Thursday, June 23, 2005


Theory of Perpetual War

This discussion is a proposal of a possible theory to explain the events in Iraq since the invasion and should not be seen as an attempt at any absolute revelation of the truth. It is simply just another attempt to fit sense and logic into what is otherwise seen as irrational, senseless or inexplicable.

The basic premise of the theory is not built around Iraq! It is basically an approach to the long term defense of the United States.

1. Introduction: The Present Challenge:

The declared motives for the invasion of Iraq can be readily discarded. One is then forced into the murky waters of seeking reasonably convincing undeclared motives. However, due to the very nature of this endeavor, theorizing and ‘guessing’ become necessary. Conclusive proof can no longer be attained!

But this is not a new invention! It has been the nature of human inquiry throughout history to propose explanations to observed facts and phenomena, whether in physics, astronomy, evolution, social behavior, economics, etc.

In a series of posts, I have examined a number of the most important ‘theories’ that have been proposed to explain the events of the last few years, particularly those relating to the invasion of Iraq. A number of them offered good explanation to aspects of those events, but none provided an all-encompassing explanation.

There have been other explanations, but frankly none has been convincing. Examples: The mess in Iraq is due to lack of proper planning of the post invasion phase; Fighting terrorism elsewhere removes the need to fight it on America soil; France, Germany, Russia and China had vested interest in Saddam retaining power in Iraq, for financial benefit of their governments or of corrupt politicians; The UN is a corrupt, inept and a toothless, hopeless organization…and so on and so forth.

The Problem

What we need is an explanation of the bewildering array of almost inexplicable series of events associated with the invasion of Iraq and the US foreign policy in general such as the invasion itself and its subsequent mismanagement:

• The extremely weak case presented for the invasion of Iraq, reliance on ‘thin’ evidence to support that case, the ‘forced’ link with the events of 9/11 and the almost-unsubstantiated association of the need for the invasion with the ‘war on terror’
• The inadequate post-invasion planning can be explained away, but the adamant insistence to dismiss such planning is perplexing
• Discarding the Department of State’s detailed plans of post-invasion Iraq
• Shunning of coalition with traditional allies
• The unwillingness operate under the UN umbrella
• The post-invasion mismanagement and the numerous mistakes made
• Looting, chaos and lack of interest in restoring services
• Disbanding the Iraqi army and the police and leaving borders wide open
• Almost intentional luring of terrorists into Iraq and forcing Iraq to become a front in the ‘war against terror’
• Half-hearted grumbling about neighboring countries meddling in Iraq
• The total apathy to those mistakes and the absence of any effort for any accountability within the administration for any responsibility towards the present apparent failure in Iraq

We also need some plausible explanations for current perplexing trends in US foreign policy and attitude towards the rest of the world, more specifically:

• Animosity towards traditional allies in old Europe
• Animosity towards the UN
• Apathy towards increased hatred and mistrust of America
• Lack of concern towards the obvious strengthening of international terrorism and the associated increased risk to America caused by present administration policies
• Indifference to American casualties and financial burden

2. Background: Looking into Darkness

On Theorizing and Conspiracy Theories: Scope and Limitations:

My main objection to conspiracy theorists in general is that they frequently take the easy route and assume the objectives of the party operating in secret and ascribe to it the motives that they see fit. They also sometimes ascribe all sorts of ugly characteristics to the ‘conspirators’. Seldom have I seen conspiracy theories assuming the ‘conspirators’ to be reasonable people with normal human values or holding ordinary worries about the future of their families or societies. They are simply ‘the evil enemy’!

That… is not enough. It may only convince already sympathetic receptors.

On the other hand, trying to see those people working in the dark as human beings and trying to understand their motive and their mental processes does not necessarily means sympathizing with them or their objectives. [The hard part of this approach is applying it to all parties working in the dark, whether wearing business suits or turbans!!]

Any attempt to venture into the unseen world of such ‘conspirators’ is by definition a risky and a hazy undertaking. What one aspires to do is to find some acceptable line of reasoning that leads to conclusions that best fit the available data and explain the facts on the ground in the best possible way. The most critical requirement for such a venture is an open mind free of dogmatic prejudices and pre-judgments and a willingness to investigate unpleasant possibilities.


