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By Karen Talbot

January 16, 2002

Full Spectrum Military Dominance

The Pentagon is attaining "revolutionary" military advances through which it
is realizing its objective of "full spectrum dominance." Nothing signals
this new superpower armed might more than President Bush's rejection of the
Anti Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty, which has long been in the schemes of
the Pentagon and of Bush and his accomplices in the administration. The "war
on terrorism" provided the opportunity to accelerate that process even in
the face of strong opposition from Russia, China, the European Union, and
the United Nations.  The formal announcement jettisoning the ABMT also
declared, unsurprisingly, that  the U.S. will   immediately move ahead with
the "National Missile Defense program, which in the current political
climate has also been approved by an acquiescing Congress.  This program
includes what were previously dubbed, "theater missile defenses," designed
for regional deployment.  As dangerous and destabilizing as all  these
systems are, they thinly mask even more ominous moves toward the
weaponization of space.

The relative stability attained by the ABM treaty will no longer exist.
Missile defenses will make it possible for the U.S. to launch a
first-nuclear strike, thus "destroying the global strategic balance.".
Inevitably there will be efforts to build as many missiles as necessary to
overwhelm the new U.S. systems.  Despite arms control agreements there are
already  an estimated 32,000 nuclear warheads either deployed or in the
stockpiles of nuclear powers.  These include weapons which are 1,000 times
more powerful than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs.  Humankind is
confronted by the prospect of a dangerous new nuclear arms race.(3)

Russia and China have indicated  they will find it necessary to build up
nuclear weaponry in the face of  the scuttling of the ABMT and the go ahead
for ballistic missile defenses. In talks held in the U.S. last December,
Russia's President Putin, refused to agree to Bush's plan to discard the ABM
treaty.  Later, following Bush's formal decision to scrap the treaty, top
Russian lawmakers responded that Moscow was free to stock up on nuclear
warheads to Cold War-era levels. "Now Russia's hands are untied concerning
START I and START II," said Dimitry Rogozin, chair of the foreign affairs
committee of the Duma. Russia will opt to "preserve and develop its heavy
strategic rockets which will be loaded with multiple warheads, something
banned by START II," he said. Russian parliamentarians said that Bush's
decision "firmly proved that the interests of Moscow and Washington-which
have appeared to narrow since the September 11 strikes on the U.S.-could
never coincide."  The Duma's deputy speaker Vladimir Lukin, who has served
as Russia's ambassador to Washington, said: "The trust in our relations with
America, which had recently improved, has certain limits and we have to keep
that in mind." (4)

Gennady Zyuganov, the head of Russia's Communist Party, called Bush's
decision "an aggressive policy designed to impose a diktat on the whole
world." (5)

Though Putin is putting a positive spin on this development and the recent
U.S. pledge  to bring about "deeper integration" of Russia into NATO and to
work out details for a mutual reduction of  nuclear warheads, there
continues to be considerable disquiet in Russia. This broke into the open
when Russia spoke out against the Bush administration's plans to store,
rather than destroy, nuclear warheads.  Foreign Ministry spokesperson
Aleksandr Yabovenko said, "We hold that ...further reductions of the nuclear
arsenals must be, first, radical-down to 1,500 to 2,000 warheads-second
verifiable and third, irreversible so that strategic defensive arms will be
reduced not only 'on paper.'" (6)

China is concerned that its small nuclear force would be rendered
ineffective by even a limited U.S. missile defense system which will mean it
will have to increase its arsenal and develop multiple warhead missiles.

In a  December 4  press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman
Zhang Qiyue, said that China stands opposed to  the missile defense systems.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle,  Russia's defense minister, Sergei
Ivanov warned that "other nations may follow the U.S. in breaking treaties."


