Oil Politics and U.S. Militarism in the Middle East - Irene Gendzier
The Geopolitics of Plan Colombia - James Petras and Morris Morley
American Militarism and Blowback - Chalmers Johnson

excerpted from the book

Masters of War

Militarism and Blowback in the Era of American Empire

edited by Carl Boggs

Routledge, 2003, paper

Oil Politics and U.S. Militarism in the Middle East
by Irene Gendzier

From Oil Dependency to Diversification

Barely a month after the September 11 attacks, Business Week reminded readers that the U.S. economy was ailing and that the country was more vulnerable to an "oil shock," a reference to the feared hike in oil prices, than it had been at the time of the first Gulf War. The reason was to be found in diminished global reserves, the combined product of U.S. sanctions on Libya and Iran, and "tight national budgets in oil-producing nations." The same journal warned its readers that oil accounted for "40% of the nation's energy." In that light, it recommended diversification of U.S. sources given that the country was importing "51.6% of its oil needs and relies on OPEC for about half of that-roughly 26% of total consumption." The eleven oil-producing states represented in OPEC, in turn, accounted for roughly two thirds of the world's crude oil exports, with Saudi Arabia responsible for 7.8 millions of barrels per day, or 18.9 percent of the "world share" according to a November 2001 estimate. Considered in other terms, Saudi Arabia exported 7.8 millions of barrels per day, followed by Venezuela at 2.7 million barrels per day, Iran at 2.6 million barrels per day, United Arab Emirates at 2.2 million barrels per day, and Iraq at 2.1 millions barrels per day. Among non-OPEC states, Russian production stood at 4.3 million barrels per day, with an estimated 10.4 percent of the world's output, according to the same source.

The short history of U.S. policy in the Middle East confirms the centrality of oil and its role in justifying U.S. intervention. The succession of presidential "doctrines" from Eisenhower to Carter to Bush II leaves no doubt as to U.S. commitment to use force in securing its interests, including "regime change." That is precisely what was done in Iran in 1953, when as a result of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh's nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian oil company, the U.S. and U.K. collaborated in a covert coup to bring down that regime. It was replaced by the Shah, who remained in power until 1979. In 1956 the British and French, along with Israel, invaded Egypt in response to Nasser's nationalization of the Suez Canal Company. Two years later, President Eisenhower resisted the British prime minister's call to intervene in Iraq, where revolution brought down the Hashemite monarchy and the entire political edifice on which it rested, which was a product of the British mandate and continuing British power. Within hours of that event, Eisenhower called for U.S. troops to intervene in Lebanon, then in the midst of its first civil war, while also backing British intervention in Jordan. U.S. action in Lebanon, preceding the events in Baghdad, was designed to assure the emergence of a politically reliable leadership that excluded the socialist Kamal Jumblatt. His leadership, U.S. oil companies feared, would put the U.S. pipeline (TAPLINE) that carried Aramco's oil to the Mediterranean at some risk.

Further East, the U.S. was supporting counterrevolutionary policies in the Arabian peninsula in a covert campaign that attracted little attention in the U.S. The U.S. not only armed its allies in Saudi Arabia, but by the early 1970s, Kuwait, North Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates had also become eligible to receive U.S. military assistance. "Everyone has heard of the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961," wrote Fred Halliday in a major work on the Arabian peninsula, "but not its Arabian counterpart-the September 1972 attack on South Yemen, when thousands of right-wing exiles and their tribal allies hurled themselves against the boundaries of the beleaguered anti-imperialist republic." The U.S. relied on Iran during the 1973 oil crisis to send some 10,000 troops into Dhofar province in Oman in order to crush its guerrilla movement. Iran was active in support of U.S. policy outside of the Middle East as well in this period, as the Shah's support for U.S. military action in Vietnam made clear.

With the fall of the Shah in 1979 and the emergence of the Khomeini regime in Teheran, Washington's calculations concerning the Middle East underwent a major shock but its objectives did not change. In supporting the repressive regime of Saddam Hussein, the U.S. used Iraq to contain Iran's influence in the Arabian peninsula and the Middle East, a policy the Saudis actively promoted. To that end Washington, along with its allies and other states with compatible interests, supported Baghdad in the long and bloody war that ensued between 1980 and 1988.

