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Before 9/11

Warning Signs (228)
Foreign Intelligence Warnings (27)
Insider Trading (36)
Counterterrorism Before 9/11 (181)
Able Danger (39)
Military Exercises (38)
Hunt for bin Laden (73)
Pipeline Politics (54)

Al-Qaeda Members

Al-Qaeda in Germany (42)
Alhazmi and Almihdhar (74)
Other 9/11 Hijackers (48)
Marwan Alshehhi (21)
Mohamed Atta (37)
Ziad Jarrah (9)
Hani Hanjour (15)
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (33)
Zacarias Moussaoui (40)
Nabil al-Marabh (10)

Geopolitics and 9/11

Pakistani ISI (126)
Randy Glass (7)
Sibel Edmonds (6)
Saeed Sheikh (3)
Mahmood Ahmed (3)
Drugs (21)
Saudi Arabia and the bin Laden Family (110)
Bin Laden Family (33)
Israel (33)
Iraq (49)
US Dominance

Day of 9/11

All day of 9/11 events (401)
Flight AA 11 (62)
Flight UA 175 (49)
Flight AA 77 (70)
Flight UA 93 (105)
George Bush (66)
Dick Cheney (24)
Donald Rumsfeld (24)
Richard Clarke (22)

The Post-9/11 World

Afghanistan (49)
Investigations (166)
9/11 Congressional Inquiry (0)
9/11 Commission (0)
Other 9/11 Investigations (0)
Other events (79)
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Complete 911 Timeline: US Dominance in Central Asia and the World

 
  

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January 20, 1989: George H. W. Bush Is Inaugurated US President

      
President George Herbert Walker Bush.
George H. W. Bush replaces Ronald Reagan and remains president until January 1993. Many of the key members in his government will have important positions again when his son George W. Bush becomes president in 2001. For instance, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell later becomes Secretary of State, and Defense Secretary Dick Cheney later becomes vice president.
People and organizations involved: George Herbert Walker Bush, Ronald Reagan
          

November 9, 1989: Cold War Ends; US Asserts World Dominance

      
Secretary of State Colin Powell.
The Berlin Wall begins to fall in East Germany, signifying the end of the Soviet Union as a superpower. Just six days later, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell presents a new strategy document to President George H. W. Bush, proposing that the US shift its strategic focus from countering Soviet attempts at world dominance to ensuring US world dominance. George H. W. Bush accepts this plan in a public speech, with slight modifications, on August 2, 1990, the same day Iraq invades Kuwait. In early 1992 (see March 8, 1992), Powell, counter to his usual public dove persona, tells congresspersons that the US requires “sufficient power” to “deter any challenger from ever dreaming of challenging us on the world stage.” He says, “I want to be the bully on the block.” Powell's early ideas of global hegemony will be formalized by others in a 1992 policy document and finally realized as policy when George W. Bush becomes president in 2001. [Harper's, 10/02]
People and organizations involved: Colin Powell, George Herbert Walker Bush, Soviet Union
          

March 8, 1992: Raw US World Dominance Plan Is Leaked to the Media

       The Defense Planning Guidance, “a blueprint for the department's spending priorities in the aftermath of the first Gulf War and the collapse of the Soviet Union,” is leaked to the New York Times. [New York Times, 3/8/92; Newsday, 3/16/03] The document causes controversy, because it hadn't yet been “scrubbed” to replace candid language with euphemisms. [New York Times, 3/11/92; Observer, 4/7/02; New York Times, 3/10/92] The document argues that the US dominates the world as sole superpower, and to maintain that role, it “must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.” [New York Times, 3/8/92 (B); New York Times, 3/8/92] As the Observer summarizes it, “America's friends are potential enemies. They must be in a state of dependence and seek solutions to their problems in Washington.” [Observer, 4/7/02] The document is mainly written by Paul Wolfowitz and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who hold relatively low posts at the time, but become deputy defense secretary and Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, respectively, under George W. Bush. [Newsday, 3/16/03] The authors conspicuously avoid mention of collective security arrangements through the United Nations, instead suggesting the US “should expect future coalitions to be ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted.” [New York Times, 3/8/92] They call for “punishing” or “threatening punishment” against regional aggressors before they act. Interests to be defended preemptively include “access to vital raw materials, primarily Persian Gulf oil, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, [and] threats to US citizens from terrorism.” [Harper's, 10/02] Senator Lincoln Chafee (R) later says, “It is my opinion that [George W. Bush's] plan for preemptive strikes was formed back at the end of the first Bush administration with that 1992 report.” [Newsday, 3/16/03] In response to the controversy, US releases an updated version of the document in May 1992, which stresses that the US will work with the United Nations and its allies. [Washington Post, 5/24/92; Harper's, 10/02]
People and organizations involved: Lincoln Chafee, United States, Soviet Union, Lewis ("Scooter") Libby, Paul Wolfowitz
          

