October 31, 2009
Kosovo: Marking Ten Years Of Worldwide Wars
It has been said that proverbs are the wisdom of nations and one of the most common is that a criminal always returns to the scene of the crime.
Former U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton is to arrive in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, on Sunday, November 1 according to the erstwhile head of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and self-styled prime minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaci.
The occasion of Clinton’s visit, his first since Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence in February of 2008 – a violation of international law and United Nations Resolution 1244 directly resulting from Clinton’s acts of a decade ago – is to attend the official unveiling of a statue dedicated to himself.
“The almost ten feet statue of the former U.S. President Bill Clinton has been erected in the same square that bears his name in Pristina. [The unveiling] of the statue was delayed due to the busy agenda of the former American President. The statue erected to President Clinton is being sponsored by and [is] under the auspices of Prime Minister Thaci.” 
Another adage, this time a peculiarly American one, is that partisan politics end at the water’s edge. Not that it matters to anyone in the world except for U.S. voters every four years, but differences between the nation’s two ruling parties, such as they are, rarely manifest themselves beyond the nation’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The main street in Pristina is named after George W. Bush, who presided over and in fact engineered Kosovo’s formal secession from Serbia.
There are also major streets named after Tony Blair, Madeleine Albright and William Walker, the last the Deputy Chief of Mission in Honduras and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central America in the 1980s during the Reagan administration’s Contra war against Nicaragua and death squad terror in El Salvador. Walker is held in high esteem by KLA veterans like Hashim Thaci for his role in blaming the government of Yugoslavia for what he represented as a massacre in the Kosovo village of Racak in January of 1999, arguably the main incident used to justify the 78-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia three months later.
Western journalists at the time and forensic experts afterward reported a different story, but Walker blustered:
“From what I saw, I do not hesitate to describe the crime as a massacre, a crime against humanity. Nor do I hesitate to accuse the government security forces of responsibility.”
Not that anyone would question Walker’s familiarity with massacres, he certainly oversaw enough genuine ones in Central America in the 1980s, but his motives in this case were suspect to say the least.
No report has yet surfaced that the separatists in Kosovo, armed during their own contra war ten years ago and now again as a proto-army, the Kosovo Security Force, by the U.S. and its NATO allies, plan to erect a monument to Walker, but if so that would give the new governments of Nicaragua and El Salvador an additional reason to eschew recognizing the illegal entity that is spurned by 130 of the world’s 192 nations.
Regarding Clinton’s arrival on Sunday (the scent of a handsome “honorarium” wafts through the air), KLA chieftain Thaci, endearingly known to his former KLA colleagues by the nom de guerre of The Snake, promises that the Bomber of Belgrade will be met with a “magnificent welcome” and that locals will “appear en masse at the Bill Clinton Square”. 
Criminals don’t return to the scene of a crime, a war crime, when they have never left it. Most of the 50,000 U.S. and other NATO troops that entered Kosovo in June of 1999 with their KLA allies have since departed to “bring peace” to and “stabilize” other parts of the world, Afghanistan and Iraq most notably, but over 14,000 remain more than ten years afterward.
What also remains in Kosovo is Camp Bondsteel, a nearly 1,000-acre U.S. Army base used as headquarters for the NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR) Multinational Task Force East. The installation is so extensive that it contains “the best hospital in Kosovo; a movie theater; three gyms; two recreation buildings that have phones, computers with internet connection, pool tables, video games and more; two chapels with various religious services and other activities; two large dining facilities; a fire station; a military police station; the Laura Bush education center where classes are offered through the University of Maryland University College and Central Texas College; two cappuccino bars, a Burger King, Taco Bell, and an Anthony’s Pizza pizzeria; two barber shops; two laundry facilities employing local nationals who do the laundry for those living on base; two press shops; a sewing shop; two massage shops employing mostly Thai women who conduct various massages…softball and football fields; and more.” 
In short, a small city. Camp Bondsteel, the largest overseas American military facility constructed since the Vietnam War, was reported to be a CIA “black site” in a report by a major British newspaper in January of this year. The base can well be used for whatever purposes the CIA and the Pentagon intend it to with the pseudo-government of Kosovo, many of its leaders linked for decades to Europe’s narcotics, arms and sex slave trades, manifestly unwilling to raise any objections knowing full well to whom they are indebted for their current fiefdom.
A month after the U.S.- and NATO-backed secession of Kosovo from Serbia, the latter’s then prime minister Vojislav Kostunica stated, “The illegal construction of a huge American military base, Bondsteel, and Annex 11 of the Ahtisaari plan, which establishes NATO as the supreme organ of government in Kosovo, reveal the reason why Serbia was mindlessly destroyed, and why a NATO state was declared illegally on February 17.” 
During its fiftieth anniversary jubilee summit in Washington, D.C. in April of 1999 NATO was in the midst of an almost three-month air war against Yugoslavia, the first unprovoked military attack against a European nation since Hitler’s Germany invaded Poland in 1939 and subsequently other nations, plunging the continent into the deadliest and most destructive war in its history.
The end result of 1999′s Operation Allied Force, NATO’s first war, fought without UN authorization and against the opposition of Russia, China and most of the world’s nations, was to transform the entire Balkans region into what are little more than NATO military colonies: Recruitment grounds for troop deployments to new war zones further to the east and south and sites for the building and acquisition of new U.S. military bases – infantry, air and naval – for the same purpose, as with not only Kosovo but Bulgaria and Romania as well.
Since the 1999 war against Yugoslavia and the incursion into and destabilization of Macedonia from NATO-occupied Kosovo two years later, the U.S. and NATO have ordered the deployment of troops from its new “partners” in the Balkans, five of which have been now become full NATO members (Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Albania and Croatia), to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as to Central Africa (Chad and the Central African Republic), Lebanon and elsewhere under European Union auspices.
Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Romanian and Slovenian troops have served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and remain in the second country. New mini-state Montenegro’s Western-backed independence was only effected in 2006 and so the nation is too young to have had its troops dragooned into the Iraq debacle. But not the Afghan war, for which forces have already been assigned.
Washington’s and NATO’s turnaround time is breathtaking. Three years after a state of no more than 700,000 people declares itself an independent nation its citizens are already being trained for a war over 4,000 kilometers away. 
Earlier this month the governor of the American state of Maine said “the state hosted an official delegation from Montenegro, one of the world’s newest democracies, just a few days ago. The Maine National Guard has a partnership program that’s helping to transition Montenegro’s military into a professional force that can participate in NATO missions.” 
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen plans a tour of the Balkans next month, in part to recruit troops for the Afghan war, and Montenegro will be one of his stops. “It is expected that Montenegro will receive an action plan for accession to NATO at the December sitting of the Alliance, an anonymous source in the media informed.” 
Less than a year ago “Montenegro’s Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic…tabled at NATO headquarters in Brussels Montenegro’s demand on an action plan for membership.” 
A Membership Action Plan (MAP) is the final stage toward full NATO membership. Earlier this month Bosnia officially applied for the MAP and the nation’s defense minister Selmo Cikotic on October 29 demonstrated the dual nature of NATO incorporation – subjugating new member states and integrating them into a global war strategy – in speaking of the two topics as interconnected. He said “In Bosnia’s case, participation in the [Afghan] mission is also related to progress on the road to NATO membership…regardless of the risks.
“In the current situation, when our politics are war by other means, NATO membership would resolve all open security issues. All other alternatives are highly risky.” 
The allusion, hardly subtle, is to efforts by the United States, NATO and the European Union to use membership in the last two organizations as both carrot and stick to revoke what autonomy the Bosnian Serb Republic (Republika Srpska) retains in the West’s drive to centralize Bosnia as a whole under the control of Brussels and Washington.
On October 30 the Bosnian Serb Republic’s prime minister, Milorad Dodik, said “he would pull out of talks on constitutional reform led by the United States and European Union set to speed up Bosnia’s path to EU and NATO membership.”
Speaking of the withdrawal, Dodik said “It’s a defeat of politicians from the federation who agree to meet only in the presence of the international community. I will never again take part in any talks mediated by the international community.” 
Less than two weeks before NATO chief Rasmussen laid down the law to Serbia and to the few Serbs remaining in Kosovo. In an interview with a local newspaper, while pushing the standard Western line that “further Euro-Atlantic integration either through partnership or membership in NATO, or in the EU, is the best guarantee of long-term stability in the Balkans,” he issued the following warning, in fact an ultimatum: “I especially hope that Belgrade will not encourage Kosovo Serbs not to take part in the forthcoming elections. If Kosovo Serbs wish to secure that their legitimate interests and rights are being respected, then they must take part in the political process.” 
The NATO chief will brook no opposition, no hint of independence, from Serbs in Kosovo, in Bosnia or in Serbia itself. Or from anyone else in the Balkans except for the bloc’s allies in the former KLA and affiliated armed separatist groups. 
NATO’s intention to “resolve all open security issues” in the Balkans is belied by the Alliance’s member states at every turn acting to destabilize interstate relations in the region, from the encouragement of Kosovo’s secession – which the United States was the first to legitimize through diplomatic recognition – to more recent examples.
Earlier this month Kosovo and Macedonia delimited the boundary between them and in so doing attempted to establish it as an international border without consultations with Serbia, whose territory Kosovo remains in the view of over two-thirds of the nations in the world.
On October 9 the new U.S. ambassador to Kosovo, Christopher Dell, “confirmed…he has met Kosovo President and Prime Minister Fatmir Sejdiu and Hashim Thaci on the demarcation of the Kosovo-Macedonian border.” 
Days later the State Secretary of Serbia’s Foreign Ministry, Oliver Ivanovic, denounced the agreement signed behind his nation’s back and said, “The signing of this agreement is useless because Macedonia will have to negotiate with Belgrade on that issue.” 
In Ivanovic’s view “Macedonia and Kosovo signed the agreement under pressure by foreigners who did not account for the fact that this may worsen the already complex relations between Serbia and Macedonia.” 
The following day the architect of this latest carve-up weighed in on the affair: “The U.S. warmly welcomes the establishing of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Macedonia as well as the successful completion of the demarcation of their joint border,” according to State Department spokesman Ian Kelly. 
Only a few days later, on cue as it were, officials in Kosovo turned their attention toward Montenegro and a “flawed marking of the border,” demanding another redrawing of national boundaries. Montenegro’s Interior Ministry responded on October 23 insisting that the nation’s leaders would “not hand over an inch of their territory to anyone”. 
To further illustrate the West’s role in undermining and inflaming most every sector of former Yugoslavia, in the middle of the month Kosovo Serbs gathered almost 50,000 signatures demanding that the European Union Rule of Law Mission [EULEX], devised by the West to transition Kosovo from United Nations administration to control by former KLA operatives and their NATO patrons, leave the province.
A leader of the initiative rightly observed of EULEX that “the mission’s goal is to complete the Albanian state” and regarding the petition announced that in addition to presenting it to the government of Serbia “We’re also taking it to the Russian ambassador for the embassy to hand it to President Medvedev, given that the Russian Federation is sometimes more consistent and principled in trying to defend and keep Kosovo within our country. Russia is a great country and has the right to a veto in the Security Council. I personally think that they can be of great help in revealing the real truth behind the work of this mission.” 
NATO’s drive toward complete subordination of the Balkans proceeds apace.
On October 8 Serbian Defense State Secretary Igor Jovicic announced that his nation would appoint a permanent ambassador to NATO within the next few weeks, stating “Based on a proposal by the Foreign Ministry, the Serbian government has endorsed a proposal for a Serbian ambassador to the NATO alliance. A ‘silent procedure’ is under way, where our proposal will be looked at by member-states, and then we could have an ambassador to NATO by the end of the year.” 
After the October 22-23 NATO defense ministerial in Slovakia, Macedonia confirmed it would offer the Alliance 80 more troops for the war in Afghanistan, bringing the diminutive nation’s total to 240.
At the same time Bulgarian Defense Minister Nickolay Mladenov “offered his counterparts from neighboring countries to use the joint Bulgarian-U.S. military training facilities in Novo Selo” where it was recently revealed that the Pentagon is going to spend $60 million to expand and modernize the base. 
The Bulgarian defense chief was addressing a meeting of the Southeastern Europe Defense Ministerial (SEDM) in his country. The nations he invited to train under U.S. military forces were full SEDM members Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine and observer states Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia. The United States is the ringleader of the regional defense bloc although it is over 7,000 kilometers removed from the region.
When NATO began its bombardment of Yugoslavia on March 23, 1999 on Bill Clinton’s orders not only a war but a war cycle began, one which persists to this day and has no end in sight. Only months after the cross-border conflict in Macedonia, itself a consequence of the Kosovo war, ended in 2001 the invasion of Afghanistan was launched, and the U.S. and its NATO allies have been in state of perpetual armed deployments and conflicts ever since.
The war against Yugoslavia was waged under false pretenses and with ulterior motives but has had predictable consequences. The United Nations has been weakened to the point of being reduced to a paper organization only consulted when it is time to clean up after the West’s wars. The Helsinki Final Act and the entire post-World War II order have been undermined and effectively destroyed.
As the late American scholar Sean Gervasi foresaw and warned against more than three years before the event , NATO exploited the crisis in former Yugoslavia to assert itself outside of its previously defined area of concern to expand throughout Eastern Europe and penetrate the Caucasus into Central and South Asia and much of the rest of the world. At that time, January of 1996, no one could have anticipated that there would be Bosnian troops in Afghanistan, Croatian troops in Iraq, Albanian troops in Chad and Bulgarian warships off the Mediterranean coast of Lebanon. That there would be NATO bases in the Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. A strategic American air base in Bulgaria, a massive military compound in the Serbian province of Kosovo, marines in Georgia and Patriot missile batteries in Poland.
A few weeks ago an article appeared in an Indian publication which included these comments:
“Russia has rebelled against Kosovo’s independence because it sees it as part of US efforts to dismantle the post-Second World War international system based on respect for state sovereignty and inviolability of borders enshrined in the supremacy of the UN in resolving international disputes. Kosovo’s independence is also against the Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999, which gave the UN jurisdiction over Kosovo….It has been noted that such ‘independence’ enables the Americans to maintain a strategic military base at Camp Bondsteel in the breakaway region — the largest American military base to come up in Europe over the last generation.” 
On October 23 an analysis appeared on a major Russian news site regarding the recently announced change in Russia’s military doctrine allowing for the first use of nuclear weapons. To demonstrate the lingering and perhaps irreversible effects of NATO’s first war of ten years ago, the article revealed that “Russia started speaking about the possibility of delivering preemptive nuclear strikes long ago, in the late 1990s after NATO bombed Yugoslavia. Russia subsequently held war games [in] 1999 simulating a military conflict with NATO similar to the one in Yugoslavia.
“That war game showed that only nuclear weapons would save Russia in case of Western aggression. The Russian government subsequently changed the schemes of using nuclear weapons, especially tactical ones.” 
Crimes left unaddressed and unpunished, especially war crimes, exact a terrible toll on international relations and on the world’s conscience.
The monument to former U.S. President Clinton further diminishes his political and historical stature, considering by whom it is being dedicated and why.
As long as much – most – of the world continues to ignore, apologize for and even endorse the crime for which he is being celebrated the prospects for a peaceful and just world are far beyond the grasp of those eager for a planet forever free of war.
1) New Kosovo Report, October 29, 2009
2) Beta News Agency, October 29, 2009
4) Beta News Agency, March 24, 2009
5) Adriatic Charter And The Balkans: Smaller Nations, Larger NATO
Stop NATO, May 13, 2009
6) Associated Press, October 10, 2009
7) Focus News Agency, October 28, 2009
9) BalkanInsight, October 29, 2009
10) Reuters, October 30, 2009
11) Vecernje Novosti, October 17, 2009
12) Threat Of New Conflict In Europe: Western-Sponsored Greater Albania
Stop NATO, October 8, 2009
13) Focus News Agency, October 10, 2009
14) Sofia News Agency, October 18, 2009
16) Tanjug News Agency, October 19, 2009
17) Tanjug News Agency, October 24, 2009
18) B92, October 16, 2009
19) B92, October 8, 2009
20) Bulgaria, Romania: U.S., NATO Bases For War In The East
Stop NATO, October 24, 2009
21) Why Is NATO In Yugoslavia?
22) Younes Bhat, Crisis from the Balkans to Caucasus: Munich Speech to
Mainstream Weekly, October 11, 2009
23) Russian Information Agency Novosti, October 23, 2009
October 28, 2009
Rick Rozoff on Obama’s Missile Defence Plans
[Correction: For THAAD read Terminal High Altitude Area Defense]
September 17th saw the Obama administration abandoning plans to station interceptor missile systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. However the proposed system, which started under Reagan with STAR WARS, has not been scrapped but rather expanded to cover other regions of the world that the US has a strong strategic interest in.
Rick Rozoff is an analyst and manager of the email list Stop NATO International.
Julia Terreu started by asking Rick to give us some background on what a “missile defence system” is:
This interview was broadcast on Radio Adelaide on the 28th of October.
October 28, 2009
ABC Of West’s Global Military Network: Afghanistan, Baltics, Caucasus
The century’s longest war continues to rage in South Asia with no sign of abating. Instead, the invasion of Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 has exploded into endless armed hostilities that have spread across the length and breadth of the nation, with U.S. and NATO military forces fighting an intensified counterinsurgency conflict in the north, south, east and west of Afghanistan, now paralleled by equally brutal and even larger-scale combat operations in neighboring Pakistan.
With over 100,000 Western troops and rumors of perhaps a doubling of that number in the works, and with Washington spending billions of dollars in expanding bases to accommodate those reinforcements, the Afghanistan-Pakistan campaign under the direction of U.S. and NATO military commander General Stanley McChrystal and Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke portends yet greater violence, bloodshed and imperiling of regional stability.
The U.S. lost 22 personnel on October 26-27, making this month Washington’s costliest ever in the deadliest year of a war that is now in its ninth calendar year.
The White House and Pentagon have also extended lethal drone missile attacks inside Pakistan, where they are nearly daily occurrences, and will soon deploy Marines to the nation’s capital in a massively revamped U.S. embassy and army trainers to the Iranian border, “the first foreign forces formally stationed in Baluchistan since Pakistan’s independence in 1947.” 
Several million civilians have been uprooted and displaced by Western and Pakistani air and ground attacks.
In addition to being the lengthiest and biggest war in the world, the U.S. and NATO Afghan campaign is the first armed conflict in this young millennium with an international dimension. In fact its global scope in some aspects is grander than those of the two world wars of the first half of the last century.
This is true in two regards. First, in the historically unprecedented number of nations that have been called upon to supply troops for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for the prosecution of the war. And second, in the repercussions of those troop and military equipment commitments on local and regional conflicts in several parts of the world far removed from Afghanistan.
Last week the defense chiefs of several dozen nations met for a two-day conference in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, to discuss NATO’s new Strategic Concept and a host of missions to be subsumed under it, with the war in Afghanistan at the top of the agenda.
The defense ministers and secretaries of all 28 full NATO member states and of 14 partnership (Partnership for Peace, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, Contact Country, Adriatic Charter) nations were officially acknowledged to be in attendance.
Information is not available regarding which exact non-NATO nations were represented, but likely participants would have included Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Macedonia, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.
The defense ministers of Afghanistan and of Armenia, which has now committed forces for ISAF, were reported to have attended the meeting also.
In recent months reports have either verified or speculated that troop continents from several other nations would be recruited by the United States and NATO for the Afghan war front. These candidates include Colombia, South Korea, Mongolia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Montenegro and Moldova in addition to Armenia.
The combined U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan could then include units from fifty nations in five continents, the Caucasus, the Persian Gulf and Oceania.
No such diverse military force has been gathered for one war in one location at any other time and place in history.
The creation of an integrated, weapons- and warfighting-interoperable global army on the battlefields of Afghanistan has been discussed in a previous article.  The current figure for U.S. and NATO-led foreign forces in the country exceeds 100,000, but with regular troop rotations over an eight-year period the total number deployed is several times that.
The other side of the coin is that military forces from far-flung nations brought to fight in Afghanistan will return to their respective homelands with combat and wartime experience under their belts for use in local conflicts and will have secured from the U.S. and NATO a reciprocal commitment to support them in local counterinsurgency and cross-border conflicts.
U.S.-trained Colombian crack special forces will return from Afghanistan to continue their decades-old war against the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) resistance in the south of their country.
Georgian troops being trained at this very moment in a two-week exercise by U.S. Marines for counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan will upon returning to their homeland be better prepared for the next war with neighboring Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Russia.
In late August, slightly over a year after a previous Immediate Response exercise with over 1,000 U.S. troops was followed by an attack against South Ossetia and a five-day war with Russia, then Georgian defense minister Davit Sikharulidze met with General James Conway, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and was quoted by the Associated Press as saying “that the training by the U.S. Marine Corps will not only give his troops the skills necessary to fight alongside NATO allies in Afghanistan, but also could come into play if another war broke out between Georgia and Russia.” 
Just as the 2,000 Georgian troops stationed in Iraq in 2008, the largest contingent after the U.S. and Britain at the time, gained war zone experience for the conflict with Russia that year, in fact being transported back on U.S. planes during the fighting in the Caucasus.
Comparable statements, if not entirely as brash, have been made by military, defense and political officials in several other nations bordering Russia; for example, Finland, Poland and the Baltic states. That is, that Afghanistan is providing their respective armies their first post-World War II combat experience and helping to modernize and make battle ready militaries in nations not remotely threatened by armed conflict, though in the case of Georgia and possibly others nations planning acts of aggression.
The pattern would be further confirmed if the West succeeds in collecting even nominal military contingents from nations with armed operations within or on their borders, real or presumed, like Djibouti, Ethiopia, Israel, Morocco, the Philippines, Rwanda and Thailand. The Pentagon conducts regular military training and leads exercises in all these nations and in recent years has established a permanent military presence in three of them: Djibouti, Israel and the Philippines.
The U.S. now conducts regular combat instruction in Bulgaria, Georgia and Romania for its own armed forces and those of its host countries for the war in Afghanistan in particular. Training client regimes for military operations at home and abroad takes on a greater degree of realism and effectiveness alike if held in a genuine war theater like that in Afghanistan.
The countries singled out by the U.S. and NATO for their campaign in South Asia and by extension for the development of a multinational, rapidly deployable international military force available for use in conflict zones around the world fall into two main categories.
They are former Soviet bloc nations and new states that emerged from the breakup of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia and, largely as a result of the latters’ fragmentation, countries that themselves were recently beset by armed conflicts. Among the world’s most vulnerable nations.
In 2003, of the twenty-eight countries corralled by the United States and Britain into the so-called coalition of the willing for the occupation if Iraq – Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand and Ukraine – all but seven of them were at one time in the Soviet bloc or are former Yugoslav republics.
Those twenty-one nations had little experience in conducting independent foreign policy and were in the process of building their national militaries. Nine of them – Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia – entered NATO as full members after sending troops to Iraq. Macedonia would have been the tenth if not for the nation’s dispute with Greece over its name. Following last week’s NATO meeting the nation announced it would deploy more troops to Afghanistan. “Macedonia sees its presence in Afghanistan as a good way of maintaining good cooperation with NATO and the United States.” 
A majority of those twenty-one nations suffered combat deaths in the Iraq conflict. Poland, which lost twenty-eight soldiers, ran one of the four occupation zones in the nation, the South Central, assisted by NATO.
The war in Iraq and even more so that in Afghanistan, being a formal NATO operation, have been employed to pull nations in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Asia out of residual Russian and Commonwealth of Independent States orbits and into NATO.
Of those states listed above that have sent or pledged troops for both Iraq and Afghanistan, eight border Russian territory: Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Poland and Ukraine, as do Finland and Norway, both engaged in combat for the first time since World War II in Afghanistan. The two wars have also been used to complete the U.S.’s and NATO’s military takeover of the former Yugoslavia and the Balkans as a whole.