These were the very years singled out in the U.S. State Department's information sheet on Iraq's "Crimes Against Humanity." As the statement indicated, the Iraqi dictator "ordered the use of chemical weapons against Iranian forces in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, and against Iraq's Kurdish population in 1988. The 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war left 150,000 to 340,000 Iraqis and 450,000 to 730,000 Iranians dead." It was in this very period, between 1981 and 1988, that both Iran and Iraq received arms from foreign sources, including the U.S., the Soviet Union, and France, with North Korea and Israel providing arms to Iran. Assessments of this arms traffic demonstrate, however, that "between 1981 and 1988 Iraq received 77 percent of the arms delivered to the two belligerents (in dollar terms) while Iran received only 23 percent."

It was in the period 1985-1992, according to Henry Gonzalez, former chairman of the House Banking Committee, that the U.S. Commerce Department "approved at least 220 export licenses for the Iraqi armed forces, major weapons complexes, and enterprises identified by the CIA as diverting technology to weapons programs." Former deputy Defense Undersecretary Stephen Bryen reported on the same occasion that the U.S. encouraged its "companies to go to Iraq and do business there, and a lot of that was sold was going right into the military programs." As Bryen said: "the [Bush] administration's policy was to support Saddam Hussein, and not to look backwards, not to look sideways, look straight ahead and give him what he wanted. We coddled him, we supported him, he was 'our guy.' And just because he was building missiles, or just because he had a nuclear potential-the CIA warned about that, we know that now for sure-didn't matter. They simply didn't care.

Details of the "U.S. Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual Use Exports to Iraq and their Possible Impact on the Health Consequences of the Gulf War," known as the Riegle Report, were issued by Donald W. Riegle, Jr., chairman, and Alfonse D'Amato, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs with Respect to Export Administration, on May 25,1994. According to the Riegle Report, "records available from the supplier for the period from 1985 until the present show that during this time, pathogenic (meaning disease producing), toxigenic (meaning poisonous), and other biological research materials were exported to Iraq pursuant to application and licensing by the U.S. Department of Commerce."

More recently, The New York Times reported on previously undisclosed aspects of the covert U.S. program carried out under the Reagan administration, indicating that it "provided Iraq with critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence agencies knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war, according to senior military officers with direct knowledge of the program." These sources revealed the following: "Though senior officials of the Reagan administration publicly condemned Iraq's employment of mustard gas, sarin, VX and other poisonous agents, the American military officers said President Reagan, Vice President George Bush and senior national security aides never withdrew their support for the highly classified program in which more than 60 officers of the Defense Intelligence Agency were secretly providing detailed information on Iranian deployments, tactical planning for battles, plans for airstrikes and bomb-damage assessments for Iraq." Further, it was apparent that Defense intelligence officers recognized Iraq had used chemical weapons in the Fao Peninsula, which was attacked with U.S. "planning assistance" in 1988. The Pentagon's response was a tolerant one: "It was just another way of killing people-whether with a bullet or phosgene, it didn't make any difference," as a representative of the military said."

As the April 14, 2002, issue of Newsweek in 2002 indicated, "It is hard to believe that, during most of the 1980s, America knowingly permitted the Iraq Atomic Energy Commission to import bacterial cultures that might be used to build biological weapons. But it happened." With Iraq's invasion of Kuwait on August 1,1990, U.S. policy towards Saddam Hussein underwent a dramatic shift-the record of which has yet to be made public. "Air Force sources said the allies dropped about 1,200 tons of explosives in 518 sorties against 28 oil targets. The intent, they said, was "the complete cessation of refining [in Iraq] without damaging most crude oil production." Targets included "major storage tanks; the gas/oil separators through which crude oil must pass on its way to refineries; the distilling towers and catalytic crackers at the heart of modern refineries; and the critical K2 pipeline junction near Beiji that connects northern oil fields, an export pipeline to Turkey and a reversible north-south pipeline inside Iraq." Iraq's three major refineries in Daura, Basra, and Beiji were bombed.

