CUBADEBATE: Is the US Likely to Launch a Military Attack Against Cuba?

Posted on December 25, 2009

Is the U.S. likely to launch a military attack against Cuba?
By Reinaldo Taladrid Herrero – November 27, 2009

A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.

Ejercicio Militar Estratégico "Bastión", maniobras militares que se efectúan en Cuba. Foto: Prensa Latina

“Bastion” Strategic Exercise, a regular drill carried out in Cuba (Photo: Prensa Latina)
Let’s take a brief look at all variables of this complex equation. After World War II, without exception and almost without respite, the U.S. has attacked or invaded other nations. This kind of decision, generally fueled by national interests, is justified by excuses that they explain or fabricate after the fact.
What document has ruled over this warmongering decision-making process? The National Security Strategy (NSS), currently in force and updated in 2006, when then-U.S. president George W. Bush signed it. This document says:


“If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self-defense, we do not rule out the use of force before attacks occur, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack. ”
In other words, it’s Bush’s preemptive strike policy, stated in the previous 2002 strategy, which is still in force, revisited all over again.
Now, the present 2006 document defines what the U.S. deems threats to national security, starting with ‘tyrannies’:


“People living in nations such as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Iran, Syria, Cuba, Belarus, Burma, and Zimbabwe know firsthand the meaning of tyranny; it is the bleak reality they endure every day. And the nations they border know the consequences of tyranny as well, for the misrule of tyrants at home leads to instability abroad.”
Further on it evaluates the present context, its accomplishments and its challenges:


“In Cuba, an anti-American dictator continues to oppress his people and seeks to subvert freedom in the region.”
And then it elaborates:


“If America’s nearest neighbors are not secure and stable, then Americans will be less secure.”
In short, what they call “threatening dictatorships” are also sources of internal instability. And they explicitly include Cuba on this absurd list of them.
What are these “challenges” described in the NSS?


The Defense Department is self-transforming to improve its capacity to cope with four classes of challenges:

– Destructive challenges posed by state and non-state actors using new assets and the state of the art in biotechnology, outer-space and cyber-operations, or directed-energy weapons to counteract the U.S.’s present military power.

– Terrorism, including networks like Al-Qaeda and its supporters, capable of using weapons of mass destruction.

And where does Cuba come into this picture?

1.  Terrorism. Cuba appears on the infamous and illegal list of terror-sponsoring nations. While it’s true that it was put there by another U.S. administration, it’s also a fact that it’s yet to be crossed off that list.

2. Cyber-terrorism. The first state accused of planning cyber-attacks against the U.S. was not Iran, Iraq or North Korea, but Cuba. In the hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence held on February 9, 2001 to address the issue of the “world threat”, the then director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Admiral Thomas R. Wilson, identified Cuba as a possible “cyber-attacking” country.

Also mentioned in the NSS is the threat of multiple forms of biotechnological warfare actions. It’s true that no statement along these lines has been made by the present U.S. Administration, but neither has this assertion been denied or said to be not in keeping with the facts. Nor have the U.S. government or its military authorities ever issued a clear, definitive denial of any claims that Cuba stands as a biological or chemical threat, as very often stated by high-ranking officials during the previous administration and even today by certain right-wing media in Miami and elsewhere.

3. Uncontrolled large-scale exodus. The document says:

“If America’s nearest neighbors are not secure and stable, then Americans will be less secure.”
The Cuban Adjustment Act remains in force, as is the illegal “dry feet, wet feet” policy, and illegal emigration is still an active weapon in the anti-Cuban arsenal. All of this is a breeding ground they cultivate to promote some kind of chaotic mass exodus from Cuba, which has more than once been said that it would be seen in the U.S. as an act of war by the Island.
A real and dangerous possibility


The anti-Cuban mafia that controls Miami politically and economically and carries certain clout in Washington’s calls on Cuba is seeing its tight grip on both fronts gradually coming loose, a debilitating effect that undermines the profitable industry of anti-Cuban and counterrevolutionary acts. Therefore, we must keep a watchful eye on any provocation either in the style of Brothers to the Rescue and the planes that violated Cuban airspace in 1996 or on the migratory front, aimed ultimately at driving the U.S. into a military conflict with Cuba. This has been publicly stated in local TV programs in Miami by leaders of the Cuban Liberty Council, the anti-Cuban mob’s visible face. By the way, this organization has just given an award to the “cyber-dissident” Yoani Sánchez, who described such decision as an “honor”.

Take a look at this statement by CFC President Diego Suárez that Channel 41 in Miami aired in the program “A mano limpia” in the year 2005:

Perhaps the most recent example, mysteriously ignored by the “free press”, is the Martínez Amendment that the U.S. Senate approved on July 23. It’s Bill S-1390, “U.S. defense budget for the fiscal year 2010”, introduced by the then Senator Mel Martínez (Rep.-Fl.) a few days before he resigned and approved by the plenary session without any known discussion or objection.

What does this Amendment say?

