Die nukleare Option der USA und der "Krieg gegen Terrorismus"
The US Nuclear option and the "war on terrorism"
Rede von Michel Chossudovsky auf dem IPPNW-Atomkongress 2004 in Berlin
by Michel Chossudovsky
Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir das Referat von Michel Chossudovsky auf dem Atomkongress der Internationalen Ärztinnen und Ärzte zur Verhütung des Atomkrieges (IPPNW), der vom 7. bis 9. Mai 2004 in Berlin stattfand. Das Referat ist in Englisch, vorab aber eine Zusammenfassung in deutscher Sprache.
Nach den tragischen Ereignissen am 11. September 2001, mit der größten Schaustellung militärischer Macht seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg, startete die Bush-Administration in ein militärisches Abenteuer, das die Zukunft der Menschheit bedroht.
Washingtons Blaupause für die militärische und ökonomische Dominanz ist im Projekt des neuen amerikanischen Jahrhunderts (PNAC) skizziert. Das PNAC hat als erklärtes Ziel: "eine Mehrzahl paralleler und gleichzeitiger großer Kriege zu führen und entscheiden zu gewinnen."
In einem geheimen Pentagon Dokument, das dem US-Senat Anfang 2002 vorgelegt wurde, begründete die Bush-Administration die Doktrin eines offensiven "Erstschlageinsatz" von Atomwaffen, nicht nur gegen die "Achse des Bösen" (Irak, Libyen, Syrien und Nordkorea) sondern auch gegen Russland und China. Noch konkreter gab der US-Senat, im Zusammenhang mit seiner fortgesetzten militärischen Stationierung, jüngst grünes Licht für den Einsatz taktischer Atomwaffen in konventionellen Kriegen.
Am 6. August 2003, dem 58. Jahrestag des Abwurfs der ersten Atombombe auf
Hiroshima, fand ein geheimes Treffen zwischen Leitenden Angestellten der Atomindustrie und des militär-industriellen Komplexes im zentralen Kommando-Hauptquartier auf dem Offutt US-Luftstützpunkt in Nebraska statt.
Die neue Atompolitik involviert ausdrücklich die großen Rüstungsfirmen in der Planung des Atomkrieges. Dies ist gleichbedeutend mit der "Privatisierung" des Atomkrieges.
Unternehmen raffen nicht nur Multimilliarden-Dollargewinne durch die Herstellung von Atomwaffen, sondern bestimmen auch die Agenda des Einsatzes und der Stationierung von Atomwaffen mit. In der Zwischenzeit entfesselte das Pentagon eine große Propaganda- und PR-Kampagne, um den Einsatz von Atomwaffen für "die Verteidigung der amerikanischen Heimat" weiter zu rechtfertigen.
Mininukes seien angeblich "für Zivilisten sicher". Wenn diese Annahme in die militärische Planung eingebaut wird bildet es einen Konsens, der unter keiner kritischen Debatte zu leiden hat. Unter dieser Voraussetzung hat der Kongress grünes Licht gegeben: die neue Generation von Atomwaffen wird in der nächste Phase des Krieges - auf "konventionellen Kriegsschauplätzen", z.B. im Nahosten und Zentralasien - neben konventionellen Waffen eingesetzt.
Um präventive militärische Aktionen einschließlich atomaren Einsatz zu rechtfertigen, "fabriziert" die nationale Sicherheitsdoktrin der US eine terroristische Bedrohung - d.h. einen "äußeren Feind". Diese terroristische Bedrohungen verbindet sie mit "staatlicher Hilfe" der "Schurkenstaaten". Seit dem 11. September 2001 ist die nukleare Option auf das Engste mit dem "Krieg gegen Terrorismus" verbunden.
Der Krieg gegen Terrorismus ist eine Erfindung. Sie dient der Rechtfertigung eines Eroberungskrieges. Das Ziel dieses Krieges ist schließlich nicht nur die Re-Kolonisierung Chinas und der ehem. Sowjetunion, sondern auch der gesamten Region des Nahen Ostens und der indischen Halbinsel.
