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Geopolitical Crossroads: Pentagon, NATO Complete Conquest Of Balkans

November 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Stop NATO
November 28, 2009

Geopolitical Crossroads: Pentagon, NATO Complete Conquest Of Balkans
Rick Rozoff

———-
Bosnia and Montenegro being incorporated as full NATO members and Macedonia following suit would expand the world’s only military bloc to 31 nations, almost twice that of ten years ago when it first began its drive into Eastern Europe. And with Serbia and Kosovo, which even before becoming a member is the world’s first NATO political entity, included the Alliance’s numbers will have more than doubled since 1999, a decade after the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. All seventeen new acquisitions would be in Eastern Europe, and the majority of NATO member states would be former Warsaw Pact members or Yugoslav republics and a province.
———-

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited the capital of Montenegro on November 26 and that of Bosnia the following day.

A Balkans news source wrote of the visits that Rasmussen would “discuss the possibility of approving Montenegro’s action plan for NATO membership” and “discuss strengthening NATO and BiH [Bosnia and Herzegovina] cooperation.” [1]

Ahead of the Balkans tour Rasmussen was in Germany to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel and recruit more troops for the war in Afghanistan.

The NATO chief has been even busier than usual of late, simultaneously recruiting troops from nations throughout Europe for Afghanistan on Washington’s behalf, working on the bloc’s new Strategic Concept, drumming up support for a continent-wide, U.S.-led interceptor missile system and preparing for a NATO foreign ministers meeting on December 3-4.

The Balkans fit into all the above aspects of what has in recent years routinely been referred to as 21st Century, global and expeditionary NATO, one feverishly seeking new “third millennium challenges” and invoking “a myriad deadly threats” [2] as pretexts for increasing its already widening role in five continents and the Middle East.

Several days before Rasmussen arrived in the world’s newest (recognized) nation, Montenegro, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Alexander Vershbow was in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo to preside over the fifth meeting of defense chiefs of the US-Adriatic Charter, set up by Washington in 2003 to fast-track Balkans nations into NATO.

The first three members enlisted by the U.S. were Albania, Croatia and Macedonia. The first two were formally inducted into full NATO membership at the bloc’s sixtieth anniversary summit this April and Macedonia also would have been dragged into the Alliance except for the lingering dispute with Greece over its name. Bosnia and Montenegro were added to the Charter last year and Serbia – and breakaway Kosovo – are to be next. With Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia becoming full member states at the Istanbul summit in 2004 and Greece and Turkey members for decades, all of Southeast Europe has been transformed into NATO territory, from the Adriatic to the Black and from the Aegean to the Ionian Seas.

The November 17 meeting in Bosnia was attended by, in addition to the Pentagon’s Vershbow (who was U.S. ambassador to NATO during the 1999 war against Yugoslavia), the deputy defense minister of Albania and the defense chiefs of Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia and Montenegro. Also present were the defense ministers of Serbia and Slovenia, Dragan Sutanovac and Ljubica Jelisic, the last two nations in a category labeled “guest and observer countries.”

“Vershbow reiterated US support for the early approval of BiH and Montenegro’s applications for the Membership Action Plan (MAP). He also said full NATO membership for Macedonia will be backed, as soon as the issue of its name is resolved.” Additionally, the defense chiefs “agreed to sign a joint statement on enhancing co-operation through regional centres in the Western Balkans.” [3]

An Associated Press dispatch at the time of the Adriatic Charter meeting mentioned of the December 3-4 assembly in Brussels (which will also be a forum for enlisting thousands of more NATO troops for the Afghan war) that “An upcoming meeting of NATO foreign ministers will provide a boost for Bosnia and Montenegro to become the 29th and 30th members of the trans-Atlantic alliance.” [4]

Bosnia and Montenegro being incorporated as full NATO members and Macedonia following suit would expand the world’s only military bloc to 31 nations, almost twice that of ten years ago when it first began its drive into Eastern Europe. And with Serbia and Kosovo, which even before becoming a member is the world’s first NATO political entity, included the Alliance’s numbers will have more than doubled since 1999, a decade after the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. All seventeen new acquisitions would be in Eastern Europe, and the majority of NATO member states would be former Warsaw Pact members or Yugoslav republics and a province.

The Pentagon has already secured seven new military bases in Bulgaria and Romania [5] which border the Black Sea in the Northern Balkans, including the Graf Ignatievo and Bezmer airbases in the first country and the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in the second. The airfields have been used for “downrange” military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and the Romanian installation now hosts the Pentagon’s Joint Task Force – East.

The U.S.’s colossal Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo is now ten years old and the use and upgrading of Croatian and Montenegrin Adriatic harbors for U.S. Navy deployments is an imminent possibility.

The further the fragmentation of former Yugoslavia proceeds, the more thoroughly the region will be transformed into a string of so-called forward operating bases and “lily pads” (Donald Rumsfeld’s term) for military action to the east and south.

The 2006 Western-supported dissolution of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, itself a transitional mechanism devised by Javier Solana, NATO Secretary General during the 1999 war and since then the European Union’s High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, completed the breakup of the former Yugoslavia into its six federal republics. The unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia by Kosovo in 2008, not only backed but engineered by NATO and its civilian complements, the government of the United States and the European Union, began the second phase of the dismemberment of the nation: The breaking apart of former republics into mini-states. [6]

Behind Kosovo lie Vojvodina, the Presevo Valley and Sandzak in Serbia, where ethnic separatism, cross-border armed attacks and outright terrorism have raised their heads, respectively.

Macedonia faces the same alarming prospect. Attacks by adjuncts of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army – the National Liberation Army (NLA) of Ali Ahmeti – from inside Kosovo in 2001 placed the new nation on the precipice of all-out war and violent fragmentation.

Last week Menduh Thaci, head of the Democratic Party of Albanians, called on his sponsors in the West to reduce Macedonia to an international protectorate. Speaking of a current political crisis largely of his making, Thaci said “I am convinced that the only way out is an urgent international protection, which will be a preventive measure for possible events.” The next step is for the name of the nation to be changed or adjusted and for whatever it will then be called to be brought into NATO. Both the Greek government and pan-Albanian forces in Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, South Serbia and Montenegro will be satisfied with the result and NATO will acquire its 29th (or 31st) member state. [7]

Montenegro, barely three years old, will soon deploy the first contingent of its armed forces to serve under NATO in Afghanistan. When it arrives it will join troops from Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania and Slovenia. The last seven nations also provided soldiers for the military occupation of Iraq after 2003. Montenegro didn’t exist as an independent state at that time, so its initiation as a NATO candidate country will be in Afghanistan.

With Serbia as an observer nation of the Adriatic Charter and with it having joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace transitional program in 2006, Washington and Brussels will also soon call on it to prove its right to Alliance candidacy by dispatching troops to the Afghan war front. As the U.S. and NATO are on the verge of a qualitative escalation of the war in South Asia, the Serbian foreign and defense ministries have announced the opening of a mission at NATO headquarters in Brussels. “[T]he point of the mission will be to improve cooperation and everyday communication with NATO, participate in the work of 100 expert committees, and improve…cooperation with ’50 member-states’ of the ‘political’ alliance.” [8] Fifty states are almost exactly the number that have provided NATO troops for the war in Afghanistan. Serbia could be the 51st.

Even for the representative of a battered, splintered, demoralized nation, recent statements by current Serbian Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac are offensive in their shameless fawning and obsequiousness.

He will soon be the first Serbian defense chief to visit the Pentagon in a quarter of a century, a fact he is proud of, and recently said that his trip will be “without a doubt, politically and militarily very important,” as much of the money – $500 million – Washington has bribed Belgrade authorities with since the overthrow of President Slobodan Milosevic in 2000 “[was] used by the Serbian military.”

