the ‘War on Terrorism’ was Plotted 10 Years Ago
America’s Current Hegemony
in Asia Pacific
U.S. wars on Afghanistan and Iraq reveal themselves as having been plotted 10
years ago. Two recently-publicized documents, the Defense Policy Guidance of
1992 and the Project for a New American Century (1997), were authored or founded
by men who campaigned hard for George W. Bush Jr. for the 2000 presidential race
and who now occupy top positions in his administration.
past few months have seen the upsurge of a worldwide opposition to the U.S. war
on Iraq. In the Feb. 15 coordinated protests, for instance, nearly 20 million
anti-war protesters turned out in the streets to voice their indignation against
U.S. unilateral action against Iraq. This unilateral action, according to a
recent report by a London-based fact-finding mission of doctors, psychologists
and researchers would kill four million Iraqi civilians in case of a nuclear
holocaust and, according to a United Nations confidential report, another seven
million would be needing immediate humanitarian intervention.
the past two decades particularly after the fall of the Soviet Union and the
Eastern European revisionist bloc of countries, the United States has waged wars
and covert operations in many countries. Unlike during the 40-year Cold War when
such actions had to contend with impediments arising from the Soviet veto power
in the United Nations and by the existence of strong liberationist movements,
the recent years saw the United States displaying its unipolar power with
arrogance and self-righteousness.
have seen this, for instance, in its war against Afghanistan and its war
build-up against Iraq where George W. Bush Jr., the Pentagon and the state
department have time and again declared or hinted that they will not be bound by
international law, by institutions like the United Nations, or by world public
opinion including appeals by Pope John Paul II and Nelson Mandela as they decide
the fate of Iraq in the pretext of disarming Saddam Hussein's regime of weapons
of mass destruction (WMDs).
a growing number of people in the world today, however, it is clear who the
greatest threat to international peace and security is. Eight out of 10
Americans, according to a recent Time magazine poll, see the U.S. as the world's
greatest threat. Very distant second and third are North Korea and Iraq,
people, whether here at home or abroad, ask what really drives George W. Bush
and other superhawks to attack a nation of 26 million who continue to suffer the
effects of the 1990-1991 Gulf War, years of economic embargo and deprivation and
continuous bombings despite calls from UN members to stop an insane war. A
former justice minister of Germany has likened Bush to Adolf Hitler. Nelson
Mandela doubts that Bush can think coherently. These are of course remarks by
leaders meant to warn the world about a cowboy and a Rambo gone berserk.
is no question that the impending war on Iraq has another agenda to it, which is
in relation to the control of oil and the perpetuation of American hegemony and
will not dwell on the economics of the U.S. war on Iraq and instead share some
insights related to the greed of the Bush administration to perpetuate American
hegemony and world domination. First of all, the U.S. war on Iraq, dubbed as the
continuing "war on terror," is part of a coherent world strategy that
was conceived more than 10 years ago.
of the grand strategy
Bush regime's grand strategy for domination and hegemony of the world
extends beyond the "war on terrorism." This ambitious strategy
can be traced in: the Defense Policy Guidance (DPG) of 1992 and the Project for
a New American Century (PNAC) founded in 1997.
DPG of 1992 is a top secret blueprint for world domination prepared by the
Department of Defense (DoD) under then U.S. President George Bush, Sr. Its
vision is world domination by the unilateral use of U.S. military power to
ensure Pax Americana; the assertion of the U.S.’ global interests; and
thwarting the rise of any possible power competitor in the future.
particularly stresses America’s non-accountability to its partners and to
international laws and institutions. It also recommends a more unilateral and
pre-emptive role in attacking its perceived enemies (terrorist threats and
confronting rogue states seeking weapons of mass destruction or WMDs).
DPG, the “war on terrorism” is unveiled. This war to be launched by the
American Empire must be seen as a pretext of a bigger strategy for projecting
U.S. military power around the world, especially Eurasia, and doing away with
the multilateral and institutional constraints that undermine Washington's will
PNAC of 1997, on the other hand, seeks to consolidate and preserve Pax Americana
through the 21st Century primarily by military power/hegemony and secondarily,
by economic hegemony. In other words, to create a truly global empire by
military force. "At no time in history has the international security order
been as conducive to American interests and ideals. The challenge of this coming
century is to preserve and enhance this 'American peace,'" its vision
2000, an election year in the United States, the men behind PNAC came up with a
report, "Rebuilding America's Defenses - Strategy, Forces and Resources for
a New Century." Its authors acknowledged that the paper was based on the
"Rebuilding" report has "Four Core Missions" for U.S.
