|Dangerous Crossroads: US Sponsored War Game|
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, October 6, 2007
US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) has announced the conduct of major war games under Vigilant Shield 2008 (VS-08).
Vigilant Shield 2008 (15 to 20 October, 2007) is designed to deal with a "terrorist" or "natural disaster" scenario in the United States. The operation will be coordinated in a joint endeavor by the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.
These war games are being conducted at an important historical crossroads, amidst mounting US pressures and threats to actually declare a "real war" on Iran.
VS-08 is predicated on the doctrine of preemptive warfare, with a vie to protecting the Homeland. The war games are coordinated with anti-terrorist drills directed against presumed Islamic terrorists.
Moreover, the announcement by NORTHCOM of the VS-08 war games-anti-terror drills coincided with a declaration by the Bush administration in early September that military action against Iran is being contemplated at the highest echelons of the US government and Military:
VS-08 is a large scale military exercise to be conducted over North America and the Northern Pacific Ocean, extending westwards towards the Far East borders of Russia and China:
Both the war games under VS-08 as well as the domestic antiterrorist drills involve the participation of Canada, Britain and Australia:
Pacific Shield 2007
Vigilant Shield 2008 will be preceded by another set of exercises organized by Japan. The Tokyo government will host a multinational Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Maritime Interdiction Exercise “Pacific Shield 07”(PS-07) in the eastern sea area off Izu Oshima, and at the Ports of Yokosuka and Yokohama (13-15 October, (See the Japanese government communique). The stated objective of the PS 07 exercises is to "prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)". Australia, France, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, and the US will be participating in 'Pacific Shield 07'.
The administration is talking about "linked exercises", where war scenarios are conducted simultaneously and in close coordination with civilian anti-terrorist drills. This central concept --which underlies the "Global War on Terrorism"-- has a direct bearing on the conduct of the US led war in the Middle East. At the same time, the process of "domestic security" has become entrenched and integrated into military planning.
The 'linked exercises" provide an environment which favors the militarization of civilian institutions. They also impart the military with a further opportunity to interfere in domestic civilian law enforcement and judicial functions.
The conduct of the anti-terrorist exercise is intended to justify the need to retaliate against an illusive outside enemy (Al Qaeda), even if the US is not attacked.
The above Pentagon statement suggests that a "Second 911" attack characterised by a "mass casualty producing event" is part of military doctrine and planning. A real "false flag" attack or even the threat of a terrorist attack could be used as a justification to wage war on Iran.
In the month following the 2005 7/7 London bombings, Vice President Dick Cheney is reported to have instructed USSTRATCOM to draw up a contingency plan "to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States". Implied in the contingency plan is the certainty that Iran would be behind a Second 9/11.
Targeting Russia and China
VS-8 is based on a scenario of confrontation with Russia and China. The Bush administration has accused Tehran of supporting Islamic terrorism, while also pointing to the fact that Iran in fact has the support of both China and Russia.
While the contents of VS-08 have not been released, last year's Vigilant Shield exercise (Vigilant Shield 07), which simulated the outbreak of a major war, contemplated four hypothetical enemies: Ruebek (Russia), Churya (China), Irmingham (Iran) and Nemazee (North Korea).
In last year's briefing documents of the Vigilant Shield 07 war games, the following scenario was contemplated by participants:
The outcome of VS-07 was a limited attack by Ruebek and Nemazee on the United States.
• Phase 2 / Execution: 10 – 14 Dec 06
The latter is a large scale anti-terror exercise for "top officials". It includes the participation of senior decision makers from federal, State and municipal governments, law enforcement, nongovernmental bodies as well as representatives from the business community.
According to Denis Shrader, Deputy DHS Administrator in testimony to the US Congress (October 3):
This year's TOPOFF 4 exercises involves setting off fake radiological dispersal devices (RDD) or "dirty bombs" in Oregon, Arizona and the US Pacific island territory of Guam. According to Northern Command:
TOPOFF is a propaganda operation intended for at top decision makers. The objective is to build a consensus among key decision makers that America is threatened by Islamic terrorists, using an improvised nuclear device.
These terrorists are, according to recent statements, supported by Tehran. The presumption is that the Islamic terrorists, rather than the US, UK or Israel, have the required military capabilities and constitute a real nuclear threat.
These various anti-terrorist scenarios are intended to build a consensus among key top officials in the US and its coalition partners that the terrorist threat is not only real but the terrorists would be attacking America in a "Second 911" as part of a broader process of military confrontation, in which a number of enemy countries including Ruebek, Churya and Irmingham would be involved.
We are not, however, dealing with a classical media disinformation campaign. While the TOPOFF exercise has been casually mentioned in press reports, it is not the object of extensive media coverage. In fact very few people are aware of these exercises.
With regard to TOPOFF, the consensus building process is "internal", it does not pertain to the public at large. The disinformation campaing is intended for key decision-makers within these various governmental and nongovernmental bodies. It includes more than 10,000 participants in important decision-making positions (federal and State officials, law enforcement, fire departments, hospitals, etc), who may be called to act in the case of an emergency situation. These individuals in turn have a mandate to impose the "Global War on Terrorism" consensus within their respective organizations, --i.e. with their co-workers and colleagues, as well as with the people working under their direct supervision.
In other words, this consensus building process reaches out to tens of thousands of people in positions of authority. The antiterrorist agenda and exercises thus become a "talking point" within numerous governmental and nongovernmental organizations.
In turn, the holding of these antiterrorist exercises supports the National Security doctrine of "preemptive war", --i.e. that America has to legitimate right to self defense by intervening in foreign lands including Iran and that America must defend itself against terrorists.
It also sustains the myth of WMD in the hands of terrorists, being used against America, when in fact the US is the largest producer of WMD, with a defense budget of more than 450 billion dollars a year.
The objective is to sustain the war and national security agenda --and of course the possibility of martial law-- within the governmental, nongovernmental and corporate business sectors. Ultimately, the objective is develop across the land, an unequivocal acceptance by key officials (and of their coworkers and subordinates), from the federal to the local level, for an emergency situation, where civil liberties and the rights of citizens would be suspended.
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