The day before the October 22-23 NATO war council in Slovakia the Alliance chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen “sought to re-assure Poland, the Baltic states and other alliance members in eastern Europe that the reform of NATO’s strategic concept planned for next year won’t undermine the allies’ commitment or ability to defend them.” 
The nations he mentioned and alluded to are threatened by no non-European nations, surely not by non-existent Iranian long- and intermediate-range missiles, so Rasmussen was referring to a country partially in Europe. Russia.
U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden was in Poland for two days last week to also “reassure” his host nation’s government that Washington – and NATO – were steadfast in commitment to the nation’s “defense.” Against Russia.
His discussion included the stationing of American SM-3 interceptor missiles, which will augment the deployment of 92 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles, which will in turn be operated by 100 U.S. troops to be stationed in Poland. This represents the first deployment, and a permanent one at that, of American armed forces in the country. Over the last three years the Pentagon has taken similar measures to base an initial force of 4,000 troops at seven new bases in Bulgaria and Romania.
A report on the Voice of Russia website on October 22 referring to the latter deployments bore the headline “The US moving its military bases to Russian borders.”
Later in Romania “Mr. Biden…repeatedly referr[ed] to a central pledge of the NATO pact – that an attack on one member would be viewed as an attack on all members – as a reminder that the United States would not be idle if Russia threatened its neighbors.” 
While the American vice president was touring Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania last week and as NATO was holding its defense ministerial in Slovakia, the U.S. Senate held hearings on NATO expansion at which, inter alia, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, now chairing NATO’s committee on its new Strategic Concept, and former ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker and former NATO top military commander General John Craddock testified.
Senator and past presidential candidate John Kerry stated, “I hope we can…use this hearing to address the prospects for future NATO enlargement to include Balkan nations, Georgia, and Ukraine.” 
Earlier last week NATO Secretary General Rasmussen was paraphrased as saying the bloc “would consider staging military exercises in the Baltic Sea states to rebut concerns in the region about the newly reassertive Russia.” 
The heads of states of the three Baltic nations took him at his word.
At a conference in the capital of Latvia on October 24 new Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite demanded that “The three Baltic States must act together in requesting their Alliance partners…work out, as soon as possible and taking into account the new threats, NATO defense plans for the Baltics.”  She didn’t specify what the “new threats” are any more than did Biden and Rasmussen, but a cursory glance at a map of northeastern Europe would provide the answer.
She spoke for her allies President Valdis Zatlers of Latvia and President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia, a decades-long resident of the U.S., in stating “Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are full members of the Alliance and active security providers participating in NATO’s operation in Afghanistan and other missions. Therefore, we deserve to have security guarantees and concrete defense plans for our countries.” 
The quid pro quo, then, is this: By providing troops to the U.S. and NATO for the war in Afghanistan nations like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland receive in turn a commitment from Washington and Brussels to support them – including with the NATO Article 5 military assistance clause and the American nuclear arsenal – in any confrontations with Russia. A reciprocity that also increasingly exists with NATO partner states like Georgia and Ukraine, both of which were granted an unprecedented Annual National Program by NATO and a complementary Charter on Strategic Partnership with the U.S. in late 2008. In the case of Georgia, within months of its August 2008 war with Russia.
Lithuania’s Grybauskaite was even more urgent in her comments last Saturday, stating “We appeal for and demand security in the form of a NATO emergency plan for the Baltic region.” 
Even though NATO, including American, warplanes have flown ongoing patrols in the Baltic region, a three-minute flight from Russia’s second largest city, St. Petersburg, since 2004, and although the U.S. and its allies conducted the Baltic Eagle NATO Response Force multinational exercise in Latvia this past June, the 12-nation Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) war games in the same month, and the Loyal Arrow 2009 NATO military exercises in the Bothnian Bay in the Northern Baltic Sea, which included “the largest display of air power in the area’s history” , in yet the same month. (Among several other purposes, the Afghan war is being used to complete the NATO integration of formally neutral Finland and Sweden, both of which have hundreds of troops in the nation and have engaged in combat operations there.)
Estonian Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo recently said “that NATO has defence plans in the Baltics….One has to keep in mind that the plans exist on a variety of levels and formats.” 
The day before the conference in Latvia the USS Cole, target of a bomb attack in Yemen in 2000, arrived in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. USS Cole, an “Aegis-equipped guided missile destroyer, will stay in the Estonian capital until October 27,” it was reported. 
On the same day the U.S. guided missile destroyer USS Ramage docked in the Polish city of Gdynia on the Baltic Sea. A Polish official stated “that similar visits to Poland by ships from the United States, France or Denmark are rather frequent.” 
After the unannounced visit by the top U.S. and NATO military commander in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, at the NATO defense chiefs’ meeting in Slovakia last week, the Polish Defense Ministry announced that “Polish authorities plan to send 600 more soldiers to Afghanistan in spring 2010,” raising the nation’s total to 2,800. 
Troops abroad and bases and missiles at home. The NATO formula for new and candidate members.
As with the Baltics, so with the South Caucasus, all six nations in both locales providing troops for the Afghan war.
After the requests by NATO chief Rasmussen, Pentagon head Robert Gates and General McChrystal at the two-day NATO meeting in Slovakia last week “Azerbaijan gave an oral agreement to increase its military contingent. According to the agreement, NATO will assume the expenses of the personnel and material-technical provision.” 
Azerbaijan’s neighbor and adversary Armenia sent its defense minister to the NATO meeting and has for the first time offered troops for Afghanistan. Evidently the U.S. and NATO are making mutually exclusive promises to Azerbaijan and Armenia, at loggerheads over the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, in exchange for sending troops to the Afghan war zone.
Armenia, being one of seven members of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), seen by many as a fledgling counterpart to NATO in former Soviet space, is a more significant acquisition than Azerbaijan (and Georgia), already long in the NATO camp. In Slovakia last week “NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed the [Armenian] Defense Minister and expressed his intention to continue collaboration with Armenia on the Afghanistan issue.” 
From October 22-24 NATO held a conference in Istanbul, Turkey on Non-Traditional Security Threats and Regional Cooperation In the Southern Caucasus. “Experts from Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia” participated. 
On October 24 in the third South Caucasus nation, Georgia, U.S. Marines launched two-week training exercises ominously codenamed Immediate Response  to train the first of 700 local troops for the Afghan war. According to the American embassy in Tbilisi, “The program is specifically designed to enhance Georgia’s ability to conduct joint counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan together with U.S. forces.” 
In Bratislava last week NATO chief Rasmussen praised the Georgian deployment as “a very important signal” and “a positive step” towards NATO integration.  He also stated “that Georgia might become a member of the alliance without passing through a Membership Action Plan” , the traditional path to full membership. As a full member Georgia would be covered by the Alliance’s Article 5.
The past few days were as busy in Georgia as they were in Eastern Europe in the pursuit of U.S. geopolitical offensives.
The new American ambassador, John R. Bass, presented his credentials to President Mikheil Saakashvili on October 16, with his predecessor John Tefft deployed to Ukraine to protect America’s “orange” asset Viktor Yushchenko ahead of a presidential election in which the latter faces a crushing defeat in his reelection bid.
A Georgian website described Bass’s curriculum vitae:
“Bass has previously served as Chief of Staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, coordinating policy and operational planning for strategic arms reduction discussions with the Russian Federation between 2004-2005. As Talbott’s Special Assistant for Europe and Eurasia (1998-2000) Bass was a member of the U.S. negotiating team that brokered a settlement to the war in Kosovo on NATO’s terms and shaped the composition and command arrangements of the peacekeeping force in Kosovo.
“Bass has also worked widely on U.S. policies and initiatives to convince Russia to accept U.S. missile defence systems….” 
On October 22 new U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Tina Kaidanow, previously Washington’s first ambassador to Kosovo after its unilateral declaration of independence , paid a visit to the Georgian capital and “met with Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Giga Bokeria to discuss issues of the implementation of the U.S.-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership and bilateral relations….” 
During the same period a three-week ”Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield course [was] taught by three U.S. Marine instructors from Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center (NMITC),” which “was designed to help Georgian soldiers hone their intelligence gathering skills” as part of the NATO ISAF mission 
U.S Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow arrived in Georgia on October 19 for three days of talks with the country’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, and the nation’s defense and foreign ministers. At the time it was announced that “The formal purpose of Vershbow’s visit, according to Georgia’s foreign ministry, is ‘to hold a working meeting within the framework of the U.S.-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership.’” 
Vershbow, former ambassador to NATO and to Russia, who in the second capacity was noted for his confrontational and abrasive manner, stated “Georgia’s forward movement towards the NATO is very important for us and we are ready to develop a special program to achieve this goal.” 
During the visit Georgian Foreign Minister Alexander Nalbandov was asked about U.S. plans to expand its missile shield system and responded, “If the USA applies to us with this request, we will discuss this issue.”  It’s hard to believe that Vershbow didn’t at least broach the subject as on October 19 he said that the U.S. was considering including Ukraine in its missile shield grid.
While in Georgia he did pledge that Washington is committed to the “reform of the defense sphere [of Georgia] to bring it closer to NATO standards that will assist [Georgia's] NATO membership”  and added “We do have concerns about the lack of full compliance by Russia with some elements of the August 2008 cease-fire agreement.” 
A Russian member of parliament responded to Vershbow’s promise to modernize the Georgian army by saying “Georgia does not need defence at all, because they do not have to be defended from anyone. Nobody is going to attack Georgia and any preparation of a military character will be considered as campaign for attacks on Abkhazia and South Ossetia….” 
The upgrading of Georgia’s armed forces, its command structure and its battlefield techniques is already underway. The pretext under which this American and NATO transformation is being conducted is to prepare a comparatively small contingent of troops for the war in Afghanistan, but the objective of the program is much larger.
A STRATFOR report of October 9 included the observations that “In Georgia, Vershbow will be overseeing coordination of an expansion of U.S. training to the country’s troops. And unlike in the past, when such training was small-scale and mostly defensive in nature and mainly meant to train troops headed to Afghanistan and Iraq, this renewed focus will be greater in scope of personnel and resources and will likely include offensive training as well. In Ukraine, apart from the decision already announced of BMD [Ballistic Missile Defense] expansion into the country, it is rumored that the United States could encourage the resumption of weapons transfers into Georgia, a very sensitive issue given accusations by Moscow of such transfers during the August 2008 Russo-Georgian war.”
Ahead of the NATO defense ministers meeting last week Vershbow “insisted there was no contradiction between developing expeditionary forces and the continued engagement to defend NATO borders in Europe” and asserted that “At the end of the day we will provide protection for all of NATO Europe.” 
Far from NATO’s war in Afghanistan, its first land war and its first war in Asia, detracting from the agenda of surrounding Russia with troops, bases, military hardware and missiles, the two campaigns are inextricably connected.
1) The Times (London), October 9, 2009
2) Afghan War: NATO Builds History’s First Global Army
Stop NATO, August 9, 2009
3) Civil Georgia, August 21, 2009
4) Xinhua News Agency, October 27, 2009
5) Xinhua News Agency, October 22, 2009
6) Washington Times, October 22, 2009
7) Boston Globe, October 22, 2009
8) Bloomberg News, October 19, 2009
9) Baltic Course, October 26, 2009
11) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 24, 2009
13) Scandinavia And The Baltic Sea: NATO’s War Plans For The High North
Stop NATO, June 14, 2009
12) Baltic Business News, October 27, 2009
14) Russian Information Agency Novosti, October 25, 2009
15) Xinhua News Agency, October 26, 2009
16) Polish Radio, October 23, 2009
17) Azeri Press Agency, October 26, 2009
18) PanArmenian.net, October 25, 2009
19) PanArmenian.net, October 21, 2009
20) NATO War Games In Georgia: Threat Of New Caucasus War
Stop NATO, May 8, 2009
21) Civil Georgia, October 24, 2009
22) The Messenger, October 26, 2009
23) Rustavi2, October 22, 2009
24) The Messenger, October 19, 2009
25) Politicizing Ethnicity: U.S. Plan To Repeat Yugoslav Scenario In Caucasus
Could Cause World War
Stop NATO, August 14, 2009
26) Civil Georgia, October 22, 2009
27) United States European Command, October 21, 2009
28) Jamestown Foundation, October 20, 2009
29) Trend News Agency, October 20, 2009
30) Trend News Agency, October 19, 2009
31) The Messenger, October 21, 2009
32) Associated Press, October 20, 2009
33) Rustavi2, October 21, 2009
34) Xinhua News Agency, October 22, 2009
October 24, 2009
Bulgaria, Romania: U.S., NATO Bases For War In The East
“U.S. efforts in Romania and Bulgaria are part of a global redeployment strategy started in the early years of the Bush administration to shift U.S. forces out of Germany and move them eastward.”
“The number of US military men at the two bases is not going to be large, but who can say that it will not be doubled, tripped or quadrupled in the future? Furthermore, the appearance of NATO bases on the Black Sea coast will come as an addition to the US military [deployments] in the Baltic region. As a result, Russia will find itself trapped.”
“[T]he new land, sea and airbases along the Black Sea will provide much improved contingency access for deployments into Central Asia, parts of the Middle East and Southwest Asia.”
Last week was an eventful one in Eastern Europe.
The two top foreign policy veterans in the current U.S. administration, Vice President Joseph Biden and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, visited the capitals of Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia. Biden was in Warsaw, Prague and Bucharest to recruit all three nations into the new U.S.-led, NATO-wide interceptor missile system and to make arrangements for the deployment of American Patriot missiles and troops to Poland, the first foreign soldiers to be based in that nation since the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact eighteen years ago.
Gates was in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, for a two-day meeting of NATO and partner states’ defense chiefs which also focused on the establishment of a missile shield to encompass the entire European continent as well as the unparalleled escalation of the U.S.’s and NATO’s war in Afghanistan.
A few days earlier the U.S. armed forces publication Stars and Stripes announced that the Pentagon will spend an additional $110 million to upgrade two of the seven military bases in Bulgaria and Romania it acquired the use of in agreements signed in 2005 and 2006.
The report led to political fallout in the two host countries with Bulgarian and Romanian officials scrambling to qualify the news and pretend that somehow their own subservient governments would retain control over the expanded bases. Sofia and Bucharest have no more say in how the Pentagon and NATO have used and will intensify the use of air fields and other bases in their nations than they do in determining which war zones their nations’ troops are deployed to, which of late include Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The NATO defense chiefs meeting in Slovakia on October 22-23 endorsed the demands of the top American and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, for as many as 85,000 more U.S. troops to be added to the 68,000 American and 38,000 NATO and partner forces already in the South Asian war theater, and Poland immediately pledged 600 more troops with other Alliance states soon to follow. Combined U.S.-NATO troop strength in Afghanistan may reach 200,000.
Even during the peak of the American troop “surge” in Iraq at the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008 there was a total of 186,000 U.S. troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently there are an estimated 130,000 in Iraq and 68,000 in Afghanistan. In all 198,000. There were 34,000 American troops in Afghanistan on January 20th of this year when Barack Obama moved into the White House; there are twice that many now.
The figure of 85,000 additional American troops is what McChrystal reportedly termed his “low-risk” preference, with 40,000 the smallest and “higher risk” number bandied about in recent weeks.
The recently concluded NATO defense ministerial seems to have put to rest that false debate as well as another that has occupied the U.S. press corps in recent days, whether the dramatically expanding war in South Asia, Pakistan as well as Afghanistan, is to concentrate on “counterinsurgency” or “counterterrorism.” That is, whether the Pentagon and NATO will limit their military actions to hunting down alleged al-Qaeda survivors or wage full-scale warfare against all insurgent forces identified as Taliban on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border.
The second option of course would make the 85,000 figure not only likely but unavoidable.
McChrystal delivered a fifteen minute presentation at the NATO meeting and the Alliance’s secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said “What we did today was to discuss General McChrystal’s overall assessment, his overall approach, and I have noted a broad support from all ministers of this overall counterinsurgency approach.” 
The Los Angeles Times of October 24 wrote that “America’s NATO allies signaled broad support Friday for an ambitious counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, adding to the momentum building for a substantial U.S. troop increase.
“NATO defense ministers meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia, endorsed the strategy put forward by Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the U.S. and allied commander. The alliance rejected competing proposals to narrow the military mission to fighting the remnants of Al Qaeda.” 
Pentagon chief Robert Gates walked away from the two-day conference assured that “a number of allies…were thinking about increasing their own military or civilian contributions.” 
As though a war of such monumental proportions was not enough for self-styled 21st Century NATO to manage, its chief Rasmussen delivered an inventory of additional missions while addressing the bloc’s new Strategic Concept, including “nuclear matters,” “cyber defence,” “the difficult economic climate,” “the effects of disruption in energy supply” and “perhaps the most global of challenges – climate change.” 
But his main focus was on two related subjects, both with Russia as prime antagonist. On the first topic Rasmussen asserted:
“Energy security is [an] emerging challenge. Indeed, many countries…have already felt the effects of disruption in energy supply, and in the next few years, the competition for energy will only get more intense. This means that we need to think about how to protect our supply lines, our transit routes, and our critical infrastructure.”
His allusion was to collective NATO-U.S.-EU efforts to “lessen Europe’s energy dependency” on Russia and to continue developing alternative routes for Caspian Sea and Middle East oil to enter Europe by circumventing Russia (and Iran). What, if the situation were reversed, would be condemned in Western capitals as an energy war.
In mentioning “the meaning of Article 5,” Rasmussen affirmed that “NATO’s core task was, is, and will remain, the defence of our territory and our populations. For our Alliance to endure, all members must feel that they are safe and secure. NATO has never failed in this respect.”
There is only one nation on earth against whom NATO can “defend its territory”: Russia.
His comments concerning “the challenge of cyber-attacks – which, as we saw in Estonia two years ago, can seriously destabilise a country” made the point even more indisputable.
Rasmussen’s address, finally, rehashed the 1989 George H.W. Bush speech A Europe Whole and Free  with the pledge that “our new Strategic Concept must reaffirm a long-standing NATO objective: to help complete the consolidation of Europe as a continent that is whole, free and at peace. NATO’s open door policy will continue. It will continue because it contributes to Euro-Atlantic security, and it provides a strong incentive, for aspirants, to get their house in order.”
The small and diminishing handful of nations in Europe not already in NATO supplying troops and military equipment for the war in Afghanistan and the three countries in the South Caucasus – Armenia’s defense minister was at the NATO meeting to offer troops – are to be dragged into the Alliance, Russian apprehensions and objections notwithstanding.
What being fully integrated into NATO portends for the countries so affected and for their neighbors has been indicated and will be explored in greater depth later with the cases of Bulgaria and Romania.
What it has meant for three other nations recruited into the bloc in the same year, 2004, as Bulgaria and Romania – the former Soviet Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – was demonstrated earlier in the week when Rasmussen called for “a clear, visible NATO presence in the Baltic states” and said he “would not exclude military exercises in the future” to assert the Alliance’s “visible presence” in the Baltics on and near Russia’s borders. 
Recently U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon – formerly of the Brookings Institution, International Institute for Strategic Studies in London and German Society for Foreign Affairs in Bonn and who was “instrumental in developing and coordinating NATO policy in the run-up to the Alliance’s 50th Anniversary summit in Washington, D.C.”  – was in Estonia where he met with Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, who “called for Georgia, Ukraine, and Bosnia and Herzegovina to be included in NATO’s Membership Action Plan, a program of assistance to countries seeking to join NATO….” 
Nothing on this level of geopolitics – absorbing former Soviet republics and Russian neighbors like Georgia and Ukraine into a U.S.-controlled military bloc – is coincidental. The Estonian foreign minister’s statement was seconded with precise fidelity by Senator John Kerry shortly after his recent tour of inspection of the Afghan war front. Kerry said “[W]hile the world has changed, we are still dealing with some of the same geostrategic and ideological concerns that brought NATO into being in particular, a deep and durable commitment by like-minded democracies to cooperate closely and deter aggression with a promise to rise up in defense of any NATO member under attack.
“I hope we can…address the prospects for future NATO enlargement to include Balkan nations, Georgia, and Ukraine.” 
As was repeatedly stated at the NATO meeting in Slovakia, although the bloc is increasingly conducting military operations outside its area of responsibility in the Balkans, South Asia, Northeast and Central Africa and the entire perimeter of the Mediterranean Sea, its “core,” fundamental role remains what it has been for sixty years, confronting Russia.
Which is how Russia and its then president Vladimir Putin and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov reacted to the U.S. takeover of seven military bases in Bulgaria and Romania. In 2007 the first stated “[A] new base in Bulgaria, another in Romania, a site in Poland, radar in the Czech Republic. What are we supposed to do? We cannot just observe all this.” 
Shortly afterward the second, Lavrov, stated “Russia finds it hard to understand some decisions of NATO like, for example, the deployment of US military facilities in Bulgaria and Romania.” 
Regarding the recent disclosure that the Pentagon is going to allot $110 million to modernize and expand military bases in both countries – “a $50 million military base in Romania that could house 1,600 U.S. troops, and another $60 million facility for 2,500 troops in Bulgaria”  – no small sum in the impoverished nations, James Robbins, a senior fellow in national security affairs with the Washington-based American Foreign Policy Council think tank, said “the U.S. efforts in Romania and Bulgaria are part of a global redeployment strategy started in the early years of the Bush administration to shift U.S. forces out of Germany and move them eastward.” 
The same news source also reported that “the U.S. intends to deploy troops to Poland at some point in the near future,” according to the State Department’s undersecretary of state for arms control and international security Ellen Tauscher. 
Bulgaria’s investment in turning its military bases over to the Pentagon and NATO is a bad one, though. While the U.S. is to spend $60 million expanding one of its military bases, the country’s Defense Minister Nikolay Mladenov announced earlier this week that “Afghanistan is Bulgaria’s largest military mission, costing taxpayers about BGN 90 million (about USD 68.7 million) each year.”  A net loss of $8.7 million. More if Mladenov delivers on a recent promise to increase his nation’s troop contingent in Afghanistan.
The Bulgarian base that will soon house 2,000 U.S. troops is the Novo Selo Military Training Ground and will be upgraded “so that it could accommodate more rangers and be used for military exercises conducted by several countries, not just US and Bulgarian forces.” 
That is, it will be used for multinational NATO combat instruction for current wars, that in Afghanistan in particular, and for potential use elsewhere in the Broader Middle East, in the former Soviet Union and in Africa.
It will especially focus on the integration of expeditionary forces from nations arising from the ruins of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.
Earlier this month Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov escorted high-ranking U.S. military officers to the Novo Selo base and on the occasion stated “Bulgaria would continue its military cooperation with the USA, and that Serbia and Ukraine had also expressed interest in joint drills.” 
During a meeting of the Southeastern Europe Defense Ministerial (SEDM) on October 22 in Bulgaria Defense Minister Mladenov ”offered his counterparts from neighboring countries to use the joint Bulgarian-U.S. military training facilities in Novo Selo….The annual meeting was attended by the defense ministers of all countries which have the status of observers – Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia.”  Montenegro and Serbia were incorporated as full members of the SEDM during the meeting which was also attended by “representatives of NATO Allied Joint Force Command, Naples, and NATO Allied Joint Force Command, Brunssum, as well as the General Manager of NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency,” according to the NATO Partnership for Peace website. 
This year’s meeting of SEDM, which overlaps with other NATO transitional programs like the Adriatic Charter and the Partnership for Peace, also established a Multilateral Peace Force Southeastern Europe. The twelve previous full members of the SEDM are the United States, Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.
The nations Bulgarian officials listed as ones invited to be trained by the Pentagon’s Joint Task Force – East, about which more later, were mentioned again recently by U.S. Vice President Biden in Romania on October 22, as they were at the same time by Biden’s former Senate colleague John Kerry, in the latter case as future NATO members.
