America’s Insane Policy of Committing War Crimes in the Name of Preventing Other War Crimes

Nicholas JS Davies

Post-Cold War U.S. war policy can be roughly divided into two periods. From 1990 until 1998, in a rational response to the end of the Cold War, the U.S. military budget was gradually cut by 30% over 9 years. In January 1993, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney signed off on a defense strategy that would cut military spending to pre-WWII levels as a percentage of GNP. After 1991, only 55 U.S. troops died in overseas deployments: 19 in the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia; 19 in Somalia; 14 on 2 helicopters mistakenly shot down by a US warplane over Iraq; 2 in Kenya; and 1 in Haiti.

But then something changed. By 1997, the Pentagon, State Department and think-tanks funded by military-industrial interests were regrouping and crafting new frameworks for the use of military force to exploit the post-Cold War U.S. ” power dividend.” Clinton’s New Democrats played thehumanitarian interventionist good cop to the bad cop of neoconservative Republican-led groups like Project for the New American Century.

General Colin Powell wrote that he “almost had an aneurism” in 1993 when the incoming UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright asked him at a meeting, “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” Albright was promoted to Secretary of State in Clinton’s second term, and the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review laid out an ideological framework for the unilateral and illegal use of force to “defend vital U.S. interests,” explicitly including “preventing the emergence of a hostile regional coalition… [and] ensuring uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies and strategic resources.”

This is precisely what we have seen in the years since: the military budget has almost doubled, to fund a global U.S. military expansion and war to control markets, energy supplies and resources, while the State Department and CIA have undermined peace and independent economic relations between major countries across Eurasia.