premptive strike as last resort
March 16, 2006 12:16 PM   Subscribe

The National Security Strategy of the United States of America The new(ish), policy statement from the US govt. News stories: The Times, US News & World Report, Bloomberg, BBC (newsfilter +)
posted by edgeways (42 comments total)
Executive Summary: Bush 'n' hiz crew iz goan get riatch 'n' fuck all y'all all.
posted by keswick at 12:25 PM on March 16, 2006

Meet the new TNSSOTUSOA, same as the old.
posted by milquetoast at 12:29 PM on March 16, 2006

So the news is that there is no news except that the axis of evil is wider?
posted by keijo at 12:32 PM on March 16, 2006

they have downgraded al-quada, and bumped up Iran
posted by edgeways at 12:34 PM on March 16, 2006

I wonder how much my portfolio will go up when we nuke Iran.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 12:36 PM on March 16, 2006

Part of me hopes they can't pull off another pre-emptive war in a 2 year time span, then the sadder, more realistic part of me realizes that they don't have to finish another war, just start one and invest enough bodies in it for the next president to be paralyzed with it.

This make me a sad panda.
posted by cavalier at 12:36 PM on March 16, 2006

cavalier, according to the Bloomberg link, Stephen Hadley just said today that Iraq was "hardly a pre-emptive war". I just cannot believe he says this AND goes on to reference UN resolutions. This makes my mind reel so much I'm going to get a drink.
posted by keijo at 12:40 PM on March 16, 2006

What is also sad in this is not only the countless civilian deaths, but that Bush is at a 33% approval rating. Either he really doesn't care what the public thinks, or he thinks another war will be great for his numbers. Either way, the country has been hijacked.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 12:43 PM on March 16, 2006

When the pretexts for preemption are so clearly manipulated...

preemptive war == preventive war.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:45 PM on March 16, 2006

It'd be real nice if we could actually win one pre-emptive war before we start another one.

You know, after Afghanistan and Iraq and all...
posted by darkstar at 12:45 PM on March 16, 2006

reading the NSS is odd, i get the feeling it is put togeather not so much by actually stagitists... and a questions:
"We have set aside decades of mistrust and put relations with India, the world’s most populous democracy, on a new and fruitful path."

Did I miss those decades of mistrust????
posted by edgeways at 12:47 PM on March 16, 2006

i am so goddamn sick of this.
posted by Doorstop at 12:47 PM on March 16, 2006

Good points from "Champion Aspirations for Human Dignity":

* Some governments have regressed, eroding the democratic freedoms their peoples enjoy

* Tyranny persists in its harshest form in a number of nations

...this sounds an awful lot like a nation I know. HMM!
posted by sewshi at 12:49 PM on March 16, 2006

Bush is at a 33% approval rating.

I'm pretty sure he and all his friends really don't give a fuck. It's not like they are acting any differently now than they did back back when they had big approval ratings.

The Globe and Mail wrote about this as well.

My friend had this to say on the article:
“The report is laden with strategies for advancing democracy across the globe, a theme of Bush’s second inaugural address. The president said his administration was advancing this goal by (...) using foreign aid to support (...) women’s rights”

Can we use foreign aid to let women have abortions in South Dakota?
posted by chunking express at 12:50 PM on March 16, 2006

Numerous remaining regional challenges demand the world’s attention:
In Venezuela, a demagogue awash in oil money is undermining democracy and seeking to destabilize the region.
posted by edgeways at 12:51 PM on March 16, 2006

In Venezuela, a demagogue awash in oil money is undermining democracy and seeking to destabilize the region.

It's interesting how magnets of the same polarity will repel each other.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:05 PM on March 16, 2006

China, Rodman added, has at least 10 varieties of ballistic missiles either deployed or in development, some of which could reach nearly the entire continental United States.

Good Lord, a communist country with missles pointing (back) at us? This calls for a decades-long cold war with much macho posturing and defense spending! Now!

Do they play hockey or chess?
posted by unixrat at 1:13 PM on March 16, 2006

Peter Rodman, assistant secretary of defense for international security policy, said China has more than 700 short-range ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan, with numbers increasing at about 100 missiles a year.