Ever since I was a young man I was baffled by what always appeared to be inexplicable political or administrative decisions that affected my life. I can understand the reasons why some people resort to conspiracy theories in Iraq (and elsewhere in the world) to explain events that shape their lives and societies.

The single most important lesson that I think I learned in my professional career in the civil service is that many of those seemingly irrational decisions and decrees were perfectly rational! In fact, most were sound and well thought. The problem is that the underlying objective was sometimes so far wrapped in secrecy or intentionally disguised for political or other reasons, that people would find the logic lacking. But I always found out that, at least in those cases that I knew of, the logic was there.

Groups or committees (whether business or political, whether in Soviet Russia, America, Britain, France or Iraq) must have not only objectives but also guidelines to work through. They are usually comprised of professional people who write reports, prepare agenda, make proposals, suggest alternatives, prepare presentations, meet requirements, etc. It does not work without some logic or rationale steering the process.

It is the underlying basic assumptions or objectives that hold the key to the mystery.

Naturally, great care is taken at times to guard those objectives. This is particularly true in power games (including high-risk financial gambits) or schemes that cannot be declared for political reasons, because they are socially unacceptable… or simply cannot be known by adversaries who can then derail what is seen as a massive or critical effort. Smokescreens are essential tools in this trade.

An important aspect of the mentality of people in positions of responsibility is often overlooked by those not privy to their deliberations. A natural precaution, handled through secrecy, is of course the danger of adversaries gaining insight into a country’s secret intentions… and of course all countries have secret intentions and policies. A significant component in their thinking (in all countries and all regimes) is that the factors they consider important may not be appreciated or even understood by the masses. They know better because they know more and take more factors into account. They take some things for granted through experience or through intelligence or deeper knowledge that are not available to the public. They therefore make their deliberations, analyses and sometimes reach their conclusions in good faith that they are doing something good and for the benefit of their society… although society may not appreciate it or should even know it!

Another important component often overlooked is that government institutions everywhere (and especially large ones) have a life of their own! They have inertia: institutional doctrines that pass from generation to generation of master-apprentice civil servants. Intra-departmental rivalries are therefore common place in all governments.

Furthermore, these institutions in America and elsewhere are usually staffed by people who may belong to political parties and share those parties’ political visions. They may oppose a given administration’s plans from a political standpoint. But they also have institutional knowledge and experience. Some of the staffers see themselves as servants of the country as a whole. A good government department (especially in a democracy) ‘transcends’ political party short term political gain calculations.

This is why there is frequently conflict between the establishment itself and the senior political leadership of that establishment. This conflict has been rather enhanced during the past six years of the present administration.

One important premise used is that we cannot assume powers that undertake mammoth projects on a global scale to be stupid or pathetically incompetent. To me, that does not make sense even though it may at times seem to be the only plausible explanation.

3. Theory Outline

Mindset and General Scope of Vision

Although stated as if it were one cohesive position reached in a consistent manner, the following may be in fact a position reached over a period of ten years following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war.

There are two visible manifestations to the crystallization of some of the declared aspects of this position: The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and the various writings of the neo-conservative movement. Familiarity with the basic concepts of these two movements is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for understanding the Perpetual War Theory.

We know further that the major architects of events during this administration are faithful and publicly committed adherents to these movements, most notably Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, John Bolton, Richard Perle, Zalmay Khalilzad, William Kristol, James Woolsey and Robert Zoellick.

Basic Premises

The views summarized in this theory may be held by a diffuse group of influential, patriotic, conservative, practical Americans who are driven by a strong desire to preserve their society as they know it and to ensure the prominence of their country in the world now and as far as possible in the future… as well (of course) as safeguarding the political and financial interests of important driving groups essential for the realization of this vision.

Suppose further that these American patriots, unlike the parrots, the populists and the demagogues they usually employ or who volunteer as mouthpieces, are well versed in history and understand the nature of human civilization in terms of conflict between nations: It has always been so, throughout history… and it will always be so.

There were, there are, and there will always be two important components to these conflicts: Economic and military. They are closely related.

