Review of the News Online, Week of July 6, 2003, John Birch Socierty

Bring on the Peacekeepers

Hello and welcome to Review of the News Online. I'm William Norman Grigg, Senior Editor for The New American magazine -- an affiliated publication of the John Birch Society.

To judge from the media reaction it provoked, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's June 26th speech calling for the creation of a U.S.-led world peacekeeping army represented an abrupt change of policy for Washington. Addressing a group of defense contractors, Mr. Rumsfeld declared: "I am interested in the idea of our leading, or contributing to in some way, a cadre of people in the world who would like to participate in peacekeeping or peacemaking…. I think it would be a good thing if your country was to provide some leadership for training of other countries' citizens who would like to participate in peacekeeping … so that we have a ready cadre of people who are trained and equipped and organized and have communications [so] that they can work with each other."

According to an account of Rumsfeld's speech in the June 27th Los Angeles Times, the world peacekeeping army envisioned by the Defense Secretary "would operate outside the auspices of the United Nations and NATO and would include thousands of U.S. Army troops trained for, and permanently assigned to, peacekeeping work."

An account of Rumsfeld's speech in the Sydney Morning Herald predicts that the proposal "would likely be opposed by the U.S. Army, which has resisted efforts to draw its troops into peacekeeping, especially now that it is stretched thin with operations in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan." But it's important to recognize that the Army -- like the rest of our military -- is stretched thin precisely because it has been transformed into a world peacekeeping force.

At present, some 370,000 soldiers -- roughly seventy percent of the Army -- is garrisoned in 120 nations around the globe. More than 150,000 of that number have been deployed in open-ended occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Roughly 20,000 U.S. troops are serving under UN/NATO command in the Balkans, and 37,000 more serve as part of a UN-commanded force in South Korea.

Most of the headlines generated by Rumsfeld's proposal pointedly describe it as an alternative to UN-led peacekeeping missions. According to the Australian newspaper The Age, Tom Schieffer, U.S. ambassador to Australia, maintains that "A United States-led international military force [is] needed because the United Nations [is] too focused on process to effectively counter the post-September 11 terrorist threat…. The ambassador insisted that the U.S. was not against the UN, but said it was outdated and too focused on process rather than outcomes to meet contemporary security challenges."

Curiously, however, Secretary Rumsfeld himself told reporters on June 27th that the arrangement he suggested "wouldn't be U.S. peacekeeping…." This suggests that the U.S.-created world peacekeeping army -- which would include both American and non-American troops -- would be commanded by a multilateral organization of some sort. And right now the only serious candidates for that position are the United Nations and its NATO subsidiary.

In addition to the envisioned world peacekeeping army, the Bush administration has proposed a "Proliferation Security Initiative" (PSI) that would include a multinational military force devoted to rolling back proliferation of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. "It envisions partnerships of states working in concert, employing their national capabilities to develop a broad range of legal, diplomatic, economic, military and other tools to interdict threatening shipments of [weapons of mass destruction] … and missile-related equipment and technologies," explained U.S. Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs John Bolton in congressional testimony on June 6th.

The military role of the PSI, Bolton observed, could include "pre-emptive" warfare against governments accused of WMD proliferation. And the NATO alliance provides the most suitable mechanism for carrying out the Proliferation Security Initiative.

The PSI was announced by President Bush in a May 31st speech in Krakow, Poland. "This is a time for all of us to unite in defense of liberty and to step up to the shared duties of free nations," proclaimed the president, who identified the UN's NATO subsidiary as one of the ways in which those duties would be shared. "NATO must show resolve and foresight to act beyond Europe, and it has begun to do so," continued the president. "NATO has agreed to lead security forces in Afghanistan and to support our Polish allies in Iraq. A strong NATO alliance, with a broad vision of its role, will serve our security and the cause of peace."

Most Americans who are aware of NATO believe that it was created as a defensive alliance against the Soviet threat. But from its beginnings, NATO was intended to serve as a political subsidiary and military arm of the United Nations. In a March 1949 address in Washington, DC, Secretary of State Dean Acheson explained: "[NATO] is designed to fit precisely into the framework of the United Nations and to assure practical measures for maintaining peace and security in harmony with the Charter.... The United States government and the governments with which we are associated in this treaty are convinced that it is an essential measure for strengthening the United Nations...."

In his speech in Krakow, President Bush alluded to the fact that the recent U.S. invasion of Iraq was intended to strengthen the United Nations by putting teeth into the world body's disarmament decrees: "The dictator in Iraq pursued weapons of mass murder, cultivated ties to terror and defied the demands of the United Nations -- so his regime has been ended."

According to an analysis offered by the Council on Foreign Relations, the proposed Proliferation Security Initiative will fortify the UN's ability to carry out global disarmament. The PSI would begin with "like-minded" countries cooperating to enforce disarmament measures. At some point, predicts the CFR, the Bush administration will seek "to pass a Security Council resolution endorsing the U.S. initiative," thereby globalizing the policy -- and setting the stage for future military confrontations with governments disinclined to obey the UN's disarmament edicts.

The system being put in place by the Bush administration is a logical outgrowth of the vision outlined in a classified 1962 report entitled A World Effectively Controlled by the United Nations, prepared for the State Department by MIT professor Lincoln P. Bloomfield. (Professor Bloomfield's son, Lincoln P. Bloomfield Jr., presently serves in the State Department as an arms control specialist.)

That report envisioned a global disarmament regime administered by the United Nations (or a successor organization) that "would explicitly forbid national possession of weapons of mass destruction, of the means of delivery, and of the trained personnel required to mount an attack." The world body would impose its will through an "international force, balanced appropriately between ground, sea, air, and space elements," and possessing a small stock of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. The global army would "monitor and enforce disarmament, settle disputes, and keep the peace. All other powers [would be] reserved to the nations," which would be "disarmed to police levels," and "a

significant ‘UN presence’" would exist in all countries to monitor and enforce the disarmament program.

The tone of recent headlines notwithstanding, there is nothing at all novel about the Bush administration's peacekeeping proposals. The administration, like its predecessors since 1945, remains committed to building a UN-dominated world.

Thank you for listening. Please join us again next time.

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