Old news for most of you…

…but believe it or not, there are readers who don’t commit every single post on this blog to memory — a fact I was reminded of this morning when someone sent a link to the PNAC story which this site has discussed on several occasions. So, for those of you who missed it, here’s the basic story of how the Administration’s key strategists have been fantasizing over the war with Iraq since at least 1997 — despite their insistence that they never even thought about it until 9-11-01.

The plan shows Bush’s cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says: ‘The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.’

The PNAC document supports a ‘blueprint for maintaining global US pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests’.

This ‘American grand strategy’ must be advanced for ‘as far into the future as possible’, the report says. It also calls for the US to ‘fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars’ as a ‘core mission’.

Update: More on how we got here, from Time magazine.