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In mid-March, the Pentagon released a major document, entitled The National Defense Strategy of the United States of America
This document constitutes a departure from the doctrine of pre-emptive warfare, which has characterized most national security statements since 9/11.
Whereas the preemptive war doctrine envisages military action as a means of "self defense" against countries categorized as "hostile" to the US, the new Pentagon doctrine envisages the possibility of military intervention against countries which do not visibly constitute a threat to the security of the American homeland.
The document outlines "four major threats to the United States":
- "Traditional challenges" are posed by well known and recognized military powers using "well-understood' forms of war."
- "Irregular threats" come from forces using so-called "unconventional' methods to counter stronger power."
- "The catastrophic challenge" pertains to the "use of weapons of mass destruction by an enemy."
- "Disruptive challenges" pertains to "potential adversaries utilizing new technologies to counter U.S. advantages."
Global Military Hegemony: Overshadowing Potential Rivals
This military blueprint outlines the contours of a project of global military hegemony. It is predicated on a massive increase in defense spending. The underlying objective consists in overshadowing, in terms of defense outlays, any other nation on earth including America's European allies.
This "overshadowing process" through massive defense spending, was recently highlighted at the annual Corporate Conference of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR):
The United States military this year  will be larger than the next 25 countries put together.... So, you know, essentially if spending patterns hold, which is to say European defense spending is declining, American is rising, in about five years, the United States will be spending more money than the rest of the world put together on defense." (Council on Foreign Relations, Annual Corporate conference, 10 March 2005 ).
Mammoth Defense Budget
The defense budget, estimated at 401.7 billion dollars (FY 2005) does not include the "emergency supplemental defense budget" earmarked for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Neither is the DoD participation's in the "war on terrorism" included in the defense budget. (See table below). (See also http://18.104.22.168/static/budget/annual/fy05/ ) Nor does it include another 40 billion dollars allocated to America's intelligence apparatus, headed by John Negroponte. Approximately 80 percent of the intelligence budget, including America's system of spy satellite's, directly supports US military initiatives.
US Defense Spending (FY2005)
“Top Line” Funding – Unlike past years, this year's DoD request does not list the funding request for the nuclear weapons functions of the Department of Energy (Function 053), nor does it include the total for National Defense (Function 050). The FY’04 total for National Defense is $401.3 billion, which includes roughly $17.3 billion for DoE. The estimated total National Defense “Top Line” request (Function 050) for FY'05 is $420.7 billion in Budget Authority, including $19.0 billion for DoE – a 7.9 percent increase over FY’04.
Funding for Contingency Operations (Supplemental Appropriations) – The request contains no funding for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, or for the Defense Department’s participation on the global war on terrorism. Pentagon officials state that the Defense Department “cannot yet determine the scope of these operations nor their incremental costs” and therefore has not budgeted for them. They also indicate that they will not request a supplemental funding appropriation in calendar year 2004. Clearly, however, such a request will be necessary to fund these operations in FY’05. The FY’04 supplemental appropriation for combat operations is $64.7 billion.
Missile Defense – The ballistic missile defense program receives more funding than any other weapon system in the annual Pentagon budget. The FY’05 request contains roughly $9.1 billion for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), up from the current $7.6 billion. This does not include totals for programs funded outside the MDA, such as the Army’s Patriot PAC-3. Nor does it include funding for the SBIRS-High satellite program. In all, the Pentagon is requesting a total of $10.7 billion for ballistic missile defenseS.
Shipbuilding – The budget provides $11.1 billion to support procurement of nine ships in FY’05, up from seven in FY’04. These include one “Virginia” class nuclear attack submarine ($2.6 billion), three “Arleigh Burke” class destroyers ($3.6 billion), and one DD(X) new surface combatant ($1.5 billion).
Aircraft – The request includes funding for 24 F/A-22 fighters for the Air Force ($4.7 billion), 42 of the Navy’s F/A-18E/F fighter ($3.1 billion), and $4.6 billion for continued development of the Joint Strike Fighter. It also includes $1.8 billion for continued development and procurement of 11 of the Marine Corps/Navy V-22 “Osprey” tilt-rotor.
Personnel – The request contains a 3.5 percent military base pay raise. It also completes the elimination of average out-of-pocked housing expenses for military personnel living in private housing.
Federal Budget Deficit – The Pentagon request is arriving on Capitol Hill at a time when the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the federal budget deficit will reach $477 billion this year. CBO projects a $362 billion deficit for FY’05.
