did along with his sister Elizabeth Paepcke and her husband Walter. It seems that Elizabeth could be quite a persuasive character. She once put Paul in charge of raising several hundred thousand dollars to build what would become the world’s longest ski lift, this one up Aspen Mountain. That was another one of Paul’s farsighted investments and another example of his ability to do very concrete and practical things as well.

In fact, when I went to SAIS, Paul said to me, “Don’t take this job just because you look forward to presiding over distinguished events like when George Shultz is speaking or Strobe Talbott is speaking”–although, in fact, we did have both of them come and speak on the occasion of Paul’s 90th birthday. “No,” he said to me, “don’t take this job unless you’re prepared to spend a lot of time on mundane tasks like fundraising and making sure that the roof doesn’t leak.”

Once again, Paul proved that he was prescient in small things, as well as large ones. Within one month of my arrival at SAIS, the roof was leaking. [Laughter.] And you’ll never guess whose office it was leaking into. [Laughter.] Well, I guess you have: it was Paul’s. Needless to say, we got it fixed fast. I don’t know if Ted Baker is here, but my marvelous associate dean was the key to getting that done.

Not only, though, has Paul Nitze so often been right through his remarkable career, as a statesman, he’s projected the very best of American values along the way. In Paul’s wonderful book, “The Tension Between Opposites,” he reflected on those values through the eyes of his own 20th century American heroes. “A modern hero,” he wrote, “should be more than the paradigm of the ideals of his time. He should both think and act. He should inspire Americans with a forward-looking set of values.”

Today I’d like to take a look at Paul’s life in the context of that standard. In a career of uncommon depth and breadth, we see numerous examples of Paul as both thinker and doer, Paul Nitze, as a man always looking ahead to a stronger and safer America. Walter Isaacson wrote a wonderful book about some of the wise men who helped shaped the new world order, following the Second World War. These were men who, as he wrote, “committed a once reticent nation to defending freedom where it sought to flourish.” Paul Nitze was a major part of that great effort to prod this nation to that noble role. And as Walter writes, he “went flat out” to do it.

Paul Nitze’s desire to apply every fiber of his intellect, his energy and his integrity to achieve great things for his country was stirred as a young man, when he discovered he didn’t want to just sit back and watch others work out solutions to the great problems that faced America in the early years of the 20th century. He wanted to play his own role in solving those problems.

In 1940, when Paul was a young and very successful executive of a Wall Street firm, the opportunity came to play that role. Paul’s boss at the time was the president of the firm. His name was James Forrestal. As Paul tells the story, Forrestal was asked to consider a job as a confidential advisor to President Roosevelt. Forrestal asked his young associate what he should do. Paul Nitze told him, “If you don’t accept this challenge, you’ll regret that you didn’t give yourself a chance to do great things other than just our business of making money.” Paul remembers Forrestal’s response going something like this: “Damn you, Paul.” [Laughter.]

Well, if Forrestal couldn’t escape Paul’s logical appeal to patriotic duty, maybe it was fitting that not longer afterwards, Paul received a terse telegram, it said, “Be in Washington Monday morning. Forrestal.”

The rest, as they say, is history. On that Monday morning, Paul Nitze would embark on a remarkable career of longevity and depth, foresight and influence matched by few others. Few individuals have been so close for so long at the center of American foreign and security policy and few have had so great an influence on its shape and direction during periods of immense historic significance. Paul Nitze was one of those men, in Dean Acheson’s words, who was “present at the creation” of America’s postwar commitment to building a freer and safer world.

It was America’s great good fortune to have a patriot so willing to think and act at that critical moment when a new world called for a whole new type of diplomacy. We know of Paul’s important work on the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey near the end of World War II. We know of him as a crucial planner in the nuclear age confronting the second great totalitarian movement of the 20th century. We remember him as a leader in “the long twilight struggle” to contain the expansion of the Soviet empire. I believe that the example of Paul Nitze’s conceptual power, combined with his character, can provide a useful guide to us today in facing the struggle against a new kind of tyranny–the tyranny of terrorist fanaticism.

In his ability to apply strategic foresight in that regard, Paul Nitze was, indeed, as Strobe Talbott called him, “the master of the game.” His strategic foresight produced a plan for the postwar world characterized by creativity and boldness. It is a document that has come to be known as NSC-68, one of Paul’s landmark contributions to national security completed at a time when he was a mere youngster of 43 years old. I passed my 60th birthday not so long ago, so I can look at that one wistfully.

When Don Rumsfeld and I had lunch with members of the 9/11 commission recently, one member asked what could they do to ensure that their report would make a real difference, that it would be read five or 10 years from now, instead of just filed away on a dusty shelf. I realize now that I gave them a pretty tall order. What I told them, basically, was to write something similar to George Kennan’s long telegram or Paul Nitze’s NSC-68. I told them that, rarely to my knowledge, has anyone other than historians with a specific interest in the subject, gone back to read the report of the Pearl Harbor Commission. NSC-68, on the other hand, is still studied in colleges and universities, including colleges for strategists like the war colleges of our military services or our National Defense University.

As every student of security policy must know, NSC-68 which was signed by President Truman in 1950, was Nitze’s strategic blueprint for the Cold War. Although written before North Korea rolled south, it was a document that people quickly took up in the wake of the Korean invasion. It is a document that has been read and reread over the course of 50 years. It is a model of long-term strategic planning. NSC-68 addressed not only importance of a nuclear armed Soviet Union, but also the importance of the ideological orientation of the Soviet Union. Paul recognized the Soviet ideology as an inherent evil. And when combined with a formidable military capability, that ideology became an existential threat.

In its opening analysis, NSC-68 says this, quote: “The Soviet Union, unlike previous aspirants to hegemony, is animated by a new fanatic faith, antithetical to our own, and seeks to impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world.” As we reflect on these words, it is striking how similar they are to what we face today. Although it is called religious, the fanaticism that we are dealing with has roots that stem much more from the ideological zealotry of the 20th century than from the religious origins on which it claims to draw.

Secular or religious, the adversaries we face today are ultimately animated by their own will to power, not by any altruism. While there are important differences between the challenge of our time and the one that Nitze and these other wise men faced 50 years ago, there are striking similarities in the character of the enemy a similarity summarized, perhaps, with a single word: evil.

When George Shultz appeared on CNN back in 2002, his interviewer asked him about the State of the Union address that year in which the president spoke about a, quote, “axis of evil.” The interviewer went on to compare that statement with President Reagan’s earlier reference to the “evil empire.” And in reply, George recalled a time when his good friend and admired colleague Paul Nitze had testified before a Senate committee. As George put it, “Paul was being worked over. ‘How,’ the senators asked Paul, ‘could you possibly work for a president who would use a phrase like evil empire?'” And when the senators had gotten through, as George put it, “piling on, Paul said, ‘Senator, have you ever considered the possibility that that statement might be accurate?'” George added, “That sort of ended the discussion.”

Of course, there were people who didn’t want to hear Paul’s conclusions. But Paul saw it as his duty to argue forcefully and effectively for a strong American military response to the Soviet Union despite opponents, despite criticism, and for as long as it took. Over and over again, in NSC-68, in the ABM debate of the late 1960s, in the defense debate of the mid-1970s, Paul Nitze argued forcefully for the need to match the Soviets with increased strength.

Paul had a profound understanding that diplomacy is about more than just nice conversation and persuasive arguments. Diplomacy and strength go hand in hand, one reinforcing the other. I think Paul would agree heartily with the old saying–in fact, he might have written it–diplomacy without military capability is nothing more than prayer. At the same time, Paul was equally aware that military capability without diplomacy cannot achieve its real purpose–to prevent wars so that you don’t have to fight them.

And it’s not an irony at all that a defining achievement of Paul Nitze’s career was to help bring about the end of the Cold War. Paul Nitze understood paradoxes, and he understood the seeming paradox to some that you simply can’t separate force from diplomacy. People who haven’t read NSC-68 or go to it, thinking that it was a blueprint for a military buildup are usually astonished by how much it resembles a philosophical treatise. Paul argued for military strength but he argued, most of all, that the strength of this country comes from the character of our society and the values on which we are built.

To quote from Section IV of that famous document: “From the idea of freedom with responsibility derives the marvelous diversity, the deep tolerance, the lawfulness of the free society. This is the explanation of the strength of free men. It constitutes the integrity and the vitality of a free and democratic system. It also explains why the free society tolerates those within it who would use their freedom to destroy it. By the same token, in relations between nations, the prime reliance of the free society is on the strength and appeal of its idea, and it feels no compulsion to bring all societies into conformity with it. For the free society does not fear, it welcomes, diversity. It derives its strength from its hospitality even to antipathetic ideas.”

Those words written 54 years ago are just as applicable, I believe, to the situation we’re in today. And it’s also true that NSC-68 approached a challenge that some people had yet to even acknowledge existed with an ambition that was truly breathtaking, at least at the time. He didn’t merely talk about preventing a war or stabilizing a dangerous status quo with the Soviet Union, he saw far beyond that. He said, “Our values, our policy and actions must be such as to foster a fundamental change in the nature of the Soviet system, a change toward which the frustration of the design is the first and perhaps the most important step. Clearly, it will not only be less costly but more effective if this change occurs to a maximum extent as a result of internal forces in Soviet society.” It was indeed, I think, a breathtaking vision, but a vision that barely just 40 years later was achieved, and achieved without war. It was an incredible achievement.

One of the keys to Paul Nitze’s ability to think and act so effectively, I think, was that by nature Paul is a very patient man. In fact, one historian has written, that since the 1940s, Paul has believed that “bureaucratic warfare is an endurance contest.” And Paul has certainly outlasted most of his opponents, but he has also bested most of them intellectually and with force of character. And I think another reason Paul was so effective in government was he had a profound understanding about the relationship between those two opposites that are the subject of the title of his book, “The Opposites of Thought and Action.”

The tension is very real. It is much harder, I think, than people often realize to balance thought and action. If too much thought can paralyze action, too much focus on action and practical things can lead to thoughtless actions with predictable bad results.

There are very few people, I think, who have so successfully combined theory and practice as Paul Nitze did. But one man who did do so is George Shultz for whom Paul Nitze and I share one more thing–and that is immeasurable admiration for our former Secretary of State. George had an approach like Paul’s when it came to decision making. For six years, I had the rare privilege of working for George Schultz. One of my earliest experiences with his decision-making style came in July of 1982, right after his confirmation. It was in the middle of the Israeli siege of Beirut and an enormous international crisis. Shultz was consumed almost 24 hours a day in efforts to resolve that crisis peacefully. Yet even with that preoccupation and during that tense time, he asked me, as head of the Policy Planning Staff, to assemble a group of luminaries–who included, I remember, Henry Kissinger, among others–to think through for him what to do when the siege of Beirut was lifted. The group spent an entire afternoon brainstorming the problem. And then George carved an hour or two our of his incredibly busy schedule to sit down and think about what to do a few weeks ahead. It’s rarer than you think.

Over the last 20 years, I’ve come to realize how rare it is for people, especially those people who are good at the practical matter of getting things done and managing their time ruthlessly, to stop and take some of that time to think. Just as it is rare in government to find people who take time out of their hectic days to think beyond details, we also know how rare it is in academia to find people who can divert from their abstract reflections long enough to come up with useful recommendations.

Paul Nitze in his life and in his outlook on life, has not only combined both of those qualities, but he found time to establish an institution called SAIS that has successfully trained an astonishing number of young men and women over some six decades to aspire to that same balance between theory and practice, between thinking and doing. And I understand from Walter Isaacson that you’ve had a number of them speaking at this conference and I hope they’ve been a credit to this school that I’m proud to have been the dean of.

Six presidents–from Roosevelt to Reagan–benefited from Paul’s balanced approach to thinking and doing. Even out of government, he persistently added his balanced, reasoned judgments to the public debate. He was not afraid to take on controversial views, but he was always a gentleman, as he fearlessly argued for his positions. And he always did so in a bipartisan spirit that sets an example for us today.

I saw that spirit at work when I met Paul Nitze in 1969, as I mentioned earlier. I was a pretty young graduate student. He was a man who’d already had a career matched by very few others. Yet when I showed him some calculations about how missile defense might work, he insisted on working through them and understanding them himself. I was struck by his clarity of mind, the incisiveness of his questions, and by his willingness to listen to a graduate student who was still wet behind the ears.

Jim Wade has been a close associate of Paul’s through many years. He said that when Paul was faced with a particularly tough challenge, like arms control, he would chew on the bone and chew on the bone, while most people around him–most people much younger than he–would get tired of the problem and drift away. “Then,” said Jim, “Paul would win.”

It’s an approached that he applied as Principal Arms Control Advisor for George Shultz. By then he was close to 80 years old and in the thick of negotiating what would eventually be known as the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. It was, if I might borrow a phrase from my current boss, “a long, hard slog.” [Laughter.]

To give you an idea of what our negotiators faced, here’s how President Reagan described the process in 1982. “As a nation,” the president said, “we are committed to take every step to reduce substantially the possibility of nuclear war, while providing an unshakeable deterrent to such a war for ourselves and our allies. “We have proposed an intermediate range nuclear missiles in Europe,” the president said, “be reduced to zero on both sides and at the same time that we cut conventional forces in Europe to balance levels. And I may say,” the president reported, “the news is encouraging. The Soviet Union has met us halfway on the zero option. They’ve agreed to zero for us.” [Laughter.]

That’s a pretty accurate assessment of how those negotiations started. Five years later, as Richard Perle who’s here could relate in more detail, in 1987, persistence paid off. Both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R agreed to completely remove intermediate range missiles. It’s safe to say that by the end of that process, Paul Nitze had outlasted many others less than half his age, although not Richard Perle.

Maybe Paul’s staying power was connected to his understanding of the enormity of the threat. NSC-68 summed it up this way: “The whole success hangs ultimately on the recognition by this government, the American people and all the peoples of the world that the Cold War is, in fact, a real war in which the survival of the world is at stake.”

America is once again at a crossroads. It is no less dangerous than the one this country faced when those words were written in 1950. Similar toughness, patience and persistence will be key to besting our new adversary–one who is in certain ways, even more dangerous.

With the Soviet Union, we knew who controlled their military forces, we knew their names and we knew where to find them. As NSC-68 explained so well, the Soviet threat was not just military, but ideological. In some ways, the ideology of terrorist fanaticism is even more dangerous. With them, we face an enemy who hides among the shadows, shifting positions and methods with the wind. As they go about their ugly business, they exploit the freedom of open societies. We may not always know who they are or where they operate, but in understanding our freedoms, they know a lot about us.

There is one constant, however, across half a century. Theirs, too, is an ideology of evil. But today we face an enemy that not only hates freedom; it hates life itself and worships death. By contrast, the Soviets at least were not generally suicidal.

We recently intercepted a letter being sent by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an al Qaeda associate in Iraq and a major terrorist mastermind in that country, to his colleagues in Afghanistan. And that literally gives us an idea about how these people think about the benefits of a free and open society emerging in the heart of the Middle East. “Democracy” in Iraq, Zarqawi writes, “is coming” and that will mean, he says, “suffocation” for the terrorists. He talks disparagingly about Iraqis who, and I quote again, “look ahead to a sunny tomorrow, a prosperous future, a carefree life, comfort and favor.” How dare they.

