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 state.

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 emergency.

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




Operation Northwoods
“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 sabotage.

Author James Bamford wrote that Operation Northwoods “may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the US Government.”

Source: James Bamford, National Security Archive, 30 April 2001. The Declassified document can be consulted at the National Security Archive website. URL of the original document:



National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book, The Grand Chessboard:

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 external threat.3

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 Harbor.4

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 criminals.


The Project for a New American Century (PNAC)

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 New Century.

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 critical regions”

  • 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 elections.

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” economy.

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 nuclear weapons.

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 and earthquakes.7

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 entire regions.

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 terrorist organizations”.8

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 formed. …

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 destruction.

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 preemptively.9

The “War on Terrorism” and the Nuclear Option

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 conventional weapons.

In the wake of September 11, 2001, the nuclear option, namely the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons is intimately related to the “war on terrorism.”
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 Qaeda.

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 in Nebraska.11

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 warheads.12

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 objective.

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 weapons.

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 devices.13

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 military manuals.

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 “green light”.


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 domination.14

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 homeland.

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 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 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] intervention”.18

The exercise consists in identifying countries of “greatest instability and risk”, distinct from declared enemies or “Rogue States.

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 destruction. …

[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 NGOs.19

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 d’Ivoire.20

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”.





The Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization
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.


“Asymmetric Warfare”

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 American officials”.21

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 budget.25

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 defense.


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 America

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

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 (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 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 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.

Trans-Atlantic Consensus on the “War on Terrorism”

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 Civilian Economy

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 civilian economy.

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 spending”.31

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 assembly plants.



1. General Tommy Franks Interview, Cigar Aficionado, December 2003.
2. David Rockefeller, Statement to the United Nations Business Council, 1994.
3. Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, Basic Books, New York, 1997.
4. See Project for a New American Century, Rebuilding America’s Defenses,, 2000, p. 52.
5. Ibid, p. 18.
6. Ibid.
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.
16. Ibid.
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.
22. Ibid.
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.
29. Ibid.
30. According to Martin Callanan, British Conservative member of the European Parliament, quoted in The Washington Times, 5 March 2005.
31. European Report, 3 July 2003.
32. Asian Wall Street Journal, 11 March 2005.

Back to Contents