It looks as though US authorities, and George W.Bush personally, have already determined the position they would like to take in the history. The US president has a new worthy dream: he wants to become, not a famous reformer and prominent government leader (there have been lots of them, as seen from the history), he wants to become a world-scale anti-terrorism fighter. Certainly, as the president expects this struggle to result in triumph. With this very objective, a new foreign policy concept of the USA is being created, which, on account of historical traditions, has been called “Bush Jr.’s Doctrine.”
The simple doctrine consists in the following: the USA gives up the Cold War deterrent concept directed against the Soviet Union mostly. The USSR was treated as the only threat to the US’s political power and its existence on the whole. In view of this threat, the USA aimed at reaching superiority in the military and economic spheres. As Washington believed, only America’s might and its ability to deliver a destructive blow any time cold keep the USSR from unsuitable actions. In addition, this concept is now believed to have been rather reasonable. It was said that, due to the concept, nuclear war was averted.
As of now, the situation is quite different. There is not a single state that could pose a real threat to the US’s security, and none is likely to appear within the nearest time. However, another threat has appeared: terrorism. The Sept.11 tragedy demonstrated that terrorist blows are very painful, not only from a political point of view, but for economic and social reasons as well.
It is impossible to dispose of terrorist organizations with nuclear warheads, and large-scale military operations are also senseless in this case. Actions of this kind will only make terrorists go underground, the way bin Laden and al-Qaeda have done in Afghanistan. The creation of the new doctrine is underway now; its main principle is not to frighten, but liquidate or disarm at least. To tell the truth, it is impossible to “frighten” mobile and scanty terrorist groups operating in the countries targeted for acts of terrorism with a strong nuclear blow. Consequently, they should be either liquidated, or everything possible should be done to hamper terrorist activity.
American experts and politicians see three directions to be developed to achieve success. First of all, it is necessary to improve the potential for pre-emptive strikes: to develop aviation and space tracking and to create intelligence networks for collection of information. Second, it is necessary to stake on the development of “smart” armament to deliver maximally effective blows against well-camouflaged and fortified objects. And third, it is important to start explanatory activity to make people understand the importance and necessity of pre-emptive strikes under certain conditions. However, time will show the effectiveness of Washington’s concept. As of now, Bush’s doctrine creates only questions. For example, it is not clear yet what criteria will be used to deliver pre-emptive strikes. Often, terrorists operating in some countries are hiding in regions beyond control of the central government, such as in Pakistan. However, at the same time, even when slightly controlled by the government, this regions are parts of sovereign states. Such states are very likely to treat such pre-emptive blows as aggression from the USA. On the other hand, if Washington chooses to warn of pre-emptive blows, they are unlikely to be effective enough. In addition, another arms race is inevitably to follow. At a time when the USA begins the production of “smart” bombs, other less rich countries may follow quite a different way and produce nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. There are no guarantees that terrorists may not obtain such weapons as well.
On the whole, it is still a question whether the US’s strategy will be effective. One thing is perfectly evident: nothing better has yet been yet suggested.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/06/19/42848.html
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969