US Seen as Only World Superpower

A TOP-secret Pentagon strategic planning document that calls for the United States to maintain its new role as the world's only superpower is consistent with Defense Secretary Dick Cheney's public policy statements, a senior military official says.

The document, called the Defense Guidance, is the basis of long-term Pentagon budget planning. It is still subject to revision, the official noted March 9. A copy of the draft was leaked to The New York Times.

"While the United States cannot become the world's 'policeman' by assuming responsibility for righting every wrong," the Defense Guidance reportedly says, "we will retain the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests but those of our allies or friends, or which could seriously unsettle international relations."

The draft planning document calls for the US to:

* Ensure that no rival superpower arises in the former Soviet Union or anywhere else.

* Discourage advanced industrial nations, such as Germany and Japan, from challenging American leadership.

* Use military force if necessary to prevent the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

* Threaten retaliation in kind against any country that uses such weapons.

* Encourage extension of the NATO defense commitment to the newly independent nations of Eastern Europe.

* Form coalitions with other nations where possible, but to act independently where such coalitions are not forthcoming.

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