Trade Resource Center
Update - May 6, 2002
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
NOTES AND TIDBITS
POOR DICK CHENEY: Haliburton's War Bonanza
II. THE CRUSADE FOR THE CRUSADER
B. WAR WITHOUT END
I. IRAQ II: State of Invasion Planning
II. WAR ON TERRORISM IN THE PHILIPPINES: Expanding and
Growing More Dangerous
A. NOTES AND TIDBITS
I. POOR DICK CHENEY: Haliburton's War Bonanza
lost a lot of money last year and now he is missing out
on his former company's big bonanza in the war on terrorism.
According to his tax return, Vice President Dick Cheney
collected an income of about $4.3 million in 2001, a far
cry from the $36 million he earned the year before taking
Haliburton and subsidiary Brown and Root rack in the big
bucks in Pentagon and State Department contracts in Afghanistan,
Uzbekistan, Guantanamo and just about every where else
the war on terrorism is being waged, poor Dick is wallowing
in an "undisclosed" location at his veep salary
of $186,300 a year.
Journalist Pratap Chatterjee has a new article in the
May 1 issue of the San Francisco Bay Guardian "Soldiers
of Fortune: Civilian employees of Dick Cheney's former
company are carrying out military missions around the
world - for profit." Surprise Surprise Surprise. www.sfbg.com/36/31/cover_soldiersoffortune.html
II. THE CRUSADE FOR THE CRUSADER
is a huge storm brewing (or has it brewed already) over
the Crusader artillery system. A week or so ago Defense
Secretary Rumsfeld announced his plan to eliminate the
$11 billion Crusader program, which has come under fire
because it is outmoded (it was designed to fight a land
war with the Soviet Union). On the campaign trail, George
W. Bush called the crusader "too heavy" and
"not lethal enough."
the system might be hard to kill. It is made by United
Defense, which is owned by the Carlyle Group,
which is hand in glove with the Bush administration. The chairman of the group is Frank Carlucci, Reagan's
Secretary of Defense and an old buddy of Donald Rumsfeld,
the current Defense Secretary.
The President's Dad, George Herbert Walker Bush and
James Baker, former secretary of State are on the group's
board. Rounding out the political clout of this singular company are
retired generals and former cabinet secretaries.
So, between Baker and Carlucci and Dear Old
Dad, the relationship between the President and this company
is as tight and close as anyone could imagine.
New York Times Sunday editorial (May 5, "A Rising
Tide of Defense Dollars") makes no mention of the
company's close connections to the executive branch, but
does point out that "part of the problem lies with
Congress, where fat defense contracts are too often viewed
merely as job creation programs."
more information, see the "Crusader: Fighting with
Failure," from the Project on Government Oversight,
WAR WITHOUT END
war is not over. Despite the press' inability to use the
present tense, the war rages on in Afghanistan. More than
7,000 U.S. troops are now deployed, and generals are now
saying it is likely that they will stay through the summer.
In fact, one senior official acknowledged that "we'll
have some number of forces on the ground there for a couple
years." And, even as the war continues in Afghanistan,
it is expanding into the Philippines and plans are being
laid for the invasion of Iraq.
IRAQ II: State of Invasion Planning
to the conventional wisdom in Washington, a United States
invasion of Iraq is by no means inevitable.
Tactical disputes within the administration, major
reservations on the part of major U.S. allies, the political
impossibility of launching a major attack while Israel
and the Palestine Authority are still at war, and other
U.S. military commitments around the world are among the
factors holding back the Bush administration's march to
factors should give
critics of intervention some time, and some political
traction, to make their case to the public.
Time is still of the essence, but an invasion of
Iraq is not a foregone conclusion.
Washington-based Center for Defense Information's recent
report "Iraq: Washington Prepares for Another War"
makes it clear that Pentagon planners have been busy indeed. A U.S. invasion could take place as soon as mid-fall of this
year or more likely, in early 2003, by CDI's estimate. That is, if pesky weapons inspections don't get in the way.
CDI report discusses several other political
Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kurds in northern Iraq, inspections, and U.S. military preparedness problems, in addition to lingering operations in
maintains that there is not yet consensus within the Bush
administration as to whether to go ahead with an attack,
but the think tank cites three potential scenarios that
would mute any in-house bickering:
if a major terrorist attack occurs against the U.S. or
another country with hard evidence linking Iraq to the
if a similar attack is uncovered and thwarted;
if an inspection "crisis" precipitates a U.S.
surgical strike on WMD
or possibly the use of Special Forces to invade and conduct
their own inspections to prove to the world what Saddam
Hussein's regime has been developing in secret for years.
report also presumes that because the U.S. is under no
illusions that it will receive help from any other country,
besides Britain, it will have to use overwhelming force
and every asset in its inventory.
