Excerpts From Pentagon's Plan: 'Prevent the Re-Emergence of a New Rival'
The New York Times
March 8, 1992
Following are excerpts from the Pentagon's Feb. 18 draft of the Defense Planning Guidance for the Fiscal Years 1994-1999:
This Defense Planning guidance addresses the fundamentally new situation which
has been created by the collapse of the Soviet Union, the disintegration of
the internal as well as the external empire, and the discrediting of Communism
as an ideology with global pretensions and influence. The new international
environment has also been shaped by the victory of the United States and its
coalition allies over Iraqi aggression -- the first post-cold-war conflict and
a defining event in U.S. global leadership. In addition to these two victories,
there has been a less visible one, the integration of Germany and Japan into
a U.S.-led system of collective security and the creation of a democratic "zone
DEFENSE STRATEGY OBJECTIVES
Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. These regions include Western Europe, East Asia, the territory of the former Soviet Union, and Southwest Asia.
There are three additional aspects to this objective: First, the U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. Second, in the non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. Finally, we must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role. An effective reconstitution capability is important here, since it implies that a potential rival could not hope to quickly or easily gain a predominant military position in the world.
The second objective is to address sources of regional conflict and instability in such a way as to promote increasing respect for international law, limit international violence, and encourage the spread of democratic forms of government and open economic systems. These objectives are especially important in deterring conflicts or threats in regions of security importance to the United States because of their proximity (such as Latin America), or where we have treaty obligations or security commitments to other nations. While the U.S. cannot become the world's "policeman," by assuming responsibility for righting every wrong, we will retain the pre-eminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends, or which could seriously unsettle international relations. Various types of U.S. interests may be involved in such instances: access to vital raw materials, primarily Persian Gulf oil; proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, threats to U.S. citizens from terrorism or regional or local conflict, and threats to U.S. society from narcotics trafficking.
It is improbable that a global conventional challenge to U.S. and Western security will re-emerge from the Eurasian heartland for many years to come. Even in the highly unlikely event that some future leadership in the former Soviet Union adopted strategic aims of recovering the lost empire or otherwise threatened global interests, the loss of Warsaw Pact allies and the subsequent and continuing dissolution of military capability would make any hope of success require several years or more of strategic and doctrinal re-orientation and force regeneration and redeployment, which in turn could only happen after a lengthy political realignment and re-orientation to authoritarian and aggressive political and economic control. Furthermore, any such political upheaval in or among the states of the former U.S.S.R. would be much more likely to issue in internal or localized hostilities, rather than a concerted strategic effort to marshal capabilities for external expansionism -- the ability to project power beyond their borders.
There are other potential nations or coalitions that could, in the further
future, develop strategic aims and a defense posture of region-wide or global
domination. Our strategy must now refocus on precluding the emergence of any
potential future global competitor. But because we no longer face either a global
threat or a hostile, non-democratic power dominating a region critical to our
interests, we have the opportunity to meet threats at lower levels and lower
costs -- as long as we are prepared to reconstitute additional forces should
the need to counter a global threat re-emerge. . . .
REGIONAL THREATS AND RISK
With the demise of a global military threat to U.S. interests, regional military
threats, including possible conflicts arising in and from the territory of the
former Soviet Union, will be of primary concern to the U.S. in the future. These
threats are likely to arise in regions critical to the security of the U.S.
and its allies, including Europe, East Asia, the Middle East and Southwest Asia,
and the territory of the former Soviet Union. We also have important interests
at stake in Latin America, Oceania, and Sub-Saharan Africa. In both cases, the
U.S. will be concerned with preventing the domination of key regions by a hostile
power. . . .
