We are continuing to publish on our site the fragments from the book AMERICA’S PLANS FOR WORLD HEGEMONY, by Romanian author Calistrat M Atudorei which was published in English version very recently by printing house ”ePublishers” in Bucharest.
Chapter 7/1. Plans to Maintain Unipolarity
The most visible effect of USSR break-up and collapse of communism was that the world became unipolar.1 The United States remained the only superpower on the international arena and it became the world’s undisputed leader in almost all areas. The reaction of Western powers—led by the US—was a triumphalist one. Francis Fukuyama, for example, one of the most renowned analysts at the time, stated that we even reached the “end of history,”2 that is the end of major conflicts through final victory of Western capitalism, that therefore will no longer meet obstacles in its evolution towards globalization. The new trend of globalization constituted an essential element in the development of a system whereby many countries created economic links through which they became dependent on America.
Dependence occurred both through the dollar as global reference currency and through major international institutions (WB, IMF, UN, etc.), which mostly promote US interests. Walter Russell Mead calls this ability to create subordination as Sticky Power. The American nation also began to massively export, by all means, the American dream culture, which contaminated and even undermined the other nations’ cultures. As we have seen, Joseph S. Nye characterized this modality as a form of soft power—but not less effective than hard power—to influence other nations. Through globalization, and especially by insidiously imposing globalist ideology, the US placed itself at the center of the social structure of the world, becoming, analogically speaking, like an indispensable axis for the spinning of a wheel.
From a military point of view, the United States were at that time, since almost 40 years, the leader of three military alliance: NATO, the Rio Treaty and ANZUS.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the most important of these alliances, was established in 1949, and in 1991 comprised the USA, Canada, Turkey and 12 European countries.
The Rio Treaty, also known as the “Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance”3 was signed in 1947 and comprises almost all Western hemisphere states.
ANZUS4represents the military alliance between the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
It is noteworthy that the US was/is also part of bilateral military alliances with other states, the most important being the alliance with Japan.
Under these circumstances, the geopolitical analysis of the new balance of power of the world evinces that through the alliances wherein it was engaged, the United States had in 1991 dominant influence over all the seas and the oceans as well as over continental areas, except Central Asia and Eastern Europe, which, until recently, were under the power of the Soviet Union.
On the whole, after the end of the Cold War, there was no significant military competitor in the world for the United States. No nation was able to operate a conventional military assault on US territory and become a real threat to its security. Keep in mind the great strategic and geopolitical advantage that America naturally benefits from, being separated amid other civilized areas through the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, respectively. In this context, which was particularly favorable to them, the United States quickly began to consolidate its position as a world leader.
Post-Soviet Russia remained very withdrawn internationally, disrupted by internal social restructuring and in a state of economic chaos. On military level, the Russian Federation was no longer able to manage the vast military empire inherited from the USSR. The wages of the military were no longer paid, and the sale for derisory amounts of weapons and equipment taken over from the former Red Army became—according to a recent UN report5—a huge trafficking and smuggling business.
In this global context, the United States assumed— informally, of course—the so-called “Responsibility to Protect”6 peace and stability worldwide. And in this respect US administration considered that it is necessary to engage its military forces in all the “hot” theaters of conflict in the world. Let us look at the main strategies adopted by the US after the fall of the Soviet Union and the effects of their implementation.
Project for a New American Century
America’s rise after 1991 to assumed position of incontestable world leader was specifically shaped by a particular group of strategists and politicians who approached a line of great force in foreign policy. Having a neoconservative7 political orientation, the group created in 1997 a think-tank that was to become prestigious, called Project for a New American Century (PNAC8).
The stated objective of the Project was “to promote American global leadership.”9 After 2009 PNAC activity continued through a new think-tank, named Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI10). Both organizations were founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan, two important neo-conservative leaders in the United States. Kristol and Kagan wrote in 1996 an essay—considered to be a reference by international relations analysts—wherein they launched the concept of “benevolent global hegemony”11 of the United States. Among PNAC’s prominent members it could be also remarked Paul Wolfowitz, Jeff Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Steve Forbes, Francis Fukuyama, Richard Perle, Devon Gaffney Cross, Bruce Jackson, or John Bolton and Elliot Abrams (the last two are very active in the current US administration, too).
The basic idea that this group of initiative openly promoted was exercising global military domination through the power of the United States. Right at the beginning of the PNAC programmatic document, the authors put the emphasis on what, in their vision, must constitute the US main foreign policy goals:
As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world’s most preeminent power. (…) What we require is a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States’ global responsibilities.12
PNAC members also underline the need for America to assume the role’s responsibility of leader and designer of the international arena, encountering conflicts through preventive strategies. Thus, the document states that the United States cannot
avoid responsibilities of global leadership of the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role to play in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. (…) The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of the past century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.13
In addition to emphasis on America’s leadership role, in PNAC’s program could already be identified the premises for a political strategy of much more intensive arming as well as the doctrine of generalizing the preventive war.
