New, Undeclared Arms Race

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

The
Pentagon has released the summary of a top secret Pentagon document,
which sketches America’s agenda for global military domination.

This
redirection of America’s military strategy seems to have passed
virtually unnoticed. With the exception of The Wall Street Journal
(see below), not a word has been mentioned in
the US media.

There
has been no press coverage concerning this mysterious military blueprint.
The latter outlines, according to the Wall Street Journal, America’s
global military design which consists in "enhancing U.S.
influence around the world," through increased troop deployments
and a massive buildup of America’s advanced weapons systems.  

While
the document follows in the footsteps of the administration’s "preemptive"
war doctrine as detailed by the Neocons’ Project of the New American
Century (PNAC), it goes much further in setting the contours of
Washington’s global military agenda.

It
calls for a more "proactive" approach to warfare, beyond
the weaker notion of "preemptive" and defensive actions,
where military operations are launched against a "declared
enemy" with a view to "preserving the peace" and
"defending America."

The
document explicitly acknowledges America’s global military mandate,
beyond regional war theaters. This mandate also includes military
operations directed against countries, which are not hostile to
America, but which are considered strategic from the point of view
of US interests.

From
a broad military and foreign policy perspective, the March 2005
Pentagon document constitutes an imperial design, which supports
US corporate interests Worldwide.

"At
its heart, the document is driven by the belief that the U.S.
is engaged in a continuous global struggle that extends far beyond
specific battlegrounds, such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The vision
is for a military that is far more proactive, focused on changing
the world instead of just responding to conflicts such as a North
Korean attack on South Korea, and assuming greater prominence
in countries in which the U.S. isn’t at war. (WSJ, 11 March
2005)

The
document suggests that its objective also consists in "offensive"
rather than run of the mill "preemptive" operations. There
is, in this regard, a subtle nuance in relation to earlier post-911
national security statements: 

"[The
document presents] ‘four core’ problems, none of them involving
traditional military confrontations. The services are told to
develop forces that can: build partnerships with failing states
to defeat internal terrorist threats; defend the homeland, including
offensive strikes against terrorist groups planning attacks; influence
the choices of countries at a strategic crossroads, such as China
and Russia; and prevent the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction
by hostile states and terrorist groups." (Ibid)

The
emphasis is no longer solely on waging major theater wars as outlined
in the PNAC’s Rebuilding
America’s Defenses, Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century,"

the March 2005 military blueprint points to shifts in weapons systems
as well as the need for a global deployment of US forces in acts
of Worldwide military policing and intervention. The PNAC in its
September 2000 Report
had described these non-theater military operations as "constabulary
functions":

The
Pentagon must retain forces to preserve the current peace in ways
that fall short of conduction major theater campaigns. … These
duties are today's most frequent missions, requiring forces configured
for combat but capable of long-term, independent constabulary
operations." (PNAC
document
, p. 18)

Recruitment
of Troops to Police the Empire

The
underlying emphasis is on the development and recruitment of specialized
military manpower required to control and pacify indigenous forces
and factions in different regions of the World:

"the
classified guidance urges the military to come up with less doctrinaire
solutions that include sending in smaller teams of culturally
savvy soldiers to train and mentor indigenous forces." (Ibid)

The
classified document points to the need for a massive recruitment
and training of troops. These troops, including new contingents
of special forces, green berets and other specialized military personnel,
would be involved, around the World, in acts of military policing:

"Mr.
Rumsfeld’s approach likely will trigger major shifts in the weapons
systems that the Pentagon buys, and even more fundamental changes
in the training and deployment of U.S. troops throughout the world,
said defense officials who have played a role in crafting the
document or are involved in the review.

The
U.S. would seek to deploy these troops far earlier in a looming
conflict than they traditionally have been to help a tottering
government’s armed forces confront guerrillas before an insurgency
is able to take root and build popular support. Officials said
the plan envisions many such teams operating around the world.