Biden stated in Bucharest, “As President Obama has said, there are no old members, there are no new members of NATO; there are just members. Under Article 5, an attack on one is an attack against all”  and “Our military serve together in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in the West Balkans zone….” 
A Romanian news source quoted the American vice president as also saying, “We share a desire that Romania’s neighbors including Moldova will continue along the path to democracy and…that they will be integrated into European institutions when they are ready. That’s why we have to sustain this bid to economically stabilize Moldova.” 
Moldova was the scene of a so-called Twitter Revolution in April of this year, one modeled after earlier “color” uprisings in Yugoslavia, Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan from 2000-2005, and now has a new government ready to merge with Romania, which would mean dragging the former Soviet republic into NATO.
It is that process Biden in bent on completing.
Moldova also has an unresolved, “frozen,” conflict with Transdniester where Russia deployed peacekeepers in 1992 after thousands were killed and injured in fighting between the two states. There are still 365 Russian troops in the republic and last week a Transdniester official requested more Russian forces in anticipation of increased tensions with Moldova’s new pro-NATO government.
Were Moldova to join NATO, either in its own right or as part of an expanded Romania, the Alliance would be in a de facto state of war with Transdniester, which is supported by Russia. Romania is a NATO member and if it intervened on behalf of Moldova against its neighbor could invoke NATO’s Article 5 against Transdniester – where, again, Russian troops are based.
Addressing his Romanian hosts on October 22, Biden said, “In Eastern Europe, there are countries still struggling to establish fully functioning democracies and vibrant market economies. You can help guide Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine along the path to stability and prosperity…There is much work to be done in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus.” 
The six nations he mentioned are exactly those targeted by the European Union’s Eastern Partnership program to be weaned from the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States and integrated into the EU and NATO.
Biden also touched on the main subject of his preceding visits to Poland and the Czech Republic: The European wing of the U.S.’s new global missile shield system.
His comments on that score at Bucharest University included:
“I really appreciate your government’s embrace of the new missile defense architecture we are bringing into Europe. It is a better architecture. It has the benefit of protecting you physically, as well as the United States.” 
He further touted a “new missile defense architecture” that “will protect all NATO allies, including all central European NATO members” and would provide “stronger, smarter and swifter defenses.”  (Central Europe is the term now used in the West for most of the area referred to as Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The new designation is political and not geographical.)
That Biden laid such particular stress on this topic in Romania indicates that the U.S. has plans to extend its interceptor missile system into the Black Sea region.
The day after the American vice president left Romania a U.S. military official spoke of the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base – where the $50 million investment is to occur and which has been used for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – near the port city of Constanta on the Black Sea and said that it “will become a permanent facility in the spring and be jointly used with Romanian forces.” 
The progressively more aggressive U.S. and NATO military penetration of the Black Sea region has been examined in previous articles in this series . A Russian report of October 23 included this background information:
“Over 4,000 US military men are expected to serve at the two bases: 1,600 in Romania and 2,500 in Bulgaria. The authorities of the two nations expect that the US military men will settle there for a long time.
“It goes along with the Pentagon’s intention to cut its 55,000-strong group in Germany and redeploy a part of the troops in several countries of Eastern Europe, including Bulgaria and Romania.”
The same source quoted a Russian analyst:
“The number of US military men at the two bases is not going to be large, but who can say that it will not be doubled, tripped or quadrupled in the future? Furthermore, the appearance of NATO bases on the Black Sea coast will come as an addition to the US military [deployments] in the Baltic region. As a result, Russia will find itself trapped.” 
The relocation of American combat and expeditionary forces from Germany and Italy to Romania and Bulgaria has been underway for the past two years.
In June of 2007 a Bulgarian news agency revealed that “The Bezmer military airport…will be transformed into one of the six new strategic airbases outside US borders.” 
Slightly afterwards another Bulgarian source announced that “NATO will move aircraft from the US air base in Aviano, northeastern Italy, to Bulgaria’s Graf Ignatievo air base….” 
A year before a third news site in the nation detailed that “[T]he new land, sea and airbases along the Black Sea will provide much improved contingency access for deployments into Central Asia, parts of the Middle East and Southwest Asia.” 
Beginning in 2007 the Pentagon’s new Joint Task Force – East (JTF-East), during its formative stage known as the Eastern Europe Task Force, started operating in Bulgaria and Romania and last year established its headquarters at the Mihail Kogalniceanu base in Romania.
Its main purpose is to conduct joint combat training with U.S., Bulgarian and Romanian troops for the war in Afghanistan and for others in the future.
JTF-East has just completed an almost three-month-long series of trainings in Bulgaria and Romania which began on August 7 and ended on October 24. It has two heavy brigade combat teams and the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment assigned to it and may acquire the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team currently based in Vicenza, Italy.
The Stryker is the Pentagon’s state-of-the-art 21st Century armored combat vehicle, first tried out in Iraq in 2003 and introduced in Afghanistan earlier this year. Bulgaria and Romania are its testing grounds.
The two Black Sea nations, in hosting the Joint Task Force – East and the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, are the preeminent “forward operating bases” for the war in South Asia and are poised to play a similar role in conflicts that may erupt in the Black Sea area, the Caucasus and the Persian Gulf.
It was reported that as part of the August-October joint military exercises “Soldiers of the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment based in Vilseck, Germany, have been training for the past three months in Romania and Bulgaria as part of their preparations for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan this spring.
“U.S. Soldiers offloaded 30 Stryker combat vehicles in early August at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Airfield in eastern Romania and have since been conducting combined training with their host-nation counterparts.
“Soldiers from the 2nd SCR have been rotating every three weeks to Romania and Bulgaria since the second week of August and will continue through the end of October.” 
At the aforementioned Novo Selo Training Area in Bulgaria, “Bulgarian Land Forces and U.S. Army troops demonstrated their interoperability and combat skills Oct. 8 during distinguished visitors’ day here. The training exhibition consisted of both militaries engaging an enemy where the coalition neutralized the opposing force.
“Units of both countries deployed…to enhance their troops’ individual combat skills and improve their coalition cooperation.
“Joint Task Force-East, a combined partnership effort of leaders, special staff and logistics support, facilitates select units rotating through training cycles. The JTF-E exercises consist of tactical field and simulation training including, but not limited to: squad- to company-level size attacks; assault rifle, mortar and rocket-propelled grenade live fire; Stryker and BMP-1 armored infantry carrier vehicle movements and combat lifesaver training.” 
An American newspaper account of one of the joint exercises added, “Soldiers from all three countries trained together in individual and company-level movements as well as with armored vehicles, a variety of weapons and combat lifesaving skills. They also practiced the coordination needed to go into and clear a hostile urban area.” 
A Bulgarian news story mentioned: “The joint Bulgaria-US military exercise at the Novo Selo ground is part of a three-week long practice to include reconnaissance and target shooting.
“Bulgarian and US soldiers on Thursday conducted a joint drill of fighting the enemy in an urban setting at the Novo Selo training ground.
“[The] drill involved combat tactics used in Afghanistan.” 
A Bulgarian news site reported in early October that “High ranking officers from both armies are taking part Thursday [October 8] in the Novo Selo VIP Day and are observing tactical demonstrations of the US and Bulgarian land forces, Black Hawk helicopters, Stryker armored vehicles and Bulgarian armored equipment.” 
On the day of Joseph Biden’s stay in the country Romania announced that it had signed an Access Agreement with the Pentagon: “According to a release of the Ministry of National Defense, under this Agreement Romania gives U.S. forces access for use of the facilities approved under Law 268/2006, Annex A, often referred to in foreign and Romanian media as ‘American military bases,’ and not as ‘facilities made available to U.S. forces.’”
Attending the discussions on the agreement “on behalf of the United States were representatives of U.S. European Command (USEUCOM), the U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) Major Command, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAF) and the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest….” 
On the same day an international conference on NATO and the New Strategic Concept was held in the Romanian capital. A report of the event stated “Romania wishes the reaffirmation of Article 5 from the North-Atlantic Pact. Another field in which the Romanian side seems to be interested in is energy security.”
One of the hosts of the event said, “Romania is one of the [active] states of the energy security component. For the time being NATO has accepted it and introduced in its final documents specific operations directed to the protection of critical infrastructure on land and water. Currently, some formulas are being planned including other elements of energy security strategy NATO should assume.” 
While meeting with Biden the day before, Romania’s President Traian Basescu sounded the same note: “The liquid gas terminal in Constanta is still a common project of Romania and the US, as is the Constanta-Trieste oil pipeline.” 
On the eastern end of the Black Sea, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow – former American ambassador to NATO and to Russia – was in Georgia earlier this week to discuss “modernization of defense systems, participation of the Georgian military contingent in Afghan peace operations, security in the region and other urgent issues.” 
While in the nation Vershbow stated “Georgia’s forward movement towards NATO is very important for us and we are ready to develop a special program to achieve this goal.” 
Frequent comments of a similar tenor by the Pentagon official led a Russian new source to recount that “He said the US administration is helping Georgia to build armed forces that would meet the requirements of the day and would be capable of cooperating with NATO.
“Washington has been doing its utmost to this effect. Hundreds of US experts, including marines, are currently in Georgia training Georgian soldiers who are to join the US-led contingent in Afghanistan on President Saakashvili’s orders. A total of 700 Georgian servicemen are expected to be moved to Afghanistan by early next year at a time when coalition losses grow by the day….It looks like President Saakashvili is prepared to go any lengths, up to sacrificing young lives, to please Washington and get into NATO.” 
Four days after Vershbow’s departure, on October 24 U.S. Marines in Georgia kicked off a two-week joint military exercise, the latest one to be code-named Immediate Response, which the American embassy in Tbilisi described as “specifically designed to enhance Georgia’s ability to conduct joint counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan together with US forces.”
Immediate Response 2008, which included the largest-ever deployment of U.S. armed forces to Georgia, concluded on September 4, three days before the U.S.-trained Georgian army bombarded and invaded South Ossetia, triggering a war with Russia. Many of the U.S. troops and much of their military equipment stayed behind after the war games.
The current Immediate Response drills are providing Washington’s proxy army with training for aggression against South Ossetia and Abkhazia – and another armed conflict with Russia – as well as for war in Afghanistan.
The true war theater begins in the Balkans and the Black Sea region and stretches along the Russian to the Chinese border. Bulgaria and Romania are key links in that chain.
1) New York Times, October 23, 2009
2) Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2009
4) NATO, October 22, 2009
6) Bloomberg News, October 19, 2009
7) U.S. State Department, March 16, 2009
8) Interfax, October 17, 2009
9) Boston Globe, October 22, 2009
10) New Europe [Belgium], Week of June 2, 2007
11) Standart News, December 7, 2007
12) Stars and Stripes, October 17, 2009
15) Focus News Agency, October 19, 2009
16) Sofia News Agency, October 8, 2009
17) Sofia News Agency, October 8, 2009
18) Xinhua News Agency, October 22, 2009
19) Partnership for Peace Information Management System, October 23, 2009
20) U.S. Department of Defense, October 22, 2009
21) Financiarul, October 23, 2009
22) Nine O’Clock News, October 23, 2009
23) Deutsche Welle, October 22, 2009
24) Nine O’Clock News, October 23, 2009
25) Deutsche Welle, October 22, 2009
26) Associated Press, October 23, 2009
27) Black Sea: Pentagon’s Gateway To Three Continents And The Middle East
Stop NATO, February 21, 2009
Black Sea Crisis Deepens As Threat To Iran Grows
Stop NATO, September 16, 2009
Black Sea, Caucasus: U.S. Moves Missile Shield South And East
Stop NATO, September 19, 2009
28) Pravda, October 23, 2009
29) Standart News, June 6, 2007
30) Sofia News Agency, October 6, 2007
31) Sofia Echo, November 17, 2006
32) United States European Command, October 22, 2009
33) United States European Command, October 13, 2009
34) Battle Creek Enquirer, October 22, 2009
35) Sofia News Agency, September 17, 2009
36) Sofia News Agency, October 8, 2009
37) Financiarul, October 24, 2009
38) Financiarul, October 24, 2009
39) Nine O’Clock News, October 23, 2009
40) Trend News Agency, October 19, 2009
41) Trend News Agency, October 20, 2009
42) Voice of Russia, October 16, 2009
October 22, 2009
AFRICOM Year Two: Seizing The Helm Of The Entire World
“The developments come as the White House seeks grounds to establish a major military presence in Africa….[A]nalysts caution that similar pretexts were used to justify the US invasion of Afghanistan, the missile attacks in Pakistan, and its waning military operations in Iraq, where the civilian population continues to bear the brunt of the US intervention.”
“AFRICOM facilitates the United States advancing on the African continent, taking control of the Eurasian continent and proceeding to take the helm of the entire globe.”
October 1st marked the first anniversary of the activation of the first U.S. overseas military command in a quarter of a century, Africa Command (AFRICOM).
AFRICOM was established as a temporary command under the wing of U.S. European Command (EUCOM) a year earlier and launched as an independent entity on October 1, 2008.
Its creation signalled several important milestones in plans by the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies to expand into all corners of the earth and to achieve military, political and economic hegemony in the Southern as well as the Northern Hemisphere.
AFRICOM is the first American regional military command established outside of North America in the post-Cold War era. (The Pentagon set up Northern Command, NORTHCOM, in 2002 after the September 11, 2001 attacks to take in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.)
Its area of responsibility includes more nations – 52 – than any other U.S. military command. By way of comparison, EUCOM includes 51 nations, among which are 19 new nations emerging from the breakup of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia and the reunification of Germany.
The Pacific Command (PACOM) incorporates 36 countries in its theater of operations, down four since the creation of AFRICOM.
Central Command (CENTCOM) currently includes 20 nations in what the U.S. has referred to as the Greater Middle East.
Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) covers 32 states, 19 in Central and South America and 13 in the Caribbean, of which 14 are U.S. and European territories.
AFRICOM is also the only new U.S. regional military command absorbing nations formerly in other commands; in fact in all other commands outside the Western Hemisphere.
EUCOM ceded 42 nations (excluding Western Sahara, a member of the African Union whose recognition has been virulently opposed by the West since Morocco invaded it in 1975) to AFRICOM.
The Horn of Africa region (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia) and Kenya, Seychelles and Sudan were transferred from CENTCOM to AFRICOM, with the former picking up Lebanon and Syria from EUCOM in return. Egypt is the sole African nation still in CENTCOM. The Pentagon’s Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, which includes Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Yemen, the last on the Arabian Peninsula, was also transferred from CENTCOM to AFRICOM. The U.S. has an estimated 2,000 troops stationed in Djibouti at Camp Lemonier which hosts the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa.
PACOM lost the Indian Ocean island nations of the Comoros, Madagascar and Mauritius (Seychelles was transferred from PACOM to CENTCOM in 1996) to Africa Command.
Africa is, lastly, the first new continent targeted by the Pentagon for a comprehensive military structure, as the U.S. created comparable commands in Asia, Europe and Latin America after World War II and during the Cold War and had fought wars in all three areas by 1918. With the exception of the bombing of Libya in 1986 and military operations in Somalia in the early 1990s and by proxy since 2006, Africa has to date escaped direct American military intervention. And until the acquisition of Camp Lemonier in Djibouti in early 2001, before September 11, there was no permanent U.S. military installation on the continent.
The beginning of AFRICOM’s second year has witnessed major military exercises on the western and eastern ends of the continent.
On September 29 AFRICOM led the militaries of 30 African nations in the ten-day Africa Endeavor 2009 maneuvers in Gabon off the coast of the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea. “The U.S. military has begun an exercise in the African nation of Gabon…to improve command and control between forces for possible peacekeeping or anti-terrorism missions.
“Africom…is sponsoring the exercise and much of the instruction is done by U.S. military personnel based in Europe and the United States.” 
Coordinated with the command out of which AFRICOM arose, “The AFRICOM exercise comes on the heels of a similar U.S. European Command-sponsored operation – Combined Endeavor – that tested the communication compatibility of the U.S. and its European allies.” 
The Gabon-based exercise reprised the previous year’s Africa Endeavor which was run by European Command before AFRICOM’s formal activation and which included “21 African nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Sweden and the United States.
“Nations and organizations who participated…were Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Uganda, the United States and Zambia….” 
The Pentagon participated with personnel from “U.S. Marine Forces Europe (MARFOREUR); U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Public Affairs; First Combat Communications Squadron, Ramstein Air Force Base; 8th Communications Battalion, Camp Lejeune; Marine Headquarters History, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa; U.S. European Command (EUCOM); U.S. African Command (AFRICOM); and the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC).” 
This year’s maneuvers effected the formal transfer of Africa from European Command to the new Africa Command.
From October 16-25 the U.S. is heading a multinational military exercise, Natural Fire 10, in Uganda in which “More than 1,000 American and East African troops are…deployed…as the United States carries out its biggest military exercise in Africa this year.” 
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi are to provide troops to join 450 U.S. military personnel in drills which “involve live fire in the field as well as convoy operations, crowd control and vehicle checkpoints….” 
An African newspaper account of the exercises suggests ulterior motives: “[T]he decision to site the exercise in northern Uganda raises questions about whether it may presage a renewed US-supported assault against the Lord’s Resistance Army,” which has waged an armed rebellion against the Ugandan government since 1987.
The same source continued with these observations:
“The exercise in northern Uganda is scheduled to begin one week after the conclusion of another US-led military exercise in Gabon.
“Nearly 30 African nations – including Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda – took part in that communications-focused initiative led by the US Africa Command….Together, these exercises are cited by Africom’s critics as further indications of what they describe as the growing militarisation of the US presence in Africa.
“Situating the exercise in Uganda reflects the close military relationship that the United States has developed with that East African country….
“Worries persist in Africa that the Pentagon intends to station large numbers of US troops on the continent, despite denials by Africom’s leaders that such a move is being planned.
“The United States already maintains about 2,000 troops at a base in Djibouti. This Joint Task Force/Horn of Africa detachment is the source of some of the US soldiers, sailors and Marines who will participate in Natural Fire 10.” 
Two days after the above was published a Ugandan newspaper announced that “Hundreds of Rwandan and Burundi troops have arrived in the country for joint military training exercises geared towards the formation of the first Joint East African Military Force.
“The training, which will also have troops from Kenya and Tanzania with experts from the US, will be conducted in Kitgum….Last week, the UPDF [Uganda Peoples Defence Force] said it supports the formation of a joint regional army, believing this will handle conflicts in the region.
“The proposal was mooted during a meeting of delegates from the five member countries in Kampala early this month.” 
The Pentagon is setting up a new African regional military force.
On October 20 a Rwandan news source revealed that “The visiting US commander of US Army Africa, Maj. Gen. William B. Garrett III, has stressed that the US army is interested in strengthening its cooperation with the Rwandan Defence Force (RDF).”
Garrett was quoted as saying “We are hoping to improve the relationship between Rwandan Defence Forces and the US army – this involves increase in interaction between our forces….Likewise, we hope that the Rwandan Defence Forces can also participate in our exercises. So we are hoping to increase the level of cooperation between the US and the Rwandan Defense forces.” 
The U.S. and its allies previously deployed Rwandan troops they trained and armed to Darfur and Somalia.
In northwest Africa, on October 20 the U.S. ambassador to Mali presented the latest tranche of “more than $5 million in new vehicles and other equipment” to the armed forces of his host country. 
Two years earlier the Pentagon led a multinational military exercise, Operation Flintlock 2007, in the capital of Mali with troops from thirteen African and European nations.
In the prototype exercise, Flintlock 2005, the U.S. deployed over 1,000 Special Operations troops, Green Berets, for joint military maneuvers with counterparts from Senegal, Niger, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Algeria and Tunisia.
Flintlock 2005 was employed to launch Washington’s Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative with Algeria, Burkina Faso, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal. An American news report of the exercise bore the title “U.S. Said Eying Sahara For New War Front.” 
An official with the U.S. Special Operations Command Europe said at the time, “This is just the start of decades worth of work in Africa,”  a sentiment echoed by an American armed forces publication which wrote “If military planners have their way, U.S. troops are going to be deploying to Africa for years or maybe decades.” 
Within days of the completion of the 2007 exercise in Mali a U.S. military cargo plane, “flying food to Malian troops fighting rebels in the far north of the country,” was hit by gunfire. The plane had remained in the nation after Flintlock 2007.
“Malian troops had become surrounded at their base in the Tin-Zaouatene region near the Algerian border by armed fighters and couldn’t get supplies….[T]he Mali government asked the U.S. forces to perform the airdrops….” 
The fighters in question were ethnic Tuaregs.
Tuaregs in Mali and Niger, “whose armies have received U.S. counter-insurgency training,” have “taken up arms…driven by resentment over unresolved grievances and against what they see as interference in their territories by government armies and foreign companies.” 
What is in fact the reason for the heightened American military role in Mali and Niger rather than the Pentagon’s by now standard claim – alleged al-Qaeda threats – was mentioned in a Reuters dispatch of last year.
“The stakes are rising. We’ve got companies, beyond gold exploration [Mali is Africa's third largest gold producer], wanting to explore for oil in northern Mali.
“There has been significant interest by investors wanting to explore for oil in Timbuktu (and other northern towns)….If oil is eventually discovered, that could of course play a role.” 
The report from which the above is quoted also said: “Tuareg tribesmen in neighbouring Niger…launched a fresh rebellion early last year, demanding greater autonomy and a bigger slice of revenues from French-operated uranium mines in their traditional fiefdom around the northern town of Agadez.” 
Last year the Red Cross reported that 1,000 Tuareg civilians fled into neighboring Burkina Faso to escape a U.S.-supported Malian government offensive.
AFRICOM’s mission in the region, as with much of the rest of Africa, is to wage counterinsurgency campaigns to secure vital resources including gold, precious stones, oil, natural gas and uranium.
The infamous Niger “yellow cake” forgeries played a decisive role in U.S. propaganda leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Off the eastern coast of Africa “The US has supplied the Seychelles with drone spy planes….Seychelles officials say the planes will be used for surveillance, but did not say how many aircraft the US would be handing over….The move comes a day after the US gave equipment to Mali to fight insurgents.” 
A Middle Eastern website put together several components of AFRICOM’s plans in rendering this analysis:
“The United States is taking its military venture in Africa to new levels amid suspicions that Washington could be advancing yet another hidden agenda. American operatives are expected to fly pilotless surveillance aircraft over [Seychelles] territory from US ships off its coast….Washington has also started to equip Mali with USD 4.5 million worth of military vehicles and communications equipment, in what is reported to be an increasing US involvement in Africa.
“The developments come as the White House seeks grounds to establish a major military presence in Africa….[A]nalysts caution that similar pretexts were used to justify the US invasion of Afghanistan, the missile attacks in Pakistan, and its waning military operations in Iraq, where the civilian population continues to bear the brunt of the US intervention.” 
The same news site reported two days earlier that a U.S. spy drone had been shot down over the southern Somali port of Kismayu. “Kismayu residents routinely report suspected US drones flying over the port. The drones are believed to be launched from warships in the Indian Ocean.” 
It was also reported in a feature titled “US to make Blackwater-style entry into Somalia” that “The grounds have reportedly been established for armed American presence on Somali soil with a US security firm [Michigan-based CSS Global Inc.] winning a contract in the war-ravaged country.” 
The development was characterised as follows: “Washington has been [increasingly] deputizing the companies, which are notorious for misusing their State Department-issued gun licenses as excuses for trigger-ready atrocities. The move has been denounced as an effort at putting a non-military face on the US pursuits in the respective countries.” 
Though not part of AFRICOM’s area of responsibility, the African nation of Egypt recently hosted the latest Bright Star war games.
The Pentagon’s website described aspects of this year’s Bright Star, “U.S. Central Command’s longest-running exercise”:
“U.S. Marines and sailors were part of a four-nation coalition that stormed the beaches…during a major amphibious assault demonstration Oct. 12.