1. Resources and markets have always been and will always be limited.
2. Nations will always be in conflict and in competition.
3. Economic muscle is indeed important but is not enough to deter competitors.
4. Therefore, military might is indispensable.
5. All societies that turned their back to the art of war and military might and became soft and too luxurious eventually lost and succumbed to other, more vibrant emerging powers.

Dangers Ahead for America

With the crumbling of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war, there is no more an immediate threat to America as seen by the lay public.

What will happen? Military expenditure will be severely cut, the nation will go ‘lame’ and ‘soft’ with do-gooders promoting understanding and global cooperation, multiculturalism, etc.; the nation will become weak.

People will seek benefits from their society: generous old age pensions, social welfare, insurance, etc. without feeling under much obligation to work for those things. The rich, the more able and more efficient members of society or the wealth-producing corporations will be taxed increasingly. Many currents in America are already strongly advocating many of these things!

While this is taking place, other nations (some of them strong candidates to be US adversaries) will be busy building their economic (and naturally to be followed by military) strength. Even now, we can see that happening in China at a horrific rate. Other countries will soon follow. Observers are already worried about Russia’s recent trends. How long will Japan remain docile? These possibilities cannot be taken lightly by truly concerned patriots.

It would be quite irresponsible from a patriotic point of view not to be strongly concerned with these potential future dangers.

Specific Potential Major Adversaries of the Coming Century:

Important potential major competitors and threats:

Emerging Europe is already a major world power that may have conflicting interests with the USA in the longer term, particularly in competition over limited resources and markets for manufactured goods and services. Having a mutual enemy in the Soviet Union is no longer a binding force between Europe and the USA.

Europe can be expected to be a leading world force in this direction. They actually have taken steps in that direction. Witness their approach to the Middle East conflict, their resistance to America’s tentative moves or vision in combating terrorism and their attitude towards China and Iran.

European power will hinge on the industrial power, economic muscle and cultural influence of the larger ‘old Europe’ countries, Britain, France and Germany. Britain has cast its vote with the USA and is likely to remain a stanch ally for some time to come. In fact, many powers in Britain feel threatened by the emerging Europe. That leaves France and Germany! These countries are major potential adversaries in the longer term.

The Emerging Chinese Giant: China, China! The Chinese giant is making strong and confident strides into becoming the world’s next major superpower. With Russia still stumbling through its chaos with some dizziness and lack of vision, China is the major force in the world to be watched carefully: a unified country of some 1,200 million hardworking people who can work for a pittance within a unified country under a firm and ruthless leadership that thinks only in long term and is resolutely modernizing its economy. The prospects are truly frightening to some people.

China is also determined to have a mind of its own, is not shy about pursuing military development, space programs and nuclear power. China is the next world super-power. There is every reason to believe that it will not only be a strong competitor but will also be an adversary of the US.

Tools and Limitations:

Like any other conflict, there are two components: economic and military capability.

The economic aspect hinges on a country’s ability to produce and market goods and services competitively. Hence, a strong presence in world-trade regulatory bodies to secure favorable terms in international trade is of paramount importance. America has tremendous advantage in ingenuity, development and manufacturing facilities. The economic system that America relies on is still strong, versatile and vibrant. But, in the final analysis, the two weak links in this domain are the dollar and oil. Both have to be protected with the utmost priority.

Oil is a most important commodity… probably the most important for the 21st century. Modern civilization cannot continue in its present form without oil. Supply is limited. There will be competition. Some control over supply, or at least a substantial influence… is essential.

Safeguarding the access to oil has been a constant US policy for more than half a century. It is likely to remain so for a long time. Whatever nation controls the sources of world oil supply, may control the lifeline of other major, modern world powers.

Military Power: The other component of any conflict is military power – the final arbiter in conflicts that go beyond the point of reconciliation and compromise. The very procession of a superior military power adds considerable muscle to the settlement of conflicts whether economic or political to terms favorable to the nation that has that military capability.

The UN: Within this scheme of things and this long-term vision, it is abundantly clear that the UN is a major hindrance. Major future antagonists (China, Russia, France and Germany) have disproportionate power in that establishment.

