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Russia has been grudgingly allowed a marginal role with the core remaining the forces under NATO command. The US strategic ideologues have now postulated that the United States has a moral duty to militarily act in any part of the world for humanitarian reasons. Kosovo is the first such "humanitarian intervention". But the definition of what constitutes a humanitarian intervention will be decided by the global interests of the USA and the imperialist powers. The repression of the Kurdish people in Turkey, the genocide which took place in Rwanda, the continuing deprival of the rights of the Palestinian people and many such other instances world wide do not merit humanitarian intervention, if the regimes responsible for such a situation happen to be allied or friendly to US interests.

Both the aggression on Iraq and Yugoslavia have highlighted the negligible human cost paid by the United States for such military ventures. Using aerial bombardment, new sophisticated missiles and laser guided smart bombs, the United States has cut down its human cost in such hostilities. In the entire destructive bombardment of Yugoslavia for 78 days, more than aircraft were used. All through this attack, the United States lost only two pilots who were killed in a helicopter crash in Albania.

It is this face of the new high-tech war which is globally broadcast through television.


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It provides the impetus for the United States to go ahead with plans for naked hegemony trampling upon all international laws and norms. The opposition to the aggression in Yugoslavia by Russia and China has not deterred the United States. One of the reasons for its arrogance and confidence is the present unity of the imperialist powers behind it. Given its preeminent position and the united desire of all the Western powers to jointly exploit the former socialist countries and the third world, the United States is not facing any serious inter-imperialist contradictions on its military adventures.

China and Russia: Strategic Targets. The maintenance of a huge military machine and the relatively high level of defence expenditure cannot be meant only to deal with some "rogue states" or regional powers. The global military strategy of US envisages the potential threat from China and Russia. There are two countries which have the economic resources and military strength to challenge US hegemony in the future. The NATO expansion to the East has to be seen in the light of the need to contain and tame Russia, which despite its currently weakened state and the servility of Yeltsin, is not willing to give up ambitions for great power status.

As for China, US imperialism sees it as a major potential threat in the 21 st century. While engaging with China as a major power economically and politically, with an eye on its large market, the United States is also putting into place its strategic plans to contain and confront China. Two recent events highlight this plan. Firstly, Japan has now passed legislation in its parliament enabling it to become a junior partner of the United States for military activities in the areas surrounding Japan. This is significant as the Japanese constitution prohibits Japan developing its military for any activities except for self-defence.

The "War Bills" passed by Japan aim to enhance Japan's military activities in the region including in Taiwan if necessary. China has protested against this new act of the Japanese government which is aimed at it. Secondly, in the Philippines, which has been a traditional ally of the United States, there was a break in the strategic military ties after the downfall of the Marcos regime.

In the last of the US military naval bases were closed down in the Philippines. This was followed by the cessation of joint military exercises since no agreement was arrived at for this. Now with President Estrada in office, the Filipino Senate has passed a Visiting Forces Agreement for resumption of visits by US naval ships and joint military exercises.

Apart from these two major thrusts from the West and the East, the United States continues to maintain its string of military bases around the world. Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean is one such vital base close to India. It has been utilised as a centre for the continuous bombing of Iraq. With the military bases in the Gulf region, the US dominates the oil-rich region.

In all these bases, highly mobile troops backed by the massive fire power of the airforce which can reach any part of the world or country for quick strategic strikes or deep penetration attacks will be available. The missile attacks on Afghanistan and Sudan last year showed the willingness of the United States to undertake such sudden, quick attacks brazenly violating the sovereignty and integrity of the countries concerned. India And South Asia. The United States strategy towards India underwent a change in the post cold war period.

In keeping with its post cold war outlook, the US wanted to ensure that no major third world country emerges as an independent economic and military power. The United States has adopted a dual approach to India which is one such major country. Such an approach was possible in the absence of the Soviet Union with which India had longstanding friendly relations. The shift in the approach to India began with the end of the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. Henceforth the United States could woo India and seek to harness it for its strategic goal while maintaining close relations with Pakistan.

The other major development which facilitated US interest in India was the opening up of the economy with the liberalisation policies initiated in by the Narasimha Rao government. While promoting the opening up of the Indian economy, the United States stepped up relentless pressure to stop India developing its missile and nuclear technologies.

The five-year period of the Narasimha Rao government saw mounting pressure and calibrated steps to make India accept the non-proliferation regime in missile and nuclear technology.

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The period saw a qualitative change in Indo-US relations with military cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries. A beginning was made during the Rajiv Gandhi government in with an agreement for joint exercises by the naval forces of both countries.

