July 16, 2009
Germany: First New Post-Cold War World Military Power
The reemergence of Germany as an active military power in Europe and increasingly worldwide occurred entirely under the auspices of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which West Germany joined in 1955 and the East was brought into with reunification in 1990. The citizens of the former German Democratic Republic were given no opportunity to discuss much less vote on the issue.
The first post-World War II deployment of German military forces outside its borders – and outside of NATO’s self-defined security zone – in active military roles rather than in multinational exercises and United Nations missions was fostered and initiated under the chancellorship of Christian Democrat Helmut Kohl in the first half of the last decade.
But it was the Social Democrat-Green Party coalition government of Gerhard Schroeder and Joschka Fischer, what the Western press regularly referred to (with no tincture of irony and less understanding of political history) as a Red-Green alliance, that involved Germany in its first wars since the fall of Berlin in 1945. In fact two wars in less than two and a half years.
Chancellor Schroeder and his foreign minister Joschka Fischer provided Tornado warplanes for the 78-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999 and troops for the post-invasion occupation of Afghanistan after October, 2001. Both were NATO operations and the second was in response to the first-ever activation of the Alliance’s Article 5 mutual military assistance clause.
Humanitarian Intervention: 1939 And 1999
Writing in his memoirs years after the event, Schroeder justified his participating in the first unprovoked military assault against a European nation that had not threatened any other country since Hitler’s blitzkrieg campaigns of 1939-1941 by describing his motivations at the time, 1999:
“Now, on the cusp of the 21st century, the real challenge seemed to me not just to douse the most recent fire in the Balkans, but to bring peace to the region….The goal was exclusively humanitarian.”
Sixty years before the war upon which he reflected a predecessor of Schroeder as chancellor of Germany said:
“I ordered the German Air Force to conduct humanitarian warfare….In this campaign I gave an order to spare human beings.”
The latter is from Adolf Hitler’s speech in Danzig/Gdansk on September 19, 1939.
It’s also worth noting that one of the main justifications Hitler used for the invasion of Poland eighteen days before that speech was the alleged abuse and persecution of ethnic minorities: “More than 1,000,000 people of German blood had in the years 1919-20 to leave their homeland. As always, I attempted to bring about, by the peaceful method of making proposals for revision.”
In an interview with an American television station during the war against Yugoslavia German Foreign Minister Fischer said, “I think tradition and historical experiences, historical fears are very important. And for us now we have to find our role. And this is, on the military level, a very difficult one, but we are taking part in the air campaign. We have ships in the Adriatic.”
The air campaign wreaked death and destruction from the skies for 78 days, not sparing factories, bridges, refugee columns, passenger trains, religious processions, apartment complexes, hospitals and the Chinese embassy.
Weakening United Nations, Strengthening NATO
The aggression Fischer endorsed and help to direct, malicious and cowardly as it was, was also conducted without United Nations authorization and in flagrant violation of the principles upon which the United Nations Organization was formed.
Article 33 of the United Nations Charter states:
“The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.”
The mediation indicated is to be conducted as a last resort in the UN Security Council and not unilaterally at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
The Nuremberg Tribunal convened after the defeat of the last European power that arrogated to itself the right to attack other nations on the continent and to redraw its borders and defined crimes against peace as the worst violation of international law.
Principle Vl of the 1950 Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal characterized crimes against peace as the “Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances” and as the “Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under.”
From The Balkans To South Asia And Middle East: Air War Followed By Ground War, Naval Blockades
Although the tool employed to pry open the door barring the resumption of military aggression in Europe was so-called humanitarian intervention, that rationale would be discarded immediately after 50,000 NATO troops marched into the Serbian province of Kosovo. Few wars in moderns times have not hidden behind the pretext of defending the national security and safety of the citizens of the aggressor and of protecting innocents from harm and mistreatment.
The Schroeder-Fischer administration put Germany back into the business of waging war from the skies and on the ground and the country has continued to travel the same route ever since. Troops, armored vehicles and Tornados were transferred to South Asia and warships to the coasts of Lebanon and Somalia.
Humanitarian intervention was an ad hoc ruse employed to launch NATO as an active “out of area” warfighting machine and a political body to circumvent and replace the United Nations. Once the first part of that objective had been achieved it was dropped as quickly as it had been concocted and wars could then be conducted for traditional reasons: Territorial designs, the acquisition of resources, control of vital transport routes including sea lanes, punishing recalcitrant adversaries, revenge.
In the process Germany became the first major post-Cold War international military power. So much so indeed that even Time magazine couldn’t ignore the transformation – the Transformation as will be seen later – and in January of this year ran a feature entitled “Will Germany’s Army Ever Be Ready for Battle?”
In two sentences the Time report summed up how much territory has been traversed since what many in the world thought was the end of German militarism in 1945.
“The German army as it stands today is a relatively young creation, born after a period of demilitarization following the end of World War II. [T]he Bundeswehr has become increasingly engaged in international missions and is coming under pressure to step up its involvement in out-and-out warfare.”
The turning point was, of course, 1990.
“Since the 1990s, after reunification, German forces have become more involved in military missions abroad….There are currently 247,000 soldiers enrolled in the Bundeswehr and German troops are now serving all over the world, in places such as Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia and Lebanon.” 
Why Wars Are Really Launched
By 2006 “Germany [had] about 9,000 soldiers deployed in German missions around the world, a level [that] could increase to…14,000 troops in five theaters of operation.” At the time Defense Minister Franz-Josef Jung identified a main purpose of such missions and humanitarian intervention was conspicuously not mentioned:
“Eighty percent of our trade occurs on the seas, which naturally includes the security of energy supplies and raw materials.”
The exact words could have been used in 1914 and 1941.
In discussing the White Paper his ministry had just released, one which highlighted the transformation of the Bundeswehr into an international intervention force, Jung reiterated that NATO relations “remain the basis for Germany and Europe’s shared security” and that Germany’s alliance with the United States was of “paramount importance” to the nation. 
Jung added that “the government needs the ability to use the Bundeswehr inside of Germany….” 
Later that year Chancellor Angela Merkel initiated the next step in Germany’s expanding militarization and demanded an end to caps on defense spending. “You cannot say that the planned defense budget for the next 20 years is sacrosanct. A German government cannot say, ‘Please, don’t take part in any new conflicts in the next decades, because we can’t afford it.’” 
As she spoke German armed forces were deployed on eleven international military missions and would soon begin a twelfth by sending warships and troops to enforce the naval blockade of Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast.
A German news report in the autumn of 2006 revealed that “An official plan to modernize the Bundeswehr – to turn it from an unwieldy behemoth created to defend its own borders into a lithe organization ready to take on asymmetric threats around the world – has been underway for several years.
“Known in policy circles simply as ‘the transformation,’ it is due to be completed by 2010.” 
That conversion process included acquiring 600 Taurus air-launched cruise missiles. “Taurus is a 1,400–kilogram, all-weather guided missile with a range of more than 350 kilometers. The system will equip Tornado, Eurofighter and F-18 aircraft of the German and Spanish air forces.” 
It also, in 2006, included plans to spend six billion euros on “new navy frigates, submarines, helicopters and armored personnel vehicles.”
In relation to Defense Minister Jung’s earlier comments, “Germany’s military leadership has especially focused on modernizing the country’s navy fleet.” 
At roughly the same time it was announced that Germany would acquire 405 Puma tanks, “the most modern infantry tank on the market,” comparable to the U.S. Abrams tank used in Iraq. This month Berlin formally placed an order for the Pumas and a spokesman for its manufacturer said “NATO countries already equipped with the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann’s Leopard tanks – such as Spain, Turkey, Greece and Australia – would be ideal customers.” 
The Puma, which “sets new global standards for armored vehicles,” was first unveiled at the Bundeswehr’s fiftieth anniversary celebrations in Munster in 2006. “New types of missions…require a highly mobile weapons system that is ready for international deployment….” 
The preceding autumn Germany acquired two new submarines to add to eleven already in the Baltic Sea which then Defense Minister Peter Struck described as “a milestone” for his nation’s navy. 
The Tornado multirole warplane first used against Yugoslavia in 1999 and since deployed to Afghanistan is reported to be capable of delivering nuclear warheads, including the twenty the U.S. maintains at the German air base at Buechel.
Since 1989 German Tornado fighter-bombers have been based at the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico in the Southwestern United States. The American base “is the only location where the German Air Force trains aircrews in Tornado aircraft operations and tactics.”  Last year the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency advocated the continuation of the arrangement, stating that it would “contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the military capabilities of Germany and enhancing standardization and interoperability with U.S. forces.” 
Bundeswehr In South And Central Asia
In 2006 NATO first requested that the Luftwaffe send Tornado planes to Afghanistan where Berlin has stationed 3,700 troops, the third largest contingent in NATO’s International Security Assistance (ISAF) force, with the only the U.S. and Britain providing larger numbers of troops. Germany has its own base in Uzbekistan near Termez and as such has the only foreign forces left in that nation since the U.S. and other NATO forces were expelled in 2005. As of three years ago Germany had transported over 125,000 troops through the base.  Last year the German military announced plans to build a 67-kilometer railway line from Uzbekistan to Northern Afghanistan, complementing the air bridge it already operates.
In 2007 Germany delivered the first six Tornados to the war front in Afghanistan even though “More than three-quarters of Germans – 77 percent – said the country shouldn’t comply with NATO’s request to send Tornado jets to Afghanistan….” 
Plans for the warplanes were that they “would operate across the entire country, taking aerial pictures of Taliban positions and passing the information on to other NATO partners who would carry out strikes.” 
A German defense official at the time finally acknowledged that “What happens in Afghanistan is combat. Our troops have already been engaged in that, also in the north.” 
Though a year earlier a Defense Ministry spokesman, with no reference to alleged peacekeeping and certainly none to humanitarianism, admitted that “German military aircraft are seeing action in the volatile southern region of Afghanistan” and that “German military aircraft are supporting NATO operations in volatile southern Afghanistan.” 
No More “Humanitarian” Bombs
In a Der Spiegel feature called “Slouching Towards Combat,” a warning was issued that “He who spies targets, contributes to later bombing attacks with all the consequences that go along with them, including the ominous collateral damages previously known from the war in Kosovo.”  The admonition fell on deaf ears in Berlin.
The same source had earlier sounded another alarm, one worth quoting in length.
“Now it’s Tornado surveillance jets, equipped with cameras – and cannons. The Germans are allowing themselves to get deeper and deeper involved in the Afghanistan conflict, and there is no end in sight.
“Between Christmas and New Year , US C-17 transport planes will unload heavy German Marder tanks at the German military’s central headquarters in Mazar-e-Sharif.
“German Tornado jets were already deployed in combat situations about eight years ago – in order to ‘avert a humanitarian catastrophe’ in the Kosovo conflict, as the Bundestag resolution…stated then. It was the first time that German troops were deployed in combat since World War II. This time the Tornados are meant to fly as reconnaissance planes – but that can of course be changed at any time. They fire armor-shattering uranium munitions from their cannons and drop laser-guided precision bombs on the farms where the Taliban take refuge.
“But they also drop so-called ‘general purpose bombs’ – regular explosives of the kind commonly used for carpet bombing during World War II and in Vietnam.” 
In 2007 Germany additionally sent several Kleinfluggeraet Zielortung drones to the war theater, a type “much better suited to relay target information for artillery used by the Dutch troops in their fight against the Taliban….” 
At the same time former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who had first sent German combat troops to Afghanistan and for the first time to Asia, urged the current government to “widen its military operation into the southern part of the war-afflicted country.” 
Early in 2007 Germany signaled its intent to send its most sophisticated battle tank, the Leopard 2A6, to Southern Afghanistan, although German troops are stationed in the until recently comparatively peaceful North.
Last year Germany assumed command of NATO’s Rapid Reaction Force in Afghanistan. A news report on that development added that “When the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) deployed in Afghanistan in early 2002, some 850 German troops were in its ranks.
“That number has increased more than fourfold.
War Of West, NATO, Civilization: From Afghan Capital To North To Southern War Zone
“Confined at first to Kabul, the Germans’ mission was widened to the northern part of the country, where they took command in 2006….A few days ago the German Defence Ministry announced it was raising the ceiling on its troop deployments in Afghanistan from 3,500 to 4,500. And the next escalation is due on Monday as Germany takes over the [Rapid] Reaction Force in the north.” 
Earlier in the year an American press report titled “Germany enters Afghan war” said that “Germany…will now send battle forces to Afghanistan.
“NATO has for the second time requested that the German government deploy a unit of 250 battle soldiers to Afghanistan as part of a rapid-response force…..The unit would have to enter bloody combat if needed….” 
Der Spiegel reported last October that Germany, which has disguised its role in the war in Afghanistan behind the mask of so-called provincial reconstruction and other civilian projects, had spent over 3 billion euros on the Afghan War and that “Germany’s military expenditures in Afghanistan are nearly four times as high as its civilian aid.” 
This year, as part of Washington’s and NATO’s massive escalation of the war in Afghanistan, German troop strength is to be boosted from 3,700 to 4,400 no later than next month and Berlin has agreed to send four AWACS for the war effort in South Asia.
As German combat deaths increased to 35 late last month, Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung demonstrated no reservations about sacrificing more soldiers and to any who had misgivings about a war that will soon be eight years old and that is only intensifying he blustered: “My answer is clear: we are in Afghanistan because we have to protect there the security of citizens in Germany.”  A decade before some reference to the well-being of the local population would have been invoked, however disingenuously.
A week before, Jung, casting aside all use of peacekeeping, reconstruction and other euphemisms, told a German public television station: “If we are attacked we will fight back. The army has the necessary answers. In recent battles we have done well and we will continue to do so in the future.” 
Former defense minister Volker Ruhe, in referring to the fact that the Bundeswehr is conducting the largest and longest military operation in its history, said: “It is delusive if the Government pretends that the
Afghanistan operation is a sort of armed development assistance. It is a war of NATO, of the West, of civilisation….” 
Afghanistan and Central Asia are not the only places where the German military is waging a “war of NATO, of the West, of civilisation.”
Battle Duty: Germany Returns To Middle East
After Israel’s war in Lebanon in the summer of 2006 NATO nations began a naval blockade of the country’s Mediterranean coast. It was announced shortly thereafter that “Germany is to take the lead in patrolling the Lebanese coast and the German parliament is expected to vote next week on the historic deployment of the German army in the Middle East.
“Up to 3,000 troops and some 13 vessels are then planned to be sent to the troubled region. They are to prevent sea-based arms smuggling mainly from Syria to Hezbollah militants.” 
That is, the German military returned to the Middle East for the first time since World War II.
Describing the mission as it was being planned, Defense Minister Jung stated, “German soldiers have to be prepared against the will of ships’ captains to board ships suspected of smuggling weapons. In this regard, one can speak of battle duty.” 
In late 2008 there were 1,000 German troops stationed on eight ships off the Lebanese coast.
By February of last year “Germany contributed 2,400 personnel, including 625 soldiers, to the naval mission and led the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for 17 months, with a maritime force consisting of among others two frigates and two supply ships. The multinational force also includes ships from France, Spain and Portugal.” 
Two years later a Lebanese news report, “German Tanks to Lebanon to Control Border with Syria,” said that “Germany has decided to provide Lebanon with 50 Leopard tanks in addition to other military equipment to upgrade its border control with Syria” and that “a German military delegation is expected to arrive in Lebanon early in 2009 for discussions with Lebanese military officials regarding providing the Lebanese army with more military supplies.” 
Since the early 1990s Germany has not so much sold but given Israel six Dolphin submarines capable of launching nuclear-tipped missiles. One of those submarines recently crossed the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean in what Reuters characterized as a “signal to Iran.”
Germany has military personnel assigned to NATO in Kuwait, Jordan and Iraq, where in the latter instance they are part of the NATO Training Mission – Iraq in Baghdad.
Beginning in 2006 major German news sources revealed that the foreign intelligence agency BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst) during the Schroeder-Fischer years had provided the U.S. information on bombing targets in Iraq leading up to and during the attack against the nation in 2003.
If so, it would represent nothing new. More than two years before, in February of 2001, the BND released a report which stated it possessed “evidence” that “Iraq has resumed its nuclear programme and may be capable of producing an atomic bomb in three years” and was working on chemical and biological weapons. 
Berlin also trains Iraqi and Afghan officers and troops on its own soil.
Germany Military Returns To Africa And Targets Gaza
Germany has provided troops for the NATO mission in the Darfur region of Sudan and the European Union deployment in Congo as well as a nominal force for the EU’s military role in Chad and the Central African Republic in the conflict-ridden triangle of those two nations and Sudan.
In 2005 the government of Togo, a former German colony, accused Berlin of complicity in plotting its overthrow. Three years earlier Germany sent troops to join French, British and American allies in Ivory Coast after an invasion of and coup attempt in that nation.
Late last year Germany joined the European Union naval deployment in the Horn of Africa to complement its involvement with the NATO mission there. Berlin authorized “as many as 1,400 German Navy soldiers and one warship go to the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia as part of a joint EU effort” which “together with German soldiers involved in Enduring Freedom and NATO’s Allied Provider missions, could be moved back and forth at will….” 
Before the deployment was authorized defense chief Jung said “German warships should be used against pirates wherever German interests are threatened.” 
During and immediately after the Israeli offensive in Gaza from December 27, 2008-January 18 2009 it was announced that “Germany plans to send experts to detect Gaza tunnels”  and that “Technical experts from Germany are to travel to Egypt in the coming days to help secure its border with the Gaza Strip.” 
In the middle of the war Chancellor Angela Merkel “suggested German
peacekeepers be sent to Gaza” and Eckart von Klaeden, a foreign policy spokesman for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said “the use of German troops was feasible but they must have ‘robust’ powers.” 
In January a meeting was held in London of the Gaza Counter-Arms Smuggling Initiative (GCASI) and was followed up last month in Ottawa, Canada.
It was reported in a story called “Canada hosts a summit of NATO countries participating in the Israeli siege of Gaza Strip” that the second meeting of the Gaza Counter-Arms Smuggling Initiative was held with the “declared goal of tightening the Israeli siege and blockade of the Gaza Strip.” 
The GCASI members are Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States.
While the assault on Gaza was still underway a feature called “Israeli unilateral ceasefire to pave the way for deployment of NATO forces” offered this analysis of the role that the Gaza Counter-Arms Smuggling Initiative was intended to play:
“Germany, Great Britain and France already offered to send their naval forces to guard the Gaza Strip coastal waters. With the naval forces of leading European NATO powers already deployed off the coast of Lebanon and – allegedly to thwart pirates – off the Somali coast, the extension of NATO presence to the coastal waters of the Gaza Strip is designed to create a permanent hold on the entire area from the Horn of Africa and beyond, through the Suez Canal and up the eastern Mediterranean coast.” 
Training Armed Forces For New Caucasus Wars
A German Defense Ministry envoy visited the Georgia capital of Tbilisi this January and met with Deputy Defense Minister Giorgi Muchaidze, who said that “Georgia approaches closer to NATO standards” in large part because “Germany has been helping Georgia’s Defence Ministry for a long time” and “Up to 2,000 officers were trained in Germany.” 
Germany conducts comparable military training for the armed forces of Azerbaijan, like Georgia which fought a war with Russia last August a nation that may resume armed hostilities any day over so-called frozen conflicts in the South Caucasus.
In late May of this year Georgian Deputy Defense Minister Giorgi Muchaidze paid a three-day visit to Berlin where “The sides held military and political negotiations in the framework of the cooperation of Defense Ministries of Georgia and Germany in 2009. The parties also discussed the situation in Georgia after the August war….” 
Article 5 War Clause: Defending NATO Members, Allies From Baltic To Black Sea
In June Defense Minister Jung was in Lithuania preparatory to Germany resuming its command of the NATO Baltic air patrol and he and his Lithuanian counterpart “agreed on the need to implement the commitment on Ukraine and Georgia’s future membership of the alliance.”
As to what support for Ukraine’s and Georgia’s “NATO aspirations” entailed, Jung said “this process must involve all new members of the alliance, whereas NATO itself must ensure collective defence and strengthen its military response forces so that it can give an immediate response when the need arises.” 
Defending Berlin With Warships Off Cape Town
In 2006 Germany led 19-day joint military maneuvers in South Africa where Berlin has long-standing ties to the defense establishment going back to the cooperation between West Germany and the former apartheid regime there. The exercises off Cape Town included an estimated 1,300 soldiers and sailors, warplanes and warships.
A description of the war games said “Two of the world’s most advanced warships, South Africa’s SAS Amatola and Germany’s FGS Hamburg, together with fighter aircraft were protecting a virtual Berlin from attack.
“Berlin was successfully defended.” 
A year later NATO held naval exercises in South Africa in which warships from the navies of Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United States participated.
The drills marked “the first time that South Africa engage[d] its newly acquired frigates as well as its submarines in a training exercise with foreign forces in local waters.
“South Africa’s new warships were acquired from a German company.” 
The road from Bosnia and Kosovo has been a long one for the Bundeswehr. It has crossed four continents and no less than fourteen war and conflict zones. It has permitted a military buildup unimaginable a generation ago and has led to German military forces being dispersed to many nations and regions they had never been to before.
It has also permitted Germany to become the third largest arms exporter in the world and the supplier of advanced weapons – tanks, warplanes, submarines – to scores of nations.
1) Time Magazine, June 27, 2009
2) Deutsche Welle, October 25, 2006
4) Deutsche Welle, September 7, 2006
6) Defense News (U.S.), November 10, 2005
7) Die Welt, August 25, 2006
8) United Press International, July 8, 2009
9) Agence France-Press, May 8, 2006
10) Xinhua News Agency, October 19, 2005
11) Defense Security Cooperation Agency, July 18, 2008
13) Der Spiegel, Febuary 8, 2009
14) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, February 7, 2007
17) Pakistan Tribune, October 5, 2006
18) Der Spiegel, December 22, 2006
19) Der Spiegel, December 21, 2006
20) United Press International, March 12, 2007
21) Islamic Republic News Agency, August 19, 2007
22) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, June 29, 2008
23) United Press International, January 31, 2008
24) Der Spiegel, October 12, 2008
25) Associated Press, July 2, 2009
26) Agence France-Presse, June 24, 2009
27) Defense Professionals (Germany), June 26, 2009
28) Deutsche Welle, September 8, 2006
29) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, August 26, 2006
30) Deutsche Welle, February 29, 2008
31) Naharnet, December 23, 2008
32) BBC News, February 25, 2001
33) Deutsche Welle, December 10, 2008
34) Der Spiegel, November 21, 2008
35) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, January 19, 2009
36) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, January 14, 2009
37) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, January 7, 2009
38) Al-Jazeerah, June 11, 2009
39) Arab Monitor, January 17, 2009
40) Trend News Agency, January 14, 2009
41) Trend News Agency, June 2, 2009
42) Interfax-Ukraine, June 10, 2009
43) Xinhua News Agency, March 14, 2006
44) BuaNews (South Africa), August 28, 2007
July 14, 2009
From World War II To World War III: Global NATO And Remilitarized Germany
The reunification of Germany in 1990 did not signify a centripetal trend in Europe but instead was an anomaly. The following year the Soviet Union was broken up into its fifteen constituent federal republics and the same process began in Yugoslavia, with Germany leading the charge in hastening and recognizing the secession of Croatia and Slovenia from the nation that grew out of the destruction of World War I and again of World War II.
Two years later Czechoslovakia, like the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia a multiethnic state created after the First World War, split apart.
With the absorption of the former German Democratic Republic into the Federal Republic, which since 1949 had already claimed an exclusive mandate to govern all of Germany, the entire nation was now subsumed under a common military structure and brought into the NATO bloc.
Wasting no time in reasserting itself as a continental power, united Germany inaugurated its new claim as a geopolitical – and military – power by turning its attention to a part of Europe that it had previously visited in the two World Wars: The Balkans.
With military deployments and interventions in Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia from at least as early as 1995-2001 onward, the German Bundeswehr had crossed a barrier, violated a taboo and established a new precedent that paralleled the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936, the latter in flagrant contravention of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. Hitler’s sending the Wehrmacht into the Rhineland in that year has been observed by historians to have marked a decisive turning point in plans by the Third Reich towards territorial expansion and war. In fact, the standard argument runs, the provocation in 1936 made possible the next year’s bombing assault on the Spanish town of Guernica, the Munich betrayal of Czechoslovakia and the Anschluss takeover of Austria in 1938, the attack on Poland in 1939 and with it the beginning in earnest of a second European conflagration which wouldn’t end before some fifty million people had been killed.
The comparison between German military deployments in the Rhineland in 1936 and later ones in the Balkans in the 1990s will only appear extreme if the history of the years immediately following World War II are forgotten.
In the last of three meetings of the leaders of the major anti-Axis powers in the Second World War – Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States – in Potsdam, Germany after the defeat of the Third Reich, Winston Churchill (later replaced by his successor as prime minister Clement Attlee), Joseph Stalin and Harry Truman met and discussed precise plans for Europe in general and Germany in particular for the post-war period.
The Potsdam Conference issued a Protocol which stipulated that there was to be “a complete disarmament and demilitarization of Germany” and all aspects of German industry that could be employed for military purposes were to be dismantled. Additionally, all German military and paramilitary forces were to be eliminated and the production of all arms in the nation was prohibited.
It is now evident in retrospect that two nations whose heads of state were present either had no plans at the time to adhere to the Potsdam Agreement or if so quickly abandoned them.
A British document from the months preceding the surrender of Nazi Germany in May of 1945 and the subsequent Potsdam Conference of July 17-August 2 called “Operation Unthinkable: ‘Russia: Threat to Western Civilization’” was declassified and made public in 1998. A photocopy of the Joint Planning Staff of the British War Cabinet report identified by the dates May 22, June 8, and July 11, 1945 is available for viewing on the website of Northeastern University in Boston at: http://www.history.neu.edu/PRO2/pages/002.htm
“The overall political objective is to impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire.
“A quick success might induce the Russians to submit to our will….That is for the Russians to decide. If they want total war, they are in a position to have it.”
A few years ago a Russian appraisal of the document would state “This was the groundwork for the notorious Operation Unthinkable, under which World War II was to develop immediately, without interim stages, into a third world war, with the goal of ensuring the total defeat of the Soviet Union and its destruction as a multinational community.”  The total defeat of the Soviet Union and its disappearance as a multinational community in fact occurred in 1991.
The British wartime document consistently refers to the then Soviet Union as Russia, incidentally, and as such suggests plans not only for war but for a change of political system and a vivisection of the sort seen later in a post-war – that is, post-World War III – Russia.
When revelations concerning Operation Unthinkable became public in the late 1990s the strongest response to them came, not surprisingly, from post-Soviet Russia.
In March of 2005 Russian historian Valentin Falin was interviewed by the Russian Information Agency Novosti website in a feature called “Russia Would Have Faced World War III Had It Not Stormed Berlin” and spelled out the details of Churchill’s plans:
“The new war was scheduled to start on July 1, 1945. American, Canadian, and British contingents in Europe, the Polish Expeditionary Corps and 10-12 German divisions (the ones that had not been disbanded and kept in Schleswig-Holstein and Southern Denmark) were supposed to participate in the operation.” 
In further observations that provided the article its title, Falin added “Behind the determination of the Soviet leadership to capture Berlin and reach the demarcation lines established during the 1945 Yalta conference attended by Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill was a task of great importance – to make all possible efforts to foil a political gamble envisioned by the British leader with the support of influential US circles, and to prevent the transformation of World War II into World War III, where our former allies would have turned into enemies.” 
The Russian scholar, author of the book The Second Front, argued further that the taking of Berlin, which cost the lives of 120,000 Soviet soldiers, preempted Western plans for what may well have triggered a continuation of the Second World War into a third one.
“The battle for Berlin sobered up quite a few warmongers and, therefore, fulfilled its political, psychological and military purpose. Believe me, there were many political and military figures in the West who were stupefied by easy victories in Europe by the spring of 1945.
“One of them was US General George Patton. He demanded hysterically to continue the advance of American troops from the Elbe, through Poland and Ukraine, to Stalingrad in order to finish the war at the place where Hitler had been defeated.
“Patton called the Russians ‘the descendants of Genghis Khan.’ Churchill, in his turn, was not overly scrupulous about the choice of words in his description of Soviet people. He called the Bolsheviks ‘barbarians’ and ‘ferocious baboons.’ In short, the “theory of subhuman races” was obviously not a German monopoly. 
In a subsequent interview with the same source, Falin provided more information:
“U.S. Under-Secretary of State Joseph Clark Grew wrote in his diary in May 1945 that as a result of the war the dictatorship and domination of Germany and Japan passed over to the Soviet Union, which would present as much threat to Americans in the future as the Axis powers. He added that a war against the Soviet Union was as imminent as anything in this world can be. Grew was supposed to be a friend of the late President Roosevelt.” 
Recalling the dimensions of the proposed Operation Unthinkable – the combined attack (and invasion) force was to consist of 112-113 divisions including 10-12 Wehrmacht divisions – the Russian historian added that “The file on Operation Unthinkable declassified in 1998 says nothing about the propaganda chimeras about Moscow’s alleged plans of occupying ‘defenseless Europe’ and pushing to the Atlantic coast, as the Chiefs of Staff worked on practical operations directives.” 