The U.S.-Uzbekistan military connection was developed as early as 1995. In 1997 military exercises were held in Kazakhstan involving U.S. troops as well as military forces from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. In 1998 Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia, along with the Ukraine and Belarus, were integrated into the U.S. military command in Europe, while in 1999 military exercises were held by joint U.S. and Uzbek forces. In the same year, "Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and the lesser relevant non-Caspian basin nations of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were added to the U.S. Central Command's (CENTCOM) area of responsibility."

The State Department estimated that U.S. aid in 1998-2000 to states in the Caspian region, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, was "an astonishing $1.06 billion, of which $ 175 million was intended for regional security, arms transfers, nonproliferation activities, and military training." Of course this was not the only source of support: an analysis published in the 1999 Strategic Review confirmed that indeed "the United States' greatest tool is financial leverage. The dollar counts. The U.S. wields this powerful tool through its Overseas

Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Export-Import Bank (EX-IM Bank), and the Trade Development Authority (TDA)."

In a critical letter addressed to the Speaker of the House and the Senate in 1998, then Majority Leader Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott, and former members of the State and Defense Departments, as well as a former CIA director, combined their efforts to call for the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime. The group included Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, James Woolsey, Elliot Abrams, and others. Among the reasons offered was that Hussein risked adversely influencing the "Middle East peace process." What the same letter never disclosed was that some of its signatories were actually opposed to the "peace process," at least as the term was routinely understood. Their views on both Iraq and Israel emerged more clearly in other contexts, as in the private institutions and think tanks that functioned as informal lobbying groups in Washington. One of them, to which most of the above letter writers belonged, was PNAC, or Project for the New American Century.

PNAC was described as a "non-profit educational organization whose goal is to promote American global leadership." Its chair was William Kristol, editor of the neoconservative Weekly Standard, joined by Gary Schmitt, executive director of the organization. Along with a host of other compatible institutions, such as the Institute for National Security Affairs, the American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute, the Washington Institute, the Middle East Forum, and the Center for Security Policy, these institutions and think tanks acted as lobbying groups giving voice to past political insiders, some of whom were in Washington during the years between Reagan and Clinton. Of these a number assumed official positions in the Bush administration, while others remained on the margins of officialdom-though scarcely without influence derived from their connections.

Although describing itself as a Jerusalem-based think tank with an office in Washington, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies should be included in this group. Richard Perle and Douglas Feith were among its advisers at a time when the Institute produced an important study on the Middle East for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Institute's "Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000" was chaired by Perle,' at the time a member of the American Enterprise Institute. He was joined by Feith, Jonathan Torop, and James Colbert, among others: the last two were, respectively, members of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Perle became Chairman of the Defense Policy Board in the Bush Administration, while Feith was appointed <t Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in July 2001. ,^

Akiva Eldar, Israeli columnist for the daily Ha'aretz, recalled that Perle and Feith had been asked to advise Likud leader Netanyahu when he first became Prime Minister. The result of their efforts was a working paper produced by the Institute in 1998. "They could not have known," Eldar wrote, "that four years later the working paper they prepared, including plans for Israel to help restore the Hashemite throne in Iraq, would shed light on the current policies of the only superpower in the world." That superpower would then unabashedly endorse the policies of the Israeli Right, justifying such support in the name of "peace," the nature of which was clearly articulated in the Institute's paper.

In spring 2002, William Kristol appeared before the House International Relations Subcommittee on Middle East and South Asia to urge the U.S.-Saudi connection be revamped and its OPEC leverage undermined. In addition, he supported a U.S. invasion and control of Iraq, where the U.S. could proceed with "regime change" to construct a decent Iraqi society and economy that would be a "tremendous step toward reducing Saudi leverage." Writing in The New American Century on May 2002, the PNAC executive director Gary Schmitt reinforced this position. "From a military and strategic perspective, Iraq is more important than Saudi Arabia," he maintained, advocating a U.S. invasion of Iraq as a way of "building a representative government in Baghdad [that] would demonstrate that democracy can work in the Arab world."