Military Forces: defend the American homeland; fight and decisively win
multiple, simultaneous major theater wars; perform the "constabulary"
duties associated with shaping the security environment in critical regions;
transform U.S. forces to exploit the "revolution in military affairs."
report also says that to carry out the Four Core Missions, the United States
Maintain nuclear strategic superiority globally;
Increase active-duty strength of today's force from 1.4 million to 1.6
Reposition U.S. forces by shifting permanently-based forces to Southeast
Europe and Southeast Asia, and by changing naval deployment patterns to
reflect growing U.S. strategic interests in East Asia;
Modernize current U.S. forces selectively (such as sending more attack
submarines to Asia; more electronic support, helicopters and aircraft for the
Develop and deploy global missile defenses in order to provide a secure basis
for U.S. power projection around the world;
Control the new "international commons" of space and
"cyberspace" and pave the way for the creation of a new military
service - U.S. Space Forces - with the mission of space control;
Exploit the "Revolution in Military Affairs" (RMAs)
Increase defense spending gradually to a minimum level of 3.5 to 3.8% of GDP,
adding $15 billion to $20 billion to total defense spending annually.
these programs are being pursued under Bush Jr. Of course, some were in fact
begun by his predecessor, Bill Clinton, under a different strategy. Note, for
instance, that the U.S. defense budget for this year, which is about $385
billion, approximates the maximum of 3.8% projected under PNAC. The U.S. defense
secretary has also asked Congress for more money to finance the recruitment of
additional U.S. military manpower.
the PNAC project also advocates:
A much larger military presence spread over more of the globe, in addition to
the roughly 140 nations in which U.S. troops are already deployed;
The U.S. needs more permanent military bases in the Middle East, Southeast
Europe, Latin America and in Southeast Asia (where no such bases exist);
The U.S. will consider developing biological weapons in decades to come;
Iraq is just the beginning, a pretense for a wider conflict (probably more
"regime removals") in the Middle East;
In Iraq, according to PNAC co-chair Donald Kagan, the U.S. will establish
permanent military bases in a post-war Iraq. "We will probably need a
major concentration of forces in the Middle East over a long period of
time...If we have force in Iraq, there will be no disruption in oil
Pinpoints Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Syria and Iran as "dangerous
brains behind DPG and PNAC
to reports, the brains behind the Defense Policy Guidance of 1992 are led by
then Defense Secretary Dick Cheney (now Bush Jr.'s vice president); Paul
Wolfowitz (now U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense); and I. Lewis Libby (now Dick
Cheney's chief of staff)
top Bush associates are also among PNAC’s founding members: Cheney; Donald
Rumsfeld (now Bush Jr.'s Secretary of Defense); Wolfowitz (PNAC's ideologue);
Condoleezza Rice (now Bush Jr.'s National Security Adviser); Zalmay Khalilzad
(an Afghan CIA asset became senior director of the National Security Council;
now Bush Jr.'s special envoy in Kabul and to the anti-Saddam Iraqi
Bush (brother of George Jr. and governor of Florida); John Bolton (now
undersecretary of state); Stephen Cambone (head of Pentagon's Office of Program,
Analysis and Evaluation); Eliot Cohen & Devon Cross (members of Defense
Policy Board, which advises Rumsfeld); Dov Zakheim ( comptroller for the defense
department); Bruce Jackson (now with Lockheed Martin, a major defense
contractor); William Kristol (of the conservative Weekly Standard which is owned
by Rupert Murdoch, owner of international media giant Fox News and a leading
supporter of the war against Iraq); Donald Kagan (also ideologue, now co-chairs
of the DPG and PNAC men are old Asia hands, i.e., those who have advocated a
more aggressive and military-oriented U.S. hegemony in Asia including Southeast
Asia. The men behind DPG and PNAC, led by Bush Jr. himself, lead the elite
circle of 100 powerful men who occupy the top positions of the U.S. government
bringing with them their connections to the oil industry and the
meanwhile, has given birth to "The Committee for the Liberation of
Iraq" which funds anti-Saddam opposition and heir presumptive, Ahmed
Chalabi (an Enron-like businessman wanted by Jordan for bank fraud).
is staffed by men linked to groups like "Friends of the Democratic Center
in Central America" which backed U.S.'s bloody covert operations in
Nicaragua and El Salvador; and "The Committee for the Present Danger,"
which during the 1980s under Ronald Reagan pushed for a "winnable"
nuclear war with the USSR.
Jr.'s strategies and doctrines
George W. Bush, Jr. took over as president of the United States in 2001, the men
behind DPG and PNAC wasted no time implementing their military blueprints.