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This was followed up after by a series of joint exercises and training programmes between the two armed forces. This was the result of the acceptance of the proposals made by the Americans through the US Pacific Commander of the armed forces. The proposals accepted were: i setting up Indo-US Army executive steering council; ii reciprocal visits by senior commanders; iii regular staff talks between the two armies; iv reciprocal training and individual training programmes; v unit training exchanges and observations of training services; vi combined training activities; vii US and Indian army participation in the Pacific Command Joint Committee level meeting programmes; viii personnel exchange programme; ix collective training information exchange and cooperation.

Following this joint steering committees of the two navies and airforces were constituted. After that for five successive years, upto joint exercises were conducted between the two armies on the ground and by the two navies in the seas. Advani, had welcomed the first Indo-US joint naval exercises in However, the United States had no intention while developing military ties with India to abandon their long-standing military cooperation with Pakistan. While the US armed forces through its Pacific Command held joint exercises with Indian armed forces, simultaneously the US Central Command conducted similar exercises with the Pakistan armed forces.

The growing military links between the United States and India were disrupted temporarily after the BJP-led government conducted the nuclear tests at Pokhran in May The US suspended joint activities between the two armed forces as part of the sanctions imposed on India. The United States also targetted over Indian institutions and organisations prohibiting them from having relations with US organisations by putting them in an "entities list".

The response of the Vajpayee government showed its basic pro-imperialist orientation. It entered into clandestine negotiations through the Jaswant Singh-Strobe Talbott talks.

Excerpt - America in the Third World: Strategic Alternatives and Military Implications

These eight-month long talks resulted in a commitment by the BJP-led government to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and acceptance of US supervision for a small Indian nuclear weapons arsenal. The United States positioned itself as the arbiter in the nuclear equation between India and Pakistan. Significantly the first measure announced by the US in relaxing the sanctions in November was the resumption of training of Indian armed forces personnel under the International Military Education Training programme.

It is under this programme that the Pentagon conducts joint training programmes and consultations with the armed forces of other countries. The adventurist nuclear policy embarked upon by the Vajpayee government led to total reliance on the United States by the BJP-led government in its quest for an illusory great power status. The events which took place from the time of the nuclear blasts in Pokhran to the limited war in Kargil, sparked off by the Pakistani intrusion across the line of control, have further confirmed that the BJP-led government was deeply drawn into the US strategic plan for South Asia.

The path adopted in the nineties by successive governments in India has taken for granted that there is no alternative but to accept US suzerainty over the South Asian region in view of the major changes in the world situation. Influential ruling circles argue that India can become a major international player only by accepting the status of a junior partner in the US global strategic plan. This would mean abrogation of India's sovereignty and subjecting the entire subcontinent to the ravages of imperialist exploitation. As against this ruinous path, India can strike out on an independent path.

As multi-polarity will develop in the coming decades India should work for closer relations with Russia and China. One of the major developments in the recent period has been the decision of Russia and China to enter into a strategic partnership for the 21 st century. India should find a place in this forthcoming project. To ensure that a genuine anti-imperialist strategy develops in India, there has to be a powerful movement which will articulate the aspirations for India developing as a strong and united country capable of defending its sovereignty and independent decision making.

This will require a self-reliant path of developing our economic strength, maintaining an upgraded conventional military force and joining with the forces who will in the future refuse to accept the new world order based on US hegemony. The US dominance unquestioned today will not go unchallenged. It will be subject to inter-imperialist contradictions in the next century. Grand strategy should both calculate and develop the economic resources and man-power of nations in order to sustain the fighting services. Also the moral resources — for to foster the people's willing spirit is often as important as to possess the more concrete forms of power.

Grand strategy, too, should regulate the distribution of power between the several services, and between the services and industry. Moreover, fighting power is but one of the instruments of grand strategy — which should take account of and apply the power of financial pressure, and, not least of ethical pressure, to weaken the opponent's will. Furthermore, while the horizons of strategy is bounded by the war, grand strategy looks beyond the war to the subsequent peace. It should not only combine the various instruments, but so regulate their use as to avoid damage to the future state of peace — for its security and prosperity.

Grand strategy expands on the traditional idea of strategy in three ways: [4]. One of the earlier writings on grand strategy comes from Thucydides 's History of the Peloponnesian War , an account of the war between the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta and the Delian League led by Athens. From the era of Hadrian, Roman emperors employed a military strategy of "preclusive security—the establishment of a linear barrier of perimeter defence around the Empire.

The Legions were stationed in great fortresses" [5]. These " fortresses " existed along the perimeter of the Empire, often accompanied by actual walls for example, Hadrian's Wall. Due to the perceived impenetrability of these perimeter defenses, the Emperors kept no central reserve army.

