jonathan | 10.06.2002 12:59
New Policy To Strike FirstHere's a more detailed and thoughtful news story from the New Yorker about this new Baby Bush Doctrine....
The Bush administration is developing a new strategic doctrine that moves away from the Cold War pillars of containment and deterrence toward a policy that supports preemptive attacks against terrorists and hostile states with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.
Some defense analysts said preemption carries the risk of causing a crisis to escalate quickly by increasing pressure on both sides to act sooner rather than later -- forcing them, in the parlance of the nuclear chess game, to "use it or lose it."
"Preemption is attractive on the surface," said defense analyst Harlan Ullman. But he added: "As one gets deeper, it gets more and more complicated and dangerous."
Critics also note that a botched attack that blew chemicals, biological spores or radioactive material into the atmosphere would risk killing thousands of people, not only in the target nation, but in neighboring countries. ''
The Next World Order
'' When the Administration submitted its budget earlier this year, it asked for a forty-eight-billion-dollar increase in defense spending for fiscal 2003, which begins in October, 2002. Much of that sum would go to improve military pay and benefits, but ten billion dollars of it is designated as an unspecified contingency fund for further operations in the war on terrorism. That's probably at least the initial funding for an invasion of Iraq.
This spring, the Administration will be talking to other countries about the invasion, trying to secure basing and overflight privileges, while Bush builds up a rhetorical case for it by giving speeches about the unacceptability of developing weapons of mass destruction. A drama involving weapons inspections in Iraq will play itself out over the spring and summer, and will end with the United States declaring that the terms that Saddam offers for the inspections, involving delays and restrictions, are unacceptable. Then, probably in the late summer or early fall, the enormous troop positioning, which will take months, will begin. The Administration obviously feels confident that the United States can effectively parry whatever aggressive actions Saddam takes during the troop buildup, and hopes that its moves will destabilize Iraq enough to cause the Republican Guard, the military key to the country, to turn against Saddam and topple him on its own. But the chain of events leading inexorably to a full-scale American invasion, if it hasn't already begun, evidently will begin soon. ''
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