The requirement of an ever-escalating level of social violence to meet the political and economic needs of the insatiable "anti-terrorist complex" is the essence of the new US militarism.
What is now openly billed as "permanent war" ultimately serves the geo-political ends of social control in the interests of US corporate domination, much as the anti-communist crusade of the now-exhausted Cold War did.
Back in 2002, following the trauma of 9-11, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld predicted there would be more terrorist attacks against the American people and civilization at large. How could he be so sure of that? Perhaps because these attacks would be instigated on the order of the Honorable Mr. Rumsfeld. According to Los Angeles Times military analyst William Arkin, writing Oct. 27, 2002, Rumsfeld set out to create a secret army, "a super-Intelligence Support Activity" network that would "bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence, and cover and deception," to stir the pot of spiraling global violence.
According to a classified document prepared for Rumsfeld by his Defense Science Board, the new organization--the "Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG)"--would actually carry out secret missions designed to provoke terrorist groups into committing violent acts. The P2OG, a 100-member, so-called "counter-terrorist" organization with a $100-million-a-year budget, would ostensibly target "terrorist leaders," but according to P2OG documents procured by Arkin, would in fact carry out missions designed to "stimulate reactions" among "terrorist groups"--which, according to the Defense Secretary's logic, would subsequently expose them to "counter-attack" by the good guys. In other words, the plan is to execute secret military operations (assassinations, sabotage, "deception") which would intentionally result in terrorist attacks on innocent people, including Americans--essentially, to "combat terrorism" by causing it!
This notion is currently being applied to the problem of the Iraqi "insurgency," it seems. According to a May 1, 2005 report by Peter Maass in the New York Times Magazine, two of the top US advisers to Iraqi paramilitary commandos fighting the insurgents are veterans of US counterinsurgency operations in Latin America. Loaning credence to recent media speculation about the "Salvadorization" of Iraq, the report notes that one adviser currently in Iraq is James Steele, who led a team of 55 US Army Special Forces advisers in El Salvador in the 1980s. Maass writes that these advisors "trained front-line battalions that were accused of significant human rights abuses."
The current senior US adviser at the Iraqi Interior Ministry, which Maass writes "has operational control over the commandos," is former top US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) official Steve Casteel, who worked "alongside local forces" in the US-sponsored "Drug War" in Bolivia, Peru and Colombia, "where he was involved in the hunt for Pablo Escobar, the head of the Medellin cocaine cartel."
The US "drug war" in Latin America also serves as a cover for ongoing counterinsurgency, employing terrorist methods to achieve two aims: one, actually combating genuine insurgency; two, the ratcheting up of a "strategy of tension," heightened social violence designed to induce fear among the citizenry and the subsequent call for greater "security."
This was the essence, for example, of Operation Gladio, a decades-long covert campaign of provocateur-style terrorism and deceit. The ostensible purpose of Gladio, officially launched as a covert NATO program in 1952, was to establish a clandestine network of "stay-behind" teams which would organize armed resistance and sabotage in the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. But the network actually took a far more proactive role. Directed by US/NATO intelligence services of the West against their own populations, Operation Gladio led to possibly hundreds of innocent people being killed or maimed in "terrorist" attacks which were then blamed on "leftist subversives" or other political opponents. The most notorious such attack was the 1980 bombing of the train station at Bologna, which left 85 dead. Initially blamed on left-wing radicals, the blast was revealed upon investigation to be the work of an ultra-right network linked to the Italy's Gladio team; four Italian neo-fascists were eventually convicted of the crime.
The purpose was again twofold: to demonize designated enemies (the "communists") and to frighten the public into supporting ever-increasing powers for the national security state. It appears the Pentagon has been implementing Gladio-style operations for quite some time--possibly including 9-11. A stretch? Maybe not.
Witness the US Joint Chiefs discussion of "Operation Northwoods" back in 1962, a plan to blow up U.S. "assets"--including U.S. citizens--in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. Later, US Army Field Manual 30-31B, entitled "Stability Operations Intelligence - Special Fields," dated March 18, 1970 and signed by Gen. William C Westmoreland, promoted terrorist attacks (and the planting of false evidence) in public places which were then to be blamed on "communists" and "socialists." It called for the execution of terrorist attacks throughout Western Europe, carried out through a network of covert US/NATO armies, in order to convince European governments of "the communist threat."
What is striking is that during this period the primary source for US government info on the Russian "threat" was coming from the Gehlen Organization, Hitlers eastern front intelligence apparatus, which in the aftermath of World War II had cut a deal with the CIA's Allen Dulles and worked out of Fort Hunt, just outside Washington DC, before being relocated back to Munich. Headed up by super-spy Nazi General Reinhard Gehlen, the Org's "special operations" expertise was heeded, financed and well-protected by U.S. tax dollars well into the 1970's. Could the Gehlen Org have had an influence in the production of FM 30-31B?
According to FM 30-31B,
"there may be times when Host Country Governments show passivity or indecision in the face of communist subversion and according to the interpretation of the US secret services do not react with sufficient effectiveness. Most often such situations come about when the revolutionaries temporarily renounce the use of force and thus hope to gain an advantage, as the leaders of the host country wrongly consider the situation to be secure. US army intelligence must have the means of launching special operations which will convince Host Country Governments and public opinion of the reality of the insurgent danger."
The U.S. Army now claims the document was a Russian forgery. Journalist Allan Francovich in his BBC documentation on Gladio and US/NATO "special operations" terrorism, asked Ray Cline, CIA deputy director from 1962 to 1966, if he believed FM 30-31B was for real and he replied: "Well, I suspect it is an authentic document. I don't doubt it. I never saw it but it's the kind of special forces military operations that are described," to be implemented at the discretion of the president and Defense Department on the "appropriate occasion."
It could be that in Iraq--and elsewhere around the world--the "appropriate occasion" has arrived. Bush's war on terrorism could be the ultimate manifestation of the provocateur state; carrying out of clandestine "executive actions" and "special operations" directed against populations, including our own, who are truly ignorant of the real "enemy" in the face of the ever-present manufactured one, traumatized by strategic terror designed to engender fear and acquiescence to further "security measures"--thereby enriching the military, police agencies, and munitions and nuclear business enterprises.
Peter Maass, "The Salvadorization of Iraq?," New York Times Magazine, May 1, 2005.
A.K. Gupta, "Unraveling Iraq's Secret Militias," Z Magazine, May 2005
Lila Rajiva, "The Pentagon's 'NATO Option'," CommonDreams, Feb. 10, 2005.