Pentagon Confirms That Unilateral Pre-emptive Strikes Are Now US Policy
By Evan Augustine Peterson III
Global Research, April 01, 2005
ACIL 1 April 2005
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The Pentagon has released a new strategic plan that explicitly endorses unilateral pre-emptive strikes.[1] This is another indication that the Bush administration is dramatically accelerating away from longstanding doctrines that are held, both by general international law, and seemingly-important transatlantic coalitions like NATO.[2]

Alarmingly, this plan also equates respected international organizations, such as the International Criminal Court, with terrorism. Why? The Pax Americana Imperium is threatened, according to this sentence from a new Pentagon document: “Our strength as a nation state will continue to be challenged by those who employ a strategy of the weak focusing on international fora, judicial processes and terror.”[3]

Note that the Pentagon conflates diplomatic and legal challenges to US policy that are undertaken in international forums with … terrorism! It’s bad enough that the scofflaw Bush administration has resorted to grossly mischaracterizing Western civilization’s most time-honored means of conflict resolution as “challenges” which must be deterred as a matter of national security. But it gets worse.

During a news conference on March 18, 2005, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Douglas Feith, removed all doubt about the fascistic nature of these policies when he clarified the document entitled ‘The National Defense Strategy of the United States of America’. He said: “There are various actors around the world that are looking to attack or constrain the United States, and they are going to find creative ways to do that, that are not the obvious conventional military attacks. … We need to think broadly about diplomatic lines of attack, legal lines of attack, all kinds of asymmetric warfare that various actors can use to try to constrain, shape our behavior.”[4]

Consider these hyper-militarized Orwellian conflations: Mr. Feith defames diplomacy and adjudication by unjustly equating them with insidious methods of “attack”; and he inexplicably equates “asymmetric warfare” against the USA with any “actor” — whether individual, group, or national — who contends that America must honor its duly-ratified treaty obligations because they are “the supreme law of the land” under Article VI of the US Constitution.

So … let’s see if we’ve finally gotten our new national-security policy straight: First, the Bush administration self-declares that it retains a unique “right” to engage in a “preemptive/preventive” war against anyone, anywhere, anytime, even if it merely feels subjectively threatened by the theoretical possibility that it might be “attacked” at some as-yet-undefined place in an indefinite future; second, any diplomatic or legal disagreement with the USA under international law is going to be construed as such an “attack” — indeed, as a form of “asymmetric warfare”; therefore, the Bushites will inflict “preemptive/preventive” war upon any nation that attempts to “attack” the USA through a cheeky act of diplomacy or adjudication under rule of law, which is henceforth deemed to be the substantive equivalent of an act of terrorism!

It says a great deal, but nothing good, about the USA’s mainstream media that Mr. Feith’s laughable statements were not subjected to intense journalistic scrutiny then and there, and to outraged criticism thereafter.

Moreover, the Pentagon’s latest regressive document underscores the fact that Mr. Bush has chosen NOT to hold dysfunctional neocons like Messrs. Feith and Rumsfeld accountable within the rule of law, but rather to grant them a foreign-policy stranglehold so they can accelerate the USA’s withdrawal from the rule of law, before they implement the next phase(s) of his imperialist agenda.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting in this context that Feith is: the DoD’s third-ranking civilian official, behind Rummy and Wolfie, and primarily responsible for formulating new national-security policies; the DoD official who was directly responsible for the shadowy ‘Office for Special Plans’, an ultra-secret propaganda unit inside the Pentagon that concocted pre-war ‘intelligence’ about Iraq’s phantom WMD arsenal and non-existent ties to al-Qaeda, only to disband the OSP after the invasion for purposes of plausible denial, [5]; and a long-time militarist, war-profiteer, and fundamentalist Zionist who has numerous ulterior motives for withdrawing the USA from the rule of law and for promoting wars of aggression against Islamic nations in the Middle East.[6]

Americans ought to be asking themselves whether we want the Pentagon to be implementing its fascistic “national security” policies in our name; and, if not, why we aren’t creating a firestorm of public protest in opposition to these lunatic-fringe policies.

Finally, you’ll find more evidence in Endnote 7 below which proves, when taken as a whole, that the Bushites are withdrawing the USA from the rule of law because they regard it as a necessary precondition for more wars of aggression against petro-states like Iran, and then maybe Venezuela.[7]


1. John Hendren’s 3-19-05 CD/LAT article, “Pentagon: Unilateral, Preemptive Strikes Now US Policy”

2. a. Nicholas Davies’ 12-31-04 OJ essay, “The Crime Of War: From Nüremberg To Fallujah”

b. TJSL Professor Marjorie Cohn’s 11-9-04 TO essay, “Aggressive War: Supreme International Crime”

3. John Lumpkin’s 3-19-05 CHB/AP article, “Terrorism Report Decries ‘Strategy Of The Weak'”

4. Lumpkin, ibid.

5. Right Web’s 2-11-04 special report, “Office Of Special Plans”

6. Right Web’s 9-3-04 special report, “Douglas Feith”

7. Jim Lobe’s 3-11-05 CD/IPS article, “Bush’s Unipolar World View Re-Affirmed” [Significant trends in Mr. Bush’s second-term appointments — like naming Neocons John Bolton as his UN Ambassador and Paul Wolfowitz as the World Bank’s president — confirm both his unipolar worldview and his ongoing intention to pursue a unilateralist national-security policy that’ will be centered around “preemptive war.”]

a. Evan Augustine Peterson III’s 3-13-05 TPV essay, “US Withdraws From The Rule Of Law: Now Death-Row Foreigners Can’t File International Appeals”

b. Tom Turnipseed’s 3-15-05 CD essay, “A Scofflaw In The White House

c. Undermining Respect For Law” [Among other salient points, lists the many international conventions from which the Bushites have withdrawn the USA.]

d. Ray McGovern’s 3-2-05 CD/TD essay, “Attacking Iraq: I Know It Sounds Crazy But…” [Explains the neocrazy groupthink under which the Bushites operate their Mideastern policy and why it’s likely to manifest in war during their second term.]

e. Fabiola Sanchez’s 3-16-05 USAT/AP article, “Chavez Followers Get Paramilitary Training”

f. Stuart Munckton’s 3-20-05 GLW essay, “Venezuela: Bush’s Next Oil War?”

Evan Augustine Peterson III, J.D., is the Executive Director of the American Center for International Law (“ACIL”).

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.