“The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit and the Navy’s Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, as well as the Egyptian army and navy and Pakistani and Kuwaiti marines, took part in the assault as part of Exercise Bright Star 2009, which began Oct. 10 and ends Oct. 20.
“As part of the simulation, Egyptian special operations forces conducted beach reconnaissance prior to the assault. U.S. Marines followed with four AV-88 Harriers. Then amphibious assault vehicles, Humvees and landing craft came ashore….Troops from the various nations, along with 30 vehicles including aircraft, landing craft, amphibious assault vehicles and amphibious tracked vehicles, participated. 
Another American source added: “The coalition of military forces participating in the exercises also includes France, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
“During the past week, Fort Bragg soldiers made parachute jumps with Egyptian, German, Kuwaiti and Pakistani soldiers.” 
AFRICOM was nurtured by U.S. European Command since then U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in 2002 proposed the creation of a NATO Response Force (NRF), which was approved by NATO defense chiefs in Brussels in June 2003 and was inaugurated in October 2003. In 2006 Rumsfeld followed up on that initiative by forming a planning team to establish a new Unified Command for the African continent.
The top military commander of EUCOM is simultaneously NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and the two generals holding those joint positions during preparations for forming and activating AFRICOM were Marine General James Jones (2003-2006) and Army General Bantz John Craddock (2006-June, 2009). The first is now National Security Advisor to the U.S. president.
“[T]he newly formed NRF [NATO Response Force] carried out its first exercise code named STEADFAST JAGUAR in Cape Verde…in West Africa from 14-28 June 2006.” 
“The islanders of Cape Verde are slowly getting used to German armored vehicles and Spanish helicopters descending on their sun-drenched beaches as U.S. fighter F-16 jets roar overhead.
“7,800 troops involved in the maneuvers, the alliance’s first major presence on African soil.” 
Reuters reported at the time that “The NATO Steadfast Jaguar exercises are the final test of a 25,000-strong rapid-reaction force due to be ready from October to dive into troublespots around the world and deal with everything from natural disasters to terrorist attacks.”
And it quoted U.S. Lieutenant-Colonel Matt Chestnutt, “whose unit of F-16 fighters was deployed in the 1991 Gulf War and later conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo,” as saying “Africa was a great choice. It is possible the NATO Response Force could come here one day.” 
Agence France-Presse was no less effusive in its account of the unprecedented war games, dubbing its report “Military Brass Hail ‘the New NATO’ at Cape Verde War”: “Troops, fighter planes and warships descended on the West African archipelago of Cape Verde as NATO continued major war games this week to test its global rapid-response force.
“Leading politicians and military top brass from the western alliance’s member countries hailed the maneuvers — NATO’s first on African soil — underway on the archipelago’s northern island of Sao Vicente.” 
Two months before NATO held a warm-up naval exercise, Brilliant Mariner 2006, ranging from the Netherlands to Norway and consisting of “sixty four ships from eighteen countries…conducting joint warfare inter-operability training in a multi-threat environment,” which was “the final preparation phase before the land, air and maritime components of the NATO Response Force come together in June for the capability demonstration exercise Steadfast Jaguar 2006 in Cape Verde, off the west coast of Africa.” 
A month before the NATO global strike force pilot exercise in Cape Verde, Portuguese Foreign Minister Diogo Freitas do Amaral said “the West African archipelago is interested in joining both NATO and the European Union. 
The test run for the NATO Rapid Response Force was also conducted off the African mainland. In 2005 the Alliance held the 16-nation Noble Javelin 2005 air force, army and naval exercises in Spain’s Canary Islands off the coasts of Morocco and Western Sahara.
U.S. warships returned to Cape Verde the following year and an American commander said of the event that “These are the types of efforts that are contributing to the CNO’s [Chief of Naval Operations] ‘1000-ship Navy’ initiative.”  On Washington’s 1,000-ship Navy, see Proliferation Security Initiative And U.S. 1,000-Ship Navy: Control Of World’s Oceans, Prelude To War. 
Also in 2007 it was reported that the “USS Fort McHenry will begin a roughly six-month deployment to Western Africa as the Navy tries a new concept it has dubbed the Global Fleet Station program.” 
The Global Fleet Station (GFS) program was elaborated in 2007 in a U.S. combined maritime services release, “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.”
In June of that year Admiral Harry Ulrich, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, spoke at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, D.C. and said “The Global Fleet Station concept is ‘closely aligned’ with the task to be provided by the still-developing U.S. Africa Command.” 
Africa, then, is a testing ground for NATO’s Rapid Response Force and the U.S.’s 1,000-ship Navy and Global Fleet Station projects.
Later in 2007, even before AFRICOM was formally announced, Defense News reported that the Pentagon had already decided to divide the continent into five regions: North, south, central, east and west.
“One team will have responsibility for a northern strip from Mauritania to Libya; another will operate in a block of east African nations – Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Madagascar and Tanzania; and a third will carry out activities in a large southern block that includes South Africa, Zimbabwe and Angola….A fourth team would concentrate on a group of central African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and Congo [Brazzaville]; the fifth regional team would focus on a western block that would cover Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Niger and Western Sahara….” 
Before the official inauguration of AFRICOM, analysts around the world sounded the alarm that beneath the innocuous-sounding claims by Washington that it was solely interested in becoming a “security partner” to African nations lurked something more geostrategically significant. And more sinister.
The following are from Nigerian, Algerian and Chinese sources, respectively.
“From the current data on production capacities and proven oil reserves, only two regions appear to exist where, in addition to the Middle East, oil production will grow and where a strategy of diversification may easily work: The Caspian Sea and the Gulf of Guinea.
“The Caspian Sea came into the limelight after the demise of the Soviet Union, and the US has since entered the region and built up a strong military presence on both sides of the lake.
“Some of the problems linked to Caspian oil give the Gulf of Guinea a competitive edge.
“Much of its oil is conveniently located off shore.
“[T]he region enjoys several advantages, including its strategic location just opposite the refineries of the US east coast. It is ahead of all other regions in proven deep water oil reserves, which will lead to significant savings in security provisions. And it requires a drilling technology easily available from the Gulf of Mexico.” 
“A major focus of AFRICOM will be the Gulf of Guinea, with its enormous oil reserves in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola and the Congo Republic….The U.S. is already pouring $500 million into its Trans-Sahel Counterterrorism Initiative that embraces Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria in North Africa, and nations boarding the Sahara including Mauritania, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Chad and Senegal.” 
“By building a dozen forefront bases or establishments in Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and other African nations, the U.S. will gradually establish a network of military bases to cover the entire continent and make essential preparations for docking an aircraft carrier fleet in the region.
“The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with the U.S. at the head…carried out a large-scale military exercise in Cape Verde, a western African island nation, with the sole purpose for control of the sea and air corridor of crude oil extracting zones and to monitor the situation with oil pipelines operating there.
“[The US] is also seeking to set up small military facilities in Senegal, Ghana and Mali, so as to facilitate its interference in the oil-rich African nations….[T]he African Command represents a vital, crucial link for the US adjustment of its global military deployment.
“At present, it moves the gravity of its forces in Europe eastward and opens new bases in East Europe.
“Africa is flanked by Eurasia, with its northern part located at the juncture of the Asian, European and African continents. The present US global military redeployment centers mainly on an ‘arc of instability’ from the Caucasus, Central and Southern Asia down to the Korean Peninsula….
“AFRICOM facilitates the United States advancing on the African continent, taking control of the Eurasian continent and proceeding to take the helm of the entire globe.” 
The third set of observations is from a director of the Chinese Army’s Academy of Military Sciences. That is, from an authority expected to be familiar with world geopolitical dynamics and trends.
He situates America’s military drive into Africa, all of Africa, within an integrated global context, as does the Nigerian commentary that preceded his analysis once removed.
The campaign to subjugate an entire continent with its more than one billion inhabitants to Western military and economic demands is an integral and milestone component of broader designs around the world. Starting with the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a whole after the breakup of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union in 1991, the U.S. and its NATO allies have relentlessly pursued plans to penetrate and dominate the former Eastern bloc, former Soviet space, the Broader Middle East, the Arctic Circle and Greater Antarctica and to reclaim and solidify control of Latin America and Oceania.
AFRICOM and complementary NATO initiatives are an exponential advancement of the campaign by the West to reassert and expand global supremacy by targeting a continent at the crossroads of north and south, west and east, and the industrial and the developing worlds. As an earlier citation mentioned, it is also the meeting place of three continents and the Middle East with coasts on two of the world’s oceans and three of its seas.
1) Associated Press, September 30, 2009
2) Stars and Stripes, October 4, 2009
3) United States European Command, July 29, 2008
4) United States European Command, July 16, 2008
5) The East African, October 12, 2009
8) The Monitor, October 14, 2009
9) The New Times, October 20, 2009
10) Associated Press, October 21, 2009
11) United Press International, December 28, 2005
12) Stars And Stripes, May 15, 2005
13) Stars And Stripes, July 17, 2005
14) Stars and Stripes, September 18, 2007
15) Reuters, May 23, 2008
16) Reuters, June 6, 2008
18) BBC News, October 21, 2009
19) Press TV, October 21, 2009
20) Press TV, October 19, 2009
21) Press TV, October 16, 2009
23) U.S. Department of Defense, American Forces Press Service, October 14, 2009
24) Fayetteville Observer, October 4, 2009
25) Leadership (Nigeria), November 22, 2007
26) Reuters, June 29, 2006
28) Agence France-Presse, June 23, 2006
29) NATO, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, April 5, 2006
30) Reuters, May 19, 2006
31) Navy NewsStand, April 11, 2007
32) Stop NATO, January 29, 2009
33) Stars and Stripes, June 14, 2007
35) Defense News, September 20, 2007
36) Abba Mahmood, Country, Gulf of Guinea And Africom
Leadership, November 22, 2007
37) U.S. embassies turned into command posts in North Africa
Ech Chorouk, October 17, 2007
38) Lin Zhiyuan, deputy office director of the People’s Liberation Army
Academy of Military Sciences, U.S. moves to step up military
infiltration in Africa
People’s Daily, February 26, 2007
October 16, 2009
U.S. Expands Asian NATO Against China, Russia
On October 12 the United States and India launched an eighteen-day military exercise codenamed Yudh Abhyas (war study) in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Described as “one of their largest-ever ground combat joint exercises,” , the war games “involve the Indian Army Motorized Infantry Battalion and the 2nd Squadron of 14 CAV of 25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, comprising some 320 U.S. servicemen.” 
The deployment of Stryker armored combat vehicles for the drills marks the first time they have been used overseas since being introduced in Iraq in 2003 and sent to Afghanistan earlier this year. A week before the exercise began the Pentagon reported that “The Army plans to deploy 17 of its Stryker combat vehicles this month to India for the first exercise of its kind in the country.
“This is also the largest deployment of the Strykers outside of those sent to Iraq and Afghanistan.” 
Far from being an isolated case, the joint U.S-Indian operation is emblematic of unprecedented military cooperation between the two nuclear nations over the past few years, in fact a strategic military partnership whose major purposes are to supplant Russia as India’s decades-long main defense ally and arms supplier and to consolidate a U.S.-led military bloc in the Asia-Pacific region aimed at containing China and furthering the encirclement of both that nation and Russia.
A U.S. Defense Department release on the currently ongoing exercise in question mentioned that “more than two years in the planning, [it] comes as the Defense Department continues to reach out to India to increase its military collaboration. Pacific Command’s top officer, Navy Admiral Timothy Keating, last month traveled to India and said officials there have committed to increasing their military relationship with the United States.” 
While the drills immediately address more modest goals – ostensibly practicing counterinsurgency and anti-terrorist techniques – “Hundreds of soldiers using heavy transport aircraft and battle tanks are participating in the biggest-ever war games between the two countries which were on the opposing side of the Cold War but now seek to build strategic and military ties.
“With an ally in India, Washington also seeks to keep an eye on the Chinese army’s growing military mobility and strength in the area.” 
In addition, an Indian press source reported that “Mid-way through Yudh Abhyas, yet another exercise named Cope India-09 between the air forces of the two countries will begin at Agra Oct 19.” 
The Times of India reported on September 24 that an annual Chinese-Indian military exercise held each December since 2007 “as a major confidence-building measure between them” has been cancelled for 2009.
How far the displacement of Russia as India’s major military ally has progressed against the backdrop of the Pentagon’s plans for an Asia-Pacific analogue of NATO was detailed by the Voice of America recently:
“For decades, India mostly depended on, first, the Soviet Union and then Russia for its military supplies. But as the Cold War ended and India’s relations with the United States began improving during Bill Clinton’s presidency, New Delhi gradually increased its military cooperation with Washington….Today, besides holding joint military exercises with the U.S. military, India has also been buying U.S. armaments worth billions of dollars.”
The same article quoted the Indian ambassador to the United States, Meera Shankar:
“Our militaries once unfamiliar with each other now hold regular dialog and joint exercises in the air and on land and sea….Our defense trade was negligible a decade ago. We placed orders worth $3.5 billion last year and it could grow even more in the future.” 
Heightened full spectrum – ground, air and sea – military collaboration between the U.S. and India is in part related to the escalation of America’s and NATO’s war in South Asia: Afghanistan and Pakistan, India’s neighbor.
On October 13 the Washington Post revealed that the White House will send 13,000 support troops to join the additional 21,000 combat forces already and soon to be deployed this year and the BBC announced the following day that “the Obama administration had already told the UK government it would soon announce a substantial increase to its military forces in Afghanistan,” to be formally confirmed next week at a meeting of NATO defense chiefs in the capital of Slovakia.  On the 15th the NATO regional commander in southern Afghanistan, Major General Mart de Kruif, said of Helmand province and adjacent areas that “we need at least two additional brigades of coalition forces, somewhere between 10,000 or 15,000 troops.” 
NATO’s Military Committee, the senior military authority in the Alliance, just completed a tour of inspection to Afghanistan. “In attendance were Military Representatives from all 28 NATO member states as well as Military Representatives from the 14 non-NATO nations who also contribute forces to ISAF.” 
India has been assigned a role to play in the “stabilization” of the subcontinent as Afghanistan and Pakistan alike have been plunged into war and chaos since the U.S. and NATO invaded the first nation on October 7, 2001.
But the New Delhi-Washington axis is fraught with even grander designs and potentially catastrophic dangers.
With the North Atlantic Treaty Organization expanding into Eastern Europe – practically all of Eastern Europe – over the last ten years and its upgrading of military contacts and deployments through various partnership agreements (Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, Contact Countries, Tripartite Afghanistan-Pakistan-NATO Military Commission), the world’s only military alliance spans five continents, the Middle East and the South Pacific, effectively taking over other former Cold War military blocs like the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and the Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty (ANZUS) and thus constituting history’s first international military alliance.
The four nations identified by NATO as Contact Countries – Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea – are all in the Asia-Pacific area and in varying degrees all have contributed troops and naval support to the U.S.-NATO war in Afghanistan.
Initiatives like the U.S.-instituted Proliferation Security Initiative  naval surveillance and interdiction operation, begun in and still primarily focused on Asia, and the global missile shield program  both integrate major NATO member states and candidates for an emerging Asian NATO.
India as a nuclear power and the world’s second most populous nation, one bordering China and with historical strategic ties with Russia, is pivotal in Western designs to establish worldwide military superiority so that, in the words of an Indian analyst several years ago, the U.S. can complete its vision for dominance over every sector of the globe with this stratagem: To have closer state-to-state relations with every nation in the world than all other nations have with any other nation, even neighboring states.
Just as in 1978 former rivals Egypt and Israel were reconciled unilaterally by the U.S., which is nowhere near the Middle East, so now any two countries in the world in a conflict situation – from South Asia to the Caucasus, from Africa to the Balkans – must go through Washington and Brussels to resolve their differences. That role, like so many others, has devolved from the United Nations to the United States and NATO.
U.S. and general Western military strategy in Asia is not limited to India, however preeminent a role that country has in the West’s plans. Australia, which earlier this year released a Defence White Paper  announcing its largest-ever arms buildup and plans to arrogate to itself the role of a regional military power, is “pushing to rebuild its defence ties with India, risking the potential ire of China by formally requesting Australia be allowed to participate in the annual India-US joint naval exercise Malabar.” 
The Malabar naval war games are an integral component of U.S. plans to integrate India into its Asian and global military nexus. An Indian news sources reported the following in relation to this year’s exercise:
“The exercise in the Malabar series will take place [April 2009] off the Japanese coast in which Indian warships will carry out training manoeuvres in naval warfare alongside US Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force warships.
“The Malabar exercise, which began as a bilateral exercise in 1992 with the Americans, has in recent years taken on a multi-national character with greater participation from US allies and has made China sit up and take note.
“The last Malabar trilateral exercise involving India, the US and Japan was held in early 2007 off the Japanese coast. In the later part of that year, India joined the multilateral 25-warship Malabar exercise involving the navies of Singapore and Australia too, apart from US and Japan in the Bay of Bengal.” 
Australia’s intention to participate in the next Malabar drills – “an exercise obviously intended by the US to be a foil to China’s strategic military might” – also comes “in the wake of the [Prime Minister Kevin] Rudd government’s controversial defence white paper, which called for a build-up of naval capacity and appeared to suggest Australian defence strategy in coming decades would be shaped by China’s military expansion.” 
While visiting the nation recently Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith “invited India to participate in multilateral Australian Defence Force-hosted exercises Kakadu and Pitch Black.” 
India borders China as do several other countries where the U.S. and its NATO allies have stationed troops and where they regularly conduct or will conduct military exercises, Afghanistan and Pakistan among them.
The Pentagon’s Pacific Command has been holding annual joint Khaan Quest military operations in Mongolia, which borders both China and Russia.
In July Mongolia announced that it was providing troops to NATO for the war in Afghanistan, with an American news report stating “the country plans to send troops to Afghanistan, in a cooperation that stems from its ‘third neighbor’ policy to reach out to allies other than China and Russia,” and “Mongolia’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan has helped cement its alliance with the United States and secure grants and aid.” 
Last month NATO conducted a twenty-nation disaster response exercise, Zhetysu 2009, in Kazakhstan, which also abuts China and Russia. French president Nicolas Sarkozy has just secured rights to transit his nation’s military forces through the country.
On September 27 the Chinese press reported on a multinational military exercise to be conducted in Cambodia, one nation removed from China, next year:
“[M]ore than 2,000 military men are reserved for the first-ever event in the country and they will come from more than 20 countries, of which 1,500 will be from the United States.
“[D]uring a four-day visit to Washington D.C., Tea Banh, Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense, had met with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and discussed security cooperation between the United States and Cambodia.” 
On October 14 reports surfaced on Taiwan conducting its “largest-ever missile test…launched from a secretive and tightly guarded base in southern Taiwan.”
The report also said the missiles were “capable of reaching major Chinese cities.” 
With President Ma Ying-jeou observing, “the drill included the test-firing of a top secret, newly developed medium-range surface-to-surface missile with a range of 3,000 kilometres, capable of striking major cities in central, northern and southern China.” 
The following day’s news reported that the Defense Ministry of South Korean “plans to equip the Navy’s 7,600-ton-class Aegis vessels, including a King Sejong-class destroyer, with the newest-type American-made SM-6 missiles” and that “to ensure proper use of SM-6 [Extended Range Active] missiles, the South Korean Navy will naturally be linked to the U.S. missile defense system, considering that it will need the assistance of some intelligence reconnaissance devices, including spy satellites and radars, in the U.S. MD [missile defense] system.” 
Each year the Pentagon leads the multinational Cobra Gold war games in Thailand. This year the armed forces of the host country, the U.S., Japan, Singapore and Indonesia were involved and several other nations “participate[d] in various roles during the exercise”: Australia, Brunei, France, Italy, Britain, Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, the Peoples Republic of Cambodia, China, Canada, Germany, South Korea, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Mongolia. 
Excepting China, the above roster is a faithful representation of a NATO-Asian NATO axis in formation.
On October 14 the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship arrived in East Timor for the latter’s “first joint military exercise with the United States” and it was reported that “manoeuvres with 2,500 US troops and Australia forces are to last through October 24.” 
The American ambassador to the new nation, Hans Klem, said that the exercises would focus on “jungle training, urban training, infantry training [and] beach landings….” 
The Pentagon’s military penetration of Asia and encroachment on China, coordinated at every turn with Washington’s NATO allies, is part of an international campaign to achieve military presence in and domination over every longitude and latitude. The European continent has been subsumed almost completely under NATO.
America’s new Africa Command recently completed a 25-nation military exercise in Gabon and will soon begin multinational maneuvers in Uganda.
The war in Afghanistan has recently provided the U.S. and NATO new basing and military transit rights in the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. “The United States has secured ‘lethal transit’ deals with Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan….Both the Kyrgyz Ministry of Defense and the US Embassy in Bishkek confirmed earlier that the Manas Transit Center is facilitating the shipment of military freight going to Afghanistan….[T]he transit of supplies into Afghanistan via Turkmenistan ‘is possible’….” 
Of the three nations in the South Caucasus, Georgia and Azerbaijan are veritable Pentagon and NATO military outposts on Russia’s borders and Armenia just announced it might send troops to Afghanistan to serve under NATO command.
Washington has recently secured the use of seven new military bases in Colombia and has announced similar plans for two naval facilities in Panama two years after reactivating U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command.
Even uninhabited areas of the world (and their energy and other resources) are not beyond the Pentagon’s and NATO’s purview.
On October 9 the top military commander of U.S. European Command and NATO, Admiral James Stavridis, “warn[ed] of conflict with Russia in [the] Arctic Circle” as The Times of London phrased it.
Last week an Indian writer offered this concise perspective:
“The arc of encirclement of Russia gets strengthened. NATO ties facilitate the deployment of the US missile defence system in Georgia. The US aims to have a chain of countries tied to ‘partnerships’ with NATO brought into its missile defence system – stretching from its allies in the Baltic to those in Central Europe. The ultimate objective of this is to neutralise the strategic capability of Russia and China and to establish its nuclear superiority. The National Defense Strategy document, issued by the Pentagon on July 31, 2008, portrays Washington’s perception of a resurgent Russia and a rising China as potential adversaries.” 
The analyst doesn’t exaggerate.
In February 2008 a Reuters report said that, “The United States is worried that Russia, China and OPEC oil-producing countries could use their growing financial clout to advance political goals, the top U.S. spy chief told Congress….”
National Director of Intelligence Michael McConnell told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he had “concerns about the financial capabilities of Russia, China and OPEC countries.”
His concerns, however, suggested military rather than economic and trade matters. A summary of his testimony had little to say of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and much about Russia and China.
“Russia, bolstered in part by oil revenues, was positioning itself to control an energy supply and transportation network from Europe to East Asia, and the Russian military had begun to reverse a long decline….China has pursued a policy of global engagement out of a desire to expand its growing economy and obtain access markets, resources, technology and expertise.” 
Shortly afterward Russia “demanded an explanation from America over a report by the director of American national intelligence in which Russia, China, Iraq, Iran, North Korea and al-Qaida are described as sources of strategic threats to the U.S, ITAR-TASS has been told by a source close to the Kremlin.” 
That is, Russia and China had effectively been added to the infamous “axis of evil” targeted by former president George W. Bush in January of 2002.
Though Bush’s departure from the White House and his successor’s arrival there haven’t changed anything, except if anything to makes matters progressively worse.
An Associated Press story of May 1, 2009 mentioned that “The Obama administration is working to improve deteriorating U.S. relations with a number of Latin American nations to counter growing Iranian, Chinese and Russian influence in the Western Hemisphere, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said….
In the latest quadrennial National Intelligence Strategy report last month, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair claimed “Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea pose the greatest challenges to the United States’ national interests.” 
China and Russia have replaced subjugated Iraq in the ranks of remaining “axis of evil” members Iran and North Korea.
