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Comment by Vicki Campbell
July 3, 2015 @ 4:31 pm
Although I’m really behind in my responses to several people here, I thought I’d start the 4th of July holiday weekend forum off with a post that does a good job of explaining why I’ve always found this particular holiday somewhat depressing actually. It also provides a good example of the type of wholesale, full-throttle, very invasive, might-makes-right form of domination that is the hallmark of what I and many others are referring to when we use the term “white male” to describe our current approach to national or homeland “security.”
JULY 3, 2015
The Pentagon’s “2015 Strategy” For Ruling the World
by MIKE WHITNEY
On Wednesday, the Pentagon released its 2015 National Military Strategy, a 24-page blueprint for ruling the world through military force. While the language in the report is subtler and less incendiary than similar documents in the past, the determination to unilaterally pursue US interests through extreme violence remains the cornerstone of the new strategy. Readers will not find even a hint of remorse in the NMS for the vast destruction and loss of life the US caused in countries that posed not the slightest threat to US national security. Instead, the report reflects the steely resolve of its authors and elite constituents to continue the carnage and bloodletting until all potential rivals have been killed or eliminated and until such time that Washington feels confident that its control over the levers of global power cannot be challenged.
As one would expect, the NMS conceals its hostile intentions behind the deceptive language of “national security”. The US does not initiate wars of aggression against blameless states that possess large quantities of natural resources. No. The US merely addresses “security challenges” to “protect the homeland” and to “advance our national interests.” How could anyone find fault with that, after all, wasn’t the US just trying to bring peace and democracy to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria?
In the Chairman’s Forward, Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey attempts to prepare the American people for a future of endless war:
“Future conflicts will come more rapidly, last longer, and take place on a much more technically challenging battlefield. … We must be able to rapidly adapt to new threats while maintaining comparative advantage over traditional ones … the application of the military instrument of power against state threats is very different than the application of military power against non state threats. We are more likely to face prolonged campaigns than conflicts that are resolved quickly … that control of escalation is becoming more difficult and more important.” (Document: 2015 U.S. National Military Strategy, USNI News)
War, war and more war. This is the Pentagon’s vision of the future. Unlike Russia or China which have a plan for an integrated EU-Asia free trade zone (Silk Road) that will increase employment, improve vital infrastructure, and raise living standards, the US sees only death and destruction ahead. Washington has no strategy for the future, no vision of a better world. There is only war; asymmetrical war, technological war, preemptive war. The entire political class and their elite paymasters unanimously support global rule through force of arms. That is the unavoidable meaning of this document. The United States intends to maintain its tenuous grip on global power by maximizing the use of its greatest asset; its military.
And who is in the military’s gunsights? Check out this excerpt from an article in Defense News:
“The strategy specifically calls out Iran, Russia and North Korea as aggressive threats to global peace. It also mentions China, but notably starts that paragraph by saying the Obama administration wants to “support China’s rise and encourage it to become a partner for greater international security,” continuing to thread the line between China the economic ally and China the regional competitor.
“None of these nations are believed to be seeking direct military conflict with the United States or our allies,” the strategy reads. “Nonetheless, they each pose serious security concerns which the international community is working to collectively address by way of common policies, shared messages, and coordinated action.” (Pentagon Releases National Military Strategy, Defense News)
Did you catch that last part? “None of these nations are believed to be seeking direct military conflict with the United States or our allies. Nevertheless, they each pose serious security concerns.”
In other words, none of these countries wants to fight the United States, but the United States wants to fight them. And the US feels it’s justified in launching a war against these countries because, well, because they either control vast resources, have huge industrial capacity, occupy an area of the world that interests the US geopolitically, or because they simply want to maintain their own sovereign independence which, of course, is a crime. According to Dempsey, any of these threadbare excuses are sufficient justification for conflict mainly because they “pose serious security concerns” for the US, which is to say they undermine the US’s dominant role as the world’s only superpower.
The NMS devotes particular attention to Russia, Washington’s flavor-of-the-month enemy who had the audacity to defend its security interests following a State Department-backed coup in neighboring Ukraine. For that, Moscow must be punished. This is from the report:
“Some states, however, are attempting to revise key aspects of the international order and are acting in a manner that threatens our national security interests. While Russia has contributed in select security areas, such as counternarcotics and counterterrorism, it also has repeatedly demonstrated that it does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbors and it is willing to use force to achieve its goals. Russia’s military actions are undermining regional security directly and through proxy forces. These actions violate numerous agreements that Russia has signed in which it committed to act in accordance with international norms.” (2015 NMS)
Russia is an evildoer because Russia refused to stand by while the US toppled the Ukrainian government, installed a US stooge in Kiev, precipitated a civil war between the various factions, elevated neo Nazis to positions of power in the security services, plunged the economy into insolvency and ruin, and opened a CIA headquarters in the Capital to run the whole shooting match. This is why Russia is bad and must be punished.
