U.S. ROAD TO WAR
The Kuwaiti invasion in 1990 ultimately led to a
humiliating defeat for Saddam Hussein as the Americans
and their coalition partners drove him out of the
country. He had never been more vulnerable. But
when the war was over, the Americans just packed
up and went home.
Even as Washington was celebrating the victory,
there were hawks in the American defense policy
establishment who wanted to pick up were Desert
Storm had left off.
Wolfowitz authored a bold new strategy for
American foreign policy.
A New Doctrine
for American Dominance
Paul Wolfowitz drafted a secret strategy that was
a blueprint for American domination of the world
in the future. The U.S was the most powerful military
and economic force in human history and they wanted
to use that power to advance American interests.
It proposed using pre-emptive
force against anyone perceived to be a threat even
if it meant going it alone in defiance of friends
Although the strategy was secret, details leaked
out. Dame Pauline Neville Jones was a senior civil
servant in the British Foreign Office at the time.
"It sent a shiver down my
back. I just said to myself, no country, however
powerful, can operate on the world in this way
by itself and hope to have friends and ultimately
The nineties were a wasted decade
for the right
The Wolfowitz policy was rejected by the first president
Bush in the early nineties. He decided that America
would remain a team player in its foreign relations
- for the moment.
wing hawks looking to advance their agenda. During
the Clinton administration, foreign relations policy
was ad hoc and - in their view - spineless. Clinton's
CIA director, James Woolsey
remembers that attention to foreign intelligence was
"In 1995, when
that little airplane crashed into the south lawn
of the White House, the White House staff joke
was that must be Woolsey still trying to get an
more excerpts from an interview with James Woolsey
and read his bio
The Neo-Conservative Think
Paul Wolfowitz and some like-minded
neo conservatives set up their own think tank call
the Project for a New American Century. They called
for a muscular new foreign policy, an invincible
military and the guts to use it. (visit
the web site)
In January 26, 1998 they sent a letter
to Bill Clinton which argued for a policy of pre-emptive
action. Their first target was Saddam Hussein. It
was signed by a who's who of radical conservatives
like Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey
and Richard Perle. (read
"We really thought in
a way we were filling a vacuum because the loyal
opposition, the Republican party, was asleep at
the helm. They simply weren’t engaging on
foreign policy issues. They weren’t raising
the kinds of questions that we thought were important
to raise." remembers
an interview with Richard Perle,
read his bio
Their appeal was ignored.
The Tide Turns
Three years later the tide started to turn. Foreign
policy wasn't high on the agenda of the new Bush
administration either. But this time ten of the
hawks from the Project for a New American Century
held key positions. Dick Cheney was made vice-president,
Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense and Paul
Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld's deputy.
America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources
For a New Century,"
September 2000. A Report of the Project for the
New American Century.
destruction of the World Trade Centre was
just the type of catastrophic crisis the neo-conservatives
The hawks already had
a manifesto. (see above) In it they stated that
the process of transforming America's foreign policy
would be a long one unless there was a catastrophic
event like Pearl Habour.
The attack on the World Trade Centre shocked the
world and changed the American government forever.
Two days after September 11, the foreign policy
makers approached President Bush. On September 30,
President Bush finally embraced the Project for
a New American Century with a single sentence that
was to have earthshaking significance for the future.
"Any nation that continues
to harbour or support terrorism will be regarded
by the United States as a hostile regime.”
Richard Perle felt that it was
the single most important sentence of Bush's presidency.
It reversed the policy of all previous administrations.
Prime Minister Tony Blair attended President
Bush's address on September 30, 2001.
"What this president was saying
is that we are going to take this war to the terrorists
where they live, where they work, where they plan,
where they conspire, where they organize and to
the governments that give them the help on which
British Prime Minister Tony Blair
was in the gallery. It was the start of a historical