In accordance with the Constitution, the ABM treaty, like all ratified
treaties, became U.S. law through the vote of two-thirds of the Senate. Yale
law professor, Bruce Ackerman, writing in the New York Times, poses this
question: "Does the president have the constitutional authority to exercise
this power [to scuttle the ABMT] without first obtaining Congressional
consent?" Furthermore, the U.S. joined the other nuclear weapons states in
pledging to preserve the ABM treaty at the Nuclear Non-proliferation Review
Conference.(9) Based on the constitutional arguments, a national  campaign
has been launched demanding that  senators and representatives take action
to save the treaty

New Weapons Technology

The threat felt by all nations of the world, particularly China as U.S.
military priorities shift to Asia and the Pacific,  is vastly compounded by
the fact that U.S. weapons being used in Afghanistan are substantially more
advanced than even those used against Iraq and Yugoslavia. Speaking at the
Citadel military college in Charleston, S.C., Bush said: "The conflict in
Afghanistan has taught us more about the future of our military than a
decade of blue-ribbon panels and think-tank symposiums." He said that the 67
day-old war had shown the value of new military technology that allows the
use of more precision missiles and bombs, pilotless planes and spotters on
the ground who can call in air strikes, but that this must be just the start
of a major transformation. (10)  According to one account of his speech as
reported on National Public Radio, Bush spoke of the new military strategy
allowing total management of  the planet. He indicated  that any nation
taking  exception to that role and  acts on it, (not only in terrorist
manner) will be met with force, "not just comparative retaliatory force, but
devastating force." (11)

Despite the much greater accuracy of the U.S. weapons wielded in
Afghanistan, large numbers of them are hitting and killing civilians, at
least  4,050 according to Marc Herold, economics professor at New Hampshire
University. (12)  This would imply a deliberate policy of targeting
civilians, or at best criminal nonchalance.

As in Yugoslavia and Iraq, weapons specifically designed to massively kill
and injure human beings  are being widely used in Afghanistan, including
cluster bombs which burst into hundreds of bomblets and scattered
widely-like land mines. This is in a country already littered with the
largest number of land mines.

It  is safe to assume that weapons containing radioactive depleted uranium
are being used by the U.S. in Afghanistan at least as extensively as they
were in the Iraq, Bosnia, and Yugoslavia. Civilians have been paying an
enormous price in sickness and death from the contamination caused by
depleted uranium armaments. Also, many U.S. veterans of Operation Desert
Storm have been suffering from "Gulf War syndrome which leading experts
assert results, in many cases,  from exposure to DU.

The U.S. Air Force has been using "bunker busting bombs" (GBU-28) which
cause massive underground explosions-the most powerful conventional "earth
penetrating warhead."  These same bombs can also be nuclear- armed in a
version dubbed B61-11.  It is categorized as a "tactical nuclear
weapon."(13)   Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, has said he has not ruled
out the use of nuclear weapons." (14) What better way to bully peoples of
the world than by wielding the nuclear sword of Damocles over them?

Extending U.S./NATO eastward

The goal of extending U.S. and NATO military forces eastward, even beyond
Europe, has also been accelerated by the "war on terrorism." This is
evidenced especially by the go ahead Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan,
gave for the U.S. military to use former Soviet bases in those countries.
Other former Republics of the Soviet Union in oil rich Central Asia  have
been under great pressure to do the same. Though this U.S. presence is
supposed to be temporary, history of similar U.S. actions such as in the
Persian Gulf, Bosnia and Kosovo, shows  that it likely to become quite

Now Kyrghyzstan  has given the okay for the U.S. to build an air base for
long-term use west of the capital, Bishkek, ostensibly for attacks against
Afghanistan. The new base will be situated less than 200 miles from the
western border of China and a similar distance from the oil fields in
Uzbekistan. Planes were scheduled to begin arriving the second week in
January. (15)

