The “Shock and Awe”ExperimentCompilation, Analysis and Discussion of Available Information on the Pentagon’s “Shock and Awe” Battle Plan for Iraq Especially as It Affects Civilian Infrastructure and the Civilian Population
Prepared for the Not in Our Name ProjectWednesday, March 19, 2003By Jaime HavenarNote: This document does not necessarily represent the conclusions or thinking of the Not In Our Name Project, however, it is considered a valuable and timely contribution to people’s understanding of the exact nature of the Bush administration’s [officially-confirmed] battle plan for the bombing and invasion of Iraq.
CONTENTS ANALYSIS and DISCUSSION
3. The Shock and Awe Experiment
a. Will the current U.S. war plan for Iraq target essential civilian infrastructure?
b. What effects can be expected from this approach?
c. To what extent will the current U.S. war plan for Iraq target essential civilian infrastructure?
d. Quantitatively, approximately how severe will those effects be this time?
5. Legal dimensions of a U.S.-led “pre-emptive” war against Iraq
a. Pre-emptive war
b. International humanitarian law and attacks on essential civilian infrastructure
6. Can the authors’ stated moral concerns effectively prevent Shock and Awe from employing massacre to achieve its goals?
7. “Shock and Awe” in the media so far (3/13/03)
8. Opinion and Recommendations
Appendix A Baghdad Statistics
Appendix B 1st 48 Hours: some expected offensive weapons usage
Appendix C Explanatory notes and quotes about “e-bombs” (HPM)
Appendix D Officials’ and Planners’ quotes about the Shock and Awe battle plan
Appendix E Quotations from the text of “Shock and Awe”
Appendix F Editorial quotes about the Shock and Awe battle plan
Appendix G Targets of the bombing Notes about sources
1. OVERVIEW This document contains an in-depth analysis of the concept of “Shock and Awe” warfare as set forth by its architects and authors in “Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance,” a book published by the National Defense University (December 1996), an institution funded by the Pentagon. The concept came into the news recently when on January 24, 2003 CBS News reported and confirmed that the Shock and Awe concept was the basis for the U.S. war plan for Iraq. This review proceeds through several sections, blending analysis and discussion. It references the original document’s text, many authoritative declassified and “leaked” documents, as well as official statements and editorial reactions in the news media. At the back of the document are a number of Appendices containing many facts and worthwhile quotations.
Much of the data points to clear and almost obvious conclusions. However, surprisingly little discussion and analysis of this important subject has appeared in the U.S. news media. An understanding of the potential risks our nation undertakes in starting such a war is critically important for the American public, if it is to encourage leaders to make responsible decisions. As the possibility of the American Administration’s war looms near, a thorough delving into the available information is warranted.
While this document does not claim to be exhaustive or all-knowing, it relies upon a fairly significant amount of original source material and attempts to apply and maintain a fair standard of judgement to the specific issues on which it focuses. It is important to hold in mind that this battle tactic predated the current escalation of aggression in Iraq and has implications that reach far beyond its borders.
Hopefully at the very least it can serve as an introductory research tool for those who care to explore the specific dimensions of this issue further. It is also hoped that this document will provide insight into the global agenda that is being advanced by means of Shock and Awe tactics even in areas outside the use of military power. 2. INTRODUCTION Conventional warfare exists based on particular established, “tried and true” doctrines, which are specific concepts that function as guidelines for planning and executing military operations. “Shock and Awe” was proposed in 1996 by its planners as a “revolutionary” new doctrine based on the idea that it might be possible to defeat an adversary’s will itself – essentially to so rapidly overwhelm all aspects of his being with destruction and fear so that he is demoralized, confused, and hopeless; so that he risks no further pain. The recent revelation that the U.S. war plan for Iraq is based on this model indicates that Shock and Awe has evolved substantially since 1996. The Shock and Awe doctrine would be debuting in the heat of international disagreement and pervasive national unrest. Indeed, the unprecedented [pre-war] worldwide popular demonstrations, as well as compelling statements by such “heavyweights” as American veterans, Republican presidential campaign donors and businessmen, and high-ranking military / intelligence officials, have contributed to an unusual, highly visible rift in the “establishment.” American Veterans: www.calltoconscience.net Republicans: www.anitaroddick.com/weblog/weblogdetail.jsp?title=null&id=371 Military / Intelligence: www.pointrichmond.com/peace.htm There may in fact be significant pressure to enter this war from the entities with major investments in this plan’s development. Shock and Awe is notable in another way: the plan explicitly calls for targeting of civilian infrastructure such as “water supplies, food processing and sanitation.” The destruction of Iraq’s water supply during the 1990-91 Gulf War resulted in a health and sanitation crisis, which was well-documented by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency while the crisis progressed. These important declassified documents are reviewed and cited in the context of Shock and Awe’s heavy emphasis on the destruction of an adversary’s water supplies, sanitation facilities, and power grids. It is this priority of Shock and Awe, along with its fundamental prerequisite of “imposing an overwhelming level of Shock and Awe,” which will make it so controversial. With that in mind, it is of significant interest that that the mainstream American corporate media have chosen to all but ignore the substance of Shock and Awe. Media coverage to date has mostly avoided close scrutiny of Shock and Awe’s original text. When there has been reporting on Shock and Awe it has sometimes centered on the fact that the plan’s key architect and author, Harlan K. Ullman, revealed in an interview on CBS News January 24, that 300-400 cruise missiles would strike targets in Baghdad on the first day of a Shock and Awe war. (During the first Gulf War, which lasted 39 days, a total of 325 cruise missiles were launched.) On the second day, another 300-400 missiles would strike Baghdad. And with the 1,500 or more conventional “smart” 1-ton bombs, and high numbers of “e-bombs,” some have said it would be 10 times the amount of ordnance dropped during the entire Gulf War – al in about 48 hours. (See Appendices B and C.) Coupled with the fact that a fundamental tactic of Shock and Awe is to destroy non-military zones and facilities (see discussion below), suddenly the level of destruction takes on a new significance. Consider this excerpt from the text: Shock and Awe are actions that create fears, dangers, and destruction that are incomprehensible to the people at large, specific elements/sectors of the threat society, or the leadership. Nature in the form of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, uncontrolled fires, famine, and disease can engender Shock and Awe. The ultimate military application of Shock and Awe was the use of two atomic weapons against Japan in WW II. (Appendix A) …it would be vitally important to give the appearance that there are no safe havens from attack, and that any target may be attacked at any time with impunity and force. (Chapter 4) In fact, a Pentagon official briefed on the plan has said, “There will not be a safe place in Baghdad.” www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/01/24/eveningnews/main537928.shtml
At a recent press briefing, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stated:
“Saddam Hussein deliberately constructs mosques near military facilities, uses schools, hospitals, orphanages, and cultural treasures to shield military forces, thereby exposing helpless men, women, and children to danger.”BBC News http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/feb2003/lies-f24.shtmlIndymedia: www.victoria.indymedia.org/news/2003/03/12078.php This statement went unchallenged by journalists at the briefing. An analysis of the Shock and Awe concept could provide some insight into the reason for this dramatic but unsubstantiated statement. Which came first – the chicken or the egg? In other words, technically speaking, Secretary Rumsfeld’s statement implying that the public can expect to see civilian buildings and facilities destroyed almost needs no justification, since these “tragedies” are fairly consistent with the stated methods and aims of Shock and Awe — at least, from the viewpoint of its planners and advocates. Rarely, it seems, has the mainstream press made this connection between the stated “overwhelming” level of destruction that would take place, and the “people at large” in the “society” that would be affected, either directly (from the attacks) or indirectly (from starvation, dehydration, or disease). It is a foundation for this essential connection that this document seeks to build, by drawing on a wide variety of relevant sources. Through a systematic and relatively rigorous exploration and analysis of the available information, this document seeks to further public awareness, and to build a foundation for press, organizations, and individuals who wish to make informed statements on the subject. 