Full spectrum dominance is not the method of a democracy. Full spectrum dominance IS imperialism. It is at direct odds with democratic principles. When a country espouses democracy, this should be the approach of last resort, if at all. It may be an appropriate approach for a military organization. The military has a more narrow and specific mission. However, the US has a civilian government. A democratic government should avoid wars when possible, and only engage as a last resort. Although it has migrated away from democratic institutions and principles, the US still preaches democracy. With luck it will alter its direction and return to democratic principles. It still has the tools. The military needs to support and uphold the principles of democratic government, at home and around the world.
“Full-spectrum dominance” is the key term in “Joint Vision 2020,” the blueprint DoD, Department of Defense, will follow in the future.
Full-spectrum dominance means the ability of U.S. forces, operating alone or with allies, to defeat any adversary and control any situation across the range of military operations.
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Joint Vision 2020 addresses full-spectrum dominance across the range of conflicts from nuclear war to major theater wars to smaller-scale contingencies. It also addresses amorphous situations like peacekeeping and noncombat humanitarian relief. Key to U.S. dominance in any conflict will be what the chairman calls “decision superiority” — translating information superiority into better decisions arrived at and implemented faster than an enemy can react.
The development of a global information grid will provide the environment for decision superiority.
In fact Joint Vision 2020 involves the dominance of space.
Control of Space (CoS) is the ability to ensure un-interrupted access to space for US forces and our allies, freedom of operations within the space medium and an ability to deny others the use of space, if required.
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Global Engagement (GE) is the combination of global surveillance of the Earth (see anything, anytime), worldwide missile defense, and the potential ability to apply force from space.
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Full Force Integration (FFI) seamlessly joins space-derived information and space forces with information and forces from the land, sea, and air.
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Global Partnerships (GP) augment the military’s space capabilities by leveraging civil, commercial, and international space systems. This operational concept results from the explosive growth of commercial and international space capabilities.
After reading this I thought that for the military, full spectrum dominance is the obvious goal in any military scenario. The problem is that the present US government, the Bush administration, sees every scenario as a military scenario. A military approach or “solution” should be the last resort. For Bush, it is the first choice. And full spectrum dominance is not just about scenarios, it is about controlling the whole globe, imperial control of the whole world, from and including space.
The Bush administration has been following an economic policy designed to make the US the economic equivalent of Argentina in the 50s and 60s, spending huge amounts of borrowed money that do not contribute to increases in productivity or infrastructure, a rich country making itself poor. The result has weakened the country and severely weakened the military. The Bush war on science has damaged the US scientific and technological edge. The stature of the US as a global leader has been severely damaged by the unprovoked occupation and destruction of Iraq. And because of all the money wasted in Iraq, the US is farther away from any positive accomplishment or constructive goal.
The US needs to find a political solution to its relationship with just about every country in the world. And it needs an internal political solution to its own dreadful behavior.
Because of oil, and a number of other extractive resources, but mostly the oil, the US has set its sights on full spectrum dominance in Africa. At the same time celebrity condescension and “humanitarian” ad campaigns portray Africans as afflicted and helpless. By painting Africans as people unable to help themselves, the celebrity humanitarian narrative, and the media attention it gets, make it much easier for nations, specifically the US, to engage in imperial acquisition in the name of humanitarian aid and development. And that is exactly the purpose of the Africa Command, and why it keeps describing itself in terms of diplomacy and humanitarian aid. (Pay no attention to the fact that by pouring arms into Africa throughout the cold war, and by backing terrorist organizations in Africa, the US contributed more than its share to the destabilization and suffering in many African countries. This continues through the present.
Those days are gone, as a friend says. Although the US can, and it looks like it plans to, make things very unpleasant in the short term. African countries now have people who can and will push back effectively.
To see a few of these people, and a more positive and productive vision, check out TED Global 2007 (TED = Technology, Entertainment Design) and listen to some of the speeches by Africans at TED Themes – Africa the next chapter. I’ll probably write about these again.
August 14, 2011: To date President Obama has continued and expanded these Bush policies, and has expanded the ongoing militarization of Africa through the Africa Command.