Building up international consensus is of course important, but those powers, more or less aware of these long term intentions will do everything in their power to sabotage America’s schemes. America simply cannot have that. We can pay lip service to the UN, but we must do everything in our power to discredit that organization and marginalize its role in world affairs. The UN has outlived its useful life.

The UN is a hindrance!

Solution: Addressing those dangers

The nation must be kept on its toes for civilization to continue to flourish in America and for America to remain fighting fit.
The army must be maintained fit and efficient and well versed in the art of practical war.

Research establishments looking into means of improving weapons of the future must be kept busy and profitable so that they can produce those goods.

The arms industry must be kept working and profitable, to be always ready to deliver weapons needed by the army in times of crises. Jobs in those industries have to be kept. For these industries to work there must be demand for their products: missiles, planes, vehicles, munitions, etc.

The long term cost of relaxing the nation’s readiness and military capability can be catastrophic.
America’s economic system that has served the nation so well for more than 200 years has to be preserved and defended.

The moral foundation of the values on which America society is based have to kept sharp and always in mind so that subversive thought can be challenged and defeated… unlike what is happening in Europe for example.
The most important moral foundation of the country and the people is religion. Christianity is being viciously attacked by liberal decadence and so-called multiculturalism.

Due to the nature of the American political system, the country cannot be made to fight without a doctrine of belief subscribed to by most of the population.

People also need to feel threatened (and convinced of that threat) to rally to the call.

The nation needs to be kept in a state of constant war or the threat of imminent war. It would not be prudent to initiate strong confrontational positions with Europe or China at present. The political climate within the US would not allow that… yet. Therefore to achieve the objective of putting the nation in conflict and therefore in a state of alert, a smaller enemy is necessary to start with for a good part of this century.

Up to this point, the arguments are familiar to many people… but the natural conclusion that follows may not be!!

The only possible way to achieve these strategic objectives is for the nation to be kept in a state of constant war or the threat of imminent war.

But it would not be prudent or even beneficial to initiate strong confrontational positions with major potential adversaries such as China at present. Therefore, the only solution is to engage the nation in a series of continuous small wars (‘good’ wars fought on US terms) and not wait for the other sides to start it when they are ready.

Therefore to achieve the objective of putting the nation in conflict and therefore in a state of alert, a smaller enemy is necessary to start with for a good part of this century. Enemies are therefore needed (there certainly is no shortage of these, but the American public has to believe those enemies pose an eminent threat to the US). A war in which the US would quickly prevail due to its superior power is not good enough. A constant threat is essential. The war, or series of wars, has to be a long-term one.

Summary of Main Objectives:

• America needs good wars. The nation has to be kept on its toes
• America needs a good army with good practical field experience.
• That army has to be well-equipped with hardware superior to that of other armies.
• That can only be provided by an indigenous arms industry that has to be profitable to survive
• America needs enemies
• Control of world oil is a necessity for the coming century
• The role of the UN in determining world policies should be limited
• The influence of old Europe has to be curtailed

Realization of Objectives:

Limitations and Benefits of the American Political System:

Within the United States, political power is the first and foremost requirement. Nothing can be done without it!

People with these conclusions fully realize that they live in a democratic society. No head of state can simply make unpopular decisions which people have to accept. A sufficient number of people have to be convinced. If that means manipulating them to put them in the required state of mind to accept these decisions (including going to war) then no effort or expense shall be spared to achieve that.

On the other hand, several common characteristics of people in general may help:

• People in most societies (and especially in America) are generally patriotic.
• When they feel that their country is in danger, they tend to rally around their present leadership (to the extent of standing by oppressive dictatorships, but this wouldn’t be the case in America).
• Governments that would otherwise be kicked out by the electorate are usually re-elected under these conditions.
• People can put up with some inconveniences, discomfort, loss of income or even loss of life of loved ones… if the thing being defended is seen as worthwhile.
• Well-meaning patriots will rally, mostly unpaid, to defend the position of their country and to combat enemy propaganda attempts. Journalists, bloggers, media people, etc. Foreign support may need to be paid for.

The public is both the weakness and the strength.

An important requirement of any such war venture is to keep casualties and body counts low. The lesson of Viet Nam is still fresh in memory. TV images of dead American soldiers and ugly scenes have to be kept off the home TV screens at all cost.

