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Hell to Pay
Posted on Oct 30, 2008
Defense Research and Development
PNAC: build new kinds of conventional forces for different strategic challenges and a new technological environment.
Bush: “The real goal is to move beyond marginal improvements—to replace existing programs with new technologies and strategies.”
It is obvious that the economy, health care, education and social services would be sacrificed in order to finance the research and development of such high-tech weaponry under a Bush/PNAC plan. An administration that placed a premium on defense R&D, as McCain’s commitment to the PNAC ideology requires, could not realistically address these other concerns. Indeed, the thrust of the PNAC plan has been toward vastly increased R&D defense spending:
PNAC: “… increase defense spending gradually to a minimum level of 3.5 to 3.8 percent of gross domestic product, adding $15 billion to $20 billion to total defense spending annually.”
Bush: “The transformation of our military will require a new and greater emphasis on research and development. So I will also commit an additional $20 billion to defense R&D between the time I take office and 2006.”
As you can see, Bush’s figure of a $20-billion increase in R&D did not come out of thin air. It is the high end of the figure that PNAC had recommended in its 2000 “RAD.” In fact, according to the Department of Defense, between 2001 and 2004 Bush “steadfastly increased R&D investments” from $41.1 billion to $64.3 billion, an increase of $23.2 billion, “in order to skip a generation of weapons and transform the military into the 21st Century fighting force it must become.”
In a post-9/11 world where fear of another attack on the U.S. homeland had reached concert pitch, PNAC/Bush was able to exploit the situation to attain the massive increases in defense spending. Bush appears to have been aware of this “homeland” advantage in 1999 before he took office and two years before the tragic attacks took place. And in 2000, one year before the attacks, PNAC lucidly conjectured about the utility of such an attack as a “catalyst” for financing its transformative objective:
PNAC: “… the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.”
Bush: “Not since the years before Pearl Harbor has our investment in national defense been so low as a percentage of GNP.”
Fighting Multiple Simultaneous Preemptive Wars
On the surface, the PNAC/Bush case for a massive increase in defense R&D can be made on the grounds that it is needed to defend the U.S. homeland from terrorist attacks. However, when seen in the broader context of the PNAC/Bush objective of maintaining the geopolitical pre-eminence of the U.S., this concern becomes only a corollary. It is a truism that we would be safer if we could defend ourselves more effectively; however, the PNAC/Bush mission was never purely defensive; it was and is essentially offensive—to threaten and if necessary militaristically defeat any potential competitors for the title of pre-eminent world power. Indeed, advancing U.S. economic (oil) interests in the Persian Gulf, not defending our turf from a terrorist attack, appears to have been the real reason for the PNAC/Bush invasion of Iraq and its present preoccupation with Iran:
PNAC: “Over the long term, Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has.”
Bush: “Iran has made rapid strides in its missile program, and Iraq persists in a race to do the same.”
While PNAC was more upfront than Bush about U.S. economic interests in the Gulf as the main motive for establishing permanent bases there, the targeting of Iran and Iraq is clearly part of the geopolitical play for power that PNAC/Bush envisioned all along. Notice that the PNAC/Bush plan had Iraq in its scope well before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The 2000 “RAD” did not mince words about this. “While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification,” it stated, “the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”
PNAC/Bush Brigade Cannot Afford to Lose Power in Midstream
PNAC: “Over the first seven years of the Clinton administration, approximately $426 billion in defense investments have been deferred, creating a weapons procurement ‘bow wave’ of immense proportions.”
Bush: “The last seven years have been wasted in inertia and idle talk. Now we must shape the future with new concepts, new strategies, new resolve.”
It is obvious that the PNAC/Bush administration does not want to hand over power to an administration that does not share its ideology. How far it will go to stop an Obama administration from coming to fruition remains to be seen, but clearly it is strongly motivated and has already gone too far to graciously bow out.
The situation is therefore a precarious one. Logistically, the PNAC/Bush brigade’s “plan A” is undoubtedly for McCain to be elected. Just how he is “elected” may be less important than whether he is. For example, widespread election fraud such as inserting malicious code into voting machines in battleground states, throwing out ballots, “caging” and other illegal election practices may be sufficient to tip the vote tally in favor of McCain. Such actions aren’t unlikely given the high stakes and the irregularities that occurred in the past two presidential elections.
But what will happen if McCain loses?
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