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 recenly by printing house ”ePublishers” in Bucharest.
Chapter 7/3. Plans to Maintain Unipolarity
Defensive or Offensive?
Rand Corporation, one of the largest companies of security research in America, published in 1999 a report certifying that BMD American system “is not simply a shield, but an enabler of U.S. action.”55
Lawrence Kaplan, renowned analyst and publisher of several leading issues in the United States, made a statement published by the New Republic magazine in March 12, 2001: “Anti-missile defense refers to retaining America’s ability to exercise its power abroad. It is not about defense. It’s about offense. And that’s exactly why we need it.” Kaplan asserted very bluntly those BMD missiles will “cement U.S. hegemony and make Americans ‘masters of the world’.”56
The National Interest site posted in the summer of 2001 an article signed by Andrew Bacevich, foreign policy and security specialist, in which he commented Kaplan’s analyze and concluded:
“Missile defense isn’t really meant to protect America. It is an instrument for global dominance.”57
Raymond Garthoff, another respected expert in weaponry and international relations, published a reference paper58 arguing that SDI program flagrantly violates the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. In his view, this clearly explains why US withdrew from its engagement towards Russia (i.e. the ABM treaty).
I have mentioned earlier that President Bush decided for America to leave the ABM treaty in 2001 on the grounds that it “hampers the ability of the United States to develop defensive weapons.” Let us therefore keep in mind, that many experts certify that the “defensive weapons” developed by the US can be quickly turned into offensive weapons.
A widely known fact is that after 2002, US began to develop and install under NATO’s umbrella a very large number of anti-missile ballistic “defensive” systems across Europe, in maritime areas (for example in the Mediterranean) and in Alaska. NATO officials claim that they have only a defensive role. For example, regarding the anti-missile shield at Deveselu, the president of Romania said in 2013 that he discussed with NATO Secretary General and the conclusion is that “The shield is only defensive” and “Propaganda related to risks for other states is just propaganda.”59
With a completely different view, Russian Federation officials protested that these NATO emplacements
undermine international security. Mediafax Agency published in September 2017 an item of news about a protest of Russian administration regarding anti-ballistic systems in Romania: “Russian official: Aegis Systems in Romania can be used for attacks,”60 including nuclear attacks. The account belongs to Serghei Riabkov, deputy Foreign Affairs minister of the Russian Federation. Riabkov explained that “These systems are of double-use and they can be used both anti-ballistically and for cruise missile attacks; the installation of these systems is prohibited by the INF Treaty.”61 Mediafax also announced three days later, citing the same representative of Moscow that “Russia threatens with military action because of anti-ballistic systems installed by the US in Romania, Poland and Japan.”62 The article mentions that Russia officially warned on several occasions that it will react to NATO’s decision to install anti-missile elements in Romania and Poland.
As we shall see below, the Russian Federation did really react to the emplacement of US missile bases at its borders. This led to the escalation of tensions and eventually to the withdrawal of the US from the INF Treaty which means, implicitly, its annulment.
Weaponization of Space
But the situation is much more complex. George Friedman, consultant in intelligence and renowned analyst of geopolitics explained as early as 2001 that ballistic defense systems, which are based on satellite communications, are actually just a component of some very ambitious space-militarization programs. Friedman asserts that these BMDs are widely recognized by connoisseurs as “a Trojan horse for the real problem: future militarization of space”63 with highly destructive offensive weapons, placed in space or guided from space.
Similarly, military analyst William Arkin underlined in an article published in 2002 by Los Angeles Times that “no target on the planet or in space would be immune to American attack. The United States could strike without warning wherever a threat was perceived, and it would be protected by missile defenses.”64
Regarding spatial weapons being in progress of implementation by the US, Associated Press announced in 2003 that the new systems are connected to an advanced device platform using artificial intelligence. That includes surveillance programs capable, for instance, “to track, record and analyze the movement of every vehicle in a foreign city.”65 Additionally, the new weapons created by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) would have the possibility to, being commanded from American bases, promptly bomb the precisely selected enemies. Analyst Noam Chomsky draws attention in his work Hegemony Or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance that in 2005 the Pentagon openly stated its intention to achieve “monopoly on the use of space”66 for offensive military purposes.