American powers that may subscribe to this doctrine

Powers of this doctrine will not come out in the open to announce their true agenda. They will not sell their prescription openly. But we all know that they exist. President Eisenhower warned of the potential power of some of them more than 40 years ago, at a time when they wee considerably less powerful than they are now. He was not conspiracy theorist. He was not even a Democrat.

The arms industry is a natural ally. They stand to gain most. Large corporations would naturally subscribe to any vision that opens up markets and raw materials.

Large American banks can be powerful allies.

‘Hawkish’ members of the armed forces, including influential top brass; people who strongly believe in the absolute necessity of maintaining the military strength and readiness of the United States are also natural allies.

These powers cannot sell this vision to the public. They need fronts to sugar-coat and package the case in a form presentable to the public; Hence the PNAC and the neocon movement. [If one reads the openly published visions and analyses of these people carefully enough and not fall prey to the sugar-coated propaganda aspects, one can find all the elements of this vision in their literature. There is no conspiracy.]

The ever-important media is indispensable! People with such a vision, have strong allies in the corporate media. The media is of course of paramount importance for marketing the ‘declared objectives’ and for securing necessary public support.

The main wagon of course will be the (unwitting?) Republican Party. That party has an inclination to help, but it needs to be led properly. [There have been some rejection within that party, but by and large, the rank and file of the party went along with the main outline of the vision.]

Fundamental moral and religious American values are important aspects of the general vision of perpetual war and have the potential of securing the alliance of Christian America, including the active and vocal fundamentalist movements. John Bolton has been accredited of bringing the American ‘Christian Movement’ into the fold of neocon-led campaigns. Few people realize the true power of faith, particularly religious faith.

Putting the country in a state of conflict or war along the envisioned strategy could possibly throw the Democratic Party into disarray.[This has been borne out by the Gallop poll conducted in June, 2005, more than 2 years after the invasion: Only 42% of Democrats advocate a total withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Witness the weakening effect that disarray had on the Kerry election campaign]. Regular patriotic democrats would be torn between feelings of patriotism and a sense of violated righteousness! Patriotism can be expected to come on top. The hard, left-leaning internationalists, multiculturalists and decadent liberals will be put in the ridiculous position of going against their country in a state of war.

Packaging and Marketing

The campaign marketed to the American public has to be acceptable to them.

No campaign based on keeping the nation fighting fit or deliberately inducing conflict with other countries has any chance of being accepted by the vast majority of people, no matter how good for their country’s future it was. There would be too much resistance inside America. And that would naturally lead to loss of political power without which very little can be achieved.

The marketed campaign has to be presented in an acceptable package: self defense; fighting terrorism; fear of weapons of mass destruction; spreading democracy; helping other oppressed people… and so on and so forth.

The extremely negative image of Arabs and Muslims built painstakingly through several decades will do the rest to transmit the unspoken message. Mass media populists and talking heads can say the things that cannot be said officially. They have every right to say what they like. They live in a democracy.

This is why 9/11 was a ‘gift’ from heaven! [I’m saying this in the same sense as Condoleezza Rice viewed the Tsunami disaster as an opportunity for America to show good will to others less fortunate.] It put the country in the ‘proper’ mood.

Application to the Present Global Environment

The country needs to be put in the fighting mood. Enemies are needed. The first phase of the ‘threat readiness’ needs to be one of the ‘smaller’ enemies. In seeking enemies and potential threats, there is no shortage of supply.

After a decade or two of conflicts with these ‘smaller’ enemies, America will be in good shape when it reaches a stage where it might confront the bigger players such as China, Russia or even Europe.

The options available for the ‘smaller’ enemies and threats include: the new vibrant economies of south-east Asia, the Muslim world and rogue, defiant regimes. There is no shortage of supply. The short list chosen is public knowledge: Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Libya.