Gleichzeitig zielt Washington auf eine globale Dominanz der globalen militärischen Sphäre, wie es das Projekt des neuen amerikanischen Jahrhunderts formuliert, und ein Übertreffen der militärischen Fähigkeiten der europäischen "Bündnispartner" in denen Washington eine potenzielle Beeinträchtigung sieht.
The US Nuclear option and the “war on terrorism”
We are the juncture of the most serious crisis in modern history.
In the wake of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, in the largest display of
military might since the Second World War, the Bush Administration has embarked
upon a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity.
The multilateral safeguards of the Cold War era with regard to the production and
use of nuclear weapons have been scrapped. The US Senate has provided a “green
light” to the use of tactical nuclear weapons in conventional war theaters against
“rogue states” and terrorist organizations. According to the Pentagon, these
weapons are “harmless to civilians”.
The wars on Afghanistan and Iraq are part of a broader military agenda, which was
launched at the end of the Cold War. The ongoing war agenda is a continuation of the
1991 Gulf War and the NATO led wars in Yugoslavia (1991-2001).
The war on Iraq has been in the planning stages at least since the mid-1990s. A 1995
National Security document of the Clinton administration stated quite clearly that the
objective of the war is oil. "to protect the United States' uninterrupted, secure U.S. access to oil.”
In September 2000, a few months before the accession of George W. Bush to the White
House, the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) published its blueprint for global domination under the title: "Rebuilding America's Defenses."
The PNAC is a neo-conservative think tank linked to the Defense-Intelligence
establishment, the Republican Party and the powerful Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) which plays a behind-the-scenes role in the formulation of US foreign policy.
The PNAC's declared objectives are:
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;”
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice
President Dick Cheney had commissioned the PNAC blueprint prior to the 2000 presidential elections.
The PNAC outlines a roadmap of conquest.
It calls for "the direct imposition of U.S. "forward bases" throughout Central Asia and the
Middle East "with a view to ensuring economic domination of the world, while strangling
any potential "rival" or any viable alternative to America's vision of a 'free market'
economy" (See Chris Floyd, Bush's Crusade for Empire, Global Outlook, No. 6, 2003)
Distinct from theater wars, the so-called “constabulary functions” imply a form of global
military policing using various instruments of military intervention including punitive
bombings and the sending in of US Special Forces, etc.
New Weapons Systems
The PNAC’s “revolution in military affairs” (meaning the development of new weapons
systems) consists of the Strategic Defense Initiative, the concurrent weaponization of
space and the development of a new generation of nuclear weapons.
The Strategic Defense Initiative, (Star Wars), not only includes the controversial “Missile
Shield”, but also a wide range of offensive laser-guided weapons with striking capabilities
anywhere in the world, not to mention instruments of weather and climatic warfare under
the High Altitude Auroral Research Program (HAARP). Recent scientific evidence suggests
that HAARP is fully operational and has the ability of potentially triggering floods,
droughts, hurricanes and earthquakes. From a military standpoint, HAARP is a weapon of
mass destruction. Potentially, it constitutes an instrument of conquest capable of
selectively destabilizing agricultural and ecological systems of entire regions.
Also contemplated is the Pentagon’s so-called FALCON program. FALCON is the ultimate
New World Order weapons' system, to be used for global economic and political
domination. It can strike from the continental US anywhere in the World. It is described as
a "global reach" weapon to be used to "react promptly and decisively to destabilizing or
threatening actions by hostile countries and terrorist organizations". This hypersonic cruise
weapon system to be developed by Northrop Grumman "would allow the U.S. to conduct
effective, time-critical strike missions on a global basis without relying on overseas military
bases. FALCON would allow the US to strike, either in support of conventional forces
engaged in a war theater or in punitive bombings directed against countries that do not
comply with US economic and political diktats.