Blair’s report asserted that Russia “may continue to seek avenues for reasserting power and influence in ways that complicate U.S. interests.” A paraphrase of the document said of “China, which trades regularly with the United States and owns billions of its national debt,” that “Beijing competes for the same resources the United States needs, and is in the process of rapidly modernizing its military.” 
In 2006 an article appeared in Foreign Affairs, the magazine of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, called “The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy,” coauthored by Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press, which explored in the frankest manner how the U.S. could deal with its Chinese and Russian “challengers.”
As the piece’s title indicates, the focus is on nuclear weapons and America’s superiority in regards to them.
Its basic contention is summarized in this paragraph:
“For four decades, relations among the major nuclear powers have been shaped by their common vulnerability, a condition known as mutual assured destruction. But with the U.S. arsenal growing rapidly while Russia’s decays and China’s stays small, the era of MAD is ending – and the era of U.S. nuclear primacy has begun.” 
That appraisal inevitably led to the conclusion that “It will probably soon be possible for the United States to destroy the long-range nuclear arsenals of Russia or China with a first strike.”
The authors examine with cold-blooded detachment comparative advancements in each of the U.S.’s triad of nuclear weapons delivery systems – ground-based missile, air and submarine – and how in all three instances Washington could launch crippling first strikes on China and Russia alike.
For example, they state “The U.S. Air Force has finished equipping its B-52 bombers with nuclear-armed cruise missiles, which are probably invisible to Russian and Chinese air-defense radar. And the air force has also enhanced the avionics on its B-2 stealth bombers to permit them to fly at extremely low altitudes in order to avoid even the most sophisticated radar.”
And they list both nation’s vulnerabilities in an almost gleeful manner:
“The more Russia’s nuclear arsenal shrinks, the easier it will become for the United States to carry out a first strike.
“The real U.S. war plan may call for first targeting Russia’s command and control, sabotaging Russia’s radar stations, or taking other preemptive measures – all of which would make the actual U.S. force far more lethal than our model assumes.
“According to our model, such a simplified surprise attack would have a good chance of destroying every Russian bomber base, submarine, and ICBM.
“China’s nuclear arsenal is even more vulnerable to a U.S. attack. A U.S. first strike could succeed whether it was launched as a surprise or in the midst of a crisis during a Chinese alert. China has a limited strategic nuclear arsenal.
“According to unclassified U.S. government assessments, China’s entire intercontinental nuclear arsenal consists of 18 stationary single-warhead ICBMs.”
To confirm that their study is indicative of not only their own conviction, the authors add that “The improvements to the U.S. nuclear arsenal offer evidence that the United States is actively seeking primacy…The current and future U.S. nuclear force, in other words, seems designed to carry out a preemptive disarming strike against Russia or China.
“The intentional pursuit of nuclear primacy is, moreover, entirely consistent with the United States’ declared policy of expanding its global dominance.”
In view of what has developed in the interim since its publication, the article provides the unadorned truth about so-called missile defense in stating “the sort of missile defenses that the United States might plausibly deploy would be valuable primarily in an offensive context, not a defensive one – as an adjunct to a U.S. first-strike capability, not as a standalone shield. If the United States launched a nuclear attack against Russia (or China), the targeted country would be left with a tiny surviving arsenal – if any at all.
“At that point, even a relatively modest or inefficient missile-defense system might well be enough to protect against any retaliatory strikes, because the devastated enemy would have so few warheads and decoys left.”
The piece ends in acknowledging that with the demise of the Warsaw Pact and any pretense that American and NATO nuclear weapons would be needed against a superior conventional military attack and no further intent, as with Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, to compel adversaries to spend themselves into bankruptcy on a strategic arms race, “Washington’s continued refusal to eschew a first strike and the country’s development of a limited missile-defense capability take on a new, and possibly more menacing, look. The most logical conclusions to make are that a nuclear-war-fighting capability remains a key component of the United States’ military doctrine and that nuclear primacy remains a goal of the United States.”
As much as words like competition and challenges may factor in the speeches of U.S. and other Western politicians when relating to domestic matters, the White House and the Pentagon will tolerate no serious competition and allow no challengers in their drive for global military, political and economic domination.
When all else fails, and even before, Washington’s ultima ratio consists of its nuclear arsenal and delivery systems.
1) Indo-Asian News Agency, October 12, 2009
2) Russian Information Agency Novosti, October 12, 2009
3) U.S. Department of Defense, American Forces Press Service
October 6, 2009
5) Reuters, October 12, 2009
6) Indo-Asian News Agency, October 12, 2009
7) Voice of America, October 8, 2009
8) BBC News, October 14, 2009
9) Agence France-Presse, October 15, 2009
10) NATO, October 15, 2009
11) Proliferation Security Initiative And U.S. 1,000-Ship Navy: Control
Of World’s Oceans, Prelude To War
Stop NATO, January 29, 2009
12) U.S. Accelerates First Strike Global Missile Shield System
Stop NATO, August 19, 2009
Global Military Bloc: NATO’s Drive Into Asia
Stop NATO, January 24, 2009
13) Australian Military Buildup And The Rise Of Asian NATO
Stop NATO, May 6, 2009
14) The Australian, October 15, 2009
15) Outlook India, April 10, 2009
16) The Australian, October 15, 2009
18) Reuters, July 22, 2009
19) Xinhua News Agency, September 27, 2009
20) Radio Taiwan International, October 14, 2009
21) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 14, 2009
22) Chosun Ilbo, October 15, 2009
23) Embassy of the United States of America Bangkok, January 13, 2009
24) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 14, 2009
26) EurasiaNet/Eurasia Insight, October 13, 2009
27) Younes Bhat, Crisis from the Balkans to Caucasus: Munich Speech to
Mainstream Weekly, October 11, 2009
28) Reuters, February 5, 2008
29) Voice of Russia, February 8, 2008
30) Associated Press, May 1, 2009
31) Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, September 16, 2009
33) The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy, Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G.
Foreign Affairs, March/April 2006
October 13, 2009
Das Undenkbare denken: Der globale militärische Fahrplan der NATO
Übersetzung und Anmerkungen von Wolfgang Jung
Die North Atlantic Treaty Organization / NATO – der einzige Militärblock der Welt – gibt sich nicht zufrieden mit ihrer Erweiterung von 16 auf 28 Mitglieder, die im letzten Jahrzehnt in einer Welt nach dem Kalten Krieg stattgefunden hat, in der ihr keinerlei Gefahr droht, weder von einem Staat noch von einer nichtstaatlichen Organisation; sie fühlt sich nicht ausgelastet mit ihrem ersten Bodenkrieg in Afghanistan, der gleichzeitig ihr erster Krieg in Asien ist, und sucht begierig nach neuen internationalen Missionen.
Als der Warschauer Pakt zersplitterte und die Sowjetunion zwischen 1989 und 1991 zusammenbrach, hat die NATO keineswegs ihre militärische Macht in Europa reduziert und sich ihrerseits aufgelöst, sondern die Gelegenheit ergriffen, um sich über den ganzen Kontinent und die Welt auszudehnen.
Beginnend mit dem Bombenkrieg in Bosnien im Jahr 1995, der Operation Deliberate Force (Machtdemonstration, s. http://www.nato.int/docu/update/2005/08-august/e0830a.htm ) an der 400 Flugzeuge beteiligt waren, und der Entsendung von 60.000 Soldaten in das Kampfgebiet, die unter der Bezeichnung Operation Joint Endeavour (Gemeinsames Wagnis, s. http://www.nato.int/Ifor/ifor.htm ) lief, hat die Allianz ihre militärische Präsenz ständig und unaufhaltsam in den Osten und Süden des Balkans, nach Nordost-Afrika, über das ganzen Mittelmeer, nach Zentralafrika und nach Süd- und Zentralasien ausgeweitet. Sie hat ihre Tentakel in den Süd-Kaukasus, über ganz Skandinavien, einschließlich Finnlands und Schwedens, und in den asiatisch-pazifischen Raum ausgestreckt, wo sie Partnerschaften mit Australien, Japan, Neuseeland und Südkorea geschlossen hat; sogar in der Mongolei und in Singapur wurden Truppen rekrutiert, die unter dem Kommando der NATO in dem schon acht Jahre dauernden Krieg in Afghanistan dienen.
Mit der Ausweitung ihres Mediterranean Dialogue (ihres Mittelmeer-Dialogs, s. http://www.nato.int/med-dial/home.htm ) auf Algerien, Ägypten, Israel, Jordanien, Mauretanien, Marokko und Tunesien, mit der für den Persischen Golf geplanten Erweiterung der 2004 gegründeten Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (s. http://www.nato.int/ici/home.htm ) auf die dem Gulf Cooperation Council (dem Rat für Zusammenarbeit am Golf, s. http://www.gccsg.org/eng/index.php ) angehörenden Staaten Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi-Arabien und die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate und mit der Entsendung der von den USA ausgebildeten kolumbianischen Aufstandsbekämpfungstruppe in den Afghanistan-Krieg hat die Nordatlantische Gemeinschaft jetzt bewaffnete Streitkräfte und Partnerschaften auf allen sechs bewohnten Kontinenten.
Die NATO hat 1999 in Europa Krieg gegen Jugoslawien geführt und führt seit 2001 in Asien einen Krieg gegen Afghanistan, der gerade auf Pakistan ausgeweitet wird; außerdem unternimmt sie derzeit Militäreinsätze vor den Küsten Afrikas und im Golf von Aden. Die vor 60 Jahren beschworene “sowjetischen Bedrohung”, mit der die Schaffung der schon damals größten und stärksten Militärallianz der Welt begründet wurde, verschwand vor einer Generation in den Annalen der Geschichte; die Lücke, die sich beim Untergang des Warschauer Paktes und der UDSSR auftat, wurde jedoch mit einer Militärmaschinerie aufgefüllt, die zwei Millionen Soldaten aufbieten kann, und deren Mitgliedstaaten für mehr als 70 Prozent der Rüstungsausgaben der Welt verantwortlich zeichnen.
Selbst die in den letzten fünfzehn Jahre erfolgte Aufblähung der NATO konnte ihren weltweiten Ehrgeiz noch nicht befriedigen. Sie ist gerade dabei, ein neues strategisches Konzept zu erarbeiten, das das bisherige ersetzen soll, auf das man sich während des Luftkrieges gegen Jugoslawien und bei der Aufnahme der ersten Staaten des ehemaligen sozialistischen Blockes verständigt hatte (Infos zum bisherigen und zu dem in Arbeit befindlichen neuen strategischen Konzept der NATO s. http://www.nato.int/docu/review/2005/issue3/german/debate.html ). Das damalige Konzept wurde mit der Einstellung der NATO auf die Sicherheitsbedürfnisse des 21. Jahrhunderts begründet. In dem seither vergangenen Jahrzehnt ist der Militärblock dazu übergegangen, sich als NATO des 21. Jahrhunderts, als globale NATO und als NATO der Auslandseinsätze zu bezeichnen. [Das erste strategische Konzept der NATO war 1991 formuliert worden, in dem Jahr, in dem die Sowjetunion zerbrach und die Operation Dessert Storm, der Irak-Krieg des älteren Bush stattfand.] (Infos zu Dessert Storm s. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zweiter_Golfkrieg )
Die aktualisierte Version (des strategischen Konzepts der NATO) wurde auf dem Gipfel zum sechzigsten Jahrestag der NATO-Gründung angekündigt, der im April 2009 erstmals in zwei Ländern stattgefunden hat – in Strasbourg in Frankreich und Kehl (Baden – Baden) in Deutschland.
Bereits ein Jahr vorher hatte Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, der damalige NATO-Generalsekretär, die transatlantische Militärallianz aufgefordert, “eine neue, langfristige Strategie zur Bewältigung der Herausforderungen des dritten Jahrtausends zu entwickeln, um Angriffen auf das Internet, den Problemen der Erderwärmung und der Energiesicherheit und der atomaren Bedrohung begegnen zu können”; wegen der “wachsenden Liste von Verantwortlichkeiten” forderte er auch eine Erhöhung des NATO-Budgets. 
Bei ihrer Gründung im Jahr 1949 rechtfertigte die NATO die Schaffung eines Militärblocks in Europa damit, dass die Wunden des verlustreichsten und zerstörerischsten Krieges in der menschlichen Geschichte geheilt werden müssten. Nach dem Ende des Kalten Krieges definierte sie ihr selbst gestecktes Ziel neu – als Auftrag, den Frieden notfalls auch mit Gewalt durchzusetzen – um auf dem Balkan militärisch eingreifen zu können. Nach dem 21. September 2001 schloss sie sich bereitwillig Washingtons “globalem Krieg gegen den Terror” und dem US-Anspruch an, überall auf der Welt gegen Massenvernichtungswaffen vorgehen zu dürfen. In den letzten Jahren hat die NATO schließlich immer neue Gründe und Aufgaben genannt, die es ihr nicht nur erlauben, sondern sie dazu sogar verpflichten sollen, in jeder Region der Erde aus einer “Vielzahl” von Anlässen jederzeit einzugreifen.
Auf einer Konferenz, die am 1. Oktober (2009) gemeinsam von der NATO und Lloyd’s of London – der nach eigenen Angaben “führenden Versicherungsgesellschaft der Welt” – veranstaltet wurde, verwendete Lord Peter Levene, der Lloyd’s-Chef, wirklich das Wort “Vielzahl”, bezogen auf die vielen Aufgaben in dem neuen strategischen Konzept der NATO für das “dritte Millennium”.
Aus Levenes Rede stammt die Passage: “Unsere hoch entwickelte, industrialisierte und komplizierte Welt ist einer Vielzahl von schwerwiegenden und tödlichen Bedrohungen ausgesetzt. Wenn wir nicht bald handeln, werden wir uns demnächst wie Gulliver hilflos auf den Boden gefesselt sehen, weil wir es versäumt haben, eine Reihe heraufziehender Entwicklungen zu stoppen, als wir es noch gekonnt hätten.”
Seine Anspielung auf die Figur, die aus Jonathan Swifts Roman “Gullivers Reisen” stammt, gibt uns die Gelegenheit, eine Äußerung über Großbritannien, das Heimatland Gullivers und Levenes, zu zitieren. (s. auch http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gullivers_Reisen )
Als Gulliver vor dem König der Riesen unter anderem über Großbritanniens ausgedehnte Kolonien und dessen militärische Heldentaten prahlt, antwortet sein Gesprächspartner:
“Für Euch, die Ihr den größten Teil Eures Lebens auf Reisen verbracht habt, kann ich nur hoffen, dass Ihr an vielen der bisherigen Untaten Eures Landes nicht beteiligt gewesen seid. Aber aus Eurem Verhalten und aus den schmerzlichen Antworten, die ich Euch entwunden und aus Euch herausgeholt habe, kann ich nur schließen, dass die Masse der Bewohner Eures Landes zur bösartigsten Gattung des winzigen, abscheulichen, auf der Erdoberfläche krabbelnden Ungeziefers gehört, das die Natur jemals erdulden musste.”
Lord Levene veranstaltete die Konferenz zum aktualisierten strategische Konzept der NATO für etwa “200 hochrangige Repräsentanten aus dem Bereich der Sicherheit und der Wirtschaft”. 
Im Juli 2009 gab die NATO bekannt, eine “Gruppe von Experten” sei mit der Diskussion und Ausarbeitung ihrer neuen Strategie beauftragt worden. Die ehemalige US-Außenministerin Madeleine Albright, die mitverantwortlich ist für die erste größere bewaffnete Intervention der Allianz, den 78-tägigen Luftkrieg gegen Jugoslawien, führt den Vorsitz über diese Gruppe. Stellvertretender Vorsitzender ist Jeroen van der Veer, der bis zum 30. Juni Generaldirektor bei Royal Dutch Shell war.
NATO-Generalsekretär Anders Fogh Rasmussen und Lord Levene zeichnen gemeinsam für eine Kolumne verantwortlich, die am 1. Oktober (2009) in der (britischen) Zeitung THE TELEGRAH veröffentlicht wurde; so entgegenkommend hat die “freie” westliche Presse die am gleichen Tage stattfindende Konferenz behandelt. (s. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/6247862/Piracy-cyber-crime-and-climate-change—bringing-NATO-and-insurance-together.html . Dieser Artikel erschien bei telegraph.co.uk bereits am 30.09.09.) Sie verkündeten eine ganze Litanei gemeinsamer Anliegen der NATO und der Privatwirtschaft, die im Interesse des zweiten Partners, der im Westen angesiedelten internationalen Konzerne, eine enge Zusammenarbeit erfordern; dazu gehören unter anderem die Informationstechnologie, das Abschmelzen der Polareis-Kappen, das Risikomanagement für Investitionen im Ausland und der Umgang mit “Stürmen und Überschwemmungen”.
In dem Artikel wird festgestellt: “Wirtschaftsführer, auch solche von Lloyd’s, sind am gegenwärtigen Prozess zur Erarbeitung einer neuen Leitlinie, eines Strategie- Konzepts (der NATO) beteiligt; tatsächlich ist der Vizechef der Gruppe der ehemalige Shell-Generaldirektor Jeroen van der Veer”. 
In dem Artikel werden auch weitreichende Pläne für militärische Antworten auf eine ganze Reihe nichtmilitärischer Probleme entwickelt. “Regierungen müssen Notfallpläne entwickeln… basierend auf Einschätzungen der Geheimdienste zu den Auswirkungen des Klimawandels; sie müssen auch militärische Experten in ihre Planungen einbeziehen. Sie sollten sich auf die Verteidigung ihrer Kommunikationsnetze einstellen, wie es die NATO bereits mit ihrem flexibel einsetzbaren Cyber Defense System getan hat, mit dem sie ihren Mitgliedern helfen kann, wenn deren Kommunikationsnetz angegriffen wird.”
Der letzte Punkt ist eine Anspielung auf Angriffe auf das Internet, die sich 2007 in Estland ereignet haben und von westlichen Regierungs- und NATO-Offiziellen russischen Hackern oder der russischen Regierung selbst angelastet wurden. Es gab zwar keine Beweise für diese Beschuldigungen, das hat aber führende US-Parlamentarier nicht daran gehindert, mit der Anwendung des Artikels 5 des NATO-Vertrags über die kollektive militärische Verteidigung für den Wiederholungsfall zu drohen.
Genau das haben Levene und Rasmussen gemeint, als sie die “NATO für ihr flexibel einsetzbares Cyber Defense System gelobt haben, mit dem sie ihren Mitgliedern helfen kann, wenn deren Kommunikationsnetz angegriffen wird”.
Lord Levene of Portsoken und der ehemalige dänische Premierminister Rasmussen haben die Dringlichkeit ihrer Forderung, der größte Militärblock der Geschichte habe die kommerziellen Investitionen des Westens zu schützen, recht unverblümt vorgebracht, indem sie feststellten: “Menschen haben immer um Ressourcen und Land gekämpft. Aber jetzt geschieht das unter viel größerem Druck und in größerem Maßstab.
“Wir müssen darauf vorbereitet sein, das Undenkbare zu denken. Lloyd’s hat sein Risikoabschätzungs-Programm 360 und seine realitätsbezogenen Katastrophen-Szenarien, und die NATO hat ihr Projekt für unterschiedliche zukünftige Entwicklungen; damit richten wir unsere Augen von der Gegenwart auf den Horizont und scannen das, was kommen könnte.”
Es wird nicht an Gelegenheiten mangeln, das auszuprobieren, was der Kern des neuen strategischen Konzepts zu sein scheint.
Levene sprach in seiner Rede auf der Konferenz von einer Vielzahl “schwerwiegender und tödlicher Bedrohungen”, und Rasmussen begann, sie zu erläutern.
In seiner Konferenzrede umriss der NATO-Generalsekretär das Ausmaß der “tödlicher Bedrohungen”, als er feststellte: “Die Herausforderungen, denen wir uns heute stellen müssen, betreffen sowohl den öffentlichen als auch den privaten Sektor. … Die NATO, die EU und viele Regierungen mussten Kriegsschiffe aussenden, um Handelsschiffe gegen Angriffe zu verteidigen. Die (gekaperten Handelsschiffe) haben auch Versicherungsgesellschaften – von denen viele zum Lloyd’s-Konzern gehören – viel Geld gekostet.”  (Rasmussen-Rede s. http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/opinions_57785.htm )
Der Zusammenhang ist offensichtlich: Die NATO und die Europäische Union müssen am Horn von Afrika und vor anderen Küsten Kriegsschiffe einsetzen, damit Unternehmen wie Lloyd’s nicht so viele Versicherungen auszubezahlen haben.
Rasmussens Rede enthält eine Reihe von Vorwänden für ein Eingreifen der NATO; als künftige Kriegsgründe nannte er:
• Sicherheit und Verteidigung des Internets
• extreme Wetterereignisse – Stürme und Flutkatasrophen
• Ansteigen des Meeresspiegels
• große Völkerwanderungen über Grenzen hinweg in bewohnte Gebiete
• neue Ressourcen unter den schmelzenden Polkappen
• Sicherung von Fabriken, Kraftwerken, Leitungssystemen und Häfen gegen Stürme
• Sicherung der Energieversorgung
• humanitäre und Naturkatastrophen
• gewaltige Stürme, Überflutungen oder Bevölkerungsbewegungen
• Energieeinsparung, Reduzierung der Abhängigkeit von ausländischen Energiequellen
Keine der siebzehn erwähnten Entwicklungen ist auch nur im entferntesten als militärische Bedrohung aufzufassen und kann keinesfalls von irgendwelchen staatlichen Aktivitäten ausgehen.
Ganz gewiss können “Schurkenstaaten”, “Vorposten der Tyrannei” oder “internationale Terroristen” nicht für den Klimawandel verantwortlich gemacht werden, und doch schlägt Rasmussen zu dessen Bekämpfung militärische Maßnahmen vor.
“Die Sicherheitsaspekte des Klimawandels müssen besser in nationale Sicherheitsund Verteidigungsstrategien integriert werden – wie das die Vereinigten Staaten in ihrem Quadrennial Defense Review (in dem Verteidigungsbericht, den sie alle vier Jahre erstellen) schon getan haben (s. http://www.defenselink.mil/qdr/report/Report20060203.pdf und http://www.defenselink.mil/qdr/ ). Unsere Geheimdienste müssen das als eine ihrer Hauptaufgaben ansehen. Das bedeutet auch, dass militärische Planer potenzielle Einflüsse bewerten, ihre Pläne entsprechend aktualisieren und künftig notwendig werdende Reaktionen in Betracht ziehen müssen.”
Rasmussen forderte zusätzlich zur Einbeziehung der mehr als vierzig Staaten auf, zu denen die 28 Mitgliedsländer der Allianz individuelle oder kollektive Partnerbeziehungen unterhalten: “Wir könnten unsere Partnerschaften auch zur Bewältigung des Klimawandels einsetzen. In diesem Augenblick ist die NATO doch mit der militärischen Ausbildung und der Bildung militärischer Kapazitäten rund um die Welt beschäftigt. Wir konzentrieren uns auf Aufgaben wie Friedenssicherung, Sprachschulung und Terrorbekämpfung. Wie wäre es damit, wenn wir die Zusammenarbeit mit den Streitkräften unserer Partner auch auf Vorsorgemaßnahmen gegen Stürme, Überschwemmungen oder plötzliche Bevölkerungsbewegungen ausdehnen würden?”