US
military involvement is not limited to the Middle East. The sending
in of special forces in military policing operations, under the
disguise of peace-keeping and training, is contemplated in all major
regions of the World. A large part of these activities, however,
will most probably be carried out by private mercenary companies
on contract to the Pentagon, NATO or the United Nations. The military
manpower requirements as well as the equipment are specialized.
The policing will not be conducted by regular army units as in a
theater war:

"the
new plan envisions more active U.S. involvement, resembling recent
military aid missions to places like Niger and Chad, where the
U.S. is dispatching teams of ground troops to train local militaries
in basic counterinsurgency tactics. Future training missions,
however, would likely be conducted on a much broader scale, one
defense official said.

Of
the military’s services, the Marines Corps right now is moving
fastest to fill this gap and is looking at shifting some resources
away from traditional amphibious-assault missions to new units
designed specifically to work with foreign forces. To support
these troops, military officials are looking at everything from
acquiring cheap aerial surveillance systems to flying gunships
that can be used in messy urban fights to come to the aid of ground
troops. One "dream capability" might be an unmanned
AC-130 gunship that could circle an area at relatively low altitude
until it is needed, then swoop in to lay down a withering line
of fire, said a defense official." (Ibid)

New
Post Cold War Enemies

While
the "war on terrorism" and the containment of "rogue
states" still constitute the official justification and driving
force, China and Russia are explicitly identified in the classified
March document as potential enemies.

"…
the U.S. military … is seeking to dissuade rising powers, such
as China, from challenging U.S. military dominance. Although weapons
systems designed to fight guerrillas tend to be fairly cheap and
low-tech, the review makes clear that to dissuade those countries
from trying to compete, the U.S. military must retain its dominance
in key high-tech areas, such as stealth technology, precision
weaponry and manned and unmanned surveillance systems." (Ibid)

While
the European Union is not mentioned, the stated objective is to
shunt the development of all potential military rivals.

"Trying
to Run with the Big Dog"

How
does Washington intend to reach its goal of global military hegemony?

Essentially
through the continued development of the US weapons industry, requiring
a massive shift out of the production of civilian goods and services.
In other words, the ongoing increase in defense spending feeds this
new undeclared arms race, with vast amounts of public money channeled
to America’s major weapons producers.

The
stated objective is to make the process of developing advanced weapons
systems "so expensive," that no other power on earth will
able to compete or challenge "the Big Dog," without jeopardizing
its civilian economy:

"[A]t
the core of this strategy is the belief that the US must maintain
such a large lead in crucial technologies that growing powers
will conclude that it is too expensive for these countries
to even think about trying to run with the big dog.
They
will realize that it is not worth sacrificing their economic growth,
said one defense consultant who was hired to draft sections of
the document. " (Ibid, emphasis added)

Undeclared
Arms Race between Europe and America

This
new undeclared arms race is with the so-called "growing powers."

While
China and Russia are mentioned as a potential threat, America’s
(unofficial) rivals also include France, Germany and Japan. The
recognized partners of the US – in the context of the Anglo-American
axis – are Britain, Australia and Canada, not to mention Israel
(unofficially). 

In
this context, there are at present two dominant Western military
axes: the Anglo-American axis and the competing Franco-German alliance.
The European military project, largely dominated by France and Germany,
will inevitably undermine NATO.  Britain (through British Aerospace
Systems Corporation) is firmly integrated into the US system of
defense procurement in partnership with America’s big five weapons
producers.

Needless
to say, this new arms race is firmly embedded in the European project,
which envisages under EU auspices, a massive redirection of State
financial resources towards military expenditure. Moreover, the
EU monetary system establishing a global currency which challenges
the hegemony of the US dollar is intimately related to the development
of an integrated EU defense force outside of NATO.

Under
the European constitution, there will be a unified European foreign
policy position which will include a common defense component. It
is understood, although never seriously debated in public, that
the proposed European Defense Force is intended to challenge America’s
supremacy in military affairs:

 "under
such a regime, trans-Atlantic relations will be dealt a fatal
blow." (according to Martin Callanan, British Conservative
member of the European Parliament, Washington Times, 5
March 2005).