The "Pre-emptive" Use of Nuclear Weapons
The Bush Administration has adopted a first strike "pre-emptive" nuclear policy, which has
now received congressional approval. Nuclear weapons are no longer a weapon of last
resort as during the Cold War era.
In a classified Pentagon document (Nuclear Posture Review) presented to the US Senate
in early 2002, the Bush Administration established so-called "contingency plans" for an
offensive "first strike use" of nuclear weapons, not only against the "axis of evil" (Iraq,
Iran, Libya, Syria and North Korea), but also against Russia and China.
The pre-emptive nuclear doctrine contained in the Nuclear Posture Review is supported by
the Republican Party and Washington’s conservative think-tanks:
“The Pentagon must prepare for all possible contingencies, especially now, when
dozens of countries, and some terrorist groups, are engaged in secret weapon
(quoted in William Arkin, Secret Plan Outlines the
Unthinkable, Los Angeles Times, 9 March 2002)
While scaling back – in agreement with Russia — on the number of nuclear warheads, the
Pentagon's objective is not only to ‘modernize' its nuclear arsenal, but also to establish
"full spectrum dominance" in outer space. With advanced surveillance equipment and
space weaponry, the U.S. would be able to inflict force locally and instantly anywhere in
the world, directly from orbiting satellites, using an appropriate level of pain and doing so
The US, Britain and Israel have a coordinated nuclear weapons policy. Israeli nuclear
warheads are pointed at major cities in the Middle East. The governments of all three
countries stated quite openly, in the months leading up to the war on Iraq, that they were
prepared to use nuclear weapons "if they are attacked" with so-called "weapons of mass
Barely a few weeks following the entry of the US Marines into Baghdad in April 2003, the
US Senate Armed Services Committee gave the green light to the Pentagon to develop a
new tactical nuclear bomb, to be used in conventional war theaters, "with a yield [of up
to] six times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb".
The “Privatization” of Nuclear War
The August 6, 2003 Hiroshima Day Meeting at Central Command Headquarters
This green light decision of the Senate Armed Services Committee was followed a few
months later by a major redefinition of US policy pertaining to nuclear weapons.
On August 6, 2003, the day the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, 58 years
ago, a secret meeting was held with senior executives from the nuclear industry and the military industrial complex at Central Command Headquarters at the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.
The meeting was held
“More than 150 military contractors, scientists from the weapons labs, and other
government officials gathered at the headquarters of the US Strategic Command in
Omaha, Nebraska to plot and plan for the possibility of “full-scale nuclear war”
calling for the production of a new generation of nuclear weapons—more “usable”
so-called “mini-nukes and earth penetrating “bunker busters” armed with atomic
(Alice Slater, Bush Nuclear Policy A Recipe for National Insecurity,
August 2003, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/SLA308A.html)
The new nuclear policy explicitly involves the large defense contractors in decision-making. It is tantamount to the "privatization" of nuclear war.
Corporations not only reap multibillion-dollar profits from the production of nuclear bombs,
they also have a direct voice in setting the agenda regarding the use and deployment of
The Nuclear weapons industry, which includes the production of nuclear devices as well as
the missile delivery systems, etc. is controlled by a handful of defense contractors with
Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Northrop, Raytheon and Boeing in the lead.
It is worth noting that barely a week prior to August 6 meeting, the National Nuclear
Security Administration (NNSA) disbanded its advisory committee which provides an
“independent oversight” on the US nuclear arsenal, including the testing and/or use of
new nuclear devices. (The Guardian, 31 July 2003)
Meanwhile, the Pentagon had unleashed a major propaganda and public relations
campaign with a view to upholding the use of nuclear weapons for the "defense of the
In an utterly twisted logic, nuclear weapons are presented as a means to building peace
and preventing “collateral damage”. The Pentagon has intimated, in this regard, that the
‘mini-nukes’ (with a yield of less than 5000 tons) are harmless to civilians because the
explosions ‘take place under ground’. Each of these ‘mini-nukes’, nonetheless, constitutes
– in terms of explosion and potential radioactive fallout – a significant fraction of the atom
bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
Formally endorsed by the US Congress in late 2003, the mini-nukes are considered to be
"safe for civilians". Once this assumption has been built into military planning, it
constitutes a consensus, which is no longer the object of critical debate. Decisions
pertaining to the use of these nuclear weapons will be based on the prior “scientific”
assessments underlying this consensus that they are “not dangerous for civilians”.
