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What Empires Have Said Throughout History: “One More Surge”

Washington’s Blog
Thursday, Dec 3rd, 2009

A leading advisor to the U.S. military, the Rand Corporation, released a study in 2008 called “How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al Qa’ida“. The report confirms what experts have been saying for years: the war on terror is actually weakening national security.

As a press release about the study states:

“Terrorists should be perceived and described as criminals, not holy warriors, and our analysis suggests that there is no battlefield solution to terrorism.”

In fact, starting right after 9/11 — at the latest — the goal has always been to create “regime change” and instability in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and other countries.

As American historian, investigative journalist and policy analyst Gareth Porter writes in the Asia Times:

Three weeks after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regime in Iran, as well as in Syria and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted extensively in then-under secretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith’s recently published account of the Iraq war decisions. Feith’s account further indicates that this aggressive aim of remaking the map of the Middle East by military force and the threat of force was supported explicitly by the country’s top military leaders.

Feith’s book, War and Decision, released last month, provides excerpts of the paper Rumsfeld sent to President George W Bush on September 30, 2001, calling for the administration to focus not on taking down Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network but on the aim of establishing “new regimes” in a series of states

***

General Wesley Clark, who commanded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombing campaign in the Kosovo war, recalls in his 2003 book Winning Modern Wars being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of states that Rumsfeld and deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz wanted to take down included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia [and Lebanon].

***

When this writer asked Feith . . . which of the six regimes on the Clark list were included in the Rumsfeld paper, he replied, “All of them.”

***

The Defense Department guidance document made it clear that US military aims in regard to those states would go well beyond any ties to terrorism. The document said the Defense Department would also seek to isolate and weaken those states and to “disrupt, damage or destroy” their military capacities – not necessarily limited to weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

The goal was never focused on destroying Al Qaeda. As just one example, the U.S. let Bin Laden escape in 2001 and again in 2007.

Indeed, the goal seems to have more to do with being a superpower (i.e. an empire) than stopping terrorism.

As Porter writes:

After the bombing of two US embassies in East Africa [in 1988] by al-Qaeda operatives, State Department counter-terrorism official Michael Sheehan proposed supporting the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in Afghanistan against bin Laden’s sponsor, the Taliban regime. However, senior US military leaders “refused to consider it”, according to a 2004 account by Richard H Shultz, Junior, a military specialist at Tufts University.

A senior officer on the Joint Staff told State Department counter-terrorism director Sheehan he had heard terrorist strikes characterized more than once by colleagues as a “small price to pay for being a superpower”.

One More Surge in Afghanistan

Empire after empire has broken its back trying to control Afghanistan.

Why?

It is the crossroads between East, West, South Asia and Central Asia. And now it is the proposed site for a Trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline.

If you believe President Obama’s statement that America will be out of Afghanistan in 18 months, I have some barren, rocky hills to sell you. Indeed:

[Presidential] aides said that by announcing a date for beginning a withdrawal, the president was not setting an end date for the war.

And as CNN notes, the 2011 date for the beginning of withdrawal is not fixed in stone.

And it is important to note that – contrary to conventional wisdom – extended wars cause rather than end recessions. See this, this and this.

Michael Rivero summarizes Obama’s Afghanistan war surge in the context of the 2,000-plus-year history of empires trying to conquer that country:

“Just one more surge!” — The Indus

“Just one more surge!” — The Kushan

“Just one more surge!” — The Scythians

“Just one more surge!” — The Parthians

“Just one more surge!” — The Saffarid

“Just one more surge!” — The Ghaznavid

“Just one more surge!” — The Ghorid

“Just one more surge!” — The Timurid

“Just one more surge!” — The Hotaki

“Just one more surge!” — The Durrani

“Just one more surge!” — The Aryan

“Just one more surge!” — The Persians

“Just one more surge!” — The Sassanids

“Just one more surge!” — The Hephthalites

“Just one more surge!” — The Huns

“Just one more surge!” — The Mughals

“Just one more surge!” — The Arabs

“Just one more surge!” — The Turkic

“Just one more surge!” — The Hazaras

“Just one more surge!” — The Khwarezmids

“Just one more surge!” — The Mongols

“Just one more surge!” — The British

“Just one more surge!” — The British (again)

“Just one more surge!” — The British (Yet again)

“Just one more surge!” — The USSR

“Just one more surge!” — The United States

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