3. The “Shock and Awe” Experiment Shock and Awe has never been used in actual combat that we know of. Its first deployment, or “field test,” appears to be planned for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to the concept’s key architect and author, Harlan Ullman, and Pentagon officials who have confirmed Ullman’s statements to that effect made on CBS News, January 24, 2003. Consider the following statement from the Prologue of “Shock and Awe:” Since before Sun Tzu and the earliest chroniclers of war recorded their observations, strategists and generals have been tantalized and confounded by the elusive goal of destroying the adversary’s will to resist before, during, and after battle. Today, we believe that an unusual opportunity exists to determine whether or not this long-sought strategic goal of affecting the will, understanding, and perception of an adversary can be brought closer to fruition. Shock and Awe’s debut deployment would be by definition experimental. This raises some important questions, not only limited to its feasibility and effectiveness (from a military point of view), but more importantly, in regard to its potential consequences and effects for the local and regional populations, the global community, and its effect on world affairs in general. When the original document was completed in 1996, “Shock and Awe” was still only a concept – an “ambitious intellectual excursion.” Today, in the spring of 2003, recent news that the U.S. war plan for an invasion of Iraq is based on the Shock and Awe concept has numerous important implications, many of which can not be known except to those involved. However, certain assumptions can be made. First, it is safe to assume that a very substantial amount of money has already been spent on, and more budgeted, for advanced research and development, industrial production, specialized training, and field testing of equipment and specially-configured actual “packages” of military force (deployments of personnel and equipment). The concept has not only been “alive” for more than six years, but many of the numerous high-tech and “revolutionary” offensive and defensive weaponry, and the intelligence / information support systems discussed in the original proposal are certainly in existence and in place. This includes space-based technologies (perhaps including weapons), directed energy weapons (DEW) such as HPM (high-powered microwave), computer hardware and software, and many other possibilities too numerous and maybe unfamiliar to speculate upon here. Just to pick one dramatic example among dozens, consider the hypothetical implications of the following passage, if such weapons ideas have actually been under development for the past six years, and seriously intended for actual use: Robotic systems are an important area of consideration within Rapid Dominance [Shock and Awe]. First, selected robotic systems will enable the force by making it more responsive in concentrating sensors and weapons. Second, they will make fighting a 24-hour battle feasible even with reduced manpower within the force structure. Third, robotic systems can provide force presence even in areas considered too dangerous for a large manned element. Finally, since the ultimate operational goal of Rapid Dominance is to create shock, one may consider the effect that fighting robotic systems may have on the enemy. (Chapter 4) The original concept document also discusses the possible necessity for dramatically altered command and decision-making structures, perhaps placing critically-important decisions in the hands of “individual soldiers or sailors,” instead of at the top of a traditional “chain of command.” In any case, it is clear there has been an extraordinary degree of change made to the array of tools, the traditional and conventional methods, and (obviously) the overall doctrine during the preparation for this actual deployment of Shock and Awe. The point is that there is much to be “field tested,” and it is only logical to conclude that this perceived necessity may have some influence on the decision of whether or not to attack Iraq. It is important to note that in addition to the self-evident goals of the Shock and Awe concept, it is the planners’ stated goal of establishing a new credible “deterrent” – analogous, but not identical to, nuclear deterrence — for would-be future enemies. Thus, the first use of Shock and Awe has the added strategic value of setting this precedent. 4. INFRASTRUCTURE (A) Will the current U.S. war plan for Iraq target essential civilian infrastructure?(B) What effects can be expected from this approach?(C) To what extent will the current U.S. war plan for Iraq target essential civilian infrastructure?(D) Approximately how severe will those effects be this time?(E) Conclusion (A) Will the current U.S. war plan for Iraq target essential civilian infrastructure? The answer to this question is based on several things, including: (1) text of the original “Shock and Awe” planning document; (2) a recent statement by Harlan Ullman (the concept’s key architect and co-author); and, (3) some precedents set by U.S. involvement in Iraq during the first Gulf War, illuminated in several pertinent declassified Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) / Department of Defense documents. (These precedents are discussed in sections B and C). (1) To summarize, the text of “Shock and Awe” presents numerous passages explicitly stating and emphasizing the importance of destroying water supplies, food production, electricity-generating capabilities, and transportation. Also affected would be any facilities or services requiring electricity, for example, sanitation, sewage, water treatment plants, hospitals, and emergency services. The authors describe specific infrastructure that would be targeted, as well as the desired effect to be caused by its destruction: [Options for targeting] “could include means of communication, transportation, food production, water supply, and other aspects of infrastructure…” (Introduction) Shutting the country down would entail both the physical destruction of appropriate infrastructure and the shutdown and control of the flow of all vital information and associated commerce so rapidly as to achieve a level of national shock akin to the effect that dropping nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had on the Japanese. (Chapter 1)…the appropriate balance of Shock and Awe must cause the perception and anticipation of certain defeat and the threat and fear of action that may shut down all or part of the adversary’s society or render his ability to fight useless short of complete physical destruction. (Chapter 5)(2) The main relevant public statement by Harlan Ullman was aired on CBS News, January 24, 2003. He stated, “You also take the city down. By that I mean you get rid of their power, water. In 2, 3, 4, 5 days they are physically, emotionally, and psychologically exhausted.”www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/01/24/eveningnews/main537928.shtml (B) What effects can be expected from this approach? (3) During the first Gulf War much of Iraq’s infrastructure was targeted and destroyed. There is a unique and important series of declassified Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) documents available, which studied the destruction of Iraq’s water supply and the ensuing progressive spread of sickness and disease. Because of the unique opportunity to recall to consciousness the details of a phenomenon which it is the stated intention of the “Shock and Awe” planners to re-initiate (by destroying Iraq’s water supply again), it is the main aspect of the planned infrastructure targeting that will be looked at here. Thomas J. Nagy, in an article titled, “The Secret Behind the Sanctions: How the U.S. Intentionally Destroyed Iraq’s Water Supply,” (The Progressive, September 2001) presents an excellent analysis of the seven relevant DIA documents. www.progressive.org/0901/nagy0901.html Using Nagy’s instructions for locating and retrieving the original (but censored) documents, they can be found on the Pentagon’s website. www.gulflink.osd.mil These successive reports studying the degradation of Iraq’s water supply also focused on the likelihood and incidence of outbreak of communicable diseases. Several key excerpts spell out the cause and effect explicitly; the facts are stark speak for themselves: Although Iraq is already experiencing a loss of water treatment capability, it will probably take at least six months (to June 1991) before the system is fully degraded. — “Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities,” declassified DIA document, dated January 22, 1991. The document proceeds to itemize the likely outbreaks. It mentions ‘acute diarrhea’ brought on by bacteria such as E. coli, shigella, and salmonella, or by protazoa such as giardia, which will affect ‘particularly children,’ or by rotavirus, which will also affect ‘particularly children,’ a phrase it puts in parentheses. And it cites the possibilities of typhoid and cholera outbreaks.” — Thomas Nagy, “The Secret Behind the Sanctions,” The Progressive, September, 2001. Conditions are favorable for communicable disease outbreaks, particularly in major urban areas affected by coalition bombing. …Infectious disease prevalence in major Iraqi urban areas targeted by coalition bombing (Baghdad, Basrah) undoubtedly has increased since the beginning of Desert Storm…. Current public health problems are attributable to the reduction of normal preventative medicine, waste disposal, water purification, and distribution, electricity, and the decreased ability to control disease outbreaks…. most likely disease outbreaks during the next sixty-ninety days (descending order): diarrhea diseases (particularly children); acute respiratory illnesses (colds and influenza); typhoid; hepatitis A (particularly children); measles, diphtheria, and pertussis (particularly children); meningitis, including meningococcal (particularly children); cholera (possible, but less likely). – “Disease Outbreaks in Iraq,” declassified DIA document dated February 21, 1990. Increased incidence of diseases will be attributable to degradation of normal preventative medicine, waste disposal, water purification/distribution, electricity, and decreased ability to control disease outbreaks. Any urban area in Iraq that has received infrastructure damage will have similar problems. – from “Disease Information,” declassified DIA document dated January 22, 1991 Communicable diseases in Baghdad are more widespread than usually observed during this time of year and are linked to the poor sanitary conditions (contaminated water supplies and improper sewage disposal) resulting from the war. According to a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)/World Health Organization report, the quantity of potable water is less than 5% of the original supply; there are no operational water and sewage treatment pants, and the reported incidence of diarrhea is four times above normal levels. Additionally, respiratory infections are on the rise. Children particularly have been affected by these diseases. … Conditions in Baghdad remain favorable for the communicable disease outbreaks. — “Medical Problems in Iraq,” declassified DIA document, dated March 15, 1991. Further infectious diseases will spread due to inadequate water treatment and poor sanitation. The main causes of infectious diseases, particularly diarrhea, dysentery, and upper respiratory problems, are poor sanitation and unclean water. These diseases primarily afflict the old and young children. — “Status of Disease at Refugee Camps,” declassified DIA document, dated May, 1991 These documents were obviously based on field observation, and there is no reason to doubt their applicability if Iraq’s public water supply and electricity grids were targeted and destroyed again. Communicable diseases, sickness, and death on a large scale are the predictable effects from the destruction of Iraq’s water and power infrastructure alone. In fact, there are abundant statistics on the actual numbers of Iraqis affected. Denis Halliday, (former UN Assistant Secretary General and former head of the UN food-for-oil sanctions program in Iraq, 1997-98), has said about the damage to Iraq’s infrastructure during the first Gulf War: I was taken aback by the decay and damage. [The coalition forces] very deliberately set about destroying the civilian