Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Shocking and Awful Truth

"This document contains an in-depth analysis of the concept of “Shock and Awe” warfare as set forth by its architects and authors in “Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance,” a book published by the National Defense University (December 1996), an institution funded by the Pentagon. The concept came into the news recently when on January 24, 2003 CBS News reported and confirmed that the Shock and Awe concept was the basis for the U.S. war plan for Iraq.

"Conventional warfare exists based on particular established, “tried and true” doctrines, which are specific concepts that function as guidelines for planning and executing military operations. “Shock and Awe” was proposed in 1996 by its planners as a “revolutionary” new doctrine based on the idea that it might be possible to defeat an adversary’s will itself – essentially to so rapidly overwhelm all aspects of his being with destruction and fear so that he is demoralized, confused, and hopeless; so that he risks no further pain.

"Shock and Awe is notable in another way: the plan explicitly calls for targeting of civilian infrastructure such as “water supplies, food processing and sanitation.” The destruction of Iraq’s water supply during the 1990-91 Gulf War resulted in a health and sanitation crisis, which was well-documented by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency while the crisis progressed. These important declassified documents are reviewed and cited in the context of Shock and Awe’s heavy emphasis on the destruction of an adversary’s water supplies, sanitation facilities, and power grids. It is this priority of Shock and Awe, along with its fundamental prerequisite of “imposing an overwhelming level of Shock and Awe,” which will make it so controversial.

"With that in mind, it is of significant interest that the mainstream American corporate media have chosen to all but ignore the substance of Shock and Awe. Media coverage to date has mostly avoided close scrutiny of Shock and Awe’s original text.

"When there has been reporting on Shock and Awe it has sometimes centered on the fact that the plan’s key architect and author, Harlan K. Ullman, revealed in an interview on CBS News January 24, that 300-400 cruise missiles would strike targets in Baghdad on the first day of a Shock and Awe war. (During the first Gulf War, which lasted 39 days, a total of 325 cruise missiles were launched.) On the second day, another 300-400 missiles would strike Baghdad. And with the 1,500 or more conventional “smart” 1-ton bombs, and high numbers of “e-bombs,” some have said it would be 10 times the amount of ordnance dropped during the entire Gulf War – al in about 48 hours.

"Coupled with the fact that a fundamental tactic of Shock and Awe is to destroy non-military zones and facilities (see discussion below), suddenly the level of destruction takes on a new significance. Consider this excerpt from the text:

'Shock and Awe are actions that create fears, dangers, and destruction that are incomprehensible to the people at large, specific elements/sectors of the threat society, or the leadership. Nature in the form of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, uncontrolled fires, famine, and disease can engender Shock and Awe. The ultimate military application of Shock and Awe was the use of two atomic weapons against Japan in WW II.'"

The "Shock and Awe" Experiment

So, "Shock and Awe" is the military code-name for warfare aimed at killing and terrifying the civilian population. Pure terrorism.

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