January 1993: Cheney Releases New Global Domination Strategy

       While still serving as Defense Secretary, Dick Cheney releases a documented titled “Defense Strategy for the 1990s,” in which he reasserts the plans for US global domination outlined in the Defense Policy Guide leaked to the press in March 1992 (see March 8, 1992). [Harper's, 10/02] Clinton's inauguration as president later in the month precludes Cheney from actually implementing his plans.
People and organizations involved: Richard ("Dick") Cheney
          

January 20, 1993: Bill Clinton Inaugurated

      
President Bill Clinton.
Bill Clinton replaces George H. W. Bush as US president. He remains president until January 2001.
People and organizations involved: George Herbert Walker Bush, William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton
          

July 7, 1996: A Clean Break Outlines New Middle East Strategy for Israel

      
Richard Perle.
The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, an Israeli think tank, publishes a paper entitled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.” [Chicago Sun-Times, 3/6/03] Lead author Richard Perle will later become chairman of President Bush's influential Defense Policy Board. Several other co-authors will hold key positions in Washington after Bush's election. In the paper, Perle and his co-authors advise the new, right wing Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu to make a complete break with the past by adopting a strategy “based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism. ...” The first step is to be the removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. A war with Iraq will destabilize the entire Middle East, allowing governments in Syria, Iran, Lebanon, and other countries to be replaced. “Israel will not only contain its foes; it will transcend them,” the paper concludes [Guardian, 9/3/02] , citing the original paper at [The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, 7/8/96] . Perle will be instrumental is moving Bush's US policy toward war with Iraq after the 9/11 attacks.
People and organizations involved: Syria, Saddam Hussein, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel, Iran, Lebanon, Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, Richard Perle
          

June 3, 1997: PNAC Think Tank Issues Statement of Principles

      
William Kristol, one of the founders and leaders of PNAC.
The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neoconservative think tank formed in the spring of 1997, issues its statement of principles. PNAC's stated aims are:
to “shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests”

to achieve “a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad”

to “increase defense spending significantly”

to challenge “regimes hostile to US interests and values”

to “accept America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.” [Project For A New American Century, 6/3/97]
The Statement of Principles is significant, because it is signed by a group who will become “a roll call of today's Bush inner circle.” [Guardian, 2/26/03] ABC's Ted Koppel will later say PNAC's ideas have “been called a secret blueprint for US global domination.” [ABC News, 3/5/03 (B)]
People and organizations involved: Project for the New American Century, Ted Koppel
          

October 1997: Brzezinski Highlights the Importance of Central Asia to Achieving World Domination

      
Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski publishes a book in which he portrays the Eurasian landmass as the key to world power, and Central Asia with its vast oil reserves as the key to domination of Eurasia. He states that for the US to maintain its global primacy, it must prevent any possible adversary from controlling that region. He notes, “The attitude of the American public toward the external projection of American power has been much more ambivalent. The public supported America's engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.” He predicts that because of popular resistance to US military expansionism, his ambitious Central Asian strategy can not be implemented “except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.” [Brzezinski, 1997, pp 24-25, 210-11]
People and organizations involved: Zbigniew Brzezinski
          

1998: US and Uzbekistan Conduct Joint Operations Against Taliban

       Beginning in 1998, if not before, Uzbekistan and the US conduct joint covert operations against Afghanistan's Taliban regime and bin Laden. [Times of India, 10/14/01; Washington Post, 10/14/01]
People and organizations involved: Taliban, Osama bin Laden, Uzbekistan, United States
          

March 3, 1999: New Pearl Harbor Needed to Change US Military Policies, Says Expert

       Andrew Krepinevich, Executive Director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities: “There appears to be general agreement concerning the need to transform the US military into a significantly different kind of force from that which emerged victorious from the Cold and Gulf Wars. Yet this verbal support has not been translated into a defense program supporting transformation ... the ‘critical mass’ needed to effect it has not yet been achieved. One may conclude that, in the absence of a strong external shock to the United States—a latter-day ‘Pearl Harbor’ of sorts—surmounting the barriers to transformation will likely prove a long, arduous process.” [CSBA, 3/5/99] This is very similar to what strategists at PNAC have said (see June 3, 1997).
People and organizations involved: Andrew Krepinevich, Senate Armed Services Committee
          