A brief presentation of these initiatives was published by the US Space Command and other government agencies and is still available online, for example, on the Global Security Institute website. Its title is Masters of Space? The US Space Command’s “Vision for 2020.” A relevant analysis of this program has been made by two experts from Global Security Insitute, Jonathan Granoff and Craig Eisendrath. They mentioned that the development directions of the project “are consistent with policies set forth by Secretary Rumsfeld as Chair of the Commission to Assess US National Security Space Management and Organization, issued on January 2, 2002. It was mentioned that the development directions of the project “are in line with the policies established by the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, as chairman of the Committee for the Assessment of the Administration and Organization of Spatial National Security, issued on January 2, 2002.”67
Jonathan Granoff (President of Global Security Institute) and Craig Eisendrath (Senior Fellow at Center for International Policy) emphasized that “the US accounts for over 90 percent of total global military space expenditures.” Washington administration invested $22.5 billion in 2006 for this purpose, and the estimate was that by 2020 the funds assigned will increase. The US military prevalence was assumed unequivocally: “the US has more than sufficient force to dissuade any nation, including China and Russia.” At the same time, the two analysts underlined a very significant thing: “terrorists have access to only the most primitive means of obstructing outer space activities.”68
So, in these conditions, a very logical question may rise into our minds: If neither China, nor Russia, nor terrorists represented (in 2005) a threat to US space systems, then what was (and is) the purpose of these large-scale preparations? The US Department gives a clear answer: “The US military makes no secret of its goal to become ‘Masters of Space’.” Specifically, the clear goal was “Dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment.” In this respect, US planners asserted that “As space systems become lucrative military targets, there will be a critical need to control the space medium to ensure US dominance on future battlefields.” Among the objectives required to be achieved, the US Space Command assumes the one of “development of ballistic missile defenses using space systems and planning for precision strike from space.”69 Therefore all this massive arming and weaponization of outer space has the purpose of serving interests of US to ensure forceful domination over any potential rival. As we shall see hereinafter, the space militarization conducted by United States does not refer to interests of all countries, mediated for a peaceful strategy by the United Nations, but only to US interests, oriented towards military purposes.
As Granoff and Eisendrath—mentioned above—underline in their analysis, the objective of this intensive US space capability development required one more strategy. That is reiteration of “US opposition to treaty based approaches to outer space.” It is about “multilateral efforts, strongly supported by China and Russia (…) to pass a treaty outlawing space weaponization.”70
Indeed, on several occasions, the United States systematically refused in recent years to reaffirm and consolidate commitments provided by The Outer Space Treaty71, signed as early as 1967 by the United States, the USSR and the United Kingdom. The treaty forms the basis of international space law and has the aim of preserving space for peaceful purposes. This desideratum had been expressed in several UN resolutions having the theme Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space.
US has Different Rules
In January 2001, for example, Washington blocked negotiations at the UN Conference on disarmament of space. Regarding this, Reuters noted that “The US remains the only one of the 66 member states to oppose launching formal negotiations on outer space.”72 In June 2001, Financial Times reported that, one more time,“China Calls for Ban on ‘Weaponization’ of Space”73, but this time as well, the US blocked negotiations. In March 2007, Reuters announced that again “China urges ban on space weapons” and Beijing leaders demand urgently the establishment of a new treaty “to stop weaponization and the arms race in outer space.”74 A year later, New York Times announced that “UN Weighs a Ban on Weapons in Space, but U.S. Still Objects.” The article shows that in February 2008, before the UN Disarmament Committee in Geneva, Russian Foreign Affairs minister Serghei Lavrov presented the Russian-Chinese draft of a treaty banning space weapons. However, the project was “quickly rejected by the United States.”75
More recently, in February 2018, an article published by Geneva Center for Security Policies ironically compared the new calls for disarmament with “a wake-up call for ‘sleeping beauty’.” The report of the session described that Russia and China once again supported the objective of preventing an arming race in outer space, but “Those topics were not considered ripe for the actual negotiation of treaties by Western countries.”76
The situation is similar in terms of chemical or biological weapons. In November 2001, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced regarding chemical weapons monitoring that the United States took steps to “limit the scope of the visits by foreign inspectors” on its territory to protect “American pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, which dominate the worldwide industry and are concerned with protecting their trade secrets.”77
The US was the only country in the world to insist on being exempted from particular inspections and tests set by the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention. A specialist at Henry Simson Center in Washington told New York Times that Clinton administration “mocked” the treaty by establishing a “separate set of rules for the United States,” which offers unilateral exemptions. Washington argued that the US should be treated differently because “access to US bio-defense facilities could reveal military secrets.”78 This argument, however, contradicts even the rationale behind the introduction of controls, thus invalidating constraint mechanisms. How can you claim that you respect the rules of a treaty if you do not even accept to be verified? The situation implicitly reflects that the United States does not respect the authority of international organizations set up to mediate relations between their equal members. On the contrary, the US wants to become the judge itself and the rule-making authority, placing itself above the other nations.