I quote again, “They look ahead to that day and, thus, they are easy prey for Zarqawi’s enemies, the brave Iraqis who are working with us to build a new Iraq.” For Zarqawi, prosperity and happiness are inconsistent with the terrorists’ mission. “We have told these people,” Zarqawi writes, “that safety and victory are incompatible, that the tree of triumph and empowerment cannot grow tall and lofty, without blood and defiance of death, that the nation cannot live without the aroma of martyrdom and the perfume of fragrant blood spilled on behalf of God and that people cannot awaken from their stupor unless talk of martyrdom and martyrs fills their days and nights.”

Our struggle against these people will be a struggle perhaps even longer than the Cold War. It will test our resolve perhaps even more than the conflicts of World War II. Although describing the mind of the Soviets, NSC-68 was prescient, I think, in helping to understand the threat we face today. The document Paul wrote more than 50 years ago says this: A peace the Soviet Union seeks is the peace of total conformity to their policy. The antipathy of slavery to freedom explains the iron curtain, the isolation, the autarchy of a society whose end is absolute power. The existence and persistence of the idea of freedom is a permanent and continuous threat to the foundation of a slave society; and it therefore rejects as intolerable the long continued existence of freedom in the world. The assault on free institutions,” he said 50 years ago, “is world-wide now.” And then, as now, nothing is more important than countering the assault we see today by encouraging freedom where it may grow. Nothing is more important right now than sustaining progress and the budding democratic movements in Afghanistan and Iraq.

There is enormous room for debate and argument about the best course of action. But I hope that we might agree that the phenomenon of terrorist fanaticism has presented itself to us with such a horrible and menacing face that we need to confront it with the same openness of mind and breadth of vision that a young Paul Nitze confronted the menace of Soviet communism with more than 50 years ago.

There is no question that the course of action we are embarked on now presents many challenges. But there is no way to confront that menace without accepting challenges. And I hope we could agree that the status quo of the Middle East of the last decades has been a proven failure–even worse, a tragedy.

Like 50 years ago, there is an urgency and a need to act. We need to deal with the Arab-Israeli problem, but we also need to deal with the desperate conditions under which most people in the Middle East had been living. Pundits can debate endlessly about whether Iraq was the right place to begin, although I firmly believe that it was. But we are there and it is crucial that we succeed. I would hope that, as we debate how best to succeed, we leave no doubt in the minds of our enemies, even more important that we leave no doubt in the minds of tens of millions of Iraqis and Afghans who are dreaming of a new Iraq and a new Afghanistan, that America is committed to nothing less than victory and success. Doing so will take the same bipartisan spirit that sustained us through four decades of the Cold War, but we must do so.

And there is progress, significant progress.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban has been overthrown and replaced by a new constitution and a government that is more representative of all the people than at any time in that country’s history. And it paves the way for another historic step: free elections later this year.

On March 8th, the Iraqi people also took an important step forward when they signed the Iraqi Interim Constitution. In a society held in the most abusive form of slavery and torture under a murderous tyrant for 35 years, assurances of equal rights and substantial representation for women are a transformation. The interim constitution also provides for other fundamental pillars of true democracy, including separation of powers and an independent judiciary, rule of law and civilian control of the military. All this was the product of a heated and healthy political debate–a debate that would have been inconceivable a year ago. In the end, Sunnis and Shias, Kurds and Turkmen, Muslims and Christians agreed to sign, reflecting a willingness of Iraqis to compromise in the interest of achieving a new Iraq.

And when sovereignty is handed over on to Iraqis on July 1st, our engagement will change, but our commitment will not. We will stay in Iraq until our job is done and not a day longer.

Winning in both Iraq and Afghanistan is imperative, but it is only part of the larger war on terrorism. It is a war we must fight with a tireless dedicated persistence of a Paul Nitze, even if it means we continue the battle when others tire of the fight, lose interest or drift away. Paul is a living reminder that we must continue to look forward in our thinking and our action. He shows us that unwavering persistence brings victory. And like Paul, we must be relentlessly persistent in fighting terrorist fanaticism. We must win and we will win.

We will win because we’re on the side of freedom and democracy. And that’s what most people in the world want. It’s what most Muslims want. This is not about America imposing its values on other people. It’s about America enabling other people to enjoy the values from which we benefit so enormously, so that, instead of envying us and hating us, they will see that they have an opportunity to join with us in building a better future for our children and our grandchildren.

Winning will require all those qualities that Paul Nitze embodies–boldness, vision, balance and persistence. As President Bush has said, victory “will take time and require sacrifice, yet we will do what is necessary. We will spend what is necessary to achieve this essential victory in the war on terror to promote freedom and to make our own nation more secure.”

And our greatest strength is what we stand for. Our own experience teaches us that when we support those who advocate the values of human dignity, equal justice, respect for women and religious tolerance–all the things that this country stands for–things can change and they do change.

And I will quote one last time from NSC-68. With remarkable prescience it said, 54 years ago: “The idea of freedom is the most contagious idea in history.” We will win this war, like the previous great challenges this country has faced, as long as we remain committed, like Paul Nitze, to “defending freedom where it seeks to flourish.”

In 1985 when Paul was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, this is how the citation read: “Peace and equilibrium are terms we associate with international affairs and yet they also describe Paul Nitze, the man who seeks them. He is consistently shrewd, but never cynical; impressively erudite, but never pedantic; immensely dignified, but never stuffy; always hopeful, and yet ever realistic. We’re happy, then, to honor him for what he has done and, even more,” it said, “for what he is.”

What Paul Nitze is. Paul Nitze is a wise man who helped guide us through some of our most difficult and dangerous challenges.

As another generation takes up his torch, let them keep in mind that appeal to balance, including the balance between the opposites of pride and humility. As Paul put it, “both are essential”–I think this was to his son’s prep school commencement class–“both are essential, humility before God, before nature, before mankind; pride in one’s faith, in one’s country and in one’s association with one’s fellow man. Only with humility,” he said, “can men gain wisdom and a true sense of relationship with God and with mankind, but only with a due sense of pride in oneself, in one’s background and in one’s country can one act with courage and effectiveness.”

When Paul was still a mere youngster of about 80, George Shultz reflected on his courage and his effectiveness and said, “Wise men come and wise men go, but one wise man goes on and on.”

So let me conclude with a personal message for my friend, Paul. Through your own work, and in the many graduates of SAIS who’ve assumed leadership roles in international affairs for some six decades now, Paul, we may certainly say that America and the world have been and will be safer, thanks to you. For any American hero, there is no higher praise, no greater legacy and no better way in which your inspiration can continue to go on and on and on. Thank you. [Applause.]

http ://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/2004/sp20040414-depsecdef0262.html

 

US generals planning for resource wars

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2008/0922/1221998220381.html

Monday, September 22, 2008

US generals planning for resource wars

ANALYSIS: The US military sees the next 30 to 40 years as involving a state of continuous war against ideologically-motivated terrorists and competing with Russia and China for natural resources and markets, writes Tom Clonan

AS GENERAL Ray Odierno takes command of US forces in Baghdad from troop surge architect Gen David Petraeus, America has begun planning in earnest for its phased withdrawal.

The extra brigade combat teams – or battlegroups – deployed to Iraq by Petraeus have already withdrawn and a further 8,000 troops have been diverted to Afghanistan.

In January, the next president of the United States will conclude America’s timetable for withdrawal in final negotiations with the Iraqi government.

Further evidence of America’s future military intentions is contained in recently published strategy documents issued by the US military.

Under the auspices of the US department of defence and department of the army, the US military have just published a document entitled 2008 Army Modernization Strategy which makes for interesting reading against the current backdrop of deteriorating international fiscal, environmental, energy resource and security crises.

The 2008 modernisation strategy, written by Lieut Gen Stephen Speakes, deputy chief of staff of the US army, contains the first explicit and official acknowledgement that the US military is dangerously overstretched internationally. It states simply: "The army is engaged in the third-longest war in our nation’s history and . . . the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) has caused the army to become out of balance with the demand for forces exceeding the sustainable supply."

Against this backdrop, the 90 page document sets out the future of international conflict for the next 30 to 40 years – as the US military sees it – and outlines the manner in which the military will sustain its current operations and prepare and "transform" itself for future "persistent" warfare.

The document reveals a number of profoundly significant – and worrying – strategic positions that have been adopted as official doctrine by the US military. In its preamble, it predicts a post cold war future of "perpetual warfare".

According to its authors: "We have entered an era of persistent conflict . . . a security environment much more ambiguous and unpredictable than that faced during the cold war."

It then goes on to describe the key features of this dawning era of continuous warfare. Some of the characteristics are familiar enough to a world audience accustomed to the rhetoric of the global war on terror.

"A key current threat is a radical, ideology-based, long-term terrorist threat bent on using any means available – to include weapons of mass destruction – to achieve its political and ideological ends."

Relatively new, "emerging" features are also included in the document’s rationale for future threats.

"We face a potential return to traditional security threats posed by emerging near-peers as we compete globally for depleting natural resources and overseas markets."

This thinly-veiled reference to Russia and China will, perhaps, come as little surprise given recent events in Ossetia and Abkhazia. The explicit reference in this context to future resource wars, however, will probably raise eyebrows among the international diplomatic community, who prefer to couch such conflicts as human rights-based or rooted in notions around freedom and democracy.

The document, however, contains no such lofty pretences. It goes on to list as a pre-eminent threat to the security of the US and its allies "population growth – especially in less-developed countries – [which] will expose a resulting ‘youth bulge’."

This youth bulge, the document goes on to state, will present the US with further "resource competition" in that these expanding populations in the developing world "will consume ever increasing amounts of food, water and energy".

The document goes on to describe in broad-strokes the manner in which its downsized military might ensure survival of the fittest for the US and its allies in future resource wars for water, food and energy.

As a consequence of identifying growing populations in the developed world as a threat in itself, the strategy document highlights a number of paradigm shifts in the way future wars are to be conducted.

It predicts that "21st Century operations will require soldiers to engage among populations and diverse cultures instead of avoiding them".

The document reveals that new US tactical doctrine provides a template by which air, naval and field commanders will no longer just secure traditional strategic targets such as airspace, seaports and bridgeheads, but will, of necessity, also deploy and fight amongst and against the target population itself to win wars.

The document refers to this euphemistically as "commanders employing offensive, defensive and stability or civil support operations simultaneously".

The remainder of the document is devoted to describing in detail how a downsized all volunteer US military – numbering approximately one million soldiers, aircrew and sailors – could maintain an ever-present, international, offensive posture in many countries across many time-zones.

It describes how information communication technologies and digital technologies will create a new "networked" human soldier – the ‘Future Force Warrior’ – who will deploy among the target population and will operate simultaneously several remote, unmanned ground and air weapons systems.

To this end, the US military is rapidly expanding its inventory of computerised, robotic ground weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles .

According to the strategy document, by supplementing relatively small forces of US troops – brigade combat teams – with ever-larger fleets of remotely controlled, unmanned weapons systems, America will be able to successfully deploy its downsized military to maximum effect among the emerging international youth bulge.

Supplementing these future global offensive operations, according to the strategy document, is the US military’s planned domination of inner space or the earth’s exo-atmospheric zone.

The document states: "Space is a significant area of joint development that supports battle space awareness and is the backbone for the national and military intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance architecture, as well as being the domain of choice for commercial broad-area sensing enterprises with military utility."

Together with the US Missile Defence Agency, the US military is currently developing "space-based assets continuously monitoring the globe".

The report elaborates on this by stating that "army space forces are deployed worldwide supporting US efforts to fight and win [the global war on terror]."

The report adds that US military "space control operations ensure freedom of action in space for the United States and its allies and when necessary, deny an adversary freedom of action in space".

The document refers to operations in Iraq in the past tense. It implies that operations in Afghanistan may be expanded.

It states explicitly that the US military is preparing to fight continuous resource wars "for the long haul".

The document also describes explicitly the manner in which the earth’s orbit is now deemed a legitimate zone for offensive military activity. This extraordinary document describes US strategic doctrine in terms worthy of 20th century science fiction.

The mix of 20th century science fiction and Orwellian perspectives unwittingly contained in the document appear rapidly to be materialising as fact.

Dr Tom Clonan is the Irish Times Security Analyst. He lectures in the School of Media, DIT. tclonan@irish-times.ie

© 2008 The Irish Times

V. Putin and the Geopolitics of the New Cold War

Kier Lieber and Daryl Press, two US military analysts, writing in the influential Foreign Affairs of the New York Council on Foreign Relations in March 2006, noted, 'If the United States' nuclear modernization were really aimed at rogue states or terrorists, the country's nuclear force would not need the additional thousand ground-burst warheads it will gain from the W-76 modernization program. The current and future US nuclear force, in other words, seems designed to carry out a pre-emptive disarming strike against Russia or China.'
V. Putin and the Geopolitics of the New Cold War:
Or, what happens when Cowboys don't shoot straight like they used to…

F. William Engdahl
www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/
Feb 19, 2007

The frank words of Russia's President Vladimir Putin to the assembled participants of the annual Munich Wehrkunde security conference have unleashed a storm of self-righteous protest from Western media and politicians. A visitor from another planet might have the impression that the Russian President had abruptly decided to launch a provocative confrontation policy with the West reminiscent of the 1943-1991 Cold War.

However, the details of the developments in NATO and the United States military policies since 1991 are anything but 'd

737 U.S. Military Bases = Global Empire

737 U.S. Military Bases = Global Empire

By Chalmers Johnson, Metropolitan Books
Posted on February 19, 2007, Printed on February 19, 2007 http://www.alternet.org/story/47998/

The following is excerpted from Chalmers Johnson's new book, "Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic" (Metropolitan Books).

Once upon a time, you could trace the spread of imperialism by counting up colonies. America's version of the colony is the military base; and by following the changing politics of global basing, one can learn much about our ever more all-encompassing imperial "footprint" and the militarism that grows with it.

It is not easy, however, to assess the size or exact value of our empire of bases. Official records available to the public on these subjects are misleading, although instructive. According to the Defense Department's annual inventories from 2002 to 2005 of real property it owns around the world, the Base Structure Report, there has been an immense churning in the numbers of installations.

The total of America's military bases in other people's countries in 2005, according to official sources, was 737. Reflecting massive deployments to Iraq and the pursuit of President Bush's strategy of preemptive war, the trend line for numbers of overseas bases continues to go up.

Interestingly enough, the thirty-eight large and medium-sized American facilities spread around the globe in 2005 — mostly air and naval bases for our bombers and fleets — almost exactly equals Britain's thirty-six naval bases and army garrisons at its imperial zenith in 1898. The Roman Empire at its height in 117 AD required thirty-seven major bases to police its realm from Britannia to Egypt, from Hispania to Armenia. Perhaps the optimum number of major citadels and fortresses for an imperialist aspiring to dominate the world is somewhere between thirty-five and forty.

Using data from fiscal year 2005, the Pentagon bureaucrats calculated that its overseas bases were worth at least $127 billion — surely far too low a figure but still larger than the gross domestic products of most countries — and an estimated $658.1 billion for all of them, foreign and domestic (a base's "worth" is based on a Department of Defense estimate of what it would cost to replace it). During fiscal 2005, the military high command deployed to our overseas bases some 196,975 uniformed personnel as well as an equal number of dependents and Department of Defense civilian officials, and employed an additional 81,425 locally hired foreigners.

The worldwide total of U.S. military personnel in 2005, including those based domestically, was 1,840,062 supported by an additional 473,306 Defense Department civil service employees and 203,328 local hires. Its overseas bases, according to the Pentagon, contained 32,327 barracks, hangars, hospitals, and other buildings, which it owns, and 16,527 more that it leased. The size of these holdings was recorded in the inventory as covering 687,347 acres overseas and 29,819,492 acres worldwide, making the Pentagon easily one of the world's largest landlords.

