US Army Releases 2008 Modernization Strategy
09-Sep-2008 20:44 EDT
US generals planning for resource wars
ANALYSIS: The US military sees the next 30 to 40 years as involving a state of continuous war against ideologically-motivated terrorists and competing with Russia and China for natural resources and markets, writes Tom Clonan
"...The 2008 modernisation strategy, written by Lieut Gen Stephen Speakes, deputy chief of staff of the US army, contains the first explicit and official acknowledgement that the US military is dangerously overstretched internationally. It states simply: "The army is engaged in the third-longest war in our nation's history and . . . the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) has caused the army to become out of balance with the demand for forces exceeding the sustainable supply."
Against this backdrop, the 90 page document sets out the future of international conflict for the next 30 to 40 years - as the US military sees it - and outlines the manner in which the military will sustain its current operations and prepare and "transform" itself for future "persistent" warfare.
The document reveals a number of profoundly significant - and worrying - strategic positions that have been adopted as official doctrine by the US military. In its preamble, it predicts a post cold war future of "perpetual warfare".
According to its authors: "We have entered an era of persistent conflict . . . a security environment much more ambiguous and unpredictable than that faced during the cold war."
It then goes on to describe the key features of this dawning era of continuous warfare. Some of the characteristics are familiar enough to a world audience accustomed to the rhetoric of the global war on terror.
"A key current threat is a radical, ideology-based, long-term terrorist threat bent on using any means available - to include weapons of mass destruction - to achieve its political and ideological ends."
Relatively new, "emerging" features are also included in the document's rationale for future threats.
"We face a potential return to traditional security threats posed by emerging near-peers as we compete globally for depleting natural resources and overseas markets."