The Roman system of roads allowed for soldiers to move from one frontier to another for the purpose of reinforcements during a siege with relative ease. These roads also allowed for a logistical advantage for Rome over her enemies, as supplies could be moved just as easily across the Roman road system as soldiers. This way, if the legions could not win a battle through military combat skill or superior numbers, they could simply outlast the invaders, who, as historian E.

Thompson wrote, "Did not think in terms of millions of bushels of wheat. The emperor Constantine moved the legions from the frontiers to one consolidated roving army as a way to save money and to protect wealthier citizens within the cities. However, this grand strategy, according to some ancient sources, had costly effects on the Roman empire by weakening its frontier defenses and allowing it to be susceptible to outside armies coming in.

Also, people who lived near the Roman frontiers would begin to look to the barbarians for protection after the Roman armies departed. This argument is considered to have originated in the writings of Eunapius [6] As stated by the 5th century AD historian Zosimus:. He thus deprived of help the people who were harassed by the barbarians and burdened tranquil cities with the pest of the military, so that several straightway were deserted.

Moreover, he softened the soldiers who treated themselves to shows and luxuries. Indeed, to speak plainly, he personally planted the first seeds of our present devastated state of affairs — Zosimus [7].

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This charge by Zosimus is considered to be a gross exaggeration and inaccurate assessment of the situations in the fourth century under Constantine by many modern historians. Warmington, for instance, argues that the statement by Zosimus is "[an] oversimplification," reminding us that "the charge of exposure of the frontier regions is at best anachronistic and probably reflects Zosimus' prejudices against Constantine; the corruption of the soldiers who lived in the cities was a literary commonplace. An example of modern grand strategy is the decision of the Allies in World War II to concentrate on the defeat of Germany first.

The decision, a joint agreement made after the attack on Pearl Harbor had drawn the US into the war, was a sensible one in that Germany was the most powerful member of the Axis, and directly threatened the existence of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union.

Conversely, while Japan's conquests garnered considerable public attention, they were mostly in colonial areas deemed less essential by planners and policy-makers. The specifics of Allied military strategy in the Pacific War were therefore shaped by the lesser resources made available to the theatre commanders. The conversation around grand strategy in the United States has evolved significantly since the country's founding, with the nation shifting from a strategy of continental expansion, isolation from European conflicts, and opposition to European empires in the Western hemisphere in its first century, [11] to a major debate about the acquisition of an empire in the s culminating in the conquest of the Philippines and Cuba during the Spanish—American War , [12] followed by rapid shifts between offshore balancing, liberal internationalism, and isolationism around the world wars.

The Cold War saw increasing use of deep, onshore engagement strategies including the creation of a number of permanent alliances, significant involvement in other states' internal politics, [13] and a major counterinsurgency war in Vietnam. With the end of the Cold War, an early strategic debate eventually coalesced into a strategy of primacy, culminating in the invasion of Iraq in The aftershocks of this war, along with an economic downturn, rising national debt, and deepening political gridlock, have led to a renewed strategic debate, centered on two major schools of thought: primacy and restraint.

A return to offshore balancing has also been proposed by prominent political scientists Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer. A major debate emerged about the future direction of U. Grand Strategy," Barry R. Posen and Andrew L. Ross identified four major grand strategic alternatives in the debate: [14]. Stemming from a defensive realist understanding of international politics, what the authors call "neo-isolationism" advocates the United States remove itself from active participation in international politics in order to maintain its national security. It holds that because there are no threats to the American homeland, the United States does not need to intervene abroad.

Stressing a particular understanding of nuclear weapons, the authors describe how proponents believe the destructive power of nuclear weapons and retaliatory potential of the United States assure the political sovereignty and territorial integrity of the United States, while the proliferation of such weapons to countries like Britain, France, China and Russia prevents the emergence of any competing hegemon on the Eurasian landmass. In more practical terms, the authors discuss how the implementation of a so-called "neo-isolationist" grand strategy would involve less focus on the issue of nuclear proliferation, withdrawal from NATO, and major cuts to the United States military presence abroad.

The authors see a military force structure that prioritizes a secure nuclear second-strike capability, intelligence, naval and special operations forces while limiting the forward-deployment of forces to Europe and Asia.

America in the Third World: Strategic Alternatives and Military Implications

With similar roots in the realist tradition of international relations, selective engagement advocates that the United States should intervene in regions of the world only if they directly affect its security and prosperity. The focus, therefore, lies on those powers with significant industrial and military potential and the prevention of war amongst those states.

Europe and Asia contain the great powers, which have the greatest military and economic impact on international politics, and the Middle East is a primary source of oil for much of the developed world. In addition to these more particular concerns, selective engagement also focuses on preventing nuclear proliferation and any conflict that could lead to a great power war, but provides no clear guidelines for humanitarian interventions. The authors envision that a strategy of selective engagement would involve a strong nuclear deterrent with a force structure capable of fighting two regional wars, each through some combination of ground, air and sea forces complemented with forces from a regional ally.

