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02:06 - PDA Bulletin - 'new war', 'regime change', and anti-terror strategy

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  • ProjectOnDefenseAlternatives
    New from the Project on Defense Alternatives http://www.comw.org/pda/ Dislocating Alcyoneus: How to combat al-Qaeda and the new terrorism by Carl Conetta.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 24, 2002
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      New from the Project on Defense Alternatives

      "Dislocating Alcyoneus: How to combat al-Qaeda and the new
      by Carl Conetta. PDA Briefing Memo #23, 25 June 2002. The
      memo outlines a "strategy of dislocation" for defeating the new
      terrorism. Al Qaeda is analyzed as a "distributed transnational
      network" that uses terrorism in order to catalyze political-cultural
      polarization and mobilization.

      "The Pentagon's New Budget, New Strategy, and New War"
      by Carl Conetta. PDA Briefing Report #12, 25 June 2002. Examines the
      new US military strategy as codified in the September 2001
      Quadrennial Defense Review and practiced in the Afghan war. The
      report contrasts the new QDR with its 1997 predecessor, paying
      special attention to the Bush administration's "new concept of

      "Bush Administration Policy Toward Europe: Continuity and Change"
      by Charles Knight, January 2002 (.pdf file). The demise of the Oslo
      peace process in 2001 and a likely renewal of intense war with Iraq
      in 2002 or 2003 will play very differently on each side of the
      Atlantic. In certain circumstances the differences might be so great
      that European powers would feel compelled to reject American
      leadership and pursue a separate course.


      Bush declarations make it all the more likely Hussein will use
      chemical weapons

      by Charles Knight
      June 2002

      So single-minded is the Bush administration's enthusiasm for toppling
      Saddam Hussein's government that American officials fail to account
      for the effect of broadcasting their intent to seek "regime change."
      By contrast, the Joint Staff of the armed services, which has the
      task of planning a campaign against Iraq, can not avoid the strategic
      dilemma embedded in the administration's declarations.

      In their preparations our military establishment has focused
      particular attention on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and their
      potential threat to U.S. forces and allies in the region once we
      begin war with Iraq. We know that stockpiles of these weapon are
      greatly diminished from the levels Iraq possessed in 1991, but
      residual stocks remain a real concern. The Pentagon believes U.S.
      conventional superiority of arms can easily defeat Iraq's army, yet
      military planners worry that use of chemical or biological weapons by
      Iraq might result in the deaths of hundreds or even thousands of
      American soldiers. And then there is the war scenario in which the
      Iraqis launch missiles with chemical warheads against Israeli cities
      provoking retaliation with Israel's nuclear weapons!

      By the logic of deterrence the very declaration by the United States
      of its intent to force a change of regime makes the use of Iraqi
      weapons of mass destruction all the more likely. Charles A. Duelfer,
      former deputy executive chairman of the UN Special Commission on Iraq
      (UNSCOM), testified before Congress earlier this year about his
      candid discussions with high level military officers in Iraq. These
      officers confirmed that in the 1991 Gulf War the threat of U.S.
      retaliation successfully deterred Iraq from the use of chemical
      weapons they had at the ready. The Iraqis also asserted that they
      would have used their chemical weapons had the coalition's forces
      marched on Baghdad. In the war's aftermath Iraq's leadership
      concluded that possession of these weapons saved their nation by
      deterring the United States from pursuing that option.
      Significantly, they also believed their chemical weapons were an
      indispensable part of their country's defense against mass Iranian
      offensives in the earlier Gulf War.

      By declaring the objective of regime change the United States puts
      Saddam Hussein in the position of defending not only his regime, but
      also his very being. If sometime soon US troops march on Baghdad, we
      can anticipate a desperate moment when Hussein will have very little
      left to lose. At that moment, America will have lost the power to

      Indeed, under strategic conditions set by U.S. policy declarations,
      the logic shifts toward encouraging use of weapons of mass
      destruction by Iraq well before American troops approach Baghdad.
      Knowing that the United States will strike first in an effort to
      significantly degrade its stores of chemical weapons, Iraq faces the
      classic "use them or lose them" dilemma. Combine the planning for a
      first strike against Iraq with the stated intention of overthrowing
      the Iraqi regime and the United States will have essentially
      discarded the stabilizing logic of deterrence. U.S. declarations of
      intent will make the use of weapons of mass destruction very
      thinkable, and even necessary, from the Iraqi perspective.

      Leading American newspapers have reported that the Chiefs of the
      armed services have argued strongly against a full-scale invasion of
      Iraq and have successfully persuaded the President to at least
      postpone such action. It remains unclear how long this restraint
      from the generals will hold. Speaking before the 2002 graduating
      class at West Point President Bush reaffirmed his administration's
      strategic leanings. He said: "Containment is not possible when
      unbalanced dictators with weapons of mass destruction can deliver
      those weapons on missiles or secretly provide them to terrorist
      allies...our security will require all Americans to be...ready
      for preemptive actionÂ…"

      Americans would do well to carefully contemplate the wisdom of upping
      the ante by taking preemptive offensive action against Iraq. It is a
      certainty that counter-proliferation and counter-terrorism strategies
      involving first strike military action and regime change will have
      unintended consequences, among these a wide-spread lowering of the
      threshold to war. There is also a real danger these strategies
      could, with terrible irony, bring on a war of mass destruction in the
      Middle East.

      Wider War on Terrorism Watch --
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