« Checkered New York Career | Main | Five Weird Things About Me »

America goes for War on All Fronts

T.E. Lawrence
US defence chiefs have unveiled their brilliant plan for battling global Islamist extremism. They envisage a conflict fought in dozens of countries and for decades to come. You bewdy! Just what we need(not).

General Peter Pace, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff: "We are at a critical time in the history of this great country and find ourselves challenged in ways we did not expect. We face a ruthless enemy intent on destroying our way of life and an uncertain future." - part of what General Off-the-Pace said while endorsing the Pentagon's four-yearly strategy review, presented to Congress last week. The report sets out a plan for what the the Pentagon describes in the preface as "The Long War", which replaces the "war on terror".

The Yankee-Doodle-Dandys envisage a war unlimited in time and space against global Islamist extremism. "The struggle ... may well be fought in dozens of other countries simultaneously and for many years to come," Great. Bring it on! The emphasis switches from large-scale, conventional military operations, such as the 2003 invasion of Iraq, towards a rapid deployment of highly mobile, often covert, counter-terrorist forces.

Among specific measures proposed are: an increase in special operations forces by 15%; an extra 3,700 personnel in psychological operations and civil affairs units - an increase of 33%; nearly double the number of unmanned aerial drones; the conversion of submarine-launched Trident nuclear missiles for use in conventional strikes; new close-to-shore, high-speed naval capabilities; special teams trained to detect and render safe nuclear weapons quickly anywhere in the world; and a new long-range bomber force to bomb the shit out of anything that looks to be threatening America's National Security.

Looks like it's back to The Cold War but with a new name. The plan rests heavily on a much higher level of cooperation and integration with Britain and other Nato allies, and the increased recruitment of regional governments through the use of economic, political, military and security means. In other words, the Yanks are gonna lean even harder on other countries. They are asking the rest of us to share their paranoia - or as they put it "to share the risks and responsibilities of today's complex challenges". Sounds like a Company Prospectus for the float of War Inc. don't it?

More of the bullshit - "a substantial shift in emphasis that demands broader and more flexible legal authorities and cooperative mechanisms ... Bringing all the elements of US power to bear to win the long war requires overhauling traditional foreign assistance and export control activities and laws."

"We have been adjusting the US global force posture, making long overdue adjustments to US basing by moving away from a static defence in obsolete cold war garrisons, and placing emphasis on the ability to surge quickly to troublespots across the globe." - a mobile strike force in other words.

The report calls for: investments in signals and human intelligence gathering - spies on the ground; funding for the Nato intelligence fusion centre; increased space radar capability; the expansion of the global information grid (a protected information network); and an information-sharing strategy "to guide operations with federal, state, local and coalition partners" - Full-on spying in plain English.

"Long duration, complex operations involving the US military, other government agencies and international partners will be waged simultaneously in multiple countries round the world, relying on a combination of direct (visible) and indirect (clandestine) approaches," the report says. "Above all they will require persistent surveillance and vastly better intelligence to locate enemy capabilities and personnel. They will also require global mobility, rapid strike, sustained unconventional warfare, foreign internal defence, counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency capabilities. Maintaining a long-term, low-visibility presence in many areas of the world where US forces do not traditionally operate will be required." - More spying.

"It will attempt to dissuade any military competitor from developing disruptive capabilities that could enable regional hegemony or hostile action against the US and friendly countries." Watch out emerging military might - i.e. China. America aims to remain the toughest dog in the yard.

The report identifies four priority areas

· Defeating terrorist networks

· Defending the homeland in depth

· Shaping the choices of countries at strategic crossroads

· Preventing hostile states and non-state actors from acquiring or using weapons of mass destruction

The Pentagon planners who drew up the long war strategy had a host of experts to draw on for inspiration. But they credit only one in the report: Lawrence of Arabia. Lawrence of Fucking Arabia?

They advocate "an indirect approach", building and working with others, and seeking "to unbalance adversaries physically and psychologically, rather than attacking them where they are strongest or in the manner they expect to be attacked".

"One historical example that illustrates both concepts comes from the Arab revolt in 1917 in a distant theatre of the first world war, when British Colonel TE Lawrence and a group of lightly armed Bedouin tribesmen seized the Ottoman port city of Aqaba by attacking from an undefended desert side, rather than confronting the garrison's coastal artillery by attacking from the sea."

Hmmmm (and a spit)...there might be a quid in this for the Australians. We could flog them thousands of those feral camels that are roaming the outback. Fair Fucking Dinkum.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (9)

Bloody hell, Mal.

What an article to start my last full day in Australia before heading off to the States. It's about 7am here, and I can't sleep cos I'm panicking... wondering what I've forgotten because there doesn't seem much to do... *yikes!*
February 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSouthernBelle
Way to spook SB Mal!

For the record, I forgot my camera again as I left the office in a rush, so my apologies and fifty lashes with a wet noodle.

Last night was lots of fun - and don't worry those of you who could not make it, We talked about you anyways. Everyone was very funny and gorgeous - and fingers, Byrnes dressed up specially for you. Too bad you missed it.

WJ was working hard on a new hapless victi - I mean punter to come and chat with us and a good time was had by all...
February 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWCS
Hey WCS! I forgot you were gonna be in early... So next time y'all get together take some photos and email me!
Meanwhile I cannot believe I'm such a cheap date - 3 Cosmos and I was losing it!

: )
February 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSouthernBelle
Hee hee. Hope the head is okay.

Yeah - 6:30 am, no coffee and editing a 70 page report is not my favourite Friday morning but it was worth it to be able to send you off.
February 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWCS
Aww... I definitely feel the love.

: )
February 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSouthernBelle
As you should Belle, as you should.

You are a way cool chick.
February 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWCS
I feel better now knowing a shit head like Dubbya is looking after my welfare.
February 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterUncle Pervy
I concur WCS, SB is too good for the states!
February 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRob Byrnes
Oh Mal, I think that the scariest phrase used in that report is "broader and more flexible legal authorities". In other words, the law means nothing to us. The only important thing is our interests and we'll trample over every right you have to get our way. Anyway. I'm disgusted that that comes from the Joint Chiefs.
February 19, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterUncle B

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.