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New Foreign Policy Coalition Warns of US 'Empire-Building'
    #2049417 - 10/28/03 02:28 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

New Foreign Policy Coalition Warns of US 'Empire Building'

By Lawrence Morahan
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
October 27, 2003

Washington (CNSNews.com) - Members of a newly formed coalition of policy analysts last week accused the Bush administration of pursuing an increasingly imperialistic foreign policy agenda and warned that U.S. armed forces are dangerously extended in overseas deployments as a result.

Doug Bandow, a member of the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy - a group of scholars and analysts whose political views encompass all sides of the foreign policy debate - said the United States government is getting bigger as troop deployments overseas increase.

"Basically, if you're going to have big government abroad, you've got to be prepared to have big government at home. One aspect of that is if you want an imperial foreign policy, you're going to need an imperial military to carry it out," Bandow said.

"It's very hard to maintain garrisons all over the world in unpleasant places with a volunteer military," Bandow added.

After a panel discussion on Capitol Hill, coalition members told CNSNews.com they were seeking to turn American national security policy to what they believe are more realistic and sustainable measures for protecting U.S. vital interests.

For example, the coalition challenges the National Security Strategy, which calls on Washington to wage pre-emptive war if necessary against would-be rivals and to reshape regions of the world in ways that are compatible with U.S. interests and values.

E. Wayne Merry, a former State Department and Pentagon official, said that by invading Iraq, the United States has played its hand militarily, rendering less effective the threat of U.S. military force against potential enemies in the war on terrorism.

"The ideal military force for the United States is one that is so impressive to the outside world that no one would ever dare challenge it, and I'm afraid that one of the things that inadvertently we have done in Iraq is we have shown many of our adversaries and enemies the limits of American military power," Merry said.

The war in Afghanistan produced the image that American military power was virtually boundless. Iraq, however, has shown there are clear limits and that the U.S. is stretching those limits.

"That will encourage people who have no love for the United States to find ways of challenging us to find the weaknesses in our overstretched force structure, and I think that's potentially very dangerous," said Merry, who supported the war in Afghanistan as a necessary means of tracking down Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.

Like other coalition members, Merry said he opposed the war in Iraq because he did not think it was a justifiable use of American military power.

The U.S. armed forces structure currently is barely 40 percent of what it was at the height of the Cold War, with 10 Army divisions to support a foreign policy that calls for 15 or 20 divisions, Merry said.

The resulting stress on the National Guard and reserves - which are supposed to be used only in a crisis - is intolerable, Merry stated.

Rumsfeld memo realistic

The analysts described as realistic a memo by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld leaked this week in which he questioned the progress in the war on terrorism.

"The Rumsfeld memo suggested at least some serious person in this administration has some concerns, that despite the kind of 'happy face' the administration has put on publicly, privately there's very real concern, as there should be. That actually makes me feel a bit better," Bandow said.

In the memo, dated Oct. 16, Rumsfeld asks top aides to think of new ways to fight the war on terror. He said Washington will eventually prevail in its goals in Afghanistan and Iraq, but that it will be a "long, hard slog."

Rumsfeld appears to suggest that the United States may be fighting the war on terrorism in the wrong way, by focusing too much on military operations. He also wondered if the Pentagon could be reshaped fast enough to meet the terrorist threat.

Rumsfeld noted that the U.S. had no way of measuring its success in the war on terrorism, saying Washington had only "mixed results" so far battling al Qaeda.

Rumsfeld also cited "reasonable" progress in capturing or killing top former members of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, but he noted "somewhat slower progress" in tracking down former leaders of Afghanistan's Taliban.

"I think Secretary Rumsfeld's memo probably demonstrates something that's been commented on a number of times - that Rumsfeld is a classic conservative and not a neo-conservative like his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz," Merry said.

"Wolfowitz and his acolytes really think that we should be in the business of trying to change the Middle East, bringing democracy and Western-style economics and politics throughout the Middle East.

"A classic conservative has a much more skeptical notion of the ability to reform others, and I think Rumsfeld's memo probably reflected his underlying doubts as to this broader neo-con agenda for reform in the Middle East," Merry said.

At a news conference Thursday, Rumsfeld said the memo was aimed at getting people to think beyond day-to-day tasks and answer basic questions about the global war on terrorism and the Defense Department's roles.


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Re: New Foreign Policy Coalition Warns of US 'Empire-Building' [Re: Zahid]
    #2049910 - 10/28/03 09:00 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)


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Registered: 10/11/02
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Re: New Foreign Policy Coalition Warns of US 'Empire-Building' [Re: Zahid]
    #2050237 - 10/28/03 01:10 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

yeah maybe we should at least try to fix our own country before we attempt to "fix" (take over, rather..) others.

Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
In addition: SHPONGLE

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Registered: 02/26/01
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Re: New Foreign Policy Coalition Warns of US 'Empire-Building' [Re: Zahid]
    #2050547 - 10/28/03 02:29 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

"Wolfowitz and his acolytes really think that we should be in the business of trying to change the Middle East, bringing democracy and Western-style economics and politics throughout the Middle East.

I'm sure as long as Wolfy is 3000 miles away from where the fighting is he's all for it. I havn't seen anyone look as terrified as that gutless, cowardly peice of shit did after the hotel bombing in a long time.

Don't worry, B. Caapi

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