infrastructure of the country. They went way beyond the military [targets]. They destroyed schools, and hospitals and bridges, and roads, places of employment, factories, consumer, industry, and so on. That’s left massive unemployment to this day. They destroyed railways, domestic airports, including not just the production of oil which they bombed and missiled again and again, but they also wiped out Iraq’s capacity to produce potable water, the sewerage systems were heavily damaged, water treatment plants were damaged. It was a very all-comprehensive attack. And that is still rather apparent today.” –transcript of interview by freelance journalist Jeremy Rose, December 10, 1998; www.gulfweb.org/doc_show.cfm?ID=682 While it is not possible to isolate the specific causes of each death (dehydration, starvation / malnutrition, sickness or disease), there are abundant statistics available documenting the deaths resulting from destruction of Iraq’s essential infrastructure and subsequent lack of essential materials due to the UN-imposed trade sanctions. All quotes and statistics are available at www.leb.net/IAC “Seven years after the imposition of the blockade on the people of Iraq, more than 1.2 million people, including 750,000 children below the age of five, have died because of the scarcity of food and medicine.” – Verified by the UN, June 1997 “32% of children under five, some 960,000 children are chronically malnourished – a rise of 72% since 1991.” — UNICEF, November 1997 “4,500 children under the age of five are dying each month from hunger and disease. … The situation is disastrous for children. Many are living on the very margin of survival.” — UNICEF, October 1996. “Alarming food shortages are causing irreparable damage to an entire generation of Iraqi children” — UN FAO and WFP (World Food Programme), September 1995. (C) To what extent will the current U.S. war plan for Iraq target essential civilian infrastructure? In order to answer the first two questions, we have considered the following relevant facts and precedents: – The stated aims of Shock and Awe, namely its emphasis on unprecedented levels of destruction and overwhelming devastation for the purpose of psychological effect: “so as to achieve a level of national shock akin to the effect that dropping nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had on the Japanese;” – The statement of Harlan Ullman and subsequent official confirmation that the U.S. war plan for Iraq is based on the Shock and Awe concept; – Ullman’s confirmed statement that the plan includes provisions to “take the city down. …get rid of their power, water…”; – The specific known effects (progression of sickness and disease) immediately following U.S. and coalition bombing of Iraq’s water and power infrastructure during the first Gulf War; – The long- term effects caused by destruction of Iraq’s essential infrastructure; – The lack of distinction between military and civilian targets during the 1990-1991 bombing, – And the pervasive impact and detrimental long-term effects in Iraq of that action. It is reasonable to assume that the current U.S. war plan for Iraq, consistent with the explicit and uncompromising goals of the Shock and Awe concept on which it is based, will target Iraq’s overall infrastructure as completely as possible. The doctrine suggests it will probably do so much more extensively and severely than during the first Gulf War – seeking to achieve the most harmful physical devastation possible, in order to maximize the psychological and emotional impact in both the short- and long-term. Furthermore, it is reasonable and consistent with precedent to conclude that there is every likelihood these air attacks will fail to make the distinction between military and civilian targets – or, rather, will be executed indiscriminate of these obvious distinctions. (D) Quantitatively, approximately how severe will the effects be this time? It is possible to get some general sense of the level of crisis that would follow a U.S.-led Shock and Awe attack on Iraq by looking at current figures from UN estimates (contained in planning documents that were “leaked” to the public). However, the UN documents were prepared and leaked well before the original leak of the Shock and Awe concept’s intended role in the U.S. war plan (January 24, 2003). It is most likely that the UN estimates were prepared based on the expectation of an attack that approximated the level of destruction during the first Gulf War. This would not be the case. The Shock and Awe concept fundamentally seeks to increase the magnitude of regular destruction at least several-fold. There is no way to calculate the increase in direct and indirect casualties, since it is inherently a much different scenario, and employs unprecedented levels of conventional destructive power. Thus, it appears that the only way to grasp the quantitative impact is to first understand the UN estimates for a “conventional” attack, and then apply the impressive language of Shock and Awe to those figures. United Nations Planning DocumentsIn the event of “military conflict” in Iraq, the UN has estimated the following figures:
____________________ The statistics have been compiled from 2 of 3 confidential UN documents that were leaked by UN personnel who “believe that the potential humanitarian impact of war is a matter of global public concern that should be discussed fully and openly,” according to a press release from the British organization Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq (CASI), which obtained and released the documents. The figures were compiled from:“Likely Humanitarian Scenarios,” dated 12/2002; leaked before 1/7/03“Integrated Humanitarian Contingency Plan for Iraq and Neighboring Countries,” dated 7/1/03; leaked before 2/17/03The documents and the circumstances surrounding their release can be found at www.casi.org.uk It is difficult to grasp the reality of these figures, and we must look to the text of the above referenced UN documents for some context and scale: “The collapse of essential services in Iraq… could lead to a humanitarian emergency of proportions well beyond the capacity of UN agencies and other aid organizations.” “…the outbreak of diseases in epidemic if not pandemic proportions is very likely. Diseases such as cholera and dysentery thrive in the environment which will prevail and as a result of circumstances and the present low vaccination rates for measles, meningitis and the like will be ever present.” “Water treatment requires electric power and this will, in all probability, be severely disrupted by any conflict, and it is highly likely that it will remain so for some time.” “The effects of over 12 years of sanctions, preceded by war, have considerably increased the vulnerability of the population.” In addition to the emergency that would exist, the document also raises fundamental concerns for its inability to come close to a proportional response of material assistance. “These UN estimates reveal that the people of Iraq are facing a humanitarian crisis of overwhelming severity. The $30 million of emergency aid offered to handle this – little more than $1 per Iraqi – is wholly inadequate. Tony Blair talks of a moral case for war, yet once again the indications are that no serious responsibilities being taken for the impact of UK policies on Iraq civilians.” “All UN agencies have been facing severe funding constraints that are preventing them from reaching even minimum levels of preparedness.” (E) Conclusion Based on the information and documentation (from relevant and reputable organizations) reviewed so far, it has been stated here that there is a very high probability that a U.S.-led air attack on Iraq would extensively and probably indiscriminately target essential civilian facilities and infrastructure (in addition to the military targets; but these are outside the scope of this specific analysis). The actual magnitude of the overall attack can only conservatively estimated, based on what humanitarian organizations have said, and multiplied by what its architects and planners have written and said. It would clearly surpass the destruction and overall impact of the bombardment of Iraq during the first Gulf War in 1990-91 perhaps by several orders of magnitude. (The UN documents were prepared in 2002 and since the CBS leak took place in January 2003, it is almost certain that the authors were not aware of the plans to employ the Shock and Awe doctrine. Casualties estimated by the UN were most likely not prepared with this fact in mind.) The only conclusion that can be reached is a conservative general characterization of what can be expected: Overwhelmingly intense devastation, and a high degree of physical destruction of Baghdad and other urban areas; a catastrophic “humanitarian emergency” that could not be alleviated; vast numbers of deaths and severe injuries in the civilian population; “epidemic if not pandemic” outbreaks of communicable diseases; widespread fatal starvation and dehydration; long-term shortages of water and food; long-term interruptions in power generating capabilities; destruction of transportation infrastructure; and long-term deprivation of critical emergency and support services. 5. Legal dimensions of a U.S.-led pre-emptive war against Iraq While the legality of the Bush Administration’s recently articulated doctrine of “pre-emptive” war is the primary controversial legal aspect of a U.S.-led war against Iraq, there is a second, yet critical, dimension that must be addressed. Thus, a preliminary discussion of the legality of pre-emptive war is warranted and relevant, but in the context of the larger discussion about the Shock and Awe concept and the U.S. war plan, said to be based on it, the focus must necessarily fall on the legality of targeting civilian infrastructure and international humanitarian law. A. Pre-emptive war Two recent documents clearly and articulately explained that a pre-emptive war against Iraq would be a violation of international law. For the sake of relative brevity, it is helpful simply to cite from these authoritative and highly-regarded sources. Forty three Australian experts in international law and human rights legislation, wrote an open letter to the press titled, “Coalition of the willing? Make that war criminals.” The declaration was published in the Sydney Morning Herald on February 26. It states: The initiation of a war against Iraq by the self-styled “coalition of the willing” would be a violation of international law. International law recognizes two bases for the use of force. The first, enshrined in Article 51of the United Nations Charter, allows force to be used in self-defence. The attack must be actual or imminent. The second basis is when the UN Security Council authorizes the use of force as a collective response to the use or threat of force. However, the Security Council is bound by the terms of the UN Charter and can authorize the use of force only if there is evidence that there is an actual threat to the peace (in this case, by Iraq) and that this threat cannot be averted by any means short of force.