Because of logistical reasons and precisely because
all conventional assets are needed, CDI argues that the
U.S. needs more time to rebuild weapons reserves
that have been depleted in Afghanistan.
example, The Seattle Times reported in early April that
Boeing is under contract to increase monthly production
of its JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition), which can convert "dumb" bombs
into precision-guided munitions using a kit, increasing their accuracy by up to 90%. Even with
workers cranking out bombs 24 hours a day it will take
until about September to produce enough for an extensive
bombing campaign. Also it will take time to amass the necessary manpower; 100,000
U.S. troops and 25,000 ground personnel would be required
in the region for a large-scale invasion.
Already, CDI says U.S. Central Command has finished
preliminary preparations, with commanders from each service
stationed at their forward headquarters along with 1,000
war planners, logistical and support specialists.
as veteran defense analyst William Arkin noted in an opinion
piece in the Sunday, May 5th edition of the Los Angeles
Times, there is considerable disagreement within the military
services over Gen. Tommy Franks plan to put major ground
forces into Iraq early on in a potential invasion, to
create "shock and awe" among Iraqi forces.
Apparently Franks' plan, which has been cleared
with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, was not fully discussed with the
Joint Chiefs of Staff. The argument within the military
is not whether to invade Iraq, but how to go about it.
Airpower advocates suggest that a longer period of bombing
prior to invasion could cut down the need for a massive
None of the military planners seems to have given
much thought to what happens when and if Saddam Hussein
is toppled -- what kind of
government would be established, and would U.S.
troops have to occupy the country for the long haul (unlike
the intervention in Afghanistan, the move against Iraq
would like widespread support from other governments,
thereby foreclosing the option of handing off post-war
stability and peacekeeping chores to other nations).
additional to these tactical and strategic concerns, political
hurdles there are also numerous political hurdles that
could threaten jeopardize the success of a U.S. invasion,
according to CDI.
For one, Saudi opinion believes sanctions on Iraq
severely punish Iraqi citizens and that an attack on Iraq
might provoke chaos in the entire region, in no small
part due to the power vacuum left by Saddam's absence. The Saudis are extremely reluctant to
let the U.S. use its bases in the Kingdom to stage an
for Turkey, home to the key NATO base at Incirlik,
the government remains wary of an invasion causing
trouble amongst its 12 million Kurdish minority. The Kurds in northern Iraq, for their part, are hesitant to trust
the U.S. given the United States' history of betraying
them along with Shi'ites in the south.
Several recent Wall Street Journal reports have
indicated that as a result of revenues provide
through the UN's "oil for food" program, Kurds
in Northern Iraq have better living standards and a more stable way of
life than they have enjoyed in many years, a situation
that has resulted in considerable opposition to the idea
of a U.S. invasion to dump Saddam Hussein.
CDI suspects the U.S. will have to promise
autonomy for the Kurds to secure their cooperation
as well as a firm U.S. commitment to go all the way this
time and unseat Saddam.
the past history of U.S. betrayal of the Iraqi Kurds,
these assurances may not be enough to secure significant
cooperation from groups beyond the Iraqi National Congress,
which is ridiculed in Northern Iraq as being a group that
exists to hold press conferences and hang out in hotel
bars, not a serious opposition movement. Also, there is
the problem of the majority Shi'ites in southern Iraq
whom the U.S. and Saudis fear would take over any future
Iraqi government and align the country with Shi'ite fundamentalists
was not covered extensively in the CDI's April 30th report
was the rift in the Bush administration over Iraqi policy
between the State and Defense Departments.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense
Secretary Paul Wolfowitz have both been vociferous in
condemning the inspections as useless. Rumsfeld has said he simply cannot imagine any inspection regime
intrusive enough to alleviate everyone's fear of what
the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein is up to.
publicly lashing out against inspections, on April 20th
the administration successfully led a bid to remove Jose
Bustani, the Brazilian director-general of the Organization
for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The administration accused Bustani of
financial mismanagement and making politically motivated
decisions contrary to the wishes of most members.
of Bustani question the motives of the Bush administration
and point out that Bustani oversaw the destruction of
2 million chemical weapons and two-thirds of the world's
chemical weapons facilities during his tenure. Not to mention, that due largely to his
work, the number of countries that have signed the chemical
weapons convention has increased from 87 to 145, and he
was unanimously reelected in the U.N. two years ago. Bustani's
principal "crime," from the Bush administration's
skewed perspective, appears to be that he was in the process
of negotiating a new inspection regime for suspected Iraqi
chemical weapons sites, an undertaking which could have
undercut U.S. efforts to portray an invasion as the only
way to eliminate the threat of weapons of mass destruction
being developed in Iraq.
mid-April, the Washington Post reported that Wolfowitz
had asked the CIA to investigate the key UN inspections
official, Hans Blix, Swedish head of U.N. Monitoring,
Verification and Inspection Commission, the replacement
for UNSCOM. Wolfowitz told the CIA to examine Blix's
performance as chief of the Vienna-based International
Atomic Energy Agency, which inspected Iraq's declared
nuclear power plants from 1981 to 1997.