These numbers, although staggeringly big, do not begin to cover all the actual bases we occupy globally. The 2005 Base Structure Report fails, for instance, to mention any garrisons in Kosovo (or Serbia, of which Kosovo is still officially a province) — even though it is the site of the huge Camp Bondsteel built in 1999 and maintained ever since by the KBR corporation (formerly known as Kellogg Brown & Root), a subsidiary of the Halliburton Corporation of Houston.

The report similarly omits bases in Afghanistan, Iraq (106 garrisons as of May 2005), Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, and Uzbekistan, even though the U.S. military has established colossal base structures in the Persian Gulf and Central Asian areas since 9/11. By way of excuse, a note in the preface says that "facilities provided by other nations at foreign locations" are not included, although this is not strictly true. The report does include twenty sites in Turkey, all owned by the Turkish government and used jointly with the Americans. The Pentagon continues to omit from its accounts most of the $5 billion worth of military and espionage installations in Britain, which have long been conveniently disguised as Royal Air Force bases. If there were an honest count, the actual size of our military empire would probably top 1,000 different bases overseas, but no one — possibly not even the Pentagon — knows the exact number for sure.

In some cases, foreign countries themselves have tried to keep their U.S. bases secret, fearing embarrassment if their collusion with American imperialism were revealed. In other instances, the Pentagon seems to want to play down the building of facilities aimed at dominating energy sources, or, in a related situation, retaining a network of bases that would keep Iraq under our hegemony regardless of the wishes of any future Iraqi government. The U.S. government tries not to divulge any information about the bases we use to eavesdrop on global communications, or our nuclear deployments, which, as William Arkin, an authority on the subject, writes, "[have] violated its treaty obligations. The U.S. was lying to many of its closest allies, even in NATO, about its nuclear designs. Tens of thousands of nuclear weapons, hundreds of bases, and dozens of ships and submarines existed in a special secret world of their own with no rational military or even 'deterrence' justification."

In Jordan, to take but one example, we have secretly deployed up to five thousand troops in bases on the Iraqi and Syrian borders. (Jordan has also cooperated with the CIA in torturing prisoners we deliver to them for "interrogation.") Nonetheless, Jordan continues to stress that it has no special arrangements with the United States, no bases, and no American military presence.

The country is formally sovereign but actually a satellite of the United States and has been so for at least the past ten years. Similarly, before our withdrawal from Saudi Arabia in 2003, we habitually denied that we maintained a fleet of enormous and easily observed B-52 bombers in Jeddah because that was what the Saudi government demanded. So long as military bureaucrats can continue to enforce a culture of secrecy to protect themselves, no one will know the true size of our baseworld, least of all the elected representatives of the American people.

In 2005, deployments at home and abroad were in a state of considerable flux. This was said to be caused both by a long overdue change in the strategy for maintaining our global dominance and by the closing of surplus bases at home. In reality, many of the changes seemed to be determined largely by the Bush administration's urge to punish nations and domestic states that had not supported its efforts in Iraq and to reward those that had. Thus, within the United States, bases were being relocated to the South, to states with cultures, as the Christian Science Monitor put it, "more tied to martial traditions" than the Northeast, the northern Middle West, or the Pacific Coast. According to a North Carolina businessman gloating over his new customers, "The military is going where it is wanted and valued most." In part, the realignment revolved around the Pentagon's decision to bring home by 2007 or 2008 two army divisions from Germany — the First Armored Division and the First Infantry Division — and one brigade (3,500 men) of the Second Infantry Division from South Korea (which, in 2005, was officially rehoused at Fort Carson, Colorado). So long as the Iraq insurgency continues, the forces involved are mostly overseas and the facilities at home are not ready for them (nor is there enough money budgeted to get them ready).

Nonetheless, sooner or later, up to 70,000 troops and 100,000 family members will have to be accommodated within the United States. The attendant 2005 "base closings" in the United States are actually a base consolidation and enlargement program with tremendous infusions of money and customers going to a few selected hub areas. At the same time, what sounds like a retrenchment in the empire abroad is really proving to be an exponential growth in new types of bases — without dependents and the amenities they would require — in very remote areas where the U.S. military has never been before.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, it was obvious to anyone who thought about it that the huge concentrations of American military might in Germany, Italy, Japan, and South Korea were no longer needed to meet possible military threats. There were not going to be future wars with the Soviet Union or any country connected to any of those places.

In 1991, the first Bush administration should have begun decommissioning or redeploying redundant forces; and, in fact, the Clinton administration did close some bases in Germany, such as those protecting the Fulda Gap, once envisioned as the likeliest route for a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. But nothing was really done in those years to plan for the strategic repositioning of the American military outside the United States.

By the end of the 1990s, the neoconservatives were developing their grandiose theories to promote overt imperialism by the "lone superpower" — including preventive and preemptive unilateral military action, spreading democracy abroad at the point of a gun, obstructing the rise of any "near-peer" country or bloc of countries that might challenge U.S. military supremacy, and a vision of a "democratic" Middle East that would supply us with all the oil we wanted. A component of their grand design was a redeployment and streamlining of the military. The initial rationale was for a program of transformation that would turn the armed forces into a lighter, more agile, more high-tech military, which, it was imagined, would free up funds that could be invested in imperial policing.

What came to be known as "defense transformation" first began to be publicly bandied about during the 2000 presidential election campaign. Then 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq intervened. In August 2002, when the whole neocon program began to be put into action, it centered above all on a quick, easy war to incorporate Iraq into the empire. By this time, civilian leaders in the Pentagon had become dangerously overconfident because of what they perceived as America's military brilliance and invincibility as demonstrated in its 2001 campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaeda — a strategy that involved reigniting the Afghan civil war through huge payoffs to Afghanistan's Northern Alliance warlords and the massive use of American airpower to support their advance on Kabul.

In August 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld unveiled his "1-4-2-1 defense strategy" to replace the Clinton era's plan for having a military capable of fighting two wars — in the Middle East and Northeast Asia — simultaneously. Now, war planners were to prepare to defend the United States while building and assembling forces capable of "deterring aggression and coercion" in four "critical regions": Europe, Northeast Asia (South Korea and Japan), East Asia (the Taiwan Strait), and the Middle East, be able to defeat aggression in two of these regions simultaneously, and "win decisively" (in the sense of "regime change" and occupation) in one of those conflicts "at a time and place of our choosing."As the military analyst William M. Arkin commented, "[With] American military forces … already stretched to the limit, the new strategy goes far beyond preparing for reactive contingencies and reads more like a plan for picking fights in new parts of the world."

A seemingly easy three-week victory over Saddam Hussein's forces in the spring of 2003 only reconfirmed these plans. The U.S. military was now thought to be so magnificent that it could accomplish any task assigned to it. The collapse of the Baathist regime in Baghdad also emboldened Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld to use "transformation" to penalize nations that had been, at best, lukewarm about America's unilateralism — Germany, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Turkey — and to reward those whose leaders had welcomed Operation Iraqi Freedom, including such old allies as Japan and Italy but also former communist countries such as Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria. The result was the Department of Defense's Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy, known informally as the "Global Posture Review."

President Bush first mentioned it in a statement on November 21, 2003, in which he pledged to "realign the global posture" of the United States. He reiterated the phrase and elaborated on it on August 16, 2004, in a speech to the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Cincinnati. Because Bush's Cincinnati address was part of the 2004 presidential election campaign, his comments were not taken very seriously at the time. While he did say that the United States would reduce its troop strength in Europe and Asia by 60,000 to 70,000, he assured his listeners that this would take a decade to accomplish — well beyond his term in office — and made a series of promises that sounded more like a reenlistment pitch than a statement of strategy.

"Over the coming decade, we'll deploy a more agile and more flexible force, which means that more of our troops will be stationed and deployed from here at home. We'll move some of our troops and capabilities to new locations, so they can surge quickly to deal with unexpected threats. … It will reduce the stress on our troops and our military families. … See, our service members will have more time on the home front, and more predictability and fewer moves over a career. Our military spouses will have fewer job changes, greater stability, more time for their kids and to spend with their families at home."

On September 23, 2004, however, Secretary Rumsfeld disclosed the first concrete details of the plan to the Senate Armed Services Committee. With characteristic grandiosity, he described it as "the biggest re-structuring of America's global forces since 1945." Quoting then undersecretary Douglas Feith, he added, "During the Cold War we had a strong sense that we knew where the major risks and fights were going to be, so we could deploy people right there. We're operating now [with] an entirely different concept. We need to be able to do [the] whole range of military operations, from combat to peacekeeping, anywhere in the world pretty quickly."

Though this may sound plausible enough, in basing terms it opens up a vast landscape of diplomatic and bureaucratic minefields that Rumsfeld's militarists surely underestimated. In order to expand into new areas, the Departments of State and Defense must negotiate with the host countries such things as Status of Forces Agreements, or SOFAs, which are discussed in detail in the next chapter. In addition, they must conclude many other required protocols, such as access rights for our aircraft and ships into foreign territory and airspace, and Article 98 Agreements. The latter refer to article 98 of the International Criminal Court's Rome Statute, which allows countries to exempt U.S. citizens on their territory from the ICC's jurisdiction.

Such immunity agreements were congressionally mandated by the American Service-Members' Protection Act of 2002, even though the European Union holds that they are illegal. Still other necessary accords are acquisitions and cross-servicing agreements or ACSAs, which concern the supply and storage of jet fuel, ammunition, and so forth; terms of leases on real property; levels of bilateral political and economic aid to the United States (so-called host-nation support); training and exercise arrangements (Are night landings allowed? Live firing drills?); and environmental pollution liabilities.

When the United States is not present in a country as its conqueror or military savior, as it was in Germany, Japan, and Italy after World War II and in South Korea after the 1953 Korean War armistice, it is much more difficult to secure the kinds of agreements that allow the Pentagon to do anything it wants and that cause a host nation to pick up a large part of the costs of doing so. When not based on conquest, the structure of the American empire of bases comes to look exceedingly fragile.

From the book NEMESIS: The Last Days of the American Republic by Chalmers Johnson. Reprinted by arrangement with Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Company, LLC. Copyright (c) 2006 by Chalmers Johnson. All rights reserved." Chalmers Johnson is president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, a non-profit research and public affairs organization devoted to public education concerning Japan and international relations in the Pacific. � 2007 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved. View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/47998/

Corazon Valdez-Fabros Email: corafabros2000@yahoo.com or: nonukes@tri-isys.com Skype: corafabros Tel/FAX:+632-931-1153 Mob:+63917-887-1153 Visit the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases: http://www.no-bases.net

U.S. Strategy Plan Calls For Insuring No Rivals Develop

U.S. Strategy Plan Calls For Insuring No Rivals Develop
New York Times
8 March 1992

by Patrick E. Tyler

URL: http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline/1990s/nyt030892.html

WASHINGTON, March 7 – In a broad new policy statement that is in its final drafting stage, the Defense Department asserts that America's political and military mission in the post-cold-war era will be to insure that no rival superpower is allowed to emerge in Western Europe, Asia or the territory of the former Soviet Union.

A 46-page document that has been circulating at the highest levels of the Pentagon for weeks, and which Defense Secretary Dick Cheney expects to release later this month, states that part of the American mission will be "convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests."

The classified document makes the case for a world dominated by one superpower whose position can be perpetuated by constructive behavior and sufficient military might to deter any nation or group of nations from challenging American primacy.

Rejecting Collective Approach

To perpetuate this role, the United States "must sufficiently account for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order," the document states.

With its focus on this concept of benevolent domination by one power, the Pentagon document articulates the clearest rejection to date of collective internationalism, the strategy that emerged from World War II when the five victorious powers sought to form a United Nations that could mediate disputes and police outbreaks of violence.

Though the document is internal to the Pentagon and is not provided to Congress, its policy statements are developed in conjunction with the National Security Council and in consultation with the President or his senior national security advisers. Its drafting has been supervised by Paul D. Wolfowitz, the Pentagon's Under Secretary for Policy. Mr. Wolfowitz often represents the Pentagon on the Deputies Committee, which formulates policy in an interagency process dominated by the State and Defense departments.

The document was provided to The New York Times by an official who believes this post-cold-war strategy debate should be carried out in the public domain. It seems likely to provoke further debate in Congress and among America's allies about Washington's willingness to tolerate greater aspirations for regional leadership from a united Europe or from a more assertive Japan.

Together with its attachments on force levels required to insure America's predominant role, the policy draft is a detailed justification for the Bush Administration's "base force" proposal to support a 1.6-million-member military over the next five years, at a cost of about $1.2 trillion. Many Democrats in Congress have criticized the proposal as unnecessarily expensive.

Implicitly, the document foresees building a world security arrangement that pre-empts Germany and Japan from pursuing a course of substantial rearmament, especially nuclear armament, in the future.

In its opening paragraph, the policy document heralds the "less visible" victory at the end of the cold war, which it defines as "the integration of Germany and Japan into a U.S.-led system of collective security and the creation of a democratic 'zone of peace.' "

The continuation of this strategic goal explains the strong emphasis elsewhere in the document and in other Pentagon planning on using military force, if necessary, to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in such countries as North Korea, Iraq, some of the successor republics to the Soviet Union and in Europe.

Nuclear proliferation, if unchecked by superpower action, could tempt Germany, Japan and other industrial powers to acquire nuclear weapons to deter attack from regional foes. This could start them down the road to global competition with the United States and, in a crisis over national interests, military rivalry.

The policy draft appears to be adjusting the role of the American nuclear arsenal in the new era, saying, "Our nuclear forces also provide an important deterrent hedge against the possibility of a revitalized or unforeseen global threat, while at the same time helping to deter third party use of weapons of mass destruction through the threat of retaliation."

U.N. Action Ignored

The document is conspicuously devoid of references to collective action through the United Nations, which provided the mandate for the allied assault on Iraqi forces in Kuwait and which may soon be asked to provide a new mandate to force President Saddam Hussein to comply with his cease-fire obligations.

The draft notes that coalitions "hold considerable promise for promoting collective action" as in the Persian Gulf war, but that "we should expect future coalitions to be ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted, and in many cases carrying only general agreement over the objectives to be accomplished."

What is most important, it says, is "the sense that the world order is ultimately backed by the U.S." and "the United States should be postured to act independently when collective action cannot be orchestrated" or in a crisis that demands quick response.

Bush Administration officials have been saying publicly for some time that they were willing to work within the framework of the United Nations, but that they reserve the option to act unilaterally or through selective coalitions, if necessary, to protect vital American interests.

But this publicly stated strategy did not rule out an eventual leveling of American power as world security stabilizes and as other nations place greater emphasis on collective international action through the United Nations.

In contrast, the new draft sketches a world in which there is one dominant military power whose leaders "must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role."

Sent to Administrators

The document is known in Pentagon parlance as the Defense Planning Guidance, an internal Administration policy statement that is distributed to the military leaders and civilian Defense Department heads to instruct them on how to prepare their forces, budgets and strategy for the remainder of the decade. The policy guidance is typically prepared every two years, and the current draft will yield the first such document produced after the end of the cold war.

Senior Defense Department officials have said the document will be issued by Defense Secretary Cheney this month. According to a Feb. 18 memorandum from Mr. Wolfowitz's deputy, Dale A. Vesser, the policy guidance will be issued with a set of "illustrative" scenarios for possible future foreign conflicts that might draw United States military forces into combat.