(such as negotiation and further weapons inspections). This doctrine contradicts the cardinal principle of the modern international legal order and the primary rationale for the founding of the UN after World War II – the prohibition of the unilateral use of force to settle disputes.http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/02/25/1046064028608.html
James Conachy of wsws.org provided further insight into the experts’ letter: In fact, although the authors chose not to raise the issue, the indictment of the German Nazi leaders at the 1945-1949 Nuremberg War Crimes Trials was precisely for carrying out preemptive military strikes against neighboring countries. They were tried and convicted of “planning, preparation, and initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements, or assurances.” www.gooff.com/NM/templates/breaking_news.asp?articleid=114&zoneid=2 In a pamphlet published by the Center for Constitutional Rights titled, “It’s Time to Stand Up and Break the Silence About Bush’s War in Iraq,” the authors, after discussing the UN charter’s “core principles” contained in Article 2(4) and Article 51, state:Bush has now repudiated this critical, internationally binding principle. He has stated that he will not “wait while dangers gather,” and articulated a doctrine of pre-emptive strikes. …even if there is no immediate threat. It may well take the world back to a period prior to the adoption of the UN Charter (1948) when the employment of force had no legal constraints; countries could use force when and where they wanted.Now, Bush, who as a candidate spoke of “humility” in defining America’s role in the world, has set forth a new doctrine containing a more imperial vision than any prior president dared articulate. The administration proposes abandoning the UN Charter’s core legal restraint in favor of a system in which the United States unilaterally decides which regimes need replacement by force. … Once the United States undermines the UN Charter, what will prevent other nations from launching pre-emptive strikes against their “enemies” when they perceive such an attack to be in their national interest? www.ccr-ny.org/v2/viewpoints/docs/no_war_pamphlet.pdf Henry Michaels of wsws.org acerbically has pointed out that [The U.S.] doctrine of preemptive war makes a mockery of the principles of non-aggression and international legality laid down in the charter of the United Nations, whose resolutions Washington claims to be defending.www.wsws.org/articles/2003/jan2003/war-j30.shtml However, the 43 Australian law experts encapsulate the fundamental contradiction best: Respect for international law must be the first concern of the Australian Government if it seeks to punish the Iraqi Government for not respecting international law. It is clearly in our national interest to strengthen, rather than thwart, the global rule of law. B. International humanitarian law and attacks on essential civilian infrastructure Some of the previous sections of this analysis have concluded that the U.S. war plan for Iraq, which was confirmed to be based on the Shock and Awe concept, will target Iraq’s essential infrastructure, not only to facilitate purely conventional military aims, but to “achieve maximum [physical, psychological, emotional] Shock and Awe.” To be clear, this means that there is: (1) the fact such targeting and attacks are a central priority of Shock and Awe, and will indeed take place; and (2) that there is an extremely high probability such attacks will be carried-out with the utmost ferocity and aggressiveness – they will aim to achieve a level of psychological distress or trauma in survivors beyond that which normally results from bombing and missile attacks. In any case, international humanitarian law provides legislation specifically designed for these circumstances. Several articles in the media have pointed out that there is a plethora of legal precedent contained in international treaties and law on the subject, dating back to the St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868, which states, “The only legitimate object which states should endeavor to accomplish during war is to weaken the military forces of the enemy.” In their open letter to the press, cited above, the 43 Australian law experts who authored the letter referred to the most established and authoritative legal precedent, The Geneva Convention: The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their 1977 Protocols set out some of these limits: for example, the prohibitions on targeting civilian populations and civilian infrastructure and causing extensive destruction of property not justified by military objectives. Intentionally launching an attack knowing that it will increase cause “incidental” loss of life or injury to civilians “which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated” constitutes a war crime at international law. A 1977 protocol of The Geneva Convention “relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts,” Article 54 (“Protection of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population”), states: It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies, and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive.”www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/7c4d08d9b287a42141256739003e636b/f6c8b9fee14a77fdc125641e0052b079?OpenDocument Legally, the most authoritative and widely accepted international laws make it clear that there can be no middle ground. Clearly, the Shock and Awe concept, including the U.S. war plan based on it, would risk falling into the category of war crimes at the level of international law. The question then arises: how is accountability maintained, and what legal body presides over these matters to see that justice is actually served, at the international level? Once again, we refer to the recent declaration by Australian law experts:Until recently, the enforcement of international humanitarian law largely depended on the willingness of countries to try those responsible for grave breaches of the law. The creation of the International Criminal Court last year has, however, provided a stronger system of scrutiny and adjudication of violations of humanitarian law.The International Criminal Court now has jurisdiction over war crimes and crimes against humanity when national legal systems have not dealt with these crimes adequately. It attributes criminal responsibility to individuals responsible for planning military action that violates international humanitarian law and those who carry it out. It specifically extends criminal liability to heads of state, leaders of governments, parliaments, governments officials, and military personnel. The Nuremberg Precedents, the primary legislation that resulted from the prosecution of German Nazis following World War II, essentially state that, ‘no person, however high in office is exempt from prosecution for these crimes.’ Our analysis reveals a non-negotiable, polar contradiction: Shock and Awe places a very strong emphasis on the destruction of [clearly] civilian infrastructure, (such as “water supplies,” “power,” and “food supplies.”) The strongly-guarded, landmark legislation of the Geneva Convention states that the destruction of civilian infrastructure is a war crime regardless of the motive. If a U.S.-led war against Iraq (based on Shock and Awe) targets Iraq’s civilian infrastructure, those who plan, initiate, and execute it will be liable for prosecution in the International Criminal Court for war crimes. Indeed, foreshadowing such a situation, in ten “Articles of Impeachment” for the current U.S. administration, written by former Attorney General of the U.S., Ramsey Clark, www.votetoimpeach.org , Article 4 recounts: Threatening Iraq with proclaimed “pre-emptive,” or “first strike” attack, a war of aggression by overwhelming force and military superiority including specific threats to use nuclear weapons while engaged in a massive military build-up in nations and waters surrounding Iraq. Article 10 states: Violations and subversions of the Charter of the United Nations and international law in an attempt to commit with impunity crimes against peace and humanity and war crimes in wars and threats of aggression….
6. Can the authors’ stated moral concerns effectively prevent Shock and Awe from employing massacre to achieve its goals? To be fair, the text of “Shock and Awe” does, several times, caution about military operations that “cause ‘innocent civilians’ to suffer.” Indeed one of the stated aims of Shock and Awe itself is to inflict less “civilian or collateral damage” through the use of new targeting technologies, and the authors’ assert that early “conflict resolution” would cause fewer civilian (and military) deaths overall than fighting based on conventional doctrines. The plan’s key contradiction is between: (1) the goal of achieving “maximum Shock and Awe” and much explicit violent language describing nightmare-like scenarios of domination, fear, and intimidation, as well as flip phrases like “…it would be difficult to imagine how his shock could be complete;” and (2) the authors’ stated interest in minimum civilian suffering and death. In attempting to resolve this contradiction, or at least to gain insight into the authors’ realistic level of commitment to these stated moral concerns, it is necessary to consider a fundamental dimension of American military practice, and to look deeper, to the important subtleties of the “Shock and Awe” document’s carefully calculated language. It is a matter of fact that American military operations are, by their very nature, planned with the guarantee, not of victory, but at least the use of more physical force than merely what is necessary to achieve the desired aims. The names alone of conventional military doctrines such as “Decisive Force,” “Overwhelming Force,” and “dominant maneuver” illustrate this point. The implicit attitude behind these doctrines can be described fairly by common American phases such as: do “what is necessary” to “make it happen” or “get the job done.” Many military personnel are familiar with the thinking that “hope is not a plan.” Thus, the primary emphasis on dominance and overwhelming application of force. “Shock and Awe” is a military planning document, not a humanitarian aid planning document – that is understood. As discussed above, it does state concern for the civilian death toll caused by Shock and Awe. However, when this concern is mentioned, it is often incidental or marginal, or considered important in order to avoid “counterproductive public relations backlash,” “public relations disaster,” or “political consequences.” The authors voice their concerns about the moral barriers to “achieving sufficient Shock and Awe.” Such limits, presumably imposed by Congress or the public, are described euphemistically (in the unhumorous, distilled jargon of military strategists) in terms of Shock and Awe’s “political limitations,” “political feasibility,” “political acceptability,” and “political constraints.” Finally, it is revealing and in fact conclusive to see to this contradiction addressed by the authors themselves: …In some of the examples, the objective is to apply brutal levels of power and force to achieve Shock and Awe. In the attempt to keep war “immaculate,” at least in limiting collateral damage, one point should not be forgotten. Above all, war is a nasty business or, as Sherman put it, “war is hell.” While there are surely humanitarian considerations that cannot or should not be ignored, the ability to Shock and Awe ultimately rests in the ability to frighten, scare, intimidate, and disarm. The Clausewitzian dictum [the principle of affecting the adversary’s will to resist as the first order of business, quickly if not nearly instantaneously] concerning the violent nature of war is dismissed only at our peril. (Chapter 2) Based on the contents of “Shock and Awe,” it is possible to form a logical conclusion and a response to our original question. The authors place such a consistently heavy emphasis on achieving domination, control, and “total mastery” over the adversary’s forces, “society,” infrastructure, and environment, that the specific methods of attack are clearly non-compromising as long as a “public relations backlash” does not become “counterproductive” and affect policy goals. By using a level of force with the [essentially] spectacular effect of incomprehensible psychological distress and perceptual “overload,” and overwhelming physical destruction, it is possible to create not just localized, but widespread deterrent “Shock and Awe.” This includes the stated intent to destroy essential “food production, water supply, and other aspects of infrastructure” [electricity, and consequently, all support services requiring electricity such as hospitals, emergency, sanitation, etc.]In the application of such power, military forces will probably