America’s Pre-emptive War Doctrine
The Role of “Massive Casualty Producing
Events” in Military Planning
Repeatedly since 9/11, the Bush administration has warned Americans
of the danger of a “Second 9/11”:
[There are] “indications that [the]
near-term attacks … will either rival or exceed the [9/11]
attacks. … And it’s pretty clear that the nation’s capital and
New York city would be on any list.” (Tom Ridge, Christmas 2003)
“You ask, ‘Is it serious?’ Yes, you
bet your life. People don’t do that unless it’s a serious
situation.” (Donald Rumsfeld, Christmas 2003)
“Credible reporting indicates that Al Qaeda is moving forward
with its plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the United
States in an effort to disrupt our democratic process …. This is
sobering information about those who wish to do us harm …. But
every day we strengthen the security of our nation.” (George W.
Bush, July 2004)
According to former US CentCom
Commander, General Tommy Franks who led the invasion of Iraq in
2003, a terrorist attack on American soil of the size and nature of
September 11, would lead the suspension of the Constitution and the
installation of military rule in America:
[A] terrorist, massive,
casualty-producing event [will occur] somewhere in the Western
world—it may be in the United States of America—that causes our
population to question our own Constitution and to begin to
militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another
mass, casualty-producing event.1
General Franks was alluding to a
so-called “Pearl Harbor type event” which would be used to galvanize
US public opinion in support of a military government and police
The “terrorist massive casualty-producing event” was presented by
General Franks as a crucial political turning point. The resulting
crisis and social turmoil is intended to facilitate a major shift in
US political, social and institutional structures.
It is important to understand that General Franks was not giving a
personal opinion on this issue. His statement is consistent with the
dominant viewpoint both in the Pentagon and the Homeland Security
Department as to how events might unfold in the case of a national
The statement by General Franks comes from a man who has been
actively involved in military and intelligence planning at the
highest levels.The “militarization of our country” has become an
ongoing operational assumption—a “talking point” within the military
and intelligence establishment. It is part of the broader
“Washington consensus”. It identifies the Bush administration’s
“roadmap” of War and Homeland Defense.
The “war on terrorism” constitutes the cornerstone of Bush’s
National Security doctrine. It provides the required justification
for repealing the Rule of Law, ultimately with a view to “preserving
civil liberties”. In the words of David Rockefeller:
We are on the verge of global
transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the
nations will accept the New World Order.2
A similar statement, which no doubt
reflects a consensus within the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR),
was made by former
TEXT BOX 19.1
“Operation Northwoods” was a Secret Plan of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff entitled “Justification for US Military
Intervention in Cuba”. It was submitted by the Joint
Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara
on March 13, 1962.
The Top Secret memorandum describes US plans to trigger
“massive casualty producing events” that would justify a
US invasion of Cuba. These proposals - part of a secret
anti-Castro program known as Operation Mongoose - included
staging the assassinations of Cubans living in the
United States, developing a fake “Communist Cuban terror
campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and
even in Washington,” including “sink[ing] a boatload of
Cuban refugees (real or simulated),” faking a Cuban airforce attack on a civilian jetliner, and concocting a
“Remember the Maine” incident by blowing up a US ship in
Cuban waters and then blaming the incident on Cuban
Author James Bamford wrote that Operation Northwoods
“may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the US
Source: James Bamford, National Security Archive, 30
April 2001. The Declassified document can be consulted
at the National Security Archive website. URL of the
National Security adviser
Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book, The Grand
As America becomes an increasingly
multicultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion
a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the
circumstances of a truly massive and widely perceived direct
Similarly, the NeoCons’ Project for the
New American Century (PNAC), published in September 2000, had also
pointed to the central role of what General Tommy Franks had
entitled “a massive casualty producing event”:
The process of transformation, even
if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one,
absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl
The foregoing statement emanates from
the architects of US foreign policy. In other words, America’s
leaders in Washington and Wall Street firmly believe in the
righteousness of war and authoritarian forms of government as a
means to “safeguarding democratic values”.
The repeal of democracy is portrayed as a means to providing
“domestic security” and upholding civil liberties. Truth is
falsehood and falsehood is truth. Realities are turned upside down.
Acts of war are heralded as “humanitarian interventions” geared
towards upholding democracy. Military occupation and the killing of
civilians are presented as “peace-keeping operations.”
This dominant viewpoint is also shared by the mainstream media,
which constitutes the cornerstone of the propaganda and
disinformation campaign. Any attempt by antiwar critics to reveal
the lies underlying these statements is defined as a “criminal act”.