Early 2000: US Builds Up Influence in Central Asia

       By the start of this year, the US has already begun “to quietly build influence” in Central Asia. The US has established significant military-to-military relationships with Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. Americans have trained soldiers from those countries. The militaries of all three have an ongoing relationship with the National Guard of a US state—Kazakhstan with Arizona, Kyrgyzstan with Montana, and Uzbekistan with Louisiana. The countries also participate in NATO's Partnership for Peace program. [Washington Post, 8/27/02]
People and organizations involved: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, United States, Kyrgyzstan
          

April 2000: US Granted Permission to Expand Qatar Military Base

       The US obtains permission to expand greatly a military base in the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar, and construction begins shortly thereafter. The justification for expanding Al Adid, a billion-dollar base, is presumably preparedness for renewed action against Iraq. [Los Angeles Times, 1/6/02] Dozens of other US military bases sprang up in the region during the 1990s. [Village Voice, 11/13/02]
People and organizations involved: United States
          

September 2000: PNAC Report Recommends Policies That Need New Pearl Harbor for Quick Implementation

      
People involved in the 2000 PNAC report (from top left): Vice President Cheney, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Cheney Chief of Staff I. Lewis Libby, Undersecretary of State John Bolton, Undersecretary of Defense Dov Zakheim, and author Eliot Cohen.
PNAC drafts a strategy document, “Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century,” for George W. Bush's team before the 2000 Presidential election. The document was commissioned by future Vice President Cheney, future Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, future Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Florida Governor Jeb Bush (Bush's brother), and future Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis Libby. [Sources: Rebuilding America's Defenses]
The document outlines a “blueprint for maintaining global US preeminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests.”

PNAC states further: “The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”

PNAC calls for the control of space through a new “US Space Forces,” the political control of the Internet, and the subversion of any growth in political power of even close allies, and advocates “regime change” in China, North Korea, Libya, Syria, Iran, and other countries.

It also mentions that “advanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.”

However, PNAC complains that thes changes are likely to take a long time, “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.” [Los Angeles Times, 1/12/03]
Notably, while Cheney commissioned this plan (along with other future key leaders of the Bush administration), he defends Bush's position of maintaining Clinton's policy not to attack Iraq during an NBC interview in the midst of the 2000 presidential campaign, asserting that the US should not act as though “we were an imperialist power, willy-nilly moving into capitals in that part of the world, taking down governments.” [Washington Post, 1/12/02] A British member of Parliament will later say of the report: “This is a blueprint for US world domination—a new world order of their making. These are the thought processes of fantasist Americans who want to control the world.” [Sunday Herald, 9/7/02] Both PNAC and its strategy plan for Bush are almost virtually ignored by the media until a few weeks before the start of the Iraq war (see February-March 20, 2003).
People and organizations involved: Aaron Friedberg, Steve Forbes, Elliott Abrams, Francis Fukuyama, Norman Podhoretz, Henry S. Rowen, Vin Weber, Eliot A. Cohen, Hasam Amin, William J. Bennett, Midge Decter, George Weigel, John Ellis ("Jeb") Bush, Lewis ("Scooter") Libby, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Project for the New American Century, Paula J. Dobriansky, Frank Gaffney, Donald Kagan, Steve Rosen, Saddam Hussein, Peter Rodman, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, Dan Quayle, Syria, China, United States, Lybia, North Korea, Iraq, Fred C. Ikle
          

September 2000: General Tommy Franks Tours Central Asia to Build Military Aid Relationships

      
General Tommy Franks.
US General Tommy Franks tours Central Asia in an attempt to build military aid relationships with nations there, but finds no takers. Russia's power in the region appears to be on the upswing instead. Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev writes, “The actions of Islamic extremists in Central Asia give Russia the chance to strengthen its position in the region.” However, shortly after 9/11, Russia and China agree to allow the US to establish temporary US military bases in Central Asia to prosecute the Afghanistan war. The bases become permanent, and the Guardian will write in early 2002, “Both countries increasingly have good reasons to regret their accommodating stand. Having pushed, cajoled, and bribed its way into their Central Asian backyard, the US clearly has no intention of leaving any time soon.” [Guardian, 1/10/02]
People and organizations involved: Russia, China, Igor Sergeyev, Thomas Franks
          

January 21, 2001: George W. Bush Inaugurated

       George W. Bush is inaugurated as president, replacing President Bill Clinton.
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

May 16, 2001: US Strengthens Military Relations with Central Asian Republics

       US General Tommy Franks, later to head the US occupation of Afghanistan, visits the capital of Tajikistan. He says the Bush administration considers Tajikistan “a strategically significant country” and offers military aid. This follows a visit by a Department of Defense official earlier in the year. The Guardian later asserts that by this time, “US Rangers were also training special troops in Kyrgyzstan. There were unconfirmed reports that Tajik and Uzbek special troops were training in Alaska and Montana.” [Guardian, 9/26/01]
People and organizations involved: Bush administration, Thomas Franks
          

August 21, 2001: PNAC Think Tank Leader States US Should Embrace Imperialist Hegemon Role

       Thomas Donnelly, deputy executive director of the PNAC, explains to the Washington Post that the US should embrace its role as imperialist hegemon over the world. He says many important politicians privately agree with him. “There's not all that many people who will talk about it openly,” he says. “It's discomforting to a lot of Americans. So they use code phrases like ‘America is the sole superpower.’ ” He also says, “I think Americans have become used to running the world and would be very reluctant to give it up, if they realized there were a serious challenge to it.” [Washington Post, 8/21/01] Such statements of policy had been publicly denounced by Bush prior to his election, and some claim that the Bush administration only changes its mind toward a more aggressive policy after 9/11. However, this claim is inconsistent with the roles of senior Bush officials such as Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, and Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz in formulating the preemptive doctrine in 1992 then pushing for it in PNAC during the Clinton administration. In the summer of 2001, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's office “sponsored a study of ancient empires—Macedonia, Rome, the Mongols—to figure out how they maintained dominance.” [New York Times, 3/5/03]
People and organizations involved: Thomas Donnelly
          

September 11, 2001: The 9/11 Attack: 3,000 Die in New York City and Washington, D.C.

      
The September 11, 2001 attacks. From left to right: The World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Flight 93 crash.
The 9/11 attack: Four planes are hijacked, two crash into the WTC, one into the Pentagon, and one crashes into the Pennsylvania countryside. Nearly 3,000 people are killed.
People and organizations involved: United Airlines, al-Qaeda, American Airlines, Pentagon, World Trade Center
          

September 15, 2001: Bush Approves the CIA's Worldwide Attack Matrix Action Plan

       CIA Director Tenet briefs President Bush “with a briefcase stuffed with top-secret documents and plans, in many respects the culmination of more than four years of work on bin Laden, the al-Qaeda network and worldwide terrorism.” In his briefing, Tenet advocates “a strategy to create ‘a northern front, closing the safe haven [of Afghanistan].’ His idea [is] that Afghan opposition forces, aided by the United States, would move first against the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, try to break the Taliban's grip on that city and open up the border with Uzbekistan. From there the campaign could move to other cities in the north...” Tenet also explains that the CIA had begun working with a number of tribal leaders to stir up resistance in the south the previous year. Tenet then turns to a top secret document called the “Worldwide Attack Matrix,” which describes covert operations in 80 countries that are either underway or now recommended. The actions range from routine propaganda to lethal covert action in preparation for military attacks. The military, which typically plans such military campaigns, is caught relatively unprepared and so it defers to the CIA plans. [Washington Post, 1/31/02]
People and organizations involved: George Tenet, George W. Bush, al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, Central Intelligence Agency
          

September 22, 2001-December 2001: US Secretly Increases Military Presence in Central Asia

      
A Mirage 2000-D fighter in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in February 2002.
Witnesses begin to report US military planes secretly landing at night in the Central Asian nations of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The US, Tajik, and Uzbek governments initially deny that any US troops have been sent there. [Associated Press, 9/25/01 (D); Daily Telegraph, 9/23/01 (D)] By October 5, witnesses say a “huge military buildup” has already occurred. [Daily Telegraph, 10/4/01] On October 7, the US and Uzbekistan sign a secret agreement that reportedly is “a long term commitment to advance security and regional stability.” [Financial Times, 10/13/01] It is later reported that the US military bases here, “originally agreed as temporary and emergency expedients, are now permanent.” [Guardian, 1/16/02] The US begins building a military base in the nearby country of Kyrgyzstan in December 2001. “There are no restrictions” in the agreement on what the US can do with this base, and it will be a “transportation hub” for the whole region. [New York Times, 1/9/02] The base is only 200 miles from China. [Christian Science Monitor, 1/17/02] The building of these bases is the culmination of the strategy first proposed in 1992 by the men now in power.
People and organizations involved: Tajikistan, United States, Kyrgyzstan
          

Early October 2001: US Launches Attacks on Afghanistan from Pakistani Bases

       The US begins using the Shahbaz air force base and other bases in Pakistan in their attacks against Afghanistan. [Times of London, 10/15/01] However, because of public Pakistani opposition to US support, the two governments claim the US is there for purely logistical and defensive purposes. Even six months later, the US refuses to confirm it is using the base for offensive operations. [Los Angeles Times, 3/6/03] Such bases in Pakistan become a link in a chain of US military outposts in Central Asia. Other countries also falsely maintain that such bases are not being used for military operations in Afghanistan despite clear evidence to the contrary. [Reuters, 12/28/01]
People and organizations involved: Pakistan, United States
          

November 21, 2001: Bush Says Afghanistan Is Just the Beginning

       President Bush states that “Afghanistan is just the beginning on the war against terror. There are other terrorists who threaten America and our friends, and there are other nations willing to sponsor them. We will not be secure as a nation until all of these threats are defeated. Across the world and across the years, we will fight these evil ones, and we will win.” [White House, 11/21/01] A short time later, it is reported that “the US has honed a hit list of countries to target for military action in rogue regions across the globe where it believes terror cells flourish,” including Iraq. [Guardian, 12/10/01]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

December 19, 2001: US Official Proclaims We Will Not Leave Central Asia

       Speaking in Kazakhstan, US Deputy Secretary of State Elizabeth Jones states: “We will not leave Central Asia after resolving the conflict [in Afghanistan]. We want to support the Central Asian countries in their desire to reform their societies as they supported us in the war against terrorism. These are not only new but long term relations.” [BBC, 12/19/01]
People and organizations involved: Elizabeth Jones
          

January 2002: Central Asian Countries See US Military Bases Expand

       Reportedly, the US is improving bases in “13 locations in nine countries in the Central Asian region.” [Christian Science Monitor, 1/17/02] US military personnel strength in bases surrounding Afghanistan has increased to 60,000. [Los Angeles Times, 1/6/02] “Of the five ex-Soviet states of Central Asia, Turkmenistan alone is resisting pressure to allow the deployment of US or other Western forces on its soil...” [Guardian, 1/10/02] On January 9, the speaker of the Russian parliament states, “Russia would not approve of the appearance of permanent US bases in Central Asia,” but Russia seems helpless to stop what a Russian newspaper calls “the inexorable growth” of the US military presence in Central Asia. [Guardian, 1/10/02] Commenting on the bases, one columnist writes in the Guardian: “The task of the encircling US bases now shooting up on Afghanistan's periphery is only partly to contain the threat of political regression or Taliban resurgence in Kabul. Their bigger, longer-term role is to project US power and US interests into countries previously beyond its reach. ... The potential benefits for the US are enormous: growing military hegemony in one of the few parts of the world not already under Washington's sway, expanded strategic influence at Russia and China's expense, pivotal political clout and—grail of holy grails—access to the fabulous, non-OPEC oil and gas wealth of central Asia.” [Guardian, 1/16/02]
People and organizations involved: China, Taliban, Turkmenistan, Russia, United States
          

February 14, 2002: US Military Bases Line Afghan Pipeline Route

       The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv notes: “If one looks at the map of the big American bases created [in the Afghan war], one is struck by the fact that they are completely identical to the route of the projected oil pipeline to the Indian Ocean.” Ma'ariv also states, “Osama bin Laden did not comprehend that his actions serve American interests... If I were a believer in conspiracy theory, I would think that bin Laden is an American agent. Not being one I can only wonder at the coincidence.” [Chicago Tribune, 3/18/02]
People and organizations involved: United States, Osama bin Laden
          

March 30, 2002: British Newspaper: US Special Forces Training at Secret Location in Kazakhstan

       With US troops already in many Central Asian countries, US Special Forces are now reportedly training Kazakhstan troops in a secret location. [Times of London, 3/30/02] An anonymous source in the Kazakh government previously stated, “It is clear that the continuing war in Afghanistan is no more than a veil for the US to establish political dominance in the region. The war on terrorism is only a pretext for extending influence over our energy resources.” [Observer, 1/20/02]
People and organizations involved: Central Intelligence Agency, Kazakhstan
          

April 30, 2002: US Military Plans Long-Term Presence in Central Asia

       It is reported that the US military is drawing up a plan for a long term military “footprint” in Central Asia. The US says it plans no permanent bases, but the leaders of Central Asia speak of the US being there for decades, and the temporary structures that had been hastily constructed over the past several months are being replaced by permanent buildings. [Associated Press, 4/30/02; Washington Post, 8/27/02; Los Angeles Times, 4/4/02] All of the countries are encumbered by corrupt dictatorships, and many experts say their serious social and economic problems are growing worse. Some experts wonder if the US is increasing Muslim resentment and the risk of terrorism by closely associating with such regimes. [Washington Post, 8/27/02]
People and organizations involved: United States
          

June 1, 2002: Bush Launches Doctrine of Preemptive Attack

       In a speech, President Bush announces a “new” US policy of preemptive attacks: “If we wait for threats to fully materialize we will have waited too long. We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans and confront the worst threats before they emerge.” [New York Times, 6/2/02] This preemptive strategy is included in a defensive strategic paper the next month (see July 13, 2002), and formally announced in September 2002. Despite the obvious parallels, the mainstream media generally fails to report that this “new” antiterrorism strategy was first proposed by Bush's key administration officials in 1992 (see March 8, 1992) and has been continually advocated by the same people ever since. [Washington Post, 9/21/02; New York Times, 9/20/02; Guardian, 9/21/02]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

July 13, 2002: US Military Plans for Global Dominance

       The US military releases a new Defense Planning Guidance strategic vision. It “contains all the key elements” of a similar document written ten years earlier (see March 8, 1992) by largely the same people now in power. Like the original, the centerpiece of this vision is preventing any other powers from challenging US world dominance. Some new tactics are proposed, such as using nuclear weapons for a preemptive strike, but the basic plan remains the same. [Los Angeles Times, 7/16/02; Harper's, 10/02; Los Angeles Times, 7/13/02] David Armstrong notes in Harper's magazine: “[In 1992] the goal was global dominance, and it met with bad reviews. Now it is the answer to terrorism. The emphasis is on preemption, and the reviews are generally enthusiastic. Through all of this, the dominance motif remains, though largely undetected.” [Harper's, 10/02]
People and organizations involved: US Department of Defense
          

August 11, 2002: Bush's Advisers Advocate Attacking Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, and Other Countries

       A Newsweek article suggests that some of Bush's advisers advocate not only attacking Iraq, but also Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Egypt, and Burma, shocking many. One senior British official tells the magazine: “Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran.” [Newsweek, 8/11/02; Newsweek, 8/11/02 (B)] In February 2003, US Undersecretary of State John Bolton says in meetings with Israeli officials that he has no doubt America will attack Iraq, and that it will be necessary to deal with threats from Syria, Iran, and North Korea afterward. This is not reported in the US media. [Ha'aretz, 2/17/03]
People and organizations involved: North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Burma, Iran, Bush administration, Egypt
          

August 26, 2002

       The Defense Science Board authors a report titled “Special Operations and Joint Forces in Countering Terrorism” recommending an increase of more than $7 billion in the Pentagon's budget. It says the war on terrorism is a “real war” and describes the enemy as “committed, resourceful and globally dispersed ... with strategic reach.” The US will have to wage “a long, at times violent, and borderless war” that “requires new strategies, postures and organization,” it adds. The report includes suggestions to develop the capability to tag key terrorist figures with special chemicals so they can be tracked by laser; a proposal to create a special SWAT team charged with secretly seeking and destroying chemical, biological and nuclear weapons anywhere in the world; and a plan to establish a “red team” known as the Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group, (P2OG), which would conduct secret operations aimed at “stimulating reactions” among terrorists and states suspected of possessing weapons of mass destruction. [Los Angeles Times, 10/27/02; Asia Times, 11/5/02; UPI, 9/26/02 Sources: DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism, 8/16/2002]
Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group, (P2OG) - The unit would provoke terrorist cells into action, perhaps by stealing their money or tricking them with fake communications, in order to expose them. The exposed cells would then be taken care of by “quick-response” teams. The US would use the revelation of such cells as an opportunity to hold “states/sub-state actors accountable” and “signal to harboring states that their sovereignty will be at risk.” The P2OG would require at least $100 million and about 100 people, including specialists in information operations, psychological operations, computer network attack, covert activities, signal intelligence, human intelligence, special operations forces and deception operations. According to the DSB, it should be headed by the Special Operations Executive in the White House's National Security Council. But according to sources interviewed by United Press International (UPI), people in the Defense Department want to see the group under the Pentagon's authority. [UPI, 9/26/02; Los Angeles Times, 10/27/02; Asia Times, 11/5/02 Sources: DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism, 8/16/2002]

Tagging terrorists - Intelligence operatives would penetrate terrorist cells and tag leaders' clothes with chemicals that would make them trackable by a laser. The agents would also collect DNA samples from objects and papers that are handled by the targets. Information about the terrorist's DNA would be kept in a database. The program would cost $1.7 billion over a 5-year period beginning in 2004. [UPI, 9/26/02 Sources: DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism, 8/16/2002]

Special SWAT team - The SWAT Team would consist of special forces soldiers whose specialty would be searching and destroying nuclear, chemical or biological weapons sites anywhere in the world. They would also be trained to offer protection to US soldiers operating nearby and be responsible for “consequence management,” like enacting quarantines. The program would cost about $500 million a year and would be headed by US Special Operations Command. To effectively detect the presence of such weapons, the DSB advocates allocating about $1 billion a year on the research and development of new sensor and “agent defeat” technologies. [UPI, 9/26/02 Sources: DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism, 8/16/2002]

Expanding US Special Forces - The panel recommends increasing the size of US Special Forces by about 2 percent a year. It also proposes that more special forces operations be conducted jointly with conventional forces. Its budget should be increased by “billions,” the report also says. [UPI, 9/26/02 Sources: DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism, 8/16/2002]

Panel to speculate on possible terrorist attack scenarios - A panel of roughly 24 creative, highly respected analysts would be convened to speculate on the nature of future terrorists attacks against the US. The report recommends allocating $20 million a year for the program. [UPI, 9/26/02 Sources: DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism, 8/16/2002]

Intelligence Reserve - A $100 million-a-year reserve program would be established that would put former intelligence retirees on call to assist with intelligence tasks and to participate in counterterrorism exercises when needed. [Asia Times, 11/5/02; UPI, 9/26/02 Sources: DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism, 8/16/2002]

Addition of 500 people who would focus on identifying characteristics of potential adversaries - $800 million would be spent on the addition of over 500 people to existing military and intelligence agencies who would “focus on understanding effects of globalization, radicalism, cultures, religions, economics, etc., to better characterize potential adversaries.” [UPI, 9/26/02 Sources: DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism, 8/16/2002]

Increase budget of Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC) and Joint Forces Command's net assessment center - $200 million more would be allocated to the Joint Warfare Analysis Center and Joint Forces Command's net assessment center. JWAC is a cell of about 500 planners and target analysts who work in Dahlgren, Va. [UPI, 9/26/02 Sources: DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism, 8/16/2002]

Increase surveillance and reconnaissance budgets - The panel envisions infusing $1.6 billion per year into intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance budgets over the next six years. Spending would be focused on tying together unmanned aerial vehicles, manned platforms, space-based sensors and databases. A portion of the funds would also be used to develop “a rich set of new ground sensor capabilities” aimed at the surveillance of small terrorist cells. [UPI, 9/26/02 Sources: DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism, 8/16/2002]

Urban Training Center - A dedicated urban training range would be constructed on the West Coast emphasizing “small unit action, leadership initiative and flexibility.” Relatively low-level soldiers would also be trained on how to determine the logistics of the back-up fire they need while they are in battle. The program would need $300 million a year for the next six years. [UPI, 9/26/02 Sources: DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism, 8/16/2002]

Database providing 3-d view of most of the cities of the world - The report recommends developing a detailed database of most of the cities in the world which would allow soldiers to view a three-dimensional display of the cities including “buildings [doors and windows included],... streets and alleys and underground passages, obstacles like power lines and key infrastructure like water and communications lines,” the UPI reports. [UPI, 9/26/02 Sources: DSB Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism, 8/16/2002]
Critics warn that the changes proposed by the report would allow the military to engage in covert activities currently handled by the CIA. However unlike the CIA, the military would not be subject to Congressional oversight. But William Schneider Jr, the DSB chairman, downplays those concerns. “The CIA executes the plans but they use Department of Defense assets,” Schneider says, adding that his board's recommendations do not advocate any changes to US policies banning assassinations, or requiring presidents to approve US covert operations in advance. He also insists that such changes would not preclude congressional oversight. [Asia Times, 11/5/02]
People and organizations involved: Defense Science Board, William Schneider Jr., Donald Rumsfeld  Additional Info 
          