Moreover, in addition to its own defense outlays, Washington indirectly, through the provision of US military aid, keeps an eye on the defense budgets of a large number of pro-US regimes, throughout the World. Israel receives close to $2.2 billion of US military aid.
The consolidated military aid to "friends and allies", (e.g. Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Indonesia, etc), under various bilateral and multilateral agreements, not to mention the partnership for peace initiative, is substantial. Credits to foreign governments to buy US weapons and equipment is nearly five billion dollars. (http://www.foreignaidwatch.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=792 )
America is currently spending more than 500 billion dollars a year on defense and military intelligence, an amount which is somewhat less than the GDP of the Russian Federation, estimated at $613 billion (2004). In other words, the Cold war era super-power has been impoverished beyond bounds, dwarfed in terms of its defense capabilities. It is identified in US national security documents as a first strike preemptive attack by for US using nuclear warheads. Even if it were to allocate a sizeable portion of its GDP to defense spending, it would not be able to rival the US.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SPIRI), global military expenditure is in excess of $950 billion of which approximately 50 percent is directly linked to the US military budget:
The USA today accounts for 40 to 50 per cent of global defense spending. In every sphere of warfare the US now has clear preponderance over other powers. No other power has the capacity to move large forces around the globe and support its troops with precision firepower and unsurpassed amount of information and intelligence. Military resources as a result of the $ 400 billion military budget are formidable. The defense research establishment of the US receives more money than the entire defense budget of its largest European ally. No other power has B2 bombers, the satellite constellations, the aircraft carriers or the long range unmanned aircraft like that of the US Navy and Air Force. (The Statesman, India, 5 April 2005)
(see also the report of foreign Aid Watch: http://www.foreignaidwatch.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=792 )
In comparison, China identified in the Pentagon document as a "growing power", currently spends 29,5 billion dollars on defense.
"Unstable Nations" are the Target for Military Intervention
The Pentagon document was made public on the 18 of March. The Wall Street Journal provided a summary, a week prior to the release of the declassified Pentagon document (See Classified Pentagon Document New Undeclared Arms Race: America's Agenda for Global Military Domination by Michel Chossudovsky, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO503A.html )
Barely a week following the release of the declassified version of the Pentagon document , the National Intelligence Council of the State Department confirmed that "U.S. intelligence experts are preparing a list of 25 countries deemed unstable and, thus, candidates for [military] intervention". There was however no formal confirmation that this NIC initiative was related to the new Pentagon doctrine, released on mid-March.
Distinct from declared enemies or "rogue states", the exercise consists in identifying countries of "greatest instability and risk". In other words, America's security is said to be threatened less by "conquering states than by the failed and failing ones".
... conflict prevention and postwar reconstruction of failed and failing states had become a "mainstream foreign policy challenge" because of the dangers of terrorist groups and the availability of weapons of mass destruction.
[the goals of the newly formed Office of Reconstruction and Stabilisation under the NIC, headed by Carl Pascual are] to prevent conflict, but also to prepare to react quickly when the US military had to intervene. Post-conflict work would focus on creating laws and institutions of a "market democracy", he said.
Planning would include forming a "reserve corps" of specialist civilian teams and devising reconstruction contracts in advance with private companies and NGOs. (Financial Times, 30 March 2005)
The Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization
"will lead and coordinate U.S. Government planning, and institutionalize U.S. capacity, to help stabilize and reconstruct societies in transition from conflict or civil strife so they can reach a sustainable path toward peace, democracy and a market economy."
Whether these countries constitute a threat to National Security is not the issue. Military priorities will also be established in accordance with this list. Hostility to the US (e.g. by rogue enemies and/or "growing powers") is not the sole criterion for military intervention.
While the "watch-list" of 25 "unstable nations" remains a closely guarded secret, a number of countries have already been identified (in Us policy statements) prior to launching the initiative. These include inter alia Venezuela under President Hugo Chavez, Nepal (currently marked by a peasant-led insurrection), Haiti under military occupation, Algeria, Peru, Bolivia, Sudan, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast. (based on a selective review of recent US foreign policy statements reported by the Western media). The pretext for intervening militarily in these countries is based on America's mandate to "help them stabilize" and put them on "a sustainable path". Any national project which goes against the neoliberal agenda and Washington's conception of a free market democracy will be a candidate for military intervention.
The National Defense Strategy of the United States of America. document also introduces the concept of "asymmetric warfare". It categorizes "diplomatic and legal challenges" by groups or countries as threats to the security of America, namely as de facto aggressive acts.
“Our strength as a nation state will continue to be challenged by those who employ a strategy of the weak focusing on international forums, judicial processes and terrorism,...
