• "God invented war so Americans could learn geography" -- Mark Twain.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

NIPP & CIKR - Whom the Gods Would Destroy

BBC reports that "A long list of key facilities around the world that the US describes as vital to its national security has been released by Wikileaks."

The State Department document, published by BBC on line with embedded links, is dated 18 February 2009 and was compiled by diplomatic posts around the world at the behest of the Secretary of State.

The aim of the document was to compile a list of "critical infrastructure and key resources" outside the United States deemed essential to U.S. national security.

The compilation was initiated in order to provide "unifying structure" for the Department of Homeland Security's "National Infrastructure Protection Plan" (NIPP) authorised by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7, (HSPD 7).

Under 42 U.S.C. 5915 (d), (Patriot Act of 2001), "critical infrastructure" is defined as "systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States [that] the incapacitation or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety or any combination [thereof]."

According to the BBC, the list includes communication hubs, gas pipelines, mines, pharmaceutical plants, and even an anti-snake venom factory in Australia.

After reporting on the above, the BBC article concludes by stating that the wikileak "inevitably prompts the question as to exactly what positive benefit Wikileaks was intending in releasing this document."

Woodchip Gazette will proffer an answer.

The benefit of the leak is that it shows that the United States Government is clinically insane. It has simply laid claim to whatever it wants in the world, anywhere.

Let it be clear. The NIPP explicitly calls for the "protection of the nation's CI/KR" -- that is, the infrastructure and resoures of the United States. But Siberia, Denmark and Australia are not in the United States. They are foreign and sovereign countries responsible for their own security and welfare.

Nevertheless, in the eyes of the United States Government this minor detail is irrelevant. Anything we need is deemed essentially ours. This is not a slip of the tongue or a mere casual way of speaking. It is the necessary and inevitable result of neocon strategic policies which this Gazette has warned against many times.

The essential premise of neocon strategy, as initially drafted in 1992 by Dick Cheney's Defense Planning Guide (DPG) was that the military preeminence of the United States following the collapse of the Soviet Union required a strategic "refocus on precluding the emergence of any potential global competitor." The DPG noted that potential threats could arise in any area of the globe ("including Europe, East Asia, the Middle East, Southwest Asia...the terriotry of the former Soviet Union...Latin America, Oceania and Sub Saharan Africa") and thus "the U.S. will be concerned with preventing the domination of key regions by a hotile power."

Eight years later, the neocon Project for a New America Century, incorporated Cheney's DPG draft into a defense policy paper entitled "Rebuiling America's Defenses." The paper called for the promotion of "America's principles" abroad by a "grand strategy" which would seize the opportunity of the USSR's demise and "preseve American preeminence" by a strategy of full spectrum power projection.

Fundamental was the maintenance and enhancement of nuclear and missile systems "to defend the American homeland ... and to provide a secure basis for U.S. power projection around the world. (Op. Cit. p. v.)

Power projection itself would take place by "securing and expanding" so-called "zones of democratic peace". These zones (e.g. Kosovo or Iraq) would comprise "forward operating bases" which would serve as a "force multiplier in power projection operations as well as help solidify political and security ties with host nations. (Op. Cit. pg. 20.)

The Report explicitly discounted the existence of any serious or actual threat to American national security. Instead, it argued that American military strategy should aim to preclude any potential threat from arising.

"Even if such enemies [we]re merely able to threaten American allies... America's ability to project power will be deeply compromised."
In other words, power projection had become an end itself. The policy did not simply argue for the projection of power to prevent an actual or imminent harm but to preclude any potential compromise to power projection itself.

This bully policy was made official in Bush's “National Security Strategy” of 2003. Most recently, this past month, NATO's mission has been redefined so as to subsume that organization to the U.S strategy of ongoing power projection around the world.

The thesis has to be properly understood. It's premise is that the United States is "safe" only when it acts to prevent "potential" threats from arising. Since a "potential" threat can arise anywhere, the United States must project power everywhere in some form or another. The PNAC paper makes clear that there is no question of regional trade offs or triage and that the new strategy requires a full spectrum build up of all defense systems and all types of forces.

By and large, both the DPG and the PNAC paper conceived this strategy in gross geo-political terms. Although both documents recognized the existence and potential of true terrorist actions, the primary "potential" enemies and threats were seen to be other nation states.

However, immediately upon 9/11, the full spectrum paradigm became extended so as to encompass actions and threats by individual terrorists or ad hoc terrorists networks. National security now included detecting and combatting potential terrorists.

As we pointed out the day following the Trade Center attacks,

And who is the enemy? All Arabs? No.... not all.... The American militias? Perhaps, but not always. The Irish? At times. The Basque? Could be. What the Government will have to presume is that everyone is at least a potential terrorist. In the most fundamental sense that is a presumption which is entirely antithetical to the concept of civil friendship, i.e., societas."

It was therefore of no possible surprise that just the past holiday week, Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano stated that the Department was considering installing full spectrum scanners on trains and bus stations. Defending against an initiated attack is a limited undertaking. Once one undertakes to fight a potential then any potential becomes the enemy and that includes "blendables" like any of us...or them...

But neither actual nor potential terrorists exist in a vaccum. They operate against targets of one sort or another. Thus, the correlative to fighting "potential" terrorists is the need to protect "potential terrorist targets" and since any potential terrorist can hit a potential target which could potentially have an effect on the perfectly safe and unimpeded military, economic or social security of the United States, it follows that protection of "the Homeland" requires protection of any and all assets anywhere that are of use or necessity to the homeland.

This is the thought process of a criminally insane paranoiac and it is the declared policy of the United States Government.

It is certainly the case that industrial processes are highly interconnected and that, even more so, in a globalized economy, there is no real national autonomy or autarchy. But what this means is that nation states no longer exist as independent universes but , on the face of the earth together, are more nearly analogous to individuals in society.

What we learn as individuals is that all life under the sun suffers conflict and must abide risks. It is a fact we learn to live with by exercising our courage and taking reasonable precautions to avoid (but not to prevent) harm while respecting the autonomy and interests of others. We do not assert a claim or seek to control or plan to "protectively" seize the property of others simply because it might be of use to us. We refrain from such conduct because the spontaneity of life is a varied and complex reality and this is more valuable to us than the deadliness of total security. We may be led to songs of sorrow or shouts of joy, but we resolve to accept the viscitudes of our existence with courage.

But the coward cowers under his blanket quivorously conjuring up all possible horrible things that could go wrong. Given power, the coward's inflamed imagination turns him into a tyrant who sees potential threats everywhere and seeks to pre-emptively, pre-vent and pro-tect against all harm to the repression and misery of all else and, ultimately, to the extinguishment of life itself because, as we have said, life itself is full of conflict and risk.

It is thus that the coward becomes a tyrant and the tyrant an agent of death.

Perhaps that answers BBC's question.

deposuit potentes de sede et dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.

©WCG, 2010