There are 111 days until Jan. 20, 2009.
Monday, September 22, 2008
AS GENERAL Ray Odierno takes command of US forces in
The extra brigade combat teams - or battlegroups - deployed to
In January, the next president of the
Further evidence of
Under the auspices of the US department of defence and department of the army, the US military have just published a document entitled 2008 Army Modernization Strategy which makes for interesting reading against the current backdrop of deteriorating international fiscal, environmental, energy resource and security crises.
The 2008 modernisation strategy, written by Lieut Gen Stephen Speakes, deputy chief of staff of the
Against this backdrop, the 90 page document sets out the future of international conflict for the next 30 to 40 years - as the US military sees it - and outlines the manner in which the military will sustain its current operations and prepare and "transform" itself for future "persistent" warfare.
The document reveals a number of profoundly significant - and worrying - strategic positions that have been adopted as official doctrine by the
According to its authors: "We have entered an era of persistent conflict . . . a security environment much more ambiguous and unpredictable than that faced during the cold war."
It then goes on to describe the key features of this dawning era of continuous warfare. Some of the characteristics are familiar enough to a world audience accustomed to the rhetoric of the global war on terror.
"A key current threat is a radical, ideology-based, long-term terrorist threat bent on using any means available - to include weapons of mass destruction - to achieve its political and ideological ends."
Relatively new, "emerging" features are also included in the document's rationale for future threats.
"We face a potential return to traditional security threats posed by emerging near-peers as we compete globally for depleting natural resources and overseas markets."
This thinly-veiled reference to
The document, however, contains no such lofty pretences. It goes on to list as a pre-eminent threat to the security of the
This youth bulge, the document goes on to state, will present the
The document goes on to describe in broad-strokes the manner in which its downsized military might ensure survival of the fittest for the
As a consequence of identifying growing populations in the developed world as a threat in itself, the strategy document highlights a number of paradigm shifts in the way future wars are to be conducted.
It predicts that "21st Century operations will require soldiers to engage among populations and diverse cultures instead of avoiding them".
The document reveals that new US tactical doctrine provides a template by which air, naval and field commanders will no longer just secure traditional strategic targets such as airspace, seaports and bridgeheads, but will, of necessity, also deploy and fight amongst and against the target population itself to win wars.
The document refers to this euphemistically as "commanders employing offensive, defensive and stability or civil support operations simultaneously".
The remainder of the document is devoted to describing in detail how a downsized all volunteer US military - numbering approximately one million soldiers, aircrew and sailors - could maintain an ever-present, international, offensive posture in many countries across many time-zones.
It describes how information communication technologies and digital technologies will create a new "networked" human soldier - the 'Future Force Warrior' - who will deploy among the target population and will operate simultaneously several remote, unmanned ground and air weapons systems.
To this end, the
According to the strategy document, by supplementing relatively small forces of US troops - brigade combat teams - with ever-larger fleets of remotely controlled, unmanned weapons systems,
Supplementing these future global offensive operations, according to the strategy document, is the US military's planned domination of inner space or the earth's exo-atmospheric zone.
The document states: "Space is a significant area of joint development that supports battle space awareness and is the backbone for the national and military intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance architecture, as well as being the domain of choice for commercial broad-area sensing enterprises with military utility."
Together with the
The report elaborates on this by stating that "army space forces are deployed worldwide supporting US efforts to fight and win [the global war on terror]."
The report adds that
The document refers to operations in
It states explicitly that the
The document also describes explicitly the manner in which the earth's orbit is now deemed a legitimate zone for offensive military activity. This extraordinary document describes
The mix of 20th century science fiction and Orwellian perspectives unwittingly contained in the document appear rapidly to be materialising as fact.
Dr Tom Clonan is the Irish Times Security Analyst. He lectures in the
© 2008 The Irish Times
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs