The United States military is the most formidable force in the history of man. In terms of intelligence, technology and personnel the nation’s military is second to none. Having this force stand behind the principles of the US constitution is a comforting notion to many around the world, and many nations look to the United States to mediate international conflicts and prevent crimes against humanity.
Initially, the United Nations supported action in Iraq following Saddam Hussein’s initial refusal to open his doors to nuclear inspectors. America dove in with the stated goal of ridding the Iraq of its nuclear weapons and the international community of this threat. America has often used its “liberator” narrative in order to justify its foreign ambitions — Lyndon Johnson used it when discussing American duty to Vietnam as did George H.W Bush in explaining the first Iraq War. The most recent president to do this was George W. Bush, who proclaimed, “America is a nation with a mission – and that mission comes from our most basic beliefs. We have no desire to dominate, no ambitions of empire. Our aim is a democratic peace – a peace founded upon the dignity and rights of every man and woman.”
However, the truth and mechanics of American intervention are far more complex than the simple dogmatism Presidents so often publicize. America’s role has often been more heavily influenced by private geopolitics and alliances than an allegiance to the human race. The leaked special operations manual published by Wikileaks illustrates this deception clearly.
The Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces (1994,2004) manual is a playbook for suppressing popular uprising. The work prescribes measures to develop “divisive programs [that] create dissension, disorganization, low morale, subversion and defection within insurgent forces”. The manual instructs host nations on a consultative program that the United States employs to discredit and eliminate popular challenges to government. The United States military manual advises countries to employ censorship and psychological operations. These manipulative strategies are designed to “make the imposition of control more palatable to people” by emphasizing security concerns.
Moreover, it suggests that nations avoid discussing misconduct and violations of the Geneva Convention with journalists and civilian contractors. The manual also claims that the employment of “emergency legislation” such as martial law that may include “permitting government forces to search without warrant, to detain without bringing formal charges, and to execute other similar actions”. The program is designed to force the insurgents to “cross a critical threshold-that of attacking and killing the very class of people they are supposed to be liberating.”
The United States provides advisory assistance to repressive nations and regimes that contradicts many of the explicit values of its own constitution. It is surprising that there is such a wide gulf between the role that United States claims to play around the world and the one it actually carries out. Between censorship, warrantless seizure, the incentivization of murder it seems that the United States government and military are putting the hundreds of billions of dollars in defense spending to use in ways that directly contradict the morality of this nation.