The Geopolitics of Plan Colombia
by James Petras and Morris Morley


Conclusion: "Misdiagnoses" and "BIowback"

Plan Colombia originated as a typical example of an imperial power pouring arms and money to prop up loyal client regimes that rely on coercion (military and paramilitary forces) and political-economic allies who appropriate land and dispossess peasant families. The armed forces depend on conscripts with no stake in the outcome of the struggle and on trained, loyal, promotion-oriented military professionals unfamiliar with the terrain of struggle and lacking any rapport with the peasantry. The large-scale destruction of crops and villages has little attraction for normal recruits, which is why the military has increasingly relied on hired paramilitary assassins to carry out the "dirty war." The paramilitary formations recruit a limited number of uprooted peasant youth but Plan Colombia provokes fear and flight among the overwhelming majority of peasant communities. For reasons of history, biography, and social-economic background, it is unlikely that the paramilitary forces in the future will be able to match the FARC/ELN in securing new recruits.

The continuing and deepening war under Uribe means greater U.S. military engagement. Pentagon advisors are teaching and directing high-tech warfare, providing operational leadership in close proximity to the battlefield. State Department and White House officials extend operational bases to new regions, creating new garrison bases destined to become new targets of the guerrilla forces. If the Colombian forces are not up to the task of defending the forward bases from which U.S. advisors operate, that will be used as a pretext to send more U.S. troops to protect the bases-the beginning link in a chain leading to greater U.S. ground troop engagement.

While serious questions may be raised about the degree and depth of future U.S. military involvement, there is no question that Plan Colombia under the Uribe government means total war and that it will result in large-scale civilian casualties and further undermining of the Colombian economy. The nation's treasury is drained to finance the war, notwithstanding Uribe's new war tax. The increased air and land war provokes a massive increase in refugees and destabilizes regional (and ultimately national) economies. Refugee camps have frequently become hotbeds for radical politics-the politics of the uprooted. Drug, contraband, and other criminal activity will flourish, straining the capacity of border policing by neighboring countries. History teaches us that the U.S. will not be able to localize the effects of its war.

Contrary to assertions by White House policymakers and Plan Colombia's ideological defenders, the so-called narco-guerrillas and peasant coca growers are not the Andean nation's most prominent drug traffickers. These two groups receive less than 10 percent of total drug earnings because they only produce and tax the raw materials. The major financial beneficiaries are those engaged in processing the coca leaves, in commercializing the product for the export market, and in the laundering of drug profits. The real powers and beneficiaries of the narcotics traffic-the bankers and business elite-are all strategic U.S. allies in the counterrevolutionary war. The drug routes across the Caribbean and Central America to the U.S. mainland pass through important client regimes with official backing.

What confronts the U.S. in Colombia is a potential problem that even a hegemonic imperial state cannot control: the long-term, unanticipated, and often adverse, effects of its involvement in overseas (especially covert) operations. Throughout the Cold War era, strategic Third World allies and anti-Communist clients were longtime recipients of extensive military/covert assistance and training. Many ultimately turned against their imperial patron. Colombia presents a similar "blowback" potential in the post-Cold War era. The narco drug traffickers who buy the coca leaves, process the paste, and turn out the final product (powder) are typically either working with or members of paramilitary groups, high military officials, landowners, bankers, and other respectable capitalists who launder drug money as investments in real estate, construction, and other profitable "legitimate" businesses, or through multinational private banks in the United States and Europe. Key U.S. political allies in Colombia and influential economic elites located in the centers of American finance capital are the major players in the narcotics trade that undermines the fundamental ideology of Washington's Plan Colombia and reveals its true, imperial underpinning.

As the breach between U.S. anti-drug ideology and its links to the narcomilitary/paramilitary forces becomes clearer, the emergence of a large-scale domestic opposition movement in the United States remains a future prospect. Meanwhile, today in Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and the rest of Latin America-exposed to the full brunt of the war to save the empire-the advance of the revolutionary struggle in Colombia has revealed contradictions that cut right through their societies and extend beyond, into the world economic order, with profound implications both for their future and for the trajectory of U.S. imperial rule.