But does that mean Washington is seriously contemplating a war with Russia?
Here’s an excerpt from the document that will help to clarify the matter:
“For the past decade, our military campaigns primarily have consisted of operations against violent extremist networks. But today, and into the foreseeable future, we must pay greater attention to challenges posed by state actors. They increasingly have the capability to contest regional freedom of movement and threaten our homeland. Of particular concern are the proliferation of ballistic missiles, precision strike technologies, unmanned systems, space and cyber capabilities, and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) technologies designed to counter U.S. military advantages and curtail access to the global commons.” (2015 NMS)
It sounds to me like the Washington honchos have already made up their minds. Russia is the enemy, therefore, Russia must be defeated. How else would one “counter a revisionist state” that “threatens our homeland”?
Why with Daisy Cutters, of course. Just like everyone else.
The NMS provides a laundry list of justifications for launching wars against (imaginary) enemies of the US. The fact is, the Pentagon sees ghosts around every corner. Whether the topic is new technologies, “shifting demographics” or cultural differences; all are seen as a potential threat to US interests, particularly anything related to the “competition for resources.” In this skewed view of reality, one can see how the invasion of Iraq was justified on the grounds that Saddam’s control of Iraq’s massive oil reserves posed a direct challenge to US hegemony. Naturally, Saddam had to be removed and over a million people killed to put things right and return the world to a state of balance. This is the prevailing view of the National Military Strategy, that is, that whatever the US does is okay, because its the US.
Readers shouldn’t expect to find something new in the NMS. This is old wine in new bottles. The Pentagon has merely updated the Bush Doctrine while softening the rhetoric. There’s no need to scare the living daylights out of people by talking about unilateralism, preemption, shrugging off international law or unprovoked aggression. Even so, everyone knows that United States is going to do whatever the hell it wants to do to keep the empire intact. The 2015 National Military Strategy merely confirms that sad fact.
Comment by William R. Cumming
July 5, 2015 @ 2:57 pm
Thanks Vicki for the post and extract from the NMS! The policies and issues of a Globalized world are becoming so complex that mere posturing by US FP thinkers and does is and has been for sometime inadequate to steer US through IMO.
So let’s take a different view and try to understand what $2-5 Trillion spent on lost causes since 9/11/01 might somehow have been used differently.
And the NMS is representative of the decline in the Uniformed Forces being strategic and tactical leaders in the organization and employment of violence to achieve FP goals.
IMO bypassing of the Uniformed military is about to be the reality of the US FP establishment in the 21st Century!
And when is the last time that employment of Uniformed Forces achieved US FP goals?
And of course what are USA FP goals?
July 5, 2015 @ 2:59 pm
Could present day NATO defend the EU and NATO membership from Russian military aggression? Absolutely not IMO!
July 6, 2015 @ 10:29 am
ARE MOBILIZATION AND LOGISTICS KEY TO US WAR FIGHTING Capability and HS capability?
July 7, 2015 @ 6:53 am
Should the USA be blamed for the mismanagement of both the EU and NATO, as well of course the chaos of MENA [Middle-East and North Africa]?
And now China?
How does the FP doctrine of R2P [responsibility to protect] impact HS?
REMEMBER FEMA HAS ABSOLUTELY NO AUTHORITY TO PROTECT THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF CITIZENS AND RESIDENTS OF THE USA! Should it?
July 8, 2015 @ 7:43 am
Does anyone but me consider anti-nuclear proliferation policy and issues and funding a HS/EM concern?
And just for the record predicting NO DEAL WITH IRAN but I do credit this President with being the first since President Truman with being the President most will to fight nuclear weapons proliferation.
A key report was the 1999 John Deutsch led report on PROLIFERATION EFFORTS. Perhaps a link can be found and it is available from FAS. FAS = Federation of American Scientists.
July 8, 2015 @ 12:54 pm
Bill, I agree that nuclear non-proliferation is definitely a security/disaster management issue, but I’m afraid I disagree with your assessment of Obama’s work or commitment to it, which has been very disappointing to those of us who voted for him.
Thursday, November 20, 2014, Common Dreams
By Howard Friel
Obama’s Commitment to Nuclear Weapons Violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
– We need a president that complies with US-ratified treaties. And a treaty that prohibits possession, threat, and use of nuclear weapons
There are two major threats to life on Earth—nuclear weapons and climate change. A recent decision by President Obama has heightened both threats.
Two months ago, the New York Times reported that the president had initiated a 30-year, $1 trillion “revitalization” of the strategic nuclear weapons systems of the United States, including nuclear warheads as well as the intercontinental bombers, submarines, and land-based missiles that are poised day-in and day-out to deliver them throughout the world.
The Times reported that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that Obama’s “atomic refurbishment plans” will cost $355 billion over the next decade. “But that is just the start,” the Times continued, “the price tag will soar after 10 years as missiles, bombers and submarines made in the last century reach the end of their useful lives and replacements are built.”