Falin wrote an article a year later titled “Cold War an offspring of ‘hot war’” in which he says that the British “MI5 head, Sir Stewart Menzies, held a series of secret meetings with his German counterpart, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, in the unoccupied part of France to discuss making Germany a friend and the Soviet Union an enemy.” 
Sixty five years after the defeat of Nazi Germany there is more rather than less examination of the accusation that American and British government and military figures conspired with the Nazis before World War II and with German Defense Ministry and Wehrmacht officials in the waning days of the war.
In commenting on the rising tide of WWII revisionism in the West, reaching its nadir – to date – on this July 3rd with the passage of a resolution called Reunification of Divided Europe by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) which in effect makes the former Soviet Union (and by implication current Russia) co-responsible for provoking WWII, veteran Russian journalist Valentin Zorin reminded his readers of several events usually swept under the carpet by leading Western circles and their compliant media and scholars:
“The infamously failed Munich conspiracy of the western politicians and the Nazi Fuehrer sought to make the German Army march against the Soviet Union. In those days Moscow was pressing for forming an anti-Hitler coalition and invited a British and French delegation to that end. The talks proved long and fruitless. London and Paris actually sabotaged the talks while urging the Fuehrer to attack the USSR.
“Even after the war had broken out, top-echelon leaders in London and Paris would not give up their attempts to make Hitler’s divisions turn about and attack the Soviet Union. A several-month-long period of strange developments came to be known as a Phoney War. While deliberately inactive at the front, the British and French rulers engaged themselves in secret bargaining with Hitler.
“The secrecy of the bargaining was buried for a good half century later, on the 17th of August 1987, when Hitler’s Deputy in the Nazi Party Rudolph Hess, tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to life in prison, died at Berlin’s Spandau Prison in unexplained circumstances. 10 days before Germany attacked the Soviet Union Hess flew solo to Scotland to start secret talks with the circles close to the British government. It later transpired that the talks focused on ending fighting between the UK and Germany and agreeing on joint action against the Soviet Union….” 
It’s important to point out that neither the academician Falin nor the journalist Zorin is invested in invoking the events of 1939-1945 in defense of the former USSR and its leadership at the time or in settling scores regarding conflicts of past decades. Instead they and others, including Russia’s current political leadership, are far more concerned – more alarmed – about matters of the present and the impending future.
With the NATO Alliance, which in recent years has come to refer to itself routinely as Global and 21st Century NATO, encroaching upon contemporary Russia from most all directions and with increasingly brazen historical revisionism growing out of Western post-Cold War triumphalism reaching the point that Nazis and their collaborators are being exonerated while modern Russia is being tainted ex post facto as a villain in the Second World War, the prospect of a “transformation of World War II into World War III” mentioned above is not so far-fetched.
As Valentin Zorin’s article also says, “Some quarters would like to redraw the post-war boundaries in Europe and the Far East, question the validity of the UN Charter and bury the Nuremberg Tribunal rulings in oblivion. It is these modern-day revenge-seekers that channel and obviously fund the large-scale propaganda campaign of falsifying the history of the Second World War.” 
It’s been seen above that the leaders of Britain, the United States and Soviet Russia agreed in the summer of 1945 at the Potsdam Conference to the total demilitarization of Germany. All indications were that once that systemic disarming of the nation was completed Germany would never militarize again.
Instead in 1950, while fighting a war in Korea which included troops from most of its new NATO allies and which escalated into armed conflict with China, the United States started the process of forcing the rearming of West Germany and its eventual incorporation into NATO. Members of the U.S.-led military bloc pushed for the creation of a European Defence Community (EDC) with an integrated army, navy and air force, composed of the armed forces of all its member states.
A European Defence Community treaty was signed in May of 1952 but defeated by Gaullists and Communists alike in France. With that nation in opposition, the EDC was dead but the U.S. and Britain found other subterfuges to remilitarize the Federal Republic.
With the creation of the Western European Union in 1954 West Germany was permitted – for which read encouraged – to rearm and was given control over its own armed forces, the Bundeswehr.
The following year the Federal Republic of Germany was inducted into NATO. The Soviet Union and its allies responded by establishing the Warsaw Pact later in 1955.
Two of the fundamental purposes in launching the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance in 1949 were to base nuclear weapons, which the U.S. had a monopoly on at the time of the bloc’s founding, in Europe and to rearm Germany as a military bulwark on the continent and for use abroad.
Anyone still in thrall to the notion that NATO was planned as a defensive alliance against a Soviet military threat in Europe would do well to recall that:
The Warsaw Pact was formed six years after and in response to NATO, especially to the bloc’s advance into Germany.
The Warsaw Pact, already long moribund, officially dissolved itself in 1991. Eighteen years later NATO still exists without any pretense of a Soviet or any other credible threat.
In the past decade alone it has expanded from 16 to 28 member states, all of the twelve new ones in Eastern Europe and four of those bordering Russian territory.
During the same ten-year period it waged its first air war, against Yugoslavia, outside the bloc’s own defined area of responsibility and its first ground war, in Afghanistan, a continent removed from Europe, half a world away from North America and nowhere near the North Atlantic Ocean.
That NATO officially expanded into the former Warsaw Pact by admitting the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland at its fiftieth anniversary summit in 1999 while in the midst of its first war, the 78-day bombing onslaught against Yugoslavia – ten years after the end of the Cold War – is an irrefutable retroactive indictment of its true nature and purpose since inception.
The bloc continues to maintain nuclear warheads in Europe, including on air bases in Germany, with long-range bombers and missiles able to deliver them. NATO recently renewed the commitment to its nuclear doctrine, which continues to include the first use of nuclear weapons.
The world’s largest and only surviving military bloc, one which now takes in a third of the planet’s nations through full membership or various partnerships, was born out of the last days of World War II in Europe. Its fundamental purpose was to unite the military potential of the countries of the continent’s west, north and south into a cohesive and expanding phalanx for use at home and abroad. Victors and vanquished of the most mass-scale and murderous conflict in history – Britain, the U.S. and France and Germany and Italy – were gathered together under a joint military command.
If the transition from World War II to a far deadlier, because nuclear, World War III was averted, an argument nevertheless exists that the Second World War never ended but shifted focus. As an illustrative biographical case study of the seamless adaptation, the New York Times ran a reverential obituary three years ago from which the following is an excerpt:
“Gen. Johann-Adolf Count von Kielmansegg, a German Panzer division officer during World War II who became commander-in-chief of NATO forces in Central Europe during the height of the cold war, died on May 26 in Bonn. He was 99….By the start of World War II, he was commander of a Panzer, or armored, division. In 1940, he took part in the German invasion of France, sweeping around the Maginot line’s obsolete fortifications in eastern France and rushing to the English Channel. After fighting on the Russian front, he joined the General Staff in Berlin. Restored to tank duty, he fought the American Army in western Germany….” 
It would be intriguing to learn what Count von Kielmansegg thought at the end of his nearly century-long life about the return of his homeland to the ranks of nations sending troops to and waging war against others both near and far.
It would prove equally edifying to hear whether he thought that his career as a military commander ever truly changed course or rather pursued a logical if not inevitable path from the Wehrmacht to NATO.
Lastly, it doesn’t seem unjustified to believe that the Count might at the end of his days have been proud of a Germany that had become the third largest exporter of weapons in the world, one which has arms agreements with 126 nations – over two-thirds of all countries – and that had troops deployed to war and post-conflict occupation zones in at least eleven countries at the same time and would soon, at this year’s NATO summit, use its army at home again.
1) Russian Information Agency Novosti, June 30, 2005
2) Russian Information Agency Novosti, March 28, 2005
5) Russian Information Agency Novosti, June 30, 2005
7) Russian Information Agency Novosti, March 3, 2006
8) Voice of Russia, July 3, 2009
9) Voice of Russia, July 3, 2009
10) New York Times, June 4, 2006
July 12, 2009
New NATO: Germany Returns To World Military Stage
When the post-World War II German states of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, West and East Germany, respectively, were united in 1990, it was for many in Europe and the world as a whole a heady time, fraught with hopes of a continent at peace and perhaps disarmed.
Despite U.S. pledges to the last president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would not move “one inch” eastward, what German reunification achieved was that the former German Democratic Republic joined not only the Federal Republic but NATO, and the military bloc moved hundreds of kilometers nearer the Russian border, over the intervening years to be joined by twelve Eastern European nations. Five of those twelve new NATO members were republics of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union itself, neither of which any longer exists.
Far from issuing in an era of disarmament and a Europe free of military blocs – or even of war – the merging of the two German states and the simultaneous fragmentation of the Eastern Bloc and, a year later, the USSR was instead followed by a Europe almost entirely dominated by a U.S.-controlled global military alliance.
Within mere months of reunification Germany, then governed by the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union-led government of Chancellor Helmut Kohl, set to work to insure the fragmentation of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia would parallel that of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, with each broken down into all of its constituent republics, the Soviet Union instantaneously and Yugoslavia more gradually.
The Kohl government and its Free Democrat Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher immediately pushed for recognition of the Yugoslav republics of Croatia and Slovenia. Croatia was the site of the Nazi-administered Independent State of Croatia during World War II and Slovenia had been parceled out among Germany and its Italian and Hungarian fascist allies.
What the rulers of newly unified Germany accomplished is best expressed in a line from Victor Hugo’s poetic drama Cromwell: Strike while the iron is hot and in striking make it hot.
By the end of 1991 Germany had browbeaten the other members of the European Community, now the European Union, into recognizing the secession of both republics.
As the above pressure was being applied by Berlin the Deputy Foreign Minister of Serbia Dobrosav Vezovic warned “This is a direct attack on Yugoslavia,” one which “erases Yugoslavia from the map of the world.” 
Germany was now back on the road to redrawing the map of Europe and would shortly embark on the use of military force outside its borders for the first time since the Third Reich.
Berlin later deployed 4,000 troops to Bosnia in 1995, its largest mission abroad since World War II, but its return to direct military aggression after an almost 55-year hiatus would occur with NATO’s war against Yugoslavia in 1999.
The standard Western rationale for that war, Operation Allied Force, is that it was an intervention to prevent alleged genocide in the Serbian province of Kosovo, a crisis that had flared up almost instantaneously, and the 78-day bombing war was then justified by what the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once termed the teleological suspension of the ethical.
It was no such thing. The separation of Kosovo from Serbia and the further dissolution of the former Yugoslavia to the sub-federal republic level was the final act of a decade-long drama, but one envisioned before the lifting of the curtain on the first act.
In January of 1991 former U.S. Congressman Joseph DioGuardi in his capacity of the President of the Albanian American Civic League wrote to German Chancellor Kohl demanding the following:
“The European Community, hopefully led by the Federal Republic of Germany, recognizes the Republic of Kosova as a sovereign and independent state as the only logical and effective solution to protect the Albanian people in Kosova from their Serbian communist oppressors.” 
Five months earlier, in August of 1990, DioGuardi had escorted six American Senators, including Robert Dole, on a tour to Kosovo.
A year before the war began German newspapers ran headlines on the order of “Mr. Kinkel threatens a NATO intervention in Kosovo,” referring to then German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel, who is also quoted in 1998 as saying “Of course you have to consider whether you are permitted from a moral and ethical point of view to prevent the Kosovo-Albanians from buying weapons for their self-defense.” 
Canadian professor and political analyst Michel Chossudovsky has written extensively and trenchantly on the role of the German BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst/Federal Intelligence Service) in arming and training the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army before and in preparation for the NATO onslaught against Yugoslavia on his Web site Global Research at http://www.globalresearch.ca
It was in Kosovo that Germany, which had deployed troops to Bosnia and run a military hospital in Croatia earlier in the 1990s, crossed the post-World War II red line when the Luftwaffe (with its Tornado multirole combat fighters) engaged in combat operations for the first time since 1945.
The precedent was exacerbated when Germany followed up the bombing by military occupation and over a thousand of its troops accompanied their NATO allies into Kosovo in June of 1999. A German general assumed command of the 50,000-troop NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR).
Quoting from memory an account by an American reporter of the words of an older ethnic Albanian witnessing the arrival of the first German troops in Kosovo: “Where have you been? We missed you. The last time you were here you drew the borders the right way.”
The Rubicon had been crossed, Germany had been declared by its Western allies cleansed of its Nazi past and was free to dispatch troops and wage war again, this time on the world stage.
As a Der Spiegel feature put it this past February, “The phase of German military intervention that began 10 years ago during the Kosovo war is in no way coming to an end, despite the fact the majority of Germans wish it would. On the contrary: The era of foreign deployments for Germans and their military forces has just begun.” 
The lid of Pandora’s chest had been pried open and by 2007 “According to Germany’s Defense Ministry, roughly 8,200 soldiers are serving in missions in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Bosnia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kosovo and Sudan, making Germany one of the top contributors to international missions.” 
How post-Cold War unified Germany and the German public were being prepared for the new international military role was insightfully analyzed a year before the Kosovo War by Diana Johnstone. The following is an excerpt from her article “Seeing Yugoslavia through a dark glass” which is far more penetrating than it may be comparatively lengthy:
“In the Bundestag, German Green leader Joschka Fisher [to become foreign minister later in the same year, 1998] pressed for disavowal of ‘pacifism’ in order to ‘combat Auschwitz,’ thereby equating Serbs with Nazis. In a heady mood of self-righteous indignation, German politicians across the board joined in using Germany’s past guilt as a reason, not for restraint, as had been the logic up until reunification, but on the contrary, for ‘bearing their share of the military burden’.
“In the name of human rights, the Federal Republic of Germany abolished its ban on military operations outside the NATO defensive area. Germany could once again be a ‘normal’ military power—thanks to the ‘Serb threat.’
“On the contrary, what occurred in Germany was a strange sort of mass transfer of Nazi identity, and guilt, to the Serbs. In the case of the Germans, this can be seen as a comforting psychological projection which served to give Germans a fresh and welcome sense of innocence in the face of the new ‘criminal’ people, the Serbs, But the hate campaign against Serbs, started in Germany, did not stop there.
“If somebody had announced in 1989 that, well, the Berlin Wall has come down, now Germany can unite and send military forces back into Yugoslavia — and what is more in order to enforce a partition of the country along similar lines to those it imposed when it occupied the country in 1941 — well, quite a number of people might have raised objections. However, that is what has happened, and many of the very people might who have been expected to object most strongly to what amounts to the most significant act of historical revisionism since World War II have provided the ideological cover and excuse.” 
The campaign was not without effect in Germany as subsequent events have proved and has been accompanied by the rehabilitation, honoring and even granting of veteran benefits to Nazi collaborators, including former Waffen SS members, in Croatia, Estonia, Latvia and Ukraine in recent years.
Following its military interventions in Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia, Germany sent troops to Macedonia in 2001 after armed contingents of the Kosovo-based National Liberation Army (NLA), an offshoot of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) led by Ali Ahmeti, also a founder of the KLA, invaded the country in the summer of 2001. In connivance with the 50,000 NATO troops in Kosovo, Ahmeti’s brigands brought fighters, arms and even artillery past American checkpoints on the Kosovo-Macedonia border to launch deadly raids against government and civilian targets.
In one incident 600 Bundeswehr soldiers were caught in the crossfire between the NLA marauders and government security forces (7)
Years later Benjamin Schreer, military expert at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, reflected on the consequences of what Johnstone had described: “The decision of the SPD [Social Democratic Party] and Greens to send German troops into Kosovo in 1999 has transformed the Bundeswehr….The Bundeswehr is now operating on a global scale.” 
The press report from which the quote was taken provides these details:
“The mission in Afghanistan had German troops, roughly 100 special forces who, for the first time since World War II, took part in ground combat.
“The Kommando Spezialkraefte, known by its acronym KSK, is a highly trained and well-equipped special unit that has successfully been assigned to Kosovo and Afghanistan. Most of their operations, however, are classified.” 
After September 11, 2001 German military missions and deployments were expanded exponentially and in addition to Germany deploying AWACS to the U.S. in Operation Eagle Assist it also “took part in [Operation Active Endeavor] which has German units monitor the Mediterranean waters….In Afghanistan and East Africa, German troops battle…with sea units, ground troops and special forces.
“The Bundeswehr, once restricted by the German constitution to exclusively domestic protection, can now send armed troops to foreign countries.” 
Having exploited as well as in an integral way engineered the breakup of Yugoslavia, with Kosovo as the altar and Serbia as the paschal lamb whose slaying wiped clean decades of German guilt, Berlin was now free to play the role assigned to it by NATO: That of an international military power operating on four continents, a far wider range of deployment and engagement than had been achieved by either Bismarck or Hitler.
In a feature called “Preparing Germany’s Military for War,” it was reported in 2005 that then German Defense Minister Peter Struck was “proposing that…his department considers missions other than peace-keeping and stabilization for the Bundeswehr” and that “the Bundeswehr could be asked to play a stronger role in Africa in the future.” 
While visiting German troops in Uzbekistan on his way to Afghanistan, Struck was quoted as saying “For those of us who were born after the war this is an unfavorable idea but we must be realistic. It is possible that we will consider going to other countries and separate warring parties by military means” and that the Bundeswehr must be prepared to “carry out peace enforcement missions anywhere in the world.” 
In late 2006 Struck’s successor, Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung, released a 133-page White Paper which stated “The Bundeswehr is to be thoroughly restructured into an intervention force.” 
In an article entitled “Germany plans to remake its Army into a rapid-reaction, humanitarian-intervention force,” Newsweek commented: “The pace of change has indeed been unsettling. It took a constitutional-court ruling in 1994 to permit German soldiers to be deployed abroad at all. Today, close to 10,000 Bundeswehr troops find themselves stationed in places as far-flung as Bosnia, Djibouti and southern Sudan….” 
Germany has become so comfortable with its current global military status that last week Chancellor Angela Merkel conferred the first combat medals on German soldiers since World War II.
“The new Cross of Honour for Bravery, is the military’s first such medal since the end of World War II when it stopped awarding the Iron Cross tarnished by its use in Nazi Germany. Some see this as another sign of Germany emerging from its post-World War II diplomatic and military shell since the country’s reunification in 1990.” 
A column in The Times of London embraced this further reemergence of a militarized Germany, and one moreover of an expeditionary and aggressive nature – the soldiers awarded by Merkel were veterans of the Afghan war – with this panegyric:
“When Germany once again has the confidence proudly to parade its military heroes, its journey from the darkness of diplomatic and military purdah – via reunification in 1990 – is surely complete.
“Germany’s new medal, the Honour Cross, stands as a bold response to the
growing role played in the world by German military.
“The presentation by Chancellor Angela Merkel marks a potent moment in Germany’s return to the heart of the community of nations.” 
Last November German Defense Minister Jung laid the foundation stone for “the first national memorial to soldiers killed serving in the country’s post-World War II military.”
Combat deaths and their commemoration, for decades considered matters of a dark and distant past, are now commonplace as “Germany…emerged gradually from its postwar diplomatic and military shell, increasingly puts soldiers in the line of fire in places such as Afghanistan.” 
The process of German reunification, the first effect of which was to place the entire territory of the nation in NATO, had been consummated with the rebirth of a major military power thought by many to have reached its final quietus in 1945.
The mainstream weekly Der Spiegel wrote in 2005 in a feature aptly named “Germany’s Bundeswehr Steps out on the Global Stage” that “With reunification, the nation had not just regained full sovereignty: it also became subject to rules that had effectively been put on ice during the Cold War. On the new international stage, political influence was reserved for those who were willing and able to assert their interests in concert with their partners. If need be, by force. If need be, by military means.”
The celebratory piece went on to say:
“Today the Bundeswehr has become one of the most powerful tools available to German foreign-policy makers.
“[T]he German government is in the process of fostering a totally different breed of soldier. The elite members of the Kommando Spezialkrafte (Special Forces Command), or KSK…are highly trained professionals who can hold their own with their colleagues from the British SAS or American Delta Force….
“Germany has ‘finally reached a state of normality,’ and its democracy will now be ‘defended directly’ wherever threats arise. That could be anywhere, soon even in Africa.” 
In the culmination of almost twenty years of German and allied efforts to subvert and tear apart the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, its truncated successor the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and finally Serbia, almost on the first anniversary of the Western-supported secession of Kosovo in February of 2008 Berlin announced that it was donating 200 vehicles to the newly formed Kosovo Security Force, a revamped Kosovo Liberation Army headed up by a KLA commander who has already proclaimed his intention to join NATO.
The German offering is “a substantial contribution to the build up” of the fledgling army of an illegal entity not recognized by over two-thirds of the world including Russia, China and India. 
In an interview with Radio Kosova this February Colonel Dieter Jensch, senior official of the German Defense Ministry, boasted that “The Bundeswehr is helping the Kosovo Security Force through material assistance, which includes the donation of 204 vehicles and other technical equipment, and we have assigned a team of 15 professional military officers to help in building the KSF structures.”
The account from which the above emanates added “The assistance is valued at 2.6 million Euros. Germany will also send 15 military personnel to help build KSF structures and to train the members of this force.
“The building of the Kosovo Security Force and its professional training is expected to cost 43 million Euros. Germany is among the first countries to help in building this force. It has already sent 15 military officers to help in building the structures of this force and to train its members.” 
Yesterday the Balkans and today the world.
1) New York Times, December 18, 1991
2) Albanian American Civic League, January 6, 1991
3) Suddeutsche Zeitung, July 30, 1998
4) Der Spiegel, February 9, 2009
5) United Press International, March 20, 2007
6) CovertAction Quarterly, Fall 1998
7) Michel Chossudovsky, Washington Behind Terrorist Assaults In Macedonia
Global Research, September 10, 2001
Michel Chossudovsky, America at War in Macedonia
Rick Rozoff, Human Rights Watch: Dear Mr. Ahmeti
August 1, 2001
8) United Press International, August 30, 2005
11) Deutsche Welle, June 6, 2005
13) Newsweek, November 13, 2006
15) Deutsche Welle, July 6, 2009
16) The Times, July 7, 2009
17) Associated Press, November 28, 2008
18) Der Spiegel, June 17, 2005
19) Associated Press, February 13, 2009
20) Kosova Information Center, February 9, 2009
June 18, 2009
Militarization Of Space: Threat Of Nuclear War On Earth
On June 17, immediately after the historical ninth heads of state summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Yekaterinburg, Russia on the preceding two days, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao announced that their nations were drafting a joint treaty to ban the deployment of weapons in outer space to be presented to the United Nations General Assembly.
A statement by the presidents reflected a common purpose to avoid the militarization of space and said:
“Russia and China advocate peaceful uses of outer space and oppose the prospect of it being turned into a new area for deploying weapons.
“The sides will actively facilitate practical work on a draft treaty on the prevention of the deployment of weapons in outer space, and of the use of force or threats to use force against space facilities, and will continue an intensive coordination of efforts to guarantee the security of activities in outer space.” 
The statement also addressed the question of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its global expansion as well as an integrally related danger, the U.S.-led drive to development a worldwide – and more than worldwide – interceptor missile system aimed at neutralizing China’s and Russia’s deterrence and retaliation capacities in the event of a first strike attack on either or both.
The section of the joint communique addressing the above stated, “Russia and China regard international security as integral and comprehensive. The security of some states cannot be ensured at the expense of others, including the expansion of military-political alliances or the creation of global or regional missile defense systems.” 
The two leaders’ comments assumed greater gravity and authority as Medvedev and Hu had both just attended the two-day SCO summit which included heads of states and other representatives of the SCO’s six full members [China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), its four observer states (India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan, with the heads of state of all but Mongolia participating, the first time for an Indian prime minister), the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, and attendees from Belarus and Sri Lanka, the latter two also for the first time at an SCO summit.
The statement by the Russian and Chinese presidents also came the day after the first-ever heads of state summit of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations in the same Russian city.
To confirm the seriousness and urgency of Hu's and Medvedev's concerns over the expansion of the arms race and potential armed conflict into space, on the same day as their statement was released Russian Deputy Defence Minister Vladimir Popovkin addressed a press conference in Moscow and issued comments that were summarized by the local media as "Russia warns that technology failure with weapons in space may accidentally invite a massive response amounting to nuclear war."
He warned that his nation's "response to American weapons in orbit would be asymmetric but adequate." 
Popovkin’s comments were revealing in a number of ways, reflecting as they did on the manner in which the United States twenty years ago became the sole world superpower it has been until recently:
“There is a more adequate answer to the possible deployment by the USA of
weapons in outer space; we do not have to deploy in space expensive armaments for it.
“To have weapons of your own for waging space wars, you have to understand first why you need them there. We’ve already passed the ‘Star Wars’ epic, and know well how it ended – in the breakup of the Soviet Union.
“Russia has a more adequate answer to the possible deployment by the USA of weapons in space, but we have no need to deploy in space expensive armaments for it; the answer will be absolutely asymmetric.” 
A week earlier Colonel-General Nikolai Solovtsov, Commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces, said that a “new strategic arms reduction pact with the United States must prohibit any kinds of offensive weapons in space,” and expounded on his nation’s concerns by adding:
“Our country is interested in including limitations not only on the number of nuclear warheads, but also on the number of their delivery vehicles in the new arms reduction treaty. We also stand for maintaining the ban on the deployment of strategic weapons, offensive and defensive, outside national borders, the prohibition of any kinds of offensive weapons in space, and a more efficient use of inspection and data exchange mechanisms established in line with the START 1 treaty.” 
Contrariwise, the very same day two U.S. congressmen, Rep. Michael Turner (Republican) and Rep. Jim Marshall (Democrat), introduced a NATO First Act in the Congress that calls for among other demands that a proposed arms reduction treaty with Russia “not reduce or limit U.S. ballistic missile defenses, space, or advanced conventional weapons capabilities.” 
Six days before that Marine General James Cartwright, vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, in speaking about the Pentagon’s Prompt Global Strike program, said that he “continues to press for development of a new weapon that would allow Washington to take out a fleeting target in a manner of minutes.
“The Marine Corps general said he has concluded conventionally armed bombers are ‘too slow and too intrusive’ for many ‘global strike missions.’
“Cartwright for several years has advocated for a ‘prompt global strike’ weapon….”
Asserting (or advocating) that “Over the next few years, the U.S. military is likely to become engaged in a number of hot and cold conflicts, each spanning five to 10 years,” Cartwright said that “The military might need a ‘hypersonic’ weapon that would travel in the exoatmosphere to take out a limited number of fleeting targets….” 
For exoatmospheric read space-based.
Earlier in the year, on March 31, 2009 to be exact, top American military officials attended the 25th National Space Symposium at the Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Alabama, the same state that hosts the U.S. Missile Defense Agency in Huntsville.
With the head of the American military, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, present, “A new Special Area of Emphasis topic titled Space as a Contested Environment, was introduced by U.S. military officials….”
The Air University’s National Space Studies Center’s Colonel Sean McClung underscored the main theme of the meeting in stating “[A]bove all other communities, the military needs to understand implications of space as a contested environment and how to protect America’s interests.” 
General C. Robert Kehler, the commander of the Air Force Space Command, was quoted in an Air Force report entitled “Spherical battlespace is new theater of operation” as saying:
“I think for far too long we have looked at our conception of future battlespace by standing on the ground and looking up – I think that might be the wrong way to look.”
The report also says that for the Special Area of Emphasis, Space as a Contested Environment concept although “the connection between space and cyberspace may be unclear to many outside of these career fields, to those within the space community, the connection is clear,” and “The realization that space and cyberspace are inextricably linked is evidenced by the planned creation of a cyber-focused numbered air force under Air Force Space Command.” 
To make clear what the Pentagon means and what it intends, earlier this May the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, General Kevin Chilton, “insisted that all strike options, including nuclear, would remain available to the commander in chief in defending the nation from cyber strikes” and “said he could not rule out the possibility of a military salvo against a nation like China, even though Beijing has nuclear arms.” 
For the past two years numerous American and NATO officials have conjured up the threat of employing NATO’s Article 5 mutual military assistance – that is, war – clause against alleged cyber attacks of the sort experienced in Estonia in the spring of 2007. The unnamed but unquestioned target of such an action is Russia.
That nation released its new National Security Strategy in the middle of last month in which “it warned that missile defense plans and prospects to develop space-based weapons remain a top threat to Russia’s security.” 
A month before Lieutenant General Yevgeny Buzhinsky, deputy head of the Russian Defence Ministry’s chief department for international military cooperation, said that “The United States has already launched the process of militarization of outer space.”
Referring to the Bush administration’s U.S. National Space Policy of August 31, 2006, a follow up to that of the Clinton government’s 1996 version, Buzhinsky said, “The new doctrine adds a tougher and more unilateral nature to these actions.
“Russian military experts see in this doctrine a disguised bid by the US for the weaponization of outer space. Anti-satellite weapons make an integral part of the U.S. missile defence system.” 
The U.S. National Space Policy of 2006 states that “In this new century, those who effectively utilize space will enjoy added prosperity and security and will hold a substantial advantage over those who do not. Freedom of action in space is as important to the United States as air power and sea power. In order to increase knowledge, discovery, economic prosperity, and to enhance the national security, the United States must have robust, effective, and efficient space capabilities.”
