The launching of a pre-emptive nuclear war against Iran

Dec 04, 2011 12:00 AM

by Michel Chossudovsky

The launching of an outright war using nuclear warheads against Iran has been on the active drawing board of the Pentagon since 2005.
If such a war were to be launched, the entire Middle East Central Asia region would flare up. Humanity would be precipitated into a World War III scenario.

World War III is not front-page news. The mainstream media has excluded in-depth analysis and debate on the implications of these war plans.
The onslaught of World War III, were it to be carried out, would be casually described as a "no-fly zone", an operation under NATO's "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P) with minimal "collateral damage" or a "limited" punitive bombing against specific military targets, all of which purport to support "Global Security" as well as "democracy" and human rights in the targeted country.

Public opinion is largely unaware of the grave implications of these war plans, which contemplate the use of nuclear weapons, ironically in retaliation to Iran's nonexistent nuclear weapons program.
Moreover, 21st Century military technology is at an advanced stage of development combining an array of sophisticated weapons systems.

We are at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in World history. The future of humanity is at stake.
The present situation is one of advanced war planning by a formidable military force using nuclear warheads. The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest.  The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the World simultaneously.

Militarization at the global level is instrumented through the US military's Unified Command structure: the entire planet is divided up into geographic Combatant Commands under the control of the Pentagon.
According to (former) NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, the Pentagon’s military road-map consists of a sequence of war theatres: “[The] five-year campaign plan [includes]... a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.”

Military action is waged in the name of the "Global War on Terrorism" and Global Security. It has a stated "humanitarian" "pro-democracy" mandate.
It is predicated on the notion that the West's arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons are (in contrast to those [nonexistent] of the Islamic Republic), according to expert scientific opinion on contract to the Pentagon, "harmless to the surrounding civilian population because the explosion is underground".

Irresponsible politicians are unaware of the implications of their actions. They believe their own war propaganda: nuclear weapons are heralded as an instrument of peace and democracy. War is heralded as a peace-keeping making operation carried out with the support of the "international community".
The victims of war are described as the perpetrators. Iran and Syria constitute a threat to Global Security thereby justifying pre-emptive military action.

Global warfare
The concept of the "Long War" has characterised US military doctrine since the end of World War II. The broader objective of global military dominance in support of an imperial project was first formulated under the Truman administration in the late 1940s at the outset of the Cold War.
We are dealing with a global military agenda, namely "Global Warfare". The 2000 Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which was the backbone of the NeoCon's agenda was predicated on "waging a war without borders".

The PNAC's declared objectives were to "fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars" in different regions of the World as well perform the so-called military "constabulary" duties "associated with shaping the security environment in critical regions".
Global constabulary implies a worldwide process of military policing and interventionism, including covert operations and "regime change". (Project for a New American Century, Rebuilding Americas Defenses.pdf, September 2000)

This military project formulated by the NeoCons was adopted and implemented from the very outset of the Obama administration. With a new team of military and foreign policy advisers, Obama has been far more effective in fostering military escalation than his predecessor in the White House, who has recently been condemned by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal for "Crimes against the Peace".
In the present context, US military and intelligence actions are been undertaken in different part of the world.

Ongoing war plans within the broader Middle East Central Asian region would involve coordinated actions against Iran, Syria and Pakistan leading to an extended regional war theatre. The three existing and distinct war theatres (Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine) would merge into a broad regional war extending from the Lebanese-Syrian East Mediterranean coastline to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border with Western China (see map below).
Israel, Lebanon and Turkey would be engulfed in the conflict.

MiddleEastmap1.gif

It is important to address the history of this military agenda including the slated role of Israel. The main coalition partners, including the US, UK, Israel and Turkey have been in "an advanced stage of readiness" since 2005. The Combatant Command structure of a military operation against Iran is centralized and controlled by the Pentagon.
In 2005, USSTRATCOM was identified as "the lead Combatant Command for integration and synchronization of DoD-wide efforts in combating weapons of mass destruction." This Combatant Command integration also included coordination with America's allies including NATO, Israel and a number of frontline Arab states, which are members of NATO's Mediterranean dialogue.

To implement USSTRATCOM's mandate, a new command unit entitled Joint Functional Component Command Space and Global Strike, or JFCCSGS was created.
JFCCSGS was granted the mandate to oversee the launching of a nuclear attack against Iran in accordance with the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review, approved by the US Congress in 2002. The NPR underscores the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons not only against "rogue states" (i.e. Iran) but also against China and Russia.

The operational implementation of the "Global Strike" was labelled CONCEPT PLAN (CONPLAN) 8022. The latter is described as "an actual plan that the Navy and the Air Force translate into strike package for their submarines and bombers,' CONPLAN 8022 is 'the overall umbrella plan of the pre-planned strategic scenarios involving nuclear weapons’.

Rebuild the Antiwar Movement. SAY NO to World War III
The antiwar movement is in crisis: civil society organizations are misinformed, manipulated or co-opted. A large segment of "progressive" opinion is supportive of NATO's R2P "humanitarian" mandate to extent that these war plans are being carried out with the "rubber stamp" of civil society.
There is a definite need to rebuild the antiwar movement on entirely new premises.