August 27, 2002: US Establishes Military Presence in Uzbekistan

       The Central Asian nation of Uzbekistan has recently signed a treaty committing the US to respond to “any external threat” to the country. Uzbekistan's foreign minister explains: “The logic of the situation suggests that the United States has come here with a serious purpose, and for a long time.” According to a Washington Post report, the other Central Asian nations—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan—have similar agreements with the US. The US claims it is supporting democracy in these nations, but experts say authoritarianism has been on the rise since 9/11. A new US military base in Uzbekistan currently holds about 1,000 US soldiers, but is being greatly enlarged. The article makes the general point that the US is replacing Russia as the dominant power in Central Asia. [Washington Post, 8/27/02]
People and organizations involved: United States, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan
          

February-March 20, 2003: Stories About PNAC Global Domination Agenda Gets Some Media Coverage

       With war against Iraq imminent, numerous media outlets finally begin reporting on PNAC's role in influencing Iraq policy specifically, and US foreign policy generally. PNAC's plans for global domination had been noted before 9/11 [Washington Post, 8/21/01] , and PNAC's 2000 report (see September 2000) recommending the conquest of Iraq even if Saddam Hussein is not in power was first reported in September 2002 [Sunday Herald, 9/7/02] , but there are few follow-up mentions until February 2003. (Exceptions: [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9/29/02; Bangor Daily News, 10/18/02; New Statesman, 12/16/02; Los Angeles Times, 1/12/03] ) Many of these articles use PNAC to suggest that global and regional domination is the real reason for the Iraq war. Coverage increases as war gets nearer, but many media outlets still fail to do any reporting on this, and some of the reporting that is done is not prominently placed (a New York Times article on the topic is buried in the Arts section! [New York Times, 3/11/03] ). One Newsweek editorial notes that “not until the last few days” before war have many reasons against the war been brought up. It calls this “too little, too late” to make an impact. [Newsweek, 3/18/03] (Articles that discuss PNAC before war begins: [The Age, 3/20/03; Asia Times, 3/20/03; Globe and Mail, 3/19/03; Canadian Broadcasting Corp., 3/17/03; Toronto Star, 3/16/03; Sunday Herald, 3/16/03; Australian Broadcasting Corp., 3/10/03; CNN, 3/10/03; Toronto Star, 3/9/03; ABC News, 3/10/03; Guardian, 3/11/03; American Prospect, 3/12/03; Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 3/16/03; Observer, 3/16/03; New York Times, 3/11/03; Salt Lake Tribune, 3/15/03; Chicago Tribune, 3/12/03; Globe and Mail, 3/14/03; Japan Times, 3/14/03; Sydney Morning Herald, 3/15/03; Independent, 3/8/03; Observer, 3/2/03 (B); ABC News, 3/5/03; Salon, 3/5/03; BBC, 3/2/03; Der Spiegel, 3/4/03; Mother Jones, 3/03; Guardian, 2/26/03; Observer, 2/23/03; Philadelphia Daily News, 1/27/03; New York Times, 2/1/03; PBS Frontline, 2/20/03; Bergen Record, 2/23/03] )
People and organizations involved: Project for the New American Century
          

April 3, 2003: Ex-CIA Director Foresees Many More Wars in Middle East

      
James Woolsey.
Former CIA Director James Woolsey says the US is engaged in a world war, and that it could continue for years: “As we move toward a new Middle East, over the years and, I think, over the decades to come ... we will make a lot of people very nervous.” He calls it World War IV (World War III being the Cold War according to neoconservatives like himself ), and says it will be fought against the religious rulers of Iran, the “fascists” of Iraq and Syria, and Islamic extremists like al-Qaeda. He singles out the leaders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, saying, “We want you nervous.” This echoes the rhetoric of the PNAC, of which Woolsey is a supporter, and the singling out of Egypt and Saudi Arabia echoes the rhetoric of the Defense Policy Board, of which he is a member. In July 2002 (see July 10, 2002), a presentation to that board concluded, “Grand strategy for the Middle East: Iraq is the tactical pivot. Saudi Arabia the strategic pivot. Egypt the prize.” [CNN, 4/3/03; CNN, 4/3/03 (B)]
People and organizations involved: Iraq, Iran, al-Qaeda, Syria, James Woolsey
          


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