The “Criminalization of the State” occurs when war criminals,
supported by Wall Street, the “big five” defense contractors and the
Texas oil giants, legitimately occupy positions of authority, which
enable them to decide “who are the criminals”, when in fact they are
The Project for a New American Century
In September 2000, a few months before the accession of George W.
Bush to the White House, the Project for a New American Century (PNAC)
published its blueprint for global domination under the title:
Rebuilding America’s Defenses, Strategy, Forces and Resources for a
The PNAC is a neo-conservative think tank linked to the
Defense-Intelligence establishment, the Republican Party and the
powerful Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) which plays a
behind-the-scenes role in the formulation of US foreign policy.
The PNAC’s declared objectives are to:
Defend the American Homeland
Fight and decisively win
multiple, simultaneous major theater wars
Perform the “constabulary”
duties associated with shaping the security environment in
Transform US forces to exploit
the “revolution in military affairs”.5
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz,
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney
commissioned the PNAC blueprint prior to the 2000 presidential
The PNAC outlines a roadmap of conquest.
It calls for “the direct imposition of US “forward bases” throughout
Central Asia and the Middle East, with a view to ensuring economic
domination of the world, while strangling any potential “rival” or
any viable alternative to America’s vision of a “free market”
Distinct from theater wars, the so-called “constabulary functions”
imply a form of global military policing using various instruments
of military intervention including punitive bombings and the sending
in of US Special Forces:
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.6
The PNAC’s “revolution in military
affairs” also consists of the Strategic Defense Initiative, the
weaponization of space and the development of a new generation of
The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) also known as Star Wars, not
only includes the controversial “Missile Shield”, but also a wide
range of offensive laser-guided weapons with striking capabilities
anywhere in the world.
The US military has also developed as part of its arsenal, so-called
“environmental modification” (ENMOD) techniques. The most advanced
instrument of environmental warfare has been developed under the US
Air Force’s High Altitude Auroral Research Program (HAARP). Recent
scientific evidence suggests that HAARP is fully operational and has
the ability of potentially triggering floods, droughts, hurricanes
From a military standpoint, HAARP is a weapon of mass destruction.
Potentially, it constitutes an instrument of conquest capable of
selectively destabilizing the agricultural and ecological systems of
Also contemplated is the Pentagon’s so-called FALCON program. FALCON
is the ultimate New World Order weapons’ system, to be used for
global economic and political domination. It can strike from the
continental US anywhere in the World. It is described as a “global
reach” weapon to be used to “react promptly and decisively to
destabilizing or threatening actions by hostile countries and
This hypersonic cruise weapon system to be developed by Northrop
Grumman “would allow the US to conduct effective, time-critical
strike missions on a global basis without relying on overseas
military bases.” FALCON would allow the US to strike, either in
support of conventional forces engaged in a war theater or in
punitive bombings directed against countries that do not comply with
US economic and political diktats.
The Preemptive War Doctrine
The preemptive “defensive war” doctrine and the “war on terrorism”
against Al Qaeda constitute essential building blocks of the
Pentagon’s propaganda campaign.
To justify preemptive military actions, the National Security
Strategy (NSS) requires the fabrication of a terrorist threat,—i.e.,
“an Outside Enemy”. It also needs to link these terrorist threats to
“State sponsorship” by so-called “rogue states.”
The objective is to present “preemptive military action”—mean-ing
war as an act of “self-defense” against two categories of
ene-mies,“rogue States” and “Islamic terrorists”, both of which are
said to possess weapons of mass destruction:
The war against terrorists of global
reach is a global enterprise of uncertain duration. … America
will act against such emerging threats before they are fully
Rogue States and terrorists do not seek to attack us using
conventional means. They know such attacks would fail. Instead,
they rely on acts of terror and, potentially, the use of weapons
of mass destruction …
The targets of these attacks are our military forces and our
civilian population, in direct violation of one of the principal
norms of the law of warfare. As was demonstrated by the losses
on September 11, 2001, mass civilian casualties is the specific
objective of terrorists and these losses would be exponentially
more severe if terrorists acquired and used weapons of mass
The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive
actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security.
The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction—and
the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to
defend ourselves, … . To forestall or prevent such hostile acts
by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act
The “War on Terrorism” and the Nuclear
This “anticipatory action” under the NSS includes the use of
tactical nuclear weapons, which are now classified as “in theater
weapons” to be used in conventional war theaters alongside
In the wake of September 11, 2001, the nuclear option, namely the
pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons is intimately related to the “war
Nuclear weapons are now being presented as performing essentially
defensive functions to be used against so-called “Rogue States” and
terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda, which are said to
constitute a nuclear threat.
The propaganda emanating from the CIA and the Pentagon consists in
presenting Al Qaeda as capable of developing a nuclear device, which
could be used in an attack on the United States. According to a
report of the CIA’s Intelligence Directorate:
Al Qaeda’s goal is the use of
[chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons] to cause
mass casualties. …
[Islamist extremists] have a wide variety of potential agents
and delivery means to choose from for chemical, biological and
radiological or nuclear (CBRN) attacks.10
The alleged nuclear threat emanating
from Al Qaeda is used in the National Security Strategy to justify
the preemptive use of nuclear weapons to defend America against Al
While the media has its eyes riveted on Islamic terrorists and Al
Qaeda, the threats to global security resulting from Washington’s
preemptive first strike use of nuclear weapons is barely mentioned.
The Privatization of Nuclear War
On August 6, 2003, the day the first atomic bomb was dropped on
Hiroshima, 58 years ago, a secret meeting was held with senior
executives from the nuclear industry and the military industrial
complex at Central Command Headquarters at the Offutt Air Force Base
More than 150 military contractors, scientists from the weapons
labs, and other government officials gathered at the headquarters of
the US Strategic Command in Omaha, Nebraska to plot and plan for the
possibility of “full-scale nuclear war” calling for the production
of a new generation of nuclear weapons—more “usable” so-called
“mini-nukes and earth penetrating “bunker busters” armed with atomic
The new nuclear policy explicitly involves the large defense
contractors in decision-making. It is tantamount to the
privatization of nuclear war. The “war on terrorism” is its stated
Corporations not only reap multibillion-dollar profits from the
production of nuclear bombs, they also have a direct voice in
setting the agenda regarding the use and deployment of nuclear
The nuclear weapons industry, which includes the production of
nuclear devices as well as the missile delivery systems is
controlled by a handful of defense contractors with Lockheed Martin,
General Dynamics, Northrop, Raytheon and Boeing in the lead.
It is worth noting that barely a week prior to the historic August
6, 2003 meeting at the Offutt Air force base, the National Nuclear
Security Administration (NNSA) disbanded its advisory committee
which had a mandate to provide an “independent oversight” on the US
nuclear arsenal, including the testing and/or use of new nuclear
Meanwhile, the Pentagon had unleashed a major propaganda and public
relations campaign with a view to upholding the use of nuclear
weapons for the “defense of the American Homeland” against
“terrorists” and “rogue enemies”.
Nuclear weapons are now presented as a means to building peace and
preventing “collateral damage”. The Pentagon had intimated, in this
regard, that the “mini-nukes” are harmless to civilians because the
explosions “take place under ground”. Each of these “mini-nukes”,
nonetheless, constitutes—in terms of explosive capacity and
potential radioactive fallout—a significant fraction of the atom
bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. The mini-nukes have an explosive
capacity between one third to six times a Hiroshima bomb. In the
case of “small” 5 and 10 kiloton bombs, the explosive capacity is
respectively one third and two thirds of a Hiroshima bomb.
Formally endorsed by the US Congress in late 2003, the “mini-nukes”
are thus considered to be “safe for civilians”. Once this
assumption—based on the “scientific assessments” conducted by the
Pentagon—is built into military planning, it is no longer
challenged. The technical specifications of the mini-nukes are
entered into the various military manuals. Decisions pertaining to
their use would be based on the specifications contained in these
The disinformation campaign presents the mini-nukes as “harmless”.
It consists in building a consensus within the Military, while also
convincing Congress that “the small nuclear bombs” are “safe for
civilians”. Based on this premise, the US Congress has given the
This new generation of nuclear weapons is slated to
be used in the next phase of the war, in “conventional war theaters”
(e.g., in the Middle East and Central Asia) alongside conventional
weapons, against “rogue enemies” and Islamic “terrorists”.
Meanwhile, the US Congress has allocated billions of dollars to
further develop this new generation of “defensive” nuclear weapons.
National Defense Strategy: From “Rogue
States” to “Unstable Nations”
In March 2005, the Pentagon released a major document entitled, The
National Defense Strategy of the United States of America (NDS),
which broadly sketches Washington’s agenda for global military
While the NDS follows in the footsteps of the Administration’s
“pre-emptive” war doctrine as outlined in the Project of the New
American Century (PNAC), it goes much further in setting the
contours of Washington’s global military agenda.