Paul Wolfowitz, important member of the PNAC, is the one who structured the US defense strategy for 1994–1999. Through this strategy it had been set the goal to never allow again establishing conditions to make it possible the emergence of a military rival comparable in terms of power to what previously USSR had been. The doctrine was completed in 1992 under Paul Wolfowitz’s direction, when he was the US sub-secretary of Defense on behalf of the Pentagon. One of his important collaborators (more precisely predecessor) was Zbigniew Brzezinski, former adviser to Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter. It is noteworthy that Wolfowitz subsequently served as World Bank president (between 2005 and 2007), as well as dean within John H. Hopkins University of Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Although Wolfowitz’s doctrine was originally classified, a 47-page Pentagon document, in which it was structured, became public. Excerpts from that document were presented in the New York Times issue of March 7, 1992, in the article U.S. Strategy Plan Calls for Insuring No Rivals Develop. The ideas of Wolfowitz’s doctrine are to be found in the forthcoming Bush doctrine, being already acknowledged that the basis of the latter came from strategies elaborated by Wolfowitz.
The first objective of the doctrine proclaims the status of the United States as the sole world superpower after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and emphasizes that the US policy has as main objective to maintain this status: “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.” It is specified that particularly targeted regions refer to “Western Europe, East Asia, the territory of the former Soviet Union and South-West Asia.”14
Wolfowitz plan also states that America’s mission is to convince “potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.” The doctrine also discreetly sets foundations of US strategy to act unilaterally, if needed, without waiting for a resolution from international coalitions:
… We should expect future coalitions to be ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted; (…) the sense that the world order is ultimately backed by the U.S. will be an important stabilizing factor. The United States should be postured to act independently when collective actions cannot be orchestrated.15
One of the most prominent features of Wolfowitz’s Doctrine is that of preventive attack strategy, by which the US assumes “the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends.” The approach has consisted in triggering military operations as early as the stage of a possible future threat that could emerge, to eliminate any further risk. Paul Wolfowitz thus established the policy of anticipatory liquidation of the so-called “State Sponsors of Terrorism.”16
These ideas directly influenced the official wording of the preventive attack strategy later expressed by the Bush Doctrine:
If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long. Our security will require transforming the military you will lead—a military that must be ready to strike at a moment’s notice in any dark corner of the world. (…) be ready for preemptive action when necessary.17
Back to the description of the original form of Wolfowitz Doctrine, the strategic plan pays special attention to Russia:
We must, however, bear in mind that democratic change in Russia is not irreversible, and that despite its current travails, Russia will remain the strongest military power in Eurasia and the only power in the world with the capability of destroying the United States.18
We find here another evidence that the United States had no intention of cooperating with the Russian Federation on security matters, although in the years 1990–1991 Western leaders had promised to develop the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and to diminish NATO’s influence. The North Atlantic organization had been created to stop expansion of the Soviet Union, but then it already did not exist anymore.
As reported for by a journal19 published by the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy in the University of Hamburg, until 1997 the Russian Federation made systematically offers to the Western powers regarding the possibility to collaborate on the OSCE line. But Russian offers were not taken into account by Western allies, although Russian Federation did not represent any threat to the West.
Regarding Europe, the Pentagon’s strategy established that “a substantial American presence in Europe and continued cohesion within the Western alliance remain vital.” It was also stated that “We must seek to prevent the emergence of European-only security arrangements which would undermine NATO.”20
That proves that American leaders clearly set as early as the 1990s the objective to not allow Europe to slip away in an autonomy status, outside the US control exercised through NATO.
Wolfowitz Doctrine set the main priorities for both the Middle East and South-West 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. (…) protect US nationals and property, and safeguard our access to international air and seaways.21
In this document, which was not meant to be public, we can see a rare formulation of US real goals in the Middle East, objectives that we actually find put into practice for many years!
Therefore, behind seemingly altruistic rhetoric about the concern for “peoples’ rights and liberties,” lies in fact US interest to remain ”the predominant power” in the area in order to have access to oil resources…
As a relevant continuation of Wolfowitz Doctrine, one can also notice a program issued in 1995, during Bill Clinton’s term of office, by the US military Strategic Department (STRATCOM). Called Essentials of Post–Cold War Deterrence, the strategy was commented in 2015 in International Security magazine.
One of the new principles was the assumption by the USA of the right to hold the “strategic primacy,”22 that is being the first to launch a nuclear strike, even on non-nuclear states.
It was explained that nuclear weapons can be constantly used as a means of pressure as it “throws shadow over any crisis or conflict.”23
For information, China follows the principle named “no first use,” which means never attacking the first, but only as a form of response to aggression.
(To be continued)