They question, however, whether such a policy could garner sustained support from a liberal democracy experienced with a moralistic approach to international relations, whether the United States could successfully differentiate necessary versus unnecessary engagement and whether a strategy that focuses on Europe, Asia and the Middle East actually represents a shift from current engagement. In the piece, Barry Posen classified himself as a "selective engagement" advocate, with the caveat that the United States should not only act to reduce the likelihood of great power war, but also oppose the rise of a Eurasian hegemon capable of threatening the United States.

Robert J. Art argues that selective engagement is the best strategy for the twenty-first century because it is, by definition, selective. Additionally, selective engagement is the best strategy for achieving both realist goals—preventing WMD terrorism, maintaining great power peace, and securing the supply of oil; and liberal goals—preserving free trade, spreading democracy, observing human rights, and minimizing the impact of climate change. Desirable interests are not unimportant, Art maintains, but they are of lesser importance when a trade-off between them and vital interests must be made.

The authors [20] write "the most important distinguishing of cooperative security is the proposition that peace is effectively indivisible. Stressing the importance of world peace and international cooperation, the view supposes the growth in democratic governance and the use of international institutions will hopefully overcome the security dilemma and deter interstate conflict. Cooperative security considers nuclear proliferation, regional conflicts and humanitarian crises to be major interests of the United States.

The authors imagine that such a grand strategy would involve stronger support for international institutions, agreements, and the frequent use of force for humanitarian purposes. Were international institutions to ultimately entail the deployment of a multinational force, the authors suppose the United States' contribution would emphasize command, control, communications and intelligence, defense suppression, and precision-guided munitions-what they considered at the time to be the United States' comparative advantage in aerospace power.

Therefore, its proponents argue that U. With this in mind, some supporters of this strategy argue that the U. In regards to humanitarian crises and regional conflicts, primacy holds that the U. It does, however, advocate for the active prevention of nuclear proliferation at a level similar to collective security. Implementation of such a strategy would entail military forces at similar levels to those during the Cold War, with emphasis on military modernization and research and development.

They note, however, that "the quest for primacy is likely to prove futile for five reasons": the diffusion of economic and technological capabilities, interstate balancing against the United States, the danger that hegemonic leadership will fatally undermine valuable multilateral institutions, the feasibility of preventive war and the dangers of imperial overstretch. Daniel Drezner , professor of international politics at Tufts University , outlines three arguments offered by primacy enthusiasts contending that military preeminence generates positive economic externalities.

A second argument posits that the benefits from military primacy flow from geopolitical favoritism: that sovereign states, in return for living under the security umbrella of the military superpower, voluntarily transfer resources to help subsidize the cost of the economy. The third argument postulates that states are most likely to enjoy global public goods under a unipolar distribution of military power, accelerating global economic growth and reducing security tensions. These public goods benefit the hegemon as much, if not more, than they do other actors.

Technologies diffuse from the hegemonic power to the rest of the world, facilitating catch-up. Chinese analysts have posited that these phenomena, occurring right now, are allowing China to outgrow the United States. Over the last decade, however, American power has been relatively declining while the Pentagon continues to "depend on continuous infusions of cash simply to retain its current force structure—levels of spending that the Great Recession and the United States' ballooning debt have rendered unsustainable. Posen proposes the United States abandon its hegemonic strategy and replace it with one of restraint.

This translates into jettisoning the quest of shaping a world that is satisfactory to U.

Revolution in Military Affairs

Large troop contingents in unprecedentedly peaceful regions such as Europe would be significantly downsized, incentivizing NATO members to provide more for their own security. Under such a scenario, the United States would have more leeway in using resources to combat the most pressing threats to its security. A strategy of restraint, therefore, would help preserve the country's prosperity and security more so than a hegemonic strategy. To be sure, Posen makes clear that he is not advocating isolationism. Rather, the United States should focus on three pressing security challenges: preventing a powerful rival from upending the global balance of power, fighting terrorists, and limiting nuclear proliferation.

John Ikenberry of Princeton University and Stephen Brooks and William Wohlforth , both of Dartmouth College , push back on Posen's selective engagement thesis, arguing that American engagement is not as bad as Posen makes it out to be. Advocates of selective engagement, they argue, overstate the costs of current U. They help maintain an open world economy and give Washington leverage in economic negotiations.

And they make it easier for the United States to secure cooperation for combating a wide range of global threats. Ikenberry, Brooks, and Wohlforth are not convinced that the current U. Unlike the prior hegemons, the United States is geographically isolated and faces no contiguous great power rivals interested in balancing it.

This means the United States is far less threatening to great powers that are situated oceans away, the authors claim.