It makes sense to go into conflict with one or more of these regimes. In this context, Iraq can be seen as an almost ideal candidate:

1. It is right at the heart of the volatile, oil-rich Middle East.
2. It has large amounts and huge reserves of oil and natural gas.
3. It has an ugly dictatorship which is a bonus to build a virtuous case.
4. The country is particularly weak and vulnerable after decades of wars and sanctions.
5. It is also what can be called a ‘soft’ target: the population is strongly opposed to the oppressive regime governing them. People would be receptive to regime change (that would facilitate the act of invasion itself with relative ease).
6. The regime is feared, hated and mistrusted by all countries in the region.
7. Being an Arab country with the unfavorable image of Arabs already built into the American public’s consciousness over decades makes the task of revving up feelings of hatred and animosity a lot easier to accomplish.
8. The powerful pro-Israel lobby will not only be supportive but will be enthusiastic ally and participant!
9. The corporate media will be generally sympathetic.

Strategy - Adversaries

As to other countries around the world (countries like old Europe, China or Russia) will no doubt know well enough the American strategy. Neither the people not their governments will be persuaded. We do not want them to be. They will see through these schemes and they will do their best to resist them. But what options do they all have?

If they are deprived of the UN as an active body that they can use to give America a headache, they have no option of coming out in the open in antagonism. Armed conflict? It would definitely be too expensive for them. They will resolve to fighting the scheme clandestinely by creating difficulties or supporting US adversaries. That is the worst-case scenario for those powers, in the short term anyway. The conflict with them should be maintained on sub-open confrontation level for the next decade or two.

We live in a unique point in history where nuclear deterrent is effective. America has the power to strike anywhere! Yet the home country is safe from the attacks of other countries.

America’s other adversaries such as the Arab and the Muslim world are too weak to cause significant damage. The religious Muslim fanatics are the most dangerous. Yet, they can do relatively little damage. So this is the time to strike hard at them before the unavoidable proliferation of mass murder weapons makes the potential damage that they can inflict much higher.

Also, when these people are successful in striking at one or two US cities, the outrage that will result will give the US almost a free hand in pursuing this scheme and striking wherever is considered necessary.

It is a win-win situation.

4. Testing the Theory

This theory can be tested by applying it to events that have been taking place in America, Iraq and elsewhere in the world.

Application of the theory to explain major recent events:

Attack on UN

One of the neocons has even been nominated to represent the US there to the dismay of all those Democrats and most countries around the world

The UN is probably one of the few remaining hopes for mankind to act collectively. It is situated in the US; the US has considerable muscle and influence on it. Instead of attempting hard to improve it, to make it work… they are damaging it and trivializing it… making so much material about the misuse of oil for money funds while their own management (by the US own auditors account) is much worse and on a larger scale!

The confirmation of all this is no secret. The present administration has nominated, as representative to the UN, a man who has publicly stated orally or in written words the following statements:
“In any case, American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.”

"If I were redoing the Security Council, I'd have one permanent member: the United States."

"It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so - because, over the long term, the goal of those who think international law really means anything are those who want to constrict the United States."

Could anyone wish for a clearer and less ambiguous statement of a political position? His nomination is a clear endorsement of this position.

His nomination was not withdrawn in the face of uproar from the world and large segments of America (mainly congressional Democratic Party). The question is why this choice and why so much insistence on it? Are there no other equally ‘competent’ Americans to fill that chair? Isn’t that a clear message to America and to the rest of the world? How much more clearly do people want the message expressed?

The US administration clearly wants the world and other UN members to realize where the administration stands. They all do.

They are almost helpless! The UN is helpless!

France and Germany are mostly beginning to be seen as adversaries by most unsuspecting ordinary Americans!

Russia is on the defensive.

China: America is poised to confront China in one or two decades from now. The central issue of Taiwan is likely to be the main excuse for confrontation with China when the time comes. It must never be relegated.

People will be prepared to live under reduced freedoms, giving the state more power to maneuver.

5. Application of the theory to explain the invasion and occupation of Iraq

Two years after the invasion, everything is moving according to plan!

Human Cost: American lives, 1,700+ after two years? Not significant. Even a figure of 17,000 can be tolerable if one considers the long term importance of such a project and the benefits reaped by America. Dominance and long term strategic and economic rewards will filter through to ordinary people who may not know what’s good for them.

