Global Instability and Strategic Crisis

By Neville Brown | Go to book overview

12

Arms in moderation

Osama Bin Laden's contribution to the history of humankind has been an insurgency movement syndicated more or less worldwide though without management by or underpinning from a solidly constituted statehood. Since that infamous 11 September, however, the lethal potential of his sinister innovation has arguably been halved. Much credit must be due to George W. Bush and those close to him.

They are further to be commended in so far as they have begun to weld certain pre-existing themes (e.g. AIDS and a Middle East road map) into a broader Grand Strategy. Nevertheless, there have been serious shortcomings, these mainly engendered by their Manichean world view being too liable to flip into unilateralist impatience. Too often the diplomacy has disregarded Theodore Roosevelt's fabled injunction to talk softly while carrying a big stick. Guantanamo bespeaks an attitude to human rights unbecoming for those who extol freedom under the law. Ecology needs more political attention.

In the war-fighting domain, too, there is much to examine. In an article in May 2002 in the house journal of the US Council for Foreign Relations, Donald Rumsfeld laid his military strategy out. The emphasis was over-whelmingly on deterring or thwarting attacks on 'our nation'. The West, Europe and the UN receive no mention. Alliances would consist of ad hoc coalitions which must not be 'run by committee' nor have their missions 'dumbed down to the lowest common denominator'. Arms control is ignored except for what is literally a throw-away reference to the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty. Ominously high priority is accorded the protection of Space assets. Above all, the 'transformational goals' of the Pentagon must include being able to 'deny our enemies sanctuary, making sure they know that no corner of the world is remote enough, no mountain high enough, no cave or bunker deep enough…to protect them from our reach'. 1

One does have to stress that this last goal could never be achieved, by military means alone, against a biowarfare threat posed from within a world at large which was seething with resentment against the USA or the West in general. All else apart, you may need neither caves nor bunkers to make biobombs. A stable could suffice. Yet this confirms a wider truth. Warlike stances should advance geopolitical stability in such a way as to allow of the

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Global Instability and Strategic Crisis
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • The Author ix
  • Preface xi
  • Abbreviations xvii
  • Part I - The Strategic Revolution 1
  • 1 - Through 11 September 3
  • 2 - The Poverty of Strategy 32
  • 3 - A War on Terror? 45
  • 4 - Saddam, Slow Decline and Rapid Fall 59
  • Part II - Limited World War? 71
  • 5 - Social Instability 73
  • 6 - Macabre Lethality 100
  • 7 - The Ascent of the Missile 122
  • Part III - Defence Against Missiles 131
  • 8 - Ballistic Encounter 133
  • 9 - Terrestrial Coverage 156
  • 10 - The Heavens Subverted? 163
  • Part IV - The Quest for Strategy 181
  • 11 - Pax Atlantica? 183
  • 12 - Arms in Moderation 197
  • 13 - Planetary Internationalism 217
  • 14 - Strategy Transcended 243
  • Appendix A 265
  • Appendix B 272
  • Further Reading 279
  • Notes 281
  • Index 303
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