The propaganda campaign stipulates that the mini-nukes are harmless. Based on this
premise, the US Congress has given the “green light”: this new generation of nuclear
weapons is slated to be used in the next phase of the war, in "conventional war theaters"
(e.g. in the Middle East and Central Asia) alongside conventional weapons.
In December 2003, the US Congress allocated $6.3 billion solely for 2004, to develop this
new generation of "defensive" nuclear weapons.
The overall annual defense budget is in excess of 400 billion dollars, more than the entire
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Russian Federation.
Nuclear Weapons and the “War on Terrorism”
To justify pre-emptive military actions, the National Security Doctrine requires the
"fabrication" of a terrorist threat, --ie. "an outside enemy." It also needs to link these
terrorist threats to "State sponsorship" by so-called "rogue states."
Spelled out in the 2002 National Security Strategy (NSS), the preemptive "defensive war"
doctrine and the "war on terrorism" against Al Qaeda constitute essential building blocks
of the Pentagon's propaganda campaign. In the wake of September 11, 2001, the nuclear
option is intimately related to the “war on terrorism.”
The objective is to present "preemptive military action" --meaning war as an act of "selfdefense"
against two categories of enemies, "rogue States" and “Islamic terrorists", both
of which are said to possess weapons of mass destruction:
"The war against terrorists of global reach is a global enterprise of uncertain
duration. …America will act against such emerging threats before they are fully
… Rogue states and terrorists do not seek to attack us using conventional means.
They know such attacks would fail. Instead, they rely on acts of terror and,
potentially, the use of weapons of mass destruction (…)
The targets of these attacks are our military forces and our civilian population, in
direct violation of one of the principal norms of the law of warfare. As was
demonstrated by the losses on September 11, 2001, mass civilian casualties is the
specific objective of terrorists and these losses would be exponentially more severe
if terrorists acquired and used weapons of mass destruction.
The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive actions to counter
a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction- and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, (…). To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively."
(National Security Strategy, White House, 2002, http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html )
This “anticipatory action” under the NSS includes the use of tactical nuclear weapons,
which are now classified as in theater weapons alongside conventional weapons.
Nuclear weapons are presented as performing defensive functions to be used against socalled
“rogue states” and terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda.
The propaganda ploy emanating from the CIA and the Pentagon consists in presenting Al
Qaeda as capable of developing a nuclear device. According to a report entitled “Terrorist
CBRN: Materials and Effects" by the CIA's Intelligence Directorate (released 2 months prior
to the August 2003 “Hiroshima day” meeting in Nebraska):
"Al Qaeda's goal is the use of [chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear
weapons] to cause mass casualties,…
[Islamist extremists] "have a wide variety of potential agents and delivery means to
choose from for chemical, biological and radiological or nuclear (CBRN) attacks,"
said the four-page report titled "
(quoted in the Washington Times, 3 June 2003)
Amply documented, the “war on terrorism” is fabricated. The nuclear threat emanating
from Al Qaeda is also fabricated, with a view to justifying Washington’s pre-emptive
nuclear policy. Needless to say, the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks have served to
galvanize public opinion, particularly in the US, in support of the pre-emptive war doctrine.
While the media has its eyes riveted on Islamic terrorists and Al Qaeda, the threats to
global security resulting from Washington’s pre-emptive nuclear doctrine are barely
mentioned. Deafening Silence: the August 6 2003 “Hiroshima Day” meeting in Nebraska
was not covered by the mainstream media.
