War Doctrine of Empire

Revolutionary Worker #1169, October 6, 2002, posted at http://rwor.org

The United States government has now, officially, declared itself the military ruler of the world. They put it down in black and white.

On September 20, the White House published its new "National Security Strategy of the United States," a 33-page document written by Dr. Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's personal tutor and top strategic adviser.

This document formally announces a new international and military doctrine for the United States-- which includes extreme changes of policy.

First, this doctrine announces, for the first time in writing, that the rulers of the U.S. have decided never to allow any government or coalition to challenge U.S. military supremacy.

The document says: "The United States must and will maintain the capability to defeat any attempt by an enemy--whether a state or non-state actor--to impose its will on the United States, our allies, or our friends... Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States."

This throws out a half century of official U.S. policy involving "containment" and "deterrence"--including the idea that mutual threat between various powers created a "balance" that prevented war. Instead, the U.S. government has committed to a permanent arms race with no rival in sight, so that it can threaten or crush anyone who tries to match its power.

Second, this document rejects any notion that other people and countries have national sovereignty. It announces instead, the truly Orwellian concept of "sovereign responsibilities." It writes that the U.S. will be "convincing or compelling states to accept their sovereign responsibilities."

In other words, the U.S. will decide what a foreign government's "responsibility" is--and if that government is not convinced , the U.S. will unleash threats, bombs, "regime change," and occupation.

Third, this document announces that the U.S. has the right to launch attacks on other countries without warning, provocation or international approval. It writes "we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively..."

This doctrine of preemptive war means that the U.S. claims it has the right to attack countries simply because a government (or even small "terrorist" forces within a country) may some day wish to threaten U.S. interests. This doctrine insists that the U.S. government no longer needs evidence of hostile actions or even of the capability of taking hostile action. And the U.S. government reserves for itself the right to define what a "terrorist" is--without proving its charges to anyone.

This is a policy defending unprovoked aggression. It knowingly defies both international law and the charter of the United Nations.

A Declaration of World Domination

This new document defines a world where the U.S. constantly threatens everyone, and no one will (ever!) be allowed to develop the means to threaten the U.S.

National sovereignty is assumed to be absolute for the U.S.--unrestrained by treaty, alliance or law-- while national sovereignty has evaporated for everyone else. Gone is any sense (or pretense) of the right of peoples to rule themselves and determine their own affairs within their own borders.

This doctrine continues a rejection of treaties that might restrain U.S. military power. It pooh-poohs a 50-year-old structure of consultation and joint operations with "the Western allies."

It is the announcement that this government intends to impose, by brute force and the threat of force, the diktat of U.S. imperialism over the entire world. It is a naked, arrogant and brutish declaration of wild ambitions.

The document calls this "a distinctly American internationalism"--but is there any doubt that this means a straight-up American imperialism ?

It is worth noting that this doctrine was not voted on by Congress or approved in an election. It was not offered for debate in the media. It was not negotiated with allies. It was not approved by the United Nations. A plan for global domination is being simply announced (and put into motion!) by the decree of the American president acting on behalf of the small corporate-capitalist ruling class he answers to.


Consider this: The New York Times reported (Sept. 21): "A senior White House official said Mr. Bush had edited the document heavily `because he thought there were sections where we sounded overbearing or arrogant.'" Imagine the original!


The Emperor's Threadbare Camouflage

"Our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil. War has been waged against us by stealth and deceit and murder. This nation is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to anger."

George Bush, Sept. 14, 2001, quoted in the new "National Security Strategy"

"In keeping with our heritage and principles, we do not use our strength to press for unilateral advantage."

National Security Strategy document, Sept. 20, 2002

"Preemption or prevention is a concept that's been with us all along. It is not anything that's new and revolutionary. I think it has risen in the hierarchy of thinking these days because it's a different world after 9/11."

Secretary of State Colin Powell,Fox News interview

"What they are doing is not primarily or essentially in response to September 11 but is part of a whole program they have--what we call their wild ambitions for recasting the whole world and taking down the Iraqi regime as one part of that."

