Friday, November 2, 2007

Avoiding the Toughness Trap

William D. Hartung
Thu November 1, 3:05 Prime Minister ET

There is a phantasmagoric quality to many of the foreign policy arguments
being put option forward in the 2008 presidential campaign, particularly among
Republican presidential hopefuls. The Shrub Administration's debacle in
Iraq is a transformative event that phone calls for a cardinal re-thinking
of United States security strategy. The policies of "preventive" war, forward
basing of United States military personnel aimed at daunting designated antagonists and
unbridled support for missile defence and new atomic arms should all
be cast of characters aside in hunt of a new approach.

While scrupulously avoiding mention to Saint George W. Shrub by name, the
top Republican campaigners have got embraced the worst facets of his
national security policies. No substance how badly things travel in Iraq,
Senator Toilet McCain have stubbornly adhered to his ill-advised position
on the war. Former New House Of York city manager Rudy Giuliani have project himself as the
post-9/11 tough guy, advocating not only a "stay the course" policy in
Iraq but also the usage of military unit against Iran. One of Hand Romney's
most memorable pledges is his phone call to "double Guantánamo," while
his chief defence board is a promise to increase the armed military units by
100,000 troops. Former Volunteer State senator and Law and Order
district lawyer Fred Homer Thompson is trying to run to the right of the
other major Republican candidates, and his foreign policy positions
reflect that decision. Perhaps most of import for the long term, all the
Republican front-runners support maintaining a big and growing US
global military presence, including enlargement into the bosom of the
Muslim world.

For their part, major campaigners for the Democratic presidential
nomination have got not adequately eminent their positions from the Bush
doctrine. Each have endorsed one or more than than of the followers actions:
threatening a one-sided military work stoppage in the district of an allied
country; keeping all options "on the table"--including, presumably, the
use of atomic weapons--in addressing Iran's atomic program; increasing
the Army and Marines by 80,000 or more military personnel and increasing the
military budget.

In short, the door is unfastened for a exhaustive argument on the future
of United States security policy that travels beyond the pressing inquiry of how to get
out of Iraq. So far, mainstream Democrats have got failed to prehend this
historic moment.

The political underpinning of this failure of imaginativeness come ups from
Democratic consultants, poll takers and believe tanks, who reason that the
party's campaigners necessitate to project an mental image of stamina to defeat the
"security gap" that have existed in public percepts of Republicans
versus Democrats since the end of the Socialist Republic Of Vietnam War. But this logic
rests on a fatal flaw--the premise that the contiguous hereafter will
continue to resemble the form of the past three decades. In
Iraq the black effects of the Shrub Administration's usage of
military military unit against a state that posed no at hand menace to the
United States are there for all to see. Rather than projecting a posture
of toughness, what is needed is an effectual program for defending the
United States and its allies.

A progressive defence policy must get with a fundamental
redefinition of what represents security. Security should involve
protection against all menaces to human life, whether they emanate from
terrorism, the spreading of atomic weapons, environmental degradation,
outbreaks of disease or entrenched poorness and hunger. This agency that
many of the most unsafe menaces we confront are not willing to military
solutions. Furthermore, given their cross-border nature, these
challenges must be addressed through inclusive planetary partnerships, not
ad hoc coalitions.

The elements of a new defence policy autumn into two areas: (1)
reversing longstanding policies that are doing more than than to sabotage US
security than to advance it; and (2) fixing the mismatch in resources
that gives far too much support to traditional military missionary posts at
the disbursal of the more diverse set of tools needed to address
current and future menaces to security.

Probably the most retrograde component of Edmund Hillary Clinton's and Barack
Obama's foreign policy chopine is the proposal to increase the Army
and Marines by at least 80,000 military personnel (John Jonathan Edwards have refused to join
the "bidding war" over who can suggest the biggest troop increases). This attack connotes either a committedness to continuing the philosophy of
"preventive" warfare and military business pioneered by the Bush
Administration or, at the least, a continuance of the cold
war pattern of deploying United States military personnel in alkalis ringing the globe. During
the cold war, this aggressive position was rationalized on the footing of
containing the Soviet Union and its allies around the world. In some
instances, the United States' cold warfare armed forces presence provided
genuine reassurance to allies who depended on a United States security pledge to
feel safe. Now there is strong popular opposition to United States military
facilities in many of the countries where the Pentagon is most eager to base
forces. And when the chief United States antagonist is not a nation-state but a loose
network of terrorist organizations, the stationing of big Numbers of
troops in or near Moslem states offerings small or no military value
while generating resistance that tin only assist to better the recruiting
and fundraising activities of Aluminum Qaeda and its allies.