The holding of mass demonstrations and antiwar protests is not enough. What is required is the development of a broad and well organized grassroots antiwar network, across the land, nationally and internationally, which challenges the structures of power and authority. People must mobilize not only against the military agenda, the authority of the state and its officials must also be challenged.
Central to an understanding of war, is the media campaign which grants it legitimacy in the eyes of public opinion. A good versus evil dichotomy prevails. The perpetrators of war are presented as the victims. Public opinion is misled: “We must fight against evil in all its forms as a means to preserving the Western way of life.”

Breaking the "big lie" which upholds war as a humanitarian undertaking, means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force. This profit-driven military agenda destroys human values and transforms people into unconscious zombies.
It should be understood that whatever its justification, War is a "Crime against the Peace" under Nuremberg.

George W. Bush and Anthony L. Blair have been condemned by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal for waging a criminal war of aggression against Iraq.
War crimes, however, are not limited to the former US president and British Prime Minister. There are, so to speak, "New War Criminals on the Block" including the president of the United States of America Barack Hussein Obama, among others. The acting heads of state and heads of government which support US-NATO-Israel wars of aggression under an R2P pretext are war criminals under international law. This proposition, which consists in unseating the war criminals in high office, is central to the waging of an effective antiwar movement.

This war can be prevented if people forcefully confront their governments, address the issue of war crimes, pressure their elected representatives, organize at the local level in towns, villages and municipalities, spread the word, inform their fellow citizens as to the implications of a global war, initiate debate and discussion within the armed forces.

Michel Chossudovsky, December 4, 2011
Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). He is a contributor to the Encyclopedia Britannica. His writings have been translated into more than 20 languages.
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Nuclear war against Iran
Below are excerpts from my January 2006 article (emphasis added) which outlines the process of military deployment including the use of tactical nuclear weapons against Iran.
To read the complete article, see http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=1714: Nuclear War against Iran. A more detailed analysis is contained in my book entitled Towards a World War III Scenario.

"Various military exercises have been conducted, starting in early 2005. In turn, the Iranian Armed Forces have also conducted large scale military manoeuvres in the Persian Gulf in December in anticipation of a US sponsored attack. Since early 2005, there has been intense shuttle diplomacy between Washington, Tel Aviv, Ankara and NATO headquarters in Brussels.
In recent developments [late 2005], CIA Director Porter Goss on a mission to Ankara, requested Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan "to provide political and logistic support for air strikes against Iranian nuclear and military targets." Goss reportedly asked "for special cooperation from Turkish intelligence to help prepare and monitor the operation."
(DDP, 30 December 2005).

In turn, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has given the green light to the Israeli Armed Forces to launch the attacks by the end of March [2006]:
All top Israeli officials have pronounced the end of March, 2006, as the deadline for launching a military assault on Iran.... The end of March date also coincides with the IAEA report to the UN on Iran's nuclear energy program. Israeli policymakers believe that their threats may influence the report, or at least force the kind of ambiguities, which can be exploited by its overseas supporters to promote Security Council sanctions or justify Israeli military action.
(James Petras, Israel's War Deadline: Iran in the Crosshairs, Global Research, December 2005)

The US sponsored military plan has been endorsed by NATO, although it is unclear, at this stage [December 2005], as to the nature of NATO's involvement in the planned aerial attacks.

"Shock and awe"
The various components of the military operation are firmly under US Command, coordinated by the Pentagon and US Strategic Command Headquarters (USSTRATCOM) at the Offutt Air Force base in Nebraska.
The actions announced by Israel would be carried out in close coordination with the Pentagon. The command structure of the operation is centralized and ultimately Washington will decide when to launch the military operation.

US military sources have confirmed that an aerial attack on Iran would involve a large scale deployment comparable to the US "shock and awe" bombing raids on Iraq in March 2003:
American air strikes on Iran would vastly exceed the scope of the 1981 Israeli attack on the Osiraq nuclear centre in Iraq, and would more resemble the opening days of the 2003 air campaign against Iraq. Using the full force of operational B-2 stealth bombers, staging from Diego Garcia or flying direct from the United States, possibly supplemented by F-117 stealth fighters staging from al Udeid in Qatar or some other location in theatre, the two-dozen suspect nuclear sites would be targeted.

Military planners could tailor their target list to reflect the preferences of the Administration by having limited air strikes that would target only the most crucial facilities... or the United States could opt for a far more comprehensive set of strikes against a comprehensive range of WMD related targets, as well as conventional and unconventional forces that might be used to counterattack against US forces in Iraq.
(See Globalsecurity.org at http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/iran-strikes.htm)

In November [2005], US Strategic Command conducted a major exercise of a "global strike plan" entitled "Global Lightening". The latter involved a simulated attack using both conventional and nuclear weapons against a "fictitious enemy".
Following the "Global Lightening" exercise, US Strategic Command declared an advanced state of readiness.

Consensus for nuclear war
No dissenting political voices have emerged from within the European Union. There are ongoing consultations between Washington, Paris and Berlin.
Contrary to the invasion of Iraq, which was opposed at the diplomatic level by France and Germany, Washington has been building "a consensus" both within the Atlantic Alliance and the UN Security Council. This consensus pertains to the conduct of a nuclear war, which could potentially affect a large part of the Middle East Central Asian region.

Moreover, a number of frontline Arab states [i.e. Arab League] are now tacit partners in the US/Israeli military project. A year ago in November 2004, Israel's top military brass met at NATO headquarters in Brussels with their counterparts from six members of the Mediterranean basin nations, including Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania. [Arabic league and Israel work hand in glove]
A NATO-Israel protocol was signed. Following these meetings, joint military exercises were held off the coast of Syria involving the US, Israel and Turkey and in February 2005, Israel participated in military exercises and "anti-terror manoeuvres" together with several Arab countries.

The media in chorus has unequivocally pointed to Iran as a "threat to World Peace". The antiwar movement has swallowed the media lies. The fact that the US and Israel are planning a Middle East nuclear holocaust is not part of the antiwar/anti- globalization agenda.
The "surgical strikes" are presented to world public opinion as a means to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We are told that this is not a war but a military peace-keeping operation, in the form of aerial attacks directed against Iran's nuclear facilities.

Mini-nukes: "Safe for civilians"
The press reports, while revealing certain features of the military agenda, largely serve to distort the broader nature of the military operation, which contemplates the pre-emptive use of tactical nuclear weapons.
The war agenda is based on the Bush administration's doctrine of "pre-emptive" nuclear war under the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review. Media disinformation has been used extensively to conceal the devastating consequences of military action involving nuclear warheads against Iran. The fact that these surgical strikes would be carried out using both conventional and nuclear weapons is not an object of debate.

According to a 2003 Senate decision, the new generation of tactical nuclear weapons or "low yield" "mini-nukes", with an explosive capacity of up to 6 times a Hiroshima bomb, are now considered "safe for civilians" because the explosion is underground.
The following article published in January 2006 outlined the main features of this diabolical military agenda. In recent developments, following the threats by Britain and Israel, we have reached a major turning point.

Space and earth attack command unit
A pre-emptive nuclear attack [against Iran] using tactical nuclear weapons would be coordinated out of US Strategic Command Headquarters at the Offutt Air Force base in Nebraska, in liaison with US and coalition command units in the Persian Gulf, the Diego Garcia military base, Israel and Turkey.
Under its new mandate, USSTRATCOM has a responsibility for "overseeing a global strike plan" consisting of both conventional and nuclear weapons. In military jargon, it is slated to play the role of "a global integrator charged with the missions of Space Operations; Information Operations; Integrated Missile Defence; Global Command & Control; Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; Global Strike; and Strategic Deterrence.... "

In January 2005, at the outset of the military build-up directed against Iran, USSTRATCOM was identified as "the lead Combatant Command for integration and synchronization of DoD-wide efforts in combating weapons of mass destruction".
To implement this mandate, a brand new command unit entitled Joint Functional Component Command Space and Global Strike, or JFCCSGS was created. JFCCSGS has the mandate to oversee the launching of a nuclear attack in accordance with the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review, approved by the US Congress in 2002. The NPR underscores the pre-emptive use of nuclear warheads not only against "rogue states" but also against China and Russia.

CONCEPT PLAN (CONPLAN) 8022
JFCCSGS is in an advanced state of readiness to trigger nuclear attacks directed against Iran or North Korea. The operational implementation of the Global Strike is called CONCEPT PLAN (CONPLAN) 8022.
The latter is described as "an actual plan that the Navy and the Air Force translate into strike package for their submarines and bombers”, (Ibid).

CONPLAN 8022 is 'the overall umbrella plan for sort of the pre-planned strategic scenarios involving nuclear weapons'.
“It's specifically focused on these new types of threats -- Iran, North Korea -- proliferators and potentially terrorists too,” he said. “There's nothing that says that they can't use CONPLAN 8022 in limited scenarios against Russian and Chinese targets.”
(According to Hans Kristensen, of the Nuclear Information Project, quoted in Japanese economic News Wire, op cit)

The mission of JFCCSGS is to implement CONPLAN 8022, in other words to trigger a nuclear war with Iran. The Commander in Chief, namely George W. Bush would instruct the Secretary of Defence, who would then instruct the Joint Chiefs of staff to activate CONPLAN 8022.
CONPLAN is distinct from other military operations. It does not contemplate the deployment of ground troops.

CONPLAN 8022 is different from other war plans in that it posits a small-scale operation and no "boots on the ground". The typical war plan encompasses an amalgam of forces -- air, ground, sea -- and takes into account the logistics and political dimensions needed to sustain those forces in protracted operations....
The global strike plan is offensive, triggered by the perception of an imminent threat and carried out by presidential order.)

(William Arkin, Washington Post, May 2005)

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