Thursday, October 30, 2003

Celebrating Over Ten Years of Defence Planning Guidance

In 1992, Messrs Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, and Eric Edelman drafted the Defence Planning Guidance.

The United States, the document stated, can and should prevent any nation or alliance from challenging its military dominance. It will participate in coalitions, but would 'act independently when collective action cannot be orchestrated', unconstrained by international treaties and organisations.

The Guidance went on to advocate 'pre- emptive strikes' against rogue states that acquired weapons of mass destruction, and sketched scenarios for such wars, including another attack on Iraq.

The underlying idea was that the US could 'shape', not just react, to the world, using its overwhelming military and economic might to create conditions conducive to American values and interests.

In September 2002, the 'National Security Strategy of the United States' was released. It Proclaimed a 'distinctly American internationalism.'

'The President has no intention of allowing any foreign power to catch up with the huge (military) lead the US has opened since the fall of the Soviet Union,' it stated flatly.

'Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the US.'

The document promulgated the doctrine of pre- emption, and stated clearly that the US 'will not hesitate to act alone' in pursuing its interests if necessary.

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