Likewise, United States atomic policy still veers toward the cold warfare practice
of using atomic menaces to determine the behaviour of possible adversaries. This have certainly been the lawsuit with regard to Iran. But the primary
goal of United States policy in the current epoch should be preventing the
acquisition and usage of atomic arms by terrorist groups, not making
loose menaces that are more than likely to spur other states to seek nuclear
weapons. Any hereafter necessitates the United States may have got to discourage potential
nuclear onslaughts can be handled with a little residuary military unit of at most a
few hundred warheads, which could be eliminated in concurrence with a
longer-term international attempt to get rid of these arms of mass terror

The most pressing short-term goal of United States policy should be to procure or
eliminate atomic bombs and bomb-making stuffs in Russia--where there
are materials sufficient to construct 10s of one thousands of nuclear
weapons--and worldwide, where littler measures of bombs and
bomb-making material might be seized by a terrorist group. Barack Obama
has built up an admirable path record on this issue.

Negotiations to control or axial rotation back North Korea's nuclear
program should continue, and saber-rattling toward Islamic Republic Of Iran should
be replaced by attempts to advance a expansive political and security
bargain. This would include ending military menaces and economic
sanctions against Islamic Republic Of Iran in exchange for a pledge to restrict its nuclear
program to civilian intents under a hard-and-fast reviews regime. Some
intelligence estimations set Iran's capableness of edifice and deploying
nuclear arms at 10 old age or more than in the future, a clip framework that
allows plenty of range for negotiations, notwithstanding the recent
tough talking from Persian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The anchor of attempts to stem the spreading of atomic arms should
be an enterprise to implement crisp cuts in United States and Russian arsenals,
which together business relationship for about 95 percentage of all atomic weapons
worldwide. In this country Democratic campaigners Barack Obama and John
Edwards have got got staked out strong, forward-looking places in line with
the positions of former functionaries such as as Nixon/Ford Secretary of State
Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan Secretary of State Saint George Shultz, Clinton
Defense Secretary William Ralph Barton Perry and former Senate Armed Services
Committee chair Surface-To-Air Missile Nunn, who have endorsed the end of "a human race free of
nuclear weapons," to be achieved by "working energetically on the
actions required to accomplish that goal." In keeping with this movement
toward atomic disarmament, the Energy Department's National
Nuclear Security Administration should abandon programs to research and
build a new coevals of atomic payloads and get rid of programs to
upgrade United States bomb-making installations under its Complex Transformation plan.

The 2nd major push of a new security policy must turn to the
stark misallocation of resources in this area, which is closely tied to
the continuity of cold warfare schemes and arms systems that have
little relevancy to today's security environment. Implementing a more
comprehensive security policy implies using all the tools available--not
just military military unit but diplomacy, intelligence, law enforcement,
development assistance, environmental protection and
forward-looking public wellness policies.

The top three Democratic campaigners all back some version of this
general framework. The trouble originates when these campaigners enunciate
specific policies that are at likelihood with this perspective.

The most elaborate proposal to day of the month on how to prosecute in a displacement in
overall security disbursement is the Incorporate Security Budget (USB), the
product of a undertaking military unit organized by Foreign Policy in Focus and the
Center for Defense Information (author's note: I was a member of the
task military unit that produced the USB report). The most recent undertaking force
report phone calls for cutting $56 billion from the Pentagon budget by
eliminating or grading back disbursement on unneeded programmes like the
F-22 armed combat aircraft, the Old Dominion social class submarine, the V-22 Osprey,
missile defence and atomic weapons. The proposal then reasons that $50
billion of these finances should be invested in peacekeeping, diplomacy,
development of option energy sources, public wellness infrastructure
and protection of chemical and atomic plants. Toilet Jonathan Edwards have endorsed
the conception of a USB, but it is not clear whether he would therefore
move important amounts of support from the Pentagon to other security

Even with the sorts of cuts outlined above, the United States will
outspend its closest rival--China--by about five to one. Expenditures by
actual or possible antagonists like Aluminum Qaeda, the Republic Of Iraq insurgency, Iran
or North Korean Peninsula barely register on the charts compared with the US
military budget. Iran, the devil du jour, passes just above 1 percentage of
what the United States passes for military purposes.

