August 18, 2010
Notes on Pax Americana! (Archives)
-The New American Century-
"Strength, Democracy, and Peace"
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Assessing the War on Terror ...
Evaluations, in 2010, of the Allied war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan-
By late 2003, Hizballah terrorist Imam Mughniyeh (deceased, killed in Syria, 2008) entered into Iraq. This fact
underscores the central role Iraq has played in the war on terror. After the Allied victory in May 2003, the Iraq
war evolved into a proxy war against terrorism. In the past, Cold War America and the Soviet Union avoided
direct military confrontation with each other via wars in Korea and Vietnam.
Similarly, Jihadists learned that a direct attack on the U.S. (9/11) led to a direct American attack against their
sponsoring terrorist state (the U.S. invasion of Taliban Afghanistan in 2001). Thrown off balance, terrorists
focused their activities on Iraq. With terrorists drawn to Iraq, the U.S. avoided further terrorist attacks at home.
Simply, the proxy war in Iraq contains the threat of terrorism to the United States.
The 2009 shift in terrorist activities from Iraq to Afghanistan indicates the American proxy strategy, an initiative
of the Bush Administration, is working; Allied efforts have worn the terrorists down. Al-Qaida leadership fled from
Iraq to Yemen in late 2009, and by March of 2010, to western Pakistan. Other terrorist cells forced from Iraq, alongside
cells harbored in Pakistan, now focus on Afghanistan, in an attempt to counter the American troop surge ordered
there by the Obama Administration.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff recently described Al-Qaida affiliates in Iraq, cut off from leaders in Pakistan, as
"devastated" by Spring operations carried out by U.S. and Iraqi military forces. (Burns, Robert, AP, 6/2010) The U.S.
also works with Allied Pakistan to destroy the displaced Al-Qaida cells, and remaining Taliban havens, within its
borders. Resolve is critical to winning the war on terror.
The New World Order: 1991
Iraq invaded Kuwait in
1990. The Soviet Union, democratizing under reforms initiated by Mikhail
eventually assented to the cause of the United States and its Allies during the 1991 Gulf War. The United States and
Allies stood triumphant over the U.S.S.R., whose concurrence with the West signified the victory of democracy in the
Cold War. The Soviet Union soon collapsed; its hold over its diverse peoples weakened by reforms. Taliban Islamists
took control of Afghanistan, a former Soviet satellite. Throughout the 1990s, Al-Qaida, another Islamist group,
promoted terrorism to force the creation of a worldwide Caliphate, ultimately destroying the New York City Twin
Towers in 2001. The United States, convinced Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction,
invaded Iraq in 2003. At the beginning of the century, Ba'athism and Islamism, alongside moribund
communist regimes, defined the threats to the hard-won American Peace.
Pax Americana: The First American Peace, 1947 to 1991
After the Second World War,
two views shaped American foreign policy. The first view, liberal perfectionism,
promote Wilsonian ideals in the international arena. Liberal perfectionists endorsed freedom of self-determination, the
virtue of democracy, and conflict mediation through the United Nations. Liberal perfectionism's origins are in the 19th
century American Social Gospel movement. Perfectionism is the moral basis of American exceptionalism. American
reform movements set forth democratic ideals, an example to other nations. Liberal perfectionists held disdain for
colonialism, prescribed a progressive model of democratic government to new states, also advocating the right of
subjected people to seek their own way under the auspice of the United Nations. Problematically, liberal perfectionists
found themselves naively supporting the anti-colonial struggles of anti-democratic communists in French Indochina
(Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos), whose 'progressive' ideological agenda denied the right of self-determination to
anticommunist counterparts. The second view of foreign policy, state realism, promoted a balance of power in the world,
stressing respective state interests as the driving force in international relations. The expansionist nature of Leninist
ideology undermined the balance of power. State realists worked to offset the communists, proposing aid for French
Union forces and direct American military intervention on their behalf.