Translating the two blueprints for U.S. global hegemony and domination in just
two years of his presidency, Bush, Jr. defined his government's military
strategies and doctrines:
National Security Strategy (NSS, Sept. 17, 2002)
Pre-Emptive Doctrine (June, West Point speech, 2002)
Nuclear Posture Review (January, 2002)
Quadrennial Defense Review of 2001 (Sept. 30, 2001)
Theory of Less Casualties, New Weapons Technology and the Training of
Unilateralism and the Manipulation of Temporary Coalitions
Regime Change or Regime Removal
the Bush regime's world strategies and military doctrines assert American
internationalism (spreading America's free market, open market and other
globalization paradigms) throughout the world and unilateralism in which the
United States will not be bound by international law and global institutions or
by invocations of national sovereignty and territorial integrity; warn against
potential competitors who intend to challenge American unipolar power; the
acquisition of more bases and military stations beyond Western Europe and
Northeast Asia; the right of the U.S. to strike first against security threats
(pre-emptive doctrine) under which the U.S. is justified to use nuclear weapons;
increase America's forward deployed forces and the conduct of more military
trainings and joint war exercises.
economic, geopolitical and military objectives in Asia Pacific
more than a century, America has considered itself the dominant hegemon in Asia
Pacific, having conquered Samoa, Hawaii, Guam and the Philippines and invaded
China to repress the Boxer Rebellion; it has also fought three major wars in
Asia. U.S. trade with Asia Pacific surpasses that with Europe, with more than
$500 billion in trade and investment of more than $150 billion. About 400,000
U.S. non-military citizens live and conduct business in the region.
Southeast Asia (pop.: 525 million) has a combined GNP of $700 billion and is
America's 5th largest trading partner and $35 billion direct investment (1998)
in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore; most of Fortune's Top 500
TNCs have significant interests in the region. There are vast oil and gas
reserves in Indonesia and Brunei; as well as in Vietnam, Malaysia and the
the United States, furthermore, Southeast Asia is "a place of great
geopolitical consequence" because it sits aside some of the world's most
critical sealanes. According to the Council on Foreign Relations which advises
Bush Jr., more than $1.3 trillion in merchandise trade passed through the Strait
of Malacca and Lombok in 1999 (nearly half of the world trade) including crucial
supplies from the Persian Gulf to Japan, South Korea and China. South China Sea
particularly Spratlys and Paracels are believed to have significant oil
today, the United States wants to make sure the control of these sealanes does
not fall into the hands of its “enemies.” These sealanes are a strategic
part of the network of oil extraction, production and distribution which is
being consolidated by the United States linking the Caspian and Gulf Regions,
Asian oil and natural gas fields and markets and the American mainland.
imperial thinkers and power players show a particular bias on Asia Pacific.
Among these are RAND Corporation (funded by Pentagon particularly U.S. Air
Force; formerly chaired by Donald Rumsfeld with Zalmay Khalilzad as senior
consultant); the Council on Foreign Relations; Center for Security Policy (which
is also identified with Rumsfeld) - headed by Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. with 8 top
CEOs from defense contractors on its board); Carlyle Group (headed by Frank
Carlucci, ex-deputy director of CIA and former defense secretary of Reagan; with
Bush Sr. and Fidel V. Ramos as Asian advisers). Carlyle is actually the U.S.'s
11th largest defense contractor with significant interest in Asia; Heritage
Foundation (official right wing think tank of the Republican Party).
2001, RAND came up with a report, "The United States and Asia: Toward a New
U.S. Strategy and Force Posture." This report recommends shifting U.S.
forces toward the Philippines, Guam, Southeast Asia and other countries close to
Taiwan. The report’s lead author was Zalmay Khalilzad.
year earlier, this think tank in a report, "The Role of Southeast Asia in
U.S. Strategy Toward China," also stressed that China's emergence as a
major regional power over the next 10-15 years could intensify U.S.-China
competition in Southeast Asia and increase the potential for armed conflict.
"Economic growth in the region, which is important to the economic security
of the U.S., depends on preserving American presence and influence in the region
and unrestricted access to sea lanes," RAND said.
