“She [the United States] well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence; she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force....She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit....”
-- John Quincy Adams, 1821
WWIII was initiated by the US, a nation with 4.5 percent of the world’s population that, until war’s end, was consuming over 50 percent of the world’s resources. At issue was the US attempt to dominate oil & gas supply, demand and transit. That had been an ambition since at least 1948 when George Kennan recognized that Post WWII US prosperity depended on oil & gas. Between 1956 and 1958, the Eisenhower Doctrine was adopted to ensure US access to oil & gas. According to William Blum writing in Rogue State, “In keeping with that policy, the United States twice attempted to overthrow the Syrian government, staged several shows-of-force in the Mediterranean to intimidate movements opposed to US-supported governments in Jordan and Lebanon, landed 14,000 troops in Lebanon, and conspired to overthrow or assassinate Nasser of Egypt and his troublesome Middle-East nationalism.”
By the 1990’s, securing energy resources and limiting the growth of the economies of China, India, Russia, Brazil and Venezuela became paramount. Even with the US colonization of Iraq in 2005, there was not enough oil & gas to satisfy both US needs and those of the high growth nations. The historical record shows that the resource domination was the real goal of the disingenuous US War on Terror. And with the US removing itself from international diplomacy and treaty, and refusing to share the wealth, world war was just a step away.
With this backdrop, the US reserved the right to invade oil producing and transit nations, threaten countries for forward basing rights, and demonize and destabilize irregular nations like China, India and Russia (the term “irregular warfare” appeared during this time). The US deftly employed the cosmetics of religion, freedom and democracy, and glorified, even deified, all matters military in preparing its people for the real struggle that was ahead (also allowing US gas prices to rise). So, without much fanfare, four years into the 21st Century, the US made it official: “We are a Nation at War.” And with that, US President George W. Bush’s National Defense Strategy of March 2005, and General, USAF, Richard Myers’ National Military Strategy of the USA (released in 2004) set the global conflict into motion.
Those two documents served as the catalyst for the rapid build-up of international alliances designed to neutralize the US attempt to dominate world energy markets. Who could say what “national prosperity and the freedom to buy and sell” really was? How does a nation threaten those nebulous concepts? What exactly was US national security? What was clear is that in the drive to satisfy its energy needs, the US etched in stone the global superiority of its gods, its people, its government, its way of life, and its economic system. It demeaned world institutions born of the madness of war and long established such as the United Nations, and it threatened punitive military attacks and occupation on any of the 200 plus nations on the planet.
What’s a nation to do? Arm and move quickly. And the world did.
Many historians blamed Bush and Myers, and later President’s Ralph Reed and Joe Biden for WWIII: that is incorrect. They were merely acting out what for hundreds of years had been a grand ambition: to sit astride the world’s plenty. The historical record shows that the US was built on a toxic mix of religion, self-righteousness and violence dating straight back to 1630 when John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts, asserted, “"We shall find that the God of Israel shall be among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when He shall make us a praise and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations, 'the Lord make it like that of New England.” In 1839, John O’Sullivan would repeat that thinking in the Nation of Futurity. The US’ manifest destiny was “to establish on earth the moral dignity and salvation of man--the immutable truth and beneficence of God. For this blessed mission to the nations of the world, which are shut out from the life-giving light of truth, has America been chosen.”
Winthrop and O’Sullivan certainly did not include Native Americans or African Americans in their worldview. Yet their rhetoric--and their not so subtle ethnic and cultural racism--remained stubbornly ingrained in the American psyche ‘til the end. The notorious Immigration Act of 1924 (based in part on Madison Grant’s racial/eugenics theories) and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 speak to the peculiar attributes of American racism, remnants of which existed well into the 21st Century.
Moreover, Americans simply refused to take care of one another believing in some extra-galactic divinity that would support their ambitions. Their focus was a fairytale heaven and not the demanding here, now and tomorrow. Morning in America came to mean that Americans awoke daily with no recollection of their own history or the world’s. As they slept, the for-sale sign went up on the “people’s” government, infrastructure, schools, health systems, and social security networks--the critical supply lines for a robust and healthy society.
Who could feel pity for such an irresponsible set of people? One thing was certain, such a people could not be allowed to rule other nations.
The world finally figured out that the inherent sickness of the US posed as great a danger to the world as its desire for oil & gas. What nation wanted Mr. and Mrs. Uncle Sam as rulers? As late as 1981, US cities like Detroit, Michigan were still desegregating public schools. Well into the 21st Century, Native Americans remained among the world’s poorest people. In 2004, at a cost of $50 billion a year, the US prison system housed 2 million or more inmates with another 6 million out on parole and probation. In 2005, UNICOR (the US federal prison labor force) was able to make the following boast.
“During the 1990-91 Persian Gulf conflict, UNICOR provided Kevlar helmets, camouflage battle uniforms, lighting systems, sandbags, blankets, and night vision eyewear for the military to use during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. It even manufactured cables for chemical gas detection devices and for the Patriot missile systems that played a key role in defending Allied troops during the Persian Gulf War. Brigadier General John Cusick, commanding officer of the Defense Personnel Support Center, praised UNICOR for the "superb support [it] provided to America's Fighting Forces" and for helping ensure that "we received the supplies the troops needed to win the war." War was, after all, criminal.
In 2005, the National Victims Center reported that there were 11.4 million violent crimes committed in the US in 2003. Of those, there were 223,390 rapes and sexual assaults and 4.6 million physical assaults. 16,503 Americans were murdered in 2003. Children and teenagers are increasingly the subject of violent crime: 12 percent of the homicides in the US were in the 13-19 age groups. Highway fatalities alone would cost 42,643 their lives in 2003.
The US was not a nation that cared about its own people, unless they happened to die in military service. Then again, in 2005 the National Coalition of Homeless Vets reported that the US Veteran’s Administration estimates that more than 299,321 veterans are homeless on any given night, with an increasing amount of those coming from the Iraq War of 2003.
No nation wanted such a society but that’s what the US was selling. The world started to read the warning labels.
Overly infatuated with and dangerously reliant on advanced computing technology, US military planners banked on technologies underpinning stealth, precision bombing and network centric warfare to maintain a military edge. New Age Pentagon leaders and strategists talked confidently of ballistic missile shields, fourth and fifth generational warfare, irregular warfare, and full spectrum dominance from outer space to the ocean floor. They prematurely announced the death of large scale conventional warfare time and again based on self-proclaimed victories against the mock armies and air corps of Afghanistan, Iraq, Panama and Grenada.
Whether on foreign battlefields, embassy compounds or right in the heart of the US, the reality was that the US civilian/military/police government--whether Republican or Democrat ruled--could not protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from foreign or internal threat. There is a lot of evidence on that score.
For example, in September 1920, in New York, New York, a horse drawn carriage loaded with explosives set by unknown assailants exploded on Wall Street killing 35 people. In April 1983, the US Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, was destroyed by an Islamic Jihad truck bomb and 63 people were killed. In the same country, in October 1983, over 240 US Marines were killed in their barracks by a Shia truck bomb at Beirut Airport (the French lost 58 in a bombing on that day in West Beirut). In April 1996, a decorated US military veteran destroyed a $14.5 million federal government building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, killing 168 children, women and men, and damaging 220 other buildings. On September 11, 2001, the successful hijacking of four commercial airliners led primarily by Saudi Arabian and Egyptian dissidents led to the symbolic destruction of US economic power (World Trade Centers were first attacked by Islamic truck bomb in 1993) and military power (Pentagon). In October 2002, a teenage sniper roamed the roads of the Washington, DC metro area killing 10 and convulsing schools and businesses and confounding law enforcement for close to 30 days.
The once substantial resources of the US were siphoned off by the US National Security apparatus. The US deficit rose, the dollar fell and large numbers of foreign investors moved their investments and jobs out of the US. Unemployment, inflation and energy costs, coupled with health care costs, was more than many Americans could take. Opting for the streets to protest the economic situation, the US government would have to take the fight to its own people in the streets just as it did in 1968, and had done repeatedly against the US labor movement in the early 1900s.
As it turned out, large conventional military forces clashed throughout Asia, North Africa, North America, and Central and South America. Fighting against two nations with 33 percent of the world’s population capable of equipping and fielding 200 million soldiers, the US would initiate the nuclear conflict that flowed from the conventional fighting. The US was to find that its opponents had learned many lessons about taking the fight to US forces. The lessons of Iraq I & II were not just for the US military planners. US logistics/supply lines, global in nature, were extraordinarily vulnerable to sabotage and conventional attack. The precision bombing was never that accurate, the weapons platforms were constantly in need of repair, and the civilian/military leadership lacking.
Supply Lines & the HNO Option
Most had scoffed at the notion of the defeat of the US by “inferior” militaries and their other-than-American worldview. How could US air power be defeated? What about control of the seas? In a conflict that pitted the US against minor adversaries like Iraq and Afghanistan, anything was possible. But that was not the case in WWIII. Large and disciplined militaries with their mobile units showed up at the plate and took aim right at the US Achilles Heel: logistics and communications.
Writing in 1999, then USAF Captain Peter Garretson articulated just how this could be done. “I would covertly design single launch platforms, multiple attack satellites that rather than destroy, would move through orbit covering my opponent’s satellites with a blanket that would disable them but not destroy in a very short time. I would have a ICBM/MRV capability that would employ an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) device, and I would target early warning, command and control, airlift and sealift assets that would effectively cut off the arms of the American Logistical Giant...I would hijack communications satellites and internet nodes, and give false broadcasts of my troops occupying American military bases and capitals, of key leaders surrendering, or making deals. I would invest in a particle beam weapon that could target military aircraft or sea assets in route and destroy them from orbit…”
All of the above would be implemented by US opponents. Additionally, novel EMP weapons were developed and deployed that blinded US communications platforms. Nanotechnology infiltrators stymied US computer networks inhibiting the ability of the US to wage its vaunted network centric warfare. US aircraft carriers were shown to be vulnerable from hypersonic weapons launched from mobile platforms. US airpower was neutralized by cutting edge shoulder launched anti-aircraft missiles that could be mass produced.
The US invaded portions of China and Russia through the “Stans”, and attacked Iran from Iraq and Afghanistan. It convinced Pakistan to invade India, and Israel to secure Saudi Arabia, Syria and Kuwait. England was left to deal with the continental European powers France and Germany. From its bases in Costa Rica, Colombia and Honduras, the US moved swiftly to take the oilfields of Venezuela. The plan called for shock and awe and submission. But the world had not sat idly by as the US schemed. US and allied forces were sucked in, encircled and forced, in many cases, to surrender. They were trapped in the seas of indigenous populations who gave them no quarter. Buoyed by initial successes, the US and its allies never saw the conventional counterattack that followed coming. It was unlike any the world had seen.
Suffering defeat and stalemate on the conventional battlefield, the US and its allies resorted to the HNO solution (Hiroshima-Nagasaki Option) on the pretext that millions of lives—mostly American--would be spared. They fired nuclear weapons on forces overrunning the US and its allies on the Asian continent and in North America, specifically Alaska. The response was swift: a nuclear counterattack eliminated the remaining US Carrier Groups, US refining capacity and Taiwan as an independent entity. Pakistan, being overrun by India, opted to switch sides. Japan and Australia did the same moving to assist the anti-US coalition.
As the nuclear portion of the conflict cooled, the US realized that it had literally run out of gas. The domestic front was itself a war zone with well-armed American guerilla groups openly fighting the forces of the US Northern Command, Homeland Security and local police. Everywhere around the world the US was in retreat. England was in talks with France and Germany for terms of surrender. Israel was in retreat and had one foot in the ocean.
The world’s water and air supply were contaminated and billions of carcasses—human and otherwise--lay rotting. Disease and malnutrition would take hundreds of millions more. All this for oil & gas that, for the most part, has been depleted.
John Stanton is a Virginia based writer specializing in national security and political matters. He is the author of America 2004: A Power But Not Super and co-author of America's Nightmare. Reach him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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2005 Spring Offensive