Sutanovac, who graduated from the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, jointly run by the U.S. Department of Defense and the German Defense Ministry, and who is described as “speaking perfect English,” added these revealing details:

“The Serbian MoD [Ministry of Defense] has stable relations with the U.S. military and we can say that cooperation in defense is the backbone of relations between the United States and Serbia at the moment.”

“Considering the fact that the U.S. defense budget is as large as the defense budget of the rest of the world, it is crystal clear what the most important thing is to U.S. foreign policy and international relations.” [9]

The former Kosovo Liberation Army, then Kosovo Protection Corps (and now Kosovo Security Force) offered troops to the U.S. for the war in Iraq shortly after the invasion of 2003 and the NATO-equipped and trained Kosovo Security Force, a nascent national army in all but name, will offer troops to NATO for the Afghan war as it drags on indefinitely. [10]

During recent municipal elections in Kosovo, the first since its nominal independence, one not recognized by 140 of 192 nations and by few outside the NATO world (the exceptions including Afghanistan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, the Marshall Islands, San Marino, Belize, Malta, Samoa, the Maldives, the Comoros, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru and Palau), supporters of former KLA chieftains Hashim Thaci - the Western-recognized prime minister – and war criminal Ramush Haradinaj were at daggers drawn and “people used rocks to attack a line of cars that transported Hashim Thaci….Thaci’s party accused Haradinaj of directly inciting and organizing [the] attack….” [11]

A Russian report on the Western-endorsed and -celebrated elections placed the West’s Kosovo strategy in a broader context:

“EU officials are the ones forcing the Serbian government to accept several very unpleasant decisions – recognition of the municipal elections in Kosovo, dissociation from Russia and the pullout of joint energy projects with Russia.

“As for democratic values in the EU policy with regard to Serbia, they are hard to believe in, given the EU officials’ open sympathies with the Albanian militants of the Kosovo Liberation Army. Incidentally, the supporters of two KLA leaders, former ‘prime minister’ Ramush Haradinaj and his successor Hashim Thaci, caused a violent clash in one of the Albanian enclaves.

“It is worth reminding here that Haradinaj was allowed to leave the Hague occasionally ‘to rule’ Kosovo during his trial, while Thaci was eventually cleared by the Hague Tribunal of all charges of genocide against Serbs.” [12]

Nevertheless the United States and its NATO allies, the self-proclaimed “international community” and champions of democracy, human rights and so forth wherever and whenever it suits their political purposes, continue to embrace the Kosovo entity as a brother-in-arms in the new global order.

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton was in the Kosovo capital of Pristina on November 1 for the unveiling of a particularly vulgar and meretricious gold-sprayed statue of himself [13], the ceremony presided over by the former head of the Kosovo Liberation Army, Hashim “The Snake” Thaci, the creation of whose pseudo-nation is a cause of great pride in Western capitals.

The Associated Press reported on the event in Europe’s drug-smuggling criminal black hole:

“The statue portrays Clinton with his left arm raised and holding a portfolio bearing his name and the date when NATO started bombing Yugoslavia, on March 24, 1999.

“Many waved American, Albanian and Kosovo flags and chanted ‘USA!’ as the former president climbed on top of a podium with his poster in the background reading ‘Kosovo honors a hero.’” [14]

That Albanian flags were flaunted reveals what NATO mercilessly bombed the length and breadth of Yugoslavia for 78 days to achieve.

Three weeks afterward the mayor of a town in Albania – the distinction between that nation and Kosovo is now a strictly academic one – announced plans to follow suit and dedicate a statue to George W. Bush. Bush and Clinton have jointly sired the Kosovo/Greater Kosovo aberration. “The small Albanian town of Fushe-Kruje plans to erect a statue of former U.S. President George W. Bush to commemorate his June 2007 visit, when he was feted as a hero in an outpouring of love for America.”

The town’s mayor, Ismet Mavriqi, was quoted as saying, “If I had the final say, I would very much like a three-meter statue, probably in bronze, that captures his trademark way of walking with energy.” [15]

The legacy that Washington and Brussels have left the people of Kosovo – those remaining that is, as hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Roma and others have fled for their lives since June of 1999 – was detailed in a recent Reuters report.

It said that although “Over the past decade it has received 3 billion euros in aid, according to the World Bank, and is expecting another billion by 2011,” nevertheless “unemployment is 40 percent and average per capita income is 1,760 euros. That compares with average joblessness of just under 10 percent in the European Union and an average salary of about 24,000 euros ($35,930).” [16]

Ten years of NATO-KLA collaboration have produced this human catastrophe.

This is the stability and prosperity that the West has brought to the Balkans.

That afflicted part of Europe has been the testing ground for NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe and since into Asia, Africa and the Middle East, starting with Bosnia in 1995 when NATO dropped its first bombs and deployed its first troops outside the territory of its member states.

As early as January of 1996 the now deceased American scholar Sean Gervasi warned that “There are deeper reasons for the dispatch of NATO forces to the Balkans, and especially for the extension of NATO to Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary in the relatively near future. These have to do with an emerging strategy for securing the resources of the Caspian Sea region and for ‘stabilizing’ the countries of Eastern Europe – ultimately for ‘stabilizing’ Russia and the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.” [17]

NATO now has solidified military partnerships, conducts regular war games and has established permanent bases in several countries on and near the Caspian Sea – Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, not to mention Afghanistan.

It has absorbed three former Soviet republics – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – and continues to insist that former Commonwealth of Independent States member Georgia and current one Ukraine will become full members of the Alliance.

Thirteen years ago Gervasi also warned that “The United States is now seeking to consolidate a new European-Middle Eastern bloc of nations….This grouping includes Turkey, which is of pivotal importance in the emerging new bloc. Turkey is not just a part of the southern Balkans and an Aegean power. It also borders on Iraq, Iran and Syria. It thus connects southern Europe to the Middle East, where the US considers that it has vital interests….With the war against Iraq [1991], the US established itself in the Middle East more securely than ever. The almost simultaneous disintegration of the Soviet Union opened the possibility of Western exploitation of the oil resources of the Caspian Sea region.” [18]

Events in the interim have proceeded exactly as Gervasi indicated they would and for the motives he attributed to them.

Having undermined the United Nations, violated international law, humiliated Russia and moved NATO forces into the Balkans, the West was embarked in earnest on its drive for global domination in the post-Cold War world. As NATO’s first war, the Operation Allied Force bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999, was dragging on and assuming ever more ominous dimensions, even before the destruction of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade by NATO bombs, then Russian President Boris Yeltsin appeared on his nation’s television and said: “I told Nato, the Americans, the Germans, don’t push us towards military action.

“Otherwise there will be a European war for sure – and possibly world war.” [19]

That Yeltsin was the dependable friend of Washington that he was made the statement even more foreboding. Less than a month afterward the Chinese embassy was in ruins as the war raged on.

Europe and the world avoided a broader war ten years ago. But NATO, using the Balkans as its global springboard, may yet succeed in triggering a conflict that will not be contained and will not remain within the realm of conventional warfare.