It further identifies goals of the policy to include the intention to:
>Strengthen the nation’s space leadership and ensure that space capabilities are available in time to further U.S. national security, homeland security, and foreign policy objectives
>Enable unhindered U.S. operations in and through space to defend our interests there
>Develop and deploy space capabilities that sustain U.S. advantage and support defense and intelligence transformation
>Provide, as launch agent for both the defense and intelligence sectors, reliable, affordable, and timely space access for national security purposes
>Support military planning and satisfy operational requirements as a major intelligence mission 
The same Russian general quoted above cited as an example of Washington’s space war plans the Pentagon’s downing of an American spy satellite in February of 2008, allegedly because it had become disabled. General Buzhinsky said, “Despite the statements of some U.S. officials that the satellite’s destruction had to be performed once only to minimize risks for life and the health of people, many analysts are of another opinion. They believe that the U.S. tested a new type of weapons capable of destroying spacecraft.” 
A year later, February of 2009, an American and Russian satellite were reported to have collided over northeastern Russia. Shortly afterward retired Russian general and former head of the nation’s military space intelligence Leonid Shershnev asserted that the collision “may have been a test of new U.S. technology to intercept and destroy satellites rather than an accident.”
Shershnev’s contentions were characterized in a Russian media report of early March as suggesting “the U.S. satellite involved in the collision was used by the U.S. military as part of the ‘dual-purpose’ Orbital Express research project, which began in 2007.
“Orbital Express was a space mission managed by the United States Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and a team led by engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).
“The February collision could be an indication that the U.S. has successfully developed such technology and is capable of manipulating ‘hostile satellites,’ including their destruction, with a single command from a ground control center.” 
An Associated Press report published shortly after the above said that:
“The Kremlin has criticized U.S. plans for space-based weapons, saying they could trigger a new arms race. Russia and China have pushed for an international agreement banning space weapons, but their proposals have been rejected by the United States.
“As part of missile defense plans developed by the previous U.S. administration, the Pentagon worked on missiles, ground lasers and other technology to shoot down satellites.” 
Two days later Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke at a disarmament conference in Geneva, Switzerland and warned that “an arms race in outer space is inadmissible,” adding that “Prevention of an arms race in space will contribute to ensuring the predictability of the strategic situation” and “We plan, jointly with China, to submit to your consideration soon a document generalizing the results of discussions that have taken place at the conference.” 
Lavrov had made a similar appeal at the annual Munich Security Conference in February when in addition to first voicing Russia’s call for a banning of all nuclear weapons being stationed outside the borders of their owners he said that a new START [Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty] accord also “must ban the militarization of space.” 
Global, Orbital First Strike Potential: NATO And Asian NATO Partners
NATO’s unswerving fidelity to Pentagon initiatives and diktat doesn’t require substantiation, but if it did this statement by its Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on March 11 would further underscore the fact: “Given the vital role that space and satellites now play within our cyber networks, should we not also start to follow activities in space more closely and consider the implications for our security?” 
Plans for the expansion of military hardware, both surveillance and kinetic weapons (missiles), into outer space are not distinct from but inextricably connected with parallel American and NATO global interceptor missile systems. So-called missile shield facilities already in place or in the process of being stationed in Poland, the Czech Republic, Norway and Britain and their counterparts in Alaska, Japan, Australia and South Korea in the east are to be integrated with space components so that both NATO and what has come to be called Asian NATO will provide radar and ground-based interceptor missile sites, as will Azerbaijan and Georgia in the South Caucasus and Israel in the Middle East in the future.
Many of the above-named nations also possess and will base sea-launched missile killing interceptors on Aegis class destroyers and can host new generation U.S. stealth warplanes designed to penetrate deep into the interior of nations like China and Russia to destroy strategic targets, including silo-based long-range missiles and mobile missile launchers.
This past April Japan announced that its “first strategic space policy will focus on improving missile launch detection abilities” after the passage and implementation of a Basic Space Law last August and that “As many as 34 satellites – twice the current number – will be launched between fiscal 2009 and 2013….” 
Last month Australia revealed that not only was it planning to build and launch its own space satellites but that it also “wants to create a new cadre of military space experts inside the Australian Defence Forces,” citing Japan as “a good example of the learning process that a new 21st century military space power has to go through.” 
Recently the Pentagon has also activated new equipment to facilitate the interaction between spaced-based surveillance and earth-based interceptor missile systems.
In April the U.S. Defense Department launched a new-generation military satellite, the Wideband Global Satellite Communication satellite, into space.
An American military website said of the new acquisition that “These satellites are designed to provide high-capacity communications to U.S. military forces. It will augment and eventually replace the Defense Satellite Communication System.” 
The missile used to launch the satellite into orbit, an Atlas V rocket, is described in the same report: “The Atlas V family of Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles has achieved 100 percent mission success in launches from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.” 
The increasingly integrated – to the point of inseparability – work of the Defense Department in general, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] demonstrates the emphasis that Washington places on the militarization of space and the potential use of it for warfighting purposes.
Eighteen days before Barack Obama was inaugurated the 44th president of the United States the Bloomberg news agency reported that the incoming chief executive would “tear down long-standing barriers between the U.S.’s civilian and military space programs” and that “Obama’s transition team is considering a collaboration between the Defense Department and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration….” 
As further confirmation of this obscuring of the distinction between civilian and military uses of space, in May it was reported that “A Delta II rocket managed by NASA’s Launch Services Program lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA., Tuesday with a spacecraft for the United States Missile Defense Agency.
“The spacecraft is called the Space Tracking and Surveillance System Advanced Technology Risk Reduction mission, or STSS-ATRR.” 
The Vandenberg Air Force Base is routinely employed for long-range interceptor missile tests in the Pacific Ocean in coordination with a 28-story sea-based X-Band radar periodically stationed in the Aleutian Islands near the coast of Russia.
The Space Tracking and Surveillance System spacecraft is part of a Ballistic Missile Defense System space sensor layer which “provide[s] combatant commanders with the ability to continuously track strategic and tactical ballistic missiles from launch through termination.” 
Weeks earlier the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, also in Huntsville, Alabama, received flight-ready nanosatellites from Ducommun Incorporated, which event marked “the completion of the first U.S. Army satellite development program since the Courier 1B communications satellite in 1960.” 
Space War: United States Against The World
In December of 2001 the George W. Bush administration announced that it would withdraw the United States from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, with Bush stating “we no longer live in the Cold War world for which the ABM Treaty was designed.”
Six months later it formally did so and at the same time “the Pentagon [was] set to break ground…at Fort Greely, Alaska, on the previously prohibited construction of six underground silos for missile interceptors.” 
An Indian analyst said that “The U.S. withdrawal in 2001 from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty has raised concerns, especially among the Russians and the Chinese, about its intentions in space.
“Ballistic missile defence systems, whether ground-based, airborne or space-based, can also potentially target satellites.
“[T]he U.S. abrogated the ABM Treaty and there was a lot of emphasis on space control, on limiting [space] access to others, which were totally in contravention of the spirit of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.” 
The same pattern of arbitrariness and recklessness has been pursued by Washington in relation to the weaponization of space.
Russia and China have for years introduced resolutions in the United Nations calling for the prohibition of weapons in space and against the use of space for military purposes. The U.S. has just as consistently opposed their efforts.
Last September Russia renewed its call to preserve outer space as a zone of peace. After a meeting with Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov urged European nations to join efforts to avoid an extraterrestrial arms race, saying, “It is high time to discuss the problem, and it is crucial that countries with the ability to contribute to its solution take part in the negotiations, especially European nations.”
The report from which the above emanated offered this perspective: “Along with the US missile shield program and the idea of a blitzkrieg, an outer space arms race is among the major destabilizing factors for global security.” 
A Russian analytical news site reported at the same time that the danger of space war was potentially catastrophic and was being pursued without regard to its consequences:
“[T]he true reason behind the American plans for global anti-ballistic missile defense and space militarization [is that the] United States believes that over the next two to three decades, it can beat the others (Russia and China) in these spheres and gain a decisive strategic military advantage.
“A frightening Cold-War-type arms race to counter the U.S. missile defense systems and militarization of space is about to take off in earnest….This arms race is perhaps as dangerous as the Cold War one. This time, however, the trigger is in the hands of only one party – the U.S. establishment.
“Unfortunately, the signs are that the United States is already pulling the trigger.” 
The above echoed comparable concerns voiced by Chinese military experts three months before. In a book published by the government’s China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, two armed forces experts stated that “Strategic confrontation in outer space is difficult to avoid. The development of outer space forces shows signs that a space arms race to seize the commanding heights is emerging.
“Dominated by the idea of absolute domination of outer space, a major power is making a big fuss about space domination, creating rivals and provoking confrontation.” 
In a stark warning last October, veteran Russian journalist Valentin Zorin said that “The new arms race will be incomplete without plans for the weaponization of outer space” and “U.S. attempts to turn outer space into a third field of combat operations may prove as dangerous as the American decision to use a nuclear device on August, 1945.” 
Remarking on the fact that in the United Nations General Assembly 166 nations had voted for the Russian and Chinese proposal to ban the militarization of space a week earlier, Russian analyst Alexei Arbatov was quoted as saying last winter that “Washington does plan to deploy its ABM system elements in near-Earth orbits, and it is only Russia that can counter such plans.” 
Late last November the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, again urged “UN member-states to join the moratorium on the deployment of weapons in outer space” and “mentioned that it is on Russia’s initiative that the UN General Assembly has been adopting resolutions, for many years now, aimed at the prevention of the arms race in space. The only one who objected to the adoption of this resolution was the United States….” 
A commentary on the U.S.’s lone opposition to the resolution reminded readers that “This year it was only the US delegate who voted against a resolution to that end as the US ABM defence programme is known to provide, among other things, for deploying ABM system elements in outer space.
“This actually means that Washington sees space as a potential operations theatre….”
The same source provided this editorial recommendation:
“The United States action can only be described as unilateral and undermining international and strategic stability, actions that could eventually result in another stage of the arms race.
“Before it is too late, one should seriously consider ways to prevent the arms race from being extended to outer space.” 
Last December Colonel General Nikolai Solovtsov, Commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, stated that the United States “is seriously considering space as a potential sphere of armed struggle and hence is not giving up plans of deploying strike means in space.”
He is paraphrased as adding “that the US assumes first strike capabilities and that any attack would wipe out retaliation.” 
That is, the militarization of space can result in a nuclear conflagration on earth not only by accident or the law of unintended consequences but fully by design.
If the U.S. plan is, by a combination of ground, sea and air delivery systems, to destroy any ability to retaliate after a devastating first blow, the Russian general warned of what in fact would ensue:
“The Americans will never manage to implement this scenario because Russian strategic nuclear forces, including the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, will be capable of delivering a retaliatory strike given any course of developments.
“After receiving authorization from the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces it will not take our strategic missile force more than two-three minutes to carry out the task of launching missiles.” 
What Solovtsov has described is the nightmare humanity has dreaded since the advent of the nuclear age: An exchange of nuclear-equipped intercontinental missiles. One that might result from an attack launched at least partially from space and in one manner or other in relation to space-based military assets.
An analogous warning was issued last year by the then commander of Russia’s Space Forces, General Vladimir Popovkin, who said, “Space is one of the few places around not yet separated by borders, and any kind of military deployments there would upset the existing balance of forces on our planet.” 
This past March American space researcher Matt Hoey stated that an arms race in space would be “increasing the risk of an accidental nuclear war while shortening the time for sanity and diplomacy to come into play to halt crises.”
“If these systems are deployed in space we will be tipping the nuclear balance between nations that has ensured the peace for decades.
“The military space race will serve the defense industry much like the cold war and this is already being witnessed in relation to missile defense systems.” 
Regarding the interconnection between missile defense and spaced-based first strike capabilities, the following indicates what the ultimate Pentagon plan envisions:
“If [the missile defense system] is fully deployed (as three echelons of ground-, sea-, and air/space-based), the United States will regain the capability (for the first time since the 1940s-1950s) of launching a destructive first strike at Russia without fear of retaliation.
“The several dozen Russian missiles likely to survive a combined attack by nuclear and conventional forces (including precision weapons capable of destroying fortified launching sites), and hence meant to provide the retaliatory ‘deterrent’ strike, would be an easy target for a fully deployed combat-ready missile defense system.” 
This March Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington, said of the militarization of space that “the fallout could be tremendous.” He told a major daily that the dangers “are in fact so cataclysmic that arms control advocates like himself would simply seek to prohibit the use of weapons beyond the earth’s atmosphere.” 
In a week when the United Nations reports that over a billion children are threatened by war on the planet and the world’s largest arms merchant, Lockheed Martin, boasts of preparing to sell over 6,000 advanced stealth warplanes to the Pentagon and its allies, humanity has enough to contend with on earth without facing the additional threat of war from the heavens.
1) Interfax, June 17, 2009
2) Itar-Tass, June 17, 2009
3) Voice of Russia, June 17, 2009
4) Itar-Tass, June 17, 2009
5) Russian Information Agency Novosti, June 10, 2009
6) American Chronicle, Congressional Desk, June 11, 2009
7) Defense News, June 4, 2009
8) Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, March 30, 2009
9) Maxwell-Gunter Dispatch, April 14, 2009
10) Global Security, May 12, 2009
11) Associated Press, May 13, 2009
12) Itar-Tass, April 3, 2009
13) U.S. National Space Policy, August 31, 2006
14) Itar-Tass, April 3, 2009
15) Russian Information Agency Novosti, March 3, 2009
16) Associated Press, March 5, 2009
17) Russian Information Agency Novosti, March 7, 2009
18) Itar-Tass, February 6, 2009
19) NATO, March 11, 2009
20) Mainichi Daily News, April 28, 2009
21) Space Review, May 11, 2009
22) Air Force Link, American Forces Press Service, April 4, 2009
24) Bloomberg News, January 2, 2009
25) Aero-News Network, May 7, 2009
26) domain-B, May 15, 2009
27) Ducommun Incorporated, April 29, 2009
28) China Daily, June 14, 2002
29) Strengthening the Outer Space Treaty by N. Gopal Raj
The Hindu, December 12, 2008
30) RosBusinessConsulting, September 23, 2008
31) Russia Profile, September 19, 2008
32) Daily Jang (Pakistan), June 3, 2008
33) Voice of Russia, October 10, 2008
34) Voice of Russia, November 1, 2008
35) Voice of Russia, November 20, 2008
36) Voice of Russia, November 22, 2008
37) Russia Today, December 1, 2008
39) Voice of Russia, May 24, 2008
40) Space Race Hikes Risk of Nuclear War by Sherwood Ross
OpEd News, March 30, 2009
41) Russian Information Agency Novosti, July 11, 2008
42) Voice of Russia, March 19, 2008
July 10, 2009
West’s Afghan War And Drive Into Caspian Sea Basin
The Pentagon and its NATO allies have launched the largest combat offensive to date in their nearly eight-year war in South Asia, Operation Khanjar (Strike of the Sword) with 4,000 U.S. Marines, attack helicopters and tanks, and Operation Panchai Palang (Panther’s Claw) with several hundred British engaged in airborne assaults, in the Afghan province of Helmand.
The American effort is the largest ground combat operation conducted by Washington in Asia since the Vietnam War.
Other NATO and allied nations have also boosted or intend to increase their troop strength in Afghanistan, with German forces to exceed 4,000 for the first time, Romanian troops to top 1,000 and contingents to be augmented from dozens of other NATO member and partner states, including formerly neutral Finland and Sweden.
The U.S., NATO, NATO’s Partnership for Peace and its Istanbul Cooperation Initiative and Contact Countries, and other allied nations – states as diverse as Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and Macedonia – have some 90,000 troops in Afghanistan, all under the command of America’s General Stanley McChrystal, former head of the Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq and a counterinsurgency master hand. The Afghan-Pakistani war theater resembles the Vietnam War in more than one manner.
The American troop contingent has nearly doubled since last year, more than quintupled in five years, and will be in the neighborhood of 70,000 soldiers by year’s end.
Concurrent with the ongoing Afghan offensive the U.S. has fired missiles from aerial drones into Pakistan in the two deadliest strikes of the type ever in that country, killing 65 and 50 people in two recent attacks.
Large-scale government military operations on the Pakistani side of the border, coordinated with the Pentagon through its new Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell and with NATO through the Trilateral Afghanistan-Pakistan-NATO Military Commission, have uprooted and displaced well in excess of two million civilians, the largest population dislocation in Pakistan since the 1947 partition of British India.
Pentagon And NATO Fan Out From Afghanistan To Central Asia
Complementing and extending the escalating war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Pentagon and NATO have also intensified initiatives to expand their military networks not only in South but also Central Asia and in the littoral states of the Caspian Sea.
On June 24-25 NATO held the first Security Forum of its Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) in Central Asia, the first outside of Europe in fact, in the capital of Kazakhstan, which borders both Russia and China and possesses the largest proven reserves of oil and natural gas in Central Asia and among Caspian Sea states aside from Russia and Iran.
The meeting gathered together the defense chiefs of 50 nations, 28 full NATO members and 22 partners; that is, from over a quarter of the world’s 192 nations.
One report of the summit succinctly summarized its main focus as “reviewing the security situation, with special emphasis on Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Caucasus region, and of energy stability.” 
With the arrival of the Barack Obama administration in Washington this January 20th and its emphasis on shifting U.S. focus and forces from Iraq to Afghanistan, top Pentagon officials have paid a number of visits to the South Caucasus and Central Asia to arrange logistics for the war in South Asia and to solicit not only transit and basing rights but also troop commitments from former Soviet republics like Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kazakhstan.
The Pentagon has recently regained use of the Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan where an estimated 200,000 American and NATO troops have passed through since the beginning of the Afghan war. An unnamed Russian official recently said of that development: “The real character of the US military presence in Central Asia has not changed, which goes against Russian interests and our agreement with the Kyrgyz leadership.” 
A Kazakh account of last month’s NATO meeting in the capital of Astana noted that “NATO is seeking to deepen cooperation with its partner countries in Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.” 
As a reminder of the significance of the meeting and its location the report added: “The EAPC Security Forum for the first time will be held on post-Soviet territory and [the] Asian continent in general….”
NATO’s outgoing secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, speaking in the dual capacity characteristic of his post, that of Alliance leader and that of a Pentagon mouthpiece, confirmed this: “As you know, the new American leadership and President Barack Obama are launching several initiatives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Middle East region.” 
He also didn’t fail to highlight the role of the host country and the Caspian region in general regarding several unprecedented oil and natural gas projects beginning in Kazakhstan and running over and under the Caspian Sea to the South Caucasus, Asia Minor, the Balkans, Ukraine, Central Europe and the Baltic Sea, in some instances linking up with Iraq, Egypt and Israel.
During the EAPC summit Scheffer told reporters: “My presence here today means that cooperation between NATO and Kazakhstan is deepening.” 
The official NATO website quoted Scheffer as saying “Today, Kazakhstan is NATO’s most active Partner in the Central Asian region. We have also achieved solid progress in defence and military co-operation, particularly in enhancing the ability of our military forces to work together.” 
With fifty defense chiefs attending the two-day meeting, the scope of discussions dwelt primarily but not exclusively with Central and South Asia.
Caspian, South Caucasus And Arc Of Past Decade’s Wars
The network of military “lily pad” bases, transit routes (land, air, sea), multinational and integrated war games and training that NATO has consolidated and conducted from the Balkans to nations bordering China like Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Kazakhstan over the past ten years has been documented in an earlier article, Mr. Simmons’ Mission: NATO Bases From Balkans To Chinese Border. 
The role of Azerbaijan on the western shore of the Caspian has been discussed in Azerbaijan And The Caspian: NATO’s War For The World’s Heartland , though much has occurred there recently.
The Western expeditionary military New Silk Road parallels trans-Eurasian energy transit projects also running from the Balkans to Central Asia, with troops and arms moving eastward and oil and natural gas going in the opposite direction.
The trajectory is more significantly and ominously the same as that of the major wars of the past decade in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iraq and the South Caucasus. An “arc of instability” indeed, though not so much the cause as the effect of Western military aggression.
At the NATO meeting in Kazakhstan the individual most substantively tasked to effect this triple passageway, through Republican and Democratic administrations in Washington alike, the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative to Central Asia and the South Caucasus Robert Simmons, an American – addressing among others representatives from all fifteen former Soviet republics – said about the results of last August’s five-day war between Georgia and Russia that “We believe that the presence of Russian troops is inappropriate….Russia’s military contingent should be withdrawn from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as today it is greater than it was before the conflict erupted.” 
Simmons has recruited an initial force of 500 Georgia troops, veterans of the Iraqi occupation and last year’s war in South Ossetia, trained by U.S. Green Berets and the Marine Corps, for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and has dragooned additional Azerbaijani soldiers for the same purpose as well. Both the above South Caucasus nations will play an enhanced role in the transit of Western troops and materiel to the war zone, too.
Turkmenistan: Final Link In Caspian, Central Asian Energy And Military Plans
Earlier this week the George Soros Open Society Institute news site EurasiaNet featured an article on Turkmenistan, which lies on the southeastern corner of the Caspian Sea and which borders Afghanistan and Iran.
It includes the observation that “Turkmenistan is quietly developing into a major transport hub for the northern supply network, which is being used to relay non-lethal supplies to US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The Pentagon has confirmed a small contingent of US military personnel now operates in Ashgabat [the capital city]….”
According to the Pentagon’s Defense Energy Support Center, Turkmenistan is “invaluable to the success of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.”
A U.S. Defense Department spokesman added that “the Government of Turkmenistan now allows the US overflights” and “the Turkmen government permits the presence of US troops on its territory.”
The EurasiaNet piece also says that the Turkmen government has offered Washington the use of the “sprawling ex-Soviet air base at Mary,” close to Afghanistan and even closer to Iran. 
Four days before the above article appeared the Deputy Director of the U.S. Energy Department for Russia and Eurasia Meryl Burpoe was in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, where she said, “The U.S. Energy Department completely supports the idea of diversifying gas export routes from Turkmenistan.”
By diversification is meant cutting off Turkmen hydrocarbons to Russian pipelines and routing them to the Western-controlled Nabucco and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum (Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey) natural gas and the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipelines which deliberately bypass Russia, Armenia and Iran and are explicitly designed to drive Russia and Iran as producer nations out of the European energy market. A policy that, were it to be attempted against NATO member states, would be viewed not only as a hostile action but a veritable act of war.
On the same day as Burpoe made her statement the government of Turkmenistan announced an unprecedented move, that it had put up 32 Caspian oil and gas field units for international tenders. Bidders include Chevron, ConocoPhilips, Marathon, Midland Oil & Gas, British Petroleum, the German RWE, Austrian OMV, Norwegian Statoil Hydro and French Total. 
According to estimates of the American WesternGeco Geophysical Company “the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea [contains] up [to] 11 billion tons of oil and 5.5 trillion cubic meters of gas, in addition to the already contracted units.” 
A few days earlier the Special Envoy of the U.S. Secretary of State for Eurasian Energy, Richard Morningstar, made a trip to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.
Regarding the Turkmen leg of the journey, Morningstar “said the progress reached at the meetings exceeded his expectations. He said the stopping of gas transportation via the Turkmenistan-Russia pipeline was one of the possible reasons for the results achieved in Ashgabat.” 
How broad the U.S.-led energy transit campaign against Russia is will be seen in three days:
“An inter-governmental agreement on the Nabucco project envisaging natural gas supplies from the basin of the Caspian Sea to Europe avoiding Russia will be signed in Ankara on July 13….Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Iraq are considered as among potential energy resources for Nabucco. The U.S. stands against Iran’s participation in Nabucco’s realization but supports gas transportation to Europe from Iraq.” 
Recent moves by the U.S. and NATO directly across the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan replicate and complement those in Turkmenistan and the other four Central Asian nations.
This very day the American State Department’s Under Secretary for Political Affairs William Burns and Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg are in the capital of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan: U.S., NATO Front Line Aimed At Karabakh, Armenia, Iran
In late June the Commander of U.S. Marine Forces Europe and Africa (dual commands), Major General Tracy Garrett, was in the capital of Azerbaijan to solidify “mutual support on regional security issues” and stated: “I am responsible for the United States’ security in Europe and African
countries, including in Azerbaijan. The U.S. wants to cooperate with Azerbaijan in the field of land forces.” 
To indicate what U.S.-Azerbaijani cooperation in developing the second’s army entails, on the very day that the above quote was reported and presumably while the U.S. Marine commander was still present in the country, the nation’s president, Ilham Aliyev, said: “Today, our army is the mightiest army of this region. In case of necessity, we can use our military power to restore Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity….The war has not ended yet. Only the first stage of the war ended.” 
Aliyev referred to the lingering dispute with Armenia over Nagorno Karabakh. Armenia is an ally of Russia; both are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and Russia has a small continent of troops in the country.
Armenia is also allied with Iran, which it borders. Otherwise it is encircled by the NATO Turkey-Georgia-Azerbaijan axis discussed shortly.
As Ramil Latypov, the Deputy Head of the Working Group of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Federation Council of Russia, mentioned four days ago, “Formed by three countries, a so-called strategic axis – Russia-Armenia-Iran – in fact has a major stabilizing influence in the Caucasus.
“Created to oppose the NATO axis of Turkey-Georgia-Azerbaijan, [which] on the contrary, in order to solve its own and American-European geo-strategic tasks, NATO is trying to drive a wedge between Russia and Armenia, as well as between Iran and Armenia, using every method, including military ones.” 
Softening The Ground: “Color Revolutions,” NATO’s Fifth Column And Trojan Horse
Revealingly, Latypov also noted that “the Iranian nation has learned the correct lesson from the events in Ukraine and Georgia, as well as taking into account the lessons learnt by Armenia, in March 2008.
“Calling people to rallies the main Armenian ‘fighter for freedom’ [opposition leader] Levon Ter-Petrossian, and his Iranian counterpart, do not understand that they are only pawns in the struggle of Western countries for resources and financial flows from the East and Asia….
“They rather showed that the three countries should develop a unified system of mutual support, triggered when external forces try to destabilize the internal political situation.” 
He is not the first to remark the resemblance between the so-called Green Revolution in Iran and its predecessors in Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Belarus, Iraq, Myanmar, Venezuela, Armenia and Moldova: The Rose, Chestnut/Orange, Tulip, Cedar, Denim, Purple, Saffron/Maroon, White, Daffodil and Twitter uprisings, respectively.
The Iranian Mehr News agency claimed: “Half a year before the Iranian presidential elections, the CIA was preparing an orange revolution scenario. CIA agents met Iranian oppositionists and gave them instructions in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kuwait and the UAE [United Arab Emirates].
“The Woodrow Wilson Center and Soros Foundation are accused of setting up an Iranian revolution plan and providing $32 million funding to fulfill the strategy.” 
As the Russian senator mentioned above, attempts to destabilize Iran, Armenia and Russia are related and if one of the three is pulled into the Western orbit the others will suffer. Armenia and Iran are the only buffers Russia has to its south in the greater Caucasus region, otherwise being ringed in by NATO states and partners from the Baltic Sea to the Caspian Sea.
On June 25 Nicolae Ureche, the Romanian ambassador to Azerbaijan and NATO liaison to the country, said to the participants of a roundtable on NATO’s role in the European security system that “Azerbaijan’s future cooperation with NATO will be in the field of protection of energy resources and naval forces.” 
Again, Western military forces move east as energy supplies move west.
New War Threat In Southern Caucasus As Pentagon Shores Up Azerbaijani Armed Forces
From June 15-25 Azerbaijan conducted large-scale war games with a title that could not be misconstrued in either Nagorno Karabakh or Armenia, Restoration of the Territorial Integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which consisted of “more than 4,000 military personnel, 99 tanks, 55 armoured fighting vehicles, 123 artillery systems, 12 fighters, 12 military helicopters and 4 battle helicopters….” 
Former president of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic President Arkadi Ghukasyan said on July 9 that “Aliyev keeps threatening war even if he speaks of peace.” 
Immediately preceding this dress rehearsal for a new Caucasus war that would almost inevitably draw in Armenia, Russia, Iran, Turkey and through Turkey NATO and the United States, the U.S. held a five-day workshop in the Azerbaijani capital on Strategic Defense Survey and Final Document Support, conducted “in accordance with the bilateral cooperation plan.” 
Azeri military personnel will also attend the “second half of the US Mobile Exercise Group’s maritime operation course on July 26-31, Joint Combat Readiness training in Oklahoma on July 14-22 and US-Azerbaijan consultations in Washington DC, on July 29-30.” 
On June 29 the NATO International School in Azerbaijan launched a conference on maritime security; that is, on the Caspian Sea.
Four days later U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson conducted an interview with a new agency in Azerbaijan in which she stated: “Azerbaijan is one of the most important strategic allies in the Caucasus region for the United States….Azerbaijan is in a very serious and dangerous neighborhood with Russia and Iran.” 
On July 8 the Azerbaijani ambassador to the United States, Yashar Aliyev, confirmed that his nation and the U.S. are to hold defense consultations in Washington in late July and that “The current situation of military cooperation between the two countries and its prospects will be discussed during the consultations.” 
The next day the Azerbaijani defense minister hosted Oklahoma National Guard Mayor General Myles Deering and their meeting “focused on U.S.-Azerbaijan relations, development of military cooperation and exchange of views on the military and political situation in the region.” 
Earlier this week the nation’s Defense Ministry announced that it was preparing a new Military Doctrine and that “NATO has given a positive review on the project of the Military Doctrine of Azerbaijan.” 
NATO will hold a 28+1 (28 current Alliance members and Azerbaijan) meeting in Brussels on July 15.
Azerbaijan’s defense minister said that “representatives of the Defense Ministry, State Border Service and other services will…participate at the event.
“Cooperation issues on different spheres between Azerbaijan and NATO will be in the focus of attention at the meeting.” 
Israel Treads Road To Caspian Paved By NATO, Arms Azerbaijan And Georgia For War
On June 28 Israeli President Shimon Peres and a delegation including Defense Ministry Director-General Pinhas Buchris began a journey to the Caspian region with a visit to Azerbaijan. They left that country for Kazakhstan, four days after the NATO summit there ended.
“The visit [was] the first official government visit of senior Israeli figures to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan since diplomatic relations were normalized in the 90s.” 
In Azerbaijan Peres discussed energy cooperation and said of the subject that “It has both economic and political aspects.” 
An Armenian news site in a report called “Israel rearms Azerbaijani army” divulged these details of the visit:
“The Israeli defense company Elta Systems Ltd will cooperate with Azerbaijan in the field of satellite systems. Recently, the company announced the creation of the TecSAR satellite.
“According to Azerbaijani military experts, this is an indispensable system for military operations in a mountainous terrain. Given the landscape of Nagorno Karabakh, the system is simply indispensable.”
The source also mentioned that Israel would provide its military partner with Namer (Leopard) Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicles and that “Israel and Azerbaijan plan to cooperate in other areas of the defense industry, in particular an agreement has been reached over the construction of a factory for intelligence and combat drones.” 
Israel supplied neighboring Georgia with drones for its war with Russia last August.
At the time Georgian Reintegration Minister Temur Yakobashvili (trained in Britain and the U.S.) told Israel Army Radio “Israel should be proud of its military, which trained Georgian soldiers.
“We killed 60 Russian soldiers just yesterday. The Russians have lost more than 50 tanks, and we have shot down 11 of their planes. They have sustained enormous damage in terms of manpower.” 
Yakobashvili’s figures may have been hyperbolical but his assessment of Israel’s role in arming Georgia’s burgeoning military was not.
Not only Armenia and Russia are threatened by increased Azerbaijani-Israeli military cooperation. The Jerusalem Post reported on July 1 in a story titled “Israel gains ground in Central Asia”:
“President Shimon Peres’s landmark visit to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan this week represents a significant advance for Israeli ambitions in Central Asia. In the wake of the recent decision to permit Israel to open an embassy in the Turkmen capital of Ashghabad, the visit reflects the importance Jerusalem attaches to this strategically significant part of what is sometimes known as the ‘greater Middle East.’” 
The piece went on to say that “With regard to containing Teheran, relations with Shi’ite Azerbaijan, which shares a border with Iran, are of particular significance. Azerbaijan has close ethnic links with Iran. Far more Azeris live in Iran than in Azerbaijan itself.
“Israeli defense industries have made very significant inroads. Israel played the central role in rebuilding and modernizing the Azeri military after its losses in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Israel is reported to maintain listening and surveillance posts on the
Azerbaijan-Iran border….” 
Iran recalled its ambassador to Azerbaijan after Peres’s trip and shortly thereafter invited the Armenian defense minister to Tehran.
Russian analyst Andrei Areshev was quoted by an Armenian news source earlier in the week as saying “Israeli experts have been carrying out purposeful work to strengthen relations with Azerbaijan. Israel is fortifying positions in the Caucasus, it’s obvious. Let’s not forget that Israeli specialists trained the Georgian military before the attack on South Ossetia.”
“It’s unclear whether Israel plays its own game or acts as an agent of
another power wishing the destabilization of Russia and Iran. At that, it would be naive to think that the intensification of Baku-Tel Aviv relations is still a secret for Iran and Arab states.” 
In an Azerbaijani news report called “Israeli air force to join overseas exercises with eye on Iran,” it was revealed that the Israeli Air Force “will take part later this year in a joint aerial exercise with a NATO-member state, which is yet to be identified” and Israeli defense officials were quoted as saying that “the overseas exercises would be used to drill long-range maneuvers.” 
Last week Israel for the first time brought one of its German-made Dolphin submarines through the Suez Canal “as a show of strategic reach in the face of Iran….”
“Each German-made Dolphin has 10 torpedo tubes, four of them widened at Israel’s request – to accommodate, some independent analysts believe, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.” 
Last Sunday U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden was asked on a television interview “whether the U.S. would stand in the way if the Israelis…decided to launch a military attack against Iranian nuclear facilities,” to which he responded:
“Look, we cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do.” 
Thirty Year Afghan War, Twenty Year World Conflict With No End In Sight
The U.S. has been engaged in hostilities against and armed conflict in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan for over thirty years, starting with the training and arming of a surrogate armed force no later than 1978, prior to the arrival of the first Soviet troops in the nation in December of 1979.
Four days ago Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari recalled the incontestable fact that “The terrorists of today were the heroes of yesteryear until 9/11 occurred….”  Heroes not only to the Pakistani political, military and intelligence elite but to their American sponsors as well.
In a genuine sense the U.S. is now engaged in year thirty-two of its South Asian war.
The current, direct war being waged in Afghanistan and across the border in Pakistan can also be seen as the twentieth year of a war that commenced as the Cold War ended. The amassing by the U.S., all its major NATO allies and assorted minor clients of as many as three-quarters of a million troops for Operation Desert Shield in 1990 was the opening salvo. After the following year’s Operation Desert Storm and its devastating, overwhelming assault on Iraq military forces in Kuwait and on Iraq itself, then American President George G.W. Bush announced the creation of a New World Order and the war front moved, inexorably and unremittingly, to new theaters.
Almost immediately after the carnage on the Highway of Death and in the Amiriyah shelter ended the U.S. and its NATO allies shifted their application of military force to the Balkans (Croatia, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Macedonia) and since then have waged, directed and assisted armed conflicts – individually, multilaterally, collectively and by proxy – in the Middle East (Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza), the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Djibouti-Eritrea), Africa west of the Horn (Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Congo, Chad, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Mali), the Caucasus (Georgia-South Ossetia/Russia), South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan) and as far away as the Philippines in Southeast Asia and Colombia in South America.
The current main front in this global campaign is Afghanistan, NATO’s first ground war and the U.S.’s longest war since Vietnam. A war that will be eight years old this October and that is escalating daily with no end in sight.
A war that has already pulled in troops from 45 nations on four continents and has extended itself through bases, troop transit and military operations to several other countries – Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – with the logistical theater of operations slated to expand to the Baltic Sea, the South Caucasus and even over the skies of Russia.
The routes used for the transportation of troops, military hardware and supplies are those envisioned and initiated by the United States fifteen years ago in relation to anticipated hydrocarbon transit projects which are only now reaching fruition. Projects utterly dependent on oil and natural gas reserves in the Caspian Sea Basin. The Caspian is where the U.S. and NATO drive for military expansion into Asia meets up with an equally ambitious campaign to monopolize control of energy supplies for all of Europe and much of South and Far East Asia.
In anticipation of this past Monday’s meeting of American and Russian presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, a Russian commentator averred that “presidents come and go – while NATO’s Drang nach Osten continues inexorably.” 
1) Makfax, June 24, 2009
2) Press TV, June 24, 2009
3) New Europe/Kazinform, July 5, 2009
5) Trend News Agency, June 25, 2009
6) NATO International,June 24, 2009
7) Stop NATO, March 4, 2009
Mr. Simmons’ Mission: NATO Bases From Balkans To Chinese Border
8) Stop NATO, June 10, 2009
Azerbaijan And The Caspian: NATO’s War For The World’s Heartland
9) Trend News Agency, June 25, 2009
10) EurasiaNet, July 8, 2009
11) Trend News Agency, July 4, 2009
13) Azeri Press Agency, June 24, 2009
14) Trend News Agency, July 3, 2009
15) Trend News Agency, June 24, 2009
16) Azeri Press Agency, June 24, 2009
17) PanArmenian.net, July 6, 2009
19) PanArmenian.net, June 29, 2009
20) Azeri Press Agency, June 25, 2009
21) Azeri Press Agency, June 27, 2009
22) PanArmenian.net, July 9, 2009
23) Azeri Press Agency, July 1, 2009
25) Trend News Agency, July 3, 2009
26) Azeri Press Agency, July 8, 2009
27) Today.az, July 9, 2009
28) Azertag, July 8, 2009
29) Azeri Press Agency, July 9, 2009
30) Ynetnews (Israel), June 28, 2009
31) Trend News Agency, June 29, 2009
32) PanArmenian.net, June 30, 2009
33) World Tribune, August 11, 2008
34) Jerusalem Post, July 1, 2009
36) PanArmenian.net, July 6, 2009
37) Trend News Agency, July 6, 2009
38) Trend News Agency, July 3, 2009
39) Trend News Agency, July 5, 2009
40) The Hindu, July 9, 2009
41) Russian Information Agency Novosti, July 3, 2009
June 14, 2009
Scandinavia And The Baltic Sea: NATO’s War Plans For The High North
Since the beginning of the year the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have repeatedly indicated in both word and deed their intention to lay claim to and extend their military presence in what they refer to as the High North: The Arctic Ocean and the waters connecting with it, the Barents and the Norwegian Seas, as well as the Baltic Sea.
Washington issued National Security Presidential Directive 66 on January 9, 2009 which includes the bellicose claim that “The United States has broad and fundamental national security interests in the Arctic region [which] include such matters as missile defense and early warning; deployment of sea and air systems for strategic sealift, strategic deterrence, maritime presence, and maritime security operations.”  Later in the same month NATO held a two-day Seminar on Security Prospects in the High North in the capital of Iceland attended by the bloc’s secretary general and its top military commanders.
This coordinated initiative has been covered in a previous article in this series  and plans by the West to encroach on Arctic territory and confront Russia in the western region of the ocean have been addressed in another. 
Over the past month efforts by NATO member states, individually and collectively, to increase their military presence and warfighting ability in the High North have accelerated dramatically.
Sweden: NATO’s Testing Ground And Battleground
The alarming and aggressive campaign is exemplified by the ongoing 10-day Loyal Arrow 2009 NATO military exercises being conducted in Sweden, described by a major American daily newspaper as “A NATO rapid-reaction force…on a war footing in Swedish Lapland” which consists of “Ten countries, 2,000 troops, a strike aircraft carrier, and 50 fighter jets – including the US Air Force’s F-15 Eagle…participating in war games near contested Arctic territories.”
The same source reflects that “Choosing this place for war games reflects the growing strategic importance of the Arctic, which is estimated to contain a quarter of the Earth’s oil and gas….” 
A NATO website offers these details:
“Ten NATO and non-NATO nations will participate in the live flying exercise LAW 09 in Sweden from 8 to 18 June 2009. Some 50 fast jets, which will be based at Norrbotten Wing, Sweden will participate in the exercise. The aim of the exercise is to train units and selected parts of the NATO Response Force Joint Force Air Component Headquarters in the coordination and conduct of air operations. Additionally, NATO Airborne Warning and Control (AWACS) aircraft, as well as other transport aircraft and helicopters, will support the exercise. Some of the participating units will be flying in from bases in Norway and Finland.
“The exercise is based upon a fictitious scenario. Within this scenario, elements of the NATO Response Force (NRF)…will be deployed to a theatre of operations. The NRF was created to provide the Alliance with an effective tool to face the new security threats of the 21st century. It is a rapidly deployable, multinational and joint force with modern equipment able to carry out the full range of Alliance missions whenever and wherever needed, as tasked by the North Atlantic Council.
“About 800-900 troops from Germany, Finland, the United Kingdom, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey and the United States as well as NATO’s airborne early warning component will participate.” 
U.S. Air Force personnel flew in from the American-employed base in Mildenhall, England and “Air and ground crews from United States Air Forces in Europe joined military units from about 10 other nations June 8….” 
The war games are based in the Bothnian Bay in the Northern Baltic Sea and are the largest display of air power in the area’s history.
On the first day of the exercises, June 8, it was reported that “The NATO-led air force drill Loyal Arrow started in Northern Sweden today. The British aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious [with 1,000 soldiers] reached the Bothnia Bay. 50 airplanes and 2,000 persons, aircraft carrier personnel included, from ten countries will take part in what will be the biggest air force drill ever in the Finnish-Swedish Bothnia Bay.” 
Sweden’s Lulea airbase, Norway’s airbase at Bodo and Finland’s at Oulu are being employed for the NATO war games.
Loyal Arrow is centered on a “fictitious scenario” in which “the NATO Response Force (NRF) [is] deployed to a theatre of operations, Lapistan.
“Lapistan is a fictitious undemocratic, unstable country that is ruled by a military clique which hosts terrorist training camps. The exercise’s scenario is centered over a conflict over oil and natural gas with Bothnia, a fictitious neighboring NATO country, with some presence of nearby neutral fictitious countries Nordistan and Suomia, who refer to Norway and Finland, respectively.” 
As the war games were getting underway Stefan Lindgren, vice chairman of Afghan Solidarity in Sweden, filed a complaint with the official ombudsman for discrimination matters and stated that the NATO exercise was both a defamation of the Sami people and also Muslims in Sweden. The “istan” ending reveals a mental connection with NATO’s war in Afghanistan.
The indigenous people of the region, the Sami, protested against the racist term “Laps” and also against the description of the exercise. 
A mainstream newspaper elaborated on the controversy in reporting that “The main indigenous people of Northern Sweden, the Sami, are discontented with the fact that the ‘enemy nation’ in the exercise’s scenario is called ‘Lapistan’ and have joined the protesters against NATO in the demonstrations. The name is invented by NATO and resembles the derogatory term for Sami people, ‘Lapps’”. 
The American Christian Science Monitor followed up on the story on June 11 with the following quotes:
“‘These exercises increase the risk of a conflict,’ says Anna Ek, head of Sweden’s Peace and Arbitration Society. ‘They send out offensive and aggressive signals. Should we really be planning for a conflict with Russia while there is still a window of opportunity for cooperation in the Arctic?’
“‘Neither the Parliament nor the defense committee were informed about the size of this exercise,’ says Peter Radberg, a Green Party member of Parliament. ‘It looks like a serious attempt to market NATO in Sweden….It risks causing a military escalation in a region where we should be disarming.’” 
As the first excerpt reveals, not only were the security, livestock and the very status of the Sami people of northern Sweden endangered, but Loyal Arrow 2009, in conjunction with other military exercises and initiatives to be examined later, is directly targeted against Russia, NATO’s only challenger in its drive into and for domination over the Arctic.
The NATO Out of Sweden group organized activities in Lulea (the site of the Swedish airbase used in the drills) and demonstrated against NATO’s use of Norrbotten County as a training ground and firing range for prospective actions at home and abroad.
The organization’s Anna-Karin Gudmundson said, “This [exercise] can be perceived as very provocative. The Barents region with its proximity to the Arctic makes it a sensitive area. With all the talk about melting ice and the fight over natural resources this can look like a demonstration of power from NATO’s side.” 
Ofog, another Swedish peace group, announced on June 8 that it was deploying activists to a bombing range near the Vidsel Air Base in Norrbotten to “stop the preparation of war crimes” and to “prevent NATO from bombing the area further.” 
The group issued a press release that said “Just like NATO we will be in the air, on the land and in the sea. We will do everything in our power to show NATO that their business is hideous and deadly.
“NATO is not a defensive alliance. It is the world’s largest nuclear weapons club and war machine.” 
On the second day of the exercises, June 10th, five members of Ofog were arrested after penetrating the bombing range.
Six more members were arrested as the NATO bombing continued and one of the Ofog activists at the range, Miriam Cordts, said: “NATO is the world’s biggest war machine and nuclear weapons club. This aerial exercise in northern Sweden is their largest this year and is designed to make the NATO Response Force even more able to attack wherever they want. 90% of those who are killed in NATO’s wars are civilians. It is our responsibility as human beings to do all we can to stop this exercise.” 
The Ofog activists’ intention was to bring a halt to the bombing with their presence, but the NATO exercise continued.
A spokesman for the group commented, “We know that NATO bombs civilians, but this is the first time they have threatened to bomb civilians in Sweden” 
Sweden, though not yet a full member of NATO, is hosting the exercises through obligations to the Alliance’s Partnership for Peace program and in doing so advancing ever closer to complete NATO integration despite opposition by the majority of Swedes.
Sweden In NATO: Neutrality Is Past Tense
The groundwork for Sweden’s incorporation into NATO has been methodically planned for years.
In mid-May Member of Parliament and Liberal Party foreign policy spokesperson Birgitta Ohlsson stated that “For me, and for the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet), it is more evident than ever before that Sweden should be a member of NATO. Political parties can’t just follow public opinion, they have to influence it too – and isolationism is very passe.” 
Shortly thereafter the nation’s defense minister, Sten Tolgfors, announced the “biggest restructuring of Sweden’s armed forces in modern times” and that “Sweden will, for the first time in many decades, have one defense organization.”
What he meant was defined more clearly when he added, “Today, we have a force with one organization for national use, based on a conscript system, and another for international use, based on standing units.
“We will reform our defense based on the lessons we learned from our lead-nation position with the Nordic Battle Group. We will have a battle-group-based defense in the future.
“We have built the Nordic Battle Group together. We are together with Finland in Afghanistan.”
That Afghanistan wasn’t the only rationale behind Sweden’s increased militarization and integration into NATO structures was revealed when Tolgfors, while speaking of the Loyal Arrow exercises in June, said, “Russia has certainly raised its tone of voice over the last couple of years….” 
Two days later he visited NATO Headquarters in Brussels where he met with Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and “briefed the Secretary General on the upcoming transformation of Sweden’s defence capabilities, which should make Swedish forces more efficient, more deployable and more capable of conducting international operations.” 
Four days before NATO launched the Loyal Arrow war games, Sweden’s ambassador to France, Gunnar Lund, “speaking on behalf of Sweden’s foreign minister Carl Bildt,” promoted the use of a five-nation Nordic contingent of the European Union’s battle groups (to function under NATO’s lead through the Berlin Plus and related agreements) in saying “On the military side, I would like to draw your attention to the use of battle groups – a potentially very useful tool to the support of international peace and security.”
The Swedish government regretted that the EU hadn’t earlier employed the Nordic battle group – with forces from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Ireland and Estonia – and “did not give the green light to sending it to Chad and the Central African Republic last year.” 
(Sweden, Finland and Ireland are three-fifths of Europe’s remaining – nominal – neutral nations, the other two being Switzerland and Austria. All five have now deployed military contingents of varying sizes to serve under NATO in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. In Switzerland a peace group, Switzerland without an Army, “accus[ing] the government of trying to move neutral Switzerland to the NATO military alliance,” recently turned in over 100,000 signatures – the amount required to introduce legislation in the parliament – to the federal government against a proposed purchase of new fighter jets to insure NATO interoperability.)
1,300 Kilometer Border With Russia: NATO Integrates Finland
Last month a meeting of the Nordic Defence Ministerial [the defense chiefs of Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland; there is also a joint Nordic-Baltic Defence Ministerial) occurred in Finland where the defense ministries of the five nations "discussed security developments in Northern Europe and exchanged views on the ongoing national defence transformation processes" and "evaluated common challenges in Africa and Afghanistan."
"The ministers discussed developments in the High North and possibilities for Nordic cooperation there.
"Similarly, they analyzed possibilities for enhanced Nordic cooperation in the Baltic Sea." 
This came shortly after “Former Norwegian foreign minister Thorvald Stoltenberg…concluded in a report on Nordic defence cooperation that the five Nordic countries should strengthen security cooperation in the Arctic….” 
Less than a week later U.S. Air Force pilots were in Finland to train their counterparts in air refueling procedures of the sort used for long-distance missions, including warfare.
According to the operations officer of the Finnish Air Force’s 21st Fighter Squadron, “a captain who asked to remain anonymous due to government policy,” the week-long exercises with Navy F-18 Hornets and an Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker, “help[ed] the squadron, and the service as a whole, meet a government requirement to be able to deploy outside Finland to support NATO forces. Although Finland is not a member of NATO, it is a part of the organization’s Partnership of Peace program, which USAFE [U.S. Air Forces in Europe] also supports.
“This opens our eyes to a much wider operating area.”
The report from which the above comes informed readers that “It’s the first time U.S. Air Forces in Europe has deployed a tanker team to Finland for an air-to-air refueling operation.” 
On May 25 of this year the Finnish foreign trade and development minister, Paavo Vayrynen of the Centre Party, said his party’s partner in the ruling coalition, the conservative National Coalition Party, “had mounted a sustained campaign to mould public opinion behind NATO membership.” 
Similar initiatives, concerted and surreptitious, to drag nations into NATO against the will of a clear majority of their populations are underway in Sweden and Cyrpus, inter alia.
From June 1-4 NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (ACT), based in Norfolk, Virginia, and the Finnish Defence Forces conducted a NPETN [NATO & Partners' Education and Training Portal] in Helsinki.
A Turkish air force colonel assigned to NPETN described the program as “basically a human network that provides a venue to the members including the NATO Defense College, Joint Warfare Centre, Joint Force Training Centre, NATO School, NATO Communications and Information Systems School, NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre, NATO Centres of Excellence, and NATO and Partner Nation’s military education and training centres.” 
The three-day conference wasn’t a bilateral affair between NATO’s headquarters in the United States and Finland, however, as it took in nations from no fewer than five continents.
“For the first time in conference history, a representative from Australia, a NATO Contact Country, will attend the discussions.”
The same Turkish NATO representative quoted earlier said, “The conference gives us the opportunity to reach our goals because we will have more input from our Partner Nations, representatives from NATO, Partnership for Peace (PfP), Mediterranean Dialogue (MD), and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), Contact Countries (CC).” 
With NATO’s 28 full members, 25 Partnership for Peace candidates, seven members of the Mediterranean Dialogue, six of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative [the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council) and several Contact Countries like Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, etc., the number adds up to nearly a third of the 192 nations in the world.
On the day after the NATO conference in Finland's capital ended, the nation's police arrested six peace activists for painting NATO symbols in - blood - red on the walls of the Finnish Defence Command headquarters in Helsinki.
The group, Muurinmurtajat, released a statement saying "it wanted to draw attention to how the practical work of bringing Finland militarily closer to NATO is being done at the Defence Command." 
Five days later the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Finland on defense technology.
“Finland is a long-standing participant in the NATO Partnership for Peace programme with a strong track record of contributing to NATO missions and exercises.
“Sweden was the first partner country to sign a similar agreement with NC3A in 2007.” 
On the same day the Finnish armed forces began “their largest military exercise in decades.”
Maanvyory 2009 (Landslide 2009) includes “18,000 service men, including 7,000 reservists from all three branches of the service.” 
Norway: NATO Moves Its Military Into The Arctic
On June 2nd it was announced that Norway will move its Operational Command Headquarters from the south of the nation at Stavanger north to Reitan outside Bodo, “thus making Norway the first country to move its military command leadership to the Arctic.”
“The move is in line with the Government’s increased focus on the northern regions. With the new location above the Arctic Circle, Norway’s supreme operational command will gain first hand contact with all questions concerning the High North.” 
During a meeting of NATO parliamentarians in Oslo from May 22-26 NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer held meetings with Prime Minister Stoltenberg, Foreign Minister Store and Defence Minister Strom-Erichsen and had an audience with King Harald V. “Discussions focused on NATO’s post-summit agenda, including the upcoming update of the Alliance Strategic Concept, relations with Russia and new security challenges facing Allies.” 
At the same meeting of NATO parliamentarians Norwegian cabinet members told the participants that “NATO should increase its role in the High North,” with State Secretary for Defence Espen Barth Eide insisting “that the High North should be addressed by the next reorganisation of the NATO command structure….” 
Norwegian Ambassador to NATO, Kim Traavik, escorted the ambassadors of five fellow NATO countries on a “study trip” to the north of the country after the parliamentarians meeting ended to inspect the site of the intended future conflict.
A week before, Norwegian Minister of Defence Anne-Grete Strom-Erichsen ”outlined the importance of shaping a common position in defence and security matters concerning the High North. The Minister particularly called for ‘strengthening the relevance of NATO.’ Considering Russia’s recent push in its military and economic spheres in the Arctic Sea, Strom-Erichsen sees a worrying potential for a possible destabilisation in the region.” 
The defense chief in her own words:
“The Alliance is at the core of the security and defence strategies of all but one Arctic Ocean state. It therefore cannot avoid defining its role in the area. The challenge will be to devise policies that address fundamental Western security interests….” 
At the current time NATO’s Allied Command Transformation is conducting a CWID [Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration] in Lillehammer, Norway from June 1-26 “with particular emphasis on those that would be deployed with NATO-led operations such as Article 5 Response, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Active Endeavour, Kosovo Force or within a NATO Response Force (NRF)….” 
An Article 5 response means activating NATO’s collective military assistance provision as has been done with the nearly eight-year-old Afghan war.
On June 6th it was reported that Norway had established a historical record in arms exports and that “Most of the export of Norwegian defence material goes to NATO member nations and to Sweden and Finland.” 
Further Encroachment On Russia: NATO In The Baltic Sea
It was reported late last month that NATO would continue its rotational air patrols over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania until at least 2020.  As has been mentioned by Russian officials, the NATO warplanes involved are a five-minute flight from Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg.
The Baltic Eagle NATO Response Force (NRF-14) multinational exercise is being conducted from June 2-18 in the Adazi Military Area in Latvia to prepare the Baltic Battalion of Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian armed forces “to test the combat readiness level of the unit.”
“According to the exercise scenario, the troops will deploy into the region of a military conflict and will conduct a wide scale of operations….A significant number of modern weaponry and equipment, including third generation Spike anti-tank guided missiles, modern heavy SISU 8×8 multi purpose transporters, SISU armored personnel carriers, personal assault rifles G36, and others, will be used in the exercise….”
The Baltic Battalion is a component of the NATO Response Force which in turn “is a highly ready and technologically advanced force of the Alliance made up of land, air, sea and special forces components that can deploy quickly wherever needed. It is self-sustainable and capable of performing missions worldwide across the whole spectrum of operations.” 
During the same period the U.S. Navy has been leading the annual Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercises in the region.
“Maritime forces from 12 countries will participate in the largest multinational naval exercise this year in the Baltic Sea June 8-19.
“The Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise is an annual event aimed at improving interoperability and cooperation among regional allies” and this years includes naval forces from the US, Britain, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.” 
Present are American Rear Adm. John N. Christenson, commander of the Carrier Strike Group 12, and Swedish Rear Adm. Anders Grenstad, commander of the Maritime Component Command and “the Swedish equivalent of the U.S. Navy’s chief of naval operations.” 
Five days before BALTOPS 2009 began, the USS Mount Whitney – the flagship of the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet and the command and control ship for the Commander Joint Command Lisbon and the Commander Striking Force NATO, deployed against Russia in the Black Sea after last August’s Caucasus war – arrived off the coast of Lithuania and hosted American expatriate and current Lithuanian president Valdas Adamkus.
The latter used the occasion to affirm that “On behalf of the entire nation, the Mount Whitney’s presence is significant to the entire country. It shows respect, provides additional strength and belief to fight for their commitment, but most importantly, the solidarity of the NATO community.”
The U.S. commander responded with, “I would like to publicly thank Lithuania for their [sic] support in Kosovo, Iraq, and especially Afghanistan.” 
German Navy, Air Force Return To Neighborhood Of Leningrad
German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung toured the Baltics last week and met with his Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian counterparts to “discuss…pressing issues within NATO and the European Union” and to “strengthen the well-functioning security relations with the three Baltic states.” 
German warplanes are to take over the NATO Baltic patrol later this year, which is sure to conjure up memories among those in St. Petersburg old enough to have survived the 900-day siege of the city when it was Leningrad.
As is the arrival of the German navy recently. “A German auxiliary repair ship, one of 10 German units, provides support to more than 40 allied ships participating in [the] Baltic Operations exercise 2009 here….” 
NATO’s Main Base On The Baltic: Poland
In mid-May a senior Polish defense official stated that “Poland expects a U.S. Patriot battery to be deployed on its soil in 2009 regardless of whether President Barack Obama opts to press ahead with missile defence plans in Europe” and urged NATO “not to neglect potential security threats closer to home in Europe and…expressed [the Polish government's] willingness to host alliance infrastructure.” 
Washington was quick to oblige: “The U.S. Department of State has confirmed that the Patriot missile battery will be deployed in Poland regardless of what happens with plans for the missile shield system.” 
Three days later the Financial Times reported that in relation to the Pentagon stationing Patriot missiles in Poland “talks were on track for the completion of final agreements in July, followed by a deployment of 100-110 US soldiers and 196 missiles by the year-end.”
Polish Deputy Defense Minister Stanislaw Komorowski was quoted as saying, “This will be the first time US soldiers are stationed on Polish soil, other than those who come under NATO control, on exercises for example….This will be symbolic for Poland.” 
In early June Polish President Donald Tusk affirmed “that Poland had not changed its mind about the U. S. anti-missile shield,”  specifically the stationing of 10 American ground-based interceptor missiles in Redzikowo, northern Poland, site of a former Nazi German Luftwaffe airbase, another historical parallel that should make any informed and sensible Russian nervous.
