An Ant was running about in the sunshine and was searching for food when he came across a Chrysalis that was very near its time of change. The Chrysalis had moved its tail, and thus attracted the attention of the Ant, who then saw for the first time that it was alive. "Poor, pitiable animal!" cried the Ant disdainfully. "What a sad fate is yours! While I can run hither and thither, at my pleasure, and, if I wish, ascend the tallest tree, you lie imprisoned here in your shell, with power only to move a joint or two of your scaly tail." The Chrysalis heard all this, but did not try to make any reply. A few days after, when the Ant passed that way again, nothing but the shell remained. Wondering what had become of its contents, he felt himself suddenly shaded and fanned by the gorgeous wings of a beautiful Butterfly. "Behold in me", said the Butterfly, "your much-pitied friend! Boast now of your powers to run and climb as long as you can get me to listen". So saying, the Butterfly rose in the air, and, borne along and aloft on the summer breeze, was soon lost to the sight of the Ant forever. The idea behind this fable from Aesop is that appearances can be deceptive.
Over the last week, the world has been awash in negative financial news. The ongoing Greek tragedy that may or not be solved over the weekend (yet again), the apparent meltdown in the Chinese stock market, as well as the mysterious was it hacked-or-not event that took place at the New York Stock Exchange just a few days ago. But beyond all of the negative financial news, which has kept punters glued to the screens, another piece of news crept quietly by without much fanfare. The US military has just released several reports which seem to indicate a change in strategy.
The document, released by the Pentagon, and entitled “National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2015” announces a shift in focus from terrorists to “state actors” that “are challenging international norms”. The key to reading these reports is to understand the deeper meaning behind the doublespeak that is being used, and Dr. Paul Craig Roberts explains this by saying: “It is important to understand what these words mean. Governments that challenge international norms are sovereign countries that pursue policies independently of Washington’s policies. These “revisionist states” are threats, not because they plan to attack the US, which the Pentagon admits neither Russia nor China intend, but because they are independent“.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts goes on to emphasize the meaning of “independent” when he says: “Be sure to grasp the point: The threat is the existence of sovereign states, whose independence of action makes them “revisionist states.” In other words, their independence is out of step with the neoconservative Uni-Power doctrine that declares independent action to be the right of Washington alone. Washington’s History-given hegemony precludes any other country being independent in its actions. By definition, a country with a foreign policy independent of Washington is a threat”.
According to Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, “The Pentagon’s report defines the foremost “revisionist states” as Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. The focus is primarily on Russia. Washington hopes to co-op China, despite the “tension to the Asia-Pacific region” that China’s defense of its sphere of influence causes, a defense “inconsistent with international law” (this from Washington, the great violator of international law), by turning over what remains of the American consumer market to China. It is not yet certain that Iran has escaped the fate that Washington imposed on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Ukraine, and by complicity Palestine”.
In the Pentagon document, Russia is under fire for not acting “in accordance with international norms”, which means Russia is not following Washington’s leadership and behaving as a vassal, which is the behavior to which the Uni-Power is entitled. Summing it up, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts notes that “this Pentagon report tells us that war with Russia is our future unless Russia agrees to become a vassal state like every country in Europe, and Canada, Australia, Ukraine, and Japan”.
He concludes by saying: “The Pentagon report is sufficiently audacious in its hypocrisy, as all statements from Washington are, to declare that Washington and its vassals “support the established institutions and processes dedicated to preventing conflict, respecting sovereignty, and furthering human rights”. This from the military of a government that has invaded, bombed, and overthrown 11 governments, murdering and displacing millions of peoples, since the Clinton regime and is currently working to overthrow governments in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, and Argentina”.
But this wasn’t the only troubling piece of news to emerge over the last few weeks. In a public appearance at a congressional hearing and additionally at a think tank symposia, US Deputy Defense Secretary and second-in-command at the Pentagon Robert Work noted that the the US Defense Department is implementing plans for the aggressive modernization of America’s space warfare capabilities and nuclear forces, including the creation of new space warfare facilities and hundreds of billions in additional spending for nuclear weapons upgrades. He went on to note that the US will spend some $5 billion, an initial sum predicted to rise substantially, to develop military-related space systems, including communications and spy satellites, as part of joint efforts with the intelligence agencies and private firms. Further details about the new space ops centers have not been made public yet, though Work vowed that they would be up and running within six months.
Not only are things heating up in the academic working white paper world, but things are getting hot on the ground as well. Just in the last few days, the Obama administration’s nominee to take over as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has declared that Russia “presents the greatest threat to our national security” in a confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Specifically, General Joseph F. Dunford pointed to Russia’s nuclear arsenal as a serious threat to US interests. He is on record as saying: “If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia”. He went to end on a somber note: “If you look at their behavior, it’s nothing short of alarming”.
Dunford isn’t the only one that seems to have taken this position. Just a day before the US Air Force Secretary Deborah James was on record as saying that Russia presented the “biggest threat” to the United States’ security. She also called on all NATO members to boost their military spending to two percent of GDP as means of countering Russia. She told Reuters that the United States was increasing its military presence in Eastern Europe in response to Russia’s “worrisome” activity. Specifically, she noted that “this is no time to in any way signal a lack of resolve in the face of these Russian actions”. In response to her words, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that “she was creating an artificial atmosphere of hostility”.
With the apparent meltdown of the financial markets across the world, the potential break-up of the EU, and the rising domestic tension inside the United States, does it really make sense now to begin new space-based arms race? Wouldn’t the world be better off if the enormous sums of money that are being spent to develop new ways to kill more people more efficiently was instead used to put people to work by rebuilding crumbling infrastructure? To implement clean energy? To find ways to cure diseases? Or to end hunger?
So, what do you think dear listeners, “Does war make us safer”?