"U.S. military planners are preparing for a long stay in the
region....confirming fears about the Americans digging themselves in like in
Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War.[It] could be the first prolonged U.S.
military presence in the former Soviet Union, a Pentagon official
said...That the region offers the world's largest oil and gas reserves after
the Middle East gives credence to the conspiracy theories about larger U.S.
designs in the region," according to an article in Pakistan's Daily Jang
newspaper. (16)

In recent days it has been openly stated on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
that "Washington is building up its military presence in central Asia "to
protect...its long-term interests in an area Russia and China consider part
of their sphere of influence" Other NATO countries will also provide some
troops.  The leading Uzbekistan paper, on December 6, told of an economic
agreement negotiated in Washington in which the U.S. "reportedly pledged to
allocate up to $150 million in loans and grants to the Central Asian state."
Similar financial compensation" for granting a U.S. military buildup in the
region is being discussed in Kyrgyzstan." (17)

On January 11,  Gennady Seleznev, a leader of the Russian Duma, called on
the U.S. to end its military campaigns in Afghanistan and reiterated that
Russia was opposed to the establishment by the U.S. or NATO of long-term
military bases in Central Asia. He said the Russian presence in the region
must become "more perceptible and more effective." (18)

"Zalmay Khalilzad, the Afghanistan born consultant of the Bush government,
had advocated all along establishing a permanent U.S.  air base in Central
Asia while he was at the Rand think tank in 2000.  Now he has been made
President Bush's special envoy to Afghanistan..." (19)

Bush, oil and Central Asia

Khalilzad, comes from an aristocratic family and had close ties to the
former King Zahir Shah.  He became an important liaison between the U.S. and
the mujahideen fighting against the new government and the Soviets in the
early 1980s. He had been a special advisor to the State Department during
the Reagan administration and was involved in the sending of Stinger
missiles to the mujahideen. Later he was undersecretary of defense in the
administration of Bush's father before joining the right-wing Rand
Corporation. Later he headed the Bush-Cheney transition team for the Defense
Department.  He was named to the National Security Council which required no
embarrassing confirmation vote. (20)

Employed as a consultant by Unocal, Khalilzad drew up the risk analysis for
the planned gas pipeline from the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan
across Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Indian Ocean. Unocal was the main
company in Centgas consortium formed to transport the natural gas from one
of the largest fields located in Turkmenistan. He participated in talks
between Unocal and Taliban leaders in 1997 to implement a 1995 agreement to
build the pipeline in Afghanistan.  As a member of the NSC, Khalilzad
reported to National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, who in addition to
being on the board of Chevron Corporation, also served as its expert on
Kazakhstan where Chevron holds the largest concession of any of the
international oil companies. The connections between the Bush administration
and big oil which are being increasingly exposed especially around the Enron
scandal, also include strong links to Cental Asia, that go well beyond Ms.
Rice and Khalilzad. (21)

Surrounding China

Add to this picture the planned deployments of "theater missile defense"
systems to the west of China in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, and it
becomes clear that another payoff in the "war against terrorism" is
acceleration of the military encirclement of China.

The thinly veiled excuse for these ballistic missile defenses is to counter
so-called "rogue states" with a heavy emphasis on the Democratic People's
Republic of Korea (north Korea). Many will recall that it was Bush who
derailed talks with the DPRK and sabotaged the growing rapprochement between
north and south Korea. It is  ludicrous to argue that the DPRK would attack
the U.S. with a nuclear missile thus inviting  massive U.S. retaliation from
its arsenal of thousands of  nuclear warheads. Actually, north Korea has
been eager to normalize relations with Washington.   Even though China is
the prime reason for the theater missile deployments, clearly, the DPRK is
also being targeted. The Korean peninsula has always been a geographical
dagger aimed at China.

The intent of the Bush Administration as put forth in the new military
doctrine presented by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is to shift the focus of
U.S. war preparations from Europe to the Asia-Pacific region away from the
Army's ground forces toward the Navy, Air Force, and weaponization of space.
The over all objective is to call the shots anywhere in the world, wherever
people may resist. As the Rumsfeld plan states "the U.S. must have the
military capability to act at any time, anywhere, in defense of what it sees
as its global interests"  This include's the clear message:  "accede to
Washington's demands or suffer cataclysmic nuclear war."(22)

No rival allowed

Since the Reagan years, U.S. military doctrines have been unequivocal in
stating that the "first objective" is to "prevent the re-emergence of a new
rival" or "peer competitor" including  "friendly nations from challenging
U.S. leadership.  In recent years, tensions have developed with the European
Union over its plans to develop and independent European Rapid Deployment
Force. (23)

Japan, too, could become an independent military force.  This has become the
commitment under Prime Minister Koizumi and Foreign Minister Tanaka who
represent a resurgent Japanese nationalism and militarism. Nevertheless, the
U.S. continues to use its alliance with Japan as extra leverage against
China. (24)

The growing business  between U.S. and European military contractors along
with membership in NATO complicates but does not mitigate this rivalry. In
fact "as with Russia, Washington wants to further integrate European and
Japanese science and technology into U.S. dominated systems," and to spread
the huge costs around to other nations.  At the same time " Berlin, London,
and Paris seem to reflect that European corporations ...want their
multi-billion share of the Star Wars' pie." (25)

Weapons in space

Last January, Rumsfeld  announced recommendations by the Congressional
Commission to Assess U.S. National Security Space Management and
Organization. The commission said the U.S.  must "have the option to deploy
weapons in space to deter threats and, if necessary, defend against attacks
on U.S. interests." This was a restating of the earlier Space Command report
including "Vision for 2020" which describes its role as "dominating the
space dimension of military operations to protect U.S. interests and
investments." Vision 2020 also pointed to the widening gulf  between the
haves and the have-nots, and makes it clear that in order to deal with the
problems such disparities will create, it is necessary to "control  space"
to "dominate" the earth. (26)

Nuclear and laser armaments will be deployed in space under this program.
Aside from the perils this poses for humankind, it also clearly violates the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the treaty on outer space. It makes it
nearly impossible to conclude a treaty on preventing an arms race in space,
negotiations for  which have been blocked by the U.S. for more than two
decades in the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament.  It also callously
disregards the yearly votes to prevent a space arms race. by virtually ALL
the nations of the world in the General Assembly-except the U.S. which,
alone,  has always opposed or (more recently) abstained.

Workers in the U.S. , through their taxes, and workers around the world,
through the increasing purchase of arms largely due to heavy U.S. pressure,
are paying the huge military costs amounting to trillions of dollars in the
last decade alone. Those funds flow directly into the coffers of the giant
military corporate complex with which the Bush administration has close

The Los Angeles Times ran an article revealing that George W's father,
ex-president Bush, and many others from the  Reagan and first Bush
administrations, along with former Pentagon officials and even  former
British Prime Minister John Major are behind the Carlyle group, a private
equity firm.."On a single day last month, Carlyle earned $237 million
selling shares in  United Defense Industries, the Army's fifth-largest
contractor. The stock offering was well timed: Carlyle officials say they
decided to take the company public only after the Sept. 11 attacks. The
stock sale cashed in on increased congressional support for hefty defense
spending, including one of United Defense's cornerstone weapon programs."

Armaments have become the largest industrial export sector for the U.S. (28)

Time and again the United Nations has pointed out that by redirecting only
some of those monies, hunger, poverty and many diseases could be eradicated.
Driven by the "urgency" of "fighting terrorism," Congress approved a large
increase in military spending adding up to close to $350 billion when the
$20 billion anti-terror package is included. Only by challenging this
bottomless welfare for the corporations which sucks money away from social
programs including for children, education, healthcare, job creation,
housing and rebuilding the infrastructure, can any meaningful fight be won
on behalf of working people, the poor and oppressed.  The responsibility to
bring this about has never been more urgent.

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