seek to operate with as few targeting “constraints” as possible, choosing those types of targets which will contribute in any way to achieving the “maximum Shock and Awe” effect. A careful study of the text of “Shock and Awe” reveals some indication the authors promote a policy using no restraint in obtaining its goals: Massive Bombardment, directed at largely military-strategic targets, is indeed an aspect of applying “Overwhelming Force,” even though political constraints make this example most unlikely to be repeated in the future. There is also the option of applying massive destruction against purely civilian or “counter-value” targets such as the firebombing of Tokyo in World War II when unconditionality marks the terms of surrender. It is the cumulative impact of destruction on the endurance and capacity of the adversary that ultimately affects the will to resist that is the central foundation of this example…(Chapter 2) The shortcoming with this example is clear, and rests in the question of political feasibility and acceptability, and what circumstances would be necessary to dictate and permit use of massive bombardment. Note above the word unconditional (italicized), and also its use in the introduction to “Shock and Awe:” Rapid Dominance [Shock and Awe] must be all-encompassing. It will require means to anticipate and to counter all opposing moves. It will involve the capability to deny an opponent things of value, and to convey the unmistakable message that unconditional compliance is the only available recourse. (Introduction) If the “only available recourse to an opponent under Shock and Awe is unconditional compliance,” and there “is the option of applying massive destruction against purely civilian targets such as the firebombing of Tokyo… when unconditionality marks the terms of surrender,” then there would appear to be no middle ground: Shock and Awe does not “pull punches,” or use any significant level of restraint – as in the all-out firebombing a large city of civilians. Provided there are “reasons justifying using this level of Shock and Awe,” the authors feel it qualifies as “politically feasible and acceptable,” and could be employed. 7. “Shock and Awe” in the media so far The original media leak revealing the Shock and Awe concept’s role in the U.S. war plan for Iraq took place on CBS News on January 24, 2003. Since the leak — now over 6 weeks ago — there has been shockingly little mention of the topic in the mainstream American corporate media. Some American press did report on it within the following few days, as did many foreign and international press. Most of the attention Shock and Awe has gotten has been on the internet. It seems obvious that Americans should be aware, at least in the most general terms, of what the American Administration actually plans to do, and it is difficult to explain the lack of attention the dramatic Shock and Awe information has gotten. Consider what two journalists who did address the issue in the American media said about the nearly non-existent news coverage of Shock and Awe: Michael King, War Drums: “Shock and Awe,” The Austin Chronicle, February 21: In recent weeks, there has been considerable coverage and debate of these war plans in the international press, while the U.S. media has largely been devoted to whether or not the Europeans will submit to the U.S. administration’s plans for war, or whether the “allies” – in substance, the U.S. and Britain – will be “forced” to got it alone. Geov Parrish, “Shock and Yawn: Plan could kill millions in 48 hours. Why don’t Americans care?” on Znet ( www.Zmag.org ), February 24: Now, those plans, and sentiments of horror similar to mine, have been echoing around the internet for a month; they’ve been featured extensively in alternative publications that have come out during that time. Which is exactly the problem. The United States is planning to suck all the oxygen out of the air with a fireball over the heads of the five million residents of Baghdad – so that, as another Pentagon interviewee said, “nobody in Baghdad will be safe,” whether above ground or below. This has been well-documented public knowledge for a month, widely reported in the rest of the world. But in America it has been roundly ignored, confined to the margins of the media landscape and probably, by many Americans, dismissed as a result as conspiracist nonsense. A search of the New York Times website’s archive for the term “shock and awe” turns up only one article written by the Associated Press, and one editorial by Paul Krugman written on February 11: Which brings us back to the war. Mr. Bush apparently regards Saddam Hussein as a pushover; he believes advisers who tell him that an Iraq war will be quick and easy – a couple of days of shock and awe followed by a victory parade. Maybe. But even if it does turn out that way, is this administration ready for the long, difficult, quite possibly bloody task of rebuilding Iraq? It is interesting to note that this columnist is obviously aware of the term, yet he chose neither to capitalize the phrase “Shock and Awe,” nor to place it in quotation marks. Most notable is the complete absence of interest, hence a lack of anything substantive. A major New York Times article called “Damage Control; Battleplan: Spare Iraq’s Civilians” (February 23, 2003), by James Dao, amazingly contains absolutely no mention or discussion of “Shock and Awe.” Perhaps part of the article’s title, “Damage Control,” provides the most satisfactory explanation. At a time when the internet was virtually screaming the phrase “’Shock and Awe’ battle plan,” exactly one month after the original leak, Mr. Dao chose to name his article “Battle Plan: Spare Iraq’s Civilians.” The comparison is notable. The article is impressive managing to eek by without so much as a mention of Shock and Awe, despite its officially-confirmed role in the U.S. war plan for Iraq, as revealed by CBS News, and discussed widely by press around the world. Several weeks ago Ari Fleischer, the White House Press Secretary, evaded a direct question about Shock and Awe posed by Russell Mokhiber of Corporate Crime Reporter. His question appears on the cover of this analysis.www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0219-10.htm
8. Opinion and Recommendations One might even say that Shock and Awe is a clever euphemism for terrorism, based on the writings alone of those who conceived it. It condones indiscriminate bombing and targeting of entire populations and societies in order to “create fear” and the perception that “there are no safe havens from attack.” In its emphasis on achieving overwhelming widespread psychological shock, it lacks authentic concern for making the distinction between military and civilian areas, except as an afterthought. Achieving Shock and Awe rests in the ability to deter and overpower an adversary through the adversary’s perception of fear of his vulnerability and our own invincibility. (Chapter 2) Imposing actual pain and shock are key ingredients. (Chapter 2) …it would be very important to give the appearance that there are no safe havens from attack, and that any target may be attacked at any time with impunity and force. (Chapter 4) There are numerous other examples in this report explaining the breadth and intensity of the Shock and Awe doctrine, and its probable lack of regard for international and humanitarian laws. The author and scholar Michael T. Klare recently wrote in The Nation magazine on February 24, in an article titled “Resist War and Empire:” The next weeks are crucial. As long as there is any chance of averting war, the antiwar movement must do all it can to increase the odds for peace, through mass protest, petitioning, lobbying, media work and other forms of action. This is essential both on moral ground, to stress the illegitimacy of pre-emptive military action as a solution to international problems, and on political grounds, to build a nation-wide constituency that can oppose the subsequent abuse of military power. This means that the American peace movement must assume a historic role of unprecedented scale and character: it must build the foundation for a long-term campaign against a permanent imperial US presence in the Middle East and the permanent militarization of American society.www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030224&s=klare
Mr. Klare is referring to the sense of “permanent emergency” that many officials in the Bush administration frequently contribute to with ominous warnings. In a way, these serve equally as threats.
He recognizes the centrality of mass-opposition to the U.S. “Shock and Awe” war plan’s specific methods of attack: As the battle rages, the peace movement must speak out against the use of tactics and weapons by either side that will result in the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians. In particular, it must condemn air and missile attacks on populated areas such as Baghdad by U.S. forces, and the possible use of chemical and biological weapons by Saddam Hussein in a last-ditch effort to inflict high casualties on invaders. And it should demand that the United States cooperate with the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other relief agencies to address the humanitarian crisis that war would bring. Michael Klare is correct in recognizing the critical strategic importance of condemning the Shock and Awe way of war as intended for Iraq: A recent New York Times/CBS News poll indicated that support for using military action to depose Mr. Hussein would fall by 20 percentage points, to 46 percent, if a substantial number of Iraqis died.”High levels of civilian casualties, or the perception of high levels of casualties, could lead to an international diplomatic outcry to end the war prematurely,” said William Arkin, an adviser to Human Rights Watch who studied civilian casualties in the Persian Gulf war of 1991. “That is the one thing that could stand in the way of the administration’s war plan being fully implemented.”— The New York Times, February 23, 2003 Millions of mostly poor, working, ordinary Iraqi people are living in a prospective “City of the Dead,” at the mercy of reckless Pentagon strategists. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld repeatedly suggests the possible threat of using nuclear weapons against the starving nation of Iraq. This is a clear expression of the willingness to set into motion local societal devastation, which will have an extended global impact. A clearer understanding of the risks and crimes associated with the Shock and Awe war tactics can be a vital part of the overall strategy in exposing the true nature of this war, which could very possibly involve the destruction of not only an entire culture, but also the very structures and norms of international law itself. Actively opposing and condemning the Shock and Awe war tactics are a vital part of the overall strategies for exposing the true nature of this war. However, exposing this true nature does not mean that if a war on Iraqis is “quick and clean,” it is any less wrong than if it is executed, as planned, with the overwhelming brutality of Shock and Awe. This war is wrong regardless. What it does mean is that the true nature of this war lays bare the underlying system of values and the real mission of this aggression. This war plan is not only a criminal act against the Iraqi people. It is not only an abuse of longstanding rules of international law. Shock and Awe is an opening salvo in an extended War on the World. A far-reaching war of aggression, against a shopping list of countries, that the administration says could “last a generation”. Shock and Awe reveals a value system that holds humanity in low esteem and will achieve “dominance” at any cost. Shock and Awe is also a metaphor. It is a metaphor for the battle plan to use power with swift and overwhelming force so as to implement total supremacy in all areas. It is a warning saying “This could happen to you.” Expressions of Shock and Awe have already happened, and will continue if we don’t stop them, both to immigrant communities and to our civil liberties here in the US. The true mission of Shock and Awe is to break the spirit and to crush Resistance both at home and overseas. The author makes the following recommendations to readers:1. Insist that the media report the human consequences of this conflict and does not simply serve as a military mouthpiece representing this as a “videogame war” 2. Find your place of action within the international movement for peace and justice3. Cultivate the practice of reading between the lines of the administration’s spin, and share the truth when you find it
APPENDIX A BAGHDAD STATISTICS
Population: 4.83 million; “the size of Paris”
50% of population is under 15 years (approximately 2.4 million)
A very detailed tourist map (outdated, 1983) is very useful for zooming in and out.