The CIA reported to Wolfowitz in January that Blix's
inspections were "fully within the parameters he
The Washington Post further noted that a former
official at the State Department who knew of the CIA report
said Wolfowitz, "hit the ceiling" presumably
since it did not accomplish the mission of discrediting
Blix and consequently the new UN weapons inspection program.
of State Colin Powell is on the record as favoring a more
cautious approach to invading Iraq, supporting an invasion
only after inspections fail. For their part, the Vice President and
the Defense Department
want to derail inspections and invade Iraq
as soon as possible, in part to avoid waiting until
the end of Bush's term when a war could prove
more risky politically.
factor is the advice the administration is
receiving from conservative strategists such as
Richard Perle, chairman of the Defense Policy Board; "We
shouldn't wait. We should go after Iraq...The removal
of Saddam would be a tremendous step forward for the [Middle
East] peace process. We need to take decisive action,
and when we do and are successful, it will greatly strengthen
our ability to do other things in the region," Perle
told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last month.
Gaffney's Center for Security Policy, another conservative
think tank that has considerable clout with the Bush administration
takes a different approach to same objective.
In a March decision brief, titled, "What Not
to Do About Iraq: Send in Inspectors," CSP discussed
Iraq's successful campaign to delay inspections.
brief cites David Kay's testimony before Congress, the
first chief inspector to enter Iraq after the Gulf War;
"The Iraqi complaints concerning UNSCOM related to
its insistence on unrestricted access to anything in Iraq
it deemed relevant to determining the scope of Iraq's
WMD program and an equal insistence that they would not
accept any time limit on how long it might take to accomplish
this objective. If UNMOVIC were to compromise on either
of these, we might end up with Iraq begin declared free
of WMD, when if fact all that would be certain is that
UNMOVIC could not find any evidence of WMD." CSP argues that the very act of allowing
weapons inspections in Iraq will add to international
opposition to an American invasion of Iraq.
important American ally that opposes invading Iraq is
Saudi Arabia. Terry Eastland, in the Weekly Standard
last week underscored two ways in which the removal of
Saddam could be detrimental to the House of Saud.
First, "A post-Saddam Iraq no doubt would
return that nation's oil fully to market, thus reducing
the Saudis' ability to set oil prices and upsetting its
oil-dependent economy, which already is in a deep slump.
With an ever worsening economy, the unemployment rate
(30 percent) would grow--as would popular discontent with
the regime itself," and second, "the very demise
of Saddam Hussein, resulting as it would in greater freedom
for the Iraqi people, would send a signal to the people
of Saudi Arabia, as it would to citizens of other Muslim
countries, that regime change is possible." (Although
unless the United
States were to threaten to invade Saudi Arabia, its hard
to see how U.S.-induced "regime change" in Iraq
would offer hope to Saudi dissidents; nor is it automatically
the case that a regime that succeeded Saddam Hussein would be a model of freedom, democracy,
or the rule of law).
the plethora of conservative pundits, presidential advisers
and competing departments all that is clear is that no
final decision has been made yet to invade Iraq, although
all necessary preparations are being made and many are
in place. War
hawks are doing their best to avoid political entanglements,
but the Middle East has a knack for providing just that.
Ultimately, President Bush will have to decide
if the alleged benefits of an attack on Iraq are worth the enormous potential
costs. Of course that presumes that the administration
does an balanced analysis of the risks involved, and doesn't
simply adopt the policy platitudes of influential neo-conservatives
like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz.
Most importantly of all, the
American public must be heard before a decision
wide-ranging consequences is made on their behalf.
Tom Barry and Jim Lobe, "Attention, Right Face, March,"
in Focus, April 2002, for an analysis of neo-conservative
forces pressing the Bush administration to invade Iraq
as part of a broader unilateralist approach to foreign
policy; available at www.foreignpolicy-infocus.org.
WAR ON TERRORISM IN THE PHILIPPINES: Expanding and Growing
April 20th, the United States dispatched 2,700 more troops
to the Philippines for joint military exercises. These
troops will conduct three weeks of joint exercises with
2,900 Filipino troops on the main island of Luzon, in
northern Philippines, joining 660 U.S. troops already
conducting joint training operations on a southern island.
These exercises represent a huge increase in the number
of U.S. military personnel deployed in the region and
raise serious questions about the level of U.S. engagement
in the Philippines.
official explanation for the joint exercises is that they
are aimed at "improving defense and ability to participate
in peacekeeping missions." But, the American military
presence is having a greater impact than just that and
the weaponry is the biggest indication that these are
no ordinary training exercises.