That’s at least $35 billion per year over the next thirty years that we mustn’t spend on the modernization of nuclear weapons. That money, with a commensurate level of focus and commitment now lacking, needs to go to climate change mitigation and adaptation, including new energy and transportation infrastructure here and abroad. If it doesn’t, nuclear war and climate change – one or the other, sooner or later – will destroy the Earth and humanity with it, including your children and grandchildren. It’s as simple, and terrifying, as that.
Furthermore, Obama’s decision to modernize the nuclear weapons arsenal of the United States was completely undemocratic. He has yet to announce this decision himself. He made it without any public discussion or debate. And his decision to do so contradicts statements he made to the American people to get votes to become president.
For example, in July 2008, in an article titled “Obama Says Time to Rid World of Nuclear Weapons,” CNN reported that the presidential candidate proclaimed: “It’s time to send a clear message to the world: America seeks a world with no nuclear weapons. As long as nuclear weapons exist, we’ll retain a strong deterrent. But we’ll make the goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons a central element in our nuclear policy.”
Upon his election as president, however, in his first opportunity internationally to make an official move toward nuclear disarmament, President Obama voted against a 2009 UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution titled “Nuclear Disarmament,” against a 2009 UNGA resolution titled “Towards a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: Accelerating the Implementation of Nuclear Disarmament Commitments,” against a 2009 UNGA resolution titled “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons,” against a 2009 UNGA resolution titled “Follow-up to Nuclear Disarmament Obligations Agreed to at the 1995 and 2000 Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” and against a 2009 UNGA resolution titled “Follow-up to the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons.” Obama then voted against each of these General Assembly resolutions in each year of his presidency to date.
Also, rather than pledge not to attack with nuclear weapons any of the non-nuclear nations, Obama abstained from a 2009 UNGA resolution titled, “Conclusion of Effective International Arrangements to Assure Non-Nuclear Weapon States against the Use or Threat of Use of Nuclear Weapons.” Obama also has annually abstained from this same UNGA resolution as well. Thus, officially under President Obama, the United States won’t say whether it would use nuclear weapons or not against a non-nuclear country.
A few days after rejecting the 2009 round of General Assembly resolutions, Obama gave his Nobel Peace Prize speech on December 10 in Oslo. While referring to the 1970 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), he said: “In the middle of the last century, nations agreed to be bound by a treaty whose bargain is clear: All will have access to peaceful nuclear power; those without nuclear weapons will forsake them; and those with nuclear weapons will work towards disarmament. I am committed to upholding this treaty. It is a centerpiece of my foreign policy.” (Emphasis added.)
Indeed, the “bargain” of the NPT was non-proliferation among non-nuclear states and disarmament by the states with nuclear weapons, with the formal obligation to disarm embodied in Article VI of the NPT:
Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
Thus, given Obama’s clear record of rejecting the General Assembly’s efforts toward nuclear disarmament, and his recent decision to initiate a 30-year modernization of the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal, he has clearly violated even the most lax interpretation of the NPT’s Article VI obligation on nuclear disarmament.
Incredibly, in its report, the Times quoted a “senior official” in the Obama administration who referred to the president’s decision to commit the United States to a $1 trillion nuclear-weapons refurbishment effort as one of Obama’s “legacy” achievements as president, noting further that the issue was too politically delicate to go on record by identifying himself or herself by name. The Times thus reported, referring specifically to the nuclear weapons issue and the expense:
“This is Obama’s legacy budget,” said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the topic’s political delicacy. “It’s his last chance to make the hard choices and prioritize.”
A decision of this magnitude is therefore made without any announcement from the White House or presentation by the president himself to the American people. One should assume, then, that the gift of Obama’s “legacy” was intended not to benefit the American people. Instead, and predictably, it benefits only the national security state apparatus and the military-industrial complex.
In 2007 former U.S. officials George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn published an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal titled, “A World Free of Nuclear Weapons,” which called for nuclear disarmament.
In doing so, they quoted from several persons, including Rajiv Gandhi, then prime minister of India, who said in an address to the UN General Assembly: “Nuclear war will not mean the death of a hundred million people. Or even a thousand million. It will mean the extinction of four thousand million: the end of life as we know it on our planet earth. We come to the United Nations to seek your support. We seek your support to put a stop to this madness.”
As president and about nuclear weapons, John Kennedy stated: “The world was not meant to be a prison in which man awaits his execution.”
President Obama should reverse course on nuclear weapons, support the UN General Assembly resolutions on nuclear disarmament that will be issued next month at the United Nations, and announce the start of serious, good-faith negotiations on global nuclear disarmament in compliance with his legal obligations as stated in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
July 8, 2015 @ 3:18 pm
Thanks much Vicki for excellent comments and see
COUNTER-PROLIFERATION WMD at:
It is posted here:
July 9, 2015 @ 6:55 am
Those interested in another take on the NMS might read:
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