Former Soviet Union
The former Soviet state achieved global reach and power by consolidating control over the resources in the territory of the former U.S.S.R. The best means of assuring that no hostile power is able to consolidate control over the resources within the former Soviet Union is to support its successor states (especially Russia and Ukraine) in their efforts to become peaceful democracies with market-based economies. A democratic partnership with Russia and the other republics would be the best possible outcome for the United States. At the same time, we must also hedge against the possibility that democracy will fail, with the potential that an authoritarian regime bent on regenerating aggressive military power could emerge in Russia, or that similiar regimes in other successor republics could lead to spreading conflict within the former U.S.S.R. or Eastern Europe.
For the immediate future, key U.S. concerns will be the ability of Russia and
the other republics to demilitarize their societies, convert their military
industries to civilian production, eliminate or, in the case of Russia, radically
reduce their nuclear weapons inventory, maintain firm command and control over
nuclear weapons, and prevent leakage of advanced military technology and expertise
to other countries.
NATO continues to provide the indispensable foundation for a stable security
environment in Europe. Therefore, it is of fundamental importance to preserve
NATO as the primary instrument of Western defense and security, as well as the
channel for U.S. influence and participation in European security affairs. While
the United States supports the goal of European integration, we must seek to
prevent the emergence of European-only security arrangements which would undermine
NATO, particularly the alliance's integrated command structure.
The end of the Warsaw Pact and the dissolution of the Soviet Union have gone a long way toward increasing stability and reducing the military threat to Europe. The ascendancy of democratic reformers in the Russian republic, should this process continue, is likely to create a more benign polcy toward Eastern Europe. However, the U.S. must keep in mind the long history of conflict between the states of Eastern Europe, as well as the potential for conflict between the states of Eastern Europe and those of the former Soviet Union. . . .
The most promising avenues for anchoring the east-central Europeans into the West and for stabilizing their democratic institutions is their participation in Western political and economic organizations. East-central European membership in the (European Community) at the earliest opportunity, and expanded NATO liaison. . . .
The U.S. could also consider extending to the east-central European states security commitments analogous to those we have extended to Persian Gulf states.
Should there be a re-emergence of a threat from the Soviet Union's successor
state, we should plan to defend against such a threat in Eastern Europe, should
there be an alliance decision to do so.
East Asia and Pacific
. . . Defense of Korea will likely remain one of the most demanding major regional contingencies. . . . Asia is home to the world's greatest concentration of traditional Communist states, with fundamental values, governance, and policies decidedly at variance with our own and those of our friends and allies.
To buttress the vital political and economic relationships we have along the
Pacific rim, we must maintain our status as a military power of the first magnitude
in the area. This will enable the U.S. to continue to contribute to regional
security and stability by acting as a balancing force and prevent emergence
of a vacuum or a regional hegemon.
Middle East and Southwest Asia
In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve U.S. and Western access to the region's oil. We also seek to deter further aggression in the region, foster regional stability, protect U.S. nationals and property, and safeguard our access to international air and seaways. As demonstrated by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, it remains fundamentally important to prevent a hegemon or alignment of powers from dominating the region. This pertains especially to the Arabian peninsula. Therefore, we must continue to play a strong role through enhanced deterrence and improved cooperative security.
We will seek to prevent the further development of a nuclear arms race on the
Indian subcontinent. In this regard, we should work to have both countries,
India and Pakistan, adhere to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to place
their nuclear energy facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.
We should discourage Indian hegemonic aspirations over the other states in South
Asia and on the Indian Ocean. With regard to Pakistan, a constructive U.S.-Pakistani
military relationship will be an important element in our strategy to promote
stable security conditions in Southwest Asia and Central Asia. We should therefore
endeavor to rebuild our military relationship given acceptable resolution of
our nuclear concerns.
Cuba's growing domestic crisis holds out the prospect for positive change, but over the near term, Cuba's tenuous internal situation is likely to generate new challenges to U.S. policy. Consequently, our programs must provide capabilities to meet a variety of Cuban contingencies which could include an attempted repetition of the Mariel boatlift, a military provocation against the U.S. or an American ally, or political instability and internal conflict in Cuba.
Copyright 1992 The New York Times Company
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