Ironically,
this European military project, while encouraging an undeclared
US-EU arms race, is not incompatible with continued US-EU cooperation
in military affairs.  The underlying objective for Europe is
that EU corporate interests are protected and that European contractors
are able to effectively cash in and  "share the spoils"
of the US-led wars in the Middle East and elsewhere. In other words,
by challenging the Big Dog from a position of strength, the EU seeks
to retain its role as "a partner" of America in its various
military ventures.

There
is a presumption, particularly in France, that the only way to build
good relations with Washington, is to emulate the American Military
Project, – i.e., by adopting a similar strategy of beefing
up Europe’s advanced weapons systems.

In
other words, what we are dealing with is a fragile love-hate relationship
between Old Europe and America, in defense systems, the oil industry
as well as in the upper spheres of banking, finance and currency
markets. The important issue is how this fragile geopolitical relationship
will evolve in terms of coalitions and alliances in the years to
come. France and Germany have military cooperation agreements with
both Russia and China. European Defense companies are supplying
China with sophisticated weaponry. Ultimately, Europe is viewed
as an encroachment by the US, and military conflict between competing
Western superpowers cannot be ruled out. (For further details, see
Michel Chossudovsky, The
Anglo-American Axis
.)

From
skepticism concerning Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction
(WMD) to outright condemnation, in the months leading up to the
March 2003 invasion, Old Europe (in the wake of the invasion) has
broadly accepted the legitimacy of the US military occupation of
Iraq, despite the killings of civilians, not to mention the Bush
administration’s policy guidelines on torture and political assassinations.

In
a cruel irony, the new US-EU arms race has become the chosen avenue
of the European Union, to foster "friendly relations"
with the American superpower. Rather than opposing the US, Europe
has embraced "the war on terrorism." It is actively collaborating
with the US in the arrest of presumed terrorists. Several EU countries
have established Big Brother anti-terrorist laws, which constitute
a European "copy and paste" version of the US Homeland
Security legislation.

European
public opinion is now galvanized into supporting the "war on
terrorism," which broadly benefits the European military industrial
complex and the oil companies. In turn, the "war on terrorism"
also provides a shaky legitimacy to the EU security agenda under
the European Constitution. The latter is increasingly viewed with
disbelief, as a pretext to implement police-state measures, while
also dismantling labor legislation and the European welfare state.

In
turn, the European media has also become a partner in the disinformation
campaign. The "outside enemy" presented ad nauseam on
network TV, on both sides of the Atlantic, is Osama bin Laden and
Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. In other words, the propaganda campaign serves
to usefully camouflage the ongoing militarization of civilian institutions,
which is occurring simultaneously in Europe and America.

Guns
and Butter: The Demise of the Civilian Economy

The
proposed EU constitution requires a massive expansion of military
spending in all member countries to the obvious detriment of the
civilian economy.

The
European Union’s 3% limit on annual budget deficits implies that
the expansion in military expenditure will be accompanied by a massive
curtailment of all categories of civilian expenditure, including
social services and public infrastructure, not to mention government
support to agriculture and industry. In this regard, "the war
on terrorism" serves – in the context of the neoliberal
reforms – as a pretext. It builds public acceptance for the
imposition of austerity measures affecting civilian programs, on
the grounds that money is needed to enhance national security and
homeland defense.

The
growth of military spending in Europe is directly related to the
US military buildup.  The more America spends on defense, the
more Europe will want to spend on developing its own European Defense
Force. "Keeping up with the Joneses," all of which is
for a good and worthy, cause, namely fighting "Islamic terrorists"
and defending the homeland. 

EU
enlargement is directly linked to the development and financing
of the European weapons industry. The dominant European powers desperately
need the contributions of the ten new EU members to finance the
EU’s military buildup. In this regard, the European Constitution
requires "the adoption of a security strategy for Europe, accompanied
by financial commitments on military spending." (European Report,
3 July 2003). In other words, under the European Constitution, EU
enlargement tends to weaken the Atlantic military alliance (NATO).
 