The Position of Russia
On March 1, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in a presentation held in Moscow in front of the Russian Federation Assembly that Russia developed a series of completely new technological weapon systems. Putin stated that the new weapons were created in response to the unilateral withdrawal of the United States of America from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the practical deployment of their missile defense systems both in the US and beyond their national borders.79
The leader from Kremlin asserted that after 2001 the Russian Federation sought to reach peaceful agreements with the United States, but “nobody really wanted to talk to us about the core of the problem.” He continued by reminding that in 2004 Moscow announced in advance the US side that, due to lack of dialogue, Russia would develop a new generation of weapons. And this is what Russia did. “Nobody wanted to listen to us. So listen now,” said Putin preparing to provide details. He described the new Russian missiles as “extremely powerful” and even “invincible” because, due to the features they have, all the Western “missile defence systems are useless against them, absolutely pointless.”80
On the same day Putin publicly announced the existence of new Russian weapons, the US Defense Department officially accused “Russia of violating nuclear weapons treaty after Putin boasts of ‘unstoppable’ missile.”81 Pentagon spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, declared that “Russia has been developing destabilizing weapons systems for more than a decade in direct violation of its treaty obligations.”82 Subsequently, on the basis of similar arguments, the Washington administration announced on October 20, 2018 that the United States would withdraw from the INF Treaty as well (in addition to the withdrawal from ABM Treaty). It is a particularly serious and dangerous fact that makes the US practically quit international treaties whereby its nuclear power could somehow be limited and regulated.
Given the particular geopolitical significance of this mutation at international level, it is important to seek clearer understanding of who complied with the INF and who did not. So Russian officials say that anti-ballistic systems placed after 2002 by the American side at the borders of the Russian Federation violated the INF treaty and consequently took military measures. On the other side, US officials say their rocket bases only have defensive role and therefore acted within the limits set by the treaty. To clarify things, let us see closer which the provisions of the INF Treaty are.
The first paragraph of article 4 specifies that:
Each Party shall eliminate all its intermediate-range missiles and launchers of such missiles, and all support structures and support equipment of the categories listed in the Memorandum of understanding associated with such missiles and launchers, so that no later than three years after entry into force of this treaty and thereafter no such missiles, launchers, support structures or support equipment shall be possessed by either Party.83
Then, the first paragraph of article 6 provides:
Upon entry into force of this treaty and thereafter, neither Party shall:
- produce or flight-test any intermediate-range missiles or produce any stages of such missiles or any
launchers of such missiles; or
- produce, flight-test or launch any shorter-range missiles or produce any stages of such missiles or
any launchers of such missiles.84
So we can see that the Treaty signed in 1987 by the American and Russian parties explicitly and repeatedly states that it is not allowed to produce launchers of these systems, not to mention testing or stages of production of missiles with intermediate range! Nonetheless, looking at any site describing American ballistic systems Aegis and Patriot (eg Raytheone85, about missile bases located in Europe), we find that they have capabilities compatible with the mid-range. Besides, as mentioned above, many internationally renowned experts have shown that those systems can very easily shift from defensive to offensive feature.
We therefore ascertain that the United States unilaterally stepped out of the ABM Treaty in 2001, whereupon it developed, since 2002, “defensive” systems that flagrantly violated the INF Treaty. Russia publicly signaled the situation and announced it would take action. After doing it, the US representatives used their reaction as an argument to declare that the Russian Federation violated the INF Treaty, regarding the respective reaction as an autonomous, unilateral cause. So here is the pretext for which the US administration announced its withdrawal from the INF Treaty and no longer considers itself as being constrained by its regulations.
Putin responded to several of the many accusations brought to him in an interview he gave on March 17, 2018 to American journalist Megyn Kelly, from NBC television. On charges of Russian Federation developing an aggressive military policy whereas it developed nuclear arsenal, Putin proposed an exercise of imagination:
Imagine if we placed our missile systems along the US-Mexico or the US-Canada border in their territories on both sides and brought our ships in from both sides. What would you say? Would you take action? Meanwhile we would respond that you are escalating the arms race? Ridiculous, isn’t it? This is exactly what is happening.86
In order to provide a more accurate image on the difference of military engagement between the United States and Russian Federation on geographical areas, it is useful to note that US has dozens of military bases around Russia and—in line with the data published by US Department of State87—has much over than 800 military bases abroad. The Russian Federation, on the other hand, has—according to the Izvestiya daily newspaper citing Moscow’s Ministry of Defense and U.N. data88—only 21 significant military facilities overseas of which none is near USA’s borders. Which of the two is pursuing a more intrusive foreign policy here?
We may ascertain a fundamental premise that always arises in the Washington’s conception and rhetoric: the US has the right to act otherwise than the other countries. We cannot speak about equality. In White House’ vision, it is perfectly understandable that the US is massively arming itself and outsmarts the international treaties. Yet, it is inconceivable that someone else would follow the same path.
(To be continued)