American Militarism and Blowback
by Chalmers Johnson

The suicidal bombers of September 11, 2001 did not "attack America", as United States' political leaders and news media want to maintain; they attacked American foreign policy.

Terrorism by definition strikes at the innocent in order to draw attention to the sins of the invulnerable. The United States deploys such overwhelming military force globally that for its militarized opponents only an "asymmetric strategy," to use the jargon of the Pentagon-that is, a David-and-Goliath-type contest-has any chance of success. Like judo, it depends on unbalancing the enemy and using his strengths against him. When it does succeed, as it did spectacularly on September 11, it renders the massive American military machine virtually worthless: the terrorists offer no comparable targets.


"Blowback" is a CIA term first used in March 1954 in a report on the 1953 operation to overthrow the government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran. It is a metaphor for the unintended consequences of covert operations against foreign nations and governments. The CIA's fears that there might ultimately be some blowback from its egregious interference in the affairs of Iran were well founded. Bringing the Shah to power brought twenty-five years of tyranny and repression to the Iranian people and ultimately elicited the Ayatollah Khomeini's revolution. In 1979, the entire staff of the American embassy in Teheran was held hostage for over a year. This misguided "covert operation" of the U.S. government helped convince many capable people throughout the Islamic world that the United States was an implacable enemy.

Blowback became inevitable in the wake of decisions by the Carter and Reagan administrations to plunge the CIA deep into the civil war in Afghanistan. The agency secretly undertook to arm every majahideen volunteer in sight, without ever considering who they were or what their politics might be-all in the name of ensuring that the Soviet Union had its own Vietnam-like experience. The American public was led to believe that the destabilization of the Soviet Union was worth the 1.8 million Afghan casualties, 2.6 million ~ refugees, and ten million land mines left in the ground there-but it did not fully grasp all the other "blowback" its Afghan adventure unleashed.

Not so many years later, these Afghan "freedom fighters" began to turn up in unexpected places. In 1993, some of them bombed the World Trade Center in New York City. They then murdered several CIA employees on their way to work in Virginia and some American businessmen in Pakistan who just happened to become symbolic targets. On August 7,1998, they attacked American embassies in East Africa. In 2001, they flew hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing as many as 4000 people. "Blowback" has come to mean the unintended consequences of American policies kept secret from the American and other peoples-except, of course, for those on the receiving end.

In his 1996 memoirs, former CIA director Robert Gates writes that the American intelligence services began to aid the majahideen in Afghanistan six months before the Soviet invasion. Two years later, in an interview with the French weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, President Carter's National Security Adviser, former professor Zbigniew Brzezinski, unambiguously confirmed Gates's assertion.

In its interview, the Nouvel Observateur asked Brzezinski, "Is Gates's account correct?" He replied, "Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the mujahideen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan on December 24, 1979. But the reality, closely guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979, that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention." What Carter signed in July 1979 was a secret "finding," the orders that a president must approve in order to set a clandestine operation in motion.

The Nouvel Observateur's interview continues. "You don't regret any of this today?" Brzezinski: "Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter, essentially: 'We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War." "And neither do you regret having supported Islamic fundamentalism, which has given arms and advice to future terrorists?" Brzezinski: "What is more important in world history? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some agitated Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?" It seems likely that the American people will remember the "agitated Moslems" Brzezinski helped bring into being much longer than they will the end of the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe he sought to engineer. Moreover, Brzezinski's native Poland was well on its way toward freeing itself of Soviet influence due to the activities of the trade union leader Lech Walesa-without any help from Washington.

It was only after the Russians bombed Afghanistan back into the stone age and suffered a Vietnam-like defeat, and the U.S. turned its backs on the death and destruction that the CIA had helped cause, that Osama bin Laden turned against his American supporters. The last straw as far as bin Laden was concerned was that, after the Gulf War, the U.S. based "infidel" American troops in Saudi Arabia to prop up that decadent, fiercely authoritarian regime. Ever since, bin Laden has been attempting to bring the things the CIA taught him home to the teachers. On September 11,2001, he succeeded with a vengeance.

American Foreign Policy

Why has there been blowback against the role of the United States in international affairs? There are today, ten years after the demise of the Soviet Union, some 800 Department of Defense installations located in other people's countries. The people of the United States make up perhaps four percent of the world's population but consume forty percent of its resources. They exercise hegemony over the world directly through overwhelming military might and indirectly through secretive organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization. Although largely dominated by the American government, these are formally international organizations and so beyond Congressional oversight.

As the American-inspired process of "globalization" inexorably enlarges the gap between the rich and the poor, a popular movement against it has gained strength, advancing from its first demonstrations in Seattle in 1999 through protests in Washington, D.C., Melbourne, Prague, Seoul, Nice, Barcelona, Quebec City, and Goteborg and on to the violent confrontations in Genoa during early 2001. Ironically, although American leaders are deaf to the desires of the protesters, the U.S. Department of Defense has actually adopted the movement's main premise-that current global economic arrangements mean more wealth for the "West" and more misery for the "rest" - as a reason why the United States should place weapons in space. The U.S. Space Command's pamphlet "Vision for 2020," argues that "the globalization of the world economy will continue, with a widening between "haves' and 'have-nots" and that we have a mission to "dominate the space dimension of military operations to protect U.S. interests and investments" in an increasingly dangerous and implicitly anti-American world.

U.S. Senator Zell Miller, D-GA - on the day after the September 11 attack

"I say, bomb the hell out of them. If there's collateral damage, so be it."

February 1998, the then U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, defending the use of cruise missiles against Iraq, declared that

"If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see farther into the future."


The richest prize in the Soviet empire was the former East Germany; the richest satellite in the American empire remains Japan. Japan today, much like East Germany before the wall came down, is a rigged economy brought into being and maintained for America's benefit. During the Cold War and for the decade after its end, the U.S. offered unrestricted access to the American market and tolerated Japan's protectionism. In return Japan accepted and helped to pay for American troops based there and gave at least verbal support for America's foreign policies. For the first half of the Cold War, down to about 1970, the U.S. also encouraged Japan to take positive advantage of these terms in order to prosper economically. Economic growth was the American way of inoculating the Japanese against Communism, neutralism, socialism, and other potentially anti-American political orientations.

Over time, this pattern produced gross overinvestment and excess capacity in Japanese industries. It also produced the world's largest trade deficits in the United States (over $300 billion per year at the beginning of the new millennium), huge trade surpluses in Japan, and in general a lack of even an approximation of equilibrium in supply and demand across the Pacific. Moreover, contrary to the Communist accusations of neocolonialism, it was costly to the United States in terms of lost American jobs, destroyed American manufacturing industries, and smashed hopes of American minorities and women trying to escape from poverty.

The American government continued to accept these costs as the price of keeping its empire together. From about the Nixon administration on, the U.S. did start to negotiate more or less seriously with the Japanese to open their markets to American goods and to "level the playing field." But attempts to lessen trade friction and open reciprocal markets always collided with the security relationship. In order to level the economic playing field, the United States would also have had to level the security playing field, and this it was never willing to do.

Perhaps these American policies made strategic sense during the period from approximately 1950 to 1970, when they also had the desirable consequence of bringing real competition to such complacent industries as American automobile manufacturing. But today these old policies are utterly destructive to the security and economic well-being of both the U.S. and Japan. They continue to alter the American economic system away from manufacturing and toward finance capitalism, and they prevent Japan from producing an economy that can stand alone and trade with other economies on a mutually beneficial basis. The day of reckoning for American pride and Japanese myopia cannot be very far away.

