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Current Concerns - The monthly journal for independent thought, ethical standards and moral responsibility - English Edition of Zeit-Fragen
No 11/12, 2001/2002
29 May 2015, 06:03 PM
current issue

Rumsfeld and His Crew

An American-led global war was imminent long before September 11

There are numerous figures behind Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who have been shaping US foreign policy and strategic thinking for years, and who favour a geopolitical approach that will allow America, the ‘world’s pre-eminent power’, to pursue and advance its interests, and to extend an international order friendly to America’s principles and its economic order. They are pushing for American military actions, and they share a Manichean good vs. evil world view. Post-Cold-War European political geography is being designed in Washington.

lw. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, who after the September 11 attacks made the shocking demand to ‘end states’ that support or harbour terrorists, is a figure of nearly three decades experience in the strategic and defense establishment, a member of the board, or advisory board, of a wide range of leading ‘neo-conservative’ think tanks. In the early 1990s, as Under-secretary of Defense, he supervised a Pentagon strategic paper, which became known as the ‘Wolfowitz Doctrine’. It advised that, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and with German reunification, the United States must actively ensure that ‘no rival superpower is allowed to emerge in Western Europe, Asia, or the territories of the former Soviet Union.’ Wolfowitz is known to admire the ‘geopolitical doctrine’ put forward by Britain’s Sir Halford Mackinder, whose ‘Heartland Theory’, dating from the early 20th century, suggested that the control of Eastern Europe was vital to the control of the world.

A prominent role has been accorded to Richard Perle, now resident at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Washington neo-conservative think tank that has contributed a large number of personnel to the Bush Administration. Perle is the Chairman of a very important advisory group to Rumsfeld, the Defense Policy Board.

Together with 41 individuals he signed the famous ‘Letter to the President’ on 20 September 2001, circulated by the ‘Project for the New American Century’, in which retaliatory measures against Iraq are demanded, following the now familiar strategy used in the Afghanistan war: ‘… any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. […] The United States must therefore provide full military and financial support to the Iraqi opposition. American military force should be used to provide a “safe zone” in Iraq from which the opposition can operate.’ In the same letter the Hezbollah is mentioned as an essential target, Iran and Syria as potential targets. The Palestinian Authority is to be put under pressure, whereas Israel must be given unrestrained support.

Though Perle draws no government salary, he was appointed by Rumsfeld and he has an office in the Pentagon’s E-Ring. He has access to all manner of classified information; he is in the loop on war planning. By most common-sense definitions, Perle is more than a former member of the Reagan administration; he is a member of the current administration.

The key figure for strategic planning in the Pentagon is Douglas Feith, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, one of the Pentagon’s four senior posts, charged with ‘all matters concerning the formulation of national security and defense policy and the integration and oversight of DOD policy and plans.’ Wolfowitz occupied this position of chief architect of U.S. defense policy in the early 1990s. When Richard Perle was an Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration, Feith was his Special Counsel. In 1996, Perle and Feith co-authored an advisory paper for the newly elected Likud Prime Minister Netanyahu, which called for ‘a clean break from the peace process’, by Israel. They advised Netanyahu to reassert Israel’s claim to its land by rejecting ‘land for peace’ as the basis of peace, strengthen Israel’s defenses to better confront Syria and Iraq, and forge a new and stronger relationship with the United States.

Feith was the founder of the Washington international law group of Feith and Zell. His own biography says that he specializes in ‘technology transfer, joint ventures and foreign investment in the defense and aerospace industries.’

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(mails to the webmaster) 29.5.2015, 18:03 Uhr