1) Macedonian Radio and Television, November 26, 2009
2) Thousand Deadly Threats: Third Millennium NATO, Western Businesses Collude
On New Global Doctrine
Stop NATO, October 2, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/thousand-deadly-threats-third-millennium-nato-western-businesses-collude-on-new-global-doctrine

3) Southeast European Times, November 20, 2009
4) Associated Press, November 18, 2009
5) Bulgaria, Romania: U.S., NATO Bases For War In The East
Stop NATO, October 24, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/10/25/bulgaria-romania-u-s-nato-bases-for-war-in-the-east

6) Adriatic Charter And The Balkans: Smaller Nations, Larger NATO
Stop NATO, May 13, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/28/adriatic-charter-and-the-balkans-smaller-nations-larger-nato

7) Threat Of New Conflict In Europe: Western-Sponsored Greater Albania
Stop NATO, October 8, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/new-threat-of-conflict-in-europe-western-sponsored-greater-albania

8) Vecernje Novosti, November 4, 2009
9) Politika, November 27, 2009
10) Balkans: Staging Ground For NATO’s Post-Cold War Order
Stop NATO, February 9, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/balkans-staging-ground-for-natos-post-cold-war-order

11) Tanjug News Agency, November 12, 2009
12) Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 17, 2009
13) Kosovo: Marking Ten Years Of Worldwide Wars
Stop NATO, October 31, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/kosovo-marking-ten-years-of-worldwide-wars

14) Associated Press, November 1, 2009
15) Reuters, November 21, 2009
16) Reuters, November 20, 2009
17) Sean Gervasi, Why Is NATO In Yugoslavia?

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/GER108A.html

18) Ibid
19) BBC News, April 9, 1999

Categories: Uncategorized

Christmas 2009: U.S., NATO To Expand New Millennium’s Longest War

November 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Stop NATO
November 25, 2009

Christmas 2009: U.S., NATO To Expand New Millennium’s Longest War
Rick Rozoff

———-
Assuming as there is every reason to that the majority of new U.S. troops will be assigned to ISAF, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will field a 100,000-troop, 50-nation army in the heart of Asia.

In his report of three months ago the commander of all U.S. and NATO occupation forces in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, recommended increasing the size of the Afghan National Army from what he claimed is currently 92,000 troops to 240,000, as his counterinsurgency strategy requires nearly 400,000 troops in all. McChrystal, former head of the Joint Special Operations Command, was appointed to his current dual role because of his counterinsurgency background.
However, efforts to build a national Afghan army with numbers in the six figures have been announced since shortly after the invasion of the nation in 2001 and that threshold has never been crossed. Nor is it ever likely to be. Afghans are in no rush to join a colonial adjunct force to assist in the subjugation of their country and its people by North American and European invaders.
———-

At a joint press conference with visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on November 24, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke of the war in Afghanistan that is now in its ninth year and pledged, “After eight years – some of those years in which we did not have, I think, either the resources or the strategy to get the job done – it is my intention to finish the job.”

The comments came after the previous evening’s war council as it was described in the American media, the tenth (ninth by some counts) such meeting and the culmination of a three-month strategic review process following top U.S. and NATO military commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal’s 66-page Commander’s Initial Assessment of August 30.

The latter spoke of the “criticality of time” and unequivocally emphasized a counterinsurgency rather than a counter-terrorism approach for the war’s next and deadliest stage. That is, war against all ethnic Pushtun fighters (on both side of the Afghan-Pakistani border) subsumed under the rubric of Taliban rather than a narrower campaign against alleged al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan.

In fact McChrystal identified only three insurgent groups to be targeted in the upcoming round of the Pentagon’s and NATO’s South Asian war: The Quetta Shura Taliban, the Haqqani Network and the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin. The third is the fighting force of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the U.S.’s main ally during the first phase of the 30-year-old Afghan war from 1978-1992.

The so-called Quetta Shura Taliban are accused of being based, as the name would suggest, in the capital of the Pakistani province of Balochistan - Quetta – and that it is on the top of McChrystal’s list indicates that the war’s focus is larger than just Afghanistan.

With all the objectivity, sophistication and subtle delicacy of phrase the American press prides itself on, the nation’s newspaper of record, the New York Times, offered this choice specimen early this February:

“From Quetta, Taliban leaders including Mullah Muhammad Omar, a reclusive, one-eyed cleric, guide commanders in southern Afghanistan, raise money from wealthy Persian Gulf donors and deliver guns and fresh fighters to the battlefield, according to Obama administration and military officials.” [1]

Another sterling pillar of the American free press, the Christian Science Monitor, characterized the Haqqani Network as “a shadowy outfit that many officials consider to be the biggest threat to the American presence in the country.” [2] It is not part of Taliban, however that term is defined. The source also situates that group’s headquarters in Pakistan.

Its founder and leader, Jalaluddin Haqqani, has a resume not dissimilar to that of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. “Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson, who worked closely with the anti-Soviet insurgency (inspiring the 2007 Tom Hanks film ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’), once called Haqqani ‘goodness personified.’

“In the 1980s, Haqqani quickly established himself as one of the preeminent field commanders. ‘He could kill Russians like you wouldn’t believe,’ says one US intelligence officer who knew him at the time. The Central Intelligence Agency forged close links with him, and through the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency funneled large amounts of weapons and cash his way.” [3]

Two of McChrystals’ enemies, then, are old friends and beneficiaries of current U.S. Pentagon chief Robert Gates, who as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency armed and trained them in the 1980s.

Gates and McChrystal both participated in Obama’s war council on the evening of November 23 and were joined by, on the civilian side:

-Vice President Joseph Biden
-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
-Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg
-National Security Adviser and former European Command and NATO top military commander James Jones
-Deputy National Security Advisor Tom Donilon
-Under Secretary of Defense Michele Flournoy
-U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke
-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice
-Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan
-U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, previously U.S. Army Lieutenant General, Commander of the Combined Forces Command in Afghanistan, and immediately before becoming a “diplomat” Deputy Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
-U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson

And in uniform:

-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen
-Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General James Cartwright
-U.S. Central Command chief General David Petraeus
-Special Assistant to the President for Afghanistan and Pakistan (formerly George W. Bush’s Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan) Lieutenant General Douglas Lute

McChrystal, Eikenberry and Patterson appeared via video conference. [4]

It is unclear why Admiral James Stavridis, current NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe and European Command chief wasn’t involved.

News reports, or more properly government leaks to the subservient press corps, indicate that Obama is to announce a new round of troops increases after the Thanksgiving holiday on November 26, a time when Americans gather for a day of family, food and football, and as such not to be spoiled by alarming or distressing news, such as deployment notices for service members currently Stateside.

For similar reasons the announcement cannot be delayed for long after that federal holiday as another one, Christmas, arrives 29 days later. American retailers estimate that between 25% and 40% of their annual sales occur in the interim and news that anywhere from 30-40,000 more of the nation’s troops are headed to the world’s largest and most protracted war zone would cast a pall over both the holiday and spending for it.

That the day celebrates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, who in the Sermon on the Mount said “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God,” and on the night before being brutally put to death said “Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword” will not deter Washington’s war plans.

The timing of the escalation, which may triple the amount of American forces in Afghanistan from the 36,000 at the beginning of the year, is also synchronized with the December 3-4 meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels. Hillary Clinton will then present the new U.S. plan and demand complementary reinforcements from the other 27 member states.

Obama is expected to deliver a televised message on December 1, two days before the NATO meeting commences.

If he announces that as many as 40,000 more U.S. troops are to be assigned for deployment to Afghanistan, that number, added to the 68,000 currently there, would almost equal the amount of Soviet forces in the nation at the time of the beginning of their withdrawal twenty years ago. [5]

There are also an estimated 42,000 non-U.S. soldiers from almost 50 nations serving under NATO in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). That number, part of NATO’s first ground war and first armed conflict in Asia, is also being increased.

At a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Slovakia late last month the attendees “endorsed the ambitious counterinsurgency strategy for Afghanistan proposed by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, giving new impetus to his recommendation to pour more troops into the eight-year-old war.” [6] McChrystal himself made an unannounced appearance to rally the bloc’s defense chiefs for a full-scale Vietnam-style counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan.

Since the meeting several NATO member states, particularly new ones in Eastern Europe, have pledged additional troops, even before Obama’s speech of early next week and the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting to follow it.

