The US has been threatening Iran for more than 20 years. Already during the Clinton administration, US Central Command (USCENTCOM) had formulated “in war theater plans” to invade both Iraq and Iran.
This posting which includes selected articles from our archives was originally published by Global Research 12 years ago in May 2005.
In the wake of the war on Iraq (2003), the Bush administration officially identified Iran and Syria as the next stage of “the road map to war”.
Bush’s National Security doctrine contained in the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) was a continuation of Clinton’s “strategy of containment of rogue states”. The PNAC’s declared objectives were:
- 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;”
The PNAC did not elaborate on America’s stated mandate to “spread democracy” through the conduct of humanitarian wars. “Fight decisively and win” major theater wars was part of America’s “Long War”.
Below is my introductory note followed by a selection of 2005 articles and excerpts by prominent authors and analysts (including Scott Ritter, Uri Avery, John Stanton, Richard M. Bennett), which provide an insight on the history of US military aggression and war planning. Déjà Vu?
Michel Chossudovsky, November 1, 2017
The Bush administration has officially identified Iran and Syria as the next stage of “the road map to war”.
Targeting Iran is a bipartisan project, which broadly serves the interests of the Anglo-American oil conglomerates, the Wall Street financial establishment and the military-industrial complex.
The broader Middle East-Central Asian region encompasses more than 70% of the World’s reserves of oil and natural gas. Iraq possesses 11% of the world’s oil and ranks only second to Saudi Arabia in the size of its reserves
The announcement to target Iran should come as no surprise. Already during the Clinton administration, US Central Command (USCENTCOM) had formulated “in war theater plans” to invade both Iraq and Iran:
“The broad national security interests and objectives expressed in the President’s National Security Strategy (NSS) and the Chairman’s National Military Strategy (NMS) form the foundation of the United States Central Command’s theater strategy. The NSS directs implementation of a strategy of dual containment of the rogue states of Iraq and Iran as long as those states pose a threat to U.S. interests, to other states in the region, and to their own citizens. Dual containment is designed to maintain the balance of power in the region without depending on either Iraq or Iran. USCENTCOM’s theater strategy is interest-based and threat-focused. The purpose of U.S. engagement, as espoused in the NSS, is to protect the United States’ vital interest in the region – uninterrupted, secure U.S./Allied access to Gulf oil.
(USCENTCOM, http://www.milnet.com/milnet/pentagon/centcom/chap1/stratgic.htm#USPolicy , emphasis added)
The Project for a New American Century
Bush’s National Security doctrine contained in the PNAC is a continuation of Clinton’s “strategy of containment of rogue states”.
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”
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. Constabulary functions are contemplated in the first phase of US actions against Iran.
With regard to Syria, already in October 2003, the bombing of presumed ‘terrorist bases’ in Syria by the Israeli Air Force was intended to provide a justification for subsequent pre-emptive military interventions. Ariel Sharon launched the attacks with the approval of Donald Rumsfeld.
The Pentagon views ‘territorial control’ over Syria, which constitutes a land bridge between Israel and occupied Iraq, as ‘strategic’ from a military and economic standpoint.
This planned extension of the war into Syria and Iran has serious implications. It means that Israel becomes a major military actor in the US-led war, as well as an ‘official’ member of the Anglo-American coalition. It also raises the broader issue of nuclear weapons and their use in the Middle East war theater.
The US, Britain and Israel already have a coordinated nuclear weapons policy. Meanwhile, Israeli nuclear warheads are pointed at major cities in the Middle East including Tehran and Damascus. The governments of all three countries have stated quite openly that they plan to use nuclear weapons “if they are attacked”.
The Pre-emptive War Doctrine
“Preemptive military action” against Iran, is presented as an act of “self-defense” against two categories of enemies, “rogue States” and “Islamic terrorists”:
“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 formed.
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 )
To justify pre-emptive military actions, including the use of nuclear weapons in conventional war theaters (approved by the Senate in late 2003), 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 the so-called “rogue states” including Iran and Syria.
Michel Chossudovsky, 10 February 2005. The original collection of essays was updated on 4 May 2005.
