Moral Outrage
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US Drones and Special Ops ending national sovereignty

Make no mistake: we’re entering a new world of military planning. Despite the talk of massive cuts, the Pentagon budget is actually slated to increase through 2017: in the name of Washington’s needs, it will offer a direct challenge to national sovereignty.

There will be no more land wars on the Eurasian continent. Instead, greater emphasis will be placed on the Navy, the Air Force, and a policy “pivot” to face China in southern Asia where the American military position can be strengthened without more giant bases or monster embassies.

It means being repositioned off the coast of national sovereignty and all its knotty problems.

Think of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden as a harbinger of and model for what’s to come. It was an operation enveloped in a cloak of secrecy. There was no consultation with the “ally” on whose territory the raid was to occur. It involved combat by an elite special operations unit backed by drones and other high-tech weaponry and supported by the CIA. A national boundary was crossed without either permission or any declaration of hostilities. The object was that elusive creature “terrorism,” the perfect global will-o’-the-wisp around which to plan an offshore future.

Coupled with this, the U.S. now has drone bases across the planet, 60 at last count. Increasingly, the long-range reach of its drone program means that those robotic planes can penetrate just about any nation’s air space. It matters little whether that country houses them itself.

They are, relatively speaking, cheap to produce. They can fly long distances across almost any border with no danger whatsoever to their human pilots and are capable of staying aloft for extended periods of time. They allow for surveillance and strikes anywhere. By their nature, they are border-busting creatures. It’s no mistake then that they are winners in the latest Pentagon budgeting battles. With the U.S. military working to roboticize the future battlefield, the American way of war is destined to be imbued with Terminator-style terror.

Once upon a time, an American president had his own “private army” — the CIA. Now, in a sense, he has his own private military. Formerly modest-sized units of elite special operations forces have grown into a force of 60,000, a secret military cocooned in the military, which is slated for further expansion. According to Nick Turse, in 2011 special operations units were in 120 nations, almost two-thirds of the countries on Earth.


[Excerpts of TomDispatch article by Tom Engelhart]

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