Each mosque and hospital is visible; the map has an unusually high level of detail. While it is not up to date, it is useful for understanding the layout and the level of intricacy.
First 48 hours: some expected offensive weapons use
APPENDIX CExplanatory Notes and quotes about “E-bombs” HPM weapons (High-powered microwave), can be mounted on cruise missiles To be used starting on the first day of “Shock and Awe” 2 billion watt lightning bolts (more than the Hoover Dam generates in 24 hrs) Described as 100 man-made lightning bolts focused into 1 high-velocity electromagnetic pulse Fries all electronics in range: 300-1,000+ foot radius “The top item in our boutique of capabilities.” – The Pentagon “What’s good about it is that it doesn’t hurt people.” – The Pentagon “Regurgitating PR press releases, the American press has hailed the HPM as a humane ‘wonder weapon.’” — John Sutherland, The Guardian, 2/17/03 Media calls it “people friendly” Can cripple hospitals and emergency medical services, fries people’s pacemakers“Can travel deep into deeply buried bunkers through ventilation shafts, plumbing andantennas.”HPM engineers call it “dial-a-hurt” –from official document titled “High PowerMicrowaves: Strategic and Operational Implications for Warfare” by Eileen M.Walling, Colonel, USAFhttp://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/cst/occppr11.htm It has proved tempermental in tests. “Although not primarily an anti-personnel device, those who have been exposed to HPMreport that its effect is agonizing. The radiation penetrates below the skin,boiling nerve cells. It can blind. It induces uncontrollable panic (early researchinto HPM was as a crown-control agent, and it can be used mounted on a humveeto scatter civilians by inflicting intense heat onto their skins.)John Sutherland, The Guardian, 2/17/03, www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,896930,00.html [Harlan Ullman, the key architect and a co-author of the “Shock and Awe” battle plan] “once said it might be a good idea to use electromagnetic waves that attack peoples’ neurological systems, ‘to control the will and perception of adversaries, by applying a regime of Shock and Awe. It is about effecting behavior.’” – Ira Chernus, 1/27/03www.commondreams.org/views03/0127-08.htm “…HPM systems that can be fielded to incapacitate even a relatively primitive society.In using these weapons, the nerve centers of that society would be attacked…” – Shock and Awe (1996) “Will Iraqi civilians serve as guinea pigs? No one knows what the long-term effect of microwave exposure is.” — John Sutherland, The Guardian, 2/17/03Although the Pentagon says it prefers not to use experimental weapons on the battlefield, “the world intervenes from time to time,” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says. “And you reach in there and take something out that is still in a developmental stage, and you might use it.” APPENDIX D
Officials’ and planners’ quotes about “Shock and Awe” battle plan:
A Pentagon official who was briefed on the plan, CBS, 1/24/03“There will not be a safe place in Baghdad.”“The sheer size of this has never been seen before, never been contemplated before.” Harlan Ullman, (chief architect of the “Shock and Awe” Rapid Dominance battle plan), 1/24/03(Ullman is a civilian “defense intellectual” who co-authored “Shock and Awe” (1996); currently is an analyst for Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); was a U.S. Navy pilot in Vietnam, commanded a destroyer during the first Gulf War.) “So that you have this simultaneous effect, rather like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks, but in minutes.” CBS, 1/24/03 “You also take the city down. By that I mean you get rid of their power, water. In 2, 3, 4, 5 days they are physically, emotionally, and psychologically exhausted.” CBS, 1/24/03 “The pressure will continue until we run out of targets.”“You’ll see simultaneous attacks of hundreds of warheads, maybe thousands.” “Don [Rumsfeld] is very familiar with it – it makes a lot of sense.” – Philadelphia Daily News, 2/26/03[Donald Rumsfeld] was “intimately aware of this” thinking when he took over the Pentagon.(Donald Rumsfeld was one of four defense chiefs who signed a letter to President Clinton in 1999 spelling out the strategy.) “The Japanese quit [in World War II] because they couldn’t appreciate that one bomb could do what 500 planes did in a night. That was shock.” “Now, can you take that level of shock and apply it with conventional weapons? We thought that you could.” “Super tools and weapons – information-age equivalents of the atomic bomb – have to be invented.” Ullman said it might be a good idea to use electromagnetic waves that attack peoples’ neurological systems [speaking about the new HPM microwave weapons] “to control the will and perception of adversaries, by applying a regime of shock and awe. It is about effecting behavior.” “…this Shock and Awe may not necessitate imposing the full destruction of either nuclear weapons or advanced conventional technologies, but must be underwritten by the ability to do so.” Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State[Harlan Ullman] “raised my vision several levels.” APPENDIX E Quotations from the text of “Shock and Awe” – referenced by section from the original “Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance”by Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wadewith L.A. “Buddy” Edney, Fred M. Franks, Charles A Horner, Jonathan T. Howe, and Keith BrendleyNDU Press (National Defense University), December 1996www.dodccrp.org/shockIndex.html PROLOGUESince before Sun Tzu and the earliest chroniclers of war recorded their observations, strategists and generals have been tantalized and confounded by the elusive goal of destroying the adversary’s will to resist before, during, and after battle. Today, we believe that an unusual opportunity exists to determine whether or not this long-sought strategic goal of affecting the will, understanding, and perception of an adversary can be brought closer to fruition. (Prolugue) …the goal of affecting and shaping the will of the adversary. The goal of Rapid Dominance will be to destroy or so confound the will to resist that an adversary will have no alternative except to accept our strategic aims and military objectives. To achieve this outcome, Rapid Dominance must control the operational environment and through that dominance, control what the adversary perceives, understands, and knows, as well as control or regulate what is not perceived, understood, or known. (Prologue) …goal of applying our resources to controlling, affecting, and breaking the will of an adversary to resist…(Prologue) To affect the will of the adversary, Rapid Dominance will apply a variety of approaches and techniques to achieve the necessary level of Shock and Awe at the appropriate strategic and military leverage points. This means that psychological and intangible, as well as physical and concrete effects beyond the destruction of enemy forces and supporting military infrastructure, will have to be achieved. It is in this broader and deeper strategic application that Rapid Dominance perhaps most fundamentally differentiates itself from current doctrine. (Prologue) …the primary concentration on affecting the adversary’s will to resist through imposing a regime of Shock and Awe…(Prologue) Whereas decisive force is inherently capabilities driven—that is, it focuses on defeating the military capability of an adversary and therefore tends to be scenario sensitive—Rapid Dominance would seek to be more universal in application through the overriding objective of affecting the adversary’s will beyond the boundaries traditionally defined by military capability alone. In other words, where decisive force is likely to be most relevant is against conventional military capabilities that can be overwhelmed by American (and allied) military superiority. In conflict or crisis conditions that depart from this idealized scenario, the superior nature of our forces is assumed to be sufficiently broad to prevail. Rapid Dominance would not make this distinction in either theory or in practice. (Prologue)
INTRODUCTIONRapid Dominance must be all-encompassing. It will require the means to anticipate and to counter all opposing moves. It will involve the capability to deny an opponent things of critical value, and to convey the unmistakable message that unconditional compliance is the only available recourse. It will imply more than the direct application of force. It will mean the ability to control the environment and to master all levels of an opponent’s activities to affect will, perception, and understanding. This could include means of communication, transportation, food production, water supply, and other aspects of infrastructure as well as the denial of military responses. Deception, misinformation, and disinformation are key components in this assault on the will and understanding of the opponent. (Introduction)The aim of Rapid Dominance is to affect the will, perception, and understanding of the adversary to fit or respond to our strategic policy ends through imposing a regime of Shock and Awe. Clearly, the traditional military aim of destroying, defeating, or neutralizing the adversary’s military capability is a fundamental and necessary component of Rapid Dominance. Our intent, however, is to field a range of capabilities to induce sufficient Shock and Awe to render the adversary impotent. This means that physical and psychological effects must be obtained. (Introduction) “Dominance” means the ability to affect and dominate an adversary’s will both physically and psychologically. Physical dominance includes the ability to destroy, disarm, disrupt, neutralize, and to render impotent. Psychological dominance means the ability to destroy, defeat, and neuter the will of an adversary to resist; or convince the adversary to accept our terms and aims short of using force. The target is the adversary’s will, perception, and understanding. The principal mechanism for achieving this dominance is through imposing sufficient conditions of “Shock and Awe” on the adversary to convince or compel it to accept our strategic aims and military objectives. Clearly, deception, confusion, misinformation, and disinformation, perhaps in massive amounts, must be employed. (Introduction)The key objective of Rapid Dominance is to impose this overwhelming level of Shock and Awe against an adversary on an immediate or sufficiently timely basis to paralyze its will to carry on. In crude terms, Rapid Dominance would seize control of the environment and paralyze or so overload an