According to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who has derided European contributions to NATO in the past, the public and political oppositions in Europe to military action represent an impediment to operations in Afghanistan and, as the New York Times referred to the policy of which Afghanistan is a small part, “the alliance’s broader security goals.”1
(From Wikipedia): Full spectrum dominance refers to an open Pentagon policy, whereby a joint military complex strives to control all elements of the battle space using land, air, maritime and space based assets. Full-spectrum dominance encompasses air, surface and sub-surface, as well as the electromagnetic spectrum and information space. Control implies the subordination of all opposition forces, rendering their ability to confront the Pentagon and its allies wholly inhibited.
Harold Pinter referred to the policy as he accepted the 2005 Nobel Prize award:
I have said earlier that the United States is now totally frank about putting its cards on the table. That is the case. Its official declared policy is now defined as ‘full spectrum dominance’. That is not my term, it is theirs. ‘Full spectrum dominance’ means control of land, sea, air and space and all attendant resources.
“The demilitarization of Europe—where large swaths of the general public and political class are averse to military force and the risks that go with it—has gone from a blessing in the 20th century to an impediment to achieving real security and lasting peace in the 21st century,” Gates told NATO officers and officials in a speech at the National Defense University, a graduate school, financed by the Defense Department, for military officers and diplomats.
Gates argued that perceived European weakness could lead to aggression by hostile powers.
“Right now,” Mr. Gates said, “the alliances face very serious, long-term, systemic problems.”
Three days before Mr. Gates’s comments, the coalition government of the Netherlands collapsed over the keeping of Dutch troops in Afghanistan. It is now likely that most of the 2,000 Dutch troops there will be withdrawn this year. Polls show that the Afghanistan war has become increasingly unpopular in nearly every European country.
In Germany, a recent poll suggested that 76 percent did not believe the NATO exercise would succeed, while 65 percent opposed sending any more troops.2
“We have a clear strategy,” said Ulrich Wilhelm, the government spokesman. On Friday, Germany’s plan of reinforcing its 4,500 troops in Afghanistan by 500, with a further 350 available for temporary deployment, will be up for vote in the Bundestag.
To be sure, public opinion in Germany is more negative than in the Netherlands. The government strategy, nevertheless, is backed by the opposition Social Democrats, who were responsible for first sending German troops to Afghanistan.
Top figures in the SPD have stated that there will be no “blank cheque” for further reinforcements.
President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, still refuses to send more troops to Afghanistan and it seems the Dutch decision will not change that. France currently has 3,250 soldiers in Afghanistan and 150 gendarmes.
Mr. Sarkozy’s refusal to send troop reinforcements has been due to a combination of hostile public opinion, as polls continually show most French want their troops out, as well as impending local elections.
In Spain, a December poll showed 48 percent thought a government decision to send an extra 500 troops was either “bad” or “very bad,” while just 22 percent were in favor.
The U.S. Defense Secretary highlighted that NATO shortfalls, such as a lack of finances for needed helicopters and cargo aircraft, were “directly impacting operations.”
Alliance members, he warned, are far from reaching their spending commitments, as only 5 of 28 members have reached the established target of 2 percent of GDP towards defense. The United States spends more than 4 percent of GDP on military.
“Whether this is a conscious statement to sound a real sharp warning, there’s no question that the frustration among the American military establishment is palpable regarding coalition operations in Afghanistan,” Dana Allin, a senior fellow with the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London, said.
Mr. Gates noted, however, that NATO troops in Afghanistan were, in fact, scheduled to increase to 50,000 this year, up from 30,000 last year.
“By any measure,” he said, “that is an extraordinary feat.”
Only a mere two months into the year, nevertheless, NATO was short hundreds of millions of euros: “a natural consequence of having underinvested in collective defense for over a decade,” Gates pointed out.
NATO has been under increasing pressure since 9/11 to expand its mandate beyond European borders, and its current problems demand “serious, far-reaching and immediate reforms,” Mr. Gates said.
Just last month, the secretary general of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, turned unexpectedly to Russia to request helicopters for use in Afghanistan, citing the benefits of reduced terrorism threats and drug trade on a border of the former Soviet Union.
Mr. Rasmussen echoed Mr. Gates’s sentiments, saying that NATO’s members needed to better coordinate their weapons purchases. The European Union and NATO should coordinate on weapons purchases so as to avoid “spending double money.”
What Gates did fail to note, however, is the lack of support for the war, not only among Europeans, but also among those he supposedly represents:
An August 2009 poll in the Washington Post reported that a majority of Americans do not believe the war in Afghanistan is worth fighting, while just a quarter believe more U.S. troops should be sent to the country. This was before the troop escalation, approved by President Obama, which corresponded with his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance.3
U.S. citizens demonstrate an overall mistrust of government.
According to a recent CBS News-New York Times poll, only eight percent of U.S. citizens want the members of congress re-elected. 80 percent, moreover, said members of Congress are more interested in serving special interests than the people they “represent.” 75% disapprove of the job Congress is doing. President Obama, whose approval rating has dropped precipitously in recent months, has an approval rating of just 46 percent.4
Most astoundingly, perhaps, 75% of citizens are in favor of having the Federal Reserve, the nation’s privately-held—historically secretive—banking system, audited and investigated.5
Establishment policies, generally, have had a tough go at it recently. The Copenhagen meetings fell apart due, in part, to the Climategate scandal, whereby leaked documents by leading climate scientists revealed that much of the data regarding Global “Warming” was unscientific and contrived.
In a short excerpt in the Wall Street Journal called “Push to Oversimplify at Climate Panel,” the journal exposed the scandal on its front page:
The IPCC has faced withering criticism. Emails hacked from a U.K. climate lab and posted online late last year appear to show scientists trying to squelch researchers who disagreed with their conclusion that humans are largely responsible for climate change. And last month, the IPCC admitted its celebrated 2007 report contained an error: a false claim that Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035. The IPCC report got the date from a World Wildlife Fund report.
Even some who agree with the IPCC conclusion that humans are significantly contributing to climate change say the IPCC has morphed from a scientific analyst to a political actor. “It’s very much an advocacy organization that’s couched in the role of advice,” says Roger Pielke, a University of Colorado political scientist. He says many IPCC participants want “to compel action” instead of “just summarizing science.”
To restore its credibility, the IPCC will focus on enforcing rules already on the books, IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri and other officials said in interviews. Scientific claims must be checked with several experts before being published. IPCC reports must reflect disagreements when consensus can’t be reached. And people who write reports must refrain from advocating specific environmental actions—a political line the IPCC isn’t supposed to cross.
An accompanying poll showed that 82% of the readership awarded the IPCC an F for the work they had been doing. Despite this, climate change legislation, such as cap-and-trade and other forms of regulation, will continue to be implemented against popular sentiment.6
A majority of citizens across Western nations refused H1N1 inoculation this past winter and spring. Well-documented are the health concerns, such as the ingredients mercury and squalene—to name but a few issues surrounding the vaccines—found in the shots.7
These actions, concepts and policies, from military strategy to public health initiatives, do arguably fall under the America’s grand strategy of Full Spectrum Dominance, first revealed in the 1998 U.S. Space Command document Vision for 2020, and released once more in 2002 as the DoD Joint Vision 2020. Dominance over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems, including the ability to overwhelmingly win global wars against any adversary—including the use of nuclear weapons preemptively—is forged by way of propaganda, the wealth and unaccountability of NGOs, Color Revolutions for regime change, expanding NATO eastward, and “a vast array of psychological and economic warfare techniques.”8
- Brian Knowlton. “Gates Calls European Mood A Danger to Peace.” 2/23/10, New York Times. [↩]
- Quentin Peel in Berlin. “European nations unite over Dutch withdrawal.” 2/23/2010, Financial Times. [↩]
- Jennifer Agiesta and Jon Cohen. “Public Opinion in U.S. Turns Against Afghan War.” 8/20/2009, Washington Post. [↩]
- Jonathon D. Salant. Few Want Members of Congress Re-elected, Poll finds. Bloomberg, 2/12/2010. [↩]
- Rasmussen Reports. [↩]
- Jeffrey Ball and Keith Johnson. “Push to Oversimplify at Climate Panel.” 2/26/2010, Wall Street Journal. [↩]
- Some statistics can be found here. [↩]
- Stephen Lendman. “Reviewing F. William Engdahl’s “Full Spectrum Dominance: Part I.” 6/22/2009. [↩]