These scenarios, issued separately to the military services on Feb. 4, were detailed in a New York Times article last month. They postulated regional wars against Iraq and North Korea, as well as a Russian assault on Lithuania and smaller military contingencies that United States forces might confront in the future.

These hypothetical conflicts, coupled with the policy guidance document, are meant to give military leaders specific information about the kinds of military threats they should be prepared to meet as they train and equip their forces. It is also intended to give them a coherent strategy framework in which to evaluate various force and training options.

Fears of Proliferation

In assessing future threats, the document places great emphasis on how "the actual use of weapons of mass destruction, even in conflicts that otherwise do not directly engage U.S. interests, could spur further proliferation which in turn would threaten world order."

"The U.S. may be faced with the question of whether to take military steps to prevent the development or use of weapons of mass destruction," it states, noting that those steps could include pre-empting an impending attack with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons "or punishing the attackers or threatening punishment of aggressors through a variety of means," including attacks on the plants that manufacture such weapons.

Noting that the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is up for renewal in 1995, the document says, "should it fail, there could ensue a potentially radical destabilizing process" that would produce unspecified "critical challenges which the U.S. and concerned partners must be prepared to address."

The draft guidance warns that "both Cuba and North Korea seem to be entering periods of intense crisis — primarily economic, but also political — which may lead the governments involved to take actions that would otherwise seem irrational." It adds, "the same potential exists in China."

For the first time since the Defense Planning Guidance process was initiated to shape national security policy, the new draft states that the fragmentation of the former Soviet military establishment has eliminated the capacity for any successor power to wage global conventional war.

But the document qualifies its assessment, saying, "we do not dismiss the risks to stability in Europe from a nationalist backlash in Russia or effort to re-incorporate into Russia the newly independent republics of Ukraine, Belarus and possibly others."

It says that though U.S. nuclear targeting plans have changed "to account for welcome developments in states of the former Soviet Union," American strategic nuclear weapons will continue to target vital aspects of the former Soviet military establishment. The rationale for the continuation of this targeting policy is that the United States "must continue to hold at risk those assets and capabilities that current — and future — Russian leaders or other nuclear adversaries value most" because Russia will remain "the only power in the world with the capability of destroying the United States."

Until such time as the Russian nuclear arsenal has been rendered harmless, "we continue to face the possibility of robust strategic nuclear forces in the hands of those who might revert to closed, authoritarian, and hostile regimes," the document says. It calls for the "early introduction" of a global anti-missile system.

Plan for Europe

In Europe, the Pentagon paper asserts that "a substantial American presence in Europe and continued cohesion within the Western alliance remain vital," but to avoid a competitive relationship from developing, "we must seek to prevent the emergence of European-only security arrangements which would undermine NATO."

The draft states that with the elimination of United States short-range nuclear weapons in Europe and similar weapons at sea, the United States should not contemplate any withdrawal of its nuclear-strike aircraft based in Europe and, in the event of a resurgent threat from Russia, "we should plan to defend against such a threat" farther forward on the territories of Eastern Europe "should there be an Alliance decision to do so."

This statement offers an explicit commitment to defend the former Warsaw Pact nations from Russia. It suggests that the United States could also consider extending to Eastern and Central European nations security commitments similar to those extended to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Arab states along the Persian Gulf. And to help stabilize the economies and democratic development in Eastern Europe, the draft calls on the European Community to offer memberships to Eastern European countries as soon as possible.

In East Asia, the report says, the United States can draw down its forces further, but "we must maintain our status as a military power of the first magnitude in the area.

"This well enable the United States to continue to contribute to regional security and stability by acting as a balancing force and prevent the emergence of a vacuum or a regional hegemon." In addition, the draft warns that any precipitous withdrawal of United States military forces could provoke an unwanted response from Japan, and the document states, "we must also remain sensitive to the potentially destabilizing effects that enhanced roles on the part of our allies, particularly Japan but also possibly Korea, might produce."

In the event that peace negotiations between the two Koreas succeed, the draft recommends that the United States "should seek to maintain an alliance relationship with a unified democratic Korea."

GRAPHIC: Photo: Paul D. Wolfowitz, the Pentagon's Under Secretary for Policy, who has overseen the drafting of a policy statement on the nation's mission in the post-cold-war era. (The New York Times) (pg. 14)

Map of the world indicating areas where U.S may need to retain its military power. (pg. 14)

Chart: "Maintaining a One-Superpower World"

According to a draft document being circulated by the Pentagon, part of the American military mission in the era after the cold war will by "convincing potential competitions that they need not aspire to a greater role," thus insuring that no rival superpower is allowed to emerge.

1. Cuba and North Korea

The U.S. must be prepared for what the report describes as irrational acts from Cuba and North Korea, which are viewed as "entering period of intense crisis" in the economic and political spheres.

2. Iraq, North Korea, Pakistan and India

The U.S. "may be faced with the question of whether to take military steps to prevent the development or use of weapons of mass destruction."

3. Russia

The U.S must continue to aim nuclear arms at "those assets and capabilities that current — and future — Russian leaders or other nuclear adversaries value most."

4. Europe

The U.S must preserve a strong presence to maintain NATO alliance and Extend Western defense commitment into Eastern Europe "should there be an Alliance decision to do so."

5. Japan

The U.S. must "remain sensitive to the potentially destabilizing effects" in East Asia if our allies there, "particularly Japan but also possibly Korea," take on enhanced roles as regional powers. (pg. 14)

Dick Cheney plan for global dominance

"The Plan is for the United States to rule the world. The overt theme is unilateralism, but it is ultimately a story of domination."

Dick Cheney's Song of America

Drafting a plan for global dominance

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005. An essay exploring the real origins of the Iraq War, written before the war started. Originally from October 2002. By David Armstrong.

 

Few writers are more ambitious than the writers of government policy papers, and few policy papers are more ambitious than Dick Cheney's masterwork. It has taken several forms over the last decade and is in fact the product of several ghostwriters (notably Paul Wolfowitz and Colin Powell), but Cheney has been consistent in his dedication to the ideas in the documents that bear his name, and he has maintained a close association with the ideologues behind them. Let us, therefore, call Cheney the author, and this series of documents the Plan.

The Plan was published in unclassified form most recently under the title of Defense Strategy for the 1990s, as Cheney ended his term as secretary of defense under the elder George Bush in early 1993, but it is, like Leaves of Grass, a perpetually evolving work. It was the controversial Defense Planning Guidance draft of 1992—from which Cheney, unconvincingly, tried to distance himself—and it was the somewhat less aggressive revised draft of that same year. This June it was a presidential lecture in the form of a commencement address at West Point, and in July it was leaked to the press as yet another Defense Planning Guidance (this time under the pen name of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld). It will take its ultimate form, though, as America's new national security strategy—and Cheney et al. will experience what few writers have even dared dream: their words will become our reality.

The Plan is for the United States to rule the world. The overt theme is unilateralism, but it is ultimately a story of domination. It calls for the United States to maintain its overwhelming military superiority and prevent new rivals from rising up to challenge it on the world stage. It calls for dominion over friends and enemies alike. It says not that the United States must be more powerful, or most powerful, but that it must be absolutely powerful.

The Plan is disturbing in many ways, and ultimately unworkable. Yet it is being sold now as an answer to the “new realities” of the post-September 11 world, even as it was sold previously as the answer to the new realities of the post-Cold War world. For Cheney, the Plan has always been the right answer, no matter how different the questions.

Cheney's unwavering adherence to the Plan would be amusing, and maybe a little sad, except that it is now our plan. In its pages are the ideas that we now act upon every day with the full might of the United States military. Strangely, few critics have noted that Cheney's work has a long history, or that it was once quite unpopular, or that it was created in reaction to circumstances that are far removed from the ones we now face. But Cheney is a well-known action man. One has to admire, in a way, the Babe Ruth-like sureness of his political work. He pointed to center field ten years ago, and now the ball is sailing over the fence.

* * *

Before the Plan was about domination it was about money. It took shape in late 1989, when the Soviet threat was clearly on the decline, and, with it, public support for a large military establishment. Cheney seemed unable to come to terms with either new reality. He remained deeply suspicious of the Soviets and strongly resisted all efforts to reduce military spending. Democrats in Congress jeered his lack of strategic vision, and a few within the Bush Administration were whispering that Cheney had become an irrelevant factor in structuring a response to the revolutionary changes taking place in the world. More adaptable was the up-and-coming General Colin Powell, the newly appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As Ronald Reagan's national security adviser, Powell had seen the changes taking place in the Soviet Union firsthand and was convinced that the ongoing transformation was irreversible. Like Cheney, he wanted to avoid military cuts, but he knew they were inevitable. The best he could do was minimize them, and the best way to do that would be to offer a new security structure that would preserve American military capabilities despite reduced resources.

Powell and his staff believed that a weakened Soviet Union would result in shifting alliances and regional conflict. The United States was the only nation capable of managing the forces at play in the world; it would have to remain the preeminent military power in order to ensure the peace and shape the emerging order in accordance with American interests. U.S. military strategy, therefore, would have to shift from global containment to managing less-well-defined regional struggles and unforeseen contingencies. To do this, the United States would have to project a military “forward presence” around the world; there would be fewer troops but in more places. This plan still would not be cheap, but through careful restructuring and superior technology, the job could be done with 25 percent fewer troops. Powell insisted that maintaining superpower status must be the first priority of the U.S. military. “We have to put a shingle outside our door saying, ‘Superpower Lives Here,' no matter what the Soviets do,” he said at the time. He also insisted that the troop levels he proposed were the bare minimum necessary to do so. This concept would come to be known as the “Base Force.”

Powell's work on the subject proved timely. The Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, and five days later Powell had his new strategy ready to present to Cheney. Even as decades of repression were ending in Eastern Europe, however, Cheney still could not abide even the force and budget reductions Powell proposed. Yet he knew that cuts were unavoidable. Having no alternative of his own to offer, therefore, he reluctantly encouraged Powell to present his ideas to the president. Powell did so the next day; Bush made no promises but encouraged him to keep at it.

* * *

Less encouraging was the reaction of Paul Wolfowitz, the undersecretary of defense for policy. A lifelong proponent of the unilateralist, maximum-force approach, he shared Cheney's skepticism about the Eastern Bloc and so put his own staff to work on a competing plan that would somehow accommodate the possibility of Soviet backsliding.[1]

As Powell and Wolfowitz worked out their strategies, Congress was losing patience. New calls went up for large cuts in defense spending in light of the new global environment. The harshest critique of Pentagon planning came from a usually dependable ally of the military establishment, Georgia Democrat Sam Nunn, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Nunn told fellow senators in March 1990 that there was a “threat blank” in the administration's proposed $295 billion defense budget and that the Pentagon's “basic assessment of the overall threat to our national security” was “rooted in the past.” The world had changed and yet the “development of a new military strategy that responds to the changes in the threat has not yet occurred.” Without that response, no dollars would be forthcoming.

Nunn's message was clear. Powell and Wolfowitz began filling in the blanks. Powell started promoting a Zen-like new rationale for his Base Force approach. With the Soviets rapidly becoming irrelevant, Powell argued, the United States could no longer assess its military needs on the basis of known threats. Instead, the Pentagon should focus on maintaining the ability to address a wide variety of new and unknown challenges. This shift from a “threat based” assessment of military requirements to a “capability based” assessment would become a key theme of the Plan. The United States would move from countering Soviet attempts at dominance to ensuring its own dominance. Again, this project would not be cheap.

Powell's argument, circular though it may have been, proved sufficient to hold off Congress. Winning support among his own colleagues, however, proved more difficult. Cheney remained deeply skeptical about the Soviets, and Wolfowitz was only slowly coming around. To account for future uncertainties, Wolfowitz recommended drawing down U.S. forces to roughly the levels proposed by Powell, but doing so at a much slower pace: seven years as opposed to the four Powell suggested. He also built in a “crisis response/reconstitution” clause that would allow for reversing the process if events in the Soviet Union, or elsewhere, turned ugly.

With these new elements in place, Cheney saw something that might work. By combining Powell's concepts with those of Wolfowitz, he could counter congressional criticism that his proposed defense budget was out of line with the new strategic reality, while leaving the door open for future force increases. In late June, Wolfowitz, Powell, and Cheney presented their plan to the president, and within a few weeks Bush was unveiling the new strategy.

Bush laid out the rationale for the Plan in a speech in Aspen, Colorado, on August 2, 1990. He explained that since the danger of global war had substantially receded, the principal threats to American security would emerge in unexpected quarters. To counter those threats, he said, the United States would increasingly base the size and structure of its forces on the need to respond to “regional contingencies” and maintain a peacetime military presence overseas. Meeting that need would require maintaining the capability to quickly deliver American forces to any “corner of the globe,” and that would mean retaining many major weapons systems then under attack in Congress as overly costly and unnecessary, including the “Star Wars” missile-defense program. Despite those massive outlays, Bush insisted that the proposed restructuring would allow the United States to draw down its active forces by 25 percent in the years ahead, the same figure Powell had projected ten months earlier.

The Plan's debut was well timed. By a remarkable coincidence, Bush revealed it the very day Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait.

* * *

The Gulf War temporarily reduced the pressure to cut military spending. It also diverted attention from some of the Plan's less appealing aspects. In addition, it inspired what would become one of the Plan's key features: the use of “overwhelming force” to quickly defeat enemies, a concept since dubbed the Powell Doctrine.

Once the Iraqi threat was “contained,” Wolfowitz returned to his obsession with the Soviets, planning various scenarios involving possible Soviet intervention in regional conflicts. The failure of the hard-liner coup against Gorbachev in August 1991, however, made it apparent that such planning might be unnecessary. Then, in late December, just as the Pentagon was preparing to put the Plan in place, the Soviet Union collapsed.

With the Soviet Union gone, the United States had a choice. It could capitalize on the euphoria of the moment by nurturing cooperative relations and developing multilateral structures to help guide the global realignment then taking place; or it could consolidate its power and pursue a strategy of unilateralism and global dominance. It chose the latter course.

In early 1992, as Powell and Cheney campaigned to win congressional support for their augmented Base Force plan, a new logic entered into their appeals. The United States, Powell told members of the House Armed Services Committee, required “sufficient power” to “deter any challenger from ever dreaming of challenging us on the world stage.” To emphasize the point, he cast the United States in the role of street thug. “I want to be the bully on the block,” he said, implanting in the mind of potential opponents that “there is no future in trying to challenge the armed forces of the United States.”

As Powell and Cheney were making this new argument in their congressional rounds, Wolfowitz was busy expanding the concept and working to have it incorporated into U.S. policy. During the early months of 1992, Wolfowitz supervised the preparation of an internal Pentagon policy statement used to guide military officials in the preparation of their forces, budgets, and strategies. The classified document, known as the Defense Planning Guidance, depicted a world dominated by the United States, which would maintain its superpower status through a combination of positive guidance and overwhelming military might. The image was one of a heavily armed City on a Hill.

The DPG stated that the “first objective” of U.S. defense strategy was “to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival.” Achieving this objective required that the United States “prevent any hostile power from dominating a region” of strategic significance. America's new mission would be to convince allies and enemies alike “that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.”

Another new theme was the use of preemptive military force. The options, the DPG noted, ranged from taking preemptive military action to head off a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack to “punishing” or “threatening punishment of” aggressors “through a variety of means,” including strikes against weapons-manufacturing facilities.

