New Undeclared Arms Race: America's Agenda for Global Military Domination

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by Michel Chossudovsky

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The emphasis is no longer solely on waging major theater wars as outlined in the PNAC's Rebuilding America's Defenses, Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century, the March 2005 military blueprint points to shifts in weapons systems as well as the need for a global deployment of US forces in acts of Worldwide military policing and intervention. The PNAC in its September 2000 Report had described these non-theater military operations as "constabulary functions": The Pentagon must retain forces to preserve the current peace in ways that fall short of conduction major theater campaigns. ... These duties are today's most frequent missions, requiring forces configured for combat but capable of long-term, independent constabulary operations." (PNAC,, p. 18)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Trying to Run with the Big Dog"
How does Washington intend to reach its goal of global military hegemony?

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

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

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

Undeclared Arms Race between Europe and America
This new undeclared arms race is with the so-called "growing powers".

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guns and Butter: The Demise of the Civilian Economy
The proposed EU constitution requires a massive expansion of military spending in all member countries to the obvious detriment of the civilian economy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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