Expenditure: A sum of more than 160 billion dollars is indeed rather high. But consider where that money is being spent: American munitions produced by American corporations; most stockpiles of munitions were already paid for; they would just sit in depots and wait for expiry of their active life; all are being renewed and they are being tested all the time; missiles, airplanes, vehicles and other hardware, ditto; salaries to American boys and girls… Yes, as tax money it is lost, but much of it is spent in America.

The portion of those billions ‘lost’ from the US economy is in fact only a small fraction.

Chaos in Iraq: Through all those so-called ‘mistakes’, a long-term conflict situation has been created. There was never any intention of creating a stable situation in Iraq immediately after the invasion. The neocon plan was ideal for this purpose. The detailed plans of the State Department were not necessary. They were in fact counter-productive as far as this vision was concerned!

Disbanding the army and the police, encouraging looting, neglecting services, leaving borders wide open, antagonizing the Iraqi people, concocting an unconvincing government, instituting sectarianism, inciting terrorism, luring other countries to participate clandestinely, etc… … were components of the plan necessary to create a hostile environment hat led to the required conflict.

As to neighboring countries, any fool could predict that those countries would do their best to keep the US busy and pegged in Iraq. It is also natural for people to resist occupation. This is exactly the expected result. It was not done through incompetence.

There will always be a threat to America from this part of the world!

There was no hurry to invade. The US army had already planned well for the occupation and everything went rather well. What came after that was not a military issue. That chaotic state was the intention. There were no significant mistakes. The United States is not in a popularity contest. It is basically in a war of long-term survival.

America now has a good excuse to remain there; if the US army leaves now, there will be civil war! When the time comes to pull out, America can guarantee those Iraqis a government that is superior to the one they had before. Freedom cannot come cheaply. They have to pay some price. Besides, they are accustomed to living in miserable conditions.

Hatred towards America is rampant in the Middle East, in the Muslim world and, to a lesser extent, in the rest of the world. People keep warning about the hatred being created, not knowing that it was a major objective. What will these people do? Blow up another building? Release a small WMD in one of the American cities? Human loss, particularly American, is always regrettable. But how can one go into war without expecting some casualties? Besides, all those casualties are almost insignificant compared to the casualties we and other countries paid during the previous two world wars. If America waits for two long, and with the sophistication of today’s and tomorrow’s weaponry in the hands of our major adversaries, America (and others) are likely to pay a far, far higher human cost.

With so many enemies around, the nation will be kept alert and on guard. No one will object to ever increasing military budgets for a long time to come. No more talk about cutting down the army drastically. The arms and military industries will be kept busy, profitable and seeking personnel for some while.

Military Benefit: The US army is there on the ground, learning and adapting to a very challenging situation, piling practical experience. They have a good supply of enemies to keep them busy for a while. America’s enemies are still pouring across those borders. The army and intelligence agencies are gaining priceless experience on their techniques, mentalities and even their customs. Huge military budget requests are passing through Congress almost unchallenged!

Events of the past two years have clearly demonstrated the importance of this vision. The US army has the capacity to devastate any non-nuclear nation through aerial bombardment, remotely. It is another thing to control a country on the ground.

The rather poor performance, the numerous tactical mistakes made by the army in the field over that period amply illustrate the need for much needed experience in these aspects by both soldiers and army commanders. This is exactly what is taking place.

Arms Industry: The industry is going through one of its booms! Production is high. Large budget requests allow for enormous expenditure on arms production and development. It is a “military-industrial complex” dream. Foolish old Eisenhower! He could not perceive that the interest of that complex and the interests of the nation could converge!

As for oil, well, America is already there on the ground in both Kuwait and Iraq, on top of the world’s largest oil reservoirs. The oil wells of Saudi Arabia and Iran are close enough for those countries to feel America’s presence! Instability is of course not compatible with short term gains for the oil strategy. However, as long as oil-territory remains under control, stability can be achieved once the theater of operations moves elsewhere. The strategy is a long-term one.

