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2008-08-11

It is time USA should call a spade a spade

Article by: Vladimir Anokhin

A new national defense strategy has been exposed in the USA. Defense Secretary Robert Gates directly referred to Russia and China as potential foes. However, the USA is not going to wage any wars against the world’s two biggest countries.


In spite of the fact that the Pentagon has not officially published the National Defense Strategy yet (the document was approved in June), several copies of the new document have been sent to the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Pentagon’s press secretary Geoff Morrell said that the document contained the content of Robert Gates’s speeches which he had delivered during the recent several months. The minister wrote that he considered his document to be a recipe for success for the next US administration.

Strategy has been an issue of paramount important for Robert Gates since the end of 2006, when he chaired the Pentagon. The concept of the strategy says that the United States must attract both military resources and the “soft power” to defeat a complex, transnational foe.

The document also contains appeals to develop non-standard warfare methods instead of focusing the USA’s strength on conventional armed conflicts with other states. Gates also recommends developing partnership with China and Russia to blunt their rise as potential adversaries and hedge against their increasing military capabilities.

Robert Gates points out India as an ally, which, as he hopes, will claim large responsibility as a country interested in the international system. However, the official sees the struggle with al-Qaida and other terrorist groups to be the prime goal for the USA during the forthcoming decades.

Even victories in Iraq and Afghanistan would not put an end to the long-standing war with armed extremist groups, Gates believes.

"For the foreseeable future, winning the 'Long War' against violent extremist movements will be the central objective of the U.S.," the strategy paper said, adding that Iraq and Afghanistan "remain the central fronts in the struggle."

But, it added that the U.S. "cannot lose sight of the implications of fighting a long-term, episodic, multi-front, and multidimensional conflict more complex and diverse than the Cold War confrontation with communism."

The 23-page document asserted: "Success in Iraq and Afghanistan is crucial to winning this conflict, but it alone will not bring victory."

To put it in a nutshell, Robert Gates believes that the USA should wage war by proxy.

Gates uses the term ‘long war’ introduced by his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld. The official uses the term to assimilate the war against terrorism to Soviet communism and German Nazism. Gates turned down the idea of giving the first priority to the preventive use of military force. He urges the current and the future US administration to cooperate with other countries to exterminate terrorism and conditions that lead to its development.

“The use of force plays a role but may be less important than measures to promote local participation in government and economic programs to spur development, as well as efforts to understand and address the grievances that often lie at the heart of insurgencies," the document said.

The national defense strategy, which US Defense Secretary submits to the Senate and the president of the United States once in two years, mirrors the evolution of USA’s degrading defense capabilities. The previous concepts expressed the nation’s readiness to struggle against international terrorism in any part of the world. The “success” of such struggle has undoubtedly undermined the reputation of the White House both inside and outside the United States, along with the reputation of NATO members which sent their military contingents to Iraq and Afghanistan. It is time for the USA to call a spade a spade.

When a military report names a country and defines it as a potential foe, one should read this as ‘enemy.’ Therefore, the USA has officially named Russia and China its official enemies. It goes without saying that the USA is not going to wage war against these two countries. It is hard to imagine what would happen to the US Army if the US administration declared war on China with and its 1.5-billion-strong population. To crown it all, Russia and China possess nuclear weapons. However, an official acknowledgment of China and Russia as USA’s enemies will give the USA an opportunity to deploy radar stations and missile defense systems anywhere in the world. Gates’s strategy is an unofficial declaration of war.

The USA’s economic state leaves much to be desired too. The opium war, which the nation unleashed in Afghanistan, can serve the best proof for that. Washington is unable to cover the military spending at the expense of its own industry. England used to succeed in the solution of its financial problems with the help of opium and opium wars in China.

If the USA is deprived of this source of income, the country will lack funds for unleashing local conflicts all over the world and maintaining the minimal battling capacity of its own army.

It is not ruled out that the new defense strategy of the United States is just another attempt of the country to preserve its image of world’s only superpower. In addition, the concept may also allow not to show any reaction to Russia’s initiatives. The USA simply declares that it can cope with Russia and China at once and thus creates a false impression of the world leader.


Terrorism focus of new US military strategy-report
Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:51pm EDT

http://www.reuters.com/articlePrint?articleId=USN30468214

WASHINGTON, July 31 (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates last month approved a new National Defense Strategy that recommends making fighting al Qaeda and other militant groups the top military priority in coming decades, the Washington Post reported in Thursday editions.

The document, which has been shared with U.S. lawmakers but not published, calls for the military to master “irregular” warfare rather than focusing on conventional conflicts with other states, said the newspaper.

“Iraq and Afghanistan remain the central fronts in the struggle, but we cannot lose sight of the implications of fighting a long-term, episodic, multi-front, and multi-dimensional conflict more complex and diverse than the Cold War confrontation with communism,” the Post quoted the 23-page document as saying.

“Success in Iraq and Afghanistan is crucial to winning this conflict, but it alone will not bring victory,” it said.

Since taking office in late 2006, Gates has departed from his predecessor Donald Rumsfeld’s focus on preemptive military action, instead encouraging cooperation with other countries to eliminate conditions that breed extremism, the newspaper said.

“The use of force plays a role, yet military efforts to capture or kill terrorists are likely to be subordinate to measures to promote local participation in government and economic programs to spur development, as well as efforts to understand and address the grievances that often lie at the heart of insurgencies,” the document said.


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