Emerging Bush Doctrine -
Reshaping U.S. Strategy
> >Although the Bush administration has seemed to be without
> >strategy for fighting groups like al Qaeda, a doctrine
> >emerging that will reshape the global U.S. strategy. The
> >of the United States is Washington's top priority, with
> >foreign policy interests taking a back seat. Any nation
> >not act against terror groups within its borders will be
> >virtual state of war with Washington.
> >Since the fall of the Taliban last year, the United States
> >appears to have become rudderless in its war against terrorism.
> >Washington's strategy has consisted of chasing down rumors
> >the location of al Qaeda and making vague threats about
> >insinuations about Iran and North Korea. It looks like
> >States doesn't really know what to do next. But looks can
> >deceiving. If you examine carefully, you can see both a
> >and a strategy emerging.
> >This is all framed by the Bush administration's view of
> >situation. From where it sits, there is every reason to
> >that the United States will be attacked by al Qaeda again.
> >more important, the possibility that al Qaeda or some other
> >U.S. organization has obtained weapons of mass destruction
> >be excluded. If that turns out to be true, then millions
> >Americans may possibly be killed in the coming months or
> >The most important goal for Washington must be to make
> >certain that no further attacks, especially nuclear, chemical
> >biological, can be launched on the United States. There
> >other comparable interest. The Bush Doctrine is based on
> >notion that the defense of the homeland from attacks represents
> >an interest so fundamental that all other foreign policy
> >interests must be completely subordinated.
> >We might summarize the Bush Doctrine this way: The United
> >faces an extraordinary danger. Washington is therefore
> >to take any action anywhere in the world to defend itself
> >this threat.
> >The defense of the homeland cannot be reduced to only defeating
> >al Qaeda. The Bush administration has studied the lessons
> >Israeli wars on Black September and other Palestinian groups
> >has drawn this conclusion: the defeat of any single group
> >disrupt and delay future attacks, but it cannot by itself
> >eliminate them. Even if the United States were to utterly
> >al Qaeda, a new group would likely emerge. Therefore, the
> >States has three strategic goals:
> >1. Disrupt and defeat al Qaeda in order to buy time for
> >thorough solution.
> >2. Prevent the emergence of follow-on groups by denying
> >sanctuaries in states where they can organize, train and
> >3. Limit the threat posed by al Qaeda and follow-on groups
> >systematically eliminating weapons of mass destruction
> >or developed by regimes that are favorably inclined toward
> >or in states where there is substantial sympathy for them.
> >Beginning with the last goal, there are a finite number
> >nations that have intensive programs underway to develop
> >of mass destruction and delivery systems and that also
> >prepared to aid al Qaeda. Three were named by U.S. President
> >George W. Bush during the State of the Union: Iraq, Iran
> >North Korea. Another unnamed nation is Pakistan.
> >It must be assumed by the United States that the first
> >these countries are developing WMD and/or delivery systems.
> >cannot be ruled out that either their governments or powerful
> >factions within their borders might be inclined to provide
> >Qaeda or other groups with these weapons for use against
> >United States.
> >Washington requires that these and other nations that are
> >identified demonstrably and verifiably abandon all attempts
> >build weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems.
> >should also convince the United States that they will under
> >circumstances transfer any technology to al Qaeda or any
> >group that intends covert action against the United States.
> >In the case of Iraq, for example, no assurances that might
> >made by Baghdad could possibly carry any weight. It would
> >therefore follow that it is the intention of the United
> >identify and directly attack any Iraqi facilities that
> >developing WMD. The recent announcement that the United
> >reserves the right to use nuclear weapons if needed fits
> >into this strategy. If it is determined that there are
> >that cannot be destroyed by conventional means, Washington
> >prepared to use nuclear weapons on them.
> >Intelligence is always imperfect. It is possible that sites
> >be hit that do not produce WMD. This is something the United
> >States is prepared to accept. More serious is the possibility
> >that all WMD sites are not identified. So in order to minimize
> >the risk the United States intends to destroy the Iraqi
> >overthrowing its leadership through a variety of military
> >obviously including air strikes and special operations.
> >If Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is in a hardened facility,
> >the use of nuclear weapons is not out of the question.
> >secondary and highly desirable outcome will be replacing
> >Hussein regime with one that is prepared to both abandon
> >development of WMD and deny sanctuary to groups planning
> >attack the United States. All other considerations, both
> >humanitarian and geopolitical, are completely secondary
> >primary goal.
> >Iran, North Korea and Pakistan are all in a different class
> >Iraq, but still represent fundamental threats to the United
> >States either because their governments' actions are
> >unpredictable or because the governments' control over
> >facilities are uncertain. Assurances from these various
> >cannot be taken at face value.
> >Therefore Iran and North Korea have been publicly warned,
> >assume that Pakistan has been privately warned, that the
> >presented to the United States by the diffusion of weapons
> >mass destruction, delivery systems or partial technologies
> >intolerable. Each country is being given opportunities
> >convince Washington that it is either not developing such
> >or that it is prepared to put into place inspection protocols
> >that will guarantee non-diffusion. Barring a satisfactory
> >solution, the United States is prepared to take extreme
> >measures in each of these countries to guarantee the elimination
> >of threats.
> >Simultaneously, the United States is putting forces into
> >for a direct, global attack on al Qaeda. U.S. intelligence
> >the process of identifying locales in which al Qaeda is
> >operating, and to the extent possible identifying precise
> >facilities and individuals. Under the Bush Doctrine and
> >to clear statements by the administration, the United States
> >at a suitable time attack each of these facilities regardless
> >where they are located.
> >If they have the support of the host government, that will
> >welcomed. If the host government cannot provide support
> >not hinder operations, the United States will enter that
> >unilaterally. If the host country is actively hostile to
> >entry of the United States, that country will be regarded
> >enemy aiding al Qaeda and its military forces will also
> >subject to attack.
> >Washington has been allied with many countries since World
> >II. Historical relationships are of significance only to
> >extent that the ally is prepared to materially aid the
> >States in defending its physical security. If, for example,
> >European allies cannot countenance an attack on an Iraq,
> >what will they support?
> >If even the destruction of Hussein and his weapons of mass
> >destruction appear to be too extreme a measure, then clearly
> >Europeans don't understand or are indifferent to the threat
> >the United States. The Bush administration will question
> >of an ally who opposes steps essential to the physical
> >the United States.
> >Thus, embedded in the emerging Bush Doctrine is a fundamental
> >redefinition of the U.S. alliance. During the Cold War,
> >allies were judged on their willingness to stand with the
> >States against the Soviets. Now they are judged by their
> >willingness stand with Washington not only against al Qaeda,
> >the range of threats that now physically threaten the United
> >The strategy that results from this appears to be a massive
> >onslaught on multiple levels against al Qaeda, against
> >that are intentionally or unintentionally enablers of al
> >and, above all, against countries that might be in the
> >giving al Qaeda access to weapons of mass destruction.
The key to
> >understanding this U.S. strategy is its limitlessness.
> >in the Bush Doctrine is the operational principle that
> >no measure too extreme given the threat that exists to
> >The Bush administration thinks that extreme and limitless
> >responses are what is needed to prevent the emergence of
> >on organizations. Building an organization like al Qaeda
> >taken years, a great deal of resources and above all physical
> >sanctuary. For al Qaeda, there were several bases of operation,
> >but Afghanistan was the most recent and best known.
> >A certain weakness has been identified in Washington's
> >previous anti-U.S. groups. In the past, the United States
> >others treated support for and hosting of such groups as
> >strand in a bilateral relationship. It was certainly a
> >mark, but it was also not a reason for decisive action.
> >So in spite of the fact that the Syrians supported and
> >extremists groups, the United States did not regard this
> >itself as a reason to launch military action. Quite the
> >Washington maintained a complex and varied relationship
> >Syria in which it would fight to undermine these groups
> >simultaneously working with the government on other matters.
> >short, support for militant groups was not a threshold,
> >simply another strand in the relationship.
> >Clearly, Bush intends to change that. Under the emerging
> >Doctrine, if a nation supports or hosts a group that intends
> >attack the United States, or if it deliberately fails to
> >against such a group, then that nation is in a de facto
> >war with the United States. The act of supporting or hosting
> >groups is a threshold that renders all other aspects of
> >bilateral relationship of no consequence. At a time and
> >its choosing, the United States will act against both the
> >and the state.
> >In order to prevent the emergence of follow-on al Qaedas,
> >central feature must be to deny them sanctuary. Ideally,
> >have suggested, the United States could work to abolish
> >poverty and misunderstanding that have given rise to al
> >Unfortunately, even if this were possible, there is no
> >The threat, in the eyes of the Bush administration, is
> >of months and the abolition of poverty is a matter of
> >generations. Therefore, if the carrot is impossible, then
> >stick will be used.
> >It is not clear that the Bush Doctrine will ever be formalized.
> >But it is increasingly apparent that the United States
> >to adopt this strategy. It is a complete reshaping of U.S.
> >strategy based on the assumption that the interests of
> >States have been fundamentally redefined by al Qaeda. An
> >extraordinary threat has been posed. An extraordinary solution
> >will be implemented.
> >In one sense, this seems to play into al Qaeda's hands.
> >group's strategy was to force the United States into a
> >the Islamic world, so that its vision of Washington as
> >"crusader" enemy of Islam would be validated.
> >The Bush strategy accepts such a risk for two reasons.
> >there is no choice. If the United States refuses to attack
> >Qaeda everywhere out of fear of perceptions, then al Qaeda
> >be a perpetual menace. Second, al Qaeda envisioned a series
> >broad attacks that were neither devastating nor decisive.
> >United States is indeed launching a broad attack, but intends
> >make it so stunningly decisive that it will impose a reality
> >will render perception immaterial.
> >The Bush strategy also plays to the core strengths of the
> >States. The United States is a global power and this is
> >strategy. It is heavily dependent on military power and
> >particularly dependent on complex diplomatic solutions.
> >The last aspect is critical because, in this mode of thinking,
> >time is of the essence. Al Qaeda is already deployed and
> >attacks will happen. If it does not yet have WMD, it is
> >trying to get them. Therefore, every day's delay increases
> >possibility of catastrophe. It follows then, that there
is not an
> >infinite amount of time available for action.