adversary’s perceptions and understanding of events that the enemy would be incapable of resistance at tactical and strategic levels. An adversary would be rendered totally impotent and vulnerable to our actions. To the degree that non-lethal weaponry is useful, it would be incorporated in the ability to Shock and Awe and achieve Rapid Dominance. (Introduction)Theoretically, the magnitude of Shock and Awe Rapid Dominance seeks to impose (in extreme cases) is the non-nuclear equivalent of the impact that the atomic weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had on the Japanese. The Japanese were prepared for suicidal resistance until both nuclear bombs were used. The impact of those weapons was sufficient to transform both the mindset of the average Japanese citizen and the outlook of the leadership through this condition of Shock and Awe. The Japanese simply could not comprehend the destructive power carried by a single airplane. This incomprehension produced a state of awe. We believe that, in a parallel manner, revolutionary potential in combining new doctrine and existing technology can produce systems capable of yielding this level of Shock and Awe. In most or many cases, this Shock and Awe may not necessitate imposing the full destruction of either nuclear weapons or advanced conventional technologies but must be underwritten by the ability to do so. (Introduction)Rapid Dominance must be all-encompassing. It will require the means to anticipate and to counter all opposing moves. It will involve the capability to deny an opponent things of critical value, and to convey the unmistakable message that unconditional compliance is the only available recourse. It will imply more than the direct application of force. It will mean the ability to control the environment and to master all levels of an opponent’s activities to affect will, perception, and understanding. This could include means of communication, transportation, food production, water supply, and other aspects of infrastructure as well as the denial of military responses. Deception, misinformation, and disinformation are key components in this assault on the will and understanding of the opponent. (Introduction)Total mastery achieved at extraordinary speed and across tactical, strategic, and political levels will destroy the will to resist. With Rapid Dominance, the goal is to use our power with such compellance that even the strongest of wills will be awed. (Introduction)Control the adversary’s will, perceptions, and understanding and literally make an adversary impotent to act or react Paralyze, shock, unnerve, deny, destroy (Introduction) CHAPTER 1Shutting the country down would entail both the physical destruction of appropriate infrastructure and the shutdown and control of the flow of all vital information and associated commerce so rapidly as to achieve a level of national shock akin to the effect that dropping nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had on the Japanese. Simultaneously, Iraq’s armed forces would be paralyzed with the neutralization or destruction of its capabilities. Deception, disinformation, and misinformation would be applied massively. (Chapter 1) CHAPTER 2In some of the examples, the objective is to apply brutal levels of power and force to achieve Shock and Awe. In the attempt to keep war “immaculate,” at least in limiting collateral damage, one point should not be forgotten. Above all, war is a nasty business or, as Sherman put it, “war is hell.” While there are surely humanitarian considerations that cannot or should not be ignored, the ability to Shock and Awe ultimately rests in the ability to frighten, scare, intimidate, and disarm. The Clausewitzian dictum concerning the violent nature of war is dismissed only at our peril. (Chapter 2)Massive Bombardment, directed at largely military-strategic targets, is indeed an aspect of applying “Overwhelming Force,” even though political constraints make this example most unlikely to be repeated in the future. There is also the option of applying massive destruction against purely civilian or “counter-value” targets such as the firebombing of Tokyo in World War II when unconditionality marks the terms of surrender. It is the cumulative impact of destruction on the endurance and capacity of the adversary that ultimately affects the will to resist that is the central foundation of this example…..The shortcoming with this example is clear, and rests in the question of political feasibility and acceptability, and what circumstances would be necessary to dictate and permit use of massive bombardment. Outright invasion and aggression such as Iraq’s attack against Kuwait could clearly qualify as reasons to justify using this level of Shock and Awe. However, as with Overwhelming Force, this response is not time-sensitive and would require massive application of force for some duration as well as political support. (Chapter 2)Achieving Shock and Awe rests in the ability to deter and overpower an adversary through the adversary’s perception and fear of his vulnerability and our own invincibility. (Chapter 2)The second example is “Hiroshima and Nagasaki” noted earlier. The intent here is to impose a regime of Shock and Awe through delivery of instant, nearly incomprehensible levels of massive destruction directed at influencing society writ large, meaning its leadership and public, rather than targeting directly against military or strategic objectives even with relatively few numbers or systems. The employment of this capability against society and its values, called “counter-value” in the nuclear deterrent jargon, is massively destructive strikes directly at the public will of the adversary to resist and, ideally or theoretically, would instantly or quickly incapacitate that will over the space of a few hours or days….. The major flaws and shortcomings are several fold and rest in determining whether this magnitude and speed of destruction can actually be achieved using non-nuclear systems to render an adversary impotent; to destroy quickly the will to resist within acceptable and probably unachievably low levels of societal destruction; and whether a political decision would be taken in any case to use this type of capability given the magnitude of the consequences and the risk of failure. (Chapter 2) Imposing actual pain and shock are essential ingredients (Chapter 2) The objectives of this example are to achieve Shock and Awe and hence compliance or capitulation through very selective, utterly brutal and ruthless, and rapid application of force to intimidate. The fundamental values or lives are the principal targets and the aim is to convince the majority that resistance is futile by targeting and harming the few. Both society and the military are the targets. In a sense, Sun Tzu attempts to achieve Hiroshima levels of Shock and Awe but through far more selective and informed targeting. Decapitation is merely one instrument. This model can easily fall outside the cultural heritage and values of the U.S. for it to be useful without major refinement. Shutting down an adversary’s ability to “see” or to communicate is another variant but without many historical examples to show useful wartime applications (Chapter 2) CHAPTER 3 Future actions and measures may likely reflect “politically correct” alternatives. In 1991, the Gulf War came close to presenting the nearly optimal situation for prosecution to a decisive and irreversible conclusion. Such a course, however, was not politically feasible because it would have shattered the allied coalition while exceeding the authority of the UN mandate. Military operations that impact across a whole population or cause “innocent civilians” to suffer (e.g., some economic sanctions, collateral damage from raids) also are likely to be only politically acceptable in aggravated situations. For example, if economic sanctions cause malnutrition or other health problems or collateral damage from bombing or shelling impacts hospitals, schools, orphanages, or refugee camps, the policy may be the ultimate victim. (Chapter 3)Would the concept of Rapid Dominance with a degree of Shock and Awe offend and generate counterproductive public relations backlash from those who believe force should only be used as a last resort and then with a measurable degree of proportionality? (Chapter 3) CHAPTER 4…it would be vitally important to give the appearance that there are no safe havens from attack, and that any target may be attacked at any time with impunity and force. (Chapter 4)Robotic systems are an important area of consideration within Rapid Dominance. First, selected robotic systems will enable the force by making it more responsive in concentrating sensors and weapons. Second, they will make fighting a 24-hour battle feasible even with reduced manpower within the force structure. Third, robotic systems can provide force presence even in areas considered too dangerous for a large manned element. Finally, since the ultimate operational goal of Rapid Dominance is to create shock, one may consider the effect that fighting robotic systems may have on the enemy. (Chapter 4) CHAPTER 5But, in Rapid Dominance, the principal mechanism for affecting the adversary’s will is through the imposition of a regime of Shock and Awe sufficient to achieve the aims of policy.