The
backlash on employment and social programs is the inevitable byproduct
of both the American and European military projects, which channel
vast amounts of State financial resources towards the war economy,
at the expense of the civilian sectors.

The
result are plant closures and bankruptcies in the civilian economy
and a rising tide of poverty and unemployment throughout the Western
World.  Moreover, contrary to the 1930s, the dynamic development
of the weapons industry creates very few jobs. 

Meanwhile,
as the Western war economy flourishes, the relocation of the production
of civilian manufactured goods to Third World countries has increased
in recent years at a dramatic pace. China, which constitutes by
far the largest producer of civilian manufactured goods, increased
its textile exports to the US by 80.2 percent in 2004, leading to
a wave of plant closures and job losses (WSJ, 11 March 2005)

The
global economy is characterized by a bipolar relationship. The rich
Western countries produce weapons of mass destruction, whereas poor
countries produce manufactured consumer goods. In a twisted logic,
the rich countries use their advanced weapons systems to threaten
or wage war on the poor developing countries, which supply Western
markets with large amounts of consumer goods produced in cheap labor
assembly plants.

America,
in particular, has relied on this cheap supply of consumer goods
to close down a large share of its manufacturing sector, while at
the same time redirecting resources away from the civilian economy
into the production of weapons of mass destruction. And the latter,
in a bitter irony, are slated to be used against the country which
supplies America with a large share of its consumer goods, namely
China.

Rumsfeld
details big military shift in new document

by
Greg Jaffe,
The
Wall Street Journal
11
March 2005

Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld outlines in a new, classified planning
document a vision for remaking the military to be far more engaged
in heading off threats prior to hostilities and serve a larger purpose
of enhancing U.S. influence around the world.

The
document sets out Mr. Rumsfeld’s agenda for a recently begun massive
review of defense spending and strategy. Because the process is
conducted only once every four years, the review represents the
Bush administration’s best chance to refashion the military into
a force capable of delivering on the ambitious security and foreign-policy
goals that President Bush has put forth since the terrorist attacks
of Sept. 11, 2001. It is being conducted by senior members of Mr.
Rumsfeld’s staff along with senior officers from each of the armed
services.

Mr.
Rumsfeld’s goals, laid out in the document, mark a significant departure
from recent reviews. Deeply informed by both the terrorist attacks
of Sept. 11, 2001, and by the military’s bloody struggle in Iraq,
the document emphasizes newer problems, such as battling terrorists
and insurgents, over conventional military challenges.

Mr.
Rumsfeld’s approach likely will trigger major shifts in the weapons
systems that the Pentagon buys, and even more fundamental changes
in the training and deployment of U.S. troops throughout the world,
said defense officials who have played a role in crafting the document
or are involved in the review.

In
the document, Mr. Rumsfeld tells the military to focus on four "core
problems," none of them involving traditional military confrontations.
The services are told to develop forces that can: build partnerships
with failing states to defeat internal terrorist threats; defend
the homeland, including offensive strikes against terrorist groups
planning attacks; influence the choices of countries at a strategic
crossroads, such as China and Russia; and prevent the acquisition
of weapons of mass destruction by hostile states and terrorist groups.

"The
question we are asking is: How do you prevent problems from becoming
crises and crises from becoming all-out conflicts?" said one
senior defense official involved in writing the guidance.

At
its heart, the document is driven by the belief that the U.S. is
engaged in a continuous global struggle that extends far beyond
specific battlegrounds, such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The vision
is for a military that is far more proactive, focused on changing
the world instead of just responding to conflicts such as a North
Korean attack on South Korea, and assuming greater prominence in
countries in which the U.S. isn’t at war.

The
document comes early in the review process, which is conducted at
the behest of Congress. Each of the military services already has
assembled a large staff to craft plans for attacking the key problem
areas identified by Mr. Rumsfeld.