Late last week Polish government spokesman Pawel Gras said that “the bilateral agreement on the deployment of a U.S.-sponsored anti-missile shield in Poland provided for the delivery of a combat-ready battery” and that planned U.S. Patriot missiles would be “armed and stationed permanently.” 
On the same day Poland’s Defense Minister Bogdan Klich “announced that NATO will locate the Joint Battle Command Centre in Bydgoszcz, northern Poland, following a decision by defense ministers at a NATO meeting in Brussels.”  The Joint Battle Command Centre will be added to the NATO Joint Forces Training Center already in Bydgoszcz.
A meeting of NATO defense chiefs was held in Brussels on June 11 and included the defense ministers of all 28 NATO and 22 partner states; the heads of fifty national militaries discussed the war in Afghanistan, the occupation of the Serbian province of Kosovo, naval operations off the coast of Somalia and the Georgian-Russian conflict in the South Caucasus.
The defense chiefs of half a hundred nations not only discussed military operations in three continents but in addition “members of the Nuclear Planning Group held consultations on key current issues related to the Alliance’s nuclear policy.” 
The central component of NATO’s 21st Century new Strategic Concept currently being crafted is a continuation and intensification of the bloc’s drive east and Poland is marked for a large share of its military deployments and infrastructure.
Poland’s Defense Minister Klich “highlight[ed] the fact that NATO has decided to heavily invest in Poland by modernizing military infrastructure including air and sea bases.”
The sea bases will be on the Baltic and the air bases within easy striking distance of Russia and its two largest cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Klich offered details on the plans decided upon by NATO last Thursday in revealing that “The Alliance has made the decision to open a new NATO cell, a new joint regiment within NATO. According to the decision, commanders from three regiments will be located in Bydgoszcz.”
“In Bydgoszcz, we will have the permanent commanders of the battalion and other components: one of the six joint mobile modules, a security component and logistics and support operators.”  The unit stationed in Poland will be composed of approximately 200 NATO soldiers.
Several days earlier Klich invited the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and Russia’s neighbor Ukraine to join a collective international expeditionary brigade, for alleged peacekeeping operations.
“The Polish defense minister…said that the talks dealt with Ukraine’s cooperation with NATO and the European Union, as well as the countries’ role in military operations, including Ukrainian servicemen’s participation in operations in Afghanistan….The parties also discussed assistance to Ukraine in its efforts to join NATO….
“Ukrainian and Polish defense ministers Yuriy Yekhanurov and Bogdan Klich have invited the Baltic states to join the initiative on the formation of a joint peacekeeping brigade.” 
The First American War Against Russia In The Arctic: Lessons Learned And Not Learned
From May 11-21 NATO held the twice-annual Joint Warrior war games – Europe’s largest military exercise – off the coast of Scotland in the North Sea, which connects with the Norwegian Sea bordering the Arctic Ocean.
“More than 20 warships, 75 aircraft and hundreds of personnel were tested in various scenarios” including one in which “a task group of 33 ships and French marines were sent into the fictitious Northern Dispute Zone to tackle the ‘Dragonians’ who had been harassing the ‘Caledonians’ and ‘Avalonians’.
“Soldiers, sailors and air crews from Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and the US were also involved.” 
According to the same source the autumn Joint Warrior exercises will be extended from two to three weeks this year.
Regarding American participation in last month’s drills, “USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), USS Porter (DDG 78), USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), USNS Kanawha (T-AO 193), and COMDESRON 24 took part in the scenario-driven engagement, along with vessels from nine other members of the North American Treaty Organization (NATO). [The Joint warrior] exercise [is] expected to increase fleet efficiency and battle readiness for U.S. and allied navies alike.” 
On the other end of the Arctic, from June 15-26 the U.S. will conduct operation Northern Edge 2009 in Alaska which will include “More than 200 aircraft, including B-52s, F-16s and Blackhawk helicopters….In addition, the USS John C. Stennis and its carrier strike group will be operating out of the Gulf of Alaska during the exercises. The nuclear-powered supercarrier has an air wing of more than 70 aircraft and a crew of 5,000 sailors.” 
In a feature from a newspaper in the state of Michigan on May 28th, a review of a documentary film included this commentary on an American military unit deployed to Russia’s Arctic region in the ending days of World War I:
“[The] Polar Bear Expedition saw some 5,500 soldiers sent to Archangel, Russia, near the Arctic Circle, in September 1918, just two months before the armistice would end the war. The expedition took shape after the 1917 Russian Revolution, when Russia signed a separate peace with Germany and pulled out of the war.
“At the urging of Winston Churchill – then in the British war office – President Woodrow Wilson…agreed to furnish troops to support the anti-Communist White Russian army. The Americans and some Canadians, who thought they were headed to France, were placed under British command.”
U.S. Senator Carl Levin was present for the screening of the documentary and told the audience, “There are lessons to be learned in history; there are lessons here….The lesson is we must be clear in our mission.” 
There are lessons, indeed. American troops fought on Russian soil and ended up on the losing side. This is not the lesson that Levin and the political and military leadership of NATO countries as a whole have learned and so risk repeating them on a far grander and more dangerous scale.
1) National Security Presidential Directive 66
2) NATO’s, Pentagon’s New Strategic Battleground: The Arctic
Stop NATO, February 2, 2009
3) Canada: Battle Line In East-West Conflict Over The Arctic
Stop NATO, June 3, 2009
4) Christian Science Monitor, June 11, 2009
5) Allied Air Component Command HQ Ramstein, April 9, 2009
6) U.S. Air Forces in Europe, June 8, 2009
7) Barents Observer, June 8, 2009
8) “Lapistan” inte bra sager Nato, Norrbottens-Kuriren via Wikipedia
9) Aftonbladet, June 5 by way of Stefan Lindgren
10) Barents Observer, June 8, 2009
11) Christian Science Monitor, June 11, 2009
12) Sveriges Radio via Barents Observer, June 8, 2009
13) The Local, June 10, 2009
14) The Local, June 8, 2009
15) From Agneta Norberg
17) The Local, May 12, 2009
18) Defense News, May 17, 2009
19) NATO, May 19, 2009
20) Agence France-Presse, June 3, 2009
21) Defense Professionals, May 13, 2009
22) Barents Observer, May 12, 2009
23) U.S. Air Forces in Europe, May 18, 2009
24) NewsRoom Finland, May 25, 2009
25) NATO, Allied Command Transformation, May 29, 2009
27) Helsinki Times, June 4, 2009
28) NATO International, June 9, 2009
29) Finnish Broadcasting Company, June 9, 2009
30) Barents Observer, June 2, 2009
31) NATO, May 26, 2009
32) Jane’s Defence Weekly, June 1, 2009
33) Norwegian Ministry of Defence, May 14, 2009
35) NATO, Allied Command Transformation, May 18, 2009
36) Norway Post, June 6, 2009
37) Defense News, May 28, 2009
38) Lithuania Ministry of National Defence, May 28, 2009
39) U.S. Naval Forces Europe, Navy NewsStand, June 6, 2009
41) United States European Command, June 3, 2009
42) United Press International, June 9, 2009
43) U.S. Naval Forces Europe, June 11, 2009
44) Reuters, May 18, 2009
45) Warsaw Voice, June 3, 2009
46) Financial Times, May 21, 2009
47) Trend News Agency, June 3, 2009
48) Xinhua News Agency, June 12, 2009
49) Polish Radio, June 12, 2009
50) NATO International, June 11, 2009
51) Polish Radio, June 12, 2009
52) Interfax-Ukraine, May 29, 2009
53) BBC News, May 22, 2009
54) United States Navy, Navy Newsstand, May 22, 2009
55) Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, June 12, 2009
56) Hometown Life, May 28, 2009
June 10, 2009
Azerbaijan And The Caspian: NATO’s War For The World’s Heartland
Welcoming Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov to her haunts in Foggy Bottom in early May of this year, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could think of nothing more original to say than “Azerbaijan has a very strategic location that is one important not only to their country, but really, regionally and globally….” 
But what Clinton’s statement lacked in innovation it compensated for in accuracy. Azerbaijan is as strategically situated as any nation in the world within the current contest between Western plans for global military domination and control of energy resources and contrasting efforts by other nations to secure a peaceful and multipolar international order.
The nation of only slightly more than eight million people is nestled in the far southeast corner of the Caucasus on the coast of the Caspian Sea, bordering all the other Caucasus nations – Armenia, Georgia and Russia – on its northern and western borders and Iran on its southern one.
Even more than Turkey, Azerbaijan is that nation which links Europe with Asia and, neighboring Iran, also connects Eurasia with the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.
Strategic Energy Projects Of The 21st Century
The nation is also the linchpin in several Western oil and natural gas transit projects constituting what the U.S. White House calls the East-West Energy Corridor – the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline (delivering high-grade crude from Azerbaijan’s Caspian offshore Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli fields to Turkey’s deepwater Mediterranean terminal at Ceyhan), the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum and the Nabucco/Southern Corridor natural gas pipelines – which in turn are linked with several extensions running from and to three continents as well as the Middle East.
These include transporting oil (and natural gas) from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan on the eastern shores of the Caspian to Azerbaijan – either by ship or under the sea – then to Georgia and Turkey, where one route will ship oil from the Black Sea coast of Georgia to the Ukrainian port city of Odessa and from there via pipeline to Brody and into Poland to Plock and then Gdansk on the Baltic Sea for further transportation to Germany and the rest of Europe.
Other branches of this vast transcontinental energy transport project include those carrying natural gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas field to Europe through the “Interconnector pipeline linking Turkey to Italy via Greece and the White Stream, which would run from Georgia to Romania across [or under] the Black Sea,”  and the proposed shipping of oil from Ceyhan in Turkey to the Israeli Mediterranean port city of Ashkelon and from there by pipeline to the Red Sea port of Eilat where it can be shipped on tankers across the Indian Ocean to East Asia. Last year it was announced that “the pipeline company Ashkelon-Eylat [Eilat] initiated a channel for transportation of oil from the Turkish Ceyhan port to East Asia by using Israel’s infrastructure.” 
The last-named presents the eventual prospect of oil emanating from as far east as Kazakhstan, which borders China, being shipped across the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan, then through the South Caucasus to Turkey, from there down the Mediterranean coast to Israel, and later shipped through the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean and back to East Asia.
During the European Union summit in Prague on May 7 of this year it was announced that the Nabucco gas pipeline – planned to transport natural gas from Erzurum, Turkey where the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey gas pipeline ends, to Austria, via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary – would be fed by natural gas from Northern Iraq through Turkey and from Egypt.
“After meeting with EU officials, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia and Turkey signed a joint declaration on the Southern Corridor [Nabucco] that involves countries from Central Asia, Southern Caucasus, Mashreq [Jordan, Lebanon, Syria] and the Middle East.” 
“[Iraqi] supplies will be sufficient to feed the long-planned Nabucco pipeline, which proposes pumping gas to Austria via Turkey.
“The pipeline would reduce Europe’s dependency on gas from Russia.
“Iraq has the world’s tenth-largest gas reserves, and the world’s third largest supply of crude oil.
“A consortium of oil companies plans to revive a project to supply Europe with gas from northern Iraq.” 
Azerbaijan: Central Link In Extended Chain
At the very center of this unprecedentedly wide-ranging energy transit nexus is a small country with a population only slightly larger than that of New York City, Azerbaijan.
And Azerbaijan is neither solely a transit state like Georgia and Turkey nor only an exporting nation like Kazakhstan, Iraq and Egypt, but both an oil- and natural gas-producing country and the very hub of a transportation network whose spokes reach out in almost all directions. All, that is, except for Russia and Iran, both neighboring Azerbaijan, which are deliberately circumvented in the energy routes listed above.
And without Azerbaijan’s participation various Western trans-Caspian and trans-Eurasian energy, transportation and military projects would have no central and unifying base.
Before Cold War Was Even Cold: NATO’s Designs On Former Soviet Space
The foundation of Western plans for Azerbaijan’s role in not only regional but ultimately global energy strategies began immediately after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the creation of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the same year. After three and a half years of negotiations the so-called Contract of the Century was signed in the capital of Baku in 1994 with British Petroleum and other foreign oil companies including the American Amoco, Pennzoil, UNOCAL, McDermott and Delta Nimir firms.
The pivotal Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline project was agreed upon in 1998 and went into effect in 2006.
In March of this year the Azerbaijani government announced that its military expenditures had increased 9.7 times – almost 1,000% – over the past five years. Neighboring nation and fellow NATO outpost Georgia has registered a similar increase in the same period. In both cases income from oil and natural gas export and transport played a large role in funding this monumental percentage increase. Oil for war.
In this morning’s Azerbaijan press the head of NATO’s Defense and Security Economics Directorate, Michael Gaul, is quoted as saying that “NATO realizes the whole importance of the Nabucco project and backs Azerbaijan.”
The same source added that “NATO can render assistance in [the] provision of pipeline security.” 
Ten days earlier the Russian ambassador to Brussels Vladimir Chizov warned “that Moscow is skeptical about any possible involvement of NATO” in arrogating to itself the right to police oil and gas pipelines and other means of transit from the Caspian. 
On May 6th Azerbaijan Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Araz Azimov – addressing a conference in his nation’s capital called NATO-Azerbaijan: Assessing the Past, Looking at the Future – “said a new era started for NATO after the collapse of the Soviet Union, adding newly established states in Eastern Europe and the issues of their independence were included in the new Strategic Concept of NATO which was prepared during the Rome Summit in 1991.” 
That is, even before the recently fragmented remains of the Soviet Union could regenerate themselves, NATO had plans in place to absorb them. And Azerbaijan was among the priorities, if not the main one.
NATO formally established ties with the country in 1992 by bringing it into the North Atlantic Cooperation Council [the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council since 1997], the format the Alliance employs for coordinating relations between members and various partners and candidates.
Two years later Azerbaijan was one of the first nations to join NATO’s Partnership for Peace program that trains affiliates for eventual full membership.
Challenging Post-Soviet Commonwealth Of Independent States
It was also chosen to be not only a member but the nucleus of the GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova) bloc formed in 1997 to create the basis for subsequent energy and military projects and to pull nations away from the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) with Russia, effectively a second generation breaking up of Soviet space. The GUAM project was an initiative of the Clinton administration like the oil and gas Contract of the Century and its first realization, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which were continued and consolidated through the Bush and into the Obama presidency.
GUAM, now expanded to include Armenia and Belarus with the European Union’s Eastern Partnership, a subject explored in an earlier article in this series , is a de facto mechanism for NATO integration and membership.
A letter from U.S. President Barack Obama was read to the opening ceremony of the Sixteenth International Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference in the Azerbaijani capital last week which included this:
“Your success is exemplified in Azerbaijan’s invitation to international investors in the mid-1990s to develop its oil and gas fields, and the realization of the East-West Energy Corridor, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and South Caucasus gas pipeline.” 
NATO’s Forward Operating Base At Border of Europe And Asia
Anyone visiting the capital recently would be forgiven for thinking he was in Brussels rather than Baku and perhaps at NATO Headquarters at that. If the matter was not so deadly serious it might be observed that the Azerbaijani capital resembles a gigantic NATO theme park.
Since the beginning of last month the nation has announced, hosted or been the subject of: On May 1st a spokesman of the Defense Ministry boasted that “thousands of Azerbaijani military men have participated in more than 200 activities of NATO through the last year.” 
The preceding day the Secretary General of NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev held a joint press conference at NATO Headquarters in Belgium, where the NATO chief informed the press that “It goes without saying that Azerbaijan is a very important player in the region, but also beyond, as a nation which is crucial in the very important area of energy, and energy security is a highly valued and highly respected partner of NATO.
“[O]nly last year in almost 200 events, Azerbaijan participated in the framework of our cooperation with NATO. We highly value this partnership. Azerbaijan is redoubling its military presence in Afghanistan.”
The Azeri president said:
“We discussed energy security and energy cooperation today, and we cannot consider the general security of the region regardless [of] energy security. Energy security, energy cooperation become more important in today’s world….So far our role was limited by regional dimensions. But now I think there are very good prospects for mutual cooperation on a global scale. Our pipelines and oil and gas resources serve today’s stability and the security of the region, and in the future will serve…global energy security.” 
On May 5th former Turkish foreign minister and current NATO senior civil officer in Afghanistan Hikmet Cetin was in Baku and asserted “[O]ne day Azerbaijan will be a full-fledged NATO member” and in addition “NATO is counting on expanding its activity in the South Caucasus states by admitting them as members.” 
He also applauded Turkey’s role in that process, affirming it “has been playing a key role in bringing Azerbaijan`s armed forces in line with NATO standards.” 
The same day the U.S. Defense Department’s Deputy Assistant for European and NATO Policy Mary Warwick arrived in the Azerbaijani capital to attend the NATO-Azerbaijan: Assessing the Past, Looking at the Future conference commemorating the fifteenth anniversary of the nation joining the NATO Partnership for Peace program.
A video address to the conference by NATO Secretary General Scheffer communicated the fact that “he highly appreciated Azerbaijan’s participation in the ISAF program in Afghanistan” and quoted him saying “We are working with Azerbaijan as a reliable partner in the field of regional security.” 
Azerbaijan General Major and Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations Etibar Mirzayev used the occasion to state “We want some NATO exercises to be held in Azerbaijan,” and elaborated by saying “We propose to hold some NATO exercises in Azerbaijan. Sea rescue, oil pipelines security and other exercises can be held in Azerbaijan.” 
On May 12th Robert Pszczel, NATO’s Deputy Press Secretary, said that “Azerbaijan is one of the most active participants in military exercises” and “There is a bright future in co-operation between Azerbaijan and NATO. A number of issues, particularly the country’s role as a main energy exporter, bear huge importance….” 
The same day the Romanian ambassador to Azerbaijan, Nicolae Ureche, whose country has been tasked by the Alliance to be the main liaison for Baku’s NATO integration, stated that “Azerbaijan’s strategic location may be beneficial for NATO in case of it joining the alliance” at the European Security and NATO conference, adding “One of the advantages is the country’s strategic location on the South Caucasus, as an important transit route.” 
The following day Azerbaijan`s Defense Industry Minister Yavar Jamalov hosted former Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Efraim Sneh and the two “discussed prospects for boosting military cooperation between the two countries.” 
Azerbaijan-Israel-NATO Connection: Armenia And Iran Targeted
Israeli President Shimon Peres is expected in Azerbaijan on June 28 to consolidate energy and military ties with Baku, much as Tel Aviv has done with Azerbaijan’s neighbor, Georgia, modeling both relationships after those with Turkey.
Last September Israel concluded a weapons deal with Azerbaijan worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
“According to agreements signed by the Defense Ministry and the government of Azerbaijan, which borders on Iran, Israel will sell the southern Caucasus state ammunition, mortars and radio equipment.
“Foreign news outlets have reported that the two countries maintain intelligence and security contacts. The bolstering of these ties has reportedly been achieved by former Mossad agent Michael Ross.”
And on the other end of the Caspian Sea, “Israeli companies have also recently signed deals worth tens of millions of dollars with Kazakhstan.” 
An Azeri press agency revealed that military cooperation with Israel was no new phenomenon as “Israel was supplying weapons to Baku in the period of the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh” and “US sources stated at different times that Mossad helped Azerbaijani special services” and “that Israeli points of radioelectronic reconnaissance are set on the Azerbaijani-Iranian border.” 
The above developments alarmed Armenia, still at conflict with its neighbor over Nagorno Karabakh. In an article of last October, shortly after the five-day war between Georgia and Russia in the South Caucasus, called “Israel selling weapons to Azerbaijan fuels possibility of new war,” an Armenian website contended that “A dangerous pattern is emerging in the Caucasus with new reports that Israel is continuing to sell advanced military armaments to Azerbaijan, costing hundreds of millions of dollars.”
The above feature quotes a former chairman of the Armenian Assembly of America as saying, “They [the Israelis] sell these arms at a time when Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan, has repeatedly threatened to recapture Nagorno Karabakh by military force.” 
At the fifteenth anniversary NATO conference in Azerbaijan early in May Turkey’s Hikmet Cetin said of the lingering Nagorno Karabakh conflict:
“I think not only the Minsk Group, but the USA, Turkey and Russia, as well as NATO can reach [a] solution to the problem.
“NATO has larger opportunities and therefore I consider that NATO should be involved in the process.” 
Azerbaijan and the West: Strategic Partnership At Eurasia`s Crossroads
On May 14 the American think tank the Jamestown Foundation hosted a conference in Washington called Azerbaijan and the West: Strategic Partnership at Eurasia`s Crossroads at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Speakers included former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy Daniel Fata, now with the Cohen Group of second term Clinton administration Secretary of Defense William Cohen.
A few days later it was announced that Azerbaijani troops would participate in several NATO Partnership for Peace military trainings including in fellow GUAM state Ukraine where they would be given a “tour of the military facilities in Simferopol and Sevastopol.” The two cities are in the Crimea where the Russian Black Sea Fleet is based. 
In a May 19th report called “Azerbaijani, US militaries hold joint events” a local news source noted that “The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry is holding joint military events with the United States in Baku…in accordance with the bilateral cooperation plan signed between Azerbaijan and the United States,” and that “a business meeting is being held on May 18-22 to support the implementation of the Strategic Defense Review and development of final documents.” 
To demonstrate how thoroughly NATO’s efforts are progressing in the drive to infiltrate every aspect of the country’s existence, two days later “NATO’s representative in Azerbaijan’s Romanian embassy and the NATO International School in Azerbaijan (NISA) organized a roundtable on the theme [of] NATO and Azerbaijani youth.” 
On the same day it was reported that NATO Supreme Allied Commander and the U.S. European Command chief General Bantz John Craddock met with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov on the topic of “implementing fruitful bilateral cooperation between Azerbaijan and the USA.” 
In the same visit to the capital of Azerbaijan Craddock also met with the country’s Defense Minister Safar Abiyev and “hailed Azerbaijan`s contribution to the international security system and peacekeeping operations in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.” 
Early this month Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Araz Azimov was in Brussels to attend the Azerbaijan’s European and Euro-Atlantic Integration – Trends and Future Prospects conference which was addressed by Assistant Secretary General of NATO Jean-Francois Bureau, Permanent Representative of Romania to NATO Sorin Ducaru and Deputy Director of the International Military Staff of NATO Maj. Gen. Georges Lebel.
For whatever the distinction is worth, the meeting was nominally under European Union auspices.
At the same time the Pentagon was conducting a workshop in Baku in conjunction with the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry as part of bilateral military agreements.
First Full NATO Member In Caucasus: “Azerbaijan Is NATO’s Strategic Point In The South Caucasus”
On June 4th the George Soros Open Society Institute’s EurasiaNet website ran an article entitled “Azerbaijan: Baku Can Leapfrog Over Ukraine, Georgia For NATO Membership” and included the claim that “A senior source within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Joint Force Command has told EurasiaNet that Azerbaijan stands a better chance of gaining NATO membership in the near future than either Georgia or Ukraine.”
The feature went on to say that “Earlier, the perception in both Brussels [North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] headquarters] and Baku was that Georgia should integrate into NATO first and Azerbaijan should follow.
“However, the situation has changed and it might be that in the year to come Azerbaijan will become the frontrunner. Baku may enter NATO earlier than Ukraine and Georgia.
“‘If Azerbaijan opted to petition for NATO accession, ‘no one could stop it. And if NATO will decide to accept Azerbaijan, Russia would hardly be able to hold it back.’” 
The same report concluded by adding: “A NATO diplomatic source, who did not want to be named, said some key officials at NATO headquarters in Brussels were pushing hard for engaging Azerbaijan on the membership question. ‘Turkey, Romania, Italy, Poland, [the] UK and [the] Baltic states,’ are among the member-states also backing a fast track for Azerbaijan’s NATO membership, the diplomatic source said.”
Romanian Ambassador to Azerbaijan and official NATO point man for the country Nicolae Ureche, also pointing out the nation’s strategic location (“The case for Azerbaijan comes down to geography and energy”), is quoted as saying that “Azerbaijan is NATO’s strategic point in the South Caucasus.” 
Today, June 10, Azerbaijan begin hosting its annual NATO week in Baku, actually a seventeen day “series of workshops, conferences and working meetings” including a “conference on the Role of Armed Forces and Law-Enforcement Organizations in Cooperation between NATO and Azerbaijan.”
NATO’s Partnership for Peace liaison officer for the South Caucasus, Poland’s Colonel Zbigniew Rybacki, flew in for the events. 
Yesterday the Azeri press announced that the nation was working on fifty NATO partnership projects and on the second phase of its NATO Individual Membership Action Plan. 
Also in attendance, Romania’s Secretary of State for Strategic Affairs Bogdan Aurescu assured the host government that the “alliance’s doors are open for the country,” 
On June 9, a day before the official opening of the extended NATO Week in Baku, Aurescu also delivered “a speech on the role of NATO in the 21st century at the NATO International School in Azerbaijan.”
Today he was a speaker at the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council seminar Energy Security: Challenges and Opportunities, also held in the Azerbaijani capital. 
Tomorrow the new U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Philip Gordon, will arrive as part of a three-day visit to the South Caucasus. While in Azerbaijan Gordon, former Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council in the Clinton administration, “will discuss US-Azerbaijan cooperation on energy matters and security.” 
It was also reported today that on June 16-19 another conference, one billed as The Role of Reforms in Azerbaijani Law-Enforcement Bodies and Armed Forces in the Integration into the Euro Atlantic space, will be conducted and that “The conference will be held with the support of NATO and the Turkish embassy in Azerbaijan. NATO Liaison Officer in the South Caucasus region Zbigniew Rybacki will also attend the conference.” 
Romanian Foreign Ministry Secretary of State for Strategic Affairs Aurescu was quoted again today, this time stating:
“Energy security must be reflected in the coming NATO documents. Romania sees NATO’s role in support of regional initiatives and beginnings. Diversification of energy resources is a peculiar bridge which links Europe with the Caspian region.” 
U.S. Energy And Geopolitical Objectives Converge
The efforts by the State Department’s Philip Gordon will be joined with those of the new Special Envoy of the United States Secretary of State for Eurasian Energy, Richard Morningstar, who was in the Azerbaijani capital on June 1-3 for the Caspian Oil and Gas international exhibition and conference.
While there Morningstar said, “Delivering its gas to Europe via the Southern Corridor, Azerbaijan will be able to establish strong relationships with the West,” and “We are ready to assist Azerbaijan in the delivery of hydrocarbons to markets.” 
“Morningstar’s remarks echoed a consistent theme of Washington’s since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent development of the Caspian’s hydrocarbon resources: that oil should move westwards along a Western-built and dominated energy corridor, bypassing both Russia and Iran.” 
He had traveled to fellow oil-rich Caspian nation Turkmenistan before arriving in Baku and left for Turkey afterward. While still in Baku Morningstar said, “These projects are very important in terms of diversification of energy sources and strategy. These projects will have a positive influence not only on Azerbaijan, but also on Turkmenistan and Iraq….”
When asked about Iran, a far more sensible supplier of and transit nation for Caspian hydrocarbons, he said, “Iran continues violating international commitments and posing a threat to peace and stability. Under these circumstances, it is too early for this country to realize its gas resources within any project….” 
Threat To Iran
U.S. and NATO forces are stationed in and have airbases or access to them in three nations that border Iran – Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan – and nearby in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Georgia, Bulgaria and Romania and Washington’s and Brussels’ military integration of Azerbaijan will add to the encirclement of the country. In addition, ethnic Azeris are the largest minority group in Iran, estimated to constitute some 25% of the nation’s population, and Azerbaijan could be used to foment separatist violence after the Yugoslav model, possibly in unison with a “velvet” or “color” uprising scenario as the national presidential election occurs in less than two days.
NATO’s role in expanding into the South Caucasus and in building a string of military bases from the Balkans to Central Asia has been dealt with in previous articles [41,42].
This past March the Pentagon’s U.S. European Command (EUCOM), whose commander is also NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, announced that it “will continue the Caspian Regional Maritime Security Cooperation Program with Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in 2009….The United States is planning to continue its efforts toward coordination between the navies of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan within the program.” 
Not identified as such, the Pentagon’s plan to project military presence into the Caspian Sea Basin is a continuation of the Caspian Guard initiative of the first George W. Bush administration’s Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who launched the program in 2003 and by 2005 had allotted over $100 million dollars for it.
U.S. naval forces in the Caspian Sea, even if initially as advisers, are the equivalent of Russia and Iran signing an agreement with Canada to deploy military vessels in the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes, the American response to which wouldn’t be long in coming and wouldn’t be pacific.
Eurasian Heartland And Plans For Global Domination
Azerbaijan lies at the very center of what 20th century British geographer Halford Mackinder named the Heartland – Eurasia from Eastern Europe to China – control over which would guarantee domination of what he termed the World Island (Eurasia, Africa and the Middle East), which in turn would allow for control of the entire world.
It is also in the middle of what the contemporary adaptation of Mackinder’s model by the Russophobe and self-styled geostrategist Zbigniew Brzezinski refers to as the Eurasian Balkans.
Perhaps never before in modern history has such a small country as Azerbaijan been poised to play such a large role in the grand schemes of major powers.
