In the discussion thread: So the DOJ acknowledges that the Bush War Criminals are guilty of crimes! [View all]
Response to Samantha (Reply #33)
Tue Aug 27, 2013, 11:26 AM
KoKo (84,187 posts)
70. Project for the New American Century--Those are the ones to hold accountable!
Project for the New American Century
Statement of Principles
PNAC's first public act was releasing a "Statement of Principles" on June 3, 1997, which was signed by both its members and a variety of other notable conservative politicians and journalists (see Signatories to Statement of Principles). The statement began by framing a series of questions, which the rest of the document proposes to answer:
As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world's pre-eminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?
In response to these questions, the PNAC states its aim to "remind America" of "lessons" learned from American history, drawing the following "four consequences" for America in 1997:
we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;
we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;
we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;
we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.
While "Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today," the "Statement of Principles" concludes, "it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next."
Calls for regime change in Iraq during Clinton years
The goal of regime change in Iraq remained the consistent position of PNAC throughout the 1997-2000 Iraq disarmament crisis.
Richard Perle, who later became a core member of PNAC, was involved in similar activities to those pursued by PNAC after its formal organization. For instance, in 1996 Perle composed a report that proposed regime changes in order to restructure power in the Middle East. The report was titled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm and called for removing Saddam Hussein from power, as well as other ideas to bring change to the region. The report was delivered to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Two years later, in 1998, Perle and other core members of the PNAC - Paul Wolfowitz, R. James Woolsey, Elliot Abrams, and John Bolton - "were among the signatories of a letter to President Clinton calling for the removal of Hussein." Clinton did seek regime change in Iraq, and this position was sanctioned by the United Nations. These UN sanctions were considered ineffective by the neoconservative forces driving the PNAC.
The PNAC core members followed up these early efforts with a letter to Republican members of the U.S. Congress Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott, urging Congress to act. The PNAC also supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (H.R.4655), which President Clinton had signed into law.
On January 16, 1998, following perceived Iraqi unwillingness to co-operate with UN weapons inspections, members of the PNAC, including Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Robert Zoellick drafted an open letter to President Bill Clinton, posted on its website, urging President Clinton to remove Saddam Hussein from power using U.S. diplomatic, political, and military power. The signers argue that Saddam would pose a threat to the United States, its Middle East allies, and oil resources in the region, if he succeeded in maintaining what they asserted was a stockpile of Weapons of Mass Destruction. They also state: "we can no longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War to continue to uphold the sanctions or to punish Saddam when he blocks or evades UN inspections" and "American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council." They argue that an Iraq war would be justified by Hussein's defiance of UN "containment" policy and his persistent threat to U.S. interests.
On November 16, 1998, citing Iraq's demand for the expulsion of UN weapons inspectors and the removal of Richard Butler as head of the inspections regime, Kristol called again for regime change in an editorial in his online magazine, The Weekly Standard: "...any sustained bombing and missile campaign against Iraq should be part of any overall political-military strategy aimed at removing Saddam from power." Kristol states that Paul Wolfowitz and others believed that the goal was to create "a 'liberated zone' in southern Iraq that would provide a safe haven where opponents of Saddam could rally and organize a credible alternative to the present regime ... The liberated zone would have to be protected by U.S. military might, both from the air and, if necessary, on the ground."
In January 1999, the PNAC circulated a memo that criticized the December 1998 bombing of Iraq in Operation Desert Fox as ineffective, questioned the viability of Iraqi democratic opposition which the U.S. was supporting through the Iraq Liberation Act, and referred to any "containment" policy as an illusion.
Rebuilding America's Defenses
In September 2000, the PNAC published a controversial 90-page report entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources For a New Century. The report, which lists as Project Chairmen Donald Kagan and Gary Schmitt and as Principal Authors. Thomas Donnelly, quotes from the PNAC's June 1997 "Statement of Principles" and proceeds "from the belief that America should seek to preserve and extend its position of global leadership by maintaining the preeminence of U.S. military forces."
The report argues:
The American peace has proven itself peaceful, stable, and durable. It has, over the past decade, provided the geopolitical framework for widespread economic growth and the spread of American principles of liberty and democracy. Yet no moment in international politics can be frozen in time; even a global Pax Americana will not preserve itself.
After its title page, the report features a page entitled "About the Project for the New American Century", quoting key passages from its 1997 "Statement of Principles":
a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States’ global responsibilities. Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership of the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of the past century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.
In its "Preface", in highlighted boxes, Rebuilding America's Defenses states that it aims to:
ESTABLISH FOUR CORE MISSIONS for the U.S. military:
defend the American homeland;
fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars;
perform the “constabulary” duties associated with shaping the security environment in critical regions;
transform U.S. forces to exploit the “revolution in military affairs”;
To carry out these core missions, we need to provide sufficient force and budgetary allocations. In particular, the United States must:
MAINTAIN NUCLEAR STRATEGIC SUPERIORITY, basing the U.S. deterrent upon a global, nuclear net assessment that weighs the full range of current and emerging threats, not merely the U.S.-Russia balance.
RESTORE THE PERSONNEL STRENGTH of today’s force to roughly the levels anticipated in the “Base Force” outlined by the Bush Administration, an increase in active-duty strength from 1.4 million to 1.6 million.
