February 10, 2006
US military dominance of the
The leadership class in the United States is now dominated by a neo-conservative group of some 200 people who have the shared goal of asserting US military power worldwide. This Global Dominance Group, in cooperation with major military contractors, has become a powerful force in military unilateralism and US political processes.
A long thread of sociological research documents the existence of a dominant ruling class in the US, which sets policy and determines national political priorities. C. Wright Mills, in his 1956 book on the power elite, documented how World War II solidified a trinity of power in the US that comprised corporate, military and government elites in a centralized power structure working in unison through "higher circles" of contact and agreement.
Neo-conservatives promoting the US military control of the world are now in dominant policy positions within these higher circles of the US. Adbusters magazine summed up neo-conservatism as: "The belief that Democracy, however flawed, was best defended by an ignorant public pumped on nationalism and religion. Only a militantly nationalist state could deter human aggression … such nationalism requires an external threat and if one cannot be found it must be manufactured."
In 1992, during Bush the First's administration, Dick Cheney supported Lewis Libby and Paul Wolfowitz in producing the "Defense Planning Guidance" report, which advocated US military dominance around the globe in a "new order." The report called for the United States to grow in military superiority and to prevent new rivals from rising up to challenge us on the world stage.
At the end of Clinton's administration, global dominance advocates founded the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). Among the PNAC founders were eight people affiliated with the number-one defense contractor Lockheed-Martin, and seven others associated with the number-three defense contractor Northrop Grumman. Of the twenty-five founders of PNAC twelve were later appointed to high-level positions in the George W. Bush administration.
In September 2000, PNAC produced a 76-page report titled “Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century.” The report, similar to the 1992 Defense Policy Guidance report, called for the protection of the American Homeland, the ability to wage simultaneous theater wars, perform global constabulary roles, and the control of space and cyberspace. It claimed that the 1990s were a decade of defense neglect and that the US must increase military spending to preserve American geopolitical leadership as the world's superpower. The report also recognized that: "the process of transformation … is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event such as a new Pearl Harbor."
The events of Sept. 11, 2001 presented exactly the catastrophe that the authors of Rebuilding America's Defenses theorized were needed to accelerate a global dominance agenda. The resulting permanent war on terror has led to massive government defense spending, the invasions of two countries, and the threatening of three others, and the rapid acceleration of the neo-conservative plans for military control of the world.
The US now spends as much for defense as the rest of the world combined. The Pentagon's budget for buying new weapons rose from $61 billion in 2001 to over $80 billion in 2004. Lockheed Martin's sales rose by over 30% at the same time, with tens of billions of dollars on the books for future purchases. From 2000 to 2004, Lockheed Martins stock value rose 300%. Northrup-Grumann saw similar growth with DOD contracts rising from $3.2 billion in 2001 to $11.1 billion in 2004. Halliburton, with Dick Cheney as former CEO, had defense contracts totaling $427 million in 2001. By 2003, they had $4.3 billion in defense contracts, of which approximately a third were sole source agreements.
At the beginning of 2006, the Global Dominance Group's agenda is well established within higher circle policy councils and cunningly operationalized inside the US government. They work hand in hand with defense contractors promoting deployment of US forces in over 700 bases worldwide.
There is an important difference between self-defense from external threats, and the belief in the total military control of the world. When asked, most working people in the US have serious doubts about the moral and practical acceptability of financing world domination.
Peter Phillips is a professor of sociology at Sonoma State University and director of Project Censored, a media research organization. A more in-depth review of the global dominance group's agenda and a list of the 200 advocates see: http://www.projectcensored.org/downloads/Global_Dominance_Group.pdf.
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