During a five-day session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Edinburgh, Scotland in the middle of this month, the 28-nation military bloc renewed its intention to, to quote Obama’s later expression, finish the job in South Asia against the forces of “evil” and “barbarianism.” [7]

Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen vowed “In a few weeks, I expect we will decide, in Nato, on the approach, and troop levels needed, to take our mission forward.

“I’m confident it will be a counter-insurgency approach, with substantially more forces.” [8]

The same news source quoted above added: “His announcement follows a meeting of the North Atlantic Council last week, in which the alliance’s member states broadly endorsed a strategy proposed by the US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal….” [9]

To stoke the fires of hysteria and pound the drums of war ever more deafeningly, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband on November 20 told The Guardian that “The Afghan government would quickly be overthrown if NATO troops pulled out of the country now,” [10] over eight years after the invasion of the nation, thousands of civilian deaths and billions of Western dollars poured into the war. Miliband’s country has lost over 230 soldiers in the conflict, more than in any fighting since the Falklands/Malvinas war of 1982.

He specified “If international forces leave, you can choose a time – five minutes, 24 hours or seven days – but the insurgent forces will overrun those forces that are prepared to put up resistance and we would be back to square one.” [11]

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has vowed to send at least 500 more troops, bringing his nation’s total close to 10,000, the second largest contingent after that of the United States.

The Times of London wrote earlier this month that “President Obama is to ask members of Nato to provide up to 4,000 more troops to help to break the deadlock in Afghanistan” and “is expected to confirm that the campaign in Afghanistan needs another 40,000 troops, meeting the request made by General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander in Kabul, more than ten weeks ago, but that a proportion of the 40,000 — up to ten per cent — should be for other Nato countries to provide.” [12]

Four days ago the Wall Street Journal claimed a larger figure in an article subtitled “Americans Seek Up to 7,000 Extra NATO Troops for Ramp-Up in Afghanistan,” and stated that “The Obama administration is in advanced talks with its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies for a coordinated rollout of a new Afghan war strategy, which U.S. officials hope will include a commitment by European allies to send several thousand additional troops.” [13]

7,000 more non-U.S. troops would add up to almost 50,000 serving under NATO – from 50 nations – in addition to as many as 108,000 U.S. forces, 34,000 currently assigned to NATO and roughly the same amount with the U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom. Assuming as there is every reason to that the majority of new U.S. troops will be assigned to ISAF, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will field a 100,000-troop, 50-nation army in the heart of Asia.

To further demonstrate the geographical reach of the embryonic global army [14] that the U.S. and NATO are forging in the crucible of the South Asia war, the Financial Times reported that “Georgia, which is not in Nato, has said it will send close to 1,000 extra troops. Other fresh contributions have come from Armenia, New Zealand and Sweden…..Colombia is seeking to send an infantry company….Nato officials are negotiations with Mongolia, which is aiming to send 250.” [15]

Also, “South Korea will send hundreds of troops to create a new ‘provincial reconstruction team’….” [16] Along with troops from Australia (which is the largest non-NATO contributor with 1,550 soldiers), the United Arab Emirates and two of the nations contributing the largest amount of forces, the U.S. and Canada, NATO will have a combined army of soldiers from five of six inhabited continents, the Persian Gulf, the Caucasus and the South Pacific.

On November 21 NATO took control of training the Afghan army and police:

“The existing U.S. training mission, CSTC-A, until now responsible for most of the training, is to merge with the new NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A), under a single NATO command, commanders said on Saturday at a ceremony in Kabul.

“Deputy Commander of the new NATO mission Major General Michael Ward said he believed the move would encourage more NATO training personnel to be sent to Afghanistan, helping to speed the expansion of local forces.” [17]

In his report of three months ago the commander of all U.S. and NATO occupation forces in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, recommended increasing the size of the Afghan National Army from what he claimed is currently 92,000 troops to 240,000, as his counterinsurgency strategy requires nearly 400,000 troops in all. McChrystal, former head of the Joint Special Operations Command, was appointed to his current dual role because of his counterinsurgency background. [18]

However, efforts to build a national Afghan army with numbers in the six figures have been announced since shortly after the invasion of the nation in 2001 and that threshold has never been crossed. Nor is it ever likely to be. Afghans are in no rush to join a colonial adjunct force to assist in the subjugation of their country and its people by North American and European invaders.

Reports and formal announcements of increases in NATO and NATO partner armed forces to the war front are widespread.

Germany, which has the third largest number of troops deployed to Afghanistan (and which is engaged in its first ground combat operations since the defeat of the Third Reich in 1945) – nearly 4,500, the limit imposed by the Bundestag – may expand that figure substantially: “According to current and former U.S. officials, senior officials in the government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel have signaled a willingness to press Germany’s parliament to raise its troop ceiling to as much as 7,000 from 4,500.” [19]

Poland has announced that it will deploy 600 more troops, raising the nation’s total to nearly 3,000. Romania and Turkey are reported to have been tapped for 600 more troops apiece. The Czech Republic will double its contingent to 600 soldiers and add a combat helicopter squadron and purchase “Raven U.S. remote-controlled miniature unmanned aerial vehicles (MUAV) for 20 million crowns that are to help protect Czech soldiers in foreign missions, mainly in Afghanistan….” [20]

Slovakia will more than double its almost 250 troops. The world’s newest nation, Montenegro, is deploying its first batch of soldiers to join those already in Afghanistan from fellow Balkans nations Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania and Slovenia.

What fresh U.S. and NATO ally forces will confront in the war zone is indicated by a brief report from the Voice of Russia eleven days ago:

“Between 7,000 and 10,000 militants of Taliban, Al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan have been moved from central and southeastern Afghanistan northward to cut northern supply routes for the NATO-led coalition forces.

“Interfax agency quotes a senior Russian military source as saying that almost the whole of northern Afghanistan has been under Taliban’s control since June.” [21]

Combined Western military deaths this year are approaching 500, making 2009 the deadliest year of the war.

On November 16 the head of French military forces in Afghanistan, Brigadier General Marcel Druart, barely escaped being killed in a rocket attack only 30 miles from the capital.

At the same time new German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg paid an unannounced visit to northern Afghanistan and the helicopter convoy he was travelling in came under fire.

Four days earlier five Swedish soldiers, part of a contingent of 500 troops heading up NATO ISAF operations in the north of Afghanistan also, were wounded in a bomb attack while Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was visiting the country.

Swedish Radio reported on November 19 that the nation’s parliament authorized the extended deployment of Swedish troops and even approved as many as 855 soldiers to serve under NATO command.

Mounting attacks on NATO supply convoys have spread from northwestern Pakistan where the Khyber Pass has been blocked to Balochistan on Afghanistan’s southeastern border.

U.S. and NATO attack helicopters and fighter jets continue to violate Pakistani airspace and U.S. President Obama recently sent a letter to the nation’s government “stepping up pressure on Pakistan to expand its fight against Taliban and al Qaeda militants, warning that the success of [the U.S.'s] new Afghanistan strategy depends on it….” [22]

The Pentagon is also escalating drone missile attacks inside Pakistan and intensifying bombing runs in Afghanistan.

“The US has carried out more than 40 attacks with its pilotless, missile-firing aircraft in north-west Pakistan this year….” [23]

In October U.S. and NATO airstrikes were the highest in any month since June of 2008, despite assurances from McChrystal and the White House that they have been decreased. “Coalition warplanes dropped 647 bombs during 2,359 close-air support sorties….The bomb total is the highest since July 2008, when 752 bombs were released….The airstrike numbers don’t include strafing runs, attacks by special operations AC-130 gunships, launches of small missiles or helicopter attacks.” [24]
….
Ten years ago the world was preparing to welcome the advent of a new millennium, some with eager anticipation and others with alarm.

No one could have foreseen that the new century and millennium would usher in a war in Afghanistan that in a few weeks will enter its tenth calendar year.