But advocators of higher armed forces budgets reason that United States military
spending should be measured not only against the disbursement of other
countries but against the possible missionary posts that the United States armed forces may be
asked to transport out. A progressive defence policy necessitates to provide
answers to the inquiry of how traditional military menaces should be

A listing of primary missionary posts for the United States armed forces should arguably
include the following: defending United States district and the district of key
allies; intervening to halt race murder or ethnical cleansing; preventing and
combating terrorism against United States targets; and preventing the usage of
nuclear arms against the United States or its closest allies. Except
in utmost circumstances, action in any of these countries should involve
regional or international coalitions. And as noted, many of these
objectives, once primarily addressed by military means, may now be
achieved using nonmilitary means.

Defense of United States district is principally a fatherland defence mission,
not a military mission. It should travel without saying that neither Mexico
nor Canada is going to establish a land invasion of the United States, nor
is there any state equipped to mount a major military operation by sea. As for the Administration's favourite phantasy program--missile
defense--it have no capableness for fillet a terrorist grouping purpose on
smuggling a soiled bomb or atomic arm into the United States.

This agency that improvements in fatherland defence should be the main
instruments for defending United States territory. These measurements should include
protecting chemical and atomic plants; developing a rational system of
immigration and boundary line security that focuses on intercepting known
terrorist suspects rather than imposing mass restrictions; improving
training of and communication theory among police, fire sections and
hospitals; and investment in public wellness establishments to better their
ability to observe possible eruptions of infective diseases.

As for dealing with aggression against United States allies, there are
relatively few lawsuits in which United States military units will be needed to transport out such
a mission. Most key United States allies, from other North Atlantic Treaty Organization states to State Of Israel to
South Korea, are more than than able to support themselves from a conventional
attack by their most likely adversaries. To the extent that United States forces
might be needed in a encouraging role, their missionary post should be limited
primarily to logistical support.

In the particular lawsuit of Taiwan, the chief line of defence should be
political, not military. Making it clear to Capital Of Taiwan that its United States security
guarantee makes not widen to a scenario in which it travels abruptly
toward independency without consulting key allies would be one prong of
a diplomatic strategy. The other would be to guarantee People'S Republic Of China that the
United States goes on to back up a two-Chinas policy, while
admonishing Peking to waive military action to prehend Taiwan.

On the issue of human-centered intervention, the United States have a
mixed record, from late but important battle in Bosnia And Herzegovina and Kosovo
to a shameful deficiency of action to halt the race murder in Rwanda. In the
ongoing human-centered crisis of ethnical cleaning in Sudan, the most
important function we can play is to supply fiscal and logistical
support to regional and international peacekeeping military units while leading
efforts to set economical and political pressure level on Capital Of Sudan to stop
supporting reserves engaged in mass homicide in the southern portion of the
country. The United States function should also include combined diplomatic negotiations to get
China to discontinue its investing in Sudan's oil resources until the regime
meets international criteria of conduct. For possible humanitarian
interventions in the future, aim criteria should be developed
based on the badness of the situation--an attack that would have
dictated United States engagement to halt the race murder in Rwanda.

For all the Shrub Administration's accent on military attacks to
fighting terrorism, military military unit should be the last of the tools used
in this effort. The tools of pick are better intelligence-gathering,
efforts to restrict the flowing of finances and guns to terrorist groups,
determined law-enforcement attempts aimed at improving on an already
significant record of trying and convicting terrorist suspects in
regular tribunals (as occurred in the United States before
Guantánamo, as well as in Europe), and the possible usage of air
power or particular military units to aim specific terrorist preparation camps. One
mission that should be ruled out is government alteration as a manner to sever
connections--real or imagined--between terrorist groupings and specific

Not only would the security scheme outlined above forestall the
need to increase the size of the Army and Marines, it would let for
cuts in the size of the armed forces, in concurrence with a decrease in
US "global reach" as expressed by the 100s of United States armed forces bases
spread across the globe.

The degree of item set out here is improbable to be discussed in the
context of a presidential campaign, but it would be immensely
helpful if the major campaigners would at least re-think their
commitments to antique security tools like an addition in the size of
the armed military units and the usage of veiled atomic menaces against
nonnuclear states. Even if most of the measurements proposed in this essay
aren't implemented by the President inaugurated in 2009, an informed
debate on the hereafter of United States security policy can convey much-needed change
over time.

No comments: