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Volume 2, Number 33 September 22 - 28, 2002 Quezon City, Philippines
Bush Unveils Global Doctrine of First Strikes
David E. Sanger
to Alternative Reader Index
WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 -- On Friday, the Bush administration will publish its first comprehensive rationale for shifting American military strategy toward pre-emptive action against hostile states and terrorist groups developing weapons of mass destruction. The strategy document will also state, for the first time, that the United States will never allow its military supremacy to be challenged the way it was during the cold war.
In the 33-page document, Mr. Bush also seeks to answer the critics of growing American muscle-flexing by insisting that the United States will exploit its military and economic power to encourage "free and open societies," rather than seek "unilateral advantage." It calls this union of values and national interests "a distinctly American internationalism."
The document, titled "The National Security Strategy of the United States," is one that every president is required to submit to Congress. It is the first comprehensive explanation of the administration's foreign policy, from defense strategy to global warming. A copy of the final draft was obtained by The New York Times.
It sketches out a far more muscular and sometimes aggressive approach to national security than any since the Reagan era. It includes the discounting of most nonproliferation treaties in favor of a doctrine of "counterproliferation," a reference to everything from missile defense to forcibly dismantling weapons or their components. It declares that the strategies of containment and deterrence -- staples of American policy since the 1940's -- are all but dead. There is no way in this changed world, the document states, to deter those who "hate the United States and everything for which it stands."
"America is now threatened less by conquering states than we are by failing ones," the document states, sounding what amounts to a death knell for many of the key strategies of the cold war.
One of the most striking elements of the new strategy document is its insistence "that the president has no intention of allowing any foreign power to catch up with the huge lead the United States has opened since the fall of the Soviet Union more than a decade ago."
"Our forces will be strong enough," Mr. Bush's document states, "to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military buildup in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States." With Russia so financially hobbled that it can no longer come close to matching American military spending, the doctrine seemed aimed at rising powers like China, which is expanding its conventional and nuclear forces.
Administration officials who worked on the strategy for months say it amounts to both a maturation and an explanation of Mr. Bush's vision for the exercise of America power after 20 months in office, integrating the military, economic and moral levers he holds.
Much of the document focuses on how public diplomacy, the use of foreign aid, and changes in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank can be used to win what it describes as a battle of competing values and ideas -- including "a battle for the future of the Muslim world."
The president put the final touches on the new strategy last weekend at Camp David after working on it for months with his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and with other members of the national security team. In its military hawkishness, its expressions of concern that Russian reforms could be undermined by the country's elite, and its focus on bolstering foreign aid -- especially for literacy training and AIDS -- it particularly bears the stamp of Ms. Rice's thinking.
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." But at the same time, the official said, it is important to foreclose the option that other nations could aspire to challenge the United States militarily, because "once you cut off the challenge of military competition, you open up the possibility of cooperation in a number of other areas."
Still, the administration's critics at home and abroad will almost certainly find ammunition in the document for their argument that Mr. Bush is only interested in a multilateral approach as long as it does not frustrate his will. At several points, the document states clearly that when important American interests are at stake there will be no compromise.
The document argues that while the United States will seek allies in the battle against terrorism, "we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting pre-emptively." That includes "convincing or compelling states to accept their sovereign responsibilities" not to aid terrorists, the essence of the doctrine Mr. Bush declared on the night of Sept. 11, 2001.
The White House delayed releasing the document this week so that its lengthy discussion of conditions under which the United States might take unilateral, pre-emptive action would not dominate delicate negotiations in the United Nations or the testimony of administration officials who appeared at Congressional hearings to discuss Iraq.
The new strategy departs significantly from the last one published by President Clinton, at the end of 1999.
Mr. Clinton's strategy dealt at length with tactics to prevent the kind of financial meltdowns that threatened economies in Asia and Russia. The Bush strategy urges other nations to adopt Mr. Bush's own economic philosophy, starting with low marginal tax rates. While Mr. Clinton's strategy relied heavily on enforcing or amending a series of international treaties, from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to Kyoto protocols on the environment, Mr. Bush's strategy dismisses most of those efforts.
In fact, the new document -- which Mr. Bush told his staff had to be written in plain English because "the boys in Lubbock ought to be able to read it" -- celebrates his decision last year to abandon the ABM treaty because it impeded American efforts to build a missile defense system. It recites the dangers of nonproliferation agreements that have failed to prevent Iran, North Korea, Iraq and other countries from obtaining weapons of mass destruction, and says that the United States will never subject its citizens to the newly created International Criminal Court, "whose jurisdiction does not extend to Americans."
The document makes no reference to the Kyoto accord, but sets an "overall objective" of cutting American greenhouse gas emissions "per unit of economic activity by 18 percent over the next 10 years." The administration says that is a reasonable goal given its view of the current state of environmental science. Its critics, however, point out that the objective is voluntary, and allows enormous room for American emissions to increase as the American economy expands.
The doctrine also describes at great length the administration's commitment to bolstering American foreign aid by 50 percent in the next few years in "countries whose governments rule justly, invest in their people and encourage economic freedom." It insists that the programs must have "measurable results" to assure that the money is actually going to the poor, especially for schools, health care and clean water.
September 20, 2002
of Bush's Iraq Proposal
A text of the joint resolution that President Bush asked Congress to approve:
Joint Resolution to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq.
Whereas Congress in 1998 concluded that Iraq was then in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations and thereby threatened the vital interests of the United States and international peace and security, stated the reasons for that conclusion, and urged the president to take appropriate action to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations (Public Law 105-235);
Whereas Iraq remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations, thereby continuing to threaten the national security interests of the United States and international peace and security;
Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolutions of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population, including the Kurdish peoples, thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;
Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people;
Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;
Whereas members of al-Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;
Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens;
Whereas the attacks on the United States of Sept. 11, 2001. underscored the gravity of the threat that Iraq will transfer weapons of mass destruction to international terrorist organizations;
Whereas the United States has the inherent right, as acknowledged in the United Nations Charter, to use force in order to defend itself;
Whereas Iraq's demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the high risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its armed forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify the use of force by the United States in order to defend itself;
UNDATED: to defend itself.
Whereas Iraq is in material breach of its disarmament and other obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, to cease repression of its civilian population that threatens international peace and security under United Nations Security Council Resolution 688, and to cease threatening its neighbors of United Nations operations in Iraq under United Nations Security Council Resolution 949, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 authorizes use of all necessary means to compel Iraq to comply with these ``subsequent relevant resolutions;''
Whereas Congress in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) has authorized the president to use the Armed Forces of the United States to achieve full implementation of Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677, pursuant to Security Council Resolution 678;
Whereas Congress in section 1095 of Public Law 102-190 has stated that it ``supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq (Public Law 102-1),'' that Iraq's repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and ``constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region,'' and that Congress ``supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of Resolution 688'';
Whereas Congress in the Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338) has expressed its sense that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;
Whereas the president has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40); and
Whereas the president has authority under the Constitution to use force in order to defend the national security interests of the United States;
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This joint resolution may be cited as the ``Further Resolution on Iraq''.
SECTION 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMS FORCES.
The president is authorized to use all means that he determines to be appropriate, including force, in order to enforce the United Nations Security Council resolutions referenced above, defend the national security interests of the United States against the threat posed by Iraq, and restore international peace and security in the region.
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)
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