1) New York Times, February 10, 2009
2) Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 2009
3) Ibid
4) New York Daily News, November 23, 2009
5) U.S., NATO Poised For Most Massive War In Afghanistan’s History
Stop NATO, September 24, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/24/u-s-nato-poised-for-most-massive-war-in-afghanistans-history/

6) New York Times, October 23, 2009
7) Press Association, November 13, 2009
8) The Guardian, November 17, 2009
9) Ibid
10) Reuters, November 21, 2009
11) Ibid
12) The Times, November 11, 2009
13) Wall Street Journal, November 21, 2009
14) Afghan War: NATO Builds History’s First Global Army
Stop NATO, August 9, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/afghan-war-nato-builds-historys-first-global-army

15) Financial Times, November 13, 2009
16) The Guardian, November 17, 2009
17) Reuters, November 21, 2009
18) South Asia, Latin America: Pentagon’s 21st Century Counterinsurgency
Wars
Stop NATO, July 29, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/south-asia-latin-america-pentagons-21st-century-counterinsurgency-wars

19) Wall Street Journal, November 21, 2009
20) Czech News Agency, November 17, 2009
21) Voice of Russia, November 13, 2009
22) Reuters, November 16, 2009
23) Financial Times, November 20, 2009
24) Army Times, November 11, 2009

Categories: Uncategorized

Former Soviet States: Battleground For Global Domination

November 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Stop NATO
November 23, 2009

Former Soviet States: Battleground For Global Domination
Rick Rozoff
———-
A Europe united under the EU and especially NATO is to be strong enough to contain, isolate and increasingly confront Russia as the central component of U.S. plans for control of Eurasia and the world, but cannot be allowed to conduct an independent foreign policy, particularly in regard to Russia and the Middle East. European NATO allies are to assist Washington in preventing the emergence of “the most dangerous scenario…a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran” such as has been adumbrated since in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Four years after the publication of The Grand Chessboard, Brzezinski’s recommended chess move was made: The U.S. and NATO invaded Afghanistan and expanded into Central Asia where Russian, Chinese and Iranian interests converge and where the basis for their regional cooperation existed, and Western military bases were established in the former Soviet republics of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, where they remain for the indefinite future.
———-

As the United States escalates its joint war with NATO in Afghanistan and across the Pakistani border, expands military deployments and exercises throughout Africa under the new AFRICOM, and prepares to dispatch troops to newly acquired bases in Colombia as the spearhead for further penetration of that continent, it is simultaneously targeting Eurasia and the heart of that vast land mass, the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Within months of the formal breakup of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in December of 2001, leading American policy advisers and government officials went to work devising a strategy to insure that the fragmentation was final and irreversible. And to guarantee that the fifteen new nations emerging from the ruins of the Soviet Union would not be allied in even a loose association such as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) founded in the month of the Soviet Union’s dissolution.

Three of the former Soviet republics, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, never joined the CIS and in 2004 became full members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, in all three cases placing the U.S.-led military bloc on Russian borders.

That left eleven other former republics to be weaned from economic, political, infrastructural, transportation and defense sector integration with Russia, integration that was extensively and comprehensively developed for the seventy four years of the USSR’s existence and in many cases for centuries before during the Czarist period.

A change of its socio-economic system and the splintering of the nation with the world’s largest territory only affected U.S. policy toward former Soviet space insofar as it led to Washington and its allies coveting and moving on a vast expanse of Europe and Asia hitherto off-limits to it.

Two months after the end of the Soviet Union then U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz and his deputy in the Pentagon, Lewis Libby, authored what became known as the Defense Planning Guidance document for the years 1994–99. Some accounts attribute the authorship to Libby and Zalmay Khalilzad under Wolfowitz’s tutelage.

Afghan-born Khalilzad is a fellow alumnus of Wolfowitz at the University of Chicago and worked under him in the Ronald Reagan State Department starting in 1984. From 1985-1989 he was the Reagan administration’s special adviser on the proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and on the Iran-Iraq war. In the first capacity he coordinated the Mujahideen war against the government of Afghanistan waged from Pakistan along with Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Robert Gates, now U.S. Secretary of Defense. (Gates has a doctorate degree in Russian and Soviet Studies, as does his former colleague the previous U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice.)

The main recipient of U.S. arms and training within the Mujahideen coalition during those years was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whose still extant armed group Hezb-e-Islami assisted in driving American troops out of Camp Keating in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province this October. Hekmatyar remains in Afghanistan heading the Hezb-e-Islami and top U.S. and NATO military commander General Stanley McChrystal in his Commander’s Initial Assessment of September – which called for a massive increase in American troops for the war – identified the party as one of three main insurgent forces that as many as 85,000 U.S. and thousands of NATO reinforcements will be required to fight.

The Wolfowitz-Libby-Khalilzad Defense Planning Guidance prototype appeared in the New York Times on March 7, 1992 and to demonstrate that the end of the Soviet Union and the imminent fall of the Afghan government (Hekmatyar and his allies would march into Kabul two months later) affected U.S. policy toward Russia not one jot contained these passages:

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to general global power.”

“We continue to recognize that collectively the conventional forces of the states formerly comprising the Soviet Union retain the most military potential in all of Eurasia; and we do not dismiss the risks to stability in Europe from a nationalist backlash in Russia or efforts to reincorporate into Russia the newly independent republics of Ukraine, Belarus, and possibly others….We must, however, be mindful that democratic change in Russia is not irreversible, and that despite its current travails, Russia will remain the strongest military power in Eurasia and the only power in the world with the capability of destroying the United States.”

In its original and revised versions the 46-page Defense Planning Guidance document laid the foundation for what would informally become known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine and later the Bush Doctrine, indistinguishable in any essential manner from the Blair, alternately known as Clinton, Doctrine enunciated in 1999: That the U.S. (with its NATO allies) reserves the unquestioned right to employ military force anywhere in the world at any time for whichever purpose it sees fit and to effect “regime change” overthrows of any governments viewed as being insufficiently subservient to Washington and its regional and global designs.

Five years later former Carter administration National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who launched the Afghan Mujahideen support project in 1978 and worked with Khalilzad at Colombia when the latter was Assistant Professor of Political Science at the university’s School of International and Public Affairs from 1979 to 1989 and Brzezinski headed the Institute on Communist Affairs, wrote an article called “A Geostrategy for Eurasia.”

It was in essence a precis of his book of the same year, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And It’s Geostrategic Imperatives, and was published in Foreign Affairs, the journal of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.

The framework for the piece is contained in this paragraph:

“America’s status as the world’s premier power is unlikely to be contested by any single challenger for more than a generation. No state is likely to match the United States in the four key dimensions of power – military, economic, technological, and cultural – that confer global political clout. Short of American abdication, the only real alternative to American leadership is international anarchy. President Clinton is correct when he says America has become the world’s ‘indispensable nation.’”

Brzezinski identified the subjugation of Eurasia as Washington’s chief global geopolitical objective, with the former Soviet Union as the center of that policy and NATO as the main mechanism to accomplish the strategy.

“Europe is America’s essential geopolitical bridgehead in Eurasia. America’s stake in democratic Europe is enormous. Unlike America’s links with Japan, NATO entrenches American political influence and military power on the Eurasian mainland. With the allied European nations still highly dependent on U.S. protection, any expansion of Europe’s political scope is automatically an expansion of U.S. influence. Conversely, the United States’ ability to project influence and power in Eurasia relies on close transatlantic ties.

“A wider Europe and an enlarged NATO will serve the short-term and longer-term interests of U.S. policy. A larger Europe will expand the range of American influence without simultaneously creating a Europe so politically integrated that it could challenge the United States on matters of geopolitical importance, particularly in the Middle East….”

The double émigré – first from Poland, then from Canada – advocated a diminished role for nation states, including the U.S., and Washington’s collaboration in building a stronger Europe in furtherance of general Western domination of Eurasia, the Middle East, Africa and the world as a whole.

“In practical terms, all this will eventually require America’s accommodation to a shared leadership in NATO, greater acceptance of France’s concerns over a European role in Africa and the Middle East, and continued support for the European Union’s eastward expansion even as the EU becomes politically and economically more assertive….A new Europe is still taking shape, and if that Europe is to remain part of the ‘Euro-Atlantic’ space, the expansion of NATO is essential.”

While giving lip service to the role of the European Union, he left no doubt as to which organization – the world’s only military bloc – is to lead the charge in the conquest of the former Soviet Union as well as the world’s “periphery.” It is NATO.

Already stating in 1997, two years before his native Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary would become full members of the Alliance, that “Ukraine, provided it has made significant domestic reforms and has become identified as a Central European country, should also be ready for initial negotiations with the EU and NATO,” he added:

“Failure to widen NATO, now that the commitment has been made, would shatter the concept of an expanding Europe and demoralize the Central Europeans. Worse, it could reignite dormant Russian political aspirations in Central Europe. Moreover, it is far from evident that the Russian political elite shares the European desire for a strong American political and military presence in Europe….If a choice must be made between a larger Europe-Atlantic system and a better relationship with Russia, the former must rank higher.”

That a former U.S. foreign policy official and citizen of the country would so blithely determine years before the event which nations would join the European Union went without comment on both sides of the Atlantic. That the nominal geographic location of a nation – placing Ukraine in Central Europe – would be assigned by an American was similarly assumed to be Washington’s prerogative evidently.

Despite vapid maunderings about desiring to free post-Soviet Russia from its “imperial past” and “integrating [it] into a cooperative transcontinental system,” Brzezinski presented a blueprint for surrounding the nation with a NATO cordon sanitaire, in truth a wall of military fortifications.

“Russia is more likely to make a break with its imperial past if the newly independent post-Soviet states are vital and stable. Their vitality will temper any residual Russian imperial temptations. Political and economic support for the new states must be an integral part of a broader strategy….Ukraine is a critically important component of such a policy, as is support for such strategically pivotal states as Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.”

Adding Georgia and Moldova, the three states he singles out became the nucleus of the GUUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Moldova) bloc created in the same year as Brzezinski’s article and book appeared. (Uzbekistan joined in 1999 and left in 2005.)

GUAM was promoted by the Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright administration as a vehicle for planned Trans-Eurasian energy projects and to tear apart the Commonwealth of Independent States by luring members apart from Russia toward the European Union, the so-called soft power preliminary stage, and NATO, the hard power culmination of the process.

In the above-quoted article Brzezinski also wrote, in addressing Turkey, that “Regular consultations with Ankara regarding the future of the Caspian Sea basin and Central Asia would foster Turkey’s sense of strategic partnership with the United States. America should also support Turkish aspirations to have a pipeline from Baku, Azerbaijan, to Ceyhan on its own Mediterranean coast serve as a major outlet for the Caspian sea basin energy reserves.”

Eight years later, in 2005, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline transporting Caspian Sea oil to Europe came online, followed by the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum natural gas pipeline and the Kars-Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Baku railway, with the Nabucco natural gas pipeline next to be activated. The last-named is already slated to include, in addition to Caspian supplies, gas from Iraq and North Africa.

The book whose foreword Brzezinski’s “A Geostrategy for Eurasia” in a way was, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And It’s Geostrategic Imperatives, laid out in greater detail plans that have been expanded upon in the interim.

The volume’s preface states, “It is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this book….Potentially, the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran….Averting this contingency, however remote it may be, will require a display of US geostrategic skill on the western, eastern, and southern perimeters of Eurasia simultaneously.”

In pursuance of “America’s role as the first, only, and last truly global superpower,” Brzezinski noted that “the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia. For half a millennium, world affairs were dominated by Eurasian powers and peoples who fought with one another for regional domination and reached out for global power. Now a non-Eurasian power is preeminent in Eurasia – and America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained.”

The military fist inside the diplomatic glove is and will remain NATO.

“The emergence of a truly united Europe – especially if that should occur with constructive American support – will require significant changes in the structure and processes of the NATO alliance, the principal link between America and Europe. NATO provides not only the main mechanism for the exercise of US influence regarding European matters but the basis for the politically critical American military presence in Western Europe….Eurasia is thus the chessboard on which the struggle for global primacy continues to be played.”

In a section with the heading “The NATO Imperative,” the author reiterated earlier policy demands: “It follows that a wider Europe and an enlarged NATO will serve well both the short-term and the longer-term goals of US policy. A larger Europe will expand the range of American influence — and, through the admission of new Central European members, also increase in the European councils the number of states with a pro-American proclivity — without simultaneously creating a Europe politically so integrated that it could soon challenge the United States on geopolitical matters of high importance to America elsewhere, particularly in the Middle East.”

A Europe united under the EU and especially NATO is to be strong enough to contain, isolate and increasingly confront Russia as the central component of U.S. plans for control of Eurasia and the world, but cannot be allowed to conduct an independent foreign policy, particularly in regard to Russia and the Middle East. European NATO allies are to assist Washington in preventing the emergence of “the most dangerous scenario…a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran” such as has been adumbrated since in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Four years after the publication of The Grand Chessboard, Brzezinski’s recommended chess move was made: The U.S. and NATO invaded Afghanistan and expanded into Central Asia where Russian, Chinese and Iranian interests converge and where the basis for their regional cooperation existed, and Western military bases were established in the former Soviet republics of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, where they remain for the indefinite future.

Western-controlled pipelines traverse the South Caucasus – Azerbaijan and Georgia – to drive Russia and Iran out of the European and ultimately world energy markets, with a concomitant U.S. and NATO takeover of the armed forces of both nations. The two countries have also been tapped for increased troop deployments and transport routes for the war in South Asia.

The West is completing the process described by Brzezinski in his 1997 book in which he stated “In effect, by the mid-1990s a bloc, quietly led by Ukraine and comprising Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and sometimes also Kazakhstan, Georgia and Moldova, had informally emerged to obstruct Russian efforts to use the CIS as the tool for political integration.”

Note, not to obstruct a new “imperial” Russia from exploiting the Commonwealth of Independent States to dominate much less absorb former parts not only of the Soviet Union but of historical Russia, but to integrate – or rather maintain the integration of – nations which were within one state until eighteen years ago. At that time, 1991, the Soviet Union precipitately disintegrated into fifteen new nations and four independent “frozen conflict” zones – Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia and Transdniester – and Russia made a 180 degree turn in its political structure and orientation, both domestically and in its foreign policy.

The response to those developments by the U.S. and its NATO cohorts was to scent blood and move in for the kill.

Starting in 1994 NATO recruited all fifteen former Soviet republics into its Partnership for Peace program, which has subsequently prepared ten nations – all in Eastern Europe, three of them former Soviet republics – for full membership.

As noted above, in 1997 the West absorbed four and for a period five former Soviet states – Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Uzbekistan – into the GUAM, now Organization for Democracy and Economic Development, format, which has recently been expanded to include Armenia and Belarus with the European Union’s Eastern Partnership initiative. The latter includes half (six of twelve) of the CIS and former CIS nations, all except for Russia and the five Central Asian countries. [1]

Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian and Ukrainian troops have been enlisted by the U.S. and NATO for the war in Afghanistan, with Moldova to be the next supplier of soldiers. All five nations also provided forces for the war and occupation in Iraq.

The five Central Asian former Soviet republics – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – have provided the Pentagon and NATO with bases and transit rights for the war in South Asia and as such are being daily dragged deeper into the Western military nexus. Kazakhstan, for example, sent troops to Iraq and may soon deploy them to Afghanistan.