I. TARGETING IRAN
Cheney: Iran at “top of the list” of Trouble Spots, “asks” Israel to carry out the Attack
US Vice President Dick Cheney has confirmed that Iran is “right at the top of the list” of global trouble spots and worried that Israel might strike to shut down Tehran’s nuclear programs. “One of the concerns people have is that Israel might do it without being asked,”
The US wants to “set Israel loose” to attack Iran by Uri Avnery
It is not very flattering to be paraded like a Rottweiler on a leash , whose master threatens to let him loose on his enemies. But this is our situation now. Vice President Dick Cheney threatened that if Iran continues to develop its nuclear capabilities, Israel might attack her.
Sleepwalking to Disaster in Iran by Scott Ritter
The American media today is sleepwalking towards an American war with Iran with all of the incompetence and lack of integrity that it displayed during a similar path trodden during the buildup to our current war with Iraq.
Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran by Michel Chossudovsky
Iran is the next military target. The planned military operation, which is by no means limited to punitive strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities, is part of a project of World domination, a military roadmap, launched at the end of the Cold War.
The planned attack on Iran must be understood in relation to the existing active war theaters in the Middle East, namely Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine.
Military action against Iran would directly involve Israel’s participation, which in turn is likely to trigger a broader war throughout the Middle East, not to mention an implosion in the Palestinian occupied territories. Turkey is closely associated with the proposed aerial attacks.
US threatens Iran with military strike at its nuclear sites
While US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is paying a visit to Israel, experts from the US Defense Department and Israel have drafted a plan to carry out a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. As the experts at the European Commission in Brussels, who revealed the information, explained this news is designed to press the EU negotiators to put the screws on Iran and force it to suspend all its activities related to uranium enrichment, threatening that the US and Israel would carry out a military strike if Iran fails to comply with the US-Israeli impositions.
Next Target: Iran by Richard M Bennett
It is now widely considered almost inevitable that the United States will target Iran next.
Whether this is in the form of a full scale invasion with the intention of regime change, in which case it will probably be delayed until some degree of stability has been enforced on Iraq or it could take the form of a short sharp air campaign designed to destroy as much as possible of Iran’s Nuclear, Missile and Command Control infrastructure.
This latter course, the neo-cons in Washington are apparently convincing themselves, would also seriously undermine the conservative anti-American element of Iran’s present leadership
Unfolding Middle-East Quagmire: America is Buying Time by Soula Avramidis
The US needs to control the region not solely for its oil reserves, but more importantly to uphold its global economic hegemony. Under this design, regional states have to be molded into weak sectarian sheikdoms with little or no sovereignty and, by implication, a dismal economic development agenda if any. Regional chaos thus favors a credo of Islamic fundamentalism, which in turn reinforces the process of US sponsored political and social disintegration
Targeting Tehran, by Galal Nassar
Where will the US strike next? The question has been splashed across the world’s media and is being asked of political and military analysts everywhere. Washington remains tight-lipped on the subject. But Israel, its closest ally, seems to have made up its mind.
Israeli officials are trying to persuade their friends in the US that Iran should be next on the hit list.
Bush Administration Readying for 2004 Invasion of Iran by John Stanton
Even though Syria is next on the chopping block according to the authors of A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm–chief among them Richard Perle and Douglas Feith–it is Iran that they covet. In their view, it’s payback time for the 1970’s overthrow of the Shah and subsequent takeover by Khomeni (then exiled in France), the occupation of the US Embassy, the ensuing hostage crisis, the botched rescue attempt that sullied America’s military reputation, and tit-for-tat terrorist actions over the years between the US and Iran (US Navy shoot down of Iranian airliner, Iranian backed terrorist attacks on US troops, etc).
Militarisation of the entire Middle East Region by Erich Marquardt
In removing the Saddam Hussein government, the U.S. will be projecting its power further into the Middle East. Following the ouster of Saddam, Washington will find it necessary to construct military bases in Iraq in order to handle U.S. military activity in the post-war phase. This will follow the model successfully implemented in Afghanistan. With Iraq as a new military launching point, the U.S. will find itself in an incredibly strategic location. Bordering six critical states, Iraq is located at the heart of the Middle East.
