s/r home  | issues  | authors  | 37 contents
New Pentagon Vision Transforms War Agenda
by Bruce Gagnon
A transformation at the Pentagon is well underway. The US military is increasingly being converted into a global oil protection service. Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld has a “strategy guy” whose job is to teach this new way of warfare to high-level military officers from all branches of service and to top-level CIA operatives. Thomas Barnett is a professor at the Navy War College in Rhode Island. He is author of the controversial book The Pentagon’s New Map that identifies a “non-integrating gap” in the world that is resisting corporate globalization. Barnett defines the gap as parts of Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Central Asia, all of which are key oil-producing regions of the world.
In what Barnett calls a “Grand March of History,” he claims that the US military must be transformed in order to preemptively take control of the gap, so the US can manage the global distribution of resources, people, energy, and money. Barnett predicts that US unilateralism will lead to the “inevitability of war.” Referring to Hitler in a recent presentation, Barnett reminded his military audience that the Nazi leader never asked for permission before invading other countries.
Barnett argues that the days of arms talks and international treaties are over. “There is no secret where we are going,” he says as he calls for a “new ordering principle” at the Department of Defense (DoD). Barnett maintains that as jobs move out of the US, the primary export product of the nation will be “security.” Global energy demand will necessitate US control of the oil producing regions. “We will be fighting in Central Africa in 20 years,” Barnett predicts.
In order to implement this new military vision, Barnett maintains that the US military must move away from its often-competing mix of Air Force-Navy-Army-Marines toward two basic military services. One he names Leviathan, which he defines as the conventional military and special ops, not under the purview of the International Criminal Court.
Once a country is conquered by Leviathan, Barnett says the US will have to have a second military force that he calls Systems Administration. This force he describes as the “proconsul” of the empire, boots on the ground, the police force to control the local populations. This group, Barnett says, “will never come home.”
…the Pentagon claims it will need “a God’s-eye view” of the world.
Barnett’s plan is essentially underway today. New, fast, flexible, and efficient projection forces with “lily pad” bases are now being developed for control of the gap. Over the next decade, the military will abandon 35% of the Cold War-era bases it uses abroad as it seeks to expand the network of bare-bones sites in the gap. The planned changes, once completed, will result in the most profound “reordering” of US military forces overseas since the current global arrangements were set 50 years ago.
According to Michael Klare, professor of Peace Studies at Hampshire College:American troops are now risking their lives on a daily basis to protect the flow of petroleum. In Colombia, Saudi Arabia, and the Republic of Georgia, US personnel are spending their days and nights protecting pipelines and refineries, or supervising the local forces assigned to this mission . . .
The DoD has stepped up its arms deliveries to military forces in Angola and Nigeria, and is helping to train their officers and enlisted personnel; meanwhile, Pentagon officials have begun to look for permanent bases in the area, focusing on Senegal, Ghana, Mali, Uganda and Kenya.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that “a key mission for US forces [in Africa] would be to ensure that Nigeria’s oil fields, which in the future could account for as much as 25% of all US oil imports, are secure.” National Guard units across the US are now being assigned the task of developing ongoing basing relationships with each nation on the African continent.
Role of space technology
The Bush administration is also exploring the possibility of expanding the emerging missile defense system into Eastern Europe as an element in the strategic containment of Russia, China and the Middle East. The Pentagon has been negotiating with Hungary, Romania, Poland, and the Czech Republic about one or more of them hosting new missile defense bases. Oil-rich Iran is to be encircled by missile defense posts in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
In order to pull all of this together, the Pentagon claims it will need “a God’s-eye view” of the world. A new “internet in the sky” is now being built for the wars of the future. Costing well over $200 billion, the new web would give war machines and military forces a common language, instantly emitting an encyclopedia of lethal information about all enemies.
According to Art Cebrowski, director of the Pentagon’s Office of Force Transformation, “What we are really talking about is a new theory of war.” The military wants to know “everything of interest to us, all the time,” says one Pentagon insider. Military intelligence including secret satellite surveillance covering most of the Earth will be posted on the war net and shared with troops. “The essence of net-centric warfare is our ability to deploy a war-fighting force anywhere, anytime. Information technology is the key to that.”
Thus US military and economic control of the gap will be dependent on a system of networked computers. Fusing weapons, secret intelligence, and soldiers in a global network that the military calls net-centric warfare will, they say, change the military in a way the Internet changed business and culture.
Bruce Gagnon is the Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. He was the organizer of the Cancel Cassini Campaign and began his career by working for the United Farmworkers Union in Florida organizing fruit pickers. Mr. Gagnon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[9 may 05]