The United States took on a leadership role in the world for both realist and idealist reasons. War-devastated Western
Europeans, terrified by Soviet expansion into Eastern Europe, looked to the United States for protection. By 1947,
Americans realized a Soviet move into Western Europe would undermine the balance of power and threaten the United
States. An American military presence in the region would contain the Soviets. Americans, in turn, offered Western
Europeans financial aid to rebuild their economies and, in the liberal perfectionist mold, promote democratic institutions.
This approach to foreign policy, recognized as "American perfectionism", sought a balance of power and the
advance of democracy. American perfectionism combined both views of foreign policy, affirming principles of
Wilsonian idealism, while also containing expansionist movements.
Totalitarianism: The Communist State
Alliance systems were
necessary to counter the threat of communist expansionism. The United States
aligned itself to
both democratic and undemocratic anticommunist states during the Cold War. After communists had been contained,
and the balance of power preserved, the United States pursued its perfectionist aims of promoting democracy. The
United States, as circumstances allowed, encouraged democratic reform in authoritarian Allies, utilizing diplomatic and
economic influence to realize this end. Allied South Korea, an anticommunist dictatorship,
eventually became democratic.
The organizational structure and ideological drive of the communist state define its totalitarian nature. Communist states
are bureaucratic-collectivist states, with power centered in the communist party and its expansive institutions. State
bureaucracies promote Leninist revolutionary ideology, which seeks to 'free' subjects from self-interest mentalities. The
state is undemocratic, outlawing popular mobilization in pursuit of these self-interests. Centralization is also necessary to
implement the state's collectivist (socialist) economic programs. Moreover, state ideology prescribes expansion of
Leninist revolution to neighboring states, in order to prevent future opposition to the new ruling group. Many communists
did use Leninism to promote nationalist goals. Regardless, the expansionist nature of the communist state, for either
ideological or nationalist reasons, finds example throughout the Cold War in the state sponsored terrorism and reckless
militarism of the Soviet Union, China, (Stalinist) Vietnam, and Cuba. In 1950, U.N. Allies thwarted the expansionist
aims of communist North Korea after it invaded the South.
Communist states are more centralized than authoritarian states and less susceptible to pressures for political reform.
North Korea, although contained, continues to resist political reform and is still undemocratic. However, in the case of
the U.S.S.R., internal economic stagnation compelled Mikhail Gorbachev to experiment with democratic policies in hopes
of reforming the Soviet system. Reforms undermined the power of the communist bureaucracies. Criticism of state policy
led to popular mobilization in pursuit of self-interests, economic and nationalistic.
The Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991.
Totalitarianism: The Islamist [Terrorist] State
Totalitarianism takes on
another form in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Iranian Revolution set forth
a new social model
for the Islamist state in its 1979 Constitution: "The mission of the Constitution is to realize the ideological objectives of the
Revolution and to create conditions conducive to the development of man in accordance with the noble and universal
values of Islam [Preamble]."(Mozaffari, Mehdi, "Islamist Policy", Aarhus University, 2009) To this end, Iran orientates its
subjects to the exhaustive regulations of Islamic rule through centralized ideological bureaucracies: "Ideological discourse
is emphasized almost daily by imams in the mosques and in Friday prayer, the commanders of the Revolutionary Guards,
as well as [by] other Iranian authorities." (Mozaffari)
Ideological mobilization encourages Islamist expansionism: "[The Iranian Revolution] is to strive with other Islamic and
popular movements to prepare the way for the formation of a single world community [Constitution of the Islamic
Republic of Iran]." (Mozaffari) Iranian created Jihadist [terrorist] groups, like Hizballah endorse this ideology. ("Ideology
of Hezbollah", Wikipedia, 2010) Hizballah has trained Al-Qaida cells to fight Allied forces in Iraq. (Gabriel, Brigitte,
"Hezbollah Rising", FrontPage, 2005)
Although Iran's Islamist ideology endorses a representational form of government, ideological support extends only to
those who share the views of the ruling group: "[Iranian] Islamic democracy is actually an anti-pluralist ideology trying
to eradicate non-Islamic ideologies." (Ghandchi, Sam, "Islamic Democracy Is Not Pluralism", Iranscope, 2003) Since
Iranian Islamist ideology rejects political pluralism, promoting the assimilation of new subjects into the ideological
framework of the Islamic Republic of Iran and like-minded movements, Islamic democracy, in effect, is an undemocratic
export. Iranian financial sponsorship and training of Hizballah (Byman, Daniel, "Iran, Terrorism, and Weapons of
Mass Destruction", Brookings, 2008) necessitates Iran's classification as a terrorist state. The American military presence
in Iraq counters Iranian Islamist aims. A free Iraqi state will act as a bulwark against Islamism, a
new democratic model for the Middle East.