Once military bases are active in Iraq, Washington will be able to reshape the Middle East, a term that has been used by administration officials for the last decade. U.S. government officials have expressed their concern with the country of Syria, which is located on Iraq’s western border.
Target Iran: It’s a semi-secret joint US-Israel Operation, by Gordon Thomas
The US has now secretly cooperated more than ever with the Sharon regime in Israel to prepare for an attack which if successful will destroy Iranian facilities that could be used to produce nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them. The justification model is of course Israel’s attack on Osirak near Baghdad 22 years ago. Possibly to take place at the same time the Americans are preparing to attack North Korean nuclear facilities.
This is the real military pressure that is now being ratcheted up on both countries to quite literally attempt to force them to change course. This was the reason senior European Foreign Ministers recently rushed to Tehran.
But after watching what the US has now done to Iraq — a country that in fact did succumb and change course only to find itself ‘regime changed’ and occupied by the Americans — this historic cat and mouse game may not work quite so easily as it has before for Washington.
Moreover there are other players much more intimately involved now — Pakistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia… with China as well as Russia watching every so closely and a whole world more skeptical of the Americans, as well as the Israelis, than ever
Iran’s Reza Pahlavi: A Puppet of the USA and Israel? by John Stanton,
The omnipresent neo-conservative kingmakers are at it again, this time with the eloquent and dashing Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi, eldest son of the former enigmatic Iranian King of Kings, Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, who ruled Iran from 1941 until his exile in 1979. The rest, as the cliché goes, is a history well known to the world. That painful past for Americans, Iranians, and Iraqis includes the Ayatollah Khomeini’s authoritarian rule, former President Jimmy Carter’s debilitating US Embassy Hostage crisis, former President Ronald Reagan’s damaging Iran-Contra Affair, the horribly futile Iran-Iraq War in which the US supported Iraq, and, now, as history continues to weave its ugly tapestry, Iran finds itself a bona-fide member of current President George Bush II’s Axis-of-Evil.
Iran prepares for “Asymmetrical Warfare” Kurt Nimmo
Iran has begun publicly preparing for a possible US attack, announcing efforts to bolster and mobilize recruits in citizens’ militias and making plans to engage in the type of ‘asymmetrical’ warfare that has plagued American troops in neighboring Iraq”
The U.S. will be confronted with a large number of resistance fighters in Iraq, conceivably upward to a million or more, and not the paltry 200,000 or so it currently faces and finds overwhelming. On the day after the Pentagon stupidly bombs Iran’s illusory nuclear facilities there will be hell to pay in Iraq.
Clinton Administration’s “Dual Containment” of Iran and Iraq: The War on Iran has been part of the US military Agenda for at Least Ten Years
DoD News Briefing Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen Monday, April 28, 1997: “With respect to Iran, I think Iran continues to present a long term threat to the region. They are acquiring and have acquired weapons of mass destruction, substantial levels of chemicals and we believe biological weapons as well. They have made an effort to acquire nuclear capability. So I think that our policy of dual containment is the right one, and we are going to encourage our allies to support that one.”
II. BEYOND IRAN: AMERICA’S MILITARY ROADMAP
Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Is this the Roadmap that Bush and Blair keep talking about?
Provides selected references on the New American Century Road Map together with the letter addressed by the PNAC to George W Bush dated September 20, 2001.
Neo-Con Agenda:, Iran China, Russia, Latin America by Jim Lobe
An influential foreign-policy neo-conservative with longstanding ties to top hawks in the administration of President George W Bush has laid out what he calls ”a checklist of the work the world will demand of this president and his subordinates in a second term.”
The list, which begins with the destruction of Fallujah in Iraq and ends with the development of ”appropriate strategies” for dealing with threats posed by China, Russia and ”the emergence of a number of aggressively anti-American regimes in Latin America,” also calls for ”regime change” in Iran and North Korea.