Asked about the statement, Douglas Feith, the No. 3 official at the Pentagon, said during a news conference, “There are various actors around the world that are looking to either attack or constrain the United States, and they are going to find creative ways of doing that, that are not the obvious conventional military attacks... We need to think broadly about diplomatic lines of attack, legal lines of attack, technological lines of attack, all kinds of asymmetric warfare that various actors can use to try to constrain, shape our behavior.”
Asked to clarify what a “legal line of attack” meant, he acknowledged it could include the International Criminal Court, a body vehemently opposed by the Bush administration, that began operations in The Hague in 2003... He said it was meant to note “the arguments that some people make to try to, in effect, criminalize foreign policy and bring prosecutions where there is no proper basis for jurisdiction under international law as a way of trying to pressure American officials.”
... Other vulnerabilities include inconsistent or less-capable allies and resentment of U.S. influence in world affairs, the document says.
In a town-hall meeting at the Pentagon earlier Friday, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld complained about one of those allies, calling Spain’s abrupt withdrawal of 1,300 troops from Iraq last year “not impressive.”
Overall, the document confirms Rumsfeld’s policies in the broadest terms: It is impossible to know when and where the next threat to U.S. security will come — what Pentagon planners call “strategic uncertainty” — so the U.S. military needs to be able and flexible enough to deploy anywhere in the world in short order. The document also accents needs for allies to provide bases for U.S. forces and to search their own countries for extremists who intend to attack the United States.
Still, the document leaves open the possibility the United States would act preemptively and alone. “We will act with others when we can,” it says. The document will be used to help shape the Quadrennial Defense Review, a far-reaching project now under way that will try to outline what military capabilities the United States needs to meet the goals of this strategy. Rumsfeld will present the review to Congress early next year.
Feith acknowledged that the United Kingdom and other allies will now be allowed to take part in secret meetings as the review is developed." (Associated Press, 18 March 2005)
The concept of asymmetric warfare suggests that challenges in the judicial and/or diplomatic arenas by State and non-State actors, including NGOs could be countered by military and intelligence actions.
Global Military Deployment
In the controversial March 18 document, the Pentagon also confirmed its intent:
"to shift to a more centralized 'global force management' model so it could quickly expand available troops anywhere in the world".
Responding to US economic and geostrategic interests, the stated objective consists in organizing military deployment on a global level, rather than in terms of the existing structure of regional deployment:
“Under this concept, Combatant Commanders no longer ‘own’ forces in their theaters,” the strategy said. “Forces are allocated to them as needed — sourced from anywhere in the world. This allows for greater flexibility to meet rapidly changing operational circumstances.” (UPI, 18 March 2005)
This shift in emphasis, focusing on a global command structure will result in shifts in the functions of the regional military command structures.
This global perspective on military deployment was initially formulated in the "2001 Report of the Quadrennial Defense Review". In 2002, the Pentagon had already called for a more "flexible" Unified Command structure, which "accommodates evolving U.S. national security needs". ( http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/dod/unified-com.htm ).
in a presentation to the House Armed Services Committee ( June 23, 2004), The architect of "global force management" Douglas J. Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy outlined five key elements:
-- Strengthen Allied Roles. We want to expand allied roles and build new partnerships. We have worked to ensure that our allies and friends recognize that, in transforming the US posture, we're safeguarding the US commitment to help defend our common interests. Changes in the U.S. global posture also aim to help our allies and friends modernize their own forces, doctrines and strategies.
-- Flexibility to Contend with Uncertainty. Second, we have to create greater flexibility to contend with uncertainty....Our goal is to have forces deployed forward in such a way that they can quickly reach crisis spots as necessary in the future.
-- Focus Within and Across Regions. ... we're dealing with challenges that are global in nature so global strategies and actions are necessary to complement our regional planning. We need to improve our ability to project power from one region to another and to manage forces on a global basis.
-- Develop Rapidly Deployable Capabilities. Because our forward-deployed forces are unlikely to fight where they're actually based, we have to make those forces rapidly deployable. For this concept to work, U.S. forces need to be able to move smoothly into, through, and out of host nations, which puts a premium on establishing flexible legal and support arrangements with our allies and partners.
-- Focus on Capabilities, Not Numbers. Finally, our key purpose is to push relevant capabilities forward.... In gauging the degree of commitment the US has to a given region, the key concept is not numbers of forces or platforms we have stationed there, but the magnitude to the military capabilities we can bring to bear there rapidly. (see the complete transcript of Feith's statement )
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