Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

OBAMA'S NEW "STRATEGIC DEFENSE GUIDANCE"


On January 3 Obama signed the new Pentagon defence guidance. It's called Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense.

Following Hillary Clinton's recent statement that U.S. policy would now "pivot" toward the Asia-Pacific, this document solidifies that turn and backs the statement with the full force of the military machine.

I want to share a few bits from the document since it's unlikely that many of you will have time (or interest) in reading the whole thing.

  • Working with like-minded nations, the U.S. has created a safer, more stable, and more prosperous world for the American people [read the 1%], our allies, and our partners around the globe than existed prior to WW II. Over the last decade, we have undertaken extended operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to bring stability to those countries and secure our interests.
  • Al-Qaida and its affiliates remain active in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere....The primary loci of these threats are South Asia and the Middle East....For the foreseeable future, the U.S. will continue to take an active approach to countering these threats by monitoring the activities of non-state threats worldwide, working with allies and partners to establish control over ungoverned territories, and directly striking the most dangerous groups and individuals when necessary.
  • U.S. economic and security interests are inextricably linked to developments in the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean region and South Asia, creating a mix of evolving challenges and opportunities....while the U.S. military will continue to contribute to security globally, we will of necessity rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The U.S. is also investing in a long-term strategic partnership with India to support its ability to serve as a regional economic anchor and provider of security in the broader Indian Ocean region.
  • China's emergence as a regional power will have the potential to affect the U.S. economy and our security in a variety of ways.
  • U.S. policy will emphasize Gulf security, in collaboration with Gulf Cooperation Council countries when appropriate, to prevent Iran's development of a nuclear weapon capability and counter its destabilizing policies.
  • The U.S. has enduring interests in supporting peace and prosperity in Europe as well as bolstering the strength and vitality of NATO, which is critical to the security of Europe and beyond.
  • In this resource-constrained era, we will also work with NATO allies to develop a "Smart Defense" approach to pool, share, and specialize capabilities as needed to meet 21st century challenges.
  • Across the globe we will seek to be the security partner of choice, pursuing new partnerships with a growing number of nations - including those in Africa and Latin America - whose interests and viewpoints are merging into a common vision of freedom, stability, and prosperity [ for corporation control].
  • Growth in the number of space-faring nations is also leading to an increasingly congested and contested space environment, threatening safety and security.
  • Our planning envisages forces that are able to fully deny a capable state's aggressive objectives in one region by conducting a combined arms campaign across all domains - land, air, maritime, space, and cyberspace.
  • Even when U.S. forces are committed to a large-scale operation in one region, they will be capable of denying the objectives of - or imposing unacceptable costs on - an opportunistic aggressor in a second region.
  • States such as China and Iran will continue to pursue asymmetric means to counter our power projection capabilities.
  • Sustaining our undersea capabilities, developing a new stealth bomber, improving missile defenses, and continuing efforts to enhance the resiliency and effectiveness of critical space-based capabilities.
  • Modern armed forces cannot conduct high-tempo, effective operations without reliable information and communication networks and assured access to cyberspace and space.
  • Department of Defense (DoD) will continue to work with domestic and international allies and partners and invest in advanced capabilities to defend its networks, operational capability, and resiliency in cyberspace and space.
  • As long as nuclear weapons remain in existence, the U.S. will maintain a safe, secure, and effective arsenal.
  • Homeland defense and support to civil authorities require strong, steady-state readiness, to include a robust missile defense capability.
  • Finally, in adjusting our strategy and attendant force size, the DoD will make every effort to maintain an adequate industrial base and our investment in science and technology.

See Joseph Gerson's (Disarmament Coordinator of the American Friends Service Committee and Director of the AFSC’s Peace and Economic Security Program in New England) critique of the new guidance plan here.

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