Bob Avakian, Chairman of the RCP
"The New Situation--The `War on Terrorism,' " RW #1155

The new U.S. national security doctrine contains vague and typical phrases about "freedom and democracy." But the specifics are all about the use of U.S. military supremacy. As for what this supremacy will create at gunpoint, this document really only offers a justification and a promise.

The justification is that September 11 has forced the U.S. government to act, in the name of protecting the American people. The promise is that U.S. world domination will be good for everyone--and the U.S. imperialists will not seek "unilateral advantage." Both of these claims are paper-thin and false.

The plan now in motion was not created in response to 9/11. Its core was in place long before this current Bush team came to power. In 1992, the then-unknown strategist Paul Wolfowitz, working for then- Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, wrote a then-shocking document called "Defense Planning Guidance" which was leaked to the New York Times --it proposed that the U.S. grab for global domination and focus its power on preventing any rivals from challenging U.S. supremacy anywhere. Today, this same Paul Wolfowitz is a leading force at the Pentagon and White House, working with now-Vice President Cheney, as the architect of the coming war with Iraq.

When September 11 happened, it was an opportunity--to brush away opposition and galvanize support for plans they had long prepared.

Condoleezza Rice recently said: "The international system has been in flux since the collapse of Soviet power. Now it is possible--indeed probable--that that transition is coming to an end. If that is right, then...this is a period not just of grave danger, but of enormous opportunity."

Rice added that world events are shifting "the tectonic plates of international politics" and that such periods produce "new balance of power" in the world.

The new balance of power proposed by the U.S. government -- embodied in this national security document which Rice wrote--is unchallenged U.S. domination. Because any small group can now (supposedly) get "weapons of mass destruction"--the U.S. ruling class now claims it cannot and will not allow even small groups hostile to the U.S. to operate anywhere. The specter of "terrorism" (which they define any way they want) becomes the justification for U.S. intervention everywhere.

As for the promise that the U.S. will not seek unilateral advantage--you can hear the angry groan from practically every corner of the planet.

Even the German imperialists (who have yes-sirred every American move for 50 years) are balking at U.S. aggression against Iraq--which would tighten U.S. control over Germany's main source of energy.

Two hundred years ago the new-born U.S. ruling class declared their "Monroe Doctrine"-- announcing that they considered themselves the only power allowed to dominate the Western Hemisphere. In dozens of armed invasions, they built themselves a mini-empire of conquered colonies and brutally exploited "banana republics." Why would the world expect anything else from the new "Bush Doctrine"?

This whole Bush Doctrine is already so hated around the world that forces within the U.S. ruling class fear it might trigger overwhelming opposition against the U.S. across the globe. The U.S. ruling class journal Foreign Affairs recently ran an essay (entitled "American Imperial Ambition") that warned, "history shows that powerful states tend to trigger self-encirclement by their own overestimation of their power." The examples listed include Nazi Germany, whose "Thousand Year Reich" did not last long.

Needed: Powerful Fearless Resistance

The U.S. government has declared its intention: to forge a new world order through a unilateral war without limit and without end.

What are you going to do? What are we going to do, together?

Their doctrine is already in motion. Their president demands world support for his attack on Iraq--and insists he doesn't need any permission. The U.S. offers only the flimsiest "evidence" against Iraq--and claims it doesn't need any at all.

In the name of "fighting terror"--they openly intend to threaten everyone. In the name of forbidding potential "weapons of mass destruction" they use existing "weapons of mass destruction." In the name of the American people, these gangster-like forces are planning to impose a nightmarish future where their "unilateral advantage" is exactly the point.

This must be exposed, resisted, and defeated. A great solidarity among people all over the world is needed to accomplish this. And for this to happen, it is especially important that a powerful movement emerge, right here, within the U.S. itself.

There are times when "tectonic plates" are in motion, when the structures of the world are being shaken apart and recast -- and when brave, determined action can literally influence the direction of future itself.

It is hard to overestimate the seriousness of the moment. This is a time for resistance.

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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