When
complete, the review will be sent to Congress, likely early next
year. Congress doesn’t have a vote on the secretary’s review, which
will be used by the administration to guide its decisions on strategy
and spending over the next several budget cycles. The review is
unlikely to require any major changes in overall defense spending,
which is projected to grow through at least 2009.

But
it is likely to trigger some nasty political battles, and potentially
pose challenges to defense contractors. The core problems outlined
in Mr. Rumsfeld’s review, for example, don’t seem to favor the F/A-22
jet, made by Lockheed Martin Corp., which is the Air Force’s top
priority. "I think you are likely to see the Air Force push
back hard to preserve the F-22," said Loren Thompson, chief
operating officer at the Lexington Institute and a consultant to
several of the military services. "Unfortunately, you can’t
find a lot of justification for more F/A-22s in the problem sets
the services are being asked to address."

Already,
the review is prodding the services to question the need for expensive
weapons systems, like short-range fighter jets and naval destroyers
and tanks that are used primarily in conventional conflicts. "A
big question is exactly how much is enough to win the conventional
fights of the future, and where can we shift some resources to some
of these less traditional problems," said one person involved
in drafting the guidance.

The
Wall Street Journal reviewed a summary of the document and spoke
with several officials who contributed to it.

Mr.
Rumsfeld has made transforming the military a priority since the
Bush administration took power. But in recent years that push took
a back seat to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Inside the Pentagon,
the review is widely seen as Mr. Rumsfeld’s last big push to instill
his views. Many insiders speculate that he will leave early next
year when the review is completed; he has repeatedly dismissed all
such speculation and refused to comment on his plans.

Mr.
Rumsfeld’s guidance pushes the services to rethink the way they
fight guerrilla wars and insurgencies. Instead of trying to stamp
out an insurgency with large conventional ground formations, the
classified guidance urges the military to come up with less doctrinaire
solutions that include sending in smaller teams of culturally savvy
soldiers to train and mentor indigenous forces.

The
U.S. would seek to deploy these troops far earlier in a looming
conflict than they traditionally have been to help a tottering government’s
armed forces confront guerrillas before an insurgency is able to
take root and build popular support. Officials said the plan envisions
many such teams operating around the world.

That
represents a challenge for a military already stretched thin by
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There aren’t currently enough of these
specially trained soldiers and Marines to make the strategy work.

In
the past decade, the U.S. military has shied away from helping allies
battle internal threats out of concern that U.S. forces would get
mired in endless internal conflicts. Instead, the military has focused
on helping allies ward off cross-border aggression by selling them
higher-end weapon systems.

But
the new plan envisions more active U.S. involvement, resembling
recent military aid missions to places like Niger and Chad, where
the U.S. is dispatching teams of ground troops to train local militaries
in basic counterinsurgency tactics. Future training missions, however,
would likely be conducted on a much broader scale, one defense official
said.

Of
the military’s services, the Marines Corps right now is moving fastest
to fill this gap and is looking at shifting some resources away
from traditional amphibious-assault missions to new units designed
specifically to work with foreign forces. To support these troops,
military officials are looking at everything from acquiring cheap
aerial surveillance systems to flying gunships that can be used
in messy urban fights to come to the aid of ground troops. One "dream
capability" might be an unmanned AC-130 gunship that could
circle an area at relatively low altitude until it is needed, then
swoop in to lay down a withering line of fire, said a defense official.

The
shift is reminiscent of the situation in the early 1900s, when Marines
fought a series of small wars in Central America and were frequently
referred to as the "State Department’s soldiers."

At
the same time the U.S. military re-equips itself to deal with low-tech
insurgent threats, it also is seeking to dissuade rising powers,
such as China, from challenging U.S. military dominance. Although
weapons systems designed to fight guerrillas tend to be fairly cheap
and low-tech, the review makes clear that to dissuade those countries
from trying to compete, the U.S. military must retain its dominance
in key high-tech areas, such as stealth technology, precision weaponry
and manned and unmanned surveillance systems.

March
21, 2005

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare