From Volume 5, Issue Number 20 of EIR Online, Published May 16, 2006

This Week You Need To Know


Rebuild U.S. Military Around Corps of Engineers Function

by Jeffrey Steinberg

In recent conversations with Lyndon LaRouche, the following set of basic observations and proposals emerged.

1. During his 1989-1993 tenure as Secretary of Defense in the George H.W. Bush Administration, Dick Cheney presided over a radical transformation of the U.S. military, which has now reached a crisis point, where many flag officers, active-duty and retired, have warned that the entire military structure has been hollowed out, nearly to a point of total destruction. The extension of the Iraq mission, and the looming prospect of a broader Persian Gulf military engagement targetting Iran, would be the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back" of the U.S. military altogether.

As Secretary of Defense, Cheney first cut the size of the U.S. Army by one-third. During his tenure, the U.S. Army went from 18 divisions down to 12 divisions. Once the military had been severely downsized, under the ostensible "peace dividend," brought about with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States shipped 500,000 troops to the Persian Gulf for Operation Desert Storm. Then Cheney turned around and hired Halliburton to conduct a $10 million study into how to "outsource" and "privatize" key military support functions. Having created a gaping hole in the military's readiness, Cheney shoved privatization and outsourcing down the throats of the uniformed military. It was a carefully orchestrated seduction, one in which Cheney played an important, albeit bit part. Others with greater intellectual capacity, like George Shultz and Felix Rohatyn, did the planning. Cheney was the compliant thug who did the implementation. And, of course, when the Clinton Administration came into office, Cheney stepped in as president and CEO of Halliburton, and transformed the petroleum-infrastructure company into the primo Pentagon contractor, once he became Vice President in 2001....

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