The National Intelligence director will present a report on Cuba to the intelligence and armed services committees of both Houses of Representatives within 180 days following approval of the Act. According to the said Amendment, the report should include:

Cuba’s cooperation agreements and relations with Iran, North Korea and other states suspected of running nuclear proliferation programs.

A detailed outline of Venezuela’s economic assistance to Cuba and any intelligence or other kinds of support that Cuba might be providing to the Venezuelan government.

A review of the evidence that the Cuban government or any of its branches is linked with the drug cartels or takes part in other drug trafficking activity.

Status and scope of Cuba’s undercover activity in the United States.

Scope of Cuba’s support for the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Central America and the Caribbean.

Status and scope of Cuba’s biological warfare R & D program.

Status and scope of Cuba’s cyber-war program.

As clear as day: not only has there been no clear-cut denial or official statement to exonerate Cuba from the above activity –which is sufficient grounds for the U.S. to launch a military attack against another country, according to the NSS currently in force– the Amendment was approved straightaway and annexed to the U.S. Army’s budget, to the point of having the National Intelligence Director report about Cuba’s alleged involvement in actions which, oddly enough, dovetail nicely into the concept of threat and challenge described in the NSS that would justify, should the political decision be made some day, a military aggression against the Island.

The neoconservatives remain in power

An assessment of the U.S.’s internal situation shows that, barring a few minor setbacks in past elections, the Empire’s neoconservative war hawks who have called the tune for the last 8 years are politically and economically untouched.  They have the present Administration on the rack, so they can somehow regain control of the executive or the legislative at any given time. Fidel said so in his Reflection: “Being President is one thing, but being in power is a whole different matter”, and that’s very easy to prove with a few examples in the case of the army:

They’re still in Iraq.

They’re sending more troops to Afghanistan.

They’re expanding their presence in other regions of the world.

There’s little, if any, possibility that the concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay be closed, as promised, within the stipulated deadline.

They increased the military budget without anyone asking any questions.

The military-industrial complex is intact and keeps drawing significantly from the economy, thus turning war into an economic necessity. This machinery imposes the consumption of military products in order to make them again, which only can happen in the field through armed conflict, and to that end the government keeps signing contracts worth billions supposedly to deal with problems in the battlefield.

International law: While this Administration is bent on regaining the U.S.’s lead in the world, the truth is that international law will be useless to stop it from attacking Cuba for any of the above reasons, as evidenced by the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq. What’s more: in the specific case of Cuba, some experts hold that there’s a hot war situation now that the so-called Cold War is over. Why? Let’s see:

Blockade: There’s been no change in the economic and commercial war on Cuba. If the blockade was designed to try and force the Revolution to surrender by hunger and disease and it’s still in place, we should ask ourselves why it is.

Internal subversion: The U.S. government keeps giving federal money directly to the counterrevolutionary factions inside Cuba and spurring them into action. If it’s clear that the mission of these micro-groups is to justify today’s aggressive policies and have an excuse to maintain it, why is the U.S. government still funding them?

Media war: Not only are the illegal Radio and TV Marti stations funded, they also finger the Island as an “enemy of the Internet” while they launder money through prizes to encourage “cyber-dissent” as an attempt to tarnish Cuba’s image in the world. This is known to happen and escalate every time the U.S. decides to attack another country. Otherwise, why does the U.S. government keep injecting millions into this activity?

There’s more, though. Why was the IV Fleet reactivated, all with its operational command ready to request and receive from the Atlantic Fleet any naval support it deems necessary and capable of undertaking any kind of military operation in the Caribbean, Central America and South America? In fact, they have fully equipped warships permanently deployed in our region as we speak. Who’s on their sights?

Why were those seven military bases established in Colombia, in addition to others planned for Panama? On the pretext of fighting drugs and terrorism, they can be used at any time to keep an all-out technological watch on whoever they want. Likewise, their closeness to those they U.S. labels adversaries makes it easier for them to launch military attacks when they think it fit and use the element of surprise to their advantage.

Add to this that Cuba is constantly, and shamelessly, spied on from aircraft flying near the Island since 2008. For instance, the presence in our airspace of the so-called RQ-4 Global Hawk, an unmanned version of the famous U-2 spy plane, has been widely documented.

Not far from our country is the USS Wasp (LHD 1), an amphibious multi-purpose assault ship deployed with units and means capable of carrying out many different missions. Incidentally, it made a stopover in the Guantanamo Naval Base, where it left a whole company to be trained.

Why all those military bases, spy planes and assault ships in nearby waters?

Taking all this into account, plus the certainty that the plans for a military attack against Cuba have been already drafted and the means to launch it are available, our government would show a huge lack of historical responsibility by failing to prepare for the defense of our national territory in case we’re invaded, and so much so in a country like Cuba, which for the last fifty years has been the victim of every kind of aggression in the book.

That’s why my answer to the question I asked myself in the beginning is: Yes, a military attack is definitely a possibility. Therefore, we do have to prepare ourselves for anything, because the only deterrent to the U.S. Empire is that we turn this land into a bastion that no foreign attacker can ever occupy.

Spanish original:

The National Security Strategy referred to above may be read here: