An Imperial Strategy for a New World Order: The Origins of World War III (Excerpt from Part 1)By Andrew Gavin Marshall, Global Research
October 16, 2009
In the face of total global economic collapse, the prospects of a massive international war are increasing. Historically, periods of imperial decline and economic crisis are marked by increased international violence and war. The decline of the great European empires was marked by World War I and World War II, with the Great Depression taking place in the intermediary period.
Currently, the world is witnessing the decline of the American empire, itself a product born out of World War II. As the post-war imperial hegemon, America ran the international monetary system and reigned as champion and arbitrator of the global political economy.
To manage the global political economy, the US has created the single largest and most powerful military force in world history. Constant control over the global economy requires constant military presence and action.
Now that both the American empire and global political economy are in decline and collapse, the prospect of a violent end to the American imperial age is drastically increasing ...
The War on Terror and the Project for the New American Century (PNAC)
When Bill Clinton became President, the neo-conservative hawks from the George H.W. Bush administration formed a think tank called the Project for the New American Century or PNAC. In 2000, they published a report called, Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century. Building upon the Defense Policy Guidance document, they state that:
“The United States must retain sufficient forces able to rapidly deploy and win multiple simultaneous large-scale wars.” Further, there is “need to retain sufficient combat forces to fight and win, multiple, nearly simultaneous major theatre wars,” and that “the Pentagon needs to begin to calculate the force necessary to protect, independently, US interests in Europe, East Asia and the Gulf at all times.”Interestingly, the document stated that:
“The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”However, in advocating for massive increases in defense spending and expanding the American empire across the globe, including the forceful destruction of multiple countries through major theatre wars, the report stated that:
“Further, 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.”That event came one year later with the events of 9/11. Many of the authors of the report and members of the PNAC had become officials in the Bush administration, and were conveniently in place to enact their “Project” after they got their “new Pearl Harbor.”
The plans for war were “already under development by far right Think Tanks in the 1990s, organisations in which cold-war warriors from the inner circle of the secret services, from evangelical churches, and from weapons corporations and oil companies forged shocking plans for a new world order.” To do this, “the USA would need to use all means – diplomatic, economic and military, even wars of aggression—to have long term control of the resources of the planet and the ability to keep any possible rival weak.”
Among the people involved in PNAC and the plans for empire, “Dick Cheney - Vice President, Lewis Libby - Cheney's Chief of Staff, Donald Rumsfeld - Defence Minister, Paul Wolfowitz - Rumsfeld's deputy, Peter Rodman - in charge of 'Matters of Global Security', John Bolton - State Secretary for Arms Control, Richard Armitage - Deputy Foreign Minister, Richard Perle - former Deputy Defence Minister under Reagan, now head of the Defense Policy Board, William Kristol - head of the PNAC and adviser to Bush, known as the brains of the President, Zalmay Khalilzad,” who became Ambassador to both Afghanistan and Iraq following the regime changes in those countries.
Brzezinski’s “Grand Chessboard”
Arch-hawk strategist, Zbigniew Brzezinski, co-founder of the Trilateral Commission with David Rockefeller, former National Security Adviser and key foreign policy architect in Jimmy Carter’s administration, also wrote a book on American geostrategy. Brzezinski is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderberg Group, and has also been a board member of Amnesty International, the Atlantic Council and the National Endowment for Democracy. Currently, he is a trustee and counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a major US policy think tank.
In his 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard, Brzezinski outlined a strategy for America in the world. He wrote:
“For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia. For half a millennium, world affairs were dominated by Eurasian powers and peoples who fought with one another for regional domination and reached out for global power.” Further, “how America ‘manages’ Eurasia is critical. Eurasia is the globe’s largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail African subordination.”He continued in outlining a strategy for American empire, stating that:
“It is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this book.”He explained that “two basic steps are thus required:
- First, to identify the geostrategically dynamic Eurasian states that have the power to cause a potentially important shift in the international distribution of power and to decipher the central external goals of their respective political elites and the likely consequences of their seeking to attain them; [and]
- Second, to formulate specific U.S. policies to offset, co-opt, and/or control the above.”
Iran could hold the potential to alter the balance of power in Eurasia if it were to closely ally itself with Russia or China, or both—giving those nations a heavy supply of oil as well as a sphere of influence in the Gulf, thus challenging American hegemony in the region.
Brzezinski removed all subtlety from his imperial leanings, and wrote:
“To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.”Brzezinski referred to the Central Asian republics as the “Eurasian Balkans,” writing that:
“Moreover, they [the Central Asian Republics] are of importance from the standpoint of security and historical ambitions to at least three of their most immediate and more powerful neighbors, namely Russia, Turkey and Iran, with China also signaling an increasing political interest in the region. But the Eurasian Balkans are infinitely more important as a potential economic prize: an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil reserves is located in the region, in addition to important minerals, including gold.”This is a clear example of America’s role as an engine of empire; with foreign imperial policy designed to maintain US strategic positions, but primarily and “infinitely more important,” is to secure an “economic prize” for “the global community.” In other words, the United States is an imperial hegemon working for international financial interests.
He further wrote that, “it follows that America's primary interest is to help ensure that no single power comes to control this geopolitical space and that the global community has unhindered financial and economic access to it.”
Brzezinski also warned that:
“The United States may have to determine how to cope with regional coalitions that seek to push America out of Eurasia, thereby threatening America's status as a global power,” and he, “puts a premium on maneuver and manipulation in order to prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America's primacy.” Thus, “the most immediate task is to make certain that no state or combination of states gains the capacity to expel the United States from Eurasia or even to diminish significantly its decisive arbitration role.”The War on Terror and Surplus Imperialism
In 2000, the Pentagon released a document called Joint Vision 2020, which outlined a project to achieve what they termed, “Full Spectrum Dominance,” as the blueprint for the Department of Defense in the future.
“Full-spectrum dominance means the ability of U.S. forces, operating alone or with allies, to defeat any adversary and control any situation across the range of military operations.” The report “addresses full-spectrum dominance across the range of conflicts from nuclear war to major theater wars to smaller-scale contingencies. It also addresses amorphous situations like peacekeeping and noncombat humanitarian relief.” Further, “The development of a global information grid will provide the environment for decision superiority.”As political economist, Ellen Wood, explained:
“Boundless domination of a global economy, and of the multiple states that administer it, requires military action without end, in purpose or time.”Following 9/11, the “Bush doctrine” was put in place, which called for “a unilateral and exclusive right to preemptive attack, anytime, anywhere, unfettered by any international agreements, to ensure that ‘[o]ur forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hope of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States’.”
Further, “Imperial dominance in a global capitalist economy requires a delicate and contradictory balance between suppressing competition and maintaining conditions in competing economies that generate markets and profit. This is one of the most fundamental contradictions of the new world order.”
NATO undertook its first ground invasion of any nation in its entire history, with the October 2001 invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. The Afghan war was in fact, planned prior to the events of 9/11, with the breakdown of major pipeline deals between major western oil companies and the Taliban. The war itself was planned over the summer of 2001 with the operational plan to go to war by mid-October.
Afghanistan is extremely significant in geopolitical terms as:
- “Transporting all the Caspian basin's fossil fuel through Russia or Azerbaijan would greatly enhance Russia's political and economic control over the central Asian republics, which is precisely what the west has spent 10 years trying to prevent.
- Piping it through Iran would enrich a regime which the US has been seeking to isolate.
- Sending it the long way round through China, quite aside from the strategic considerations, would be prohibitively expensive.
- But pipelines through Afghanistan would allow the US both to pursue its aim of ‘diversifying energy supply’ and to penetrate the world's most lucrative markets.”
“Beyond American determination to hit back against the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks, beyond the likelihood of longer, drawn-out battles producing more civilian casualties in the months and years ahead, the hidden stakes in the war against terrorism can be summed up in a single word: oil.”Among the many notable states where there is a crossover between terrorism and oil and gas reserves of vital importance to the United States and the West, are Saudi Arabia, Libya, Bahrain, the Gulf Emirates, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan and Algeria, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Chechnya, Georgia and eastern Turkey.
Explaining further, “The map of terrorist sanctuaries and targets in the Middle East and Central Asia is also, to an extraordinary degree, a map of the world's principal energy sources in the 21st century. The defense of these energy resources—rather than a simple confrontation between Islam and the West—will be the primary flash point of global conflict for decades to come.”
Importantly, “this region accounts for more than 65 percent of the world's oil and natural gas production.” Further, “It is inevitable that the war against terrorism will be seen by many as a war on behalf of America's Chevron, ExxonMobil and Arco; France's TotalFinaElf; British Petroleum; Royal Dutch Shell and other multinational giants, which have hundreds of billions of dollars of investment in the region.”It’s no secret that the Iraq war had much to do with oil. In the summer of 2001, Dick Cheney convened an Energy Task Force, which was a highly secret set of meetings in which energy policy was determined for the United States. In the meetings and in various other means of communication, Cheney and his aides met with top officials and executives of Shell Oil, British Petroleum (BP), Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Conoco, and Chevron.
At the meeting, which took place before 9/11 and before there was any mention of a war on Iraq, documents of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals were presented and discussed, and “Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates (UAE) documents likewise feature a map of each country’s oilfields, pipelines, refineries and tanker terminals.” Both Royal Dutch Shell and British Petroleum have since received major oil contracts to develop Iraqi oilfields.
The war on Iraq, as well as the war on Afghanistan, also largely serves specifically American (and, more broadly, Western imperial-strategic interests) in the region. In particular, the wars were strategically designed to eliminate, threaten or contain regional powers, as well as to directly install several dozen military bases in the region, firmly establishing an imperial presence. The purpose of this is largely aimed at other major regional players and, specifically, encircling Russia and China and threatening their access to the regions oil and gas reserves. Iran is now surrounded, with Iraq on one side and Afghanistan on the other.
Part 1 of this essay outlined the US-NATO imperial strategy for entering the New World Order, following the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991. The primary aim was focused on encircling Russia and China and preventing the rise of a new superpower. The US was to act as the imperial hegemon, serving international financial interests in imposing the New World Order.
The next part to this essay examines the “colour revolutions” throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia, continuing the US and NATO policy of containing Russia and China; while controlling access to major natural gas reserves and transportation routes. The “colour revolutions” have been a pivotal force in geopolitical imperial strategy, and analyzing them is key to understanding the New World Order.
Colour-Coded Revolutions: The Origins of World War III (Part 2)
A New World War for a New World Order: The Origins of World War III (Part 3)