How many freakin' missiles do you need to eliminate Taiwan's warfighting ability and civilian population? Jesus....
posted by TeamBilly at 1:17 PM on March 16, 2006

He didn't say they had 700 nuclear missiles aimed at Taiwan.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:26 PM on March 16, 2006

In addition to a 33% approval rate, we have these figures from the recent American Research Group survey:

* 46% of Americans favor censuring President Bush "for authorizing wiretaps of Americans within the United States without obtaining court orders," while 44% oppose the move

* 42% of Americans favor Bush's impeachment by the House of Representatives, while 49% oppose it

*Even 29% of Republicans favor censure, and 18% of Republicans favor impeachment

With figures like that, it's hard to see why many Dems are cowering in fear from Frist on this.
posted by darkstar at 1:29 PM on March 16, 2006

The train has changed tracks slightly. The direction remains the same. A burnout in hell for democracy.
posted by thanatogenous at 1:54 PM on March 16, 2006

It's a good day for Bastille Day.
posted by kika at 2:08 PM on March 16, 2006

Does no one on MeFi play poker? If we want, for example, to try to negotiate Iran away from developing nuclear weapons capability, just asking nicely ain't going to work. Some situations require a plausible bluff, with stress on the word "plausible" for it to work.

Nixon used to talk about the "madman theory" of foreign policy negotiation, asserting that one could be more likely to get results if your opponent was worried that you were in fact a madman and would do... anything. Similarly in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion, for at least a couple of minutes, I thought that Bush might be just a particularly nervy negotiator.

Little did I realize that, no, he's actually a true madman. But my point remains: saber rattling sometimes is a required tool when dealing with hostile foreign powers...
posted by twsf at 2:11 PM on March 16, 2006

Foolhardiness is not madness, it's idiocy.
posted by Pollomacho at 2:12 PM on March 16, 2006

unixrat, that made me smile. I believe the game is either ping-pong or mah jongg.

I hope you're right: I hope the recently reported 14.7% increase in China's miitary budget is part of a Soviet-style standoff with each side (China & The U.S., that is) having too many missiles to actually use against each other.

The difference here is that The Soviet Union didn't hold 262.6 Billion dollars of U.S. debt as China does (second only to Japan).

Having so much of our economic future held by a potentially hostile nation cannot be good for the national security of the United States.

The United States has always said it would intervene to prevent mainland China from seizing Taiwan. But with China holding more and more of the U.S. economy in its grip, it's hard to see what measures the U.S. would be willing to take if/when China decides to attack Taiwan.

The U.S. and China are currently so economically intertwined that the prospect of a hot war anytime soon seems doubtful. However, I can easily visualize a future where the U.S. and China are sparring over the last few drops of the world's oil.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 2:13 PM on March 16, 2006

As keijo pointed out, the mind reels:

"The doctrine of pre-emption remains sound,' White House National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said in an address in Washington to present the updated strategy. "We do not rule out the use of force before an attack occurs.'

Hadley said the U.S. invasion of Iraq was "hardly a pre-emptive war.' The decision to go to invade was made after 12 years
of diplomatic efforts and as many as 17 resolutions by the United Nations Security Council, he said.

"The international community and several administrations dealt with a very difficult situation through a wide range of diplomacy and tools,' Hadley said.
posted by digaman at 2:13 PM on March 16, 2006

We have set aside decades of mistrust

posted by kirkaracha at 2:18 PM on March 16, 2006

We have a responsibility to promote human freedom. Yet freedom cannot be imposed; it must be chosen

In the cause of ending tyranny and promoting effective democracy, we will employ the full array of political, economic, diplomatic, and other tools at our disposal, including:

Speaking out against abuses of human rights

Against a terrorist enemy that is defined by religious intolerance, we defend the First Freedom: the right of people to believe and worship according to the dictates of their own conscience, free from the coercion of the state, the coercion of the majority, or the coercion of a minority that wants to dictate what others must believe

America: Removing motes from the world's eyes since 2000.
posted by designbot at 2:22 PM on March 16, 2006

So if another country adopts this policy do we get caught in an infinite loop or immediately attack each other?
posted by Smedleyman at 2:22 PM on March 16, 2006

the hide of this administration to brand Chavez a demagogue....though Pollomacho makes a fair call about the magnets.

this makes me laugh....H.L Mencken defined a demagogue as

"one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots."