Council on Foreign Relations, on the other hand, in a Memorandum to Bush Jr. in
May 2001 ("The U.S. and Southeast Asia: A Policy Agenda for the New
Administration") argued for a more assertive U.S. military stance in the
region: "The (Bush Jr.) administration should preserve a credible military
presence and a viable regional training and support infrastructure"
specifying "high-priority efforts" in the areas of "joint and
combined military training exercises and individual and small group exchanges
Heritage Foundation also argued that the "war against terrorism" would
ultimately be pursued in Southeast Asia with or without the express approval of
PNAC envisions some specific operative plans for Asia Pacific:
In Asia, deploying more troops to beef up the presence of 100,000 U.S. forces
to address new challenges for the 21st Century;
Key to coping with the rise of China to great-power status is the increase in
military strength in East Asia and Southeast Asia;
A heightened U.S. military presence in Southeast Asia will provide the core
around which a de facto military coalition (a la NATO) will be formed;
Reduce the frequency of carrier presence in the Mediterranean and the Gulf
while increasing U.S. Navy presence in the Pacific;
For this reason, it is preferable, for strategic and operational reasons, to
create a second major home port for a carrier battle group in the southern
Pacific - in the Philippines or Australia;
Establish a network of "deployment bases" or "forward operating
bases" to improve the ability to project force to outlying regions.
Prepositioned materiel would speed the initial deployment and improve the
sustainability of U.S. forces when deployed for training, joint training with
the host nation, or operations in time of crisis. (e.g. MLSA)
Carlyle Group, which is worth $13.5 billion, a private empire which operates in
the shadows of government, military and industry and spans three continents
including Asia; owns companies making tanks, aircraft wings and other military
the company are former U.S. President George Bush, Sr. (head of the Asia
advisory board); former British PM John Major; Frank Carlucci, former Reagan
defense secretary; former President Fidel V. Ramos (Asia advisory board); and
other world leaders.
has large investments and big acquisitions in South Korea, Taiwan and China.
Carlyle has a $4 million infrastructure project in Basilan, part of Balikatan
this point, let me summarize that most public declarations and policy statements
made by the U.S. government emphasize that the targets of America's current
security objectives are to prevent the rise of a regional hegemon like China,
"regime change" in North Korea for possession of WMDs, to wage war
against "transnational terrorism" and insurgencies and other security
the secret reports, security strategies, doctrines and actuations of the U.S.
government that give emphasis on the use of military power reveal beyond
reasonable doubt that the main objective is to consolidate and preserve U.S.
hegemony and domination in Asia Pacific and the whole world. The objective is to
prolong Pax Americana through the 21st Century.
current hegemonic operations in Asia Pacific
in Asia Pacific, the United States aggressively pursues its agenda for the
region. It maintains the largest military command here (U.S. Pacific Command of
USPACOM). PACOM interacts with the armed forces of 14 of Asia Pacific's 45
countries. The number of U.S. troops on land and afloat in the region has
surpassed those forward-deployed in Europe: 100,000 troops are based in Japan
(60,000) and South Korea (37,000), with the rest in Guam, afloat or on various
U.S.-Japan alliance - the linchpin of U.S. security in the region, with Japan
playing an increasingly aggressive role. Bilateral military alliances with
Australia, Thailand and the Philippines; reinforced by access or basing
agreements with Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka.
United States also relies on a stronger military partnership with Australia
while seeking a new strategic partnership with India and Pakistan. It plans to
reinstall its military bases in Southeast Asia (either in the Philippines,
Vietnam, Australia, Indonesia or Singapore). It is also laying the ground for a
regional military alliance or treaty in the guise of fighting terrorism.
Sept. 11, 2001 events, which ignited Bush's "war without borders" (or
"Operation Enduring Freedom"), were seized upon by Bush to reverse the
decline of the U.S. military presence in Asia Pacific and to aggressively assert
U.S. hegemonic interests. In this regard, the Bush regime opened the
"second front" in Bush's "war without borders" using the
Philippines as a template (or model) for greater military presence and power
projection in the region. The Philippines will serve as the epicenter in the new
U.S. military strategy in the circumference of Asia Pacific.
has also increased military aid to Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines and other
countries; increased arms sales. It has also increased military trainings and
funds to support these as well as "forward-deployed forces" and
enhanced their capability through the deployment of Special Operations Forces,
covert operations, war materiel and other equipment.
is launching renewed offensive moves against North Korea, hastened plan to build
a missile defense system in the Korean Peninsula.
hegemony in Asia Pacific is a reality and showcases a strategic part of the
American Empire that is undergoing consolidation with a vision that will last
through the 21st Century.