U.S. troops bring highly coveted weaponry and equipment
with them, including 36 Blackhawk and Cobra helicopters,
a Navy landing ship, huge C-17 transport planes, P-3 Orion
surveillance aircraft, fighter jets and high tech gadgets
like night vision goggles, modern communication and electronic
surveillance equipment. Much of the weaponry and equipment
will be left behind for the Filipino military when the
exercises are over. In addition, the U.S. government offered
$92.3 million worth of excess military equipment, including
a C-130 transport plane, 8 UH-1H utility helicopters,
a naval patrol boat, and 30,000 M-16 rifles plus ammunition.
can do the fighting," said Brigadier General Edilberto
Adan, the chief military spokesman, "but the Americans
are here with all the equipment. It is a multiplier we've
never had- Chinooks, electronic sensors- these are things
we've only dreamed of*. The pressure from the Americans
is demoralizing the enemy."
to New York Times reporter Raymond Bonner, the U.S. military
presence in the Philippines "has all the earmarks
of a combat operation." Unlike most training missions,
this one is taking place in a war zone, not in simulated
battle conditions. The time frame is six months, not the
typical four weeks, and there is a real enemy and a real
military objective. As Rodolfo Biazon, retired Philippine
general said, the operation is using "live ammo,"
has a "live enemy," in short, it is a "live
the rhetoric to the contrary, Abu Sayyaf does not equal
Al-Qaeda. In fact, General Edilberto Adan, spokesman Armed
Forces of the Philippines, has described them as no more
than "a kidnap-for-ransom group, trying to use religion
to justify their cause." Links to Al-Qaeda, highlighted
by the Bush administration, are widely thought to have
"atrophied." Cracking down on Abu Sayyaf notes
one Time Magazine reporter, "will likely have little
impact on eradicating global terrorism."
the Bush administration prepared to send in troops to
battle Abu Sayyaf late last year. But the plan violated
the 1987 Filipino constitution that says that not foreign
troops are allowed in the Philippines without a treaty
agreement. To circumvent this prohibition, Filipino military
leaders conceived of the "training exercise"
and U.S. and Filipino lawyers jointly developed the language
of the agreement and the rules of engagement. While U.S.
soldiers are restricted from firing first, they can fire
in self-defense. And given the fact that they are operating
in Abu Sayyaf territory, it is likely that they will draw
fire and combat will ensue. In fact, American combat casualties
are "bound to happen," says General Emmanuel
Teodosin, commander of the U.S.-Filipino joint operations.
Washington and Manila benefit from the military operation.
For the United States it is a way of regaining a foothold
in the Pacific. Until forced out by the Filipino Congress
in 1992, the U.S. operated twenty-three major military
installations in the Philippines-the largest being Clark
Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Complex. These bases served
as a staging ground for a century of U.S. military aggression--
against China at the turn of the last century, Korea and
Vietnam in the 1950s and 60s, to the Persian Gulf War
also serves a purpose for the Arroyo administration, allowing
her to reap the benefits of U.S. political support, and
economic and military aid. "$4.6 billion and counting"
quipped Arroyo during her November 2001 meeting with President
Bush, referring to the tally of aid from the U.S. In all,
President Arroyo stands to gain millions in military and
billions in economic aid. She also expects U.S. help in
putting down the much more substantial threats to her
power coming from Muslim secessionists and Maoist fighters.
real prize for Bush and Arroyo would be putting down the
Maoist New People's Army (NPA) and the Moro Islamic National
NPA has been fighting the national government for political
control and land reform since 1969, a struggled that has
cost an estimated 25,000 combat-related deaths. It is
estimated to have 6,000-8,000 fighters.
the island of Mindanao, where the Filipino army is fighting
the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), at least 100,000
people have died in the conflict, with some estimates
exceeding 150,000 deaths.
to U.S. military presence is growing. There are daily
demonstrations at the U.S. embassy in Manila and the backlash
has already become with three deadly bomb attacks in recent
weeks. These developments are deeply troubling, but a
sign of hope is also emerging. The "Gathering for
Peace," a coalition of a thousand organizations formed
in mid February to oppose the U.S. military presence in
Philippines, saying that they did not want their country
to be the "second front of the so-called U.S. war
on terrorism after Afghanistan."
of Peace statement: www.ucc.uconn.edu/~ser00003/phil.html
military plans for a long-term presence in the Philippines,
John Roberts, WSWS, April 16, 2002 www.wsws.org/articles/2002/apr2002/phil-a16.shtml
Bello, A 'Second Front' in the Philippines, The Nation,
March 18, 2002. www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020318&s=bello
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Resource Center - Update May 16, 2002