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On DoD Directive 3000.05, “Military Support for Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction (SSTR) Operations”


 

On DoD Directive 3000.05, "Military Support for Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction (SSTR) Operations"
 
This directive reveals a lot of how the US military apparatus sees our imperialism. Good deeds like providing “essential services” are tolerable if they “advance US interests and values” like a “market economy,” and “democratic institutions” are acceptable if they give room to a “robust civil society” (http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/9970 ) where the “rule of law” can shield democracy from the population.
 
It is puzzling how the document stated that the “immediate goal often is to provide the local populace with security, restore essential services, and meet humanitarian needs.”
 
Though it is not directly stated, the timing and the phrase “restore essential services” seems to be referring to Iraq, where the populace certainly needed security from the invading forces that laid waste to the country with more tonnage of bombs dropped than what the US used in World War Two, and where playing on sectarian divisions unleashed a brutal civil war that raged until Baghdad was successfully cleansed of many Sunni’s. At its height the Baghdad morgue said it was receiving the bodies of young Sunni men daily. The “essential services” of electricity, clean water and jobs are still below pre-war levels leaving the conclusion that “restoring” them should include indicting those who put them at risk in the first place.
 
And it is difficult to imagine the DoD considers “humanitarian needs” to be an “immediate goal” they are so concerned with addressing. As we look at the daily horrors perpetuating slowly in Africa, Asia and South America or how the planet is being degraded to dangerous levels we should inquire into how much the US military is implicated in the ongoing crimes. In fact, Africans are keenly aware of this and that is why the US’s AFRICOM is not stationed in Africa, but Germany (a country we have permanently positioned ourselves). And the reason is clear: we are not welcomed. Or take the environment, a look at places like Diego Garcia (whose interesting and recent history is revealing) or Guam or countless other islands and countries that are home to nearly 1,000 foreign bases the US maintains reveals a huge amount of pollution and usurping of natural resources.
 
The operative phrased used throughout the document is “stability.”
 
Stability operations are a core U.S. military mission that […] shall be given priority comparable to combat operations and […] are conducted to help establish order that advances U.S. interests and values.
           
The cat is out of the bag. Stability is nothing more than a codeword for unmolested US hegemony. This can be achieved by maintaining society, or shall we say containing society through use of proxy or mercenary force,
 
Many stability operations tasks are best performed by indigenous, foreign, or U.S. civilian professionals. Nonetheless, U.S. military forces shall be prepared to perform all tasks necessary to establish or maintain order when civilians cannot do so […] Military-civilian teams are a critical U.S. Government stability operations tool.
 
The US, as Obama recently told students, “will maintain America’s military dominance” and one way we seek to do that is by “stabilizing” other countries so that we can further “establish order that advances U.S. interests and values.”
 
And this directive, though far from the norm of our history, signals that the use of proxy and mercenary forces will play a much more dominant role than in the past.
 
“This Directive is effective immediately.

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