The DPG also envisioned maintaining a substantial U.S. nuclear arsenal while discouraging the development of nuclear programs in other countries. It depicted a “U.S.-led system of collective security” that implicitly precluded the need for rearmament of any kind by countries such as Germany and Japan. And it called for the “early introduction” of a global missile-defense system that would presumably render all missile-launched weapons, including those of the United States, obsolete. (The United States would, of course, remain the world's dominant military power on the strength of its other weapons systems.)

The story, in short, was dominance by way of unilateral action and military superiority. While coalitions—such as the one formed during the Gulf War—held “considerable promise for promoting collective action,” the draft DPG stated, the United States should expect future alliances to be “ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted, and in many cases carrying only general agreement over the objectives to be accomplished.” It was essential to create “the sense that the world order is ultimately backed by the U.S.” and essential that America position itself “to act independently when collective action cannot be orchestrated” or in crisis situations requiring immediate action. “While the U.S. cannot become the world's ‘policeman,'” the document said, “we will retain the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends.” Among the interests the draft indicated the United States would defend in this manner were “access to vital raw materials, primarily Persian Gulf oil, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, [and] threats to U.S. citizens from terrorism.”

* * *

The DPG was leaked to the New York Times in March 1992. Critics on both the left and the right attacked it immediately. Then-presidential candidate Pat Buchanan portrayed it as giving a “blank check” to America's allies by suggesting the United States would “go to war to defend their interests.” Bill Clinton's deputy campaign manager, George Stephanopoulos, characterized it as an attempt by Pentagon officials to “find an excuse for big defense budgets instead of downsizing.” Delaware Senator Joseph Biden criticized the Plan's vision of a “Pax Americana, a global security system where threats to stability are suppressed or destroyed by U.S. military power.” Even those who found the document's stated goals commendable feared that its chauvinistic tone could alienate many allies. Cheney responded by attempting to distance himself from the Plan. The Pentagon's spokesman dismissed the leaked document as a “low-level draft” and claimed that Cheney had not seen it. Yet a fifteen-page section opened by proclaiming that it constituted “definitive guidance from the Secretary of Defense.”

Powell took a more forthright approach to dealing with the flap: he publicly embraced the DPG's core concept. In a TV interview, he said he believed it was “just fine” that the United States reign as the world's dominant military power. “I don't think we should apologize for that,” he said. Despite bad reviews in the foreign press, Powell insisted that America's European allies were “not afraid” of U.S. military might because it was “power that could be trusted” and “will not be misused.”

Mindful that the draft DPG's overt expression of U.S. dominance might not fly, Powell in the same interview also trotted out a new rationale for the original Base Force plan. He argued that in a post-Soviet world, filled with new dangers, the United States needed the ability to fight on more than one front at a time. “One of the most destabilizing things we could do,” he said, “is to cut our forces so much that if we're tied up in one area of the world . . . and we are not seen to have the ability to influence another area of the world, we might invite just the sort of crisis we're trying to deter.” This two-war strategy provided a possible answer to Nunn's “threat blank.” One unknown enemy wasn't enough to justify lavish defense budgets, but two unknown enemies might do the trick.

Within a few weeks the Pentagon had come up with a more comprehensive response to the DPG furor. A revised version was leaked to the press that was significantly less strident in tone, though only slightly less strident in fact. While calling for the United States to prevent “any hostile power from dominating a region critical to our interests,” the new draft stressed that America would act in concert with its allies—when possible. It also suggested the United Nations might take an expanded role in future political, economic, and security matters, a concept conspicuously absent from the original draft.

The controversy died down, and, with a presidential campaign under way, the Pentagon did nothing to stir it up again. Following Bush's defeat, however, the Plan reemerged. In January 1993, in his very last days in office, Cheney released a final version. The newly titled Defense Strategy for the 1990s retained the soft touch of the revised draft DPG as well as its darker themes. The goal remained to preclude “hostile competitors from challenging our critical interests” and preventing the rise of a new superpower. Although it expressed a “preference” for collective responses in meeting such challenges, it made clear that the United States would play the lead role in any alliance. Moreover, it noted that collective action would “not always be timely.” Therefore, the United States needed to retain the ability to “act independently, if necessary.” To do so would require that the United States maintain its massive military superiority. Others were not encouraged to follow suit. It was kinder, gentler dominance, but it was dominance all the same. And it was this thesis that Cheney and company nailed to the door on their way out.

* * *

The new administration tacitly rejected the heavy-handed, unilateral approach to U.S. primacy favored by Powell, Cheney, and Wolfowitz. Taking office in the relative calm of the early post-Cold War era, Clinton sought to maximize America's existing position of strength and promote its interests through economic diplomacy, multilateral institutions (dominated by the United States), greater international free trade, and the development of allied coalitions, including American-led collective military action. American policy, in short, shifted from global dominance to globalism.

Clinton also failed to prosecute military campaigns with sufficient vigor to satisfy the defense strategists of the previous administration. Wolfowitz found Clinton's Iraq policy especially infuriating. During the Gulf War, Wolfowitz harshly criticized the decision—endorsed by Powell and Cheney—to end the war once the U.N. mandate of driving Saddam's forces from Kuwait had been fulfilled, leaving the Iraqi dictator in office. He called on the Clinton Administration to finish the job by arming Iraqi opposition forces and sending U.S. ground troops to defend a base of operation for them in the southern region of the country. In a 1996 editorial, Wolfowitz raised the prospect of launching a preemptive attack against Iraq. “Should we sit idly by,” he wrote, “with our passive containment policy and our inept covert operations, and wait until a tyrant possessing large quantities of weapons of mass destruction and sophisticated delivery systems strikes out at us?” Wolfowitz suggested it was “necessary” to “go beyond the containment strategy.”

Wolfowitz's objections to Clinton's military tactics were not limited to Iraq. Wolfowitz had endorsed President Bush's decision in late 1992 to intervene in Somalia on a limited humanitarian basis. Clinton later expanded the mission into a broader peacekeeping effort, a move that ended in disaster. With perfect twenty-twenty hindsight, Wolfowitz decried Clinton's decision to send U.S. troops into combat “where there is no significant U.S. national interest.” He took a similar stance on Clinton's ill-fated democracy-building effort in Haiti, chastising the president for engaging “American military prestige” on an issue “of little or no importance” to U.S. interests. Bosnia presented a more complicated mix of posturing and ideologies. While running for president, Clinton had scolded the Bush Administration for failing to take action to stem the flow of blood in the Balkans. Once in office, however, and chastened by their early misadventures in Somalia and Haiti, Clinton and his advisers struggled to articulate a coherent Bosnia policy. Wolfowitz complained in 1994 of the administration's failure to “develop an effective course of action.” He personally advocated arming the Bosnian Muslims in their fight against the Serbs. Powell, on the other hand, publicly cautioned against intervention. In 1995 a U.S.-led NATO bombing campaign, combined with a Croat-Muslim ground offensive, forced the Serbs into negotiations, leading to the Dayton Peace Accords. In 1999, as Clinton rounded up support for joint U.S.-NATO action in Kosovo, Wolfowitz hectored the president for failing to act quickly enough.

* * *

After eight years of what Cheney et al. regarded as wrongheaded military adventures and pinprick retaliatory strikes, the Clinton Administration—mercifully, in their view—came to an end. With the ascension of George W. Bush to the presidency, the authors of the Plan returned to government, ready to pick up where they had left off. Cheney, of course, became vice president, Powell became secretary of state, and Wolfowitz moved into the number-two slot at the Pentagon, as Donald Rumsfeld's deputy. Other contributors also returned: Two prominent members of the Wolfowitz team that crafted the original DPG took up posts on Cheney's staff. I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who served as Wolfowitz's deputy during Bush I, became the vice president's chief of staff and national security adviser. And Eric Edelman, an assistant deputy undersecretary of defense in the first Bush Administration, became a top foreign policy adviser to Cheney.[2]

Cheney and company had not changed their minds during the Clinton interlude about the correct course for U.S. policy, but they did not initially appear bent on resurrecting the Plan. Rather than present a unified vision of foreign policy to the world, in the early going the administration focused on promoting a series of seemingly unrelated initiatives. Notable among these were missile defense and space-based weaponry, long-standing conservative causes. In addition, a distinct tone of unilateralism emerged as the new administration announced its intent to abandon the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia in order to pursue missile defense; its opposition to U.S. ratification of an international nuclear-test-ban pact; and its refusal to become a party to an International Criminal Court. It also raised the prospect of ending the self-imposed U.S. moratorium on nuclear testing initiated by the President's father during the 1992 presidential campaign. Moreover, the administration adopted a much tougher diplomatic posture, as evidenced, most notably, by a distinct hardening of relations with both China and North Korea. While none of this was inconsistent with the concept of U.S. dominance, these early actions did not, at the time, seem to add up to a coherent strategy.

It was only after September 11 that the Plan emerged in full. Within days of the attacks, Wolfowitz and Libby began calling for unilateral military action against Iraq, on the shaky premise that Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network could not have pulled off the assaults without Saddam Hussein's assistance. At the time, Bush rejected such appeals, but Wolfowitz kept pushing and the President soon came around. In his State of the Union address in January, Bush labeled Iraq, Iran, and North Korea an “axis of evil,” and warned that he would “not wait on events” to prevent them from using weapons of mass destruction against the United States. He reiterated his commitment to preemption in his West Point speech in June. “If we wait for threats to fully materialize we will have waited too long,” he said. “We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans and confront the worst threats before they emerge.” Although it was less noted, Bush in that same speech also reintroduced the Plan's central theme. He declared that the United States would prevent the emergence of a rival power by maintaining “military strengths beyond challenge.” With that, the President effectively adopted a strategy his father's administration had developed ten years earlier to ensure that the United States would remain the world's preeminent power. While the headlines screamed “preemption,” no one noticed the declaration of the dominance strategy.

* * *

In case there was any doubt about the administration's intentions, the Pentagon's new DPG lays them out. Signed by Wolfowitz's new boss, Donald Rumsfeld, in May and leaked to the Los Angeles Times in July, it contains all the key elements of the original Plan and adds several complementary features. The preemptive strikes envisioned in the original draft DPG are now “unwarned attacks.” The old Powell-Cheney notion of military “forward presence” is now “forward deterrence.” The use of overwhelming force to defeat an enemy called for in the Powell Doctrine is now labeled an “effects based” approach.

Some of the names have stayed the same. Missile defense is back, stronger than ever, and the call goes up again for a shift from a “threat based” structure to a “capabilities based” approach. The new DPG also emphasizes the need to replace the so-called Cold War strategy of preparing to fight two major conflicts simultaneously with what the Los Angeles Times refers to as “a more complex approach aimed at dominating air and space on several fronts.” This, despite the fact that Powell had originally conceived—and the first Bush Administration had adopted—the two-war strategy as a means of filling the “threat blank” left by the end of the Cold War.

Rumsfeld's version adds a few new ideas, most impressively the concept of preemptive strikes with nuclear weapons. These would be earth-penetrating nuclear weapons used for attacking “hardened and deeply buried targets,” such as command-and-control bunkers, missile silos, and heavily fortified underground facilities used to build and store weapons of mass destruction. The concept emerged earlier this year when the administration's Nuclear Posture Review leaked out. At the time, arms-control experts warned that adopting the NPR's recommendations would undercut existing arms-control treaties, do serious harm to nonproliferation efforts, set off new rounds of testing, and dramatically increase the prospects of nuclear weapons being used in combat. Despite these concerns, the administration appears intent on developing the weapons. In a final flourish, the DPG also directs the military to develop cyber-, laser-, and electronic-warfare capabilities to ensure U.S. dominion over the heavens.

Rumsfeld spelled out these strategies in Foreign Affairs earlier this year, and it is there that he articulated the remaining elements of the Plan: unilateralism and global dominance. Like the revised DPG of 1992, Rumsfeld feigns interest in collective action but ultimately rejects it as impractical. “Wars can benefit from coalitions,” he writes, “but they should not be fought by committee.” And coalitions, he adds, “must not determine the mission.” The implication is the United States will determine the missions and lead the fights. Finally, Rumsfeld expresses the key concept of the Plan: preventing the emergence of rival powers. Like the original draft DPG of 1992, he states that America's goal is to develop and maintain the military strength necessary to “dissuade” rivals or adversaries from “competing.” With no challengers, and a proposed defense budget of $379 billion for next year, the United States would reign over all it surveys.

* * *

Reaction to the latest edition of the Plan has, thus far, focused on preemption. Commentators parrot the administration's line, portraying the concept of preemptory strikes as a “new” strategy aimed at combating terrorism. In an op-ed piece for the Washington Post following Bush's West Point address, former Clinton adviser William Galston described preemption as part of a “brand-new security doctrine,” and warned of possible negative diplomatic consequences. Others found the concept more appealing. Loren Thompson of the conservative Lexington Institute hailed the “Bush Doctrine” as “a necessary response to the new dangers that America faces” and declared it “the biggest shift in strategic thinking in two generations.” Wall Street Journal editor Robert Bartley echoed that sentiment, writing that “no talk of this ilk has been heard from American leaders since John Foster Dulles talked of rolling back the Iron Curtain.”

Preemption, of course, is just part of the Plan, and the Plan is hardly new. It is a warmed-over version of the strategy Cheney and his coauthors rolled out in 1992 as the answer to the end of the Cold War. Then the goal was global dominance, and it met with bad reviews. Now it is the answer to terrorism. The emphasis is on preemption, and the reviews are generally enthusiastic. Through all of this, the dominance motif remains, though largely undetected.

This country once rejected “unwarned” attacks such as Pearl Harbor as barbarous and unworthy of a civilized nation. Today many cheer the prospect of conducting sneak attacks—potentially with nuclear weapons—on piddling powers run by tin-pot despots.

We also once denounced those who tried to rule the world. Our primary objection (at least officially) to the Soviet Union was its quest for global domination. Through the successful employment of the tools of containment, deterrence, collective security, and diplomacy—the very methods we now reject—we rid ourselves and the world of the Evil Empire. Having done so, we now pursue the very thing for which we opposed it. And now that the Soviet Union is gone, there appears to be no one left to stop us.

Perhaps, however, there is. The Bush Administration and its loyal opposition seem not to grasp that the quests for dominance generate backlash. Those threatened with preemption may themselves launch preemptory strikes. And even those who are successfully “preempted” or dominated may object and find means to strike back. Pursuing such strategies may, paradoxically, result in greater factionalism and rivalry, precisely the things we seek to end.

Not all Americans share Colin Powell's desire to be “the bully on the block.” In fact, some believe that by following a different path the United States has an opportunity to establish a more lasting security environment. As Dartmouth professors Stephen Brooks and William Wohlforth wrote recently in Foreign Affairs, “Unipolarity makes it possible to be the global bully—but it also offers the United States the luxury of being able to look beyond its immediate needs to its own, and the world's, long-term interests. . . . Magnanimity and restraint in the face of temptation are tenets of successful statecraft that have proved their worth.” Perhaps, in short, we can achieve our desired ends by means other than global domination.

About the Author

David Armstrong is an investigative reporter for the National Security News Service.

Notes

1. During the elder Bush's tenure as CIA director in the 1970s, Wolfowitz had served on a panel of defense experts known as “Team B,” which concluded that U.S. intelligence was vastly underestimating the scale of the Soviet threat—an opinion he had yet to revise in 1990. 

2. Zalmay Khalilzad, who served as assistant deputy undersecretary of defense during the first Bush Administration, wrote a book during the Clinton interval expressing the core concepts of the original DPG. Khalilzad argued that the United States should “preclude the rise of another global rival for the indefinite future,” and “be willing to use force if necessary for the purpose.” Khalilzad joined the inner circle of the current administration as a special assistant to the president and today serves as a U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan. 