Pax Americana: The Next American Peace
Communism challenged the
balance of power after the Second World War. The United States asserted its
through containing communism and sponsoring democracy whenever situations allowed. Perfectionist foreign policy
tempered through realism is evident in this new Era of expansionist Islamism. The containment of Jihadism
(through the proxy war in Iraq) is a framework to win the war on terror, just as the containment of communism
proved a framework to win the Cold War.
The American role of promoting democratic values in the contemporary world,
through national example (and when necessary, through direct military intervention on behalf of these values), is neither
culturally chauvinistic nor arrogant. This role developed during the Cold War. The United States reacted reasonably to
the threat of communism. Similarly, the United States has reacted reasonably to the threat of Jihadism. The worldviews
inherent in communism, Islamism, and democracy have universal aims. Totalitarianism advances the orientation,
mobilization, and export of oppressive and static assimilationist ideologies (and corresponding political models) to
established states through insurgentism, unprovoked or unnecessary military invasion, and acts of terror. The United
States countered totalitarianism, and continues to do so, on the assumption that the aspiration of democracy is superior
to the ambition of totalitarianism. Democracy advances the pursuit of self-interest, pluralism, and social/ political reform.
The United States continues to promote democracy and peace through examples of strength. The
American role in the world, therefore, is unique.
A Defense of the Allied Invasion of Iraq
American and British
leaders viewed the intentions of Saddam Hussein, in early 2003, on the basis of his previous
aggressions and resistance to disarmament provisions dictated to him at the end of the First Gulf War. These assessments
of Hussein led to the Allied intervention in Iraq:
Saddam Hussein, evidenced in the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, sought a stranglehold on oil resources necessary to
the industries of the United States and other states, seeking to undermine the economic stability or, alternatively stated,
the de facto national sovereignty of these states. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was seen as intent toward a subsequent
invasion of Saudi Arabia. The United Nations condemned the invasion. Allied forces intervened, forcing Iraq out
of Kuwait, in the 1991 Gulf War.
As a condition of the cease fire, UN Security Council Resolution 687 mandated Iraq dismantle its existing weapons
of mass destruction, cease further production, and comply with UNSCOM inspections to verify disarmament. Hussein
hid weapons for four years. In 1995, the United Nations located and destroyed large quantities of Iraqi WMDs. Saddam
Hussein, in turn, began to resist UN inspections. By October of 1998, Hussein announced that Iraq would end its
cooperation with the UN. To force Iraq's compliance, and degrade its ability to produce WMDs, Allies launched air
strikes against Iraq. Saddam Hussein continued to resist. A year later, he rejected another inspection resolution
passed in the UN.
No inspector had been in Iraq for four years. UN Security Council Resolution 1441, passed in 2002, declared Iraq in
material breach of the prior UN mandates. As inspections renewed late that year, under UNMOVIC, American and
British intelligence agencies doggedly argued Iraq harbored WMDs. Saddam Hussein's recklessness, his past aggressions
and disregard for UN inspection resolutions, fueled American and British suspicions. American and British leaders,
in the shadow of 9/11, deemed Iraq an imminent threat to Allied sovereignty. Possession of WMDs was seen as intent
to use them against Allied states.