Whereas the pre-emptive war doctrine envisages military action as a
means of “self defense” against countries categorized as “hostile”
to the US, the 2005 NSD goes one step further. It envisages the
possibility of military intervention against countries, which do not
visibly constitute a threat to the security of the American
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 2005 National Defense Strategy (NDS) consists in “enhancing US
influence around the world”, through increased troop deployments and
a massive buildup of America’s advanced weapons systems.
The new National Security doctrine 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
“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 US
advantages”.15 The NDS document explicitly acknowledges
America’s global military mandate, beyond regional war theaters.
This mandate also includes military operations directed against
so-called “failed states” or “unstable nations”.16
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 US 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 US isn’t at war.17
Countries on the Pentagon’s Black List
Shortly after the release of the Pentagon’s March 2005 NDS document,
the newly formed Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization under
the National Intelligence Council (NIC) of the State Department
confirmed that “US intelligence experts are preparing a list of 25
countries deemed unstable and, thus, candidates for [military]
The exercise consists in identifying countries of “greatest
instability and risk”, distinct from declared enemies or “Rogue
America’s security is said to be threatened less by “conquering
states than by the failed and failing ones”:
[C]onflict 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
[The mandate of the Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization
under the NIC is] 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”. … Planning would include forming a
“reserve corps” of specialist civilian teams and devising
reconstruction contracts in advance with private companies and
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.
These include inter alia Venezuela, Nepal (currently marked by a
peasant-led insurrection), Haiti under military occupation, Algeria,
Peru, Bolivia, Sudan, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte
The justification for intervening militarily in these countries is
based on America’s mandate to “help them stabilize” and put them on
“a sustainable path”.
TEXT BOX 19.1
The Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and
The Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and
Stabilization plans to bring together “civilian experts
in such fields as political administration, law
enforcement and economics and give them a seat at the
table alongside the military during the planning of US
intervention in troubled states. … The office, relying
in part on relationships with other federal agencies and
private-sector groups, would accompany military troops
in the field and lay the groundwork for rebuilding
countries crumbling under conflict,
Official statement of the OCRS quoted in the Washington
Post, 26 March 2005.
One can expect that any national project which goes against
Washington’s conception of a “‘free market democracy” will be a
candidate for military possible intervention.
In the words of its main architect Douglas Feith, the 2005 National
Defense Strategy (NDS) implies the concept of “asymmetric warfare”.
The NDS categorizes “diplomatic and legal challenges” to US foreign
policy by “non-State actors” as “asymmetric threats” to the security
of America, namely as de facto aggressive acts. What is significant
in this approach is that “civil society non-State actors” are now
lumped together with the “terrorists”.
Asymmetric warfare would include a “legal lines of attack” under the
aupices of the International Criminal Court (ICC) or any initiative,
legal or otherwise, which seeks “to criminalize [US] foreign policy
and bring prosecutions where there is no proper basis for
jurisdiction under international law as a way of trying to pressure
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. …
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.22
The concept of “asymmetric warfare” suggests that challenges in the
judicial and/or diplomatic arenas by State and non-State actors,
including non-governmental organizations, would be the object of
retaliatory actions on the part of the United States.
Global Military Deployment
US military involvement is not limited to the Middle East. Sending
in Special Forces in military policing operations, under the
disguise of peacekeeping and training, is contemplated in all major
regions of the World.