6. Concluding Remarks:

The new mood in America in the early 1990’s is best reflected by the stance of Senator Sam Nunn:

“… Military spending in light of the new global environment. The harshest critique of Pentagon planning came from a usually dependable ally of the military establishment, Georgia Democrat Sam Nunn, chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee. Nunn told fellow senators in March 1990 that there was a “threat blank” in the administration’s proposed $295 billion defense budget and that the Pentagon’s “basic assessment of the overall threat to our national security” was “rooted in the past.” The world had changed and yet the “development of a new military strategy that responds to the changes in the threat has not yet occurred.” Without that response, no dollars would be forthcoming.”

Most of the arguments made for the need to maintain a strong, combat-ready army are well voiced. The early signs of the new ‘official’ approach are best illustrated by ‘moderate’ Colin Powell’s position:

In early 1992, as Powell and Cheney campaigned to win congressional support for their augmented Base Force plan, a new logic entered into their appeals. The United States, Powell told members of the House Armed Services Committee, required “sufficient power” to “deter any challenger from ever dreaming of challenging us on the world stage.” To emphasize the point, he cast the United States in the role of street thug. “I want to be the bully on the block,” he said, implanting in the mind of potential opponents that “there is no future in trying to challenge the armed forces of the United States.”

Nevertheless, it would be wrong to assume that this theory is adhered to by a uniform group of people. Within the general, broad lines of the vision, there are parties that do not see things in the same light. There were considerable differences on how to implement several aspects.

For example, the naïve and simplistic neocon vision of ‘nation-building’ may appeal to some of the forces involved, but it did not seem to be agreeable to the CIA, the State Department or the Oil industry. This explains the conflicts within the American Establishments referred to earlier. There are numerous other examples.

One of the most important criteria for judging such theories is the ability to explain observed facts. Another one is of course the ability to predict. Yet, one should not hope to explain ‘everything’. That would be like seeking a recipe and a simple unified law for life! But one should be able to logically explain the main features of that major event or phenomenon being considered: in this case the invasion… and then the devastation of Iraq.


This is not a conspiracy theory in the sense that some evil people get together and secretly agree on some sinister agenda.

It is about common goals, visions and long-term objectives that (although never discussed in public or in print) can be discussed quietly in offices, over cognac or on golf courses. Such common goals can be shared by a wide range of people from a variety of businesses and specializations.

It is not a conspiracy to do harm to other nations or other innocent people intentionally. It is about defending America by fighting its enemies on their own ground but on America’s own terms and timing.

This is not a conspiracy. It is an understanding that America is in a unique position since the end of the Soviet Union to influence events in the coming century to maintain its leading role in the world and to prevent the emergence of major competitive global powers.

This is not a conspiracy. It is more like a ‘current’ (with an unspoken conclusion). The most visible (and vocal) manifestation are the PNAC and the neo-cons.

Under the present international setup, and under that likely to prevail during the coming century, this can unfortunately be only realized through force and military might. It will not otherwise be possible to maintain America’s good influence on the world in the presence of violent and potentially powerful regimes such as those prevailing in many corners such us fundamentalist regime of Iran and the totalitarian regime in China.

This is not a conspiracy. It is a practical attitude dictated by realities of the world that we live in. A true patriot would anticipate the dangers threatening his or her country and make preparations to meet them. It would be prudent to make the confrontation on advantageous terms and choose the place and time outside the county… and not wait until they are of a scale or a strength that may threaten the country or inflict considerable damage on it or on the population before making a move. It is the patriotic duty of the nation’s vanguard to look ahead of the general public.

Defense is not limited to the country’s territory, but also includes the security of the supply of strategic raw materials and energy sources, markets and the country’s economic vigor and system. It also includes the system of government and the social and political system of values of the bulk of the country that are so important in defining its character and that had proved their worth in creating the greatest country that human history has seen.

Freedom and Democracy are noble ideals that have served the nation well and may serve as a model to other countries. That model is appealing to most of mankind. America’s success story and the amenities offered by its system are truly appealing to people the world over. The project will find enthusiastic supporters for the declared objectives in every country.

Under the present international setup, and under that likely to prevail during the coming century, this can unfortunately be only realized through force and military might. It will not otherwise be possible to maintain America’s good influence on the world in the presence of violent and potentially powerful regimes such as those prevailing in many corners such us fundamentalist regime of Iran and the totalitarian regime in China.

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