In the wake of September 11, 2001, the “war on terrorism” constitutes a cover-up of the
broader objectives underlying US military and economic expansionism. The central
objective is to eventually destabilize Russia and China.
War and the Economy
The articulation of America’s war agenda coincides with a worldwide economic depression
leading to the impoverishment of millions of people.
The economic crisis is the direct result of a macro-economic policy framework under IMFWorld
Bank-WTO auspices. More generally, trade deregulation, privatisation and
downsizing under the neoliberal policy agenda have contributed to the demise of the
The recession hits the civilian sectors of economic activity. It tends to support the growth
of the military industrial complex.
The shift towards a war economy is has resulted in massive austerity measures applied to
all areas of civilian expenditure including public investment in infrastructure and social
programs. While the civilian economy plummets, extensive financial resources are
funneled towards America’s war machine. In North America and the European Union,
State resources which had previously been tagged to finance health and education have
been redirected towards defense.
The war economy will not resolve the mounting tide of unemployment. This new direction
of the US economy geared towards the military industrial complex, will generate hundreds
of billions of dollars of surplus profits, while contributing very marginally to the
rehabilitation of the employment of specialised scientific, technical and professional
workers laid-off in recent years in the civilian sectors of economic activity.
This redirection of the US economy is motivated by geopolitical and strategic objectives. The most advanced weapons systems are being developed by America’s military-industrial
complex with a view to achieving a position of global military and economic dominance,
not only in relation to China and Russia, but also in relation to the European Union, which
Washington considers a potential encroachment.
Behind America’s so-called “war on terrorism” is the militarization of vast regions of the world.
Since the 1999 war in Yugoslavia, an Anglo-American military axis has developed based on
a close coordination between Britain and the U.S. in defense, foreign policy and
intelligence. The defense industries of the US, Britain, Canada and Israel are increasingly
Under the Trans-Atlantic Bridge, an agreement signed in 1999, British Aerospace Systems
Corporation (BAES) has become increasingly integrated into the system of procurement of
the US Department of Defense.
In turn, Israel, although not officially part of the Anglo-American axis plays a central
strategic role in the Middle East on behalf of Washington.
Europe versus America
A rift in the European defense industry has occurred. There are serious divisions within
While Britain is firmly aligned with the US, France and Germany have joined hands in the
development of a European based weapons arsenal, which challenges the hegemony of
Franco-German integration in aerospace and defence production since 1999 constitutes a
response to U.S. dominance in the weapons market. The latter hinges upon the
partnership between America’s Big Five and Britain’s defence industry under the trans-
Atlantic bridge agreement.
In 1999, in response to the alliance of British Aerospace with Lockheed Martin, France’s
Aerospatiale-Matra merged with Daimler’s Deutsche Aerospace (DASA) forming the largest
European defence conglomerate. And the following year, the European Aeronautic
Defence and Space Co. (EADS) was formed integrating DASA, Matra and Spain’s
Construcciones Aeronauticas, SA.
The Franco-German alliance in military production under EADS, means that Germany
(which does not officially possess nuclear weapons) has become a de facto producer of
nuclear technology for France’s nuclear weapons program. In this regard, EADS already
produces a wide range of ballistic missiles, including the M51 nuclear-tipped ballistic
submarine-launched ICBMs for the French Navy.
War and globalization go hand in hand. The powers of the Wall Street financial
establishment, the Anglo-American oil giants and the U.S.-U.K. defense contractors are
indelibly behind this process, which consists in extending the frontiers of the global market
The purpose of America’s New War is to transform sovereign nations into open territories
(free trade areas), both through military means, as well as through the imposition of
deadly “free market” reforms.
The objective behind this war is ultimately to re-colonize not only China and the countries
of the former Soviet block, but also the entire Middle Eastern region and the Indian
Concurrently, Washington’s objective is to exert global dominance in military affairs,
overshadowing the military capabilities of its European “allies”.
The development of America’s nuclear arsenal including the pre-emptive use of nuclear
weapons in conventional war theaters is an integral part of this process.
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