(Chapter 5) Shock and Awe impact on psychological, perceptual, and physical levels. (Chapter 5)…the appropriate balance of Shock and Awe must cause the perception and anticipation of certain defeat and the threat and fear of action that may shut down all or part of the adversary’s society or render his ability to fight useless short of complete physical destruction. (Chapter 5)Finally, in order to impose enough Shock and Awe to affect an adversary’s will… (Chapter 5)On the other hand, this capacity may be seen as politically unusable and allies and others within the United States may not be fully trusting of the possessor always to employ this force responsibly. (Chapter 5) APPENDIX AShock and awe are actions that create fears, dangers, and destruction that are incomprehensible to the people at large, specific elements/sectors of the threat society, or the leadership. Nature in the form of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, uncontrolled fires, famine, and disease can engender Shock and Awe. The ultimate military application of Shock and Awe was the use of two atomic weapons against Japan in WWII. The Shock and Awe that resulted from the use of these weapons not only brought an abrupt end to the war with Japan (through unconditional surrender), but have deterred the further use of these weapons for over 50 years. Not unexpectedly, these events did not stop the proliferation or increase in the destructive power of these weapons by a factor of ten. . The holocaust was a state policy of Shock and Awe that stunned the world in its brutality and inhumanity. Yet it has not deterred the world from executing or tolerating atrocities of equal brutality and inhumanity (Cambodia, Syria, Rwanda, etc.). (Appendix A) The fear of the unknown created by the atomic attacks rather than their actual destruction was the deciding factor in that theater. The B-52 raids in Vietnam provided localized elements of Shock and Awe, but until applied to the capital city of Hanoi, had no impact toward war termination. (Appendix A) In fact, throughout history there have been weapons and tactics designed to create varying degrees of Shock and Awe. While there has always been shock, awe, and fear associated with warfare, unless the fear or losses are focused and great enough, a quick cessation of hostilities under favorable terms is not certain. (Appendix A) Shock and awe, to reach the level required to achieve Rapid Dominance, must also bring fear to those who are in charge. (Appendix A) Would the concept of Rapid Dominance offend and generate a counterproductive public relations backlash from those who believe force should only be used as a last resort and then with a measurable degree of proportionality? (Appendix A)…create strategic Shock and Awe on the opposing forces, their leadership, and society. When the video results of these attacks are broadcast real time worldwide on CNN, the positive impact on coalition support and negative impact on potential threat support can be decisive. (Appendix A)While there has always been shock, awe, and fear associated with warfare, unless the fear or losses are focused and great enough, a quick cessation of hostilities under favorable terms is not certain. How to apply elements of Shock and Awe against rogue states, terrorist elements, international drug and crime cartels, as well as in the more traditional MRCs and LRCs needs much further study and analysis. Shock and awe, to reach the level required to achieve Rapid Dominance, must also bring fear to those who are in charge. It must be applied quickly, decisively, and preferably with impunity (such as stealth bombing with air superiority). The element of impunity, that is the other side is powerless to stop the damage, is a key element of this strategy. If on the other hand attacks are directed at the general public a backlash could be unleashed because of the excessive and brutal losses of innocent civilians. (Appendix A)APPENDIX C…maximizing Shock and Awe… (Appendix C)
APPENDIX F Editorial quotes about “Shock and Awe” battle plan: John Powers, LA Weekly, 2/27-3/6/03:“…it’s about inspiring mass terror.” John Sutherland, The Guardian, 2/17/03:“…terrify the general population.” William Bunch, Globalissues.com, 2/26/03:“It could take years to undo 48 hours of “Shock and Awe.”“It would be the most intense non-nuclear bombing campaign ever – potentially making the aerial assault depicted in Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ look like a Monet watercolor.” Ira Chernus, Commondreams.org, 1/27/03:“To win, you don’t have to inflict physical pain and destruction. Just the fear of pain and the massive confusion that it creates is enough.” “They will destroy everything that makes life in Baghdad livable.”[Harlan Ullman] “wants to do to Baghdad what we did to Hiroshima.” “So here we are, preparing to destroy a huge modern city, kill tens of thousands, and threaten nuclear attack – all against people who have not fired a single shot at us.” Anthony Dworkin, The Guardian, 2/18/03:“Will this extend to Saddam’s clique of friends and supporters, or indeed to Baghdad as a whole?” Denis Halliday, 1/27/03 (former UN Assistant Secretary General; head of UN food-for-oil sanctions program in Iraq 1997-98):“The United States and Britain are proceeding with plans to annihilate Iraqi society, a catastrophe that would be heightened by the threatened use of tactical nuclear weaponry. Henry Michaels, World Socialist Web Site, 1/30/03:“…barbarism on a scale not seen since the horrors of the 1930s and 1940s. The level of brutality will recall scenes seared into the collective consciousness of previous generations, such as the bombing of Guernica and the Nazi blitzkrieg against Poland.” “The U.S. onslaught will horrify millions of people around the world. They will rightly condemn the U.S. government of unspeakable savagery and seek political answers.” “The U.S. war plan calls for saturation bombing of Iraq.” Henry Michaels, World Socialist Web Site, 2/17/03:“Purely military considerations can not explain such savagery. Bush war plans are driven by political aims – to terrorize and demoralize the Iraqi people and the Arab masses and send a message of violence and intimidate the entire world.” “…preparing to commit war crimes of immense proportions.”“…the saturation bombing will exceed anything seen in history.” Henry Michaels, World Socialist Web Site, 2/20/03:“The stated aim of this “Shock and Awe” strategy is to terrorize the Iraqi people with the same horror as the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 1945.” Geov Parrish, Working for Change / on ZNet, 2/24/03:“… it’s for real.”“… long after Bush either backs down or incinerates the cradle of civilization.” “Now, those plans, and sentiments similar to mine, have been echoing around the internet for a month; they’ve been featured extensively in alternative publications that have come out during that time. Which is precisely the problem.” “This has been well-documented public knowledge for a month, widely reported in the rest of the world. But in America it has been roundly ignored, confined to the fringes of the media landscape and probably, by many Americans, dismissed as a result as conspiracist nonsense.” “Such a plan, of course, makes a mockery of Donald Rumsfeld’s ritual insistence that the Pentagon takes enormous care to avoid civilian casualties.” Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, IV, on Hardball (MSNBC), 2/25/03:(was the Political Advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of United States Armed Forces, Europe, 1995-1997. From 1988 to 1991, he was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. During “Desert Shield” he was the acting Ambassador and was responsible for the freeing of several hundred American hostages. He was the last official American to meet with Saddam Hussein before “Desert Storm.”)TRANSCRIPTWILSON: Well, remember that before our ground forces get there, there will be the so-called shock and awe air attack, and there have been some military officials who have said that it will be dangerous to be in Baghdad during that time, so we should anticipate…
Chris MATTHEWS: Lots of casualties.
WILSON: Lots of Iraqi civilian casualties.
MATTHEWS: You don’t believe the argument that Richard Perle made, the former secretary of defense, that we can win surgically and only take out people, kill people who are actually on duty?
WILSON: I think this war, this air attack will be better than the last air attack because we’ll have more precision bombs, but you can’t drop that much ordinance on a city of four million people without having a lot of civilian casualties. It just can’t be done. Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, IV, on NOW with Bill Moyers (PBS), 2/25/03:TRANSCRIPTMOYERS: …the United States is considering using something called “Shock and Awe.” Have you heard of that?WILSON: I have. Yeah. And I’ve heard American military officials talk about how Baghdad would not be a safe place to be during the first several days of the air campaign. From what I understand about Shock and Awe it will be a several day air assault in which they will drop as much ordinance in four or five days as they did during the 39-day bombing campaign of the Gulf War.MOYERS: Missiles, bombs…WILSON: Missiles, bombs, precision bombs. I believe the president when he says and our military officials when they say they will do everything to minimize casualties to the civilian population. But it was difficult to imagine dropping that much ordinance on a population of four million people without having a lot of casualties that are unanticipated. A lot of civilian casualties. Michael King, The Austin Chronicle, 2/21/03:“…an attack on Baghdad as immediately devastating as the 1945 nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those analogies are presented not by wild-eyed anti-war activists, but by the supporters and developers of U.S. military strategy. “The Pentagon says the primary Baghdad targets would be “military and political” – but would include the water and power utilities of a city of a city of 5 million people, more than half of them children 15 or younger.” “In recent weeks, there has been considerable coverage and debate of these war plans in the international press, while the U.S. media coverage has largely been devoted to whether or not the Europeans will submit to the U.S. administration’s plans for war, or whether the “allies” –in substance, the U.S. and Britain – will be “forced” to go it alone.” APPENDIX G Targets of the bombingGeneralIn general, the stated targets will include a wide variety of military / security units, facilities, “command and control centers,” and equipment; also, government buildings and other political sites, communications facilities, computers, industrial areas, oil refineries, transportation networks, and other “essential infrastructure” such as electricity grids and water supply systems (“power and water”). “Essential infrastructure”The targeting Baghdad’s infrastructure will concentrate on “water and electricity” and transportation systems, which include the following facilities: public water supplywater treatment plantswater distribution network – pumping stations and pipelinespublic drinking water installations and supplieswater tankers, water tanksdrainage electricity power gridspower generating plantstransmission and distribution networks sanitation systemssewerage systempumping stationstreatment plants transportation systemrailway system: tracks, bridgesroads, bridges, depots, bridgesmain port the following were specifically stated to be “exposed to danger” because they can be“near military facilities” or “military forces:”(from a statement by Donald Rumsfeld, 2/19/03, BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/middle_east/2782955.stmIndymedia.org: http://victoria.indymedia.org/news/2003/03/12078.php Mosques, schools, hospitals, orphanages, cultural treasures
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