1) PanArmenian.net, May 6, 2009
2) Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2009
3) Trend News Agency, July 24, 2008
4) Xinhua News Agency, May 9, 2009
5) BBC News, May 17, 2009
6) Azertag, May 6, 2009
7) New Europe, May 31, 2009
8) AzerTag, May 6, 2009
9) Stop NATO, February 13, 2009
Eastern Partnership: West’s Final Assault On Former Soviet Union
10) Today.az, June 2, 2009
11) Today.az, May 1, 2009
12) NATO International, April 30, 2009
13) Azerbaijan Business Center, May 5, 2009
14) Azertag, May 6, 2009
15) Azeri Press Agency, May 5, 2009
16) Today.az. May 6, 2009
17) Today.az, May 12, 2009
18) Trend News Agency, May 12, 2009
19) Azertag, May 13, 2009
20) Ha’aretz, September 26, 2008
21) Today.az, September 26, 2008
22) PanArmenian.net, October 16, 2008
23) Azeri Press Agency, May 7, 2009
24) Azeri Press Agency, May 19, 2009
25) Trend News Agency, May 19, 2009
26) Azeri Press Agency, May 21, 2009
27) Trend News Agency, May 21, 2009
28) Azertag, May 21, 2009
29) EurasiaNet, June 4, 2009
31) Azeri Press Agency, June 5, 2009
32) Trend News Agency, June 9, 2009
33) Trend News Agency, June 9, 2009
34) Azeri Press Agency, June 8, 2009
35) Azeri Press Agency, June 10, 2009
36) Azeri Press Agency, June 10, 2009
37) Trend News Agency, June 10, 2009
38) Trend News Agency, June 1, 2009
39) United Press International, June 3, 2009
40) Azeri Press Agency, June 2, 2009
41) Stop NATO, April 7, 2009
42) Stop NATO, March 4, 2009
Mr. Simmons’ Mission: NATO Bases From Balkans To Chinese Border
43) Azeri Press Agency, March 11, 2009
June 3, 2009
Canada: Battle Line In East-West Conflict Over The Arctic
Referring to newly released documents, though not revealing what they were, a major Canadian news agency reported on May 26 that the government plans to acquire a “family” of aerial drones over the next decade. 
The dispatch was only two paragraphs long and could easily be overlooked, as one of the two intended purposes for expanding Canada’s reserve of military drones was for “failed or failing states.” Afghanistan is unquestionably one such deployment zone and Ottawa sent its first Israeli-made Heron drones there this January for NATO’s war in South Asia.
Another likely target for “dull, dirty and dangerous” missions suited for unmanned aircraft is Somalia, off the coast of which the frigate HMCS Winnipeg, carrying a Sea King helicopter it’s had occasion to use, is engaged with the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) in forced boarding and other military operations. The use of unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs) in a likely extension of military actions on the Somali mainland would, unfortunately, not raise many eyebrows.
The last sentence in the brief report, though, says that “Senior commanders also foresee a growing role for drones in Canada, especially along the country’s coastlines and in the Arctic.”
To provide an indication of what Canada’s Joint Unmanned Surveillance Target Acquisition System (JUSTAS) has in mind for future use in the Arctic, a likely prospect is the “Heron TP, a 4,650-kilogram drone with the same wingspan as a Boeing 737,” which can “can carry a 1,000-kilogram payload and stay aloft for 36 hours at an altitude of about 15,000 metres” for “long-range Arctic and maritime patrols.” 
Project JUSTAS will “cost as much as $750 million and…give the Canadian military a capability that only a handful of other countries possess….” 
The day after the first news story mentioned above appeared the same press source summarized comments by Canadian Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay as affirming “The global economic downturn won’t prevent the Canadian Forces from spending $60 billion on new equipment.”
Although Canada’s federal deficit is expected to rise to $50 billion this year from $34 billion in 2008, “MacKay said the government’s long-term defence strategy would grow this year’s $19-billion annual defence budget to $30 billion by 2027. Over that time, that will mean close to $490 billion in defence spending, including $60 billion on new equipment.” 
It’s doubtful that many Canadians are aware of either development: Plans for advanced drones designed not only for surveillance but for firing missiles to be used in the Arctic and a major increase in the military budget of a nation that has already doubled its defense spending over the last decade.
Of those who do know of them, the question should arise of why a nation of 33 million which borders only one other country, the United States, its senior partner in NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and since 2006 increasingly the Pentagon’s Northern Command (NORTHCOM) would need to spend almost half a trillion dollars for arms in the next eighteen years. And why in addition to acquiring weapons for wars and other military operations in Europe, Asia and Africa, Canada would deploy some of its most state-of-the-art arms to the Arctic Circle.
A French writer of the 1800s wrote that cannon aren’t forged to be displayed in public parks. And the deployment of missile-wielding drones to its far north are not, contrary to frequent implications for domestic consumption by members of the current Stephen Harper government, meant to defend the nation’s sovereignty in the region; only one state threatens that sovereignty, the United States, and Ottawa has no desire to defend its interests against its southern neighbor.
Recent unparalleled Canadian military exercises and buildup in the Arctic, of which the proposed use of aerial drones is but the latest example, are aimed exclusively at another nation: Russia.
A document from 2007 posted on a website of the Canadian Parliament states, “In recent years, Canada has been asserting its nordicite (nordicity) with a louder voice and greater emphasis than before. Such renewed focus on the Arctic is largely linked to the anticipated effects of climate change in the region, which are expected to be among the greatest effects of any region on Earth. By making the region more easily accessible, both threats and opportunities are amplified and multiplied. Canada’s claims over the Arctic are thus likely to emerge as a more central dimension of our foreign relations. Hence, it appears timely to highlight the extent of Canada’s sovereignty and jurisdiction over Arctic waters and territory, and to identify issues that are controversial.” 
Canada’s Arctic claims extend all the way to the North Pole, as do Russia’s and Denmark’s, as long as Copenhagen retains ownership of Greenland.
The basis of the dispute between Canada and Russia is the Lomonosov Ridge which runs 1,800 kilometers from Russia’s New Siberian Islands through the center of the Arctic Ocean to Canada’s Ellesmere Island in the territory of Nunavut, part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Russia maintains that the Lomonosov Ridge and the related Mendeleyev Elevation are extensions of its continental shelf. Russia filed a claim to this effect in December of 2001 with the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), renewing it in late 2007.
The answer to what is at stake with control of this vast stretch of the Arctic Ocean and that to the earlier question concerning Canada’s military escalation and expansion into the Arctic are both threefold.
Strategic Military Positioning For Nuclear War
Eleven days before vacating the White House on January 20th, U.S. President Bush W. Bush issued National Security Presidential Directive 66 on Arctic Region Policy. 
The document states that “The United States is an Arctic nation, with varied and compelling interests in that region” and “The United States has broad and fundamental national security interests in the Arctic region and is prepared to operate either independently or in conjunction with other states to safeguard these interests. These interests include such matters as missile defense and early warning; deployment of sea and air systems for strategic sealift, strategic deterrence, maritime presence, and maritime security operations; and ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight.” 
Washington’s Arctic claims are based solely on its possession of Alaska, separated from the rest of the continental United States by 500 miles of Canadian territory.
National Security Directive 66 exploits Alaska’s position to demand U.S. rights to base both strategic military forces – long-range bombers capable of delivering nuclear weapons and warships and submarines able to launch warheads – in the Arctic within easy striking distance of Russia, both to the latter’s east and over the North Pole.
It also, as indicated above, reserves the right to station so-called missile defense components in the area. The words missile defense are not as innocuous as they may appear. In the contemporary context they refer to plans by the United States and its allies to construct an international interceptor missile system connected with satellites and eventually missiles in space to be able to paralyze other nations’ strategic (long-range and nuclear) military potential and to prevent retaliation by said nations should they be the victims of a first strike.
U.S. and NATO interceptor missile silos and radar sites in Poland, the Czech Republic, Norway and Britain to Russia’s West – already in place and planned – and an analogous structure in Alaska, Japan and Australia to the east of both Russia and China aim at the ability to target and destroy any intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and long-range bombers left undamaged after a massive military first strike from the U.S. and allied nations.
The term interceptor missile is deceptive. As America’s so-called missile defense plans prepare for knocking out ICBMs in not only the boost and terminal but the launch phases, it’s a single step from striking a missile as it’s being launched to doing so as it’s being readied for launch and as it is still in the silo.
Although in theory both a first strike missile attack and an interceptor missile response need not involve nuclear warheads, they are almost certain to if aimed against a nuclear power, which would be expected to retaliate with nuclear weapons.
The third leg of a nation’s nuclear triad, in addition to long-range bombers and land-based missiles, are submarines equipped with submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) capable of carrying nuclear warheads. These could be tracked by space surveillance and in the future hit by space-based missiles.
Russia is the only non-Western, non-NATO country with an effective nuclear triad.
Under the above scenario there is one spot on the earth where Russia could maintain a credible deterrent capability: Under the Arctic polar ice cap.
A report in 2007 said that “Amid great secrecy, NATO naval forces are trying to control the Arctic Ocean to continue the military bloc’s expansion to[ward] Russia, the newspaper Military Industry Herald reported….
“Like in the tensest times of the Cold War, troops from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are trying to take control of the Arctic route, said the newspaper….[T]he US Navy, in conjunction with its British allies, is meeting the challenge of displacing Russian submarines from the Arctic region.” 
The U.S. and Britain held Operation Ice Exercise 2007 under the polar cap and repeated the maneuvers earlier this year with Ice Exercise 2009.
During the 2007 exercises a U.S. Navy website revealed that “The submarine force continues to use the Arctic Ocean as an alternate route for shifting submarines between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans….Submarines can reach the western Pacific directly by transiting through international waters of the Arctic rather than through the Panama Canal.” 
The subject of employing the Arctic, especially the long-fabled and now practicable, navigable Northwest Passage, for both civilian and military transit will be examined with the second component in the battle for the Arctic.
Also in 2007 Barry L. Campbell, head of operations at the U.S. Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory, in referring to joint NATO war plans for the Arctic, said: “We’re a worldwide Navy and the Navy’s position is we should be able to operate in any ocean in the world….When you go through the Arctic, no one knows you’re there….We expect all our subs to be able to operate in the Arctic….Our strategic position is to be able to operate anywhere in the world, and we see the Arctic as part of that….[I]f we ever did have to fight a battle under there it would be a joint operation.” 
In a previous article in this series, NATO’s, Pentagon’s New Strategic Battleground: The Arctic , it was observed that “with U.S. and NATO missile and satellite radar and interceptor missile facilities around the world and in space, the only place where Russia could retain a deterrence and/or retaliatory capacity against a crushing nuclear first strike is under the polar ice cap….[W]ithout this capability Russia could be rendered completely defenseless in the event of a first strike nuclear attack.”
In 2006 a Russian military press source quoted Navy Commander Admiral Vladimir Masorin commenting on the requirement for Russian submarines to maintain a presence under the Arctic polar ice cap: “[T]raining is needed to help strategic submarines of the Russian Fleet head for the Arctic ice region, which is the least vulnerable to an adversary’s monitoring, and prepare for a response to a ballistic missile strike in the event of a nuclear conflict.
“In order to be able to fulfill this task – I mean the task of preserving strategic submarines – it is necessary to train Russian submariners to maneuver under the Arctic ice.” 
Northwest Passage Could Transform Global Civilian, Military Shipping: Canada Confronts Russia
In recent years a direct shipping route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific in the Northern Hemisphere through the Northwest Passage has presented the prospect of cutting thousands of kilometers and several days if not weeks for ships – civilian and military – from the traditional routes through the Panama and Suez canals and for larger vessels even having to round the southern tips of Africa and South America.
Arctic melting has reduced the ice in the area to its lowest level in the thirty-three years satellite images have measured it, with the Northwest Passage entirely open for the first time in recorded history.
U.S. National Security Presidential Directive 66 also includes the intention to “Preserve the global mobility of United States military and civilian vessels and aircraft throughout the Arctic region” and to “Project a sovereign United States maritime presence in the Arctic in support of essential United States interests.” 
Canada claims the Northwest Passage as its exclusive territory but Washington insists that “The Northwest Passage is a strait used for international navigation, and the Northern Sea Route includes straits used for international navigation; the regime of transit passage applies to passage through those straits. Preserving the rights and duties relating to navigation and overflight in the Arctic region supports our ability to exercise these rights throughout the world, including through strategic straits.” 
That is, the Washington bluntly contests Canada’s contentions about the passage, which runs along the north of that nation and no other, being its national territory and insists on internationalizing it.
Notwithstanding which there is no evidence that any member of the Canadian government, the ruling Conservative Party, its Liberal Party opposition or even the New Democratic Party has responded to the U.S. National Security Directive, the first major American statement on the issue in fifteen years, with even a murmur of disapprobation.
Instead, all concern and no little hostility has been directed by Canadian authorities, particularly the federal government, at a nation that doesn’t assert the right to deploy warships with long-range cruise missiles, nuclear submarines and Aegis class destroyers equipped with interceptor missiles only miles off the Canadian mainland in the wider Western extreme of the Passage and other naval vessels between the mainland and its northern islands. The nation that doesn’t present such demands but which is targeted nevertheless is Russia.
The threats and bluster, insults and provocations staged by top Canadian officials over the past three and a half months have at times reached a hysterical pitch, not only rivaling but exceeding the depths of the Cold War period.
The current campaign was adumbrated last August after the five-day war between Georgia and Russia when Prime Minister Stephen Harper “accused Russia of reverting to a ‘Soviet-era mentality’”  and Defence Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said “When we see a Russian Bear [Tupolev Tu-95] approaching Canadian air space, we meet them with an F-18″  and has not let up since.
After then recently inaugurated U.S. President Barack Obama make his first trip outside the United States in mid-February to the Canadian capital of Ottawa, Defence Minister MacKay stated regarding an alleged interception of a Russian bomber over the Arctic Ocean – in international, neutral airspace – shortly before Obama’s arrival:
“They met a Russian aircraft that was approaching Canadian airspace, and as they have done in previous occasions they sent very clear signals that are understood, that the aircraft was to turnaround, turn tail, and head back to their airspace, which it did.
“I’m not going to stand here and accuse the Russians of having deliberately done this during the presidential visit, but it was a strong coincidence.” 
Russia has routinely flown such patrols over the Arctic Ocean, the Barents Sea and North Sea and off the coast of Alaska since the autumn of 2007. Moreover, depending on where in the Arctic the Russian bomber was at the time, it may well have been 6,000 kilometers from Ottawa, thereby posing no threat or constituting no warning to either Obama or Canada.
Prime Minister Harper echoed MacKay’s tirade with:
“I have expressed at various times the deep concern our government has with increasingly aggressive Russian actions around the globe and Russian intrusions into our airspace.
“We will defend our airspace, we also have obligations of continental defence with the United States. We will fulfil those obligations to defend our continental airspace, and we will defend our sovereignty and we will respond every time the Russians make any kind of intrusion on the sovereignty in Canada’s Arctic.” 
After Russia announced that it planned to have a military force available to defend its interests in the Arctic by 2020 – eleven years from now – Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon followed the lead of his predecessor and current Defence Minister MacKay and Prime Minister Harper and said, “Let’s be perfectly clear here. Canada will not be bullied.
“Sovereignty is part of that (Northern policy). We will not waiver from that objective. Sovereignty is uppermost for us, so we will not be swayed from that.” 
Cannon left it unclear in which manner Russia had questioned his country’s sovereignty, except perhaps by not gratuitously ceding it the Lomonosov Ridge, though if Cannon had bothered to read U.S. National Security Directive 66 he would have received a blunt introduction to the genuine threat to Canada’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
It will be seen later how Canada has matched the action to the word.
Control Of World Energy Resources And NATO’s Drive Into The Arctic
A U.S. Geological Survey of May of 2008 on the Arctic “estimated the occurrence of undiscovered oil and gas in 33 geologic provinces thought to be prospective for petroleum. The sum of the mean estimates for each province indicates that 90 billion barrels of oil, 1,669 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of natural gas liquids may remain to be found in the Arctic, of which approximately 84 percent is expected to occur in offshore areas.” 
“The unexplored Arctic contains about one-fifth of the world’s undiscovered oil and nearly a third of the natural gas yet to be found….The untapped reserves are beneath the seafloor in geopolitically controversial areas above the Arctic Circle.” 
Four days ago Science magazine published a new U.S. Geological Survey study that “assessed the area north of the Arctic Circle and concluded that about 30% of the world’s undiscovered gas and 13% of the world’s undiscovered oil may be found there, mostly offshore under less than 500 meters of water. Undiscovered natural gas is three times more abundant than oil in the Arctic and is largely concentrated in Russia.” 
The full report is only available to subscribers, but the Canadian Globe and Mail provided this excerpt: “Although substantial amounts as may be found in Alaska, Canada and Greenland, the undiscovered gas resource is concentrated in Russian territory, and its development would reinforce the pre-eminent strategic position of that country.” 
In addition to estimating that the Arctic Circle contains 30% of the world’s undiscovered natural gas, the survey increased its figure for potential oil there from 90 billion barrels last year to as many as 160 billion in this year’s report.
A news report summarized the findings on the region’s natural gas potential by saying “The Arctic region may hold enough natural gas to meet current global demand for 14 years and most of it belongs to Russia….” 
A website report adds this perspective on the importance of the new estimate: “The new discovery amounts to over 35 years in US foreign oil imports or 5 years’ worth of global oil consumption.
“Canada, Greenland/Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States, all of which border the Arctic Circle are racing to compete for the untapped resource.
“The oil reserves could fetch a price of $10.6 trillion dollars at current oil prices. Most of the reserves are in shallow waters – less than 500 meters (about 1/3rd of a mile) – making extraction relatively easy.” 
And a Canadian newspaper offered this terse reminder: “The updated estimates of the North’s promising oil and gas resources comes as Canada and its polar neighbours aggressively pursue competing claims to vast areas of continental shelf under the Arctic Ocean.” 
Where vast previously unexploited hydrocarbon reserves are discovered or suspected NATO is never far behind, from the Caspian Sea to Africa’s Gulf Of Guinea to the Arctic Ocean. On January 28-29 of this year the North Atlantic Treaty Organization held a meeting on the Arctic in the capital of Iceland entitled Seminar on Security Prospects in the High North.
It was attended by the bloc’s Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO’s two top military commanders and the Chairman of the Military Committee “as well as many other decision-makers and experts from Allied countries.” 
Scheffer’s address was marked by a fairly uncharacteristic degree of candor, at least when he said, “[T]he High North is going to require even more of the Alliance’s attention in the coming years.
“As the ice-cap decreases, the possibility increases of extracting the High North’s mineral wealth and energy deposits.
“At our Summit in Bucharest last year, we agreed a number of guiding principles for NATO’s role in energy security….
“NATO provides a forum where four of the Arctic coastal states [Canada, Denmark, Norway, the United States] can inform, discuss, and share, any concerns that they may have. And this leads me directly onto the next issue, which is military activity in the region.
“Clearly, the High North is a region that is of strategic interest to the Alliance.” 
Also addressing the meeting was NATO Supreme Allied Commander and the Pentagon’s European Command chief General Bantz John Craddock, who “opined that NATO could contribute greatly to facilitating cooperation in areas such as the development and security of shipping routes, energy security, surveillance and monitoring, search and rescue, resource exploration and mining….” 
Craddock inherited his dual assignments from Marine General James Jones, the architect of the new U.S. Africa Command and current National Security Adviser, who is certainly overseeing the role of the American military and NATO in securing control of world energy supplies.
Peaceful Multilateral Development Or War In The Arctic?
U.S. and NATO designs on the Arctic for strategic military purposes, for the potential of the Northwest Passage to redefine international shipping and naval commerce and for gaining access to and domination over perhaps the largest untapped oil and natural gas supplies in the world are hardly disguised.
As with numerous energy transportation projects in the Caspian Sea Basin, the Caucasus, the Black Sea region and the Balkans, Iraq and Africa, for the West oil and gas extraction and transit is a winner-take-all game dictated by the drive to master others and share with none.
The recent U.S. Geological Survey study suggests that the Arctic Ocean may contain not only one-third of the world’s undiscovered natural gas but almost two-thirds as much oil as Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest producer, is conventionally estimated to possess: 160 billion barrels to somewhere in the neighborhood of 260 billion barrels.
That Russia might gain access to the lion’s share of both is not something that the U.S. and its NATO allies will permit. The latter have fought three wars since 1999 for lesser stakes. Iraq, for example, has an estimated 115 billion barrels of oil.
Last month Russian President Dmitry Medvedev approved his nation’s National Security Strategy until 2020 document which says that “the main threat to Russia’s national security is the policy pursued by certain leading states, which is aimed at attaining military superiority over Russia, in the first place in strategic nuclear forces.
“The threats to military security are the policy by a number of leading foreign states, aimed at attaining dominant superiority in the military sphere, in the first place in strategic nuclear forces, by developing high-precision, information and other high-tech means of warfare, strategic armaments with non-nuclear ordnance, the unilateral formation of the global missile defense system and militarization of outer space, which is capable of bringing about a new spiral of the arms race, as well as the development of nuclear, chemical and biological technologies, the production of weapons of mass destruction or their components and delivery vehicles.” 
The strategy also, in the words of The Times of London, “identified the intensifying battle for ownership of vast untapped oil and gas fields around its borders as a source of potential military conflict within a decade.”
“The United States, Norway, Canada and Denmark are challenging Russia’s claim to a section of the Arctic shelf, the size of Western Europe, which is believed to contain billions of tonnes of oil and gas.” 
In a foreign ministers session of the Arctic Council in late April Russia again warned against plans to militarize the Arctic. Its plea fell on deaf ears in the West.
On May 28 the Norwegian ambassador to NATO took his British, Danish, German, Estonian and Romanian counterparts on a “High North study trip” near the Arctic Circle where the Norwegian foreign minister “emphasised the importance of NATO attention to security issues of the High North.” 
Three days earlier the same nation’s State Secretary, Espen Barth Eide, addressed the Defence and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Oslo and said, “Russia has shown an increased willingness to engage in political rhetoric and even use of military force….NATO has a very important role to play and Norway has argued the case for a long time. The Alliance is at the core of the security and defence strategies of all but one Arctic Ocean state.
“NATO already has a certain presence and plays a role in the High North today, primarily through the Integrated Air Defence System, including fighters on alert and AWACS surveillance flights. Some exercise activity under the NATO flag also takes place in Norway and Iceland….We would like to see NATO raise its profile in the High North.” 
Canada: West’s Front Line, Battering Ram And Sacrificial Offering
As tensions mount in the Arctic, especially should they develop into a crisis and the military option be employed, Norway will play its appointed role as a loyal NATO cohort, as will its neighbors Denmark, Finland and Sweden, the last two rapidly becoming NATO states in every manner but formally.
Yet the battle will be joined where three of the four NATO states with Arctic territorial claims – the United States, Canada and Denmark – base them, in the northernmost part of the Western Hemisphere.
And having by far the largest border with the Arctic and the most sizeable portion of its nation’s territory there, Canada is the shock brigade to be used in any planned provocation and open confrontation.
Nine days ago it was reported that “Canada’s mapping of the Arctic is pushing into territory claimed by Russia in the high-stakes drive by countries to establish clear title to the polar region and its seabed riches.
“Survey flights Ottawa conducted in late winter and early spring went beyond the North Pole and into an area where Russia has staked claims, a Department of Natural Resources official said Sunday.”
The account continued by stating, “If Canada eventually files a claim that extends past the North Pole, it could find itself in conflict with Russia.
“Canada and Russia have both committed to a peaceful resolution of conflicts over claims submitted under the international process, a pledge [that] will be put to the test if Ottawa and Moscow submit overlapping stakes.
“Canadian scientists contend that the underwater Lomonosov Ridge is an extension of the North American continental shelf.
“It is estimated that a quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas lies under the Arctic.” 
Canadian military and civilian leaders have been laying the groundwork for this confrontation since the advent of the Harper administration.
In August of 2007 the prime minister “announced plans to build a new army training centre in the Far North at Resolute Bay [east end of the Northwest Passage] and to outfit a deep-water port for both military and civilian use at the northern tip of Baffin Island.
“His trip to the Arctic earlier this month was accompanied by the biggest military exercise in the region in years, with 600 soldiers, sailors and air crew participating.” 
A year later the Harper and Bush governments laid aside a long-standing dispute in the Arctic’s Beaufort Sea “in the name of defending against Russia’s Arctic claims, which clash with those of the US, Canada, Denmark and Norway.” 
In the same month Canada conducted what it called the first of several military sovereignty exercises in the Arctic, a full spectrum affair including “In addition to the army, navy and air force, several federal agencies and departments are participating, including the Coast Guard, RCMP, CSIS, Canada Border Services Agency, Transport Canada and Health Canada.
“Military officials say this year’s exercise involves the most number of departments and agencies ever.” 
Later in August of 2008 Harper and Defence Secretary MacKay visited the Northwest Territories to inspect “four CF18 Canadian military jets sent to Inuvik in response to what officials said was an unidentified aircraft that had neared Canadian air space.” 
Last September the Canadian Defence Ministry launched “Operation NANOOK 2008, a sovereignty operation in Canada’s eastern Arctic. Not only that, but Harper also voiced support for plans to build a military port and a military base beyond the Polar Circle.”
This at a time when “The United States has joined the race, too, teaming up with Canada to map the unexplored Arctic sea floor.” 
On September 19th Harper was paraphrased as saying “Canada is stepping up its military alertness along its northern frontier in response to Russia’s ‘testing’ of its boundaries and recent Arctic grab.
“We are concerned about not just Russia’s claims through the international process, but Russia’s testing of Canadian airspace and other indications…(of) some desire to work outside of the international framework. That is obviously why we are taking a range of measures, including military measures, to strengthen our sovereignty in the North.” 
In December of last year defence chief MacKay “singled out possible naval encroachments from Russia and China, saying, ‘We have to be diligent.’” 
This March MacKay “announced…the locations of the two satellite reception ground stations for the $60 million Polar Epsilon project designed to provide space-based, day and night surveillance of Canada’s Arctic and its ocean approaches. 
In April Canada held Operation Nunalivut 2009, the first of three “sovereignty operations” scheduled in the Arctic this year.
MacKay said of the exercises, “Operation Nunalivut is but one example of how the Government of Canada actively and routinely exercises its sovereignty in the North. The Canadian Forces play an important role in achieving our goals in the North, which is why the Government of Canada is making sure they have the tools they need to carry out a full range of tasks in the Arctic, including surveillance, sovereignty, and search-and-rescue operations.”
Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden, Commander of Canada Command, added:
“In keeping with the Canada First Defence Strategy, we are placing greater emphasis on our northern operations, including in the High Arctic. This operation underscores the value of the Canadian Rangers, our eyes and ears in the North, which at the direction of the Government are growing to 5,000 in strength.”
Brigadier-General David Millar, the Commander of Joint Task Force North, contributed this:
“This operation is a golden opportunity to expand our capabilities to operate in Canada’s Arctic. In addition to air and ground patrols, this operation calls on a range of supporting military capabilities–communications, intelligence, mapping, and satellite imaging.” 
The Commander of the Greenland Command, Danish Rear-Admiral Henrik Kudsk, attended the exercises to “discuss military collaboration in the North.” 
To further demonstrate NATO unity in the face of a common enemy, Russia, “A Canadian research aircraft is expected to fly over 90 North this month as part of a joint Canada-Denmark mission to strengthen the countries’ claims over the potentially oil-rich Lomonosov Ridge.” 
In the same month, April, this time in a show of bipartisan unity, a Liberal Party gathering in Vancouver discussed “a tough Arctic policy that calls on the government to ‘actively and aggressively’ enforce Canada’s sovereignty in the North, including expanding its military role.” 
A major Canadian daily revealed information on the Canadian Department of National Defence’s Polar Breeze program, referring to it as a $138 million “military project so cloaked in secrecy the Department of National Defence at first categorically denied it even existed.
“Today – apart from backtracking on their denial – the military is refusing to answer any questions on the project that experts believe has a role to play in protecting Canada’s Arctic sovereignty and security.” 
The newspaper also said that the project “involves the Canadian Forces’ secretive directorate of space development, computer networks and geospatial intelligence – data gathered by satellite” and that it “could have farther ranging functions including sharing sensitive military intelligence across the various branches of the Canadian Forces and with key allies.” 
In early May the Canadian Senate issued a report demanding that “Canada should arm its coast guard icebreakers and turn the North’s Rangers into better-trained units that could fight if necessary.” 
Slightly later in a news report called “After Russian talk of conflict, Tories say military is prepared,” Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said the “government’s defence strategy will help the military ‘take action in exercising Canadian sovereignty in the North,’ and highlighted plans for a fleet of Arctic patrol ships, a deepwater docking facility at Baffin Island, an Arctic military training centre and the expansion of the Canadian Rangers….” 
The repeated, incessant references to Russia and to no other nation while Canada boosts military cooperation with fellow NATO Arctic claimants leave no room for doubt regarding which nation Canadian military expansion in its north is aimed against. Recent deployments and new and upgraded installations cannot be used to fight a conventional conflict with any modern military adversary. But they are indicative of an intensifying campaign to portray Russia as a threat – as the threat – to Canada.
