Broader Foreign Policy Implications
of the Iraq War
This page > General Foreign Policy Americans' Attitudes Towards U.S. Role

What was clear to many Americans during the lead-up to and actual invasion of Iraq, has become abundantly clear to many more in this country during the course of the occupation -- the invasion of Iraq was not about weapons of mass destruction and democracy for Iraq, but rather about oil and Middle East control. As such, it was a logical, if extreme, extension of an American foreign policy stretching back over the past half century -- some would say longer -- that has used covert operations and overt, frequently unilateral military force to assert an ever-larger hegemony in the world.

The Iraq occupation has clearly illustrated the dangers of pursuing this type of foreign policy, in terms of increased danger to the country and loss of status and trust in our leadership in the world. The End The War First strategy is designed to reach beyond "ending" the war -- which may actually be impossible under the present foreign policy assumptions -- to achieve the only possible real and honorable victory for both the American people and the world, under the circumstances. This victory is the renunciation of the present foreign policy in favor of the cooperative, diplomatic positive leadership role for the U.S. in the world that is favored by the majority of Americans. The ETWF strategy uses the defunding of the new imperial-sized/purposed American "embassy" in Baghdad as the catalyst for opening the Great Debate on what that role is going to be in this next century.

The documents, articles and analysis referred to in this section examine this dangerous foreign policy, its effects, the intentions and programs of the individuals and institutions that are seeking to maintain it into the future, and what might be more useful alternatives.

See also the role of oil in this war and U.S. foreign policy

(reverse chronological order)
(author links are to the best information we can find on the author)

General Direction of U.S. Foreign Policy       (TOP)

  1. Bush Pledges on Iraq Bases Pact Were a Ruse, 12 June 2008
    Gareth Porter, InterPress News Service
    (This article is also posted on the "Non-Treaty" long-term agreement page, but is included here as well because it is illustrative of how the U.S. has used subterfuge to maintain military presence in various countries.) "Two key pledges made by the George W. Bush administration on military bases in its negotiations with the government of Iraq have now been revealed as carefully-worded ruses aimed at concealing U.S. negotiating aims from both U.S. citizens and Iraqis who would object to them if they were made clear. Recent statements by Iraqis familiar with U.S. demands in negotiations on the U.S.-Iraq 'strategic framework' agreement have highlighted the fact that administration promises that it would not seek 'permanent bases' or the use of bases to attack Iran or any other neighbouring countries were deliberately misleading. The wording used by the Bush administration appears to have been chosen to obscure its intention to have both long-term access to Iraqi bases and complete freedom to use them to launch operations against Iran and Syria." The article goes on to chronicle the way in which similar subterfuges were used to maintain a U.S. military presence in Vietnam and the Phillipines.
  2. Rearming the world -- an arms race unseen since the early days of the Cold War, 27 April 2008
    Joshua Kurlantzick, Boston Globe
    "With much less fanfare than the early days of the Cold War, the world is entering a new arms race, and with it, a dangerous new web of military relationships. . . Driven mainly by anxiety over oil and natural resources, countries are building their arsenals of conventional weapons at a rate not seen in decades, beefing up their armies and navies, and forging potential new alliances that could divide up the world in unpredictable ways. . . Much of this new arms spending is concentrated among the world's biggest consumers of resources, which are trying to protect their access to energy, and the biggest producers of resources, which are taking advantage of their new wealth to build up their defenses at a rate that would have been unthinkable for a developing country until recently. . . This power shift comes with enormous implications for the United States and its Western allies. With more military power in the hands of authoritarian and sometimes unstable states, the arms race creates a growing possibility for real state-to-state conflict - a prospect that would dwarf even a major terror attack in its power to disrupt the world's stability. It also will force the West to change, to make its own plans to shore up resources, and to get used to a world arsenal it can no longer dominate. . ."
  3. Top Ten Points About StratCom, April 2008
    Nebraskans for Peace
    (see also StratCom's Organizational Structure)
    For decades, the Strategic Air Command was the coordinator of nuclear deterrence in the U.S. More recently it has become StratCom, and "within months of the terrorist attack of 9/11, StratCom began undergoing a drastic makeover at the hands of the Bush/Cheney Administration . . . tasked with offensively waging the White House's 'War on Terror'. The command now fields eight missions -- nuclear weapons; cyberwarfare; missile defense; global command and control; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance [ISR]; global strike; space; and combating weapons of mass destruction. . . StratCom's fingerprints are everywhere nowadays, and we don't even realize it. The threatened attack on Iran -- that's StratCom's global strike. The proposed 'Star Wars' bases in Poland and the Czech Republic -- that's StratCom's integrated missile defense. The NSA's 'warrantless wiretaps' on American citizens -- that's StratCom's ISR mission. The current showdown with China over its space program -- that’s StratCom's space command. Developing new generations of nuclear weapons like the bunker buster 'mininuke' and Reliable Replacement Warhead -- that's StratCom's strategic deterrence." Called by some "the most dangerous place on earth," it epitomizes an offensive foreign policy of domination which has brought us many international problems, including the present war, and which, if allowed to continue, may destroy us. A principal aim of the End The War First strategy is the promotion of a discussion of whether we want to pursue this kind of policy.

  4. Not Just A Last Resort? -- A Global Strike Plan, With a Nuclear Option, 15 May 2005
    William Arkin, Washington Post
    ". . . [In Fall of 2004] Lt. Gen. Bruce Carlson, commander of the 8th Air Force, told a reporter that his fleet of B-2 and B-52 bombers . . . '[are] now at the point where we are essentially on alert,' Carlson said in an interview with the Shreveport (La.) Times. 'We have the capacity to plan and execute global strikes.' Carlson said his forces were the U.S. Strategic Command's 'focal point for global strike' and could execute an attack 'in half a day or less.' In the secret world of military planning, global strike has become the term of art to describe a specific preemptive attack. When military officials refer to global strike, they stress its conventional elements. Surprisingly, however, global strike also includes a nuclear option, which runs counter to traditional U.S. notions about the defensive role of nuclear weapons. This blurring of the nuclear/conventional line, wittingly or unwittingly, could heighten the risk that the nuclear option will be used . . . the Stratcom contingency plan for dealing with 'imminent' threats . . . CONPLAN 8022 is different from other war plans . . . [this] global strike plan is offensive, triggered by the perception of an imminent threat and carried out by presidential order."

American Attitudes Towards America's Role in the World     (TOP)

For an excellent compilation of public opinion poll results over the years on the following topics:

This page > General Foreign Policy Americans' Attitudes Towards U.S. Role

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