Part of the methodology of shock and awe is the use of nukes. (See above sources for confirmation.) The correct military phrase given to shock and awe translates into: the ends justifies the means. As this war starts to drag on and casualties pile up (and it is already happening--the US has invaded a swamp and is outnumbered despite superior firepower and technology), the nuke option becomes a reality. Yep, that's right. Nuke Baghdad or Basra. Establishment of credibility. The use of weapons of mass destruction in order to stop them. Heh. And they'll do it unless we get these morons out of there, because they won't withdraw the troops, the US army can't tell Iraqi soldiers apart from civilians, and they won't accept defeat. This requires genocidal tactics, and the mildest (!) form would be to simply evaporate a city.
A story from the Guardian:
One man has been watching the fearsome bombardment of Baghdad more closely than most - Harlan Ullman, the former US navy pilot who convinced Washington to embrace his 'shock and awe' tactic. He tells Oliver Burkeman why the strategy is working
Tuesday March 25, 2003
Shock and awe are not among the words first called to mind by the opening sentences of the final report of the Rapid Dominance Study Group, an informal affiliation of seven men, mainly ex-military, who spent the "mid-1990s meeting to talk defence in the verdant suburbs of Washington. "The purpose of this paper," they began soporifically, "is to explore alternative concepts for structuring mission capability packages around which future US military forces might be configured." One member of the Study Group had co-written a novel with Tom Clancy, as it happened - but they weren't concentrating on the mass market at the time. The paper "was only really meant to be used inside the Pentagon," says its lead author, a 62-year-old, amiable retired navy pilot called Harlan Ullman. But any chance of that had long evaporated by the end of last month, by which time shock and awe, the phrase denoting the military theory that Ullman largely invented, could not be avoided in news coverage of the coming war. On Friday, in Ba"The phrase, as used by the Pentagon now, has not been helpful," Ullman concedes, racing between appointments in Virginia, outside Washington. "It has created a Doomsday approach - the idea of terrorising everybody. In fact, that's not the approach. The British have a much better phrase for it: effects-based operations."
But it is shock and awe that television and newspaper coverage of the war has adopted unanimously to describe the unprecedentedly heavy aerial bombardment unleashed on Baghdad, and other cities in northern Baghdad, from Friday and intermittently over the weekend. And it is shock and awe that has also rapidly come to epitomise, among opponents of the conflict, all the indiscriminate, terror-inducing destructiveness they perceive in the coalition military machine.
Which is, Ullman insists today, "entirely wrong. The notion is to do minimum damage, minimum casualties, using minimum force - even though that may be a lot. It's been taken out of context." At least in the rarefied corridors of the National War College, where Ullman taught, shock and awe was never supposed to be about obliteration but about will power: stunning one's opponent into realising that your might was so enormous, so unbeatable, that the fight was as good as over. "The question is: how do you influence the will and perception of the enemy, to get them to behave how you want them to? So you focus on things that collapse their ability to resist."
This need not necessarily involve massive bombing. On Wednesday night, after US commanders ordered a smaller strike of Tomahawk missiles at targets they believed included Saddam Hussein, CNN, for one, began running an on-screen alert reading "Shock and Awe postponed". But "that was classic shock and awe," says Ullman, who is now strategic associate at the centre for strategic and international studies in Washington. "If you kill the emperor, the empire's up for grabs. And had we killed him, it would have been a classic application [of the theory]: $50m of ordnance, and we won the war."
After this, the argument begins to get a little circular: the postponement of shock and awe "was shock and awe, too," Ullman says, because "we were threatening shock and awe". But the reason for the emergence of the theory at this point in time is clear: it is the philosophical companion to America's staggering technological superiority in warfare. Trying to shock your enemy is not new - "but what was new was the combination of technology and philosophy," Ullman says. "And before Rumsfeld, before 9/11, the Pentagon rejected it, you know. They said: 'We don't understand it.'" They preferred the Powell doctrine - swift overwhelming force to eliminate the enemy, but at potentially huge cost, human and otherwise, on both sides.
Despite Ullman's insistence that the theory is designed to win conflicts with minimum casualties, shock and awe has won him few friends in the anti-war movement, where it has been almost universally interpreted as a recipe for wreaking huge destruction. Some of this is to do with how the Pentagon has presented it: one official told the CBS TV network recently that, "There will not be a safe place in Baghdad... The sheer size of this has never been seen before, never been contemplated before." And much of it has to do with a distinguishing trait of "defence intellectuals": a certain distancing from the grim daily news emerging from real-life battlefronts, and, in Ullman's case, a preference for legendary tales like the one he enjoys recounting about Sun Tzu, the warrior-philosopher of ancient China.
"Sun Tzu was hired by the Emperor as a general, and instead of an interview, the Emperor told him to teach his concubines to march. Because if he could do that, he could do anything. So Sun Tzu said: 'Do I have complete control?' The emperor said yes. So he told them to march, and the concubines just laughed. Then he summoned the head concubine and cut off her head. Then they marched."
For many, though, by far the hardest thing to stomach about Ullman is the historical example he gives of shock and awe working as it should: the dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is hard to argue with his opinion that this was "the maximum case of changing behaviour". It is easier to argue with his conclusion that it saved countless lives.
"But take a look at the Japanese during the second world war!" he exclaims. "Large numbers of civilians were committing suicide, and we were bombarding the islands with firebomb raids that would incinerate, in a night, 100,000 Japanese - burn them in the night. This was unbelievable horror. We were starving the Japanese, because we'd blockaded them. General George Marshall projected that invasion would impose about a million American casualties, and we could have de-peopled Japan: no more Japanese. We dropped two nuclear weapons, and they quit.
"They were suicidal in the extreme. And they could comprehend 1,000 bombers, 100,000 dead Japanese, but they couldn't understand one plane, one bomb, one city gone. Those people who say it was inhuman - it wasn't inhuman to drop the atom bomb if you believe in saving lives in the long run. Now, can you do that with a minimum amount of force today? We think you can."
Coalition progress in the current war has been "remarkable", Ullman maintains. "People don't realise. The war just began on Wednesday. It's like saying to Eisenhower, four days after D-Day - why the hell haven't you got to Berlin yet?" In a week, or maybe 10 days, he says, we "will know whether shock and awe has worked" - although it is not clear precisely what will constitute "working".
All of which is not to say that Ullman supports the war. Surprisingly, perhaps, he doesn't. "Where we are is where we are, and this is not a criticism and don't write it as such, but if it had been up to me I would have waited months, perhaps, to get a second resolution, when it would have been clear that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction," he says. "I don't agree with the administration view that Iraq is a clear and present danger, an imminent threat. But as we say in aviation, the three most useless things to a pilot are airspace above you, runway behind you and fuel you no longer have left in the tank."
Lester was manipulated by Patrick at 3/27/2003 12:19:00 AM