To support these endeavors, the NDS points to the need for massive
recruitment and training of troops. The latter would include new
contingents of Special Forces, Green Berets and other specialized
military personnel, involved in what the PNAC described in its
September 2000 military blueprint as “constabulary functions”:
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.23
Moreover, the Pentagon has confirmed its
intent “to shift to a more centralized ‘global force management’
model so it could quickly expand available troops anywhere in the
world” in non-theater military operations:
Under this concept, Combatant
Commanders no longer “own” forces in their theaters, … Forces
are allocated to them as needed—sourced from anywhere in the
world. This allows for greater flexibility to meet rapidly
changing operational circumstances.24
Overshadowing Potential Military Rivals
America is 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 in 2004. In
other words, the Cold war era super-power has been impoverished
beyond bounds, dwarfed in terms of its defense capabilities. 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 (SIPRI),
global military expenditure is in excess of $950 billion of which
approximately 50 percent is directly linked to the US military
The US 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.26
The underlying objective of the 2005 NDS consists in overshadowing,
in terms of defense outlays, any other nation on earth including
America’s European allies:
The United States military … will be larger than the next 25
countries put together. … 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.27
In contrast, China, which is categorized in the Pentagon document as
a “growing power”, spent in 2004 less than 30 billion dollars on
New Post Cold War Enemies
While the “war on terrorism” and the containment of “Rogue States”
still constitute the official justification and driving force for
military intervention, China and Russia are explicitly identified in
the 2005 NDS as potential enemies:
The US military … is seeking to
dissuade rising powers, such as China, from challenging US
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 US military must retain its dominance in key
high-tech areas, such as stealth technology, precision weaponry
and manned and unmanned surveillance systems.28
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”
Washington intends to reach its goal of global military hegemony
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, spiraling 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 be
able to compete or challenge “the Big Dog” without jeopardizing its
civilian economy. According to a defense consultant hired to draft
sections of the document:
[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.29
Undeclared Arms Race between Europe and
This new undeclared arms race is with the so-called “growing
While China and Russia are mentioned as potential threats, 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
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 attempt to undermine NATO, which remains dominated
by the US. Moreover, 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. (See Chapter VII.)
This new arms race is firmly embedded in the proposed European
Constitution, which envisages under EU auspices, a massive
redirection of State financial resources towards military
expenditure. Moreover, the EU monetary system—establishing the Euro
as 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 would be a unified European
foreign policy position which would 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”.30
This European military project, however, 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, that is to adopt a similar strategy of beefing up
Europe’s advanced weapons systems.
What we are dealing with, therefore, 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
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.
Trans-Atlantic Consensus on the “War on
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. The latter establishes a framework for implementing
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.
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
The proposed EU Constitution—which was defeated in 2005 in
country-level referenda—requires a massive expansion of military
spending in all member countries to the obvious detriment of the
In effect, with the European Union’s 3% limit on annual budget
deficits, the expansion in military expenditure would result in a
massive curtailment of all categories of civilian expenditure,
including social services, public infrastructure, not to mention
government support to agriculture and industry.
In this regard, “the war on terrorism” also serves—in the context of
the EU’s 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 Jones” in military affairs is presented
for a good and worthy cause, namely fighting “Islamic terrorists”
and defending the European Homeland.
EU enlargement is thus 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. It is in this regard that the
European Constitution requires “the adoption of a security strategy
for Europe, accompanied by financial commitments on military
Ultimately, 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 results 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 delocation of
the production of manufactured goods to Third World countries has
increased at a dramatic pace in recent years. China, which
constitutes by far the largest producer of civilian manufactured
goods, almost doubled its textile exports to the US in 2004, leading
to a wave of plant closures and job losses.32
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.
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. The
latter are intended to to be used against the country which supplies
America with a large share of its consumer goods, namely China.
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
1. General Tommy Franks Interview,
Cigar Aficionado, December 2003.
2. David Rockefeller, Statement to the United Nations Business
3. Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, Basic Books, New
4. See Project for a New American Century, Rebuilding America’s
www.newamericancentury.org/, 2000, p. 52.
5. Ibid, p. 18.
7 See Michel Chossudovsky, “Owning the Weather for Military
Use”, Centre for Research on Globalization, 27 September 2004,
8. “The Falcon Program”,
9. National Security Strategy, White House, Washington, 2002,
10. Quoted in The Washington Times, 3 June 2003.
11. Reuven Pedatzur, “Blurring the Nuclear Boundaries”, Haaretz,
14 August 2003.
12. Alice Slater,“Bush Nuclear Policy A Recipe for National
Insecurity”, Centre for Research on Globalization, August 2003,
13. The Guardian, 31 July 2003.
14. Department of Defense, The National Defense Strategy of the
United States of America, Washington DC, March 2005,
15. Ibid, p. 2.
17. Wall Street Journal, 11 March 2005.
18. UPI, 29 March 2005.
19.Financial Times, 30 March 2005.
20 Author’s review of US foreign policy statements reported by
the Western media, April 2005.
21. Quoted in Associated Press, 18 March 2005.
23. Wall Street Journal, op. cit.
24. UPI, 18 March 2005.
25. See Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI),
26. The Statesman, India, 5 April 2005.
27. Council on Foreign Relations, Annual Corporate Conference,
10 March 2005.
28. Wall Street Journal, op. cit.
30. According to Martin Callanan, British Conservative member of
the European Parliament, quoted in The Washington Times, 5 March
31. European Report, 3 July 2003.
32. Asian Wall Street Journal, 11 March 2005.
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