Rasmussens Büchse der Pandora (Info dazu s. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%BCchse_der_Pandora ) voller NATO-Anliegen wurde vor einiger Zeit schon von seinen Vorgänger Jaap de Hoop Scheffer aufgefüllt; der sagte vor zwei Jahren in einem Statement: “Zu den Angelegenheiten, mit denen sich die Führer der Allianz auf dem Gipfel in Bukarest [im Frühjahr 2008] beschäftigen müssen, gehören die NATO-Erweiterung, die Raketenabwehr, die militärischen Kapazitäten, die Energiesicherheit, die Sicherheitslage auf dem Meer, die Sicherheit des Internets und andere neue Sicherheitsbedrohungen.”  In einer weiteren Erklärung aus der gleichen Zeit “betonte er die Wichtigkeit solcher Probleme wie Erweiterung, Partnerschaften, Energiesicherheit, Kampf gegen den globalen Terrorismus, Sicherheit des Internets und Raketenabwehr, die auf dem Bukarester Gipfel besprochen werden müssten”. 
Im März 2008 wurde Scheffer in einer Pressemeldung mit dem Titel “NATO-Chef ruft nach einer Atlantik-Charta zur Definition der Strategie” mit folgender Äußerung zitiert: “Die Herausforderungen sind vielfältig, miteinander verkettet und können überall entstehen. Wir müssen den strategischen Horizont besser überwachen. Wir können nicht nur reagieren. … Wenn die NATO in der Lage sein soll, überall auf der Welt einzugreifen, brauchen wir mehr globale Partner.” 
Während eines Besuchs in Israel im Januar 2009 erklärte Scheffer zu diesem Thema: “Die NATO hat sich gewandelt, um den Herausforderungen von heute und morgen gewachsen zu sein. Wir haben Partnerschaften rund um den Globus geschlossen, mit Japan, Australien und Pakistan und natürlich mit den wichtigen Staaten am Mittelmeer und am (Persischen) Golf. Wir haben unsere politischen Beziehungen mit den Vereinten Nationen gefestigt und neue zur African Union geknüpft, die wir bisher nicht hatten. Wir haben neue Mitglieder aufgenommen, bald werden es insgesamt 28 sein, und einige befinden sich noch in der Warteschlange. … Wir schauen uns nach neuen Rollen um, bei der Sicherung der Energieversorgung und des Internets …. .” 
In einer Rede am 22. März (2009) über “Die Zukunft der NATO,” sprach Scheffer von “langfristigen, kostspieligen und riskanten Einsätzen, weit weg von unseren eigenen Grenzen” und von Interventionen “zur Abdeckung einer ganzen Reihe von Anliegen und Interessen, zu denen die Landesverteidigung, die regionale Stabilität und das ganze Spektrum von der Sicherheit des Internets über die Energiesicherheit bis zu den Folgen des Klimawandels gehören”.
“Von gerade mal 12 Mitgliedstaaten haben wir uns auf 26 – und bald 28 – erweitert. Und die NATO hat sich von einer nur “europazentrierten” Allianz zu einem Sicherheitsgaranten entwickelt, der auf mehreren Kontinenten tätig ist und mit einer Vielzahl anderer Staaten und Institutionen zusammenarbeitet.” 
Mit seiner Bemerkung zur African Union bezog sich Scheffer auf das Engagement der NATO in der Region Darfur des Sudans im Jahr 2005, ihrer ersten Operation in Afrika; mit der Festigung der “politischen Beziehungen zu den Vereinten Nationen” ist ein Hinterzimmer-Geschäft gemeint, das im September 2008 zwischen dem UN-Generalsekretär Ban Ki-Moon und Scheffer unter Umgehung der permanenten Sicherheitsrats-Mitglieder Russland und China abgewickelt wurde. (Dabei wurde klammheimlich eine Vereinbarung über eine enge Zusammenarbeit zwischen UNO und NATO vereinbart, deren Zustandekommen Russland ablehnt, s. http://de.rian.ru/world/20081009/117616812.html )
Tatsächlich ist die wachsende Liste von Ausreden für Einmischungen und Interventionen der NATO, die Scheffer begonnen und Rasmussen noch ausgeweitet hat, eine gefährliche Anmaßung von Verantwortlichkeiten und Funktionen, die eigentlich nur den Vereinten Nationen zustehen – und keinesfalls einer Militärclique, die nicht durch eine Wahl legitimiert ist und deren Mitgliedsstaaten zusammen nur ein kleiner Bruchteil der menschlichen Gemeinschaft sind.
Die Vergrößerung der NATO und ihre im Laufe der letzten zehn Jahre ständig ausgeweiteten Operationsgebiete lassen die eigentliche Absicht der Allianz überdeutlich werden: Die NATO will die Existenz der Vereinten Nationen unterlaufen, zersetzen und gefährden. Mit diesem Thema habe ich mich schon in einem früheren Artikel befasst; er hat den Titel “West Plots To Supplant United Nations With Global NATO” (Anschläge des Westens, die darauf zielen die Vereinten Nationen durch eine global operierende NATO zu verdrängen). [11. s. http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/29/154%5D
Zusätzlich zur “Sicherung der Energieversorgung” durch militärische Brückenköpfe auf dem Balkan, in Zentral- und Süd-Asien, im Kaukasus, am Persischen Golf, am Horn von Afrika und am Golf von Guinea, der weiteren Stationierung von US-Atomwaffen in Europa und dem Streben der USA nach einem globalen Raketenabwehrschild beansprucht die NATO für sich selbst das exklusive Mandat, praktisch für alle Probleme der Menschheit zuständig zu sein – natürlich in Verbindung mit westlichen Rüstungsfirmen und Konzernen wie Lloyd’s of London und Royal Dutch Shell.
1) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 16. März 2008
2) NATO, 1. Oktober 2009
3) The Telegraph, 1. Oktober 2009
4) NATO, 1. Oktober 2009]
6) NATO, 9. Oktober 2007
7) NATO, 9. Oktober 2007
8) Bloomberg News, 15. März 2008
9) Haaretz, 10. Januar 2009
10) NATO, 22. März 2009
11) Stop NATO, 27. Mai 2009, http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/29/154/
October 7, 2009
Pensando lo impensable:
El mapa de ruta militar global de la OTAN
Traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Germán Leyens
No satisfecha con su expansión de 16 a 28 miembros durante la última década en un mundo posterior a la Guerra Fría en el que no enfrenta ninguna amenaza militar de ninguna fuente, estatal o no-estatal, e insuficientemente ocupada con su primera guerra terrestre y su primera guerra asiática en Afganistán, la Organización del Tratado del Atlántico Norte [OTAN] – el único bloc militar del mundo – está ansiosa de emprender una plétora de nuevas misiones internacionales.
Con la fragmentación del Pacto de Varsovia y la desintegración de la Unión Soviética entre 1989 y 1991, la OTAN, lejos de reducir su poderío militar en Europa, para no hablar de devolver el favor y disolverse, vio la oportunidad de expandir en todo el continente y el mundo.
Comenzando con la campaña de bombardeo en Bosnia en 1995, la Operación Fuerza Deliberada y sus 400 aviones y el despliegue de 60.000 soldados en ese país en la Operación Esfuerzo Conjunto, la Alianza ha desplegado continua e inexorablemente a sus militares hacia el este y el sur, hacia los Balcanes, África del Noreste, todo el Mar Mediterráneo, África Central y Asia del Sur y Central. También ha extendido sus tentáculos en el Sur del Cáucaso, a través de Escandinavia, incluidas Finlandia y Suecia, y hacia la región Asia-Pacífico donde ha concluido acuerdos individuales con Australia, Japón, Nueva Zelanda y Corea del Sur, junto con el reclutamiento de tropas de Mongolia y Singapur para que sirvan bajo su comando en la guerra de ocho años en Afganistán.
Con la actualización de su programa Diálogo Mediterráneo (Argelia, Egipto, Israel, Jordania, Mauritania, Marruecos y Túnez), con el componente del Golfo Pérsico de la Iniciativa de Cooperación de Estambul en vías de ejecución y de planificación para los Estados del Consejo de Cooperación del Golfo de Bahréin, Kuwait, Omán, Qatar, Arabia Saudí y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos, y con el despliegue de fuerzas colombianas de contrainsurgencia entrenadas por EE.UU. para su guerra afgana, un bloque que fue ostensiblemente formado para proteger a las naciones de la comunidad del Atlántico del Norte, tiene ahora fuerzas armadas y acuerdos en los seis continentes habitados.
Ha librado la guerra en Europa contra Yugoslavia en 1999, y en Asia, en Afganistán (con intrusiones en Pakistán) desde 2001 al presente y hacia un futuro indefinido, y realiza actualmente operaciones militares frente a la costa de África en el Golfo de Adén. La “amenaza soviética” invocada hace sesenta años para crear lo que era incluso en la época la mayor alianza militar, y la más poderosa del mundo, pasó a la historia hace una generación y la brecha causada por la desaparición del Pacto de Varsovia y de la URSS ha sido colmada por una maquinaria militar que puede contar con dos millones de soldados y cuyos Estados miembro representan más de un 70% de los gastos en armas del mundo.
Pero la expansión de los últimos quince años no satisface las ambiciones mundiales de la OTAN. Ahora está en camino a elaborar un nuevo Concepto Estratégico para reemplazar el de 1999, introducido durante la guerra aérea contra Yugoslavia y la primera absorción de naciones del antiguo bloque socialista. La cual fue descrita por la OTAN en esos días como el Enfoque de Seguridad de la Alianza en el Siglo XXI. En el ínterin de una década de duración el bloque ha llegado a referirse a sí mismo como la OTAN del Siglo XXI, la OTAN global y la OTAN expedicionaria. (El primer Concepto Estratégico fue formulado en 1991, el año del desmembramiento de la URSS y de la Operación Tormenta del Desierto contra Iraq.)
La versión actualizada fue considerada en la cumbre del sesenta aniversario de la OTAN en abril de este año, la primera realizada en dos naciones: Estrasburgo en Francia y Kehl en Alemania.
Con más de un año de adelanto, el Secretario General del bloque de la época, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, “llamó a la alianza militar transatlántica a desarrollar una nueva estrategia a largo plazo diseñada para encarar preocupaciones del tercer milenio como ser ciberataques, calentamiento global, seguridad energética y amenazas nucleares” y demandó que aumentara su presupuesto para enfrentar una “creciente lista de responsabilidades.” 
Si desde su fundación en 1949 la OTAN justificó el lanzamiento de un bloque militar en una Europa que todavía curaba las heridas de la guerra más letal y destructiva de la historia humana; si después del fin de la Guerra Fría transformó su autodefinida misión para que incluyera la intervención militar en los Balcanes a fin de probar su capacidad de imponer la paz, por unilateral que fuera; si después del 11 de septiembre de 2001 se ajustó obedientemente al programa de Guerra Global contra el Terror de Washington y a sus esfuerzos contra las armas de destrucción masiva en todas partes, excepto donde existen realmente; en los últimos años la OTAN ha anunciado nuevos roles y misiones que permitirán, de hecho requerirán, su intrusión en cualquier parte del globo por una miríada de razones.
De hecho, miríada es la palabra exacta utilizada el 1 de octubre en una conferencia organizada en conjunto por la OTAN y el Lloyd’s de Londres – “el principal mercado de seguros del mundo” como se describe a sí mismo – por el presidente de este último, Lord Peter Levene, refiriéndose al nuevo Concepto Estratégico de la OTAN para el “tercer milenio.”
El discurso de Levene incluyó las siguientes palabras: “Nuestro mundo sofisticado, industrializado y complejo está bajo ataque por una miríada de amenazas determinadas y letales. Si no actuamos pronto, nos veremos, como Gulliver, atados al suelo e indefensos, porque no hemos detenido una serie de crecientes cambios mientras todavía podíamos hacerlo.”
Su alusión al personaje que da su nombre a la novela Viajes de Gulliver de Jonathan Swift presenta la oportunidad de citar un párrafo que contiene sobre el país nativo del protagonista – y de Levene – Gran Bretaña.
Después que Gulliver alardea ante un rey extranjero de, entre otras cosas, los vastos dominios coloniales de Gran Bretaña y sus hazañas militares, su interlocutor responde:
“En cuanto a usted, que ha pasado la mayor parte de su vida viajando, estoy bien dispuesto a esperar que hasta ahora haya escapado a muchos vicios de su país. Pero por lo que he deducido de su propio relato, y de las respuestas que he arrancado y extorsionado de su persona, no puedo sino concluir que la masa de sus nativos son la raza más perniciosa de pequeñas alimañas odiosas que la naturaleza haya tolerado que se arrastren sobre la superficie de la tierra.”
Lord Levene fue el anfitrión de la conferencia sobre el Concepto Estratégico actualizado de la Alianza, a la cual asistieron los que fueron descritos como “200 representantes a alto nivel de la comunidad de seguridad y de negocios.” 
En julio pasado la OTAN anunció que se convocaría a un “grupo de expertos” para discutir y planificar su nueva estrategia. La ex secretaria de Estado de EE.UU., Madeleine Albright, tan responsable como cualquiera por el primer conflicto armado prolongado de la Alianza, la guerra aérea de 78 días de duración contra Yugoslavia, preside el grupo. El co-presidente es Jeroen van der Veer, quien hasta el 30 de junio fue director ejecutivo de Royal Dutch Shell.
El secretario general de la OTAN, Anders Fogh Rasmussen y Lord Levene escribieron en conjunto un artículo en The Telegraph del 1 de octubre. Tan complaciente es la “prensa libre” occidental que lo publicó para que coincidiera con la conferencia del mismo día.
Suministraron una letanía de colaboraciones conjuntas de la OTAN y del sector privado de los negocios para proteger los intereses de estos últimos, las corporaciones transnacionales basadas en Occidente, incluyendo sin limitarse de ninguna manera a la tecnología de la información, la fusión del casquete glaciar, la administración de los riesgos para inversiones en el extranjero y “tormentas e inundaciones.”
El artículo señala que “dirigentes de la industria, incluidos los de Lloyd’s, han estado involucrados en el proceso actual para desarrollar la nueva carta guía de la OTAN, el Concepto Estratégico; por cierto, el vicepresidente del grupo es el ex director ejecutivo de Shell, Jeroen van der Veer.” 
También describe planes de gran alcance para reacciones militares ante una verdadera multitud de temas no-militares:
“Los gobiernos tienen que hacer una cierta planificación para contingencias… incluyendo el enfoque de evaluaciones de inteligencia sobre el cambio climático, encargando a planificadores militares para que también la incorporen a su planificación… También tienen que aumentar sus ciber-defensas, como lo ha hecho la OTAN al crear una capacidad utilizable de ciberdefensa que pueda ayudar a sus miembros si son atacados.”
Este último ítem es una alusión a eventos en Estonia en 2007, ciberataques diversamente atribuidos por funcionarios gubernamentales occidentales y de la OTAN a hackers rusos o al propio gobierno ruso. No se ha presentado ninguna prueba de las acusaciones, aunque eso no ha impedido que importantes funcionarios elegidos estadounidenses amenazaran con el uso del Artículo 5 de la OTAN sobre fuerza militar colectiva prevista para casos similares.
Es precisamente lo que Levene y Rasmussen quisieron decir al apoyar la creación de “una capacidad utilizable de ciberdefensa que pueda ayudar a sus miembros si son atacados.”
La urgencia del llamado de Lord Levene of Portsoken y del ex primer ministro danés Rasmussen para que el mayor bloque militar de la historia proteja inversiones comerciales occidentales fue expresada lisa y llanamente por los autores cuando declararon: “Los seres humanos siempre han luchado por recursos y tierras. Pero ahora vemos esas presiones a mayor escala…
“Debemos estar preparados para pensar lo impensable. Lloyd’s desarrolló su programa 360 Risk Insight y sus Realistic Disaster Scenarios, y la OTAN su proyecto Multiple Futures precisamente para alzar nuestros ojos del presente y otear el horizonte por lo que podría surgir amenazadoramente.”
No faltarán las oportunidades para implementar lo que parece estar al centro del nuevo Concepto Estratégico.
Levene mencionó mil “amenazas determinadas y letales” durante su discurso en la conferencia y Rasmussen comenzó a identificarlas.
En su presentación a la conferencia el jefe de la OTAN dio marco a su inventario de “amenazas letales” diciendo: “Los desafíos que vemos actualmente cruzan la línea entre los sectores público y privado… La OTAN, la UE y muchos gobiernos han tenido que enviar armadas para tratar de defender contra ataques. Y han costado millones a las compañías de seguros – muchas de las cuales forman parte del mercado de Lloyd’s.” 
La implicación inevitable es que barcos de guerra de la OTAN y de la UE están operando entre otras zonas en el Cuerno de África para que firmas como Lloyd’s tengan que pagar menos reclamaciones al seguro.
El discurso de Rasmussen incluyó los siguientes pretextos para intervenciones de la OTAN, estos futuros casus belli, todos en sus propias palabras:
Extremos eventos climáticos – tormentas e inundaciones catastróficas
Aumento de los niveles del mar
Desplazamientos de poblaciones… en grandes cantidades … siempre a sitios donde otros viven, y a veces a través de fronteras
Escasez de agua
Posibilidad de disminución de la producción alimentaria
Retiro del hielo ártico, por recursos naturales que hasta ahora habían estado cubiertos por hielo
Emisiones de CO2
Refuerzo de fábricas o centrales eléctricas o líneas de transmisión o puertos que puedan estar en peligro por tormentas o inundaciones
Energía, donde la diversidad de suministro es un tema de seguridad
Desastres naturales y humanitarios
Grandes tormentas o inundaciones, o movimientos repentinos de poblaciones
Eficiencia de combustibles, reducción de nuestra dependencia general de fuentes extranjeras de combustibles.
Ninguno de estos diecisiete eventos puede ser identificado incluso remotamente como una amenaza militar y ciertamente ninguna planteada por protagonistas estatales reconocidos.
A buen seguro ningún “estado canalla” o “puesto avanzado de una tiranía” o “terrorista internacional” es responsable por el cambio climático, sin embargo las propuestas de Rasmussen para enfrentarlo son militares.
“Las implicaciones para la seguridad del cambio climático tienen que ser mejor integradas a las estrategias de seguridad nacional y de defensa – como EE.UU. ha hecho con su Estudio Cuadrienal de Defensa. Eso significa que hay que pedir a nuestras agencias de inteligencia que lo consideren como una de sus tareas principales. Significa que los planificadores militares deben evaluar el potencial de esos impactos, actualizar correspondientemente sus planes y considerar las capacidades que pueden necesitar en el futuro.”
Además propugnó la inclusión de las más de cuarenta naciones con las cuales el bloque de 28 miembros tiene cooperaciones individuales y colectivas, agregando: “También podemos considerar la adaptación de nuestros acuerdos de participación para considerar el cambio climático. Ahora mismo, la OTAN se involucra en el entrenamiento militar y en la formación de capacidades con países en todo el mundo. Nos concentramos en cosas como mantenimiento de la paz, entrenamiento en idiomas y contraterrorismo. ¿Y si incluyéramos la cooperación que ayude a crear la capacidad en las fuerzas armadas de nuestros socios para encarar mejor grandes tormentas, o inundaciones, o movimientos repentinos de poblaciones? 
La caja de Pandora de preocupaciones de la OTAN de Rasmussen fue esbozada durante años por su predecesor, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, quien dijo hace dos años que: “Los temas que se espera que los dirigentes de la Alianza discutan en la cumbre de Bucarest (Primavera de 2008) son ampliación de la OTAN, defensa de misiles, capacidades militares, seguridad energética, conciencia de la situación marítima, ciberdefensa y otras nuevas amenazas para la seguridad”  en una declaración, y en otra en el mismo período “subrayó la importancia de temas como la ampliación, las cooperaciones, seguridad energética, la lucha contra el terrorismo global, la seguridad energética, la defensa cibernética y de misiles que espera serán discutidos en la cumbre de Bucarest.” 
En marzo de 2008 Scheffer fue citado en una información intitulada “Jefe de la OTAN llama a que una ‘Carta Atlántica’ defina la estrategia” diciendo: “Los desafíos son multifacéticos, interrelacionados y pueden aparecer de cualquier parte. Tenemos que hacer un mejor trabajo de oteo del horizonte estratégico. No podemos sólo reaccionar… Si la OTAN ha de ser capaz de actuar en cualquier parte del mundo, necesitamos más socios globales.” 
Durante una visita a Israel en enero pasado, Scheffer elucidó el tema: “La OTAN se ha transformado para enfrentar los desafíos de hoy y mañana. Hemos establecido cooperaciones en todo el globo, desde Japón a Australia a Pakistán y, claro está, con los importantes países del Mediterráneo y del Golfo. Hemos establecido relaciones políticas con la ONU y la Unión Africana que nunca existieron antes. Hemos incluido a nuevos [países], pronto serán 28 en total, y hay más a la espera… Esperamos jugar nuevos roles, también, en la seguridad energética y en la ciberdefensa…” 
En un discurso del 22 de marzo, “El futuro de la OTAN,” habló de “participación a largo plazo, costosa y arriesgada muy lejos de nuestras propias fronteras” y de intervenciones “para cubrir una amplia gama de preocupaciones e intereses – desde la defensa territorial, por la estabilidad regional, hasta llegar a la ciberdefensa, la seguridad energética, y las consecuencias del cambio climático.
“De sólo 12 Estados miembro llegamos a 26 – y pronto a 28. Y de una Alianza puramente ‘eurocéntrica’ la OTAN se ha desarrollado a ser un proveedor de seguridad que participa en varios continentes, y que trabaja con una amplia gama de otras naciones e instituciones.” 
Su referencia previa a la Unión Africana tiene que ver con el despliegue de la OTAN a la región de Darfur de Sudán en 2005, su primera operación africana, y la de “relaciones políticas con la ONU” a un acuerdo secreto alcanzado en septiembre de 2008 entre Scheffer y el secretario general de Naciones Unidas Ban Ki-moon que pasó por alto a los miembros permanentes del Consejo de Seguridad Rusia y China.
Por cierto, la creciente lista de excusas para la participación e intervención de la OTAN, la de Scheffer y ahora la de Rasmussen, es una usurpación peligrosa de responsabilidad y funciones que son propiamente de la ONU y no de una cábala militar no elegida, la población combinada de cuyos Estados miembros es sólo una pequeña fracción de la raza humana.
La expansión de la OTAN y sus operaciones cada vez más amplias durante los últimos diez años indican de una manera manifiesta la intención de la Alianza de circunvenir, subvertir y poner en peligro la existencia misma de Naciones Unidas, un tema tratado en un artículo previo: “West Plots To Supplant United Nations With Global NATO.” 
Aparte de “garantizar la seguridad energética” estableciendo cabezas de puente militares en los Balcanes, Asia Central y del Sur, el Cáucaso, el Golfo Pérsico, el Cuerno de África y el Golfo de Guinea y de mantener armas nucleares de EE.UU. en Europa y participar en la campaña dirigida por EE.UU. por un escudo global de misiles, la OTAN se ha arrogado el mandato exclusivo para encarar virtualmente todos los problemas que enfrenta la humanidad. Junto con fabricantes de armas occidentales y gente como Lloyd’s of London y Royal Dutch Shell.
1) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, March 16, 2008
2) NATO, October 1, 2009
3) The Telegraph, October 1, 2009
4) NATO, October 1, 2009]
6) NATO, October 9, 2007
7) NATO, October 9, 2007
8) Bloomberg News, March 15, 2008
9) Haaretz, January 10, 2009
10) NATO, March 22, 2009
11) Stop NATO, May 27, 2009
October 10, 2009
Minaccia di ripresa del conflitto in Europa: una Grande Albania patrocinata dall’occidente
Traduzione di Alessandro Lattanzio
L’Europa potè essere appollaiata sul precipizio del suo primo conflitto armato dopo i 78 giorni di bombardamenti della guerra della NATO contro la Jugoslavia, nel 1999 e l’invasione armata della Macedonia, lanciata due anni dopo, a seguito dell’occupazione della NATO del Kosovo.
Con l’adesione formale, nel mese di aprile, dell’Albania alla NATO come membro a pieno titolo e la rielezione (almeno formale) che ne seguì del Primo Ministro della nazione, Sali Berisha, il teatro è pronto per il progetto per una nuova riconfigurazione dei confini dell’Europa sud-orientale, alla ricerca di una grande Albania.