One of the prime consequences of the long and persistent period of Cold War, as well as a major source of future blowback against the United States, is the development of militarism in America. By militarism, I mean the phenomenon in which a nation's armed services come to put their institutional preservation ahead of effectiveness in achieving national security or a commitment to the integrity of the governmental structure of which they are a part. Related to this internal transformation of the military is an enlargement and progressive displacement by the military of all other institutions within a government for the conduct of relations with other nations. A sign of the advent of militarism is a nation's relying on its armed forces for numerous tasks for which it is unqualified, indeed its particular capabilities almost guaranteeing to make a problematic situation worse. Classical tools of international relations, such as diplomacy, foreign aid, international education, and the making of one's country a model of international behavior, atrophy as the carrier task force and cruise missiles become the first choices as instruments to solve global problems. Militarism portends that the armed services have or are about to pass beyond effective political control and become the de facto or explicit governing class of a society. It is an increasingly common phenomenon around the world-examples include much of Latin America during the 1970s, Suharto's Indonesia from 1965 to 1998, South Korea from 1961 to 1993, Pakistan today. American political leaders, from Washington's farewell address to Eisenhower's identification of the "military-industrial complex," have warned against its dangers to a democratic society.

Christian Appy
"For Reagan and Bush, the central lesson of Vietnam was not that foreign policy had to be more democratic, but the opposite: it had to become ever more the province of national security managers who operated without the close scrutiny of the media, the oversight of Congress, or accountability to an involved public."

Richard Gardner, a former U.S. ambassador to Spain and Italy, estimates that the United States spends more on preparing for war than on trying to prevent war by a ratio of at least 16 to 1. Policies that attempt to prevent war by eliminating the underlying conditions that breed social discontent or that make resorting to violence relatively easy or that try to mitigate misunderstandings among nations include: programs for combating AIDS, promoting health, seeking to achieve food security, providing humanitarian assistance to refugees, safeguarding nuclear materials and stopping their proliferation, economic aid generally in areas of potential conflict such as Afghanistan, in the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation, and in the Balkans, and activities such as the international exchange of students and scholars in the Fulbright program. The United States is notoriously delinquent in paying its dues to the United Nations and is at least $490 million in arrears to the various multilateral development banks.

... the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute was compiling | the 2001 edition of its authoritative SIPRI Yearbook. It shows that global military spending rose to $798 billion in 2000, an increase of 3.1 percent from the previous year. The United States accounted for 37 percent of that amount, by far the largest proportion. It was also the world's largest arms salesman, being responsible for 47 percent of all munitions transfers between 1996 and 2000. The United States was thus already well prepared for war when Bush came into office. Since his administration is nonetheless devoted to enlarging America's military capability-a sign of militarism rather than of military preparedness-they had to invent new threats in order to convince the people who voted for them that more was necessary.

The U. S. nuclear arsenal today is comprised of 5,400 multiple megaton warheads atop intercontinental ballistic missiles based on land and sea; an additional 1,750 nuclear bombs and cruise missiles ready to be launched from B-2 and B-52 bombers; and a further 1,670 nuclear weapons classified as "tactical." Not fully deployed but available are an additional 10,000 or so nuclear warheads held in bunkers around the United States. One would think this is more than enough preparedness to deter the four puny nations the United States identifies as potential adversaries-two of which, Iran and North Korea, have been trying to achieve somewhat friendlier relations with the U.S. despite the decades of hostility and clandestine interference in their societies. The overkill in the enormous American nuclear arsenal and its lack of any rational connection between means and ends is clear evidence of militarism in the United States.

The Terrorism Threat. The United States Constitution of 1787 establishes a clear separation between the activities of the armed forces in the defense of the country and domestic policing under the penal codes of the various states. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 was enacted to prevent the military from engaging in police activities in the United States without the consent of Congress or the president. However, with the rise of militarism and particularly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, these old distinctions have been eroded. The military has expanded the meaning of national security to include counterterrorism, interdicting drug traffickers, preparing for natural disasters, and controlling immigration, all areas in which it actively participates. The Department of Defense has drafted operation orders to respond to what it calls a "CIDCON," a "civilian disorder condition." When it declares a CIDCON, it plans to intervene and take control of civilian life.

Masters of War

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