Death of Wolfowitz Doctrine and its Global War on Development. Part one
by Simon Chege Ndiritu on 11 Jun 2024 1 Comment

The US security policy based on the reckless, and imperialist Wolfowitz Doctrine is collapsing, but Washington cannot admit either the policy or failure for fear of losing already waning credibility.


The Wolfowitz Doctrine was an unofficial name given to an earlier version of the US Defense Policy Guidance (DPG) 1994-1999, which leaked to the media in early 1992, and detailed how Washington planned to prevent countries other than itself and its allies (Western Europe, Germany, and Japan) from developing to attain regional dominance or present threat similar to USSR before.


The same report stated that Washington would dominate its allies, and named Germany and Japan as two technologically advanced countries it would purport to provide defense needs to prevent them from rearming, obtaining nuclear weapons, dominating their regions, and challenging the US.


The line of thinking behind the Wolfowitz Doctrine has guided Washington’s policy since 1992, but Pentagon has not attained its goal, as can be seen in Biden’s US National Security Strategy (NSS 2022) which lists four countries; China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea as having developed to militarily stand for their interest, despite Washington’s 30 years of military adventures costing countless lives, and trillions in treasure.


The Crux of Wolfowitz


The New York Times article reporting on the leaked policy was headlined “U.S. Strategy Plan Calls for Insuring No Rivals Develop”, and ‘rivals’ meant countries unwilling to be dominated, and having military means to resist. The telling headline meant that Washington set itself up for conflicts with as many countries as would desire freedom; practically all considering the history of anticolonial struggles including the ongoing case in New Caledonia.


Africa was absent in DPG 1994-1999, suggesting that Pentagon thought that the continent was incapable of developing even without suppression. However, the Pentagon soon changed its mind, and initiated disruptive activities in Africa, starting in Somalia in the summer of 1992 and maintains such actions to date. Washington decided to distract Africans from development by arranging endless wars, including on terror, while it sowed chaos and bombed economic infrastructure, for instance in Al-Shifa Pharmaceuticals in Sudan in 1998, and Libya in 2011. Despite such, it (Washington) still finds itself in an unenviable position as noted in its NSS 2022 psychological projection where it expresses its goals to “fight shared threats” and “malign influence” in Africa, despite some countries (in Sahel) demanding Pentagon’s departure.


Washington, the main Malign Actor


How does the US describe its military intervention in Africa since 1992-1995 debacle in Mogadishu, 1998 Al- Shifa bombing in Sudan, NATO’s war on Libya in 2011, and its resulting conflagration in Sahel lasting, to date? That is Malign. Countries in Sahel have observed Washington’s destructive role and demanded its withdrawal, exposing the pentagon’s policy failure.


The Wolfowitz Doctrine placed the US military at the center of global policy and outlined preparations for interventions in the Arabian Gulf, Koreas, post-Soviet space, and Panama, which in hindsight have occurred but have achieved the opposite results. It purported to leave Africa out, but the US led a military intervention in Somalia in the summer of 1992, that foreshadowed the never-ending pursuit of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, complete with bombardment of hospitals, bridges, and shooting at civilians.


The intervention’s first stage ended in 1995’s battle for Mogadishu without achieving set goals, but killing and injuring hundreds of civilians, just like the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. It accelerated a violence spiral that led Somalia further into failed status and primed it for later intervention during the “global war on terror” after September 11, 2001. Notably, the Somalia-based Al-Shabaab* terror group developed despite the US military presence, showing how Washington’s presence has nothing to do with fighting terrorism. So, what is the role of the US military presence?


Destroying infrastructure to prevent development is what the US does under the guise of “fighting terrorism” as can be gleaned from Bill Clinton’s strike on Sudan’s Al-Shifa Pharmaceuticals in 1998. A CNN article titled “US missiles pound targets in Afghanistan, Sudan” revealed that the US bombed a pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan that was allegedly making “chemical weapons” as retaliation for embassy bombing in Nairobi and Dar-e-Salaam a few weeks earlier.


Noteworthy, Osama-bin-Laden nor Al-Qaida* never claimed responsibility, which makes America’s conclusion that this group was responsible, as questionable as the proposal that it had a “chemical weapons” factory in Khartoum. Also, a claim that the US bombed a facility supposedly making chemical weapons in a city, without minding whether chemical agents may be dispersed to harm civilians, is curious.


The same CNN article revealed that people with masks, and not hazmat suits, inspected the bombed sites, making the claim of presence of chemical weapons spurious. It is probable that the Pentagon bombed the facility to prevent Sudan from manufacturing advanced pharmaceuticals, and hence protect big Pharma’s monopoly, or make Washington’s sanctions that prevented Sudanese from accessing medicine more effective. A precedence is noted in how the US Sanctions prevented Iraqis from accessing food and medicine, causing the deaths of 500,000, children to the celebration of Madeleine Albright. Syria also experienced such preposterous accusations followed by US-led bombing of a cancer research facility.


After US adventures into Somalia and Sudan, its malign activities went further to Libya and the Sahel, with its 2011 Libyan intervention bearing hallmarks of preventing ‘rivals’ from developing. The intervention reversed Libya’s development as the country was then among the best in Africa with Human Development Index. Washington’s action demolished infrastructure and allowed Tuareg rebels to loot arms and return to their countries in Sahel to cause chaos.


First, they trained their guns on northern villages of Mali, to the great disappointment of the Malian armed forces. These armed forces orchestrated a coup in protest, while Tuaregs were defeated by heavily armed Islamist militants, whose history hitherto is sketchy, just like ISIS’. Notably, these Islamist groups justified the US and French military interventions, just as ISIS had done in Iraq and Syria, or how al-Qaida* justified the bombing of Khartoum as discussed earlier. The US military presence has not reduced such terrorist threats, which have spread into Burkina Faso, and Niger and caused both governments to collapse in coups.


The US and Terrorists Must go


Noting that these terrorist groups grew from Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaida*, which formed from US funding of Islamists to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, it is clear that the US is arranging the terrorist threat as a justification to expand its presence in Africa. It has been expanding its military presence alongside the terrorist threat, and governments in Sahel seem to have noted it.


As a result, the US policy of keeping Africans distracted in perpetually fighting terrorists and ignoring development is collapsing in the hands of African governments in the Sahel. These governments are progressively demanding the withdrawal of the US forces, leaving the Pentagon hard-pressed to explain just why it should remain in Sahel while its presence only expanded the terror threat. Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger are seeking Russia’s assistance, as a country that can conclusively defeat the terrorist threat and allow them to focus on development.


*Banned in the Russian Federation

Simon Chege Ndiritu, is a political observer and research analyst from Africa, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”. Courtesy

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