Piotr Dutkiewicz, director of Carleton University’s Institute of European and Russian Studies, is quoted in a Canadian online publication recently as worrying that “There is a very strange rhetoric that is coming in recent months as to portray Russia as a potential enemy….” 
The rhetoric is backed up by action and it isn’t strange but perfectly understandable.
Canada is primed for a role much like that of Georgia in the South Caucasus has been for the past several years, as a comparatively small (in terms of population) nation close to Russia which will be employed to play a part on behalf of far more powerful actors. And should Russia respond in any way to attempted Canadian efforts to “stand tall” against it, from scrambling jets to shooting down a bomber – bravado can always go awry – the U.S. and NATO will be compelled to offer support and assistance, including military action, under the provisions of NATO’s Article 5. In fact that may be exactly what Washington and Brussels have planned.
Rather than continuing to lend Georgia diplomatic and military support, it would behoove Canadians to borrow a lesson from last August’s war in the Caucasus: A war can be launched on an aggressor’s terms but end on someone else’s.
1) CanWest News Service. May 26, 2009
2) Canwest News Service, December 11, 2008
4) Canwest News Service, May 27, 2009
5) Library of Parliament, December 7, 2007
6) National Security Presidential Directive 66 on Arctic Region Policy
8) Prensa Latina, March 29, 2007
9) Navy NewsStand, March 20, 2007
10) Navy NewsStand, March 29, 2007
11) Stop NATO, February 2, 2009
12) Interfax-Military, September 26, 2006
13) National Security Presidential Directive, January 9, 2009
15) Canwest News Service, August 19, 2008
16) Canwest News Service, September 12, 2008
17) CBC, February 27, 2009
19) Vancouver Sun, March 27, 2009
20) U.S. Geological Survey, May, 2008
21) Live Science, July 24, 2008
22) Science, May 29, 2009
23) Globe and Mail, May 28, 2009
24) Bloomberg, May 29, 2009
25) Daily Tech, June, 1, 2009
26) Globe and Mail, May 28, 2009
27) NATO International, January 29, 2009
29) NATO International, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe,
January 29, 2009
30) Itar-Tass, May 13, 2009
31) The Times, May 14, 2009
32) Barents Observer, May 28, 2009
33) Defense Professionals, May 25, 2009
34) Globe and Mail, May 24, 2009
35) Canadian Press, August 19, 2007
36) Financial Times, August 18, 2008
37) Canwest News Service, August 19, 2008
38) Reuters, August 28, 2008
39) RosBusinessConsulting, September 18, 2008
40) Agence France-Presse, September 19, 2008
41) Canwest News Service, December 15, 2008
42) Daily Gleaner (New Brunswick), April 22, 2009
43) Department of National Defence, Canada Command, April 2, 2009
45) Canwest News Service, April 5, 2009
46) Edmonton Sun, April 13, 2009
47) Globe and Mail, April 27, 2009
49) Canadian Press, May 7, 2009
50) Canwest News Service, May 15, 2009
51) Embassy, April 29, 2009
May 30, 2009
NATO Of The South: Chile, South Africa, Australia, Antarctica
On May 28, Carolina Toha, spokeswoman for Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, stated that “Chile has developed strategic ties with the United States since long ago” and expressed her government’s eagerness to expand them. 
Employing the current standard rationale of sharing “more similarity with the Obama administration” than with its predecessor, a pose adopted by world politicians of all stripes since the U.S. presidential election of last November 4th – including conservatives like France’s Nicolas Sarkozy – the Chilean statement could be seen as nothing more than desiring to be on the winning side and to curry favor with the new Planitarchis (lord of the planet), as Greek demonstrators who curtailed a proposed three-day visit to Athens in November of 1999 of Obama’s predecessor once removed, Bill Clinton, described the post of U.S. president.
Even if so, however, Chile’s stance is at variance with the prevailing trend throughout South and all of Latin America, with nations like Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Argentina and most recently El Salvador moving away from a “special relationship” with Washington, especially in the military sphere, and promoting multilateral international ties, notably defense agreements with Russia and a general orientation toward new multipolar international security and economic arrangements.
An equally revealing news report surfaced two weeks ago concerning an agreement signed by the foreign ministers of Chile and the Czech Republic on creating a legal framework for cooperation in Antarctica, to which Chile lays both longstanding and expanding claims.
The Czech Republic is no ordinary European nation but a post-Cold War zealot, full of new convert fervor, devotedly serving American and NATO interests in the Eastern and Central sections of the continent and acting as the intermediary for Washington and Brussels in several international capacities, from waging information and diplomatic offensives against countries like Belarus and Cuba to offering to host U.S. third position interceptor missile radar and providing troops for the war in Afghanistan, there serving under NATO (International Security Assistance Force) and direct U.S. (Operation Enduring Freedom) commands.
A battle royal is in progress for securing control over the vast Antarctic region and its hitherto untapped oil, gas, mineral, fresh water and fishing resources and potential. The Antarctic’s strategic military value is increasing in importance commensurately, as is that of the Arctic Circle on the opposite end of the earth. The subject has been explored in an earlier article in this series, Scramble For World Resources: Battle For Antarctica. 
The four countries directly north of the Antarctic Ocean are Chile, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and all four are to varying degrees being integrated into Western military alliances; all four have bilateral military ties to the United States and with other NATO states, three directly with NATO itself.
With Britain filing a claim with the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf on May 11th of this year for one million square kilometers of the South Atlantic and Antarctic Oceans and Australia being granted 2.5 million more square kilometers in the Antarctic Ocean by the same UN Commission last year (the Australian Antarctic Territory takes in 42% of Antarctica) the region is now arguably one of the most closely contested territorial – and resource and strategic – disputes in the world.
Seven countries have formal claims to Antarctica: Three NATO states in Europe, two British Commonwealth nations in the South Pacific and two South American countries, respectively Britain, France and Norway; Australia and New Zealand; and Argentina and Chile. The Argentine, British and Chilean claims all overlap at places.
Peru, Russia, South Africa and the United States have reserved the right to future claims on Antarctic territory and Brazil has designated what it refers to as a zone of interest in the region.
Of the seven official claimants, five are members of what is generally considered the Western world, geography aside, leaving only Chile and Argentina as rivals to them.
Latin America: Chile And Argentina
Two months ago Argentina and Chile united their efforts to counter the unprecedented million square kilometer British claim, based largely as it is on the disputed Falklands/Malvinas Islands. In early March of this year Argentine and Chilean parliamentarians visited the Chilean Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva and the Argentine Jubany military bases on the Antarctic continent to demonstrate their mutual resolve not to cede either the continent or its outlying shelf to British claims.
But Argentina and Chile have had and still have their own territorial conflicts of interest. In 1978 a dispute over three islands in the Beagle Channel led to both countries dispatching troops to the Patagonia border where a war was narrowly averted.
Boundary issues in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field are still a bone of contention between the two nations. In 2006 Argentine President Nestor Kirchner offered Chile a plan to define the border, which the Bachelet government declined.
Chile and Argentina, in addition to Britain, claim the entirety of the Antarctic Peninsula, the northernmost part of the continent.
Should Chile ally itself with the West and against Argentina, the latter would be isolated and could become a potential victim of a Falklands War-style defeat should it continue to press its claims. Russia would also be excluded from the battle for the Antarctic.
On the latter score, this January a Russian icebreaker and cargo ship traveled to Antarctica to deliver equipment to six Argentine polar stations and the previous month Argentina expressed interest in obtaining Russian helicopters as “their performance characteristics make them perfectly suitable for Antarctic expeditions.” 
The purchase of Russian helicopters would be in line with recent trends in South America. In addition to Venezuela purchasing 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles along with plans for jet fighters, submarines and air defenses, Nicaragua announced three weeks ago its plan to obtain Russian helicopters and aircraft  and eight days ago Bolivia signaled its intention to conclude a multi-million dollar arms deal with Russia, including the purchase of military helicopters. Last October the Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, visited the Argentine capital and met with the nation’s foreign and defense ministers and its secretary of intelligence.
“Patrushev indicated that the two countries have identical viewpoints on all issues and especially ones pertaining to international policies, and this has a good effect on bilateral relations.
“Patrushev named a host of areas where Russia and Argentina have mutual interests – the nuclear power industry, power engineering, nanotechnologies, oil and gas exploration and production, and the use of the Russian icebreaker fleet.
“He also mentioned plans to develop relations between the two countries’ Defense Ministries.
“More specifically, Patrushev said that his Argentine hosts and he had discussed a possibility of joint military exercises and joint training of defense cadres.” 
This diversification by major Latin American states of ties in all areas, but particularly in the defense realm and especially with Russia, a European nation, has been heralded as the effective demise of the 186-year-old Monroe Doctrine.
In contradistinction to this pattern though, Argentina’s neighbor Chile has been arming itself to the teeth with weaponry from the United States and other NATO nations.
During the last four years, beginning with the Ricardo Lagos presidency and continuing with its Bachelet successor, Chile has been amassing a formidable armory of advanced weapons that has alarmed its neighbors Argentina, Bolivia and Peru. (After her return from exile in the German Democratic Republic in 1979, Bachelet studied military strategy at Chile’s National Security Academy and Military War College, attended the Inter-American Defense College in Washington, DC and in 2002 was appointed Defense Minister for the Lagos government.)
And with more than sufficient justification, as the last three countries would have to be nervous about Chile acquiring or soon to acquire by late 2005:
200 state-of-the-art German Leopard 1 tanks.
60 French AMX-30 tanks.
60 American M-41 light tanks.
10 US F-16 multirole jet fighters.
18 used F-16s provided by the Netherlands.
Four Dutch and three British destroyers.
Two French Scorpion submarines.
The source from which the above information was obtained commented, “Foreign analysts have said that Chile is seeking hegemonic military power in Latin America vis-a-vis Peru, Argentina and Bolivia in order to defend Chilean economic interests in those countries and, in case of armed conflict, to expand its territory in the way it has done in the past.” 
The last reference is to the War of the Pacific of 1879-1884 which led to Chile’s defeat of Bolivia and Peru and the annexation of both defeated nations’ territory, leaving Bolivia landlocked.
In March of 2006 Chile signed an agreement with Germany to purchase 118 Leopard 2 tanks.
“The Leopard 2 is one of the most up-to-date battle tanks in the world. These tanks are similar to the M-1 Abrams Main Battle Tank, which has figured in the Iraq War.” 
Press reports following the announcement of the agreement included the observation that “Chile’s acquisitions of military hardware in recent years have stirred criticism among neighbors, especially Peru, who say Chile is upsetting the equilibrium of military power in the Southern Cone region of South America.” 
The preceding month the Pentagon delivered the first F-16s to Chile, part of an arms buildup which also included “two submarines made by a Spanish-French consortium, eight secondhand frigates from Britain and Holland, 100 German-made Leopard tanks and 18 more secondhand F-16s from the Dutch air force.”
“While the Chilean government has not disclosed the total cost of its recent military purchases, published reports indicate that the F-16s alone will cost $745 million.
“Air Force Commander Gen. Osvaldo Sarabia said the F-16s, which will replace the force’s French-made Mirages, will be stationed in the northern port city of Iquique,” close to both Peru and Bolivia. 
Such deployments can only add to the alarm of Chile’s neighbors as “Peru and Chile disagree over their 200-mile maritime boundary, while many Peruvians and Bolivians still hold a grudge over territory lost to Chile in the 1879-84 War of the Pacific.” 
As does Argentina, which recalls the role of the Pinochet junta in providing surveillance and logistics support to Britain during the 1982 Falklands/Malvinas War.
A month ago Chile finalized a deal with the Netherlands to acquire 18 more F-16s at a cost of $278 million.
Defense Minister Francisco Vidal said, “The deal is closed – only the signatures are missing.”
“The F-16 fighters will replace Chile’s aging F-5 jets, which have been in use since 1976. ‘Chile has acquired a new fleet of F-16 planes,’ Vidal announced….” 
This steady escalation of advanced arms acquisitions was commented on in a press release by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs of August 8, 2007 which pointed out that “Chile’s aggressive military arms purchases are ruffling the region, alarming in particular Bolivia, Peru and Argentina” and further detailed:
“Despite the fact that Chile has not engaged in a conflict with another state since the War of the Pacific in the late nineteenth century, the Chilean military has been carrying out aggressive weapons purchases in recent years.
“Long known for having an almost semi-autonomous military force, Chile, in recent years, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade its armed forces, transforming them into the most consequential military establishment in the subcontinent.
“From a practical point of view, the country is not facing any conceivable external military threat. The wide range of military purchases over the past few years demonstrates that the previous Socialist-led administrations of Ricardo Lagos as well as the current one of President Michelle Bachelet, for all their leftist rhetoric, are reluctant to confront the country’s powerful military establishment over how it should spend its budget, and would far rather appease it.” 
Chile’s integration into a worldwide military network led by the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, however, is not limited to weapons purchases.
The nation was one of only five non-NATO states to provide troops for the first-ever NATO out-of-area military deployment, Implementation Force (IFOR) in Bosnia, in 1995 along with the Argentina of President Carlos Menem, Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand.
It has since participated in regular military exercises under the command of the United States and its NATO allies.
As other nations in Latin America are increasingly distancing themselves from war games and military planning that they see as potentially directed against themselves at some point in the future, with even more cause for concern as the U.S. Navy reactivated its 4th Fleet in the Caribbean and Central and South America last year after being disestablished in 1950, Chile stands alone with nations like Colombia in breaking ranks.
It participates in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military exercises led by the United States and Britain, the largest naval exercises in the world.
For the 2006 exercise – an American Navy website designed for the occasion is subtitled “Wargames on a global scale”  – only one other Latin American nation, Peru, joined Chile in war games consisting of 40 warships, 160 aircraft, six submarines and 19,000 troops from the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, Japan and South Korea.  Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico also border the Pacific Ocean but didn’t participate.
In 2008 the RIMPAC exercise included 35 ships, six submarines, over 150 aircraft and 20,000 troops from Chile, the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Peru, South Korea and Singapore, a NATO/Asia-Pacific NATO/Latin American NATO nexus in embryo.
In October of 2007 Pentagon chief Robert Gates visited Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Peru and Suriname and announced that the U.S. was planning to build a jungle base in the last-named nation.  Suriname borders Guyana to its west, another nation marked by the West as part of a South American military bloc to compensate for the recent loss of bases and deployments in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina, and Guyana in turns borders Venezuela to its west.
In recent year Bolivia has accused the U.S. of constructing new bases in Paraguay and Peru.
Just this week Ecuadorian Defense Minister Javier Ponce Cevallos reiterated his nation’s resolve to close the American military airbase at Manta. U.S. Ambassador to Colombia William Brownfield last month said that Washington will relocate its base to Ecuador’s northern neighbor, whose narcotrafficking- and death squad-linked government is more compliant in that respect.
El Salvador has been lost to the Pentagon’s plans for Latin America with this March’s election victory by the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, but Panama has been regained after this month’s election victory by multi-millionaire conservative Ricardo Martinelli.
Pentagon Tries To Reclaim Latin America
Chile remains a steadfast ally of the U.S. and its NATO allies.
Earlier this year the head of the American military, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, visited five Latin American nations, four in South America – Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Peru – and Mexico, returning to state, “The U.S. military is ready to help Mexico in its deadly war against drug cartels with some of the same counter-insurgency tactics used against militant networks in Iraq and Afghanistan.” 
Like Chile, Brazil has been purchasing large quantities of European arms and currently stands between those South American nations moving away from subordination to the West and those continuing to play a subaltern role toward it. Paraguay and Uruguay possess a similar status.
Chile is in the second category and in fact is expanding collaboration with the U.S. Defense Department. In April of 2008 the Pentagon’s Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) conducted an exercise with the Chilean Air Force.
“Chile boasts one of the most modern air forces in South America [while] many of the [other] U.S. allies in the region bought their military aircraft in the 1970s….”
“Air Forces Southern has scheduled a number of exercises with more advanced militaries in the region — the goal of building relationships between U.S. airmen and their foreign counterparts.
“U.S. crews spent three days alternating between hook-ups with Air Force fighters and Chilean jets as part of the NEWEN exercise.” 
The following month an American Navy battle group arrived in Chile for ten days of military exercises.
The nuclear supercarrier USS George Washington visited the Port of Valparaiso in central Chile where it linked up with the Chilean Navy “to improve the navies’ capabilities in anti-air and anti-submarine warfare.
“More than 3,000 U.S. Marines [participated] in the annual drill, which [was] coded ‘Partnership of the Americas.’” 
Last December the U.S. held an international drill at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona – “For many of the military participants, the drills
will serve as pre-deployment training for missions in Iraq and Afghanistan” – with “troops from Germany, Chile, Colombia and observers from Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Pakistan.” 
Last month Washington’s recently reactivated 4th Fleet led the Unitas exercise, the world’s longest-running multinational naval drills, off the coast of Florida which this year featured “live-fire exercises, undersea warfare, helicopter and amphibious operations, among other training” and “more than 25 ships, four submarines, 6,500 sailors and 50 aircraft.” 
In addition to the U.S. and its Canadian and German NATO allies, Chile joined fellow Latin American nations Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.
In the words of the commander of the ships participating in the exercises, “We’re helping each other to train the future navies of the world.” 
Chile’s true value lies in its proximity to Antarctica but can also be employed to anchor the southern end of its continent for U.S. plans to retain and expand its military presence there.
Clinton’s New Cold War
This May 1 American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the State Department about Latin America and in the course of her talk identified Washington’s new “axis of evil”: Russia, China and Iran.
The U.S. was going to “reach out” to Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador who have strayed from the Monrovian fold to “counter growing Iranian, Chinese and Russian influence in the Western Hemisphere.”
“We see a number of countries and leaders – Chavez is one of them but not the only one – who over the last eight years has become more and more negative and oppositional to the United States.” 
This triad of malignancy model is old-hat to the U.S. State Department. In addition to the George W. Bush axis of countries to be bombed – Iraq, Iran and North Korea – it was also used by the Reagan administration during its Contra war against Nicaragua in the 1980s. After the Russia-Cuba-East Germany bugbear had been used for all the mileage it could be exploited for, the U.S. attempted to add Libya (a main villain at the time, bombed by Reagan in 1986), the Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran and the Palestine Liberation Organization as another trio of unmentionable malefactors.
Clinton dug deep in Foggy Bottom’s files for her scare tactics, dusted them off and added China for good measure.
Though perhaps this is genuinely hers:
“We are looking to figure out how to deal with Ortega. [T]he Iranians are building a huge embassy in Managua. You can only imagine what it’s for.” 
For Clinton and the State Department she heads up it is inconceivable that an embassy would not serve the purpose of conducting surveillance and subversion in a host country. An understandable case of attributing one’s motives to others.
Chile And Global NATO
The ultimate plan for Chile was divulged this January by someone Hillary Clinton is quite familiar with, Will Marshall.
He was one of two staff members for the Democratic Leadership Council after it was established in 1985 and is the president of its think tank, the Progressive Policy Institute. The two organizations have given the world New Democrats, “triangulation” between liberalism and conservatism, President Bill Clinton, “humanitarian” war and NATO expansion.
The Democratic Leadership Council and the Progressive Policy Institute – the second’s website is called Progressive Policy Institute: Defining the Third Way – have played a major role in reconciling the U.S. Democratic Party and much of the world to Reaganism.
Marshall’s own recent history is emblematic: “He recently served on the board of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, an organization chaired by Joe Lieberman and John McCain designed to build bipartisan support for the invasion of Iraq. Marshall also signed, at the outset of the war, a letter issued by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) expressing support for the invasion. Marshall signed a similar letter sent to President Bush put out by the Social Democrats USA on Feb. 25, 2003, just before the invasion.
“The SDUSA letter urged Bush to commit to ‘maintaining substantial U.S. military forces in Iraq for as long as may be required to ensure a stable, representative regime is in place and functioning.’” 
In a January 19, 2009 article for the Progressive Policy Institute called “Taking NATO Global” Marshall, in feigning a direct address to then soon-to-be-inaugurated president Barack Obama, told his intended interlocutor:
“You should seize the opportunity to lead NATO’s transformation from a North American-European pact into a global alliance of free nations. By opening its doors to Japan, Australia, India, Chile, and a handful of other stable democracies, NATO would augment both its human and financial resources. What is more, NATO would enhance its political legitimacy to operate on a global stage.” 
He added to the roster of global NATO candidates with the following:
“This alliance would be stronger still if expanded to include free nations in other, more volatile parts of the world. Likely candidates include Japan and South Korea, which have entrenched market democracy in East Asia; India, which is modernizing rapidly and dominates South Asia; Australia and New Zealand, liberal bastions in the South Pacific; and Chile and Brazil, which have stood against a rising tide of authoritarianism in South America. More controversially, some Italian leaders have even broached the idea of offering NATO membership to Israel.” 
He recommended an equivalent of the NATO Partnership for Peace program which prepared the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania and Croatia for their current full membership status.
Marshall speaks for forces in the United States and Europe with the ability to implement this directive and ones which – considering the replication of the New Democrat/Third Way model in Britain with Tony Blair’s New Labour, in Germany with Gerhard Schroeder’s Die Neue Mitte (The New Middle) Social Democrats and in less-noted examples throughout the world, including in Chile, South Africa and Australia – are willing to follow his lead.
In 2003 British Prime Minister Tony Blair hosted and presided over an international “third way” summit that included the other two successful specimens of the strategy, Bill Clinton and Gerhard Schroeder, and also then South African President Thabo Mbeki and Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva.
Blair’s chief lieutenant and major architect of New Labour – Peter Mandelson, now Lord and even Baron – remarked at the time, “What unites the conference delegates is their belief that conservatism on the left must not be allowed to undermine attempts to modernise and reform.”  By conservatism on the left Mandelson meant opposition to neoliberalism, in fact to global Reaganism.
During the apartheid years South Africa’s main military partners and arms suppliers were, in addition to Israel, NATO states: The United States, Britain, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy and Belgium.
Though no NATO military deployments occurred then.
However, in August of 2007 a NATO naval group, the Standing Naval Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1), circumnavigated the African continent and after a stay in the strategic oil-rich Gulf of Guinea its six ships – from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal – arrived in Cape Town.
The NATO force held a series of joint exercises with South Africa including with the nation’s newly acquired German warships and its submarines.
The exercises marked “the first time that South Africa engage[d] its newly acquired frigates as well as its submarines in a training exercise with foreign forces in local waters.” 
“Other South African Navy ships as well as aircraft of the South African Air Force will also be involved in taking on NATO’s Maritime Group One.” 
The South African armed forces’ first direct contact with NATO started in 2005 with the Alliance flying African Union troops into the Darfur region of Western Sudan.
Earlier this week South Africa hosted a NATO Submarine Escape and Rescue Work Group (SMERWG) Meeting in Cape Town. The importance of the submarine component for future plans in the South Atlantic and the Antarctic Ocean is worth noting.
“South Africa as a submarine-operating nation has been a member of the SMERWG with a permanent status for a number of years.
“More than 100 delegates from NATO and non-NATO nations are expected to attend the SMERWG meeting in Cape Town.
“As a non-NATO Navy, the hosting of this important meeting by the South African Navy contributes significantly to cooperation and interoperability within and between non-NATO and NATO navies.” 
Perhaps in part to remind post-apartheid South Africa that is was far more indebted to Russia as the Soviet Union’s successor state than to its new Western military partners, this January Russia sent the Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered missile cruiser to the port of Cape Town, the first time a Russian warship had ever visited the country. 
The role of Australia in expanding U.S. and NATO influence throughout the Asia-Pacific area has been dealt with extensively in an earlier piece, Australian Military Buildup And The Rise Of Asian NATO. 
Briefly, Australia like its neighbor New Zealand is a NATO Contact Country and with over 1,000 troops in Afghanistan and another 400 on the way is the largest non-member contributor to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force waging war in that country and across the border into Pakistan.
It has become the major military force in its region, deploying troops to East Timor (Timor-Leste) and the Solomon Islands as well as farther afield in Afghanistan and Iraq, and has naval forces in the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman and the Horn of Africa and a military base in the United Arab Emirates.
The same NATO Standing Naval Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) that conducted war games in South Africa two years ago was heading to Australia earlier this year when it was diverted to operations off the shores of Somalia.
Australia will soon host a U.S. military base and is an active partner with Washington in its global interceptor missile system and its international naval Proliferation Security Initiative. The nation recently announced that it will “launch its own…spy satellites [and], more importantly, it wants to create a new cadre of military space experts inside the Australian Defence Forces.” 
That is, Australia is to coordinate plans with the U.S. and Japan for the weaponization of space with anti-missile satellites as well as with interceptor missile deployments, land- and sea-based, for the worldwide U.S. and allied anti-ballistic missile network.
This March 2nd the Australian Department of Defence unveiled its Defending Australia in the Asia-Pacific century: force 2030 white paper which proposed the largest military buildup since World War II and includes adding 100 US F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighters, doubling and upgrading its submarine fleet, and acquiring 46 Tiger multi-role combat helicopters, Hercules and other new generation military transport planes, 100 armored vehicles, and cruise missiles with a range of up to 2,500 kilometers.
New Zealand has a bilateral partnership with NATO, has troops serving under the Alliance in Afghanistan and has indicated that it is reconsidering its 25-year ban on nuclear-armed ships in its ports and waters.
Last October New Zealand Defense Minister Phil Goff visited Washington and indicated closer bilateral military cooperation with his host by saying, “The defense relationship with the United States has undergone a major shift over the past nine years.” 
The end of the Cold War a generation ago has brought neither global peace and disarmament nor the abolition of military alliances and blocs.
On the contrary, the alleged victors, the United States and its allies around the world, have only intensified the consolidation of an international military network extending to all compass points, not only East and West but also North and South, the Far North and the Far South.
1) Xinhua News Agency, May 28, 2009
2) Scramble For World Resources: Battle For Antarctica
Stop NATO, May 16, 2009
3) Voice of Russia, December 30, 2008
4) Russian Information Agency Novosti, May 8, 2009
5) Russian Information Agency Novosti, October 15, 2008
6) OhmyNews International (South Korea), December 31, 2005
8) Reuters, March 24, 2006
9) Associated Press, February 1, 2006
11) Agence France-Presse, April 30, 2009
12) Alex Sanchez, Chile’s Military Arms Purchases Alarm The Region
Council on Hemispheric Affairs, August 8, 2007
13) RIMPAC 2006, Rim of the Pacific Exercise
14) Associated Press, June 27, 2006
15) Canadian Press, October 7, 2007
16) Reuters, March 6, 2009
17) Stars and Stripes, April 29, 2008
18) Xinhua News Agency, May 8, 2008
19) Arizona Daily Star, November 15, 2008
20) Canadian Press, May 2, 2009
21) Florida Times-Union, April 25, 2009
22) Associated Press, May 1, 2009
25) Progressive Policy Institute, January 15, 2009
27) The Guardian, July 7, 2003
28) BuaNews (South Africa), August 28, 2007
29) South African Press Association, September 3, 2007
30) Afrique en ligne (Africa Online), May 25, 2009
31) Russian Information Agency Novosti, January 12, 2009
32) Australian Military Buildup And The Rise Of Asian NATO
Stop NATO, May 6, 2009
33) Space Review, May 11, 2009
34) Stars and Stripes, October 14, 2008
May 27, 2009
West Plots To Supplant United Nations With Global NATO
Ten years ago it first became evident to the world that moves were afoot in major Western capitals to circumvent, subvert and ultimately supplant the United Nations, as the UN could not always be counted on to act in strict accordance with the dictates of the United States and its NATO allies.
At that time in 1999 the NATO alliance was waging what would become a 78-day bombing war against Yugoslavia in flagrant contravention of the United Nations and of international law in general.
As two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the five permanent members being the main victorious World War II allies, with the People’s Republic of China having replaced the Republic of China (Taiwan) in 1971 and with Russia as the successor state to the Soviet Union – exactly China and Russia, not being NATO members states, opposed that war and in several other instances the use of sanctions and military force against nations targeted for both by the West.
The first indication that the United Nations was marked for marginalization, selective application (and exploitation) or even de facto dissolution, however, occurred three years earlier in 1996 when the United States single-handedly browbeat the other fourteen then members of the Security Council to depose Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and replace him with Kofi Annan, who the preceding year had been appointed UN special envoy to NATO and authorized the NATO bombing in Bosnia behind the back of Boutros-Ghali.
Boutros-Ghali was deprived of the traditional second term for not authorizing NATO’s bombing of Bosnian Serb targets in 1995 and for speaking the truth about the deadly Israeli bombing of a refugee camp in Qana, Lebanon in the following year when 106 civilians were killed and 116 injured.
As the former Clinton and Bush administrations’ National Security Council counter-terrorism adviser Richard Clarke acknowledged:
“[Madeleine] Albright and I and a handful of others (Michael Sheehan, Jamie Rubin) had entered into a pact together in 1996 to oust Boutros-Ghali as Secretary General of the United Nations, a secret plan we had called Operation Orient Express, reflecting our hope that many nations would join us in doing in the UN head.
“In the end, the US had to do it alone (with its UN veto) and Sheehan and I had to prevent the President from giving in to pressure from world leaders and extending Boutros-Ghali’s tenure, often by our racing to the Oval Office when we were alerted that a head of state was telephoning the President. In the end Clinton was impressed that we had managed not only to oust Boutros-Ghali but to have Kofi Annan selected to replace him.” 
