Obama Widens Carter’s, Bush’s Global-Rule Policies
To understand President Barack Obama’s determination at using military force to assure chaos in the Middle East and to challenge China and Russia – furthering the threat of world war – we need to look back to the Brzezinski Plan under President Carter and the Wolfowitz Doctrine under George W. Bush.
The effort of the exceptionalist neoconservatives within Obama’s administration to advance endless war, to economically feed the military-industrial complex, and continue a military reason for NATO’s existence are all based on both the Brzezinski and Wolfowitz designs to make and maintain the United States as the world’s lone superpower.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor from 1977-81, believed that causing the decline of the Soviet Union would assure American global supremacy. Paul Wolfowitz, serving under both Bush administrations, posed a policy that pre-emptive military action — i.e. aggressive war (which we condemned by the Nazis) — would keep at bay any potential foe to American world power.
We pointed out in a 2012 column for The Clyde Fitch Report that Brzezinski has for decades espoused the need for America to control Eurasia: i.e. the uninterrupted landmass of Europe and Asia. To have this occur, he knew in the late ‘70s that the Soviet Union needed to be weakened. He encouraged and got Carter to sign a directive to provide secret support to opponents (the Mujahideen) of Afghanistan’s Soviet-supported regime, leading America’s chief foe to militarily intervene in Afghanistan in 1979. Brzezinski has called that “the Soviet Union’s Vietnam,” meaning the aid to the USSR’s decline through a military quagmire.
Brzezinski also has recognized the importance of controlling the flow of energy as the key to power in Eurasia. He reviews this within three paragraphs of his 1998 book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives:
About 75 per cent of the world’s people live in Eurasia, and most of the world’s physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for about three-fourths of the world’s known energy resources. (p. 31)
The world’s energy consumption is bound to vastly increase over the next two or three decades. Estimates by the U.S. Department of Energy anticipate that world demand will rise by more than 50 percent between 1993 and 2015, with the most significant increase in consumption occurring in the Far East. The momentum of Asia’s economic development is already generating massive pressures for the exploration and exploitation of new sources of energy and the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea. (p. 125)
America is now the only global superpower, and Eurasia is the globe’s central arena. Hence, what happens to the distribution of power on the Eurasian continent will be of decisive importance to America’s global primacy and to America’s historical legacy. (p. 194)
Wolfowitz was working as an undersecretary of defense for policy in the George H.W. Bush administration, and under Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. By February 1992 Wolfowitz had initiated, and his deputy Scooter Libby had overseen, preparation of the Defense Planning Guidance for the 1994–99 fiscal years. Less than a month later, the document was leaked to The New York Times, leading to widespread criticism of U.S. efforts at imperialism.
Here are five of the 46-page document’s most inflammatory paragraphs that aroused opposition:
(1) To keep the U.S. as the world’s lone superpower:
Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.
(2) U.S. leadership in a new world order:
The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. In non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.
(3) The U.S. should strive for unilateralism, i.e., the U.S. acting as lone controller:
Like the coalition that opposed Iraqi aggression, we should expect future coalitions to be ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted, and in many cases carrying only general agreement over the objectives to be accomplished. Nevertheless, the sense that the world order is ultimately backed by the U.S. will be an important stabilizing factor.
(4) America’s right to pre-emptive intervention, another term for aggressive war:
While the U.S. cannot become the world’s policeman, by assuming responsibility for righting every wrong, we will retain the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends, or which could seriously unsettle international relations.
(5) The U.S. should dominate the Middle East and Southwest Asia:
In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve U.S. and Western access to the region’s oil. We also seek to deter further aggression in the region, foster regional stability, protect U.S. nationals and property, and safeguard our access to international air and seaways. As demonstrated by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, it remains fundamentally important to prevent a hegemon or alignment of powers from dominating the region. This pertains especially to the Arabian peninsula. Therefore, we must continue to play a role through enhanced deterrence and improved cooperative security.
Following the heavy negative reaction to The New York Times‘s article, Cheney oversaw the rewriting of the Wolfowitz document, watering down the highly aggressive language Wolfowitz and Libby had developed, making the U.S. seem more friendly toward other nations.
But after George W. Bush took office in January 2001 — with Cheney as vice-president — the original Wolfowitz plan appears to have been resurrected as the basis of the Bush Doctrine. As you can see from major U.S. military actions under Bush and then Obama, the Wolfowitz neocon attitude and aggressive foreign invasions have been forcefully implemented. These invasions include:
Afghanistan Invasion 2001- present
Iraq Invasion 2003 – present
War on Terror 2001 – present in Yemen, Philippines, Georgia, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and beyond
Drone strikes in North-West Pakistan War 2004 – present
Drone strikes in Yemen 2010 – present
Libyan Invasion 2011
Syria Invasion 2014
Obviously wishing to sugarcoat the American government’s aggressively invading countries and destroying their political, cultural and capital infrastructures, Washington prefers the term “intervention”.
All this brings us back to the reality pronounced in 1935 by highly decorated U.S. Marine Brig. General Smedley Butler: War is a Racket, profitable to the few but harmful to many. He presented this argument in a speech, later published as a book. It’s a reality we will continue to endlessly espouse as long as the U.S. involves itself and its brave military in endless war.