I passaggi precedenti, in questa direzione, sono stati la guerra combattuta dagli Stati Uniti e della NATO contro la Repubblica federale di Iugoslavia, un decennio fa, a nome del cosiddetto Esercito di Liberazione del Kosovo (AKL, in albanese UCK) e di collusione con esso, una violazione del diritto penale internazionale che si è conclusa con la separazione della provincia serba del Kosovo dalla Serbia e dalla Jugoslavia.
50000 soldati della NATO riversati in Kosovo nel giugno 1999, accompagnati dai dirigenti e dai combattenti dell’UCK, basato in Albania, sotto l’egida della risoluzione 1244 delle Nazioni Unite, tra gli altri, ha condannato gli atti “terroristici commessi da entrambe le parti “e” [ribadito] l’impegno di tutti gli Stati membri per la sovranità e l’integrità territoriale della Repubblica federale di Jugoslavia e degli altri stati della regione, secondo l’Atto finale di Helsinki e l’allegato 2″.
Gli Stati Uniti e i loro alleati della NATO non avevano intenzione di rispettare la risoluzione 1244 delle Nazioni Unite e hanno dimostrato il loro disprezzo per un documento che essi stessi avevano firmato, riarmando i combattenti del KLA, che per anni avevano aggredito, sequestrato e ucciso civili di tutte le etniche, e trasformando l’ex gruppo armato separatista nel Kosovo Protection Corps.
La risoluzione 1244 delle Nazioni Unite ordinò espressamente che il KLA ed i suoi affiliati teppisti dovevano essere disarmati, ma le potenze della NATO hanno aggirato tale requisito con un gioco di prestigio, fornendo nuove uniformi, nuove armi e un nuovo nome all’UCK. Ma non un nuovo comandante. Chi è stato scelto per questo ruolo è stato Agim Ceku, comandante dell’esercito croato durante la brutale campagna dell’Operazione Tempesta del 1995: “la più grande offensiva terrestre europea dopo la seconda guerra mondiale”  – e capo di stato maggiore dell’UCK durante la guerra in comune con la NATO contro la Jugoslavia, quattro anni dopo.
Incoraggiato dal sostegno militare dell’Occidente nel raggiungere il suo programma separatista, l’UCK ha scatenato i suoi affiliati contro il sud della Serbia e la Macedonia: l’Esercito di liberazione di Presevo, Bujanovac e Medveda nel primo caso, dal 1999, e l’Esercito di Liberazione Nazionale nel secondo, che nel 2001 ha iniziato gli attacchi all’interno della Macedonia, dalla sua base in Kosovo.
Solo la capitolazione del governo della Serbia, dopo l’ottobre 2000 e un accomodamento simile, sotto pressione – pressione occidentale – del governo della Macedonia nel 2001, hanno soddisfatto le aspettative di molti estremisti armati pan-albanesi in entrambe le nazioni, dell’eventuale unificazione che attraversi i diversi confini nazionali, con il sostegno degli Stati Uniti e dei loro alleati della NATO.
La conferma decisiva del sostegno occidentale è venuta nel febbraio 2008, con la dichiarazione unilaterale d’indipendenza delle forze separatiste in Kosovo. L’ex capo del KLA e protetto americano Hashim Thaci, allora Primo Ministro provvisorio, ha dichiarato la secessione dalla Serbia, e la maggior parte dei paesi della NATO si affrettò a gratificare l’entità illegale del riconoscimento diplomatico.
Venti mesi dopo, oltre i due terzi del mondo, compresa la Russia, la Cina e l’India, non hanno legittimato col riconoscimento questo abominio, ma l’Occidente è rimasto fermo nel suo disprezzo per la legge e nel suo sostegno internazionale agli estremisti violenti in Kosovo, che hanno ambizioni più grandi verso l’intera regione, ambizioni incoraggiate dal sostegno consistente degli USA e della NATO, e dalla convinzione che l’Occidente continuerà questo supporto in futuro.
L’Albania è oggi uno Stato membro della NATO e, come tale, è sotto la protezione della clausola relativa alla reciproca assistenza militare dell’articolo 5 della Alleanza, e gli appelli a una Grande Albania, a scapito della territorio di diversi altri paesi europei, sono diventati più forti e più aspri.
In risposta alla crescente campagna per estendere il modello del Kosovo nella Serbia meridionale, in Macedonia, in Montenegro e anche in Grecia (Epiro), due mesi fa il Ministro degli affari esteri russo, Sergei Lavrov, ha ammonito le nazioni che considerano di riconoscere la statualità del Kosovo, consigliando loro di “pensarci molto attentamente prima di prendere questa decisione molto pericolosa, che può portare a risultati imprevedibili, e che non ha nulla di buono per la stabilità dell’Europa. ” 
Nove giorni dopo, il Primo Ministro albanese Berisha ha affermato senza mezzi termini che “il progetto di unità nazionale di tutti gli albanesi dovrebbe essere un faro per i politici in Albania e in Kosovo.” Ha detto con enfasi che, “l’Albania e il Kosovo non devono in alcun modo vedersi come degli Stati esteri.”
Un commentatore russo ha risposto a questa dichiarazione affermando che “ogni tentativo di attuare l’idea di una Grande Albania è simile a quello dell’apertura del vaso di Pandora. Questo potrebbe destabilizzare la situazione nei Balcani e provocare un guerra sul continente, simile a quella della fine degli anni ‘90″. 
Parlando del “progetto di una cosiddetta Grande Albania, che abbraccia tutti i territori dei Balcani abitati da albanesi, compreso il Kosovo, parti della Macedonia, Montenegro e di molti altri paesi”, l’analista politico russo Pyotr Iskenderov ha detto che “la dichiarazione d’indipendenza del Kosovo e il riconoscimento di questo atto illegale da parte degli Stati Uniti e dei membri chiave dell’Unione europea, hanno stimolato la realizzazione dell’idea di una cosiddetta Grande Albania.”
Anche il resto della Serbia ne è colpita – nella valle di Presevo nel sud della nazione, dove Serbia, Kosovo e Macedonia confinano – e, analogamente, la Grecia, se dobbiamo credere a un rapporto del 2001.
All’epoca, Ali Ahmeti, il fondatore e comandante dell’UCK, e poi capo del National Liberation Army (DLA), che aveva cominciato a lanciare attacchi mortali contro la Macedonia, dalla sua base nella città di Prizren, in Kosovo, è stato indicato come capo glorioso dell’Esercito di Liberazione di Chameria, nella regione dell’Epiro, nel nord-ovest della Grecia, un esercito dotato di un impressionante arsenale di armi.
La bandiera nazionale introdotta dal febbraio 2008, contiene un profilo del Kosovo, con sei stelle bianche sopra di esso. Ciò che non è stato riconosciuto, per ovvi motivi, è che le stelle sono chiamate a rappresentare le nazioni con popolazione di etnia albanese come Kosovo, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro e Grecia.
L’addestramento militare e la capacità di combattimento dei gruppi separatisti e irredentisti pan-albanesi sono aumentati ad un livello superiore, rispetto al passato, grazie ai grandi paesi della NATO. Nel marzo la Kosovo Force guidata dalla NATO (KFOR) ha cominciato a riorganizzare il Corpo di Protezione del Kosovo, che è una copertura dell’Esercito di liberazione del Kosovo, in un embrionale esercito nazionale, la Forza di Sicurezza del Kosovo, il cui capo di stato maggiore è il tenente generale [Generale di Corpo d’armata] Sylejman Selimi, in transizione diretta dal comando del Corpo di protezione del Kosovo. Un simpatico reportage dello scorso dicembre, ha descritto più precisamente la sua nuova posizione di Capo di Stato Maggiore dell’Esercito della Repubblica del Kosovo. 
La Forza di Sicurezza in Kosovo (FSK), come il Corpo di Protezione del Kosovo, prima che fosse vantato dai circoli occidentali come una presunta forza di polizia multietnica, non è né etnica, né una forza di polizia, ma un esercito alle prime armi, un esercito che il sedicente presidente del Kosovo, Fatmir Sejdiu, a giugno ha definito come “una forza moderna, che è costruita in conformità con gli standard della NATO”. 
Nello stesso mese, la NATO ha annunciato che l’esercito prototipo del Kosovo sarebbe stato pronto a settembre, e “che la NATO dovrebbe aumentare la sua capacità di monitoraggio all’interno del FSK, al fine di garantirne una migliore efficienza”. 
Una precedente relazione del Kosovo ha dimostrato, inoltre, che le nuove forze armate dell’entità illegittima sarebbero niente più che un accessorio militare della NATO: “La forza di sicurezza deve essere addestrata da funzionari dell’esercito inglese, le divise sono state fornite dagli Stati Uniti ed i veicoli sono stati forniti dalla Germania. “La forza di sicurezza in Kosovo deve essere conforme agli standard della NATO.” 
A febbraio, per tale procedimento, l’Italia ha annunciato di voler donare 2 milioni di euro e la Germania avrebbe dato 200 veicoli militari per l’esercito. Il Comandante supremo alleato della NATO in Europa, al momento, il generale John Craddock, ha viaggiato per il Kosovo per iniziare la creazione della Forza di Sicurezza in Kosovo e ha visitato il campo nazionale di addestramento del FSK, a Vucitrn, un viaggio durante il quale ha detto: “Sono soddisfatto dei progressi fatti fino ad oggi. Alla fine della prima fase di reclutamento, abbiamo 4.900 candidati per 300 posti nell’FSK, in questa prima fase d’arruolamento.” 
Nel maggio di quest’anno, il Ministero della Difesa britannico ha firmato un accordo con le forze di sicurezza del neonato Kosovo, per “offrire una formazione ai membri del FSK in diverse aree, secondo gli standard della NATO.”
L’ambasciatore britannico in Kosovo, Andrew Sparks, avrebbe detto: “Ci auguriamo che dopo la firma di questo accordo e l’espansione della nostra cooperazione, il Kosovo riuscirà a diventare un membro della NATO.” 
Con i soldati albanesi cui la NATO ha portato l’esperienza delle zone di combattimento in Iraq e in Afghanistan, il nuovo esercito in Kosovo sarà, come le forze armate delle altre nuove nazioni della NATO, utilizzato per le guerre all’estero. Un esempio recente, ad agosto, il capo di stato maggiore generale della Macedonia, il tenente-colonnello generale Miroslav Stojanovski, “fa notare che più di un quarto dei componenti delle unità che del servizio combattente delle AMR (Forze Armate Macedoni), 1746 soldati, hanno partecipato alle missioni di pace”, il che significa che sono stati dispiegati dalla NATO.  Ma finora sono stati uccisi più soldati macedoni, nel 2001, dalla National Liberation Army, una sigla del KLA, che quelli morti in Afghanistan e in Iraq.
Una relazione informativa del maggio scorso, fornisce ulteriori dettagli sull’ampiezza originale e sull’obiettivo a lungo termine del nuovo esercito in Kosovo: “Secondo la Costituzione della Repubblica del Kosovo, l’FSK dovrebbe essere formato da 3000 soldati, 2000 attivi e 1000 di riserva. Essi sono organizzati in base agli standard della NATO. C’è anche la possibilità del loro impiego all’estero, garantendo la situazione mondiale in futuro.” 
Quando il nuovo Segretario generale della NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, ha fatto la sua prima visita con tale carica, in Kosovo, nel mese di agosto, per incontrare il Comandante della KFOR, Giuseppe Emilio Gay, il presidente del Kosovo Fatmir Sejdiu, il primo ministro Hashim Thaci e il Ministro della Forza di sicurezza del Kosovo Fehmi Mujota, “il presidente del Kosovo, Fatmir Sejdiu, ha dichiarato che sperava che il Kosovo partecipasse alle operazioni per il mantenimento della pace della NATO all’estero.”  L’Afghanistan è il primo schieramento apparente.
Sei anni prima, Agim Ceku aveva offerto truppe del Corpo di Protezione del Kosovo agli Stati Uniti, per la guerra e l’occupazione dell’Iraq, come corrispettivo per il mantenimento delle truppe NATO in Kosovo.
La NATO ha dispiegato in Afghanistan, i soldati di nazioni come la Georgia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Lettonia, Lituania, Polonia e Finlandia, per l’addestramento al combattimento in condizioni realistiche, per poi utilizzarli a casa, una volta rientrati, come è stato ammesso apertamente da parte dei funzionari delle forze armate delle nazioni sopra menzionate.
Molte migliaia di soldati provenienti dall’Albania e dal Kosovo, induriti dalle operazioni nella zona di guerra afgana, saranno le formidabili forze che combatteranno nei futuri conflitti nei Balcani.
La distinzione tra le forze armate di Albania e del Kosovo, diventa in gran parte accademica. In agosto, il Primo Ministro albanese Berisha ha rilasciato una dichiarazione inequivocabile, secondo cui “l’idea di unità nazionale è fondata sui principi e gli ideali d’Europa …. Così è per il Primo Ministro del Kosovo Hashim Thaci, e io stesso lavoro per la rimozione di tutti gli ostacoli che impediscono agli albanesi di sentirsi uniti, a prescindere dal luogo in cui vivono”, aggiungendo che “non dovrebbe esserci alcuna amministrazione doganale e l’Albania e il Kosovo non dovrebbero guardarsi come dei paesi stranieri… ” 
L’Albania è ora membro a pieno titolo della NATO, come l’alleanza stessa potrebbe essere chiamata a rispondere, se le autorità del Kosovo provocassero uno scontro con i vicini, come la Serbia, e insistendo nel dire che la Macedonia, l’Albania e il Kosovo non sono “stranieri”. Se l’Albania interviene, in nome del suo “popolo fratello”, in un conflitto militare con la non-opposizione dell’Alleanza, la NATO ne sarà coinvolta ipso facto.
Nel mese di settembre, i ministri degli Esteri della Russia e della Romania hanno espresso serie preoccupazioni per quanto riguarda gli sviluppi relativi al Kosovo. La Romania è uno dei soli tre paesi membri della NATO che non ha riconosciuto l’indipendenza del Kosovo, gli altri sono la Spagna e la Slovacchia. Tutte e tre le nazioni sono preoccupate del fatto che il precedente del Kosovo contribuirà alla divisione armata del proprio paese.
Il portavoce del ministero degli Esteri russo, Andrei Nesterenko, ha detto che un “significativo potenziale conflitto”, persisterà in Kosovo, e che si aspettava che i rappresentanti della comunità internazionale agiscano in modo imparziale, per evitare “ulteriori provocazioni anti-serbe”.
Egli ha aggiunto che “gli eventi della provincia mostrano un significativo potenziale di conflitto resta, e che i più recenti scontri inter-etnici sono stati il risultato della volontà dei cittadini albanesi in Kosovo a comprimere, a tutti i costi, il territorio dell’etnia serba”, e che “In generale, il problema del Kosovo rimane uno dei problemi più gravi che affliggono la sicurezza regionale.” 
Per nulla intimidita, la NATO ha annunciato il 16 settembre, sul suo sito web della KFOR, che la “Kosovo Security Force” (FSK) ha acquisito la capacità operativa iniziale (IOC). “La decisione è stata presa dopo l’esercitazione ‘Lion Agile’, che è stato il culmine di poco più di sette mesi di duro lavoro della KFOR e della FSK nel reclutare, addestrare ed equipaggiare la forza. Il prossimo obiettivo dell’FSK è quello di raggiungere la piena capacità operativa. La KFOR controllerà e sosterrà questo processo, che dovrebbe richiedere da 2 a 5 anni.” 
Il giorno prima, il nuovo ambasciatore USA in Kosovo, Christopher Dell, aveva firmato il primo accordo interstatale degli Stati Uniti con l’entità secessionista, dimostrando “l’impegno dell’America per un Kosovo indipendente”, con Fatmir Sejdiu e Hashim Thaci. Il presunto presidente Sejdiu ha dichiarato, nell’occasione: “Questo accordo alza il livello di cooperazione tra il Kosovo e gli Stati Uniti, non solo attraverso vari organismi degli Stati Uniti e del Kosovo, come è stato fino ad ora.” 
Ciò che l’estensione del “Kosovo indipendente” suggerisce, è stato indicato alla fine di settembre, quando la polizia serba aveva scoperto un nascondiglio di armi di grandi dimensioni, nella vicina valle di Presevo, alla frontiera di Serbia-Kosovo- Macedonia, e che comprendeva “mitragliatrici, bombe, lanciarazzi, 16 bombe a mano e più di 20 mine e un grosso quantitativo di munizioni” , e più tardi, ai primi di ottobre, quando la polizia di frontiera macedone è stata “attaccata con armi automatiche, mentre pattugliava il confine con il Kosovo…” .
Ciò che può essere ugualmente nei depositi, è stato rivelato alla fine del mese scorso, quando la Germania ha espulso il primo dei 12.000 Rom (zingari) che rispedisce con la forza in Kosovo. Verso l’esclusione, le persecuzioni, gli attentati e la morte. I Rom che restano rischiano di morire nei rifugi, dove la missione dell’amministrazione provvisoria dell’ONU in Kosovo (UNMIK) li ha abbandonati, dopo l’assunzione del controllo della provincia da parte della NATO e dell’UCK, nel giugno 1999.
“I campi, nei pressi di un complesso minerario e metallurgico chiuso, che ospita scorie di materiali tossici per 100 milioni di tonnellate, sono state considerate come una misura temporanea, dopo che un quartiere, che era stato la casa per 9000 zingari, è stato distrutto dagli albanesi, dopo che le forze di sicurezza serbe avevano lasciato la zona, negli ultimi giorni del conflitto in Kosovo, nel giugno 1999.” 
A poche settimane prima che la Russia aveva avvertito che sta valutando “fermare la missione dell’OSCE [Organizzazione per la Sicurezza e la Cooperazione in Europa] in Kosovo istituito per proteggere i diritti delle comunità etniche inaccettabile”.
L’ambasciatore russo presso l’OSCE, Anvar Azimov, ha dichiarato: “Queste misure, sanzionate da nessuno, sono unilaterali e riguardano l’attività complessiva del mandato di questa missione.” 
Il 5 Settembre, un notiziario serbo ha riferito che più di 200000 rifugiati provenienti dal Kosovo sono stati registrati in Serbia, comprese l’etnia serba, Rom, Gorani e altri non-albanesi. Questo numero non comprende coloro che non erano iscritti, coloro che erano fuggiti in altri paesi, come la Macedonia, e quelli cacciati dalle loro case, ma rimasti in Kosovo.
Negli ultimi dieci anni, centinaia di migliaia di abitanti del Kosovo, anche di etnia albanese, sono stati uccisi e cacciati dalla provincia.
Organizzazioni Rom hanno stimato che il numero di rom, ashkali ed egiziani colpiti arriva alle sei cifre. Serbi, Gorani, turchi, bosniaci, montenegrini e altre vittime del terrore razziale e dello sterminio in Kosovo si contano anche loro a centinaia di migliaia.
I media occidentali hanno detto regolarmente, ormai da dieci anni, che il Kosovo è per il 90 per cento di etnia albanese. Potrebbe anche essere il caso adesso, dopo un provvedimento del genere su larga scala, ma le cifre di cui sopra confutano che fosse così in precedenza, in una provincia di non più di due milioni di abitanti.
Dopo la prima dichiarazione del Primo Ministro albanese, che il suo paese e il popolo del Kosovo e il suo sono uno solo, il ministro degli Affari esteri della Russia, Sergei Lavrov, ha emesso una condanna su tale dichiarazione e sul forte coinvolgimento dell’occidente: “Siamo molto preoccupati dalla dichiarazione del Primo Ministro dell’Albania. Riteniamo che ci dovrebbero essere risposte adeguate alla dichiarazione – in primo luogo, dall’UE e anche dalla NATO. Non abbiamo avuto tali reazioni. Ci auguriamo che, nonostante il fatto che non ci siano dichiarazioni pubbliche provenienti dalle capitali europee, i negoziati con le autorità albanesi siano in corso.” 
“Mosca è preoccupata per le dichiarazioni di Tirana sull’’unità essenziale di tutti gli albanesi’.”
A meno che i commenti di Lavrov siano state rigorosamente retoriche, si dovrà aspettare molto tempo prima che i leader di Stati Uniti, NATO e UE facciano qualche dichiarazione, molto meno critiche, sulle affermazioni di Berisha e delle sue controparti in Kosovo e in Macedonia, per una unica Grande Albania (o Grande Kosovo). Le nazioni della NATO hanno armato, addestrato e dotato di supporto logistico l’Esercito di Liberazione del Kosovo, nella sua guerra contro le forze di sicurezza serbe e jugoslave alla fine degli anni ‘90, sono entrati fianco a fianco con l’UCK in Kosovo e l’hanno istituzionalizzato come Corpo di Protezione del Kosovo, nello stesso anno; hanno sottratto l’Esercito di liberazione nazionale da una pesante sconfitta da parte dell’esercito macedone, nel 2001; l’hanno ricreato quest’anno, come nucleo di un futuro esercito nazionale del Kosovo, la Forza di Sicurezza nel Kosovo, e l’anno scorso hanno riconosciuto la dichiarazione unilaterale d’indipendenza del Kosovo, guidata dal ex leader del KLA, Hashim Thaci.
Non vi è alcuna ragione di credere che Washington e Bruxelles abbandoneranno ora i loro clienti e il loro progetto di sovversione e mutilazione di quattro paesi confinanti, per creare un esteso super-stato Albania-Kosovo etnicamente pulito, in preda alla criminalità, mentre quest’ultimo si avvicina alla sua attuazione.
Il 6 ottobre, Berisha è stato a Pristina, capitale del Kosovo, “a firmare una serie di accordi. Secondo [Berisha], il suo governo lavorerà per completare i progetti di infrastruttura che prevedono l’unificazione dei sistemi economici di Albania e Kosovo, la creazione di vie di comunicazione per il trasporto merci e prevede la migrazione economica della popolazione.” 
Un rapporto di fonte italiane della visita, ha detto che “l’Albania ha anche ceduto al Kosovo il porto adriatico di Shendjin (Shengjin), dando ak nuovo Stato indipendente uno sbocco sul mare”. 
Nelle parole di Berisha, “il porto di Shengjin è ora l’accesso sul Mare del Kosovo.”  L’accesso al mare Adriatico che la Serbia non ha più dal crollo dell’Unione di Serbia e Montenegro, di tre anni fa.
La sua controparte, l’ex capocosca Hashim Thaci, ha fatto eco alla dichiarazione precedente del suo invitato, dicendo: “Gli albanesi vivono in molti paesi, ma siamo una nazione. I paesi della regione hanno due paesi amici nel Kosovo e nell’Albania, paesi partner per la cooperazione, la pace e la stabilità degli investimenti nella regione e per l’integrazione europea”. 
Il primo ministro albanese è stato citato, sul sito web del Presidente del Kosovo, il 7 ottobre, promettendo che “l’Albania dovrà assistere il Kosovo in ogni modo possibile. L’Albania è determinata a rinnovare, nel modo più veloce possibile, tutte i suoi collegamenti infrastrutturali con il Kosovo. Nei prossimi quattro anni, la costruzione dell’autostrada Qafe Morine-Scutari è stata completata e darà al Kosovo occidentale un veloce accesso al mare l’anno prossimo, il mio governo attuerà uno studio di fattibilità per sviluppare il progetto di una ferrovia Albania-Kosovo. Molte altre linee ed infrastrutture sono e saranno costruite.” 
Berisha ha incontrato anche il comandante della Kosovo Force (KFOR), il tenente generale tedesco Markus Bentler e ha detto: “Le truppe albanesi potrebbero far parte della KFOR”, prima di deporre una corona sulla tomba di Adem Jashari, il primo comandante del KLA. 
