9/11, President George W. Bush was rushed to U.S. Strategic Command’s
underground headquarters outside Omaha, Nebraska for safekeeping. From that
day forward, the legendary command that for over half a century had
maintained America’s nuclear deterrent would never again be the same.
Nebraskans for Peace
Within months of the terrorist attack of 9/11, StratCom began
undergoing a drastic makeover at the hands of the Bush/Cheney
Administration. From its previously ‘unthinkable’ mission of nuclear
holocaust, StratCom was tasked with offensively waging the White
House’s “War on Terror”. The command now fields eight missions—nuclear
weapons; cyberwarfare; missile defense; global command and control;
intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance [ISR]; global strike; space;
and combating weapons of mass destruction.
StratCom Commander Kevin Chilton: "In 2002
this command did not experience a sea-state change but a tsunami of change
in the way it was organized and the missions that they were given to
perform." Former StratCom Commander James Cartwright:
"When we got to 2002 we brought space.
In 2003 we had a fire sale and picked up
missile defense, ISR and global strike. In 2005 we picked up combating
weapons of mass destruction. I’m hoping in 2008 we’ll get the world hunger
piece." [Laughter]. (www.stratcom.mil)
Although Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska remains the
command headquarters, StratCom now boasts a network of hundreds of military
bases distributed around the globe. The command’s broadened missions in
computer warfare, signals intelligence and Homeland Security give it direct
authority over the four services—Army , Navy, Marines and Air Force—and
indirect authority over multiple agencies like the National Security Agency,
Defense Intelligence Agency, CIA and FBI.
StratCom Commander Chilton: "Here in Omaha we
are an operational headquarters working to enable the successful prosecution
of our component commanders that are scattered throughout the country. We
are called on to be the most, in my view, the most responsive combatant
command in the U.S. arsenal." (www.stratcom.mil)
“The FBI and CIA are in our operations center 24/7.” Deputy Commander
Jennifer Napper, StratCom’s Global Network Operations. (http://www.alternet.org/audits/67699/)
The next war the White House gets us into, be it against a so-called
‘rogue state’ like Iran or geo-political rival like China, will be planned,
launched and executed from StratCom—utilizing either conventional or nuclear
Commander Chilton: "Responsible today for…
time-sensitive planning to conduct global strike operations anywhere on the
planet, we will remain as ready as ever in our nuclear deterrent role and
global strike mission areas." (www.stratcom.mil).
Former CIA analyst Philip Giraldi: "Under instructions
from Vice President Cheney’s office, STRATCOM is drawing up a contingency
plan [for] a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and
tactical nuclear weapons." - American Conservative, 8/01/05.
Under the Doctrine of Preemption and CONPLAN 8022-02 (Contingency
Plan), StratCom is now authorized to attack anywhere on the face of the
earth within one hour on the mere perception of a threat to America’s
national security—without first seeking congressional approval, as required
by the U.S. Constitution and the "War Powers Resolution."
“StratCom established an interim global strike
division to turn the new preemption policy into an operational reality. In
December 2002, Adm. James O. Ellis Jr., then StratCom's head, told an Omaha
business group that his command had been charged with developing the
capability to strike anywhere in the world within minutes of detecting a
target." - William Arkin, Washington Post, (5/14/05) (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/14/AR2005051400071.html)
StratCom, as an extension of the executive branch, has become an
accessory in flouting both national and international law. It’s usurping
Congress’s authority to declare war, conducting constitutionally suspect
“warrantless wiretaps” on our citizens, developing new generations of
nuclear weapons, pursuing ‘first-strike’ Star Wars missile defense systems
and launching ‘vigilante-style’ preemptive attacks—like the one on Iraq.
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan: "I
hope we do not see another Iraq-type operation for a long time—without UN
approval. ...I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter
from our point of view—from the charter point of view, it was illegal."
(9/15/04). Seventy percent of the weapons targeted on Iraq during the
preemptive "Shock and Awe” air assault were precision-guided from space by
StratCom’s fingerprints are everywhere nowadays… The threatened
attack on Iran—that’s StratCom’s global strike... The proposed ‘Star
Wars’ bases in Poland and the Czech Republic—that’s StratCom’s integrated
missile defense… The NSA’s “warrantless wiretaps” on American
citizens—that’s StratCom’s ISR mission… The current showdown with
China over its space program—that’s StratCom’s space command…
Developing new generations of nuclear weapons like the bunker buster
‘mini-nuke’ and Reliable Replacement Warhead—that’s StratCom’s strategic
"In December 2001, the administration issued a
provocative Nuclear Posture Review calling for the development of new, more
usable nuclear weapons [which runs] completely counter to U.S. obligations
under the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty."
Union of Concerned Scientists, “Global Security”
International Court of Justice: “There exists
an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations
leading to nuclear disarmament in all aspects under strict and effective
Under the goals outlined in the Bush/Cheney Administration’s revised “National Space Policy,” StratCom is
actively seeking the total domination of space for the U.S. and a few
approved allies… because whoever controls space controls the earth.
"President Bush has signed a new National
Space Policy that rejects future arms-control agreements that might limit
U.S. flexibility in space and asserts a right to deny access to space to
anyone ‘hostile to U.S. interests,’ - Washington Post (10/17/06). "The
United States was alone in voting against the [United Nations] resolution on
prevention of an arms race in outer space…
The PAROS resolution was adopted by a vote of
166 in favor, one against." - Nuclear Threat Initiative, March 2007 (www.nti.org)
StratCom is fast becoming the “Big Brother” that George Orwell warned of in his novel 1984. It’s spying on
our citizens and infringing on our civil liberties. It’s generating
round-the-clock spin about threats to our national security and the
increasing need for military strength. And it’s consuming an ever-greater
share of the budget for national defense as it pursues a strategy of
permanent war. For the 21st Century, it’s like Darth Vader in
the service of the Empire.
"StratCom is a laboratory for the future of
warfare." Space Foundation President Robert Walker in his opening remarks at
the “Strategic Space and Defense” conference in Omaha, Nebraska (10/11/06).
Billed as “the definitive global security conference, where the senior
leadership of U.S. Strategic Command, component and supported commands, and
the executive leadership of the national security industrial base gather,”
the event is annually co-sponsored by Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed
- The key elements of StratCom’s mission—such as global missile defense—will greatly exceed, in size and cost,
many of the major military-industrial projects of the past. With the current
Pentagon budget already totaling well over a half-trillion dollars annually,
paying for the cost of such StratCom projects will necessarily translate
into cuts in social spending and entitlements programs, like Medicare and
"If the majority of top policymakers have
longstanding ties to the companies that will benefit from the Bush
Administration’s ‘war without end’ approach to foreign policy, the
development of a missile defense ‘shield’ and a new generation of nuclear
weapons, who will represent the public interest?" - William Hartung, World
Policy Institute. "In the councils of government, we must guard against the
acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the
militaryindustrial complex." Dwight Eisenhower, 1961.
- In the wake of 9/11, StratCom has become the most dangerous place on the face of the earth.
But this transformation has happened so fast, hardly anybody knows it, and nobody’s talking about it.
And it’s high time we do.
** Omaha, and StratCom, will be the site of the Global Network's 16th annual International
Space Organizing Conference on April 11-13, 2008.