The Coming Wars by Seymour Hersh
George W. Bush’s reelection was not his only victory last fall. The President and his national-security advisers have consolidated control over the military and intelligence communities’ strategic analyses and covert operations to a degree unmatched since the rise of the post-Second World War national-security state. Bush has an aggressive and ambitious agenda for using that control—against the mullahs in Iran and against targets in the ongoing war on terrorism—during his second term.
The Empire in the Year 2005 by James Petras
The Iraqi resistance and the US weakness means that it is unlikely that the US will launch a major land war in any major ‘enemy’ country in 2005 – (Iran, Syria, Venezuela). The declining fortunes of the US colonial war and the increased withdrawal of satellite forces (Hungary, Poland, Ukraine) will provoke a major debate in 2005. Several leading Democrats, including Hilary Clinton, Republicans and Zionists are calling for deepening the war and calling up more troops – up to 100,000. Most of the Congressional “liberal” critics of Rumsfeld are more bellicose, more militarist: 2005 will see greater US military involvement in Iraq, more casualties and increasing opposition from the families of veterans, returning soldiers and “average Americans.”
America’s War for Global Domination by Michel Chossudovsky
We are the juncture of the most serious crisis in modern history. The Bush Administration has embarked upon a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. 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 including the plans to attack Iran, is a continuation of the 1991 Gulf War and the NATO led wars on Yugoslavia (1991-2001).
The deployment of America’s war machine purports to enlarge America’s economic sphere of influence. The U.S. has established a permanent military presence not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has military bases in several of the former Soviet republics on China’s Western frontier. In turn, since 1999, there has been a military buildup in the South China Sea.
Bush’s Operation Clean Sweep: World War IV in 2004? by John Stanton
Simultaneously with invasion of Syria, Iran will be subjected to an extraordinary air and cruise missile assault led by American forces. This operation will include additional military elements from the Turkish and Afghani military who will have been promised a piece of Iran once it is defeated. A withering air assault will come from the Northwest through Turkey, from the West from US controlled Iraq, from the East from the air bases in Afghanistan, and from carrier groups and cruise missile launching submarines, to include an Israeli submarine, in the Persian Gulf. Within 60 business days, Iran will be defeated by US-led forces.
Bush’s State of the Union: Billions for Endless War and Empire by International Action Center
Using the now-familiar and discredited accusation of possessing weapons of mass destruction, Bush made it clear that the people of Iran, Syria, and North Korea will suffer the same fate as the people of Iraq if he has his way.
He swore that we must “confront regimes that continue to harbor terrorists and pursue weapons of mass murder.” This same justification, proven to be an outright lie, was used for the war against Iraq. In Bush language, this means the intent to attack any country, anywhere, if it serves the interests of U.S. corporate Empire.
The U.S. government, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., is “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.” Its death squads are at work in Colombia. The city of Miami is a base for terrorist attacks against the people of Cuba. The U.S. maintains the world’s largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction: illegal chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.
III. THE THREAT OF NUCLEAR WAR
Israeli Weapons of Mass Destruction: a Threat to Peace, by John Steinbach
Israeli nuclear weapons are among the world’s most sophisticated, designed for “war fighting” in the Middle East,
With between 200 and 500 thermonuclear weapons and a sophisticated delivery system, Israel has quietly supplanted Britain as the World’s 5th Largest nuclear power, and may currently rival France and China in the size and sophistication of its nuclear arsenal. Although dwarfed by the nuclear arsenals of the U.S. and Russia, each possessing over 10,000 nuclear weapons, Israel nonetheless is a major nuclear power, and should be publically recognized as such.. Since the Gulf War in 1991, while much attention has been lavished on the threat posed by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the major culprit in the region, Israel, has been largely ignored. Possessing chemical and biological weapons, an extremely sophisticated nuclear arsenal, and an aggressive strategy for their actual use, Israel provides the major regional impetus for the development of weapons of mass destruction and represents an acute threat to peace and stability in the Middle East.
U.S. Works Up Plan for Using Nuclear Arms, Pentagon Secret Report. by Paul Richter
The Bush administration has directed the military to prepare contingency plans to use nuclear weapons against at least seven countries and to build smaller nuclear weapons for use in certain battlefield situations, according to a classified Pentagon report.
