The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

US Military Aid Programs in the Middle East

Last week, the Bush Administration announced an unprecedented military aid program for purportedly friendly governments in the Middle East. The program is currently understood to be grants of US taxpayer-funded equipment, for which immediate or long-term payment is not asked nor sought. The amounts are staggering when considering previous military assistance programs to the heretofore “pillars” of the American security system in the region.

First, the US is giving approximately $20 billion dollars of fairly modern equipment of various types to the six Arab states in the Persian Gulf who are loosely confederated into a regional security and cooperation pact known as the Gulf Cooperation Council. These states include oil-producing giants with otherwise under-developed and un-diverse economies, i.e. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Debate in the US Congress over the aid packages have hinted at such issues as to why such states need grants when they make hundreds of billions of dollars between them in oil revenues on world history’s highest price for the commodity (unadjusted for inflation)? This debate is not unjustified, but rather insignificant to the foreign policy consequences of the policy.

Even more staggering in terms of its unprecedented dollar amount of aid, are the sums of miliary aid to the pillar states, Egypt and Israel. Egypt has received large and generous military aid packages in the past, but has always trailed gifts to Israel in terms of dollars and quality of equipment. Egypt’s new aid program increases with this aid program almost two fold to approximately one billion dollars worth per year for the next ten years. Israel of late has been receiving at times almost as much now granted to Egypt as a regular feature of US taxpayer “generosity,” but under the new program Israel will receive around $13 billion over the same 10 life-span of the program

Furthermore, and more shocking, since Israel’s Arab enemies (of whom only Egypt and Jordan have extended diplomatic recognition and relations to Israel) will now get such massive amounts of aid, Israel’s compliance in the program awarded the Israeli Defense Forces the most technologically advanced weapons now deployed by the US armed forces. One such weapon is the hyper-superior air domination fighter, the F-22 Raptor, the most stealthy predator fighter jet yet deployed anywhere in the world.

Although the Israeli-American Public Affairs Committee, in reality a political action lobby, exerts unprecedented influence for a foreign power within the halls of the US Congress, in recent years American Administrations have sometimes had to strong arm the Israeli government into cancelling weapons technology transfers and US-licensed armaments to such nations as the People’s Republic of China, a Communist totalitarianship. It has been suspected, but undeclared, that Israel transferred advanced weapons and designs to nations openly hostile to American interests.

Does selling the most dominant US weapons systems to Israel, when considering Israel’s history of proliferation, make much sense? An honest person would say, no, it does not make sense at all. These transfers are not even considering Israel’s already superior military equipment and the dominance of military “moral” effects over its enemy.

In 2002, the US conducted a regional-wide military exercise in and offshore of the US. The war game involved scores of combat naval ships, tens of thousand of troops, and hundreds of aircraft, and an large simulation on computer systems. US deception in the short-term fooled the public into believing the war games were conducted against an imaginary country thought to represent Iraq (which was invaded several months later). The truth came out, however, that the war game was focused on a US-Israeli war in the Middle East. The “opfor” (opposing force) commander was former Marine Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper (sp?). Using imaginative and original strategy, on the first day of the “war,” the Opfor delivered a crushing preemptive strike against the US forces commanded by traditional-thinking officers. In reality, the war game ended on the first day as US loses would have immediately ended all hope of an easy and quick victory over Israel. As narrow “indoctrinated” leaders are apt to do, the Opfor acts of the first day were written off as unfair, the Opfor was restricted to follow a pre-destined script, and the US side won its glorious triumph. The reality of the result should be clear: Israel is such an armed and militarized state (with mandatory conscription for all young people, of both genders, long into their middle years) that easily defeating Israel in any type of armed conflict would be rather unlikely.

The comforting thing about the story is, however, that it is improbable such a war would happen. It is provided as illustration only. The real underlying consequences for US foreign policy, and stable security in the Middle East, is the actual strengthening of the chances of armed conflict in the region with the military aid program.

The program is justified by the so-called experts for two reasons. First, there is the threat of Al Qaeda, Ussama bin Laden’s terrorist network which would exploit the new American weapons if it successfully overthrew its sworn enemies, the very monarch-dictatorships suppressing the freedom of their own people in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. This scenario is not at all unfeasible. The second supposed reason is a possible war with Iran over its revisionist and radical Islamists foreign policy, and its development of nuclear weapons.

The Cepia Club’s Libertarian Internationalist paradigm relies on four pillars: liberty and sovereignty for individuals AND their countries; economic freedom and prosperity for the same; the common security of all; and the development of strong, local communities in which cooperation for the common good among diverse peoples of all types and viewpoints is encouraged and developed. The new arms program is a direct contradiction to our belief that the common safety through cooperation of all nations is paramount to peace.

Sending such unprecedented amounts of military aid to a region completely lacking in international and internal stability, let alone peace, is only destructive to the vision of LI. Arming countries already suspicious and aggressive to each other will only further decay the sinews of restraint from open warfare since each side now can fear its neighbors even more. Such fears lead to miscalculation of policy choices because everyone will not wait to be attacked first. The lesson of military preparations and plans in the years leading up World War I should be clear. When the irrelevant cause of war occurred (an assassination of a man of no real importance to history at the time) no one wanted to be the last country at war for fear that if they waited they would be defeated. The results of that war and those errors in decision-making are a testament to the foolishness of militarized countries: paranoid and greedy at the same time.

If there is to be peace, at least in the Middle East, then smart policy, then a mutual agreement to enter security and cooperation talks (in politics, economics, culture and society) is the first step. Such a process needs to open to all and organized at once. At least with people talking and working out their differences, with each nation and group allowed its right to speak and be heard, there is less immediate chance in some respect for a holocaust of conventional and WMD war in the Indian Ocean Area. Read more details about The Cepia Clubs Libertarian Internationalism proposal at:

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