By 1999, however, even having a UN secretary-general handpicked and forced upon the world by Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright wasn’t sufficient to meet NATO’s requirements as it finalized plans for its first war, the Operation Allied Force aerial assault against Yugoslavia.
The U.S. and its Alliance allies could not be assured of gaining a majority of votes in the 15-member Security Council to authorize the war and even if successful in that regard could not be certain that Russia, China or both would not veto the resolution.
So the United Nations, whose procedures and requirements for 54 years had been observed even in the breach, was now disregarded, downgraded and severely if not mortally wounded, not yet having recuperated from the blow of ten years ago.
American and NATO subordinate Annan officiated over the debasement and humiliation of the organization he headed and never once criticized NATO’s waging war without a United Nations mandate and in open defiance of the institution.
Guarantor Of Peace Versus World’s Only Military Alliance
The Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations identifies the purpose of the UN’s founding in 1945 as being “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind” and “to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest.” 
To accentuate and complete the message that NATO had launched its post-Cold War transformation from Euro-Atlantic military bloc to self-designated and sole international arbiter of conflicts within and between nations and of the authorization of extraterritorial military force, with the concomitant usurpation of the role of the United Nations, on April 23-24 NATO held its 50th anniversary jubilee summit in Washington D.C.
Unveiling what it called its new Strategic Concept, the summit also issued a Washington Declaration which inter alia stated “We are charting NATO’s course as we enter the 21st century” and “We pledge to improve our defence capabilities to fulfill the full range of the Alliance’s 2lst century missions.” 
Video clips and photographs of the summit at the time revealed what 21st Century NATO was intended to become: With the U.S.’s Bill Clinton and Britain’s Tony Blair at the center of other world leaders, the flags of nearly fifty nations – nineteen full NATO member states, 25 Partnership for Peace affiliates and others – decked the auditorium. As did the NATO flag, a facsimile of a compass with its four arms pointed to north, south, east and west.
The message could not have been more clear, more irrefutable: A new world organization, an expanded version of a Western military bloc, was replacing that which had emerged from the smoldering ruins of a war that had cost over fifty million human lives.
NATO lost no time and spared no effort in implementing its plans for the new millennium. In addition to its military deployment in Bosnia the bloc continued its occupation of the Serbian province of Kosovo.
In 2001 it inaugurated a military deployment in Macedonia, Operation Allied Harmony, after armed invasions of the nation by an extremist offshoot of the NATO-allied Kosovo Liberation Army based in Kosovo, and later in the year it participated in the American invasion and occupation of Afghanistan where NATO continues its first ground war almost eight years later.
It insinuated itself into the Darfur region of western Sudan in 2005 and thus was simultaneously engaged in operations in three continents in that year.
Or as then State Department Deputy Assistant for European Affairs and later American ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker said of 2005, NATO was “engaged in eight simultaneous operations on four continents.” 
In the last five years of the 20th Century and the first five of the 21st NATO had evolved from a regional alliance based in Western Europe to a global force contending with the United Nations for the number and geographical range of the missions it was conducting.
That expansion in both extent and essence has not been limited to frequently overshadowing and nullifying the role of the UN, but has also been a component in undoing the entire post-World War II order of which the UN was the cornerstone.
Results Of World War II Undone: Inauguration Of Post-Post-Yalta World
In early May of 2005 U.S. President George W. Bush paid what the State Department must have intended as a “freedom crusade” tour to the capitals of two former Soviet republics, Latvia and Georgia.
The choices were deliberately selected to antagonize Russia, which has borders with both, as Latvia has disenfranchised millions of the minority residents of the country who are 40% of the total, especially ethnic Russians and other Slavs (Europe’s only “non-citizens”), and has permitted the rehabilitation of Nazi Waffen SS veterans as “defenders of the nation,” and Georgia has been a thorn in Russia’s side since its formerly U.S.-based head of state Mikheil Saakashvili came to power on the back of the “rose revolution” of late 2003 with the assistance of U.S. governmental and non-governmental funds and direction. That antagonism reached a breaking point last August with the five-day war between Georgia and Russia.
Bush overtly baited Russia in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi with comments like “Before there was a purple revolution in Iraq or an orange revolution in Ukraine or a cedar revolution in Lebanon, there was a rose revolution,”  “In recent months, the world has marvelled at the hopeful changes taking place from Baghdad to Beirut to Bishkek [Kyrgyzstan],”  and that thanks to Georgia, “freedom is advancing to the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea and around the world,”  as an image of his face was projected onto a giant screen in the background.
Earlier in the Latvian capital of Riga Bush delivered a blunt and unprecedented attack on the Yalta Conference of 1945 and its aftermath. The historical meeting of Britain’s Winston Churchill, the U.S.’s Franklin Roosevelt and the Soviet Union’s Josef Stalin in February of that year was denounced by Bush with such characterizations of the summit as constituting one of “the injustices of our history,” which “followed in the unjust tradition of Munich and the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact,” and that “the legacy of Yalta was finally buried, once and for all” in 1991. 
This animus against the post-World War II system that evolved out of the Yalta and later Potsdam conferences remained a recurring motif for Bush, who in his last appearance as American president at a NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania in 2008 denounced “the bitter legacy of Yalta,” and to demonstrate what the post-post-Yalta era was intended to be added, “I spoke those words on the soil of a nation on the Baltic. Today, on the soil of a Black Sea nation, I have come to see those words fulfilled. The NATO alliance that meets here this week now stretches from the shores of Klaipeda [Lithuania] to the beaches of Neptun [Romania].
“[O]ur Alliance must also decide how to respond to requests by Georgia and Ukraine to participate in NATO’s Membership Action Plan. These two nations inspired the world with their Rose and Orange revolutions….
“As NATO allies fight…in Iraq and Afghanistan, our Alliance is taking on other important missions across the world. In the Mediterranean, NATO forces are patrolling the high seas…as part of Operation Active Endeavor. In Kosovo, NATO forces are providing security and helping a new democracy take root in the Balkans….NATO is no longer a static alliance….It is now an expeditionary alliance that is sending its forces across the world….” 
To understand the nature of this abiding, visceral, monomaniacal hostility toward what with a comparable degree of venom Zbigniew Brzezinski for years has contemptuously derided as the post-Yalta world, excerpts from a column by Indian journalist Siddharth Varadarajan immediately after Bush’s Riga speech of 2005 are quoted below.
“[Bush's] attack on Yalta shows the U.S. is not interested in cooperative security.
“Historians of the Cold War will not have missed the significance of President George W. Bush choosing Riga as the venue for his speech on Saturday repudiating the 1945 Yalta Agreement.
“[W]hen Mr. Bush said in Riga that Yalta was ‘one of the greatest wrongs of history’ because it traded the freedom of small nations for the goal of stability in Europe, he was not merely echoing Cold War dogma. He was also sending out a message to the world — and particularly to Great Powers like Russia and China — that the era of collective security established at
Yalta and later, at the United Nations, is decisively over. And that if the restraints placed by this system ever come in the way of U.S. national interests, they will be brushed aside.” 
Varadarajan included in his piece this quote from President Franklin Roosevelt on March 1, 1945 on the meaning of Yalta as it was understood at the time:
“The Crimea Conference was a successful effort by the three leading Nations to find a common ground for peace. It ought to spell the end of the system of unilateral action, the exclusive alliances, the spheres of influence, the balances of power, and all the other expedients that have been tried for centuries — and have always failed. We propose to substitute for all these, a universal organisation in which all peace-loving nations will finally have a choice to join.” 
The universal organization Roosevelt referred to only 42 days before his death was the United Nations, which would come into existence formally on October 24, 1945.
On the very day that Bush traduced Yalta and its legacy in Latvia, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin said on the same topic, “I am deeply convinced that the essence of the 1945 Yalta accords was as follows: The anti-Hitler coalition’s leaders strove to build a new international system that would prevent the revival of nazism, and that would shield the world from destructive global conflicts,” explicitly mentioning the United Nations Organization and its Charter. 
Bush’s statement in Riga, “the significance of the venue” having been pointed out above, was calculatingly delivered in the capital of a country that has witnessed a disturbing revival of Nazi revisionism, apologetics, nostalgia and rehabilitation in recent years. Animosity toward the Yalta principles, including their most enduring and essential institutional embodiment, the United Nations, means preferring in some manner what preceded the Yalta conference to what came after it. That either means the state of affairs in Europe before World War II or – that during the war years of 1939-1945.
Von Sponeck’s Warning: Subverting The United Nations From Within
This past February Hans von Sponeck, former UN Assistant Secretary General and UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, wrote a probing indictment called “The United Nations and NATO” for a Swiss Journal.
It it he warned that “The world of the 192 UN member states has come to a fork in the road. One way leads to a world focused on the well being of society, conflict resolution and peace, i.e. to a life of dignity and human security with social and economic progress for all, wherever they may be as stated in the United Nations Charter. Down the other road is where the nineteenth century ‘Great Game’ for power will be further played out, a course which, in the twenty-first century, will become more extensive and dangerously more aggressive than ever.
“This road supposedly leads to democracy, but in truth it is all about power, control and exploitation.” 
Contrasting explicitly what the above excerpt had done tacitly, he remarked of his former employer and its would-be replacement:
“A comparison of the mandates of the United Nations and of NATO shows clearly how opposed the purposes of these two institutions are. In the 63 years of its existence, the United Nations mandate has remained the same.
“The United Nations was created to promote and maintain worldwide peace. NATO exists to assure the self-interest of a group of 26 UN member countries.” 
In a section of his article titled “21st century NATO incompatible with UN Charter,” von Sponeck added, “In 1999, NATO acknowledged that it was seeking to orient itself according to a new fundamental strategic concept. From a narrow military defense alliance it was to become a broad based alliance for the protection of the vital resources” needs of its members. Besides the defense of member states’ borders, it set itself new purposes such as assured access to energy sources and the right to intervene in ‘movements of large numbers of persons’ and in conflicts far from the boarders of NATO countries. The readiness of the new alliance to include other countries, particularly those that had previously been part of the Soviet Union, shows how the character of this military alliance has altered.
“[T]he United Nations monopoly of the use of force, especially as specified in Article 51 of the Charter, was no longer accepted according to the 1999 NATO doctrine.
“NATO’s territorial scope, until then limited to the Euro-Atlantic region, was expanded by its member to encompass the whole world in keeping with a strategic context that was global in its sweep.” 
In a following section named “UN-NATO-accord: incompatible with UN Charter,” he exposed a clandestine accord signed between the secretaries general of NATO and the United Nations, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Ban Ki-moon, respectively, on September 23, 2008, which “took place without any reference to the United Nations Security Council.
“In the generally accepted agreement of stated purposes, one reads of a ‘broader council’ and ‘operative cooperation,’ for example in ‘peacekeeping’ in the Balkans and in Afghanistan. Both secretaries general committed themselves to acting in common to meet threats and challenges.
“The UN/NATO accord is anything but neutral and will thus not remain without serious consequences.” 
Shortly after the unauthorized pact signed behind the backs of the UN Security Council, in addition to the General Assembly, by NATO chief Scheffer and Ban, who has proven to be as obsequious toward and obedient to the interests of the West as his predecessor had been, the Russian press reported:
“Russia’s representative to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, said that in the document there is not a single word on the UN’s leading role in ensuring stability in the world.
“NATO and the United Nations have signed a new cooperation accord on prerogatives for UN member states – but have angered Russia by not telling them about it in advance.” 
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was similarly caught off guard and indignant alike, stating “We knew that the UN and NATO secretariats were drawing up an agreement. And we assumed that before the signing, its draft should be shown to the member states. But it never happened,” accusing Scheffer and Ban of operating secretly and in violation of UN norms.
“The Russian minister said that he discussed the problem with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. ‘I did not hear any reasonable explanations. It surprised me,’ said Lavrov….’We asked the leadership of the two secretariats what it might mean. We’re awaiting answers.’” 
Another Russian report added, “Russia has recently vented its displeasure over what it called the ‘furtive signature’ of a cooperation agreement between the secretariats of the United Nations and NATO, which took place late last month. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov complained that this country, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, was not even consulted on the matter.
“Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said recently that Moscow and other UN members had not been consulted on the essence of the UN-NATO cooperation agreement, although, he said, the document contained clauses that concern the prerogatives of UN member states.” 
A third source referred to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko who, in stressing that the surreptitious pact was “riding roughshod over Moscow’s interests,” affirmed that “a big question mark currently hangs over the professional skills of some UN officials, who try to involve the UN Secretary-General in covert activities.” 
An Azerbaijani news source added, “If the agreement, signed in September, is only confirming the status quo, it [is] surprising why the information about it was not published on the NATO website, which even has a special section called ‘NATO’s relations with the United Nations.’ This fact perpetuates Russia’s perception of NATO as a hostile bloc.” 
In a news dispatch titled “UN and NATO team up behind Russia’s back,” Russian envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin – who was himself not informed of the backroom deal – said “NATO should fully acknowledge the UN’s universal role and not try to substitute UN functions.” 
In the article discussed earlier, Hans von Sponeck asked “Is the United Nations accord with NATO – a military alliance with nuclear weapons – in contradiction with Article 2 of the United Nations Charter, which requires that conflicts be resolved by peaceful means? Can UN and NATO actions be distinguished when three of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council are also NATO members? How can future violations of international law by NATO be legally prosecuted? Is an institution like NATO, which in 1999, without a UN mandate, unlawfully bombed Serbia and Kosovo, a suitable partner for the United Nations?” 
And in a section entitled “UN mandate makes NATO obsolete,” he finished with “Any evaluation of the UN/NATO pact must take into account that NATO is a relic of the Cold War; that NATO, as a Western alliance, is regarded with considerable mistrust by the other 166 United Nations member states; that a primary NATO aim is to assert, by military means, its energy and power interests in opposition to other United Nations member states and that the United States, a founding member of the NATO community, in the most unscrupulous ways, has disparaged the United Nations and broken international law.
“It is urgent that one or several member states petition the International Court of Justice to rule on the interpretation of the UN/NATO pact of 23 September 2008, in conformity with the Courts statutes.
“The people of the world have a right to request such a ruling and a right to expect an answer.” 
Parallel Assault On UN’s Integrity: George Soros
Late last September, only weeks after Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili had unleashed a military attack on South Ossetia resulting in a five-day war with Russia, a New York City daily reported that “Russia’s confrontation with the West is escalating, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accusing the U.N. Development Program of collaborating with the financier George Soros to fund Mikheil Saakashvili’s rise to the Georgian presidency.” 
Lavrov’s exact words were these:
“Now regarding what sources are drawn on to pay for the activities of the Georgian leadership. I have heard many rumors and reports. I know that they are now being checked and verified. At a point in the past, I believe, George Soros sponsored Georgian government members. Now I hear that the United Nations Development Program spent some of its funds for this purpose. This has to be sorted out. The chief thing is that the rules should not be violated on the basis of which the world body and all of its entities, funds and programs operate. Somebody privatizing this organization cannot be tolerated.” 
Lavrov and his colleagues wouldn’t have to delve too deeply into the matter to discover the truth.
Over five years ago a major English language Georgian website contained this report:
“The Capacity Building Fund (CBF), set up with the financial assistance of the UNDP [UN Development Program] and billionaire philanthropist George Soros to support governance reforms in Georgia, launches activities and will provide salaries to Georgian officials.
“In a joint news conference with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili at the World Economic Forum on January 22, UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown and George Soros announced the creation of a CBF.
“‘In total, 5 thousand state officials will receive salaries from this fund. However, the main attention will be focused on employees of the law-enforcement agencies,’ Director of the Fund Kote Kublashvili told Civil Georgia.” 
The American source cited above in reminding its readers that “Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Mr. Soros’s OSI [Open Society Institute] has concentrated much of its pro-democracy activities in former Soviet republics…with local leaders and their nationalist supporters pledging to sever ties with Moscow,” added more details:
“The Georgian president, prime minister, and speaker of the Parliament received monthly salary supplements of $1,500 each; ministers received $1,200 a month, and deputy ministers $700….
“The program was funded initially by Mr. Soros’s OSI, which gave $1 million, while the UNDP gave $500,000.” 
As subsequent examples cited later will document, the relations between American self-styled non-governmental organizations, think tanks, the State Department and NATO Headquarters in Brussels are not only cordial, not only symbiotic, but incestuous, with key individuals passing from one to another without missing a paycheck.
The US-based billionaire currency speculator Soros and the former U.S. head of state worked in perfect unison when it came to Georgia and the overall objective of isolating and encircling Russia with hostile regimes.
Think Tank Origins: NATO Undermining The UN From Inside And Out
The current U.S. permanent representative (ambassador) to NATO is Netherlands-born Ivo Daalder, who like so many others of his type cut his foreign policy teeth in the Balkans in the 1990s. In fact he was the director for European Affairs on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton, where he was in charge of Bosnia policy. Although a Clinton appointee Daalder criticized his chief during the 1999 war against Yugoslavia, calling for a ground invasion of the country in addition to the devastating air war.
The day after President Barack Obama announced the selection of Daalder for the NATO post, a news account from his homeland described him as a “liberal hawk” who was “a signatory to the January 2005 Project for a New American Century letter to Congress urging an increase in the number of troops in Iraq. The Project for a New American Century is a neoconservative think-tank linked to the American Enterprise Institute, where much of the foreign policy of the Bush administration originated.
“He often wrote about the right (or duty) of the international community to use military and humanitarian action to intervene in countries that fail to meet their responsibilities.” 
At the time of his nomination Daalder was a Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
The day after the Dutch feature appeared, the print edition of Russia Today television had this to say:
“Barack Obama’s administration sees NATO as the nucleus for a global organization of democracies that will eventually replace the United Nations, believes an influential Russian newspaper [Kommersant].
“Washington wants NATO to expand by inviting counties like Australia, Japan, Brazil and South Africa and become a global organization tackling not only security issues but also epidemics and human rights….The next US Ambassador to NATO Ivo H. Daalder is a great supporter of this idea.
“Daalder, an expert at the Brookings Institution and a foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama during the election campaign, is a strong proponent of the so-called Concert of Democracies.
“The idea, coined by the think-tank Princeton Project on National Security, is that the United Nations is outdated….” 
The source added that “Daalder believes that NATO is a prototype of the proposed concert, being an alliance of democracies with a long success record, and can be extended to the new global organization” and that “a source in the White House [says] that Vice President Joe Biden is among the supporters of the Concert of Democracies.” 
As the American magazine Newsweek reported late last year under the headline Fighting Wars of Peace, “Vice President-elect Joe Biden called during the campaign for imposing a no-fly zone in Darfur and, a year earlier, advocated committing ‘U.S. troops on the ground’ if necessary. And Hillary Clinton, the incoming secretary of state, was a forceful advocate of the interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo during her husband’s administration.
“[A]s Ivo Daalder, [a] prominent Obama adviser, and Robert Kagan have pointed out, between 1989 and 2001 America dispatched significant military force to foreign hot spots so often — once every 18 months — that intervention became something of a standard weapon of U.S. foreign policy, and one with bipartisan support.” 
The genesis of the “war for peace” Concert of Democracies concept under NATO auspices and in opposition to the UN, at least as far as Daalder is concerned, may have been in a “guest” column in the Washington Post over five years ago called An Alliance of Democracies and co-authored by Daalder and James Lindsay, then vice president and director of studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
In the article Daalder and his colleague leave no doubt as to which institution global NATO stands in opposition to:
“An immediate problem is that the United Nations lacks the capability to make a difference. Its blue-helmeted troops can help keep the peace when warring parties choose not to fight. But as we learned in the Balkans, they cannot make peace where none exists. And as we saw in the 12 years preceding the Iraq war, the United Nations cannot enforce its most important resolutions. The deeper problem is that these reform proposals do not go to the heart of what ails the organization: It treats its members as sovereign equals regardless of the character of their governments.
“The idea of sovereign equality reflected a conscious decision governments made 60 years ago that they would be better off if they repudiated the right to meddle in the internal affairs of others. That choice no longer makes sense.
“Today respect for state sovereignty should be conditional on how states behave at home, not just abroad.
“We need an Alliance of Democratic States. This organization would unite nations with entrenched democratic traditions, such as the United States and Canada; the European Union countries; Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia; India and Israel; Botswana and Costa Rica.” 
Analogous demands have been voiced over the past few years by former Spanish prime minister Jose Aznar, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and spokesman James Appathurai and U.S. Republican Party candidates in last year’s presidential election Rudolph Giuliani and John McCain, alternately identified as an alliance, a concert or a league of democracies.
In 2007 the now deceased U.S. congressman Tom Lantos, at the time chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, said that “NATO should seriously consider expanding into a global alliance including democratic countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Israel,” and posed the rhetorical query “Would it not make the (NATO) Supreme Allied Commander feel more comfortable about upcoming global crises if he would have a NATO of a global reach?” To which the commander identified, Gen. Bantz John Craddock, replied: “From a best military advice perspective, it would indeed be enormously helpful to have more democratic, peace-loving nations as part of the alliance.” 
The advocates of the ultimate “coalition of the willing” call for expanding NATO from its current 28 full members, 22 Partnership for Peace states in Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia, seven Middle Eastern and North African nations in the Mediterranean Dialogue, six Persian Gulf countries covered under the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative and several individual Contact Countries – in total over a third of the nations in the world – into a comprehensive, worldwide political-economic-military bloc with members in six of the world’s seven continents and with its eye set on the remaining one, Antarctica.
The nations targeted for the NATO-led Alliance of Democracies include Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and South Korea inter alia.
From Design To Execution: Ivo Daalder
Daalder would follow up on this initiative two and a half years later, this time in a forum generously provided him by the International Herald Tribune, sister publication of the New York Times, the other main pillar of the American “free press,” and co-written by the Council on Foreign Relations’ James Goldgeier.
The piece in question, “For global security, expand the alliance,” states:
“NATO must become larger and more global by admitting any democratic state that is willing and able to contribute to the fulfillment of the alliance’s new responsibilities.
“Other democratic countries share NATO’s values and many common interests – including Australia, Brazil, Japan, India, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea – and all of them can greatly contribute to NATO’s efforts by providing additional military forces or logistical support….”
The contribution is urgent because “NATO militaries are stretched thin by the many new missions they are called on to perform in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in the Sudan, Congo and other parts of Africa.”
The column raised the stakes to a degree that is deeply unsettling, fraught as they are with the threat of nothing less than world war.
“Collective defense, enshrined in Article 5′s dictum that an attack on one member is an attack on all, must remain at the core of an expanded alliance as it has in the past. For the United States, such commitments elsewhere would not be novel, as it already guarantees, either formally or informally, the security of countries such as Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.
“[A]ll NATO members contributed to the grand coalition that reversed Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, which is not even a democracy. If Australia or Japan were attacked, would the European democracies simply shrug their shoulders?” 
Far more is involved than the deployment of troops, warships and warplanes to all parts of the globe on the arbitrary decision of the major NATO partners, as unparalleled a danger to the world as that is.
In speaking of Washington’s ongoing global missile shield program – one that could neutralize the potential for nations, Russia and China come immediately to mind, to maintain a deterrence or retaliation capacity and thus serve as an invitation for a first strike – in March of 2007 U.S. Assistant Secretary of State John Rood asserted that planned interceptor missile sites in Poland and the Czech Republic “would be integrated with existing radar sites in the United Kingdom and Greenland as well as missile defense interceptors in California and Alaska,” adding that at the time some fourteen nations were already involved in the plans, including “Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, India, Japan, the Netherlands and Ukraine. Taiwan is also participating….
“[There] is a cooperative understanding among the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Israel, Italy and Denmark to conduct government-to-government and industry-to-industry missile defense cooperation.” 
The correlation between the non-NATO nations mentioned as members of a concert or alliance of democracies under NATO leadership and those being integrated into the global interceptor missile system is striking.
While still U.S. State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs and before being appointed Ivo Daalder’s predecessor as ambassador to NATO, Kurt Volker said:
“[A]s NATO is active in places like Afghanistan or Iraq or Darfur, we are working together with countries that share NATO’s values and that are capable of contributing to security, such as Australia or New Zealand or South Korea or Japan, and we would like to find ways to cooperate with these countries….
“Some countries which, from a geographic standpoint, see themselves as front line states, have a high interest in theater missile defense, and other countries say it’s something we ought to do….For the U.S. there is no such thing as theater missile defense because we look at missile defense in a global scale….” 
The complement to the above, popularly referred to as Star Wars or Son of Star Wars, is an even more dangerous threat: Space war.
Last November Russia, as it has routinely done for years at UN General Assembly meetings, urged “UN member-states to join the moratorium on the deployment of weapons in outer space.”
The nation’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, pointed out that “it is on Russia’s initiative that the UN General Assembly has been adopting resolutions, for many years now, aimed at the prevention of an arms race in space.
“The only one who objected to the adoption of this resolution was the United States – this was earlier this year.” 
Another report revealed that “Washington does plan to deploy its ABM system elements in near-Earth orbits, and it is only Russia that can counter such plans.
“In the United Nations 166 countries have voted for the Russia-proposed resolution on measures to ensure transparency and build up confidence in space activities.” 
As with questions of war and peace, the United Nations is used by the U.S. and its allies solely to punish weaker nations and if the UN would ever begin to function as it was designed to – including attempting to prevent the militarization of space – it will be bypassed and rendered powerless by a NATO-led “Alliance of Democratic States.”
As recently as a few days ago Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, on the sidelines of the foreign ministers meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Damascus, Syria, “express[ed] his country’s worries over giving NATO an international mission where it will be able to interfere anywhere in the world without permission from the Security Council, affirming that this is very negative and can undermine the basis of international law and the UN Charter.” 
NATO No Alternative To United Nations
Conceived during the waning days of the world’s most destructive and deadly war and born two months after the only use to date of nuclear weapons, the United Nation’s still bears its birth marks. 74 years later the five chief victors of World War II remain the only permanent members of the Security Council and alone have veto power. Three of them are founding members of NATO and all five are nuclear powers, hardly representative of the world community.
Not a single nation in Africa, South (indeed all of Latin) America, the Middle East and Oceania have such status.
Also, the 192-member General Assembly has largely been shunted aside in favor of the five permanent and ten rotating members of the Security Council, not to mention events of major world importance being conducted by the secretary-general and other officials behind the backs of even permanent members of the Security Council as with last September’s agreement with NATO.
The General Assembly represents humanity not only on a day-to-day basis but in a more substantive and legitimate manner than ten of its 192 members on the Security Council at any given time. It must play a larger role in all deliberations.
A revived, robust, empowered and democratized UN must shift focus from a disproportionate emphasis on negotiating trade, treaty and other agreements in service to world commerce and in ceding vast tracts of the earth to interested parties under suspicious circumstances, as with the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon and 2.2 million square kilometers of the resource-rich Antarctic Ocean to Australia recently, to what needs to be its main objective: Exerting all efforts to eliminate forever the scourge of war.
The record of the past thirteen years under the stewardship of Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon has been abysmal. Three major wars have been conducted by the United States and its NATO allies, the first against a founding member of the UN, Yugoslavia, while the organization made no meaningful efforts to prevent or halt them once started and has even legitimized them after the fact with assorted resolutions. Even UN resolutions following unauthorized wars are trampled on, as with the recognition by most NATO members of the illegal secession of Kosovo from Serbia last February, flagrantly contradicting UN Resolution 1244 which commits the UN to “Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other States of the region, as set out in the Helsinki Final Act….”
However, even with its manifold problems, the United Nations was intended to prevent the replication of the horrors of World War II which ended only two months before its creation. The world would hardly gain by having it further weakened, sidelined and in effect reduced to a hollow shell by an expanding military bloc that has already waged wars on two continents and set its sights on penetrating and dominating the entire world.
1) Richard Clarke, Against All Enemies, 2004
2) Charter of the United Nations, Preamble
3) NATO International, May 23, 1999
4) U.S. Department of State, May 4, 2006
5) Agence France-Presse, May 10, 2005
6) Agence France-Presse, May 11, 2005
7) Agence France-Presse, May 10, 2005
8) Washington Post, May 8, 2005
9) USA Today, April 1, 2008
10) The Hindu, May 9, 2005
12) Russian Information Agency Novosti, May 7, 2005
13) Current Concerns (Switzerland), February 13, 2009
17) Russia Today, October 9, 2008
19) Voice of Russia, October 13, 2008
20) Voice of Russia, October 9, 2008
21) Trend News Agency, October 14, 2008
22) Russia Today, October 9, 2008
23) Current Concerns, February 13, 2009
25) New York Sun, September 30, 2008
26) The Permanent Mission of Russia to NATO, October 2, 20
27) Civil Georgia, March 22, 2004
28) New York Sun, September 30, 2008
29) NRC Handelsblad, March 12, 2009
30) Russia Today, March 13, 2009
32) Newsweek, December 13, 2008
33) Washington Post, May 23, 2004
34) Reuters, June 23, 2007
35) International Herald Tribune, October 12, 2006
36) UNIAN (Ukraine), March 5, 2007
37) U.S. State Department, February 24, 2006
38) Voice of Russia, November 20, 2008
39) Voice of Russia, November 1, 2008
40) Syrian Arab News Agency, May 24, 2009