Plan of world control 1992

Draft Defense Planning Guidance




  Lone Superpower Plan: Ammunition for Critics
By PATRICK E. TYLER (NYT) excerpt from 1186 words
NY Times: March 10, 1992

On Feb. 18, the draft "Defense Planning Guidance," prepared under the supervision of Paul D. Wolfowitz, the Pentagon's Under Secretary for Policy, was circulated to General Powell, who serves as the President's principal military adviser, the secretaries of all four military departments, Mr. Cheney's under secretaries and assistant secretaries of defense and the chiefs of all four military services.

A week after the draft document was circulated, Adm. David E. Jeremiah, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the document would be issued by Mr. Cheney in early March, thus indicating it was in an advanced drafting stage. A cover memo from Mr. Wolfowitz's deputy, Dale A. Vesser, also indicates that the policy statement is near final form and asks recipients to "focus your comments on major substantive concerns."

One 15-page section of the guidance states that it has been approved by Mr. Cheney and begins, "This section constitutes definitive guidance from the Secretary of Defense" to be used in conjunction with "fiscal guidance published by the Secretary on 15 February 1992."


 
 

U.S. STRATEGY PLAN CALLS FOR INSURING NO RIVALS DEVELOP

By PATRICK E. TYLER, ( Special to The New York Times ) 2089 words
Published: March 8, 1992

In a broad new policy statement that is in its final drafting stage, the Defense Department asserts that America's political and military mission in the post-cold-war era will be to insure that no rival superpower is allowed to emerge in Western Europe, Asia or the territory of the former Soviet Union.

A 46-page document that has been circulating at the highest levels of the Pentagon for weeks, and which Defense Secretary Dick Cheney expects to release later this month, states that part of the American mission will be "convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests."

The classified document makes the case for a world dominated by one superpower whose position can be perpetuated by constructive behavior and sufficient military might to deter any nation or group of nations from challenging American primacy. Rejecting Collective Approach

To perpetuate this role, the United States "must sufficiently account for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order," the document states.

With its focus on this concept of benevolent domination by one power, the Pentagon document articulates the clearest rejection to date of collective internationalism, the strategy that emerged from World War II when the five victorious powers sought to form a United Nations that could mediate disputes and police outbreaks of violence.

Though the document is internal to the Pentagon and is not provided to Congress, its policy statements are developed in conjunction with the National Security Council and in consultation with the President or his senior national security advisers. Its drafting has been supervised by Paul D. Wolfowitz, the Pentagon's Under Secretary for Policy. Mr. Wolfowitz often represents the Pentagon on the Deputies Committee, which formulates policy in an interagency process dominated by the State and Defense departments.

The document was provided to The New York Times by an official who believes this post-cold-war strategy debate should be carried out in the public domain. It seems likely to provoke further debate in Congress and among America's allies about Washington's willingness to tolerate greater aspirations for regional leadership from a united Europe or from a more assertive Japan.

Together with its attachments on force levels required to insure America's predominant role, the policy draft is a detailed justification for the Bush Administration's "base force" proposal to support a 1.6-million-member military over the next five years, at a cost of about $1.2 trillion. Many Democrats in Congress have criticized the proposal as unnecessarily expensive.

Implicitly, the document foresees building a world security arrangement that pre-empts Germany and Japan from pursuing a course of substantial rearmament, especially nuclear armament, in the future.

In its opening paragraph, the policy document heralds the "less visible" victory at the end of the cold war, which it defines as "the integration of Germany and Japan into a U.S.-led system of collective security and the creation of a democratic 'zone of peace.' "

The continuation of this strategic goal explains the strong emphasis elsewhere in the document and in other Pentagon planning on using military force, if necessary, to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in such countries as North Korea, Iraq, some of the successor republics to the Soviet Union and in Europe.

Nuclear proliferation, if unchecked by superpower action, could tempt Germany, Japan and other industrial powers to acquire nuclear weapons to deter attack from regional foes. This could start them down the road to global competition with the United States and, in a crisis over national interests, military rivalry.

The policy draft appears to be adjusting the role of the American nuclear arsenal in the new era, saying, "Our nuclear forces also provide an important deterrent hedge against the possibility of a revitalized or unforeseen global threat, while at the same time helping to deter third party use of weapons of mass destruction through the threat of retaliation." U.N. Action Ignored

The document is conspicuously devoid of references to collective action through the United Nations, which provided the mandate for the allied assault on Iraqi forces in Kuwait and which may soon be asked to provide a new mandate to force President Saddam Hussein to comply with his cease-fire obligations.

The draft notes that coalitions "hold considerable promise for promoting collective action" as in the Persian Gulf war, but that "we should expect future coalitions to be ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted, and in many cases carrying only general agreement over the objectives to be accomplished."

What is most important, it says, is "the sense that the world order is ultimately backed by the U.S." and "the United States should be postured to act independently when collective action cannot be orchestrated" or in a crisis that demands quick response.

Bush Administration officials have been saying publicly for some time that they were willing to work within the framework of the United Nations, but that they reserve the option to act unilaterally or through selective coalitions, if necessary, to protect vital American interests.

But this publicly stated strategy did not rule out an eventual leveling of American power as world security stabilizes and as other nations place greater emphasis on collective international action through the United Nations.

In contrast, the new draft sketches a world in which there is one dominant military power whose leaders "must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role." Sent to Administrators

The document is known in Pentagon parlance as the Defense Planning Guidance, an internal Administration policy statement that is distributed to the military leaders and civilian Defense Department heads to instruct them on how to prepare their forces, budgets and strategy for the remainder of the decade. The policy guidance is typically prepared every two years, and the current draft will yield the first such document produced after the end of the cold war.

Senior Defense Department officials have said the document will be issued by Defense Secretary Cheney this month. According to a Feb. 18 memorandum from Mr. Wolfowitz's deputy, Dale A. Vesser, the policy guidance will be issued with a set of "illustrative" scenarios for possible future foreign conflicts that might draw United States military forces into combat.

These scenarios, issued separately to the military services on Feb. 4, were detailed in a New York Times article last month. They postulated regional wars against Iraq and North Korea, as well as a Russian assault on Lithuania and smaller military contingencies that United States forces might confront in the future.

These hypothetical conflicts, coupled with the policy guidance document, are meant to give military leaders specific information about the kinds of military threats they should be prepared to meet as they train and equip their forces. It is also intended to give them a coherent strategy framework in which to evaluate various force and training options. Fears of Proliferation

In assessing future threats, the document places great emphasis on how "the actual use of weapons of mass destruction, even in conflicts that otherwise do not directly engage U.S. interests, could spur further proliferation which in turn would threaten world order."

"The U.S. may be faced with the question of whether to take military steps to prevent the development or use of weapons of mass destruction," it states, noting that those steps could include pre-empting an impending attack with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons "or punishing the attackers or threatening punishment of aggressors through a variety of means," including attacks on the plants that manufacture such weapons.

Noting that the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is up for renewal in 1995, the document says, "should it fail, there could ensue a potentially radical destabilizing process" that would produce unspecified "critical challenges which the U.S. and concerned partners must be prepared to address."

The draft guidance warns that "both Cuba and North Korea seem to be entering periods of intense crisis — primarily economic, but also political — which may lead the governments involved to take actions that would otherwise seem irrational." It adds, "the same potential exists in China."

For the first time since the Defense Planning Guidance process was initiated to shape national security policy, the new draft states that the fragmentation of the former Soviet military establishment has eliminated the capacity for any successor power to wage global conventional war.

But the document qualifies its assessment, saying, "we do not dismiss the risks to stability in Europe from a nationalist backlash in Russia or effort to re-incorporate into Russia the newly independent republics of Ukraine, Belarus and possibly others."

It says that though U.S. nuclear targeting plans have changed "to account for welcome developments in states of the former Soviet Union," American strategic nuclear weapons will continue to target vital aspects of the former Soviet military establishment. The rationale for the continuation of this targeting policy is that the United States "must continue to hold at risk those assets and capabilities that current — and future — Russian leaders or other nuclear adversaries value most" because Russia will remain "the only power in the world with the capability of destroying the United States."

Until such time as the Russian nuclear arsenal has been rendered harmless, "we continue to face the possibility of robust strategic nuclear forces in the hands of those who might revert to closed, authoritarian, and hostile regimes," the document says. It calls for the "early introduction" of a global anti-missile system. Plan for Europe

In Europe, the Pentagon paper asserts that "a substantial American presence in Europe and continued cohesion within the Western alliance remain vital," but to avoid a competitive relationship from developing, "we must seek to prevent the emergence of European-only security arrangements which would undermine NATO."

The draft states that with the elimination of United States short-range nuclear weapons in Europe and similar weapons at sea, the United States should not contemplate any withdrawal of its nuclear-strike aircraft based in Europe and, in the event of a resurgent threat from Russia, "we should plan to defend against such a threat" farther forward on the territories of Eastern Europe "should there be an Alliance decision to do so."

This statement offers an explicit commitment to defend the former Warsaw Pact nations from Russia. It suggests that the United States could also consider extending to Eastern and Central European nations security commitments similar to those extended to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Arab states along the Persian Gulf. And to help stabilize the economies and democratic development in Eastern Europe, the draft calls on the European Community to offer memberships to Eastern European countries as soon as possible.

In East Asia, the report says, the United States can draw down its forces further, but "we must maintain our status as a military power of the first magnitude in the area.

"This well enable the United States to continue to contribute to regional security and stability by acting as a balancing force and prevent the emergence of a vacuum or a regional hegemon." In addition, the draft warns that any precipitous withdrawal of United States military forces could provoke an unwanted response from Japan, and the document states, "we must also remain sensitive to the potentially destabilizing effects that enhanced roles on the part of our allies, particularly Japan but also possibly Korea, might produce."

In the event that peace negotiations between the two Koreas succeed, the draft recommends that the United States "should seek to maintain an alliance relationship with a unified democratic Korea."

Photo: Paul D. Wolfowitz, the Pentagon's Under Secretary for Policy, who has overseen the drafting of a policy statement on the nation's mission in the post-cold-war era. (The New York Times) (pg. 14) Map of the world indicating areas where U.S may need to retain its military power. (pg. 14) Chart: "Maintaining a One-Superpower World" According to a draft document being circulated by the Pentagon, part of the American military mission in the era after the cold war will by "convincing potential competitions that they need not aspire to a greater role," thus insuring that no rival superpower is allowed to emerge. 1. Cuba and North Korea The U.S. must be prepared for what the report describes as irrational acts from Cuba and North Korea, which are viewed as "entering period of intense crisis" in the economic and political spheres. 2. Iraq, North Korea, Pakistan and India The U.S. "may be faced with the question of whether to take military steps to prevent the development or use of weapons of mass destruction." 3. Russia The U.S must continue to aim nuclear arms at "those assets and capabilities that current — and future — Russian leaders or other nuclear adversaries value most." 4. Europe The U.S must preserve a strong presence to maintain NATO alliance and Extend Western defense commitment into Eastern Europe "should there be an Alliance decision to do so." 5. Japan The U.S. must "remain sensitive to the potentially destabilizing effects" in East Asia if our allies there, "particularly Japan but also possibly Korea," take on enhanced roles as regional powers. (pg. 14)

Special forces: Development, Structure, Missions

Special forces: Development, Structure, Missions

It is a self-evident truisim [that the] end of the Cold War and its reciprocal nuclear blackmail has not resulted in an era of universal peace. Rather, we have witnessed the resurgence of a multitude of regional/local or even tribal conflicts, most of which can be classified as Low Intensity Conflicts (LICs).

Earlier and optimistic assumptions of Low Intensity Conflicts involving nothing more than police-style operations, or in the worst case a simplified, lower-risk variant of the conventional battlefield tasks of infantry units have been quickly proved wrong, and in some case dramatically so (e.g. the bloody failure of the peace-keeping mission in Somalia). This has led to a renewed, generalised interest towards highly-trained and well-equipped Special Forces units as the instrument of choice for LICs as well as Operations-other-than-War (OOTWs).

General Considerations

Before proceeding any further, a working definition is necessary at this point to grasp what is meant by special operations and, thus, Special Forces (NATO designation) or Special Forces (US designation). The US Special Operarations Command (USSOCOM) defines special operations as “operations conducted by specially trained, equipped and organised forces against strategic, or tactical targets in pursuit of military, political, economic or psychological objectives. These  operations may be conducted during periods of peace or hostilities.”

SF are units formed, trained and equipped primarily to carry out special operations, and are thus intended to provide a tailored solution to a number of specific operational problems in the framework of low-, medium- and high-intensit combinations of specialised personnel, equipment, training, and tactics that go beyond the routine capabilities of conventional military force.”

Source:  
http://www.defenseworld.net/html/features/Special%20Operations%20Forces%20Development%20Structure%20Missions_S.htm

Special Operations in Modern Warfare and Home Defense

On April 26, 2004 a conference was organized in the Le Meridien Hotel, Amman, Jordan, on the theme "Special Operations in Modern Warfare and Home Defense". In the invitation to the conference, posted on (and now removed from) the website www.defensenews.com, the reason for participation is stated: "The conference will feature influential defense opinion shapers and decision makers from the around the world. This conference will offer insight into and obstacles surrounding today’s defense environment in the Middle East. You’ll leave with unique insight and information you can use to better understand the rapidly changing defense environment."  The conference was sponsored by Lockheed Martin Corporation.

 

On the concept of Special Operations, see here.

 

World must target terrorism’s roots

By MEGAN SCULLY, AMMAN
http://www.defensenews.com/promos/conferences/sofex0404/2858003.html
April 27, 2004

World leaders must look beyond merely tracking down terrorists and begin to understand the roots of terrorism, said His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Political issues, particularly the escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict, must be solved to prevent violent extremism from spreading, the King said April 26 at the Defense News SOFEX Conference here, an official event of SOFEX Jordan.

“Most people in this area will tell their colleagues ” that the root causes of terrorism here is a political issue,” the King said at the conference. “And all of us in the Middle East will point out that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the main causes that create extremism and terrorism.”

The conference, “Special Operations in Modern Warfare and Home Defense,” was supported by the Jordan Armed Forces, sponsored by Lockheed Martin and produced by Defense News Media Group.

“We have to solve the problems that create the extremists and terrorists,” the King said. “Once we solve those, shutting down the recruiters, shutting down the extremists and their platforms, then we will have a better and safer world.”

During the conference’s opening speech, the King also urged international cooperation, particularly among special operations forces. Allied nations must “reach out to each other more” and share information, techniques and capabilities with other militaries in the fight against terrorism, the King said.

As the world’s militaries move away from conventional tank-on-tank warfare to confront less traditional and unpredictable enemies, “special forces, special operations are going to be expected to take more and more of the responsibility for ensuring the safety” of the world, the King said.

Most militaries direct roughly 1 percent to 4 percent of their manpower and budgets to special operations forces, but 90 percent of future operational requirements will demand special operations skills and capabilities.

“Money spent on those units is money well spent,” the King said. “Special forces, special operations are going to be on the cutting edge of the militaries for the foreseeable future.”

The King said world leaders have made recent strides in preventing terrorism.

“Two years ago when we were here, I said the bad guys were organized and the good guys were not,” the King said. “I believe we have come a long way in the past two or three years. I believe there is still a long way to go.”

‘We are entering a new American century’

"We are entering a new American century, in which we will become still wealthier, culturally more lethal, and increasingly powerful. We will excite hatreds without precedent."

"There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive. The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing."

Similarly, In a March 28, 1999 New York Times article, Thomas Friedman wrote: "For globalization to work, America can’t be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is… The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist – McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps."

Constant Conflict

by RALPH PETERS


 

From Parameters, Summer 1997, pp. 4-14.
http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/97summer/peters.htm

Go to Summer issue Table of Contents.


We have entered an age of constant conflict. Information is at once our core commodity and the most destabilizing factor of our time. Until now, history has been a quest to acquire information; today, the challenge lies in managing information. Those of us who can sort, digest, synthesize, and apply relevant knowledge soar–professionally, financially, politically, militarily, and socially. We, the winners, are a minority.
 

For the world masses, devastated by information they cannot manage or effectively interpret, life is "nasty, brutish . . . and short-circuited." The general pace of change is overwhelming, and information is both the motor and signifier of change. Those humans, in every country and region, who cannot understand the new world, or who cannot profit from its uncertainties, or who cannot reconcile themselves to its dynamics, will become the violent enemies of their inadequate governments, of their more fortunate neighbors, and ultimately of the United States. We are entering a new American century, in which we will become still wealthier, culturally more lethal, and increasingly powerful. We will excite hatreds without precedent.

 

We live in an age of multiple truths. He who warns of the "clash of civilizations" is incontestably right; simultaneously, we shall see higher levels of constructive trafficking between civilizations than ever before. The future is bright–and it is also very dark. More men and women will enjoy health and prosperity than ever before, yet more will live in poverty or tumult, if only because of the ferocity of demographics. There will be more democracy–that deft liberal form of imperialism–and greater popular refusal of democracy. One of the defining bifurcations of the future will be the conflict between information masters and information victims.

 

In the past, information empowerment was largely a matter of insider and outsider, as elementary as the division of society into the literate and illiterate. While superior information–often embodied in military technology–killed throughout history, its effects tended to be politically decisive but not personally intrusive (once the raping and pillaging were done). Technology was more apt to batter down the city gates than to change the nature of the city. The rise of the modern West broke the pattern. Whether speaking of the dispossessions and dislocations caused in Europe through the introduction of machine-driven production or elsewhere by the great age of European imperialism, an explosion of disorienting information intruded ever further into Braudel’s "structures of everyday life." Historically, ignorance was bliss. Today, ignorance is no longer possible, only error.

 

The contemporary expansion of available information is immeasurable, uncontainable, and destructive to individuals and entire cultures unable to master it. The radical fundamentalists–the bomber in Jerusalem or Oklahoma City, the moral terrorist on the right or the dictatorial multiculturalist on the left–are all brothers and sisters, all threatened by change, terrified of the future, and alienated by information they cannot reconcile with their lives or ambitions. They ache to return to a golden age that never existed, or to create a paradise of their own restrictive design. They no longer understand the world, and their fear is volatile.

 

Information destroys traditional jobs and traditional cultures; it seduces, betrays, yet remains invulnerable. How can you counterattack the information others have turned upon you? There is no effective option other than competitive performance. For those individuals and cultures that cannot join or compete with our information empire, there is only inevitable failure (of note, the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and community). The attempt of the Iranian mullahs to secede from modernity has failed, although a turbaned corpse still stumbles about the neighborhood. Information, from the internet to rock videos, will not be contained, and fundamentalism cannot control its children. Our victims volunteer.

 

These noncompetitive cultures, such as that of Arabo-Persian Islam or the rejectionist segment of our own population, are enraged. Their cultures are under assault; their cherished values have proven dysfunctional, and the successful move on without them. The laid-off blue-collar worker in America and the Taliban militiaman in Afghanistan are brothers in suffering.

 

It is a truism that throughout much of the 20th century the income gap between top and bottom narrowed, whether we speak of individuals, countries, or in some cases continents. Further, individuals or countries could "make it" on sheer muscle power and the will to apply it. You could work harder than your neighbor and win in the marketplace. There was a rough justice in it, and it offered near-ecumenical hope. That model is dead. Today, there is a growing excess of muscle power in an age of labor-saving machines and methods. In our own country, we have seen blue-collar unions move from center stage to near-irrelevance. The trend will not reverse. At the same time, expectations have increased dramatically. There is a global sense of promises broken, of lies told. Individuals on much of the planet believe they have played by the rules laid down for them (in the breech, they often have not), only to find that some indefinite power has changed those rules overnight. The American who graduated from high school in the 1960s expected a good job that would allow his family security and reasonably increasing prosperity. For many such Americans, the world has collapsed, even as the media tease them with images of an ever-richer, brighter, fun world from which they are excluded. These discarded citizens sense that their government is no longer about them, but only about the privileged. Some seek the solace of explicit religion. Most remain law-abiding, hard-working citizens. Some do not.

 

The foreign twin is the Islamic, or sub-Saharan African, or Mexican university graduate who faces a teetering government, joblessness, exclusion from the profits of the corruption distorting his society, marriage in poverty or the impossibility of marriage, and a deluge of information telling him (exaggeratedly and dishonestly) how well the West lives. In this age of television-series franchising, videos, and satellite dishes, this young, embittered male gets his skewed view of us from reruns of Dynasty and Dallas, or from satellite links beaming down Baywatch, sources we dismiss too quickly as laughable and unworthy of serious consideration as factors influencing world affairs. But their effect is destructive beyond the power of words to describe. Hollywood goes where Harvard never penetrated, and the foreigner, unable to touch the reality of America, is touched by America’s irresponsible fantasies of itself; he sees a devilishly enchanting, bluntly sexual, terrifying world from which he is excluded, a world of wealth he can judge only in terms of his own poverty.

 

Most citizens of the globe are not economists; they perceive wealth as inelastic, its possession a zero-sum game. If decadent America (as seen on the screen) is so fabulously rich, it can only be because America has looted one’s own impoverished group or country or region. Adding to the cognitive dissonance, the discarded foreigner cannot square the perceived moral corruption of America, a travesty of all he has been told to value, with America’s enduring punitive power. How could a nation whose women are "all harlots" stage Desert Storm? It is an offense to God, and there must be a demonic answer, a substance of conspiracies and oppression in which his own secular, disappointing elite is complicit. This discarded foreigner’s desire may be to attack the "Great Satan America," but America is far away (for now), so he acts violently in his own neighborhood. He will accept no personal guilt for his failure, nor can he bear the possibility that his culture "doesn’t work." The blame lies ever elsewhere. The cult of victimization is becoming a universal phenomenon, and it is a source of dynamic hatreds.

 

It is fashionable among world intellectual elites to decry "American culture," with our domestic critics among the loudest in complaint. But traditional intellectual elites are of shrinking relevance, replaced by cognitive-practical elites–figures such as Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, Madonna, or our most successful politicians–human beings who can recognize or create popular appetites, recreating themselves as necessary. Contemporary American culture is the most powerful in history, and the most destructive of competitor cultures. While some other cultures, such as those of East Asia, appear strong enough to survive the onslaught by adaptive behaviors, most are not. The genius, the secret weapon, of American culture is the essence that the elites despise: ours is the first genuine people’s culture. It stresses comfort and convenience–ease–and it generates pleasure for the masses. We are Karl Marx’s dream, and his nightmare.

 

Secular and religious revolutionaries in our century have made the identical mistake, imagining that the workers of the world or the faithful just can’t wait to go home at night to study Marx or the Koran. Well, Joe Sixpack, Ivan Tipichni, and Ali Quat would rather "Baywatch." America has figured it out, and we are brilliant at operationalizing our knowledge, and our cultural power will hinder even those cultures we do not undermine. There is no "peer competitor" in the cultural (or military) department. Our cultural empire has the addicted–men and women everywhere–clamoring for more. And they pay for the privilege of their disillusionment.

 

American culture is criticized for its impermanence, its "disposable" products. But therein lies its strength. All previous cultures sought ideal achievement which, once reached, might endure in static perfection. American culture is not about the end, but the means, the dynamic process that creates, destroys, and creates anew. If our works are transient, then so are life’s greatest gifts–passion, beauty, the quality of light on a winter afternoon, even life itself. American culture is alive.

 

This vividness, this vitality, is reflected in our military; we do not expect to achieve ultimate solutions, only constant improvement. All previous cultures, general and military, have sought to achieve an ideal form of life and then fix it in cement. Americans, in and out of uniform, have always embraced change (though many individuals have not, and their conservatism has acted as a healthy brake on our national excesses). American culture is the culture of the unafraid.

 

Ours is also the first culture that aims to include rather than exclude. The films most despised by the intellectual elite–those that feature extreme violence and to-the-victors-the-spoils sex–are our most popular cultural weapon, bought or bootlegged nearly everywhere. American action films, often in dreadful copies, are available from the Upper Amazon to Mandalay. They are even more popular than our music, because they are easier to understand. The action films of a Stallone or Schwarzenegger or Chuck Norris rely on visual narratives that do not require dialog for a basic understanding. They deal at the level of universal myth, of pre-text, celebrating the most fundamental impulses (although we have yet to produce a film as violent and cruel as the Iliad). They feature a hero, a villain, a woman to be defended or won–and violence and sex. Complain until doomsday; it sells. The enduring popularity abroad of the shopworn Rambo series tells us far more about humanity than does a library full of scholarly analysis.

 

When we speak of a global information revolution, the effect of video images is more immediate and intense than that of computers. Image trumps text in the mass psyche, and computers remain a textual outgrowth, demanding high-order skills: computers demarcate the domain of the privileged. We use technology to expand our wealth, power, and opportunities. The rest get high on pop culture. If religion is the opium of the people, video is their crack cocaine. When we and they collide, they shock us with violence, but, statistically, we win.

 

As more and more human beings are overwhelmed by information, or dispossessed by the effects of information-based technologies, there will be more violence. Information victims will often see no other resort. As work becomes more cerebral, those who fail to find a place will respond by rejecting reason. We will see countries and continents divide between rich and poor in a reversal of 20th-century economic trends. Developing countries will not be able to depend on physical production industries, because there will always be another country willing to work cheaper. The have-nots will hate and strive to attack the haves. And we in the United States will continue to be perceived as the ultimate haves. States will struggle for advantage or revenge as their societies boil. Beyond traditional crime, terrorism will be the most common form of violence, but transnational criminality, civil strife, secessions, border conflicts, and conventional wars will continue to plague the world, albeit with the "lesser" conflicts statistically dominant. In defense of its interests, its citizens, its allies, or its clients, the United States will be required to intervene in some of these contests. We will win militarily whenever we have the guts for it.

 

There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive. The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing.

 

We are building an information-based military to do that killing. There will still be plenty of muscle power required, but much of our military art will consist in knowing more about the enemy than he knows about himself, manipulating data for effectiveness and efficiency, and denying similar advantages to our opponents. This will involve a good bit of technology, but the relevant systems will not be the budget vampires, such as manned bombers and attack submarines, that we continue to buy through inertia, emotional attachment, and the lobbying power of the defense industry. Our most important technologies will be those that support soldiers and Marines on the ground, that facilitate command decisions, and that enable us to kill accurately and survive amid clutter (such as multidimensional urban battlefields). The only imaginable use for most of our submarine fleet will be to strip out the weapons, dock them tight, and turn the boats into low-income housing. There will be no justification for billion-dollar bombers at all.

 

For a generation, and probably much longer, we will face no military peer competitor. Our enemies will challenge us by other means. The violent actors we encounter often will be small, hostile parties possessed of unexpected, incisive capabilities or simply of a stunning will to violence (or both). Renegade elites, not foreign fleets, should worry us. The urbanization of the global landscape is a greater threat to our operations than any extant or foreseeable military system. We will not deal with wars of Realpolitik, but with conflicts spawned of collective emotions, sub-state interests, and systemic collapse. Hatred, jealousy, and greed–emotions rather than strategy–will set the terms of the struggles.

 

We will survive and win any conflict short of a cataclysmic use of weapons of mass destruction. But the constant conflicts in which we selectively intervene will be as miserable as any other form of warfare for the soldiers and Marines engaged. The bayonet will still be relevant; however, informational superiority incisively employed should both sharpen that bayonet and permit us to defeat some–but never all–of our enemies outside of bayonet range. Our informational advantage over every other country and culture will be so enormous that our greatest battlefield challenge will be harnessing its power. Our potential national weakness will be the failure to maintain the moral and raw physical strength to thrust that bayonet into an enemy’s heart.

 

Pilots and skippers, as well as defense executives, demand threat models that portray country X or Y as overtaking the military capability of the United States in 10 to 20 years. Forget it. Our military power is culturally based. They cannot rival us without becoming us. Wise competitors will not even attempt to defeat us on our terms; rather, they will seek to shift the playing field away from military confrontations or turn to terrorism and nontraditional forms of assault on our national integrity. Only the foolish will fight fair.

 

The threat models stitched together from dead parts to convince Congress that the Russians are only taking a deep breath or that the Chinese are only a few miles off the coast of California uniformly assume that while foreign powers make all the right decisions, analyze every trend correctly, and continue to achieve higher and higher economic growth rates, the United States will take a nap. On the contrary. Beyond the Beltway, the United States is wide awake and leading a second "industrial" revolution that will make the original industrial revolution that climaxed the great age of imperialism look like a rehearsal by amateurs. Only the United States has the synthetic ability, the supportive laws, and the cultural agility to remain at the cutting edge of wealth creation.

 

Not long ago, the Russians were going to overtake us. Then it was oil-wealthy Arabs, then the Japanese. One prize-winning economist even calculated that fuddy-duddy Europe would dominate the next century (a sure prescription for boredom, were it true). Now the Chinese are our nemesis. No doubt our industrial-strength Cassandras will soon find a reason to fear the Galapagos. In the meantime, the average American can look forward to a longer life-span, a secure retirement, and free membership in the most triumphant culture in history. For the majority of our citizens, our vulgar, near-chaotic, marvelous culture is the greatest engine of positive change in history.

 

Freedom works.

 

In the military sphere, it will be impossible to rival or even approach the capabilities of our information-based force because it is so profoundly an outgrowth of our culture. Our information-based Army will employ many marvelous tools, but the core of the force will still be the soldier, not the machine, and our soldiers will have skills other cultures will be unable to replicate. Intelligence analysts, fleeing human complexity, like to project enemy capabilities based upon the systems a potential opponent might acquire. But buying or building stuff is not enough. It didn’t work for Saddam Hussein, and it won’t work for Beijing.

 

The complex human-machine interface developing in the US military will be impossible to duplicate abroad because no other state will be able to come from behind to equal the informational dexterity of our officers and soldiers. For all the complaints–in many respects justified–about our public school systems, the holistic and synergistic nature of education in our society and culture is imparting to tomorrow’s soldiers and Marines a second-nature grasp of technology and the ability to sort and assimilate vast amounts of competitive data that no other population will achieve. The informational dexterity of our average middle-class kid is terrifying to anyone born before 1970. Our computer kids function at a level foreign elites barely manage, and this has as much to do with television commercials, CD-ROMs, and grotesque video games as it does with the classroom. We are outgrowing our 19th-century model education system as surely as we have outgrown the manned bomber. In the meantime, our children are undergoing a process of Darwinian selection in coping with the information deluge that is drowning many of their parents. These kids are going to make mean techno-warriors. We just have to make sure they can do push-ups, too.