President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair acted with resolve. On March 20, 2003, Allied forces
carried out a preemptive strike against Iraq. The Allies acted reasonably. The Second Gulf War liberated Iraq from
a tyrant and served the cause of democracy.
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First Principles in American Global Strategy
relevant to America's leadership role in the world-
Pax Americana (Latin- "American Peace"):
American leadership in international affairs demonstrated through containment of [expansionist] totalitarian states, to
preserve the balance of power in the world, and the promotion of democracy whenever possible. The containment of
adversaries [and enforcement of peace in established states] advances relative,
longstanding peace in the world
The First American Peace:
American global leadership guiding the establishment of relative world peace during the Cold War Era
The Next American Peace:
Contemporary American global leadership guiding the realization of relative world peace in the Era of Jihadism
A realist and idealist approach to foreign policy. American perfectionism assumes the aspiration of democracy is
superior to the ambition of totalitarianism. American military interventionism may be necessary in certain instances
to contain [totalitarian] expansionism
-Cold War Era perfectionism presumed the superiority of American values, institutions, and innovations. This assumption
drove American foreign policy. American perfectionism has evolved, affirming the values and innovations of all
American perfectionist foreign policy is evident in the U.S.-backed Marshall Plan, after the Second World War, which
secured economic and political stabilization in Western European democracies and the reconstruction of Germany. Other
examples include later Allied labors in Vietnam, Reagan's democratization of authoritarian Allies (South Korea, Chile,
and the Philippines) during the 1980s, and recent Allied efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
America's unique role as a democratic example to other nations. This role may also entail military interventionism
on behalf of democratic values, an example for other nations to follow
American military intervention on behalf
of democratic values [not excluding a reasonable threat to American
Military confrontation with an adversary that avoids direct military
confrontation with the adversary's sponsor state
The creation of new democratic and economic institutions in an existing state
Authoritarian/ Totalitarian Organizational Forms and Ideologies
Semi-autocratic/ autocratic political models, and respective
A form of governing, in which a dictatorship offers limited civil rights to subjects. Authoritarian states are less
centralized than totalitarian states and more susceptible to pressures for democratic reform. State ideology is less
pronounced in authoritarian states
A form of governing, in which an undemocratic ideology is forced upon a population though a highly centralized
government. Totalitarian regimes are expansionistic in aims, seeking to impose their rule on other states. Totalitarian
states include communist and Islamist [terrorist] states
An ideology that seeks to replace the pursuit of self-interest with the interest of the socialist state.
Leninism is undemocratic in nature
Islamism [Specifically, Iranian Islamism, Pan-Islamism]:
An ideology that seeks to integrate the Islamic religion into all aspects of the political, legal, and social lives of subjects.
Islamism is anti-pluralistic, hence, undemocratic in nature
A relatively moderate variation of Islamist ideology promoted in Pakistan. Pakistan's ideology encourages a tempered
model of Islamist rule, affirming the distinctness of the Pakistani nation-state identity. Allied Pakistan is open to western
influences, willing to contain Taliban activity in its borders, also working with Americans for democratic reform
-Cold War Era communists utilized Leninism to unify Vietnam. Communists exported Leninist ideology to neighboring
Cambodia. Unlike Leninism, nation-state Islamism is not an expansionist ideology. Pakistani Islamism, in the new century,
promotes Islamic rule within the boundaries of the Pakistani nation-state. The Pakistani model of Islamism does not
encourage the formation of an Islamist world community, as prescribed in the Iranian Islamist model. American policy
makers encourage a pluralistic model of nation-state Islamism in Afghanistan that affirms both the developing Afghani
nation-state and its new democratic institutions.
The use of terrorism and insurgentism to promote Islamist aims. Hizballah promotes the Iranian model
of Islamism. Al-Qaida carries out acts of terror to advance the creation of a new Caliphate
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