President Bush recently signed into law a Defense bill for 2004 which includes $9 billion in funding for research on the next generation of nuclear weaponry.
"It's an important signal we're sending," President Bush remarked at the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, "because, you see, the war on terror is different than any war America has ever fought."
"Our enemies seek to inflict mass casualties, without fielding mass armies," he cautioned. "They hide in the shadows, and they're often hard to strike. The terrorists are cunning and ruthless and dangerous, as the world saw on September the 11th, 2001. Yet these killers are now facing the United States of America, and a great coalition of responsible nations, and this threat to civilization will be defeated."
This is a posture usually reserved for nation-states who initiate or sponsor terrorists. The devastating neighboring effect of a potential nuclear engagement would contaminate innocent millions with the resulting radioactive fallout, and would not deter individuals with no known base of operations.
Yet, this administration, for the first time in our nation 's history, contemplates using nuclear weapons on countries which themselves have no nuclear capability, or pose no nuclear threat.
In September 2000, the PNAC drafted a report entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century."
The conservative foundation- funded report was authored by Bill Kristol, Bruce Jackson, Gary Schmitt, John Bolton and others. Bolton, now Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, was Senior Vice President of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. The report called for: ". . . significant, separate allocation of forces and budgetary resources over the next two decades for missile defense," and claimed that despite the "residue of investments first made in the mid- and late 1980s, over the past decade, the pace of innovation within the Pentagon had slowed measurably." Also that, "without the driving challenge of the Soviet military threat, efforts at innovation had lacked urgency."
The PNAC report asserted that "while long-range precision strikes will certainly play an increasingly large role in U.S. military operations, American forces must remain deployed abroad, in large numbers for decades and that U.S. forces will continue to operate many, if not most, of today's weapons systems for a decade or more." The PNAC document encouraged the military to "develop and deploy global missile defenses to defend the American homeland and American allies, and to provide a secure basis for U.S. power projection around the world."
The paper claimed that, "Potential rivals such as China were anxious to exploit these technologies broadly, while adversaries like Iran, Iraq and North Korea were rushing to develop ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons as a deterrent to American intervention in regions they sought to dominate. Also that, information and other new technologies as well as widespread technological and weapons proliferation were creating a 'dynamic' that might threaten America's ability to exercise its 'dominant' military power."
In reference to the nation's nuclear forces, the PNAC document asserted that, " reconfiguring its nuclear force, the United States also must counteract the effects of the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction that may soon allow lesser states to deter U.S. military action by threatening U.S. allies and the American homeland itself."
"The (Clinton) administration's stewardship of the nation's deterrent capability has been described by Congress as "erosion by design," the group chided.
The authors further warned that, "U.S. nuclear force planning and related arms control policies must take account of a larger set of variables than in the past, including the growing number of small nuclear arsenals from North Korea to Pakistan to, perhaps soon, Iran and Iraq and a modernized and expanded Chinese nuclear force." In addition, they counseled, "there may be a need to develop a new family of nuclear weapons designed to address new sets of military requirements, such as would be required in targeting the very deep underground, hardened bunkers that are being built by many of our potential adversaries."
The PNAC 'Rebuilding America' report was used after the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks to draft the 2002 document entitled "The National Security Strategy of the United States," which for the first time in the nation's history advocated "preemptive" attacks to prevent the emergence of opponents the administration considered a threat to its political and economic interests.
It states that ". . . we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively against such terrorists, to prevent them from doing harm against our people and our country." And that, "To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively."
This military industry band of executives promoted the view, in and outside of the White House that, " must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and our allies and friends. . . We must deter and defend against the threat before it is unleashed."