 

There is a useful German expression, "Die Lage war immer so ernst," that translates very freely as "The sky has always been falling." Despite our relish of fears and complaints, we live in the most powerful, robust culture on earth. Its discontinuities and contradictions are often its strengths. We are incapable of five-year plans, and it is a saving grace. Our fluidity, in consumption, technology, and on the battlefield, is a strength our nearest competitors cannot approach. We move very fast. At our military best, we become Nathan Bedford Forrest riding a microchip. But when we insist on buying into extended procurement contracts for unaffordable, neo-traditional weapon systems, we squander our brilliant flexibility. Today, we are locking-in already obsolescent defense purchases that will not begin to rise to the human capabilities of tomorrow’s service members. In 2015 and beyond, we will be receiving systems into our inventory that will be no more relevant than Sherman tanks and prop-driven bombers would be today. We are not providing for tomorrow’s military, we are paralyzing it. We will have the most humanly agile force on earth, and we are doing our best to shut it inside a technological straight-jacket.

 

There is no "big threat" out there. There’s none on the horizon, either. Instead of preparing for the Battle of Midway, we need to focus on the constant conflicts of richly varying description that will challenge us–and kill us–at home and abroad. There are plenty of threats, but the beloved dinosaurs are dead.

 

We will outcreate, outproduce and, when need be, outfight the rest of the world. We can out-think them, too. But our military must not embark upon the 21st century clinging to 20th-century models. Our national appetite for information and our sophistication in handling it will enable us to outlast and outperform all hierarchical cultures, information-controlling societies, and rejectionist states. The skills necessary to this newest information age can be acquired only beginning in childhood and in complete immersion. Societies that fear or otherwise cannot manage the free flow of information simply will not be competitive. They might master the technological wherewithal to watch the videos, but we will be writing the scripts, producing them, and collecting the royalties. Our creativity is devastating. If we insist on a "proven" approach to military affairs, we will be throwing away our greatest national advantage.

 

We need to make sure our information-based military is based on the right information.

 

Facing this environment of constant conflict amid information proliferation, the military response has been to coin a new catchphrase–information warfare–and then duck. Although there has been plenty of chatter about information warfare, most of it has been as helpful and incisive as a discussion of sex among junior high school boys; everybody wants to pose, but nobody has a clue. We have hemorrhaged defense dollars to contractors perfectly willing to tell us what we already knew. Studies study other studies. For now, we have decided that information warfare is a matter of technology, which is akin to believing that your stereo system is more important to music than the musicians.

 

Fear not. We are already masters of information warfare, and we shall get around to defining it eventually. Let the scholars fuss. When it comes to our technology (and all technology is military technology) the Russians can’t produce it, the Arabs can’t afford it, and no one can steal it fast enough to make a difference. Our great bogeyman, China, is achieving remarkable growth rates because the Chinese belatedly entered the industrial revolution with a billion-plus population. Without a culture-shattering reappreciation of the role of free information in a society, China will peak well below our level of achievement.

 

Yes, foreign cultures are reasserting their threatened identities–usually with marginal, if any, success–and yes, they are attempting to escape our influence. But American culture is infectious, a plague of pleasure, and you don’t have to die of it to be hindered or crippled in your integrity or competitiveness. The very struggle of other cultures to resist American cultural intrusion fatefully diverts their energies from the pursuit of the future. We should not fear the advent of fundamentalist or rejectionist regimes. They are simply guaranteeing their peoples’ failure, while further increasing our relative strength.

 

It remains difficult, of course, for military leaders to conceive of warfare, informational or otherwise, in such broad terms. But Hollywood is "preparing the battlefield," and burgers precede bullets. The flag follows trade. Despite our declaration of defeat in the face of battlefield victory in Mogadishu, the image of US power and the US military around the world is not only a deterrent, but a psychological warfare tool that is constantly at work in the minds of real or potential opponents. Saddam swaggered, but the image of the US military crippled the Iraqi army in the field, doing more to soften them up for our ground assault than did tossing bombs into the sand. Everybody is afraid of us. They really believe we can do all the stuff in the movies. If the Trojans "saw" Athena guiding the Greeks in battle, then the Iraqis saw Luke Skywalker precede McCaffrey’s tanks. Our unconscious alliance of culture with killing power is a combat multiplier no government, including our own, could design or afford. We are magic. And we’re going to keep it that way.

 

Within our formal military, we have been moving into information warfare for decades. Our attitude toward data acquisition and, especially, data dissemination within the force has broken with global military tradition, in which empowering information was reserved for the upper echelons. While our military is vertically responsible, as it must be, it is informationally democratic. Our ability to decentralize information and appropriate decisionmaking authority is a revolutionary breakthrough (the over-praised pre-1945 Germans decentralized some tactical decisionmaking, but only within carefully regulated guidelines–and they could not enable the process with sufficient information dissemination).

 

No military establishment has ever placed such trust in lieutenants, sergeants, and privates, nor are our touted future competitors likely to do so. In fact, there has been an even greater diffusion of power within our military (in the Army and Marines) than most of us realize. Pragmatic behavior daily subverts antiquated structures, such as divisions and traditional staffs. We keep the old names, but the behaviors are changing. What, other than its flag, does the division of 1997 have in common with the division of World War II? Even as traditionalists resist the reformation of the force, the "anarchy" of lieutenants is shaping the Army of tomorrow. Battalion commanders do not understand what their lieutenants are up to, and generals would not be able to sleep at night if they knew what the battalion commanders know. While we argue about change, the Army is changing itself. The Marines are doing a brilliant job of reinventing themselves while retaining their essence, and their achievement should be a welcome challenge to the Army. The Air Force and Navy remain rigidly hierarchical.

 

Culture is fate. Countries, clans, military services, and individual soldiers are products of their respective cultures, and they are either empowered or imprisoned. The majority of the world’s inhabitants are prisoners of their cultures, and they will rage against inadequacies they cannot admit, cannot bear, and cannot escape. The current chest-thumping of some Asian leaders about the degeneracy, weakness, and vulnerability of American culture is reminiscent of nothing so much as of the ranting of Japanese militarists on the eve of the Pacific War. I do not suggest that any of those Asian leaders intend to attack us, only that they are wrong. Liberty always looks like weakness to those who fear it.

 

In the wake of the Soviet collapse, some commentators declared that freedom had won and history was at an end. But freedom will always find enemies. The problem with freedom is that it’s just too damned free for tyrants, whether they be dictators, racial or religious supremacists, or abusive husbands. Freedom challenges existing orders, exposes bigotry, opens opportunity, and demands personal responsibility. What could be more threatening to traditional cultures? The advent of this new information age has opened a fresh chapter in the human struggle for, and with, freedom. It will be a bloody chapter, with plenty of computer-smashing and head-bashing. The number one priority of non-Western governments in the coming decades will be to find acceptable terms for the flow of information within their societies. They will uniformly err on the side of conservatism–informational corruption–and will cripple their competitiveness in doing so. Their failure is programmed.

 

The next century will indeed be American, but it will also be troubled. We will find ourselves in constant conflict, much of it violent. The United States Army is going to add a lot of battle streamers to its flag. We will wage information warfare, but we will fight with infantry. And we will always surprise those critics, domestic and foreign, who predict our decline.


 

Major (P) Ralph Peters is assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, where he is responsible for future warfare. Prior to becoming a Foreign Area Officer for Eurasia, he served exclusively at the tactical level. He is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College and holds a master’s degree in international relations. Over the past several years, his professional and personal research travels have taken Major Peters to Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Ossetia, Abkhazia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Pakistan, Turkey, Burma, Laos, Thailand, and Mexico, as well as the countries of the Andean Ridge. He has published widely on military and international concerns. His sixth novel, Twilight of Heroes, was recently released by Avon Books. This is his eighth article for Parameters. The author wishes to acknowledge the importance to this essay of discussions with Lieutenant Colonels Gordon Thompson and Lonnie Henley, both US Army officers.


Colin Powell: U.S. is ‘running out of enemies’

SECRETARY POWELL: When I was Chairman at the end of the Cold War and I was testifying one day, I said, well, you know, the Soviet Union is gone, the Warsaw Pact is gone, you know, I’m running out of enemies.

U.S. Department of State

Roundtable with Print Journalists

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Washington, DC
May 26, 2004
(4:35 p.m. EDT)

[ …Intervening Text… ]

QUESTION: The Bob Woodward book and the GQ article portray you as being somewhat apart from the war planners in the Administration on the plan to go to war, and as being somewhat at least at odds with them about it all. Can you talk a little bit about your relations with Secretary Rumsfeld, with Wolfowitz, some of the others, and sort of how — whether those portrayals in the Woodward book and the GQ article are accurate?

SECRETARY POWELL: I can’t talk about the GQ article; I haven’t read it yet. I’ll get to it someday.

[ …Intervening Text… ]

HIV/AIDS and the $15 billion the President has allocated to that with the Congress is important. It won’t get as much attention as Iraq, but — and we all did that together. Millennium Challenge Account, $5 billion a year beginning in ’06 — ramping up to ’06, to help developing nations onto a path of democracy and freedom. Won’t get a lot of ink, but it’s the most significant foreign assistance program since the Marshall Plan. And while we’re doing that, we also doubled our AID budget — almost doubled, about 80 percent — our AID budget, the funding we normally get for development assistance.

The best relationship with China. We stopped a war between India and Pakistan. Helped Liberia get rid of a tyrant. We helped the Haitians get rid of a tyrant. My budget problem right now, it’s how to find money for all the peacekeeping operations that are breaking out because peace has been brought to a number of regional crises.

[ …Intervening Text… ]

QUESTION: How bad? Okay.

SECRETARY POWELL: When I was Chairman at the end of the Cold War and I was testifying one day, I said, well, you know, the Soviet Union is gone, the Warsaw Pact is gone, you know, I’m running out of enemies. And it was a whimsical way of saying that I have to redesign the Army and the whole Armed Forces of the United States because everything we had been focused on for 30, 40 years was going away. And I said I’m down to Kim Il-Song and Castro.

And as a result of that, I reduced, with Secretary Cheney and, of course, President Bush 41, we reduced the military by 500,000 troops — 250,000 civilians and 250,000 reservists — because our enemy had changed. And so if you look at the column of those who are our enemy, there is really nobody — you know, it’s — well, there are a couple, but they barely qualify. We’re not threatened by world war anymore.

But if you look at the column of those who used to be on the other side of an Iron Curtain or the other side of the Bamboo Curtain, where they are now standing now that both of those curtains are gone, many of them are now our allies — not just friends, they’re our allies in NATO. Or we have such a good economic relationship with them that it trumps any other problems that have come along, within reason — China, Russia. These are two nations with whom we have super relations, the best in years.

Nobody worries about conflict between the United States and Russia now, or the United States and China. There’s a caution that I have to put in here because Taiwan is an issue, but, you know, we’re not — we’re working with them peacefully to solve regional problems. We’re working with Russia and China to improve trading relations and economic relations. We have security interests in Asia that we talk to the Chinese about. We don’t want to see any conflict in Asia. We don’t want to see any conflict in the world that can be avoided. And working with people that used to be considered adversaries of ours, or competitors of ours, is a fundamental difference over the last 10 or 12 years.

When India and Pakistan mobilized their armies — 18 months ago, or was it two years ago?

QUESTION: Two years.

SECRETARY POWELL: Almost two years ago. A million Indians marched to the border, and everybody was writing about the possibility of war between India and Pakistan the summer of 2002. There was a great deal of discussion and commentary about these two nuclear powers that were this far apart along the international border and the line of control of Kashmir. There was a great deal of concern. It was international diplomacy led by the United States that went to the task of talking to these two nations. I went there several times. My French colleague went there several times. My British colleague went there several times. My European Union colleague, Javier Solana, went there several times. The Canadians went there. We were in constant touch with the Chinese Foreign Minister and Chinese leadership about this danger.

As a result of all of those efforts, we were able to bring caution and prudence to the equation and found a way for that situation to be defused. And after more diplomacy on our part and the part of our friends and colleagues, working with them internationally, in an international framework, we were able to persuade the Indians and the Pakistanis that they should start talking to one another again. In January of this year, they produced a framework agreement. And then bus travel started and air travel started and the two leaders got together recently. And they have a plan as to how to go forward and deal with all their outstanding issues. But it takes time and it isn’t always a breakthrough. It’s just sort of steady; it’s a steady ground game. Others get to do the air game. I have to play the — I play the ground game.

[ …Intervening Text… ]

** The meeting took place May 12, 2004.

[End]

Released on May 27, 2004




 

Blueprint for US global domination

A SECRET blueprint for US global domination reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure ‘regime change’ even before he took power in January 2001. The blueprint was written up in September 2000 for Dick Cheney (now vice- president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld’s deputy), George W Bush’s younger brother Jeb and Lewis Libby (Cheney’s chief of staff).

 

Bush planned Iraq ‘regime change’ before becoming President

By Neil Mackay
15 September 2002

Sunday Herald (Glasgow) at  http://www.sundayherald.com/27735

 
 
A SECRET blueprint for US global domination reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure ‘regime change’ even before he took power in January 2001.

The blueprint, uncovered by the Sunday Herald, for the creation of a ‘global Pax Americana’ was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice- president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld’s deputy), George W Bush’s younger brother Jeb and Lewis Libby (Cheney’s chief of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America’s Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, was written in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

The plan shows Bush’s cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says: ‘The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.’

The PNAC document supports a ‘blueprint for maintaining global US pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests’.

This ‘American grand strategy’ must be advanced for ‘as far into the future as possible’, the report says. It also calls for the US to ‘fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars’ as a ‘core mission’.

The report describes American armed forces abroad as ‘the cavalry on the new American frontier’. The PNAC blueprint supports an earlier document written by Wolfowitz and Libby that said the US must ‘discourage advanced industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or global role’.

The PNAC report also:

l refers to key allies such as the UK as ‘the most effective and efficient means of exercising American global leadership’;

l describes peace-keeping missions as ‘demanding American political leadership rather than that of the United Nations’;

l reveals worries in the administration that Europe could rival the USA;

l says ‘even should Saddam pass from the scene’ bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will remain permanently — despite domestic opposition in the Gulf regimes to the stationing of US troops — as ‘Iran may well prove as large a threat to US interests as Iraq has’;

l spotlights China for ‘regime change’ saying ‘it is time to increase the presence of American forces in southeast Asia’. This, it says, may lead to ‘American and allied power providing the spur to the process of democratisation in China’;

l calls for the creation of ‘US Space Forces’, to dominate space, and the total control of cyberspace to prevent ‘enemies’ using the internet against the US;

l hints that, despite threatening war against Iraq for developing weapons of mass destruction, the US may consider developing biological weapons — which the nation has banned — in decades to come. It says: ‘New methods of attack — electronic, ‘non-lethal’, biological — will be more widely available … combat likely will take place in new dimensions, in space, cyberspace, and perhaps the world of microbes … advanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool’;

l and pinpoints North Korea, Libya, Syria and Iran as dangerous regimes and says their existence justifies the creation of a ‘world-wide command-and-control system’.

Tam Dalyell, the Labour MP, father of the House of Commons and one of the leading rebel voices against war with Iraq, said: ‘This is garbage from right-wing think-tanks stuffed with chicken-hawks — men who have never seen the horror of war but are in love with the idea of war. Men like Cheney, who were draft-dodgers in the Vietnam war.

‘This is a blueprint for US world domination — a new world order of their making. These are the thought processes of fantasist Americans who want to control the world. I am appalled that a British Labour Prime Minister should have got into bed with a crew which has this moral standing.’

15 September 2002