submit that the debate on whether there is really U.S. imperialism or a global
American Empire should now be put to rest. In the United States itself, there is
a growing advocacy or acceptance even in many conservative circles,
institutions, think tanks, universities and media that there is indeed an
American Empire and that it is the only the way that the world can be saved from
doom. The only distinction which they want the world to believe is that, unlike
empires in past centuries, this American Empire is "benign" and
"benevolent" and is performing a role which no other nation can pursue
in order to preserve "democracy and freedom" across the globe and
resist threats posed by "evils," "rogue regimes" and forces
this American Empire is something the American people themselves loathe simply
because they also suffer under the rule of the U.S. oligarchs and their freedoms
and civil liberties continue to be threatened. It is an empire imposed upon the
world by America's ruling regime on behalf of corporate giants, the
military-industrial-media complex, the oil-igarchy and other elite interests. It
is an empire that is supported by right-wing power players, militarists, free
market ideologues, Jewish neo-conservatives, leaders of the Christian and
Catholic right and anti-socialists. Under Bush Jr., the military-industrial
complex is no longer invisible - it has become the most visible, most articulate
and most aggressive driving force behind America's wars for world hegemony and
order to preserve the American Empire that will rule the world for as long as
can be sustained, the strategists and politico-military leaders of this grand
project are more and more relying on the use of military power precisely because
America's economic power is on the decline. America's right-wing leaders and
militarists believe that economic impositions through the instruments of the
Bretton Woods institutions (the IMF, WB, GATT-WTO) no longer suffice to preserve
American hegemony and domination of the world. With arrogance and
self-righteousness, they believe that the American Empire cannot exist under
current international law, ethical concepts, multilateralism and global
institutions like the United Nations because of the constraints and impediments
that these pose on America's will and action. To them, principles of national
sovereignty, territorial integrity, self-determination and dignity are just
concepts best learned only in school. To them, the concept of Pax Americana
should be asserted through unipolar military superiority, warlordism,
aggression, moral absolutism and a global ideological offensive using U.S. media
oligopolies. Their ideological offensive centers on drumming up an apocalyptic
conflict between "Good and Evil."
is clear how this strategy is being applied in Asia Pacific and across the globe
under the Bush Jr. administration and I personally do not see any change coming
even if Bush Jr. is no longer president of the United States. Using the pretext
of "war against terrorism" and other so-called threats to the security
of the region, the U.S. government is increasingly and steadily deploying its
forces; building and rebuilding its military bases; forming and training more
surrogate armies; securing stronger and more reliable military alliances and
security partnerships, gaining more access to ports, airfields and air spaces.
But soon the combat missions that we now see in the Philippines particularly in
Mindanao will be replicated throughout the Philippines, in Southeast Asia and
other parts of the Asia Pacific. America's objective in Asia Pacific is to
maintain a strong military power never seen before in the entire history of the
military power in the region addresses the American Empire's strategic
objectives to contain the rise of power competitors such as - but not limited to
- China, and deter the growth of other threats to its hegemony including
revolutionary movements and the rise of independent regimes.
Asia Pacific is a vast mass of land and sea territory with huge economic and
geopolitical potentials, and because it is contiguous to the American mainland
and its Pacific territories, this region remains of strategic interest to the
United States. Without a strong power projection in Asia Pacific, America's
drive for global hegemony and domination will be threatened.
the peoples of Asia Pacific however the threat to their independence and
security is and will always be U.S. imperialism. So much blood has been spilled
because of U.S. imperialism which has been asserting itself here for more than a
century. The independence, sovereignty, freedom, self-determination and economic
growth of many nations - including the possible reunification of countries
divided by post-war U.S. intervention in the region - are always threatened
because of U.S. imperialism. Tensions and instabilities particularly in the
Korean Peninsula, in the China-Taiwan conflict and other hotpots in the region
are heightened because of U.S. interventionism.
just as the previous world wars led to the rise of independence and
liberationist movements throughout the world, the U.S. "war on
terrorism" has led to the reawakening of the peoples of Asia Pacific to the
real threat to humanity. More and more peoples are standing up against U.S.
imperialism. Especially in Muslim countries, the "war against
terrorism" is beginning to appear as a war against the world particularly
against Muslims who oppose foreign domination. Today, the more U.S. imperialism
displays its arrogance and military power, the more resistance it will generate.
W. Bush, Jr. has declared a "war against terrorism" - a "war
without borders" and without time limit. This, he said, is America's
"war of the century." Let us instead turn America's "war of the
century" into the "Century's War Against U.S. Imperialism." Bulatlat.com
paper is the guiding text of a power point presentation during a Workshop on
Asia-Pacific at the International Conference on War and Globalization, March 1,
2003, School of Economics, UP Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines. The workshop
was sponsored by Bayan and the International League of Peoples’ Struggle while
the entire conference was organized by IBON Foundation.
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