REPOSITION U.S. FORCES to respond to 21st century strategic realities by shifting permanently based forces to Southeast Europe and Southeast Asia, and by changing naval deployment patterns to reflect growing U.S. strategic concerns in East Asia. (iv)
It specifies the following goals:
MODERNIZE CURRENT U.S. FORCES SELECTIVELY, proceeding with the F-22 program while increasing purchases of lift, electronic support and other aircraft; expanding submarine and surface combatant fleets; purchasing Comanche helicopters and medium-weight ground vehicles for the Army, and the V-22 Osprey “tilt-rotor” aircraft for the Marine Corps.
CANCEL “ROADBLOCK” PROGRAMS such as the Joint Strike Fighter, CVX aircraft carrier, and Crusader howitzer system that would absorb exorbitant amounts of Pentagon funding while providing limited improvements to current capabilities. Savings from these canceled programs should be used to spur the process of military transformation.
DEVELOP AND DEPLOY GLOBAL MISSILE DEFENSES to defend the American homeland and American allies, and to provide a secure basis for U.S. power projection around the world.
CONTROL THE NEW “INTERNATIONAL COMMONS” OF SPACE AND “CYBERSPACE”, and pave the way for the creation of a new military service – U.S. Space Forces – with the mission of space control.
EXPLOIT THE “REVOLUTION IN MILITARY AFFAIRS” to insure the long-term superiority of U.S. conventional forces. Establish a two-stage transformation process which
• maximizes the value of current weapons systems through the application of advanced technologies, and,
• produces more profound improvements in military capabilities, encourages competition between single services and joint-service experimentation efforts.
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. (v)
The report emphasizes:
Fulfilling these requirements is essential if America is to retain its militarily dominant status for the coming decades. Conversely, the failure to meet any of these needs must result in some form of strategic retreat. At current levels of defense spending, the only option is to try ineffectually to “manage” increasingly large risks: paying for today’s needs by shortchanging tomorrow’s; withdrawing from constabulary missions to retain strength for large-scale wars; “choosing” between presence in Europe or presence in Asia; and so on. These are bad choices. They are also false economies. The “savings” from withdrawing from the Balkans, for example, will not free up anywhere near the magnitude of funds needed for military modernization or transformation. But these are false economies in other, more profound ways as well. The true cost of not meeting our defense requirements will be a lessened capacity for American global leadership and, ultimately, the loss of a global security order that is uniquely friendly to American principles and prosperity. (v-vi)
In relation to the Persian Gulf, citing particularly Iraq and Iran, Rebuilding America's Defenses states that "while the unresolved conflict in 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" and "Over the long term, Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has. And even should U.S.-Iranian relations improve, retaining forward-based forces in the region would still be an essential element in U.S. security strategy given the longstanding American interests in the region."
One of the core missions outlined in the 2000 report Rebuilding America's Defenses is "fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars."
Post-9/11 call for regime change in Iraq
On September 20, 2001 (nine days after the September 11, 2001 attacks), the PNAC sent a letter to President George W. Bush, advocating "a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq", or regime change:
...even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism.
From 2001 through 2002, the co-founders and other members of the PNAC published articles supporting the United States' invasion of Iraq. On its website, the PNAC promoted its point of view that leaving Saddam Hussein in power would be "surrender to terrorism."
In 2003, during the period leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the PNAC had seven full-time staff members in addition to its board of directors.
Human Rights and the EU Arms Embargo
In 2005, the European Union considered lifting the arms embargo placed on Beijing. The embargo was put in place after the events at Tiananmen Square in 1989. The PNAC, along with other concerned countries, composed a letter to Javier Solana, asking that the EU not lift the embargo until three conditions were met:
A general amnesty of all prisoners of conscience, including those imprisoned in connection to peaceful protest in 1989, and public trials by independent court for those charged with ‘criminal’ acts.
A reversal of the official verdict on the 1989 movement as a ‘counter-revolution riot,’ allowing an independent ‘truth commission’ to investigate and provide a comprehensive account of the killings, torture, and arbitrary detention, and bringing to justice those responsible for the violations of human rights involved.
Adoption and implementation of the International Covenant on Civil Political Rights, taking concrete actions to enforce other international human rights conventions and treaties that China has joined.
The justification for these conditions was explained as follows:
“Doing away with this sanction without corresponding improvements in human rights... would send the wrong signal to the Chinese people, including especially those of us who lost loved ones, who are persecuted, and for all Chinese who continue to struggle for the ideal that inspired the 1989 movement.”
End of the organization
By the end of 2006, PNAC was "reduced to a voice-mail box and a ghostly website", with "a single employee" "left to wrap things up", according to the BBC News. According to Tom Barry, "The glory days of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) quickly passed." In 2006, Gary Schmitt, former executive director of the PNAC, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and director of its program in Advanced Strategic Studies, stated that PNAC had come to a natural end:
When the project started, it was not intended to go forever. That is why we are shutting it down. We would have had to spend too much time raising money for it and it has already done its job. We felt at the time that there were flaws in American foreign policy, that it was neo-isolationist. We tried to resurrect a Reaganite policy. Our view has been adopted. Even during the Clinton administration we had an effect, with Madeleine Albright saying that the United States was 'the indispensable nation'. But our ideas have not necessarily dominated. We did not have anyone sitting on Bush's shoulder. So the work now is to see how they are implemented.
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Project for the New American Century--Those are the ones to hold accountable!
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