The secret report says the Pentagon needs to be prepared to use nuclear weapons against China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria. It says the weapons could be used in three types of situations: against targets able to withstand nonnuclear attack; in retaliation for attack with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons; or “in the event of surprising military developments.”
Pentagon Shocker: US Threatens Nuclear First Strike, by Fred Goldstein
The Bush administration has dramatically escalated its campaign of global intimidation by going public with portions of the Pentagon’s latest classified plans for the use of nuclear weapons and its targeting of China, Russia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya with these weapons.
Secret Plan Outlines the Unthinkable by William Arkin
A secret policy review of the nation’s nuclear policy puts forth chilling new contingencies for nuclear war. The Bush administration, in a secret policy review ordered the Pentagon to draft contingency plans for the use of nuclear weapons against at least seven countries, naming not only Russia and the “axis of evil”–Iraq, Iran, and North Korea–but also China, Libya and Syria.
In addition, the U.S. Defense Department has been told to prepare for the possibility that nuclear weapons may be required in some future Arab-Israeli crisis. And, it is to develop plans for using nuclear weapons to retaliate against chemical or biological attacks, as well as “surprising military developments” of an unspecified nature.
Nuclear Nightmare: Bush Nuclear Policy and War On Iraq by John Steinbach,
The primary purpose of nuclear weapons has never been about deterrence or mutually assured destruction (MAD), but rather to serve as a coercive foreign policy instrument designed and intended for actual war fighting.5 Nuclear weapons designed to back up military intervention and enforce geopolitical dictates are seen by Pentagon war planners as the backbone of war-fighting strategy, and in this capacity have been used at least 27 times between 1945 and 1998
The US Nuclear Option and the “War on Terrorism” by Michel Chossudovsky
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.
While Al Qaeda is presented to public opinion as constituting a nuclear threat, 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”.
Israel’s Nuclear Option: Vanunu: The Terrible Secret by Uri Avnery
The danger of nuclear arms was the main pretext for the invasion of Iraq. Iran is threatened in order to compel it to stop its nuclear efforts. Libya has surrendered and is dismantling its nuclear installations.
So what about Israel? The Americans are full partners in the creation of Israel’s “nuclear option”.
How was this exposed? With the help of Mordecai Vanunu, of course.
IV. OIL AND PETRODOLLARS
The Real Reasons Why Iran is the Next Target: The Emerging Euro-denominated International Oil Marker by William Clarke
In 2005-2006, The Tehran government has a developed a plan to begin competing with New York’s NYMEX and London’s IPE with respect to international oil trades – using a euro-denominated international oil-trading mechanism. This means that without some form of US intervention, the euro is going to establish a firm foothold in the international oil trade. Given U.S. debt levels and the stated neoconservative project for U.S. global domination, Tehran’s objective constitutes an obvious encroachment on U.S. dollar supremacy in the international oil market
The Anglo-American Military Axis by Michel Chossudovsky
The clash between Great Powers (“Old Europe” versus and the Anglo-American military axis) broadly pertains to Defense and the military-industrial complex, Control over Oil and Gas Reserves, Money and currency systems: clash between the Euro and the Dollar.
V. WAR PROPAGANDA: INVENTING AN OUTSIDE ENEMY
The Role of Political Islam: Inventing the Enemy, by Dave Stratman
It used to be said during the Cold War that, “If the Communist threat did not exist, the US would have to invent it.” The threat of nuclear war and the notion of a Communist (or capitalist) under every bed provided American and Soviet ruling elites excellent means to frighten and control their own citizens, justify enormous arms expenditures, and legitimize power projection abroad in the name of saving the world from Communism (or capitalism).
Greasing the Skids for Mass Murdering Iranians, by Kurt Nimmo
The Bush administration and the US congress are busy at work on the “Iran Freedom and Support Act,” in other words a bill designed to get America ready to bomb Iran. “By supporting the people of Iran, and through greater outreach to pro-democracy groups, we will hopefully foster a peaceful transition to democracy in Iran,” “The bill also notes the futility of working with the Iranian government.”
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