On to the Iran issue, why is it that no one realises that under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it gives Iran the "inalienable right to develop, research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes" (Art. IV.1).
posted by kurtrudder at 2:34 PM on March 16, 2006

Meanwhile, Bush cuts a nuke deal with non-signatory India in violation of our own restrictions under the treaty.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:38 PM on March 16, 2006

Is Bush trying to start another war so he can use that as an excuse to stay in the White House beyond 2008? What the fuck is wtong with him?
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:43 PM on March 16, 2006

China, Rodman added, has at least 10 varieties of ballistic missiles either deployed or in development, some of which could reach nearly the entire continental United States.
If you read the Washington Times, in addition to believing that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction are hidden somewhere in Syria, you might believe that "China's aggressive strategic nuclear-modernization program" was proceeding apace. If munching on freedom fries at a Heritage Foundation luncheon is your thing, you might worry that "even marginal improvements to [China's intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)] derived from U.S. technical know-how" threaten the United States.

So, it may come as a shock to learn that China's nuclear arsenal is about the same size it was a decade ago, and that the missile that prompted the Washington Times article has been under development since the mid-1980s. Perhaps your anxiety about "marginal improvements" to China's missile force would recede as you learned that China's 18 ICBMs, sitting unfueled in their silos, their nuclear warheads in storage, are essentially the same as they were the day China began deploying them in 1981. In fact, contrary to reports you might have recently read that Chinese nukes number in the hundreds--if not the thousands--the true size of the country's operationally deployed arsenal is probably about 80 nuclear weapons.
The ambiguous arsenal
posted by y2karl at 6:53 PM on March 16, 2006

The United States must defend liberty and justice because these principles are right and true for all people everywhere. These nonnegotiable demands of human dignity are protected most securely in democracies. The United States Government will work to advance human dignity in word and deed, speaking out for freedom and against violations of human rights and allocating appropriate resources to advance these ideals.
Am I laughing or crying?
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:15 PM on March 16, 2006

Does no one on MeFi play poker? If we want, for example, to try to negotiate Iran away from developing nuclear weapons capability, just asking nicely ain't going to work. Some situations require a plausible bluff, with stress on the word "plausible" for it to work.

I remember thinking that three years ago. I'm not going to fall for it again.

If they were really worried about rogue nukes, they'd be pushing against North Korea. But resource-barren North Korea has barely been mentioned since the Axis of Evil speech. Like usual for this group, agitation against Iran is all about oil.
posted by H-Bar at 9:47 PM on March 16, 2006

So what would actually happen if China blitzed Taiwan, completely occupied it withina day or two, which given the sheer numbers would seem doable. If it was fast and total what then? Would we attack? sanctions? ??? I'd hate to be around for that decision.
posted by edgeways at 10:43 PM on March 16, 2006

edgeways : Would we attack?

No. No you wouldn't.
posted by Mr Bismarck at 1:07 AM on March 17, 2006

Does no one on MeFi play poker?

Sometimes it feels like poker is the US policy indeed.
If it was a game, which it's not, then it shouldn't be about using agression and strength to convince others, that is the exact cause of terrorism.
Remember the US/ previous of bush&co's have a history with the Iranians and prolly already lost more creds there with other similar actions. Now if you(as an civilan) see a big rat being aggresive, what would be your response....? Suddenly their own little rat Ahmadinejad doesn't look that scary any more..
posted by borq at 2:32 AM on March 17, 2006

speaking of poker--here's the latest bluff: Operation Overblown-- ...there are no insurgents, no fighting and 17 of the 41 prisoners taken have already been released after just one day. The “number of weapons caches” equals six, which isn’t unusual when you travel around Iraq. They’re literally everywhere. ...Also, it’s a telling example of how “well” things are going in Iraq that after three years, the U.S. is still leading the fight and conducting sweeps in an area that has been swept/contained/pacfied/cleared five or six times since 2004. How long before the U.S. has to come back again?)
As noted, about 1,500 troops were involved, 700 American and 800 Iraqi. But get this: in the area they’re scouring there are only about 1,500 residents. According to my colleague and other reporters who were there, not a single shot has been fired. ...

posted by amberglow at 11:31 AM on March 17, 2006

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