Il giorno prima della riunione Berisha-Thaci a Pristina, l’accomodante governo del presidente serbo Boris Tadic e del ministro degli Esteri, Vuk Jeremic, si sono dichiarati concordi sulle ragioni per cui le intenzioni della NATO e le intenzioni della comunità Pan-albanese nella regione hanno incontrato poca opposizione. Jeremic, pur dichiarando nella forma che la sua nazione non aderirà alla NATO, nel futuro immediato, (anche se ha aderito al programma di transizione del Partenariato per la Pace) ha dichiarato: “Continuiamo la stretta collaborazione, perché che la NATO è il fattore più importante per garantire la sicurezza nel mondo”.
Un sito d’informazioni russo, riferendo di questa affermazione, ha ricordato ai suoi lettori che “nel 1999 le forze aeree della NATO hanno bombardato Belgrado e altre città della Serbia, per sostenere il separatismo albanese in Kosovo. E più di 3000 serbi sono morti e decine di migliaia di persone sono state ferite. La NATO promuove anche la separazione del Kosovo dalla Serbia…” 
Alla fine del mese scorso l’ammiraglio statunitense James Stavridis, capo del Comando Europeo degli USA e Comandante supremo alleato della NATO in Europa, ha partecipato alla riunione sulla Carta Atlantica, che Washington ha firmato con l’Albania, Macedonia, Croazia, Bosnia e Montenegro nel 2003, di fatto tutti i Balcani, per prepararli all’adesione alla NATO.
Stavridis, poi, è partito per la Croazia, per supervisionare le manovre militari multinazionali ‘Jackal Stone 09’, il cui scopo è “migliorare con successo le capacità dei partecipanti nel condurre operazioni di contro-insurrezione.”
Co-organizzato dallo Special Operations Command Europe degli Stati Uniti, il comandante di quest’ultimo, il generale Frank Kisner, ha elogiato il successo di tale operazione: “Questa programmazione ininterrotta ha riunito i rappresentanti di 10 nazioni e ha permesso loro di eseguire efficacemente una moltitudine di compiti in aria, terra e mare.” 
‘Jackal Stone 09’ è stata la prima esercitazione militare condotta in Croazia, dopo la sua adesione alla NATO, all’inizio di quest’anno. Funzionari degli Stati Uniti e della NATO hanno ripetutamente detto che dopo la Croazia e l’Albania, la Macedonia, la Bosnia e il Montenegro saranno i primi a divenirne membri a pieno titolo, e che la Serbia e il Kosovo sarebbero stato i prossimi.
Il 2 ottobre, la Bosnia ha presentato al Segretario generale della NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, una richiesta formale per un piano d’azione d’adesione alla NATO; una domanda de facto per una piena adesione.
Rasmussen ha detto, “Credo che questa domanda sia la strada migliore per una stabilità durevole nell’area euro-atlantica. E’ la mia visione, vedere tutti i paesi dei Balcani occidentali integrarsi nella NATO.” 
La NATO ha usato vari pretesti per l’intervento militare nei Balcani, nel corso degli ultimi quindici anni, molte di queste scuse erano contraddittorie, come il Kosovo contro la Repubblica serba di Bosnia e con il Kosovo nel suo insieme contro il nord di Kosovska Mitrovica. La sua intenzione, tuttavia, non è cambiata e rimane: assorbire ogni nazione e pseudo-nazione della regione nei suoi ranghi, e reclutare nuovi membri e partner per le sue guerre più lontane.
Il separatismo armato è stato lo strumento utilizzato per avviare la distruzione della Repubblica Socialista Federativa di Jugoslavia nel 1992, un processo che ha frammentato questa nazione nelle sue sei repubbliche costituenti quella federale, e nel caso del Kosovo, una provincia strappata a un’ex-repubblica.
Ma la revisione dei confini nazionali, con le perturbazioni e le violenze che comporta inevitabilmente, non è completa.
Il Kosovo è senza dubbio un vaso di Pandora, in fondo a cui non ci attende, necessariamente, la speranza. Resta una scintilla potenziale, in grado di aumentare il pericolo, come osservato in precedenza, di “destabilizzare la situazione nei Balcani e di scatenare una guerra sul continente, simile a quella della fine degli anni ‘90″.
2) Black Sea Press, August 6, 2009
3) Voice of Russia, August 20, 2009 3
6) New Kosova Report, December 20, 2009
7) Kosovo Times, June 9, 2009
8) Kosovo Times, June 8, 2009
9) Kosovo Times, May 27, 2009
10) NATO, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, February 18, 2009
11) Southeast European Times, May 21, 2009
12) Makfax, August 17, 2009
13) New Kosova Report, May 20, 2009
14) Focus News Agency, August 13, 2009
15) Sofia News Agency.
16) Tanjug News Agency, September 4, 2009
17) NATO, Kosovo Force, September 16, 2009
18) Beta News Agency, September 15, 2009
19) Tanjug News Agency, September 23, 2009
20) Makfax, October 2, 2009
21) Washington Times, May 3, 2009
22) FoNet, September 11, 2009
23) Russia Today, October 5, 2009
24) Voice of Russia, October 6, 2009
26) ADN Kronos International, October 6, 2009
27) B92, October 6, 2009
28) B92, Beta News Agency, Tanjug News Agency, October 6, 2009
29) President of the Republic of Kosovo, October 7, 2009
30) Beta News Agency, October 7, 2009
31) Voice of Russia, October 5, 2009
32) United States European Command, September 28, 2009
33) NATO, October 2, 2009
October 12, 2009
Afghanistan: West’s 21st Century War Risks Regional Conflagration
On October 7 the United States’ and NATO’s war in Afghanistan entered its ninth year. The escalating conflict has over the past year become indistinguishable from military operations in neighboring Pakistan where the U.S. and NATO have tripled deadly drone missile attacks and the Pakistani army has launched large-scale offensives that have displaced over 3 million civilians in the Northwest Frontier Province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, with the province of Baluchistan the next battle zone.
On September 29 the U.S. conducted four drone attacks in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency in twenty-four hours and during the past year has fired over 60 missiles into the area causing more than 550 deaths.
Three days later the Pentagon announced 72 more American military deaths in the fifteen-nation Operation Enduring Freedom, Greater Afghan War theater – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Cuba (Guantanamo Bay Naval Base), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, the Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Yemen – bringing the official total to 774.
The U.S. Department of Defense and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) acknowledge that so far this year 406 foreign soldiers have been killed, the bulk of which, 240, are American.
On the eight anniversary of the beginning of the war, however, an authoritative Russian news source estimated that overall “The United States has…lost 1,500 servicemen, while its allies have lost several hundred.” 
American and NATO military deaths this year are the highest since the war commenced and are steadily rising. 2009 has also brought the largest amount of Afghan civilian deaths of the war.
Far from the carnage abating any time soon, events of the past week give every indication that the nation scourged by thirty years of war is to be the site of unprecedented Western troop increases and yet more deadly fighting.
On October 3 an American outpost in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province was attacked by over 300 insurgents. Eight U.S. soldiers were killed and three Apache helicopters hit by rifle fire or rockets, with the American troops still alive fleeing and a rebel flag left flying over the camp.
In a reminder that the U.S.’s Afghan war is not eight but thirty years old, a Washington Post report of the attack reminded its readers of the major recipient of billions of dollars of CIA money funneled to Pakistan for the fighting in Afghanistan from 1978-1992:
“The attack involved Taliban fighters and appeared to be led by a local commander of the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin insurgent group, which is run by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former mujaheddin leader during the Soviet war in Afghanistan during the 1980s.” 
The former CIA official who boasted that the campaign to support Hekmatyar and his colleagues, Operation Cyclone, was the “most consequential of all” the agency’s “successes” was Robert Gates, now U.S. Defense Secretary in charge of waging the war in Afghanistan.
On October 9 the Wall Street Journal reported that the top military commander of both American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, presented a report to U.S. President Barack Obama which “includes three different options, with the largest alternative including a request for more than 60,000 troops, according to a U.S. official familiar with the document.” 
The following day the armed forces publication Stars and Stripes posed the question: “As President Barack Obama ponders whether or how to grant his Afghanistan commander’s urgent request for up to 60,000 more troops to expand the flagging war against Taliban insurgents, one obvious question arises: Why not simply transfer thousands of soldiers from nearby Iraq?” 
The Pentagon has revealed troop rotation plans that include “a combat brigade and combat aviation brigade totaling approximately 6,100 service members,” among them “2,800 soldiers of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade” to “provide sufficient military capability for the NATO-International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).” 
The Stars and Stripes also recently reported that General McChrystal’s top deputy, Lieutenant General David Rodriguez, will head up “a revised command structure that will go into effect next week…a new, subordinate headquarters called the ISAF Joint Command.”
The division of labor, an integral part of plans for the influx of new American and NATO troops and equipment allotted for a marked escalation of combat operations, will permit McChrystal to “focus more on the political and strategic complexities of the Afghanistan mission” and Rodriguez to “assume control of day-to-day tactical operations.” 
On the same day, October 10, an article called “Obama picks Army general to lead Afghan training,” detailed that the new commander, Lieutenant General Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, was a classmate of McChrystal’s at West Point and that his appointment entails “elevating the command from a two-star to three-star general.”
The U.S. and NATO military commander selected his former associate as “McChrystal advocates accelerating growth of the Afghan forces from 200,000 soldiers to 400,000.” 
New commands, new commanders and as many as 60,000 more American and thousands of other NATO nations’ troops signal plans for a dramatic intensification of a war that will only extend substantially further into time and expand into broader tracts of South and Central Asia.
As Agence France-Presse reported on October 9, only hours after the announcement that American president Obama had won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize he “shouldered his duties as commander in chief of the US armed forces and convened his war council for crucial talks on Afghan strategy.”
Participants at the meeting with the president were “Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, McChrystal via video link, top military officers and the US ambassadors to Islamabad and Kabul.” It was held following McChrystal’s offering “the president several alternative options, including a maximum injection of 60,000 extra troops.” 
In lockstep and unvarying conformity with White House and Pentagon initiatives, Britain’s Home Secretary Alan Johnson announced that “All member countries of NATO including the UK will send more forces soon to Afghanistan.” 
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen chimed in by affirming to England’s Sky News that “NATO troops would stay in Afghanistan ‘as long as it takes to finish our job.’” 
The new head of the British army, General Sir David Richards, told one of his nation’s major newspapers that he “backed calls for more international forces to be deployed to Afghanistan” and that “reinforcements would enable Nato to achieve its objectives….” 
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown met with General McChrystal at the former’s office on Downing Street recently and in an article titled “Afghan army training to be centre of NATO efforts” was reported to have faithfully parroted his guest’s demands in stating he “agreed that accelerated training of Afghan army and police needs to be at the centre of NATO’s counter-insurgency efforts in future.”
Brown confirmed that he “looked forward to further discussion of General McChrystal’s recommendations amongst NATO allies in coming weeks.” 
As the two met Britain lost its 221st soldier in the nation’s fourth Afghan war, its 84th death this year.
Other NATO member states and partners were not remiss in shedding blood, their own and that of others, and in pledging more troops and weapons for the war.
Spain suffered another combat fatality and five other casualties last week, yet “Madrid recently agreed to a Washington request for the deployment of 220 more Spanish troops to Afghanistan.” 
France announced that it “will order a first batch of infantry medium-range missiles and firing posts for Afghanistan as well as 200 Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missiles next year”  and days later that it will purchase “some 300 missiles and 50 to 60 launchers, with an estimated budget of 70 million euros ($103 million) for an urgent operational requirement for Afghanistan.” 
Poland recently appointed a new commander for its more than 2,000 troops in Afghanistan – his predecessor had either resigned or been sacked over disagreements with the government on the prosecution of the war – and committed to offering NATO another 200 troops.
Six days later, October 9, two Polish soldiers were killed and four wounded in a bomb attack.
Germany has announced that it will deploy 1,200 police to join some 4,500 troops in Afghanistan. “An official request for the officers would come in the next week from NATO….
“The German officers would be needed for the NATO Training Mission Afghanistan, which is due to start in April.
“Under the program, some 10,000 foreign instructors would train the Afghan security forces.” 
Earlier this month German forces engaged in a combat operation in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province where last month German commanders called in a NATO air strike that killed 150 people.
“[R]ebels engaged German troops in the Kharoti Tapa village of the Chardara district…and the firefight lasted for one hour.” 
A German news source reported “a Taliban spokesman claimed that the rebel fighters destroyed four German tanks and killed up to 13 soldiers.” 
A major function of the Afghan war is to train military forces from over fifty nations – in five continents, the Middle East and Oceania – under NATO command for counterinsurgency and other combat operations both in South Asia and afterwards in other parts of the world.
In doing so numerous NATO partnership countries – Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Colombia, Croatia, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Japan, Macedonia, Mongolia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates – are to varying degrees being integrated into the bloc’s plan for history’s first global army.
In early October four Finnish soldiers were wounded in a roadside bomb attack in northern Afghanistan, where the nation’s troops have already been engaged in firefights. The latest incident resulted in the nation’s first wartime casualties since World War II.
Days later two Swedish soldiers were wounded in a deadly exchange of fire. “The Swedish soldiers were patrolling with Finnish soldiers when their ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) armoured vehicle came under rocket fire. The soldiers were then attacked with high calibre rifles.
“The soldiers engaged the enemy fighter and at least three of the attackers were reported to have been killed….Swedish forces have been operating in Afghanistan since 2002. Since then two Swedes have been killed.” 
Nominally neutral Sweden and Finland are in charge of NATO-led ISAF operations in four Afghan provinces.
The NATO Special Representative for the South Caucasus and Central Asia, Robert Simmons, was in Georgia last week for the annual NATO Week held in that country. U.S. Marines have been training the nation’s armed forces for deployment to Afghanistan.
Simmons revealed another critical component of the war in Afghanistan, that of being a gateway to full NATO membership, in stating to Georgia’s defense minister that “Georgia-NATO relations are entering a new phase, which confirms Georgia’s intention to participate in the Alliance’s operations in Afghanistan.
“Georgia’s decision on it is very important for NATO, and Georgia’s participation in operations in Afghanistan will contribute to Georgia’s further integration into the Alliance.” 
The ensnarement of previously non-aligned nations into NATO’s Afghan war operations and from there into its global network is not limited to nations providing troops for the war.
Last week French President Nicolas Sarkozy was in Kazakhstan and in what was described as “a diplomatic coup” by one press agency secured major military and hydrocarbon arrangements with his host country, “clinching a raft of lucrative energy deals.”
“France is among several Western nations courting Kazakhstan, a large ex-Soviet republic with rich oil and gas resources and a strategic location bordering China and Russia – long the dominant regional force – north of Afghanistan.”
Sarkozy also won “an agreement to allow military hardware for French forces fighting in Afghanistan to pass through Kazakh territory” which “covers both air transit and train transit of French military personnel and equipment via Kazakhstan, according to a French Foreign Ministry spokesman. He said train traffic could then go through neighboring Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan where France already has a military presence.
“The U.S. also reached an agreement earlier this year with neighboring Kyrgyzstan to continue using the Manas air base, crucial to military operations against the Taliban. France and Spain are trying to win similar agreements to use Manas, while the French military also use an air field in Tajikistan.” 
In August the head of the Pentagon’s Central Command, General David Petraeus, also visited Kazakhstan as well as Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to discuss military transit agreements and in the case of Kazakhstan troops for the war in Afghanistan.
Not only did the Pentagon buy back the right to transit troops and equipment for the war in Afghanistan this July through the Manas base, which an estimated 200,000 American and NATO troops have passed through over the last eight years, but is now planning “the construction of a second runway at the Manas airport” and “has recently promised to allocate $60 million” for the purpose. 
In fact last week Kyrgyzstan approved the deployment of French and Spanish NATO troops in the nation. “French and Spanish officials will soon visit the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek to discuss the details of the agreements.” 
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are – at least for the time being – members of the only security and military alliance in former Soviet space, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) along with Russia and China. The Afghan war, launched less than four months after the founding of the SCO, is a tool used by NATO to eliminate its only competition in Central Asia and Eurasia as a whole.
The war in Afghanistan is extending its scope outward to all compass points. To Pakistan in the east and south. To the former Soviet Central Asian republics in the north. And to Iran on Afghanistan’s western border.
The Pentagon announced on October 2 that “Extra troops called for by the head of foreign forces in Afghanistan would be sent mainly to the north and west of the country,” an unnamed American official informed Agence France-Presse. 
North means to the borders of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. West means to the Iranian border.
A Fox News poll of earlier this month claimed that 61 percent of Americans support “the use of force to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons” and that “By a two-to-one margin the public thinks the U.S. will eventually need to use military force to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons….” 
The question posed was loaded – “obtaining nuclear weapons” – but the preparation of the U.S. public for military attacks against Iran is indisputable.
If McChrystal gains the additional 60,000 American troops he’s requested and NATO provides several thousand more, combined Western military forces in Afghanistan could number some 180,000. With control of former Soviet airbases in the nation in addition to airfields in Central Asia, Iraq, the South Caucasus, Turkey and the Black Sea nations of Bulgaria and Romania, Washington and its allies could be poised for military operations against Iran far more ambitious than any discussed or rumored before.
The expansion of the South Asian war into Pakistan also allows the West to employ that nation for future attacks against Iran.
On October 10 the Pakistani press reported “the frequent arrival and take-off of heavy US cargo aircraft” in the nation’s capital.
“[H]uge Starlifters, used by the US Air Force and Army to transport troops and heavy loads, have been flying in and out of the Benazir International Airport (BIAI) on a regular basis over the past few days.” 
A day before that The Times of London reported that “Britain is building a training camp for Pakistan’s paramilitary Frontier Corps in the southwestern province of Baluchistan.” Baluchistan borders southeastern Iran.
“The British personnel will work with six American trainers at the camp, which is designed to house 550 people….The plan is politically sensitive because the British and US trainers will be the first foreign forces formally stationed in Baluchistan since Pakistan’s independence in 1947, although US special forces operated there during the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.” 
In what is not an unrelated development, the Pentagon recently revealed that it is completing the deployment of a new “bunker buster” bomb: “At a hefty 30,000 pounds, the new penetrator bomb weighs almost 4 tons more than the U.S. military’s former heavyweight champion, the nearly 22,000-pound massive ordnance air blast conventional bomb, known by the acronym MOAB.” 
From October 12-16 the U.S. and Israel will conduct the biennial Juniper Cobra military exercises in the latter nation, “their biggest joint air-defence exercise…testing missile interceptors that would serve as a strategic bulwark in any future showdown with Iran.
“American forces taking part will include 17 ships and ground personnel operating the Aegis and THAAD missile interceptors, which will be meshed with Israel’s Arrow II missile-killer for computer-simulated tests….” 
The Pentagon has also begun its biennial Bright Star war games, the largest held in the Middle East, in Egypt.
In addition to American and Egyptian personnel “the coalition of military forces participating in the exercises also includes France, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom….The training exercise will take place in Cairo and Alexandria from Oct. 10-26, and will include airborne, aviation, and naval and Marine field training exercises, along with a multinational command post battle-tracking exercise.” 
On October 12 the annual Anatolian Eagle exercise will began in Turkey, “which would have involved the forces of several Nato countries” and was “to have included aerial attacks in Turkish airspace near the borders with Syria, Iraq and Iran.” 
At the last moment Turkey cancelled the participation of its NATO allies over their insistence that the Israeli Air Force take part in the war games. As the Jerusalem Post characterized the incident, “the cancellation of the exercise came after both the US and NATO threatened to pull out if the IAF [Israeli Air Force] did not participate.” 
Had the exercises gone on as planned, U.S.-led military maneuvers – land, naval, air and missile – would have been held in Israel, Egypt and Turkey at the same time.
At the other end of the Afghanistan-Pakistan war zone – India – on October 12 “US and Indian troops will …stage their biggest joint manoeuvres, including live-fire exercises, as the two nuclear powers build up military ties….
“Lieutenant General Benjamin Mixon, commander of US Army forces in the Pacific, said 200 US soldiers and 17 Stryker infantry combat vehicles were taking part in the Yudh Abhyas exercises at Babina, south of New Delhi, from October 12 to 29.
“It is the largest contingent sent by the US to the annual joint exercises since they began in 2004….It will be the largest deployment of Strykers outside Iraq or Afghanistan.” 
The Stryker combat vehicle was first used in Iraq in 2003 and introduced in Afghanistan this June. “Stryker brigades are better suited to the near free-form modern battlefield, rather than the matched-force scenarios envisioned for tanks during the Cold War….The Stryker’s ability to deploy more infantryman on the battlefield than any other type of brigade and its wheeled configuration are key advantages over conventional armor formations.” 
On October 1 the U.S. Army announced a contract for 352 more Strykers.
That Strykers are being used in India, their first overseas deployment outside an active war theater, is a watershed in American plans to recruit the world’s second most populous nation into what has come to be labelled Asian NATO.
“[B]esides holding joint military exercises with the U.S. military, India has also been buying U.S. armaments worth billions of dollars.
“The latest India-U.S. defense deal is the sale of this Airborne Early Warning Air Craft, Hawkeye E-2D, developed by American arms manufacturer, Northrop Grumman.
“Woolf Gross, the corporate director at the company, says the reconnaissance plane has yet to be introduced in the U.S. Navy. Its sale to India, he says, is a symbol of how close India/U.S. military relations are.”
The same source adds, “Military analysts say the ongoing military cooperation between India and the United States is bound to grow as India plans to spend billions of dollars for modernizing it defense capabilities. India, they say, is preparing for short term threats from Pakistan and long-term deterrence against China.” 
In announcing the attack against Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, President George W. Bush threatened:
“Today we focus on Afghanistan, but the battle is broader. Every nation has a choice to make. In this conflict, there is no neutral ground….”
The conflict has indeed proven to be much broader than Afghanistan. It has already reached throughout South and Central Asia, dragging in troops from all parts of the planet and crisscrossing much of Eurasia and the Middle East with the transit of soldiers, arms, military cargo planes and armored vehicles. It has become a battleground on which the Pentagon and NATO are forging a worldwide military alliance, hardened in combat and interoperable for deployment to other fronts.
It has also positioned the military forces of all major Western nations, including three possessing nuclear arsenals, at the crossroads of Central, South and Far East Asia where the interests of Russia, China, India, Pakistan and Iran converge.
The U.S. and NATO war in Afghanistan is a threat to that nation, the region and the world.
1) Voice of Russia, October 7, 2009
2) Washington Post, October 4, 2009
3) Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2009
4) Stars and Stripes, October 11, 2009
5) U.S. Department of Defense, October 9, 2009
6) Stars and Stripes, October 10, 2009
7) Associated Press, October 10, 2009
8) Agence France-Presse, October 9, 2009
9) Press TV, October 7, 2009
10) Deutsche Welle, October 4, 2009
11) BBC News, October 4, 2009
12) 10 Downing Street, October 9, 2009
13) Press TV, October 7, 2009
14) Defense News, October 1, 2009
15) Defense News, October 9, 2009
16) Der Spiegel, October 10, 2009
17) Xinhua News Agency, October 5, 2009
18) Deutsche Welle, October 4, 2009
19) The Local (Sweden), October 9, 2009
20) Trend News Agency, October 8, 2009
21) Associated Press, October 7, 2009
22) Trend News Agency, October 7, 2009
23) Russian Information Agency Novosti, October 5, 2009
24) Agence France-Presse, October 3, 2009
25) Fox News, October 3, 2009
26) Asian News International, October 10, 2009
27) The Times, October 9, 2009
28) American Forces Press Service, October 9, 2009
29) Reuters, October 8, 2009
30) Fayetteville Observer, October 4, 2009
31) The Times (London), October 12, 2009
32) Jerusalem Post, October 11, 2009
33) Reuters, October 8, 2009
34) Defense News, October 5, 2009
35) Voice of America, October 8, 2009