In recent days the West has stepped up its offensive in several former Soviet states.

GUAM held a meeting of its Parliamentary Assembly in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on November 9 and the leader of the host nation’s parliamentary majority, David Darchiashvili, said “GUAM has significant potential, as its member states have common interests while the CIS is a union of conflicting interests” and “It is important for GUAM members to have a specific attitude to the EU. GUAM has a potential to develop a common direction with the EU under the policy of the Eastern Partnership.” [2]

Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze said at the event that “Our relations are extending, new partners appear. The US, the Czech Republic, Japan and the Baltic states will become GUAM partners soon. They will participate in economic projects with us.” [3]

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe Torbjorn Jagland met with GUAM member states’ permanent representatives to the Council of Europe and during the meeting “the Azerbaijani side emphasized the need to intensify the Council of Europe’s efforts in the settlement of ‘frozen conflicts’ in the GUAM area.” [4] The allusion is again to Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia and Transdniester where several thousand lives were lost in fighting after the breakup of the Soviet Union and, in the case of South Ossetia, where a Georgian invasion of last year triggered a five-day war with Russia.

Later at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland from November 13-17, Azerbaijani member of parliament Zahid Oruj said that “the territories of both Georgia and Azerbaijan were occupied and the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s policy in the region proved that” and he “characterized these steps as an action against NATO.” [5] The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is a post-Soviet security bloc consisting of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Belarus (initially) and Uzbekistan both boycotted the creation of the new CSTO rapid reaction force last month and the Eastern Partnership is designed in part to pull Armenia and Belarus out of the organization. Comparable initiatives are underway in regards to the four Central Asian members states, with the Afghan war the chief mechanism for reorienting them toward NATO.

During the NATO Parliamentary Assembly session, for example, a Turkish parliamentarian said “Armenia’s releasing the occupied Azerbaijani territories [Nagorno-Karabakh] will create a security zone in the South Caucasus and pave the way for NATO’s cooperation with this region.”

An Azerbaijani counterpart was even more blunt in stating “NATO should defend Azerbaijan” and stressing “that otherwise, security will not be firm in the region, stability can be violated anytime [and a] new military conflict will be inevitable.” [6]

The day after the NATO session ended the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, revealed the context for NATO “defending Azerbaijan” when he announced that “There is strong support for building the national army. Our army grows stronger. We are holding negotiations but we should be ready to liberate our territories any time from the invaders by military means.” [7]

The same day Daniel Stein, senior assistant to the U.S. Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, was in Azerbaijan where he confirmed strategic ties with the nation’s government and said that as “global energy security is one of the priorities of US foreign policy, his country supports diversification of energy resources while delivering them to world markets.” [8]

Also on November 18 Stein’s superior, U.S. Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy Richard Morningstar, addressed the European Policy Center, a Brussels-based think-tank, and said “Turkey will become a very strong transit country in transporting the gas of the Caucasus and Central Asia to Europe” – via Azerbaijan and Georgia – and “Turkmenistan and Iraq could join in as other suppliers besides Azerbaijan….” [9]

The following day, November 19, a conference on NATO’s New Strategic Concept: Contribution to the Debate from Partners was held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The host country’s deputy foreign minister, Araz Azimov, stated at the meeting:

“I offer the signing of bilateral agreements between NATO and partner countries to cover security guarantees for partner countries along with the responsibility and commitments of the parties.

“Yes, we (partner countries) are important for NATO in general for the security architecture of the Euro-Atlantic area. Today Azerbaijan’s borders are the borders of Europe.” [10]

On November Azerbaijan hosted an international conference titled Impediments to Security in the South Caucasus: Current Realities and Future Prospects for Regional Development, co-sponsored by Britain’s International Institute for Strategic Studies. Speakers included Ariel Cohen, Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and the Washington, D.C.-based Jamestown Foundation’s President Glenn Howard and Senior Fellow Vladimir Socor.

Socor, a Romanian emigre and former Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty employee, in addressing the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, “stressed the necessity of an undertaking by NATO of analogous steps in this conflict taken for the settlement of the conflicts in the Balkans and former Yugoslavia.” [11]

Novruz Mammadov, head of the Foreign Relations Department of Azerbaijan’s presidential administration, said that “Azerbaijan is the only country in the post-Soviet space usefully and really cooperating with the West,” and Elnur Aslanov, head of the Political Analysis and Information Department for the President of Azerbaijan, said:

“The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars projects…stimulate the development of regional cooperation, and also are important from the security standpoint….Azerbaijan is a reliable partner of the European security architecture…the country plays an important role in ensuring European energy security.” [12]

Jamestown Foundation chief Glenn Howard added “that Azerbaijan is an important partner for NATO in terms of energy security,” and backed the nation’s deputy foreign minister’s demand the previous day that NATO must offer Yugoslav war-style support to its Caucasus partners “especially after the war in Georgia last year.”

Howard added:

“NATO can give security guarantees to a country in case of an attack, which is what happened in 1979 in the Persian Gulf – after the fall of the Shah of Iran the US gave security guarantees to countries through bilateral agreements with those countries….If Azerbaijani troops are going to help in one area, that will lessen the need for NATO troops in this particular area, so that they can be involved in some other area, for example, that helps put more troops in fighting the Taliban….” [13]

Azerbaijan is not the only former Soviet republic the U.S. intends to use to penetrate the Caspian Sea Basin. After leaving Baku the State Department’s Daniel Stein arrived in Turkmenistan where he stated that “The United States offers its mediating mission in Turkmen-Azerbaijan disputes over the Caspian status,” in relation to a border demarcation conflict in a sea that the two nations share with Russia and Iran. He added, “The U.S. and EU member countries try to assure Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan that they should reach an agreement on the division of the Caspian to create real opportunities for Nabucco and other projects.” [14]

The same day U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia George Krol was also in the Turkmen capital to deliver an address at the annual Oil and Gas Conference there and said, “The U.S. considers energy security as a priority issue, and Central Asia is an important region in the global energy map.” [15]

In Azerbaijan’s fellow GUAM member state Moldova, the new government of acting president Mihai Ghimpu, which came to power after April’s so-called Twitter Revolution, announced that it was establishing a national committee to implement an Individual Partnership Action Plan for NATO membership. To indicate the importance the new administration attaches to integration with the bloc, “Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Iurie Leanca has been appointed committee chairman.” [16]

Earlier this month it was reported that the government’s Prosecutor General’s Office had “dropped criminal proceedings against the people accused of masterminding riots in the republic’s capital in April, following the Opposition’s protest against the results of the parliamentary election….After the early parliamentary election on July 29 when the Opposition came to power, most cases were closed” and instead “When the new prosecutor general was appointed, criminal cases were opened against police who took part in driving the protesters from the city center and their arrests.” [17]

On the same day that the Jamestown Foundation’s Glenn Howard and Vladimir Socor were in Azerbaijan advocating NATO intervention in the South Caucasus, U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden held a phone conversation with Georgian president and former U.S. resident Mikheil Saakashvili in which the first “reiterated the United States’ ‘strong support’ for Georgia´s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and “underscored the importance of sustaining the commitment to democratic reform to fulfill the promise of the Rose Revolution.” [18]

Also on November 20 a major Russian news source reported that Washington had shipped nearly $80 million in weapons to Georgia in 2008 and plans to supply more in the future.

“Despite the economic crisis, Georgia is increasing expenditure on arms purchases in the U.S.,” although “Independent sources say[ing] Georgia´s unemployment stands at about one-third of its able-bodied population.” [19]

On the same day a delegation from the Pentagon was in the Georgian capital to meet with Temur Iakobashvili, the nation’s State Reintegration Minister – for “reintegration” read forcible incorporation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia – and the Georgian official announced “We introduced to the guests our plan to ensure security in the occupied territories. We also talked about the role the U.S. will play in assisting the ensuring of regional security.” [20]

The U.S. Defense Department representatives, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia Celeste Wallander, met with Georgian Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia “to hold consultations on defence cooperation issues concerning the two countries,” and “Wallander personally inspected ongoing military trainings aimed at the preparation of the 31st Battalion of the GAF [Georgian Armed Forces] for participation in the ISAF operation in Afghanistan. The sides evaluated the US assistance provided during 2009 and considered in detail future cooperation prospects for 2010/2011.

“Under the visit’s agenda the high-ranking US official met with the Security Council Secretary, Eka Tkeshelashvili, State Minister for Reintegration Temur Iakobashvili and Defence and Security Committee members of parliament.” [21] The inspection mentioned above was of training following that conducted by U.S. Marines. The first contingent of new Georgian troops thus prepared was sent to Afghanistan four days before.

Two days earlier NATO spokesman James Appathurai announced that the Alliance was forging ahead with plans for both Georgia’s and Ukraine’s full membership and that “assessments would be made at a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine and NATO-Georgia Commissions to be held in Brussels in early December at the level of NATO foreign ministers.” [22]

Also on November 18 Georgian Vice Premier and State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration Giorgi Baramidze met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Brussels. “The Georgian delegation also included Deputy Foreign Minister Giga Bokeria and Deputy Defense Minister Nikoloz Vashakidze. A meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission at the ambassadorial level was also held in Brussels.” [23]

The day preceding the meeting, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Tina Kaidanow were in Georgia to convene “working meetings with Georgian authorities within the Strategic Partnership Charter.

“The delegation will monitor the implementation of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Plan” inaugurated in January of this year, less than four months after the war with Russia. [24]

The prior week Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Western and allied nations of continuing to arm Georgia, stating “I hope many take lessons from last year’s August events. But I have to say that according to the reports of various sources, some countries are sending arms and ammunition demanded by the Georgian leadership via different complicated schemes.” [25]

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin warned on the same day that “[Georgian] military drones have started flying over South Ossetia and Abkhazia” [26] and the day before Nikolai Makarov, Chief of the General Staff, said “Georgia is getting large amounts of weapons supplied from abroad” and “Georgian military potential is currently higher than last August.” [27]

Makarov’s contention was confirmed by Georgian Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia on November 14 when he said “the country’s defense capabilities are now better than they were a year ago and they are further improving.”

The defense chief added, “a strong army will be one of our key priorities until the last occupant leaves our territories.” [28] The “occupants” in question are Russian troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Azerbaijan is not the only South Caucasus NATO partner preparing for war.

Regarding the recently concluded two-week Immediate Response 2009 exercises run by the U.S. Marine Corps in Georgia, a leading Russian news site wrote “Perhaps, the exercises were aimed at issuing a warning to Russia.” [29]

On November 13 the Russian General Staff revealed that “Russian secret services have declassified information about Georgia’s plans to start forming its special forces in a move that will be implemented in close cooperation with Turkey,” and “voiced concern about Georgia’s ongoing push for muscle-flexing amid efforts by Israel, Ukraine and NATO countries to re-arm the Saakashvili regime.” [30]

In Ukraine, on November 19 Deputy Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Yeliseyev said of until recently American ambassador to Georgia and currently ambassador designate to Ukraine John Tefft that “The U.S. Senate [Foreign Relations] Committee has approved his candidacy and we are expecting him to arrive soon.” [31] In time for January’s presidential election. Incumbent president and U.S. client Viktor Yushchenko is running dead last among serious candidates and his poll ratings are never higher than 3.5%. Tefft’s task is to engineer some variant of the 2004 “Orange Revolution.”

Yushchenko is a die-hard, intractable, unrelenting advocate of forcing his nation into NATO despite overwhelming popular opposition and for evicting the Russian Black Sea Fleet from the Crimea.

On November 16 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen addressed High-Level NATO-Ukraine Consultations at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels and said:

“In 2008 at the Bucharest Summit NATO Heads of State and Government welcomed Ukraine’s aspirations for membership in NATO and agreed that Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance. To reflect this spirit of deepening cooperation, Ukraine has developed its first Annual National Programme which outlines the steps it intends to take to accelerate internal reform and alignment with Euro-Atlantic standards.” [32]

The same day Reuters revealed that “Poland and Lithuania want to forge military cooperation with Ukraine to try to bring the former Soviet republic closer to NATO.” Poland’s Deputy Defense Minister Stanislaw Komorowski was quoted as saying of the initiative, “This reflects our support for Ukraine. We want to tie Ukraine closer to Western structures, including military ones.” [33]

The agreement was reached at talks in Brussels attended by Ukraine’s acting Defense Minister Valery Ivashchenko, Lithuania’s Minister of National Defense Rasa Jukneviciene and Poland’s Komorowski.

The combined military unit will be stationed in Poland and include as many as 5,000 troops. The joint buildup on Russia’s western and northwestern borders “may have a political objective. It is meant to set up an alternative center of military consolidation for West European projects, a center which could embrace former Soviet republics (above all Ukraine), now outside NATO. There is no doubt who will control this process, considering U.S. influence in Poland and the Baltics.” [34]

On the same day that the Polish, Lithuanian and Ukrainian defense chiefs reached the agreement, Poland hosted multinational military exercises codenamed Common Challenge 09 with “2,500 troops from Germany, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland – forming the so-called EU Combat Group….Common Challenge is being held for the first time in Poland. Exercises are conducted simultaneously in Poznan, western Poland, and the nearby military range in Wedrzyn.” [35]

In a complementary development, The Times of London published an interview with Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini on November 15 in which he “said Italy would push for the creation of a European Army after the ‘new Europe’ takes shape at this week’s crucial November 19 EU summit following the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty.” [36] A commentary from Russia, which of course will not be included in the plans, mentioned that “NATO has been actively discussing the possibility of establishing a joint European army for a long time” and that Frattini had “reiterated the need for deploying a joint naval fleet or air force in the Mediterranean or other areas crucial to European security.” [37]

In a Wall Street Journal report titled “Central Europe Ready To Send More Soldiers To Afghanistan,” Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, again emphasizing the connection between war zone training in Afghanistan and preparation for action much closer to home, was quoted as saying “The credibility of NATO will be decided in Afghanistan. If NATO can be successful with what was a success in the Balkans and Iraq, its deterrent potential will rise, and it is in Poland’s national interest.” [38]

On November 18 the ambassadors from all 28 NATO member states gathered in Brussels commented on Belarusian-Russian military exercises conducted months earlier, Operation West, and “expressed concerns about the large scale of the exercises and a scenario that envisioned an attack from the West….” [39]

Sikorski’s allusion to so-called NATO deterrent potential is, then, clearly in reference to Russia.

On November 17 the European Union’s Special Representative for the South Caucasus Peter Semneby announced that the first foreign ministers meeting of the Eastern Partnership program will be held next month. He said that “The Eastern Partnership will be under the jurisdiction of a new representative for foreign affairs and security. The appointment will come after the Lisbon summit,” [40] as will the creation of the new European Army Italian Foreign Minister Frattini spoke of earlier.

Participants will include the foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, half – six of twelve – of the members or former members of the Commonwealth of Independent States and all those in Europe and the Caucasus except for Russia, which is not invited.

Comparable efforts to pull the five Central Asian CIS members – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – away from cooperation with Russia through a combination of an analogous EU partnership, energy project agreements and involvement in the Afghan war are also proceeding apace.

The eighteen-year-old project of Paul Wolfowitz, Zbigniew Brzezinski et al. to destroy the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States and effect a cordon sanitaire around Russia, enclosing it with NATO member states and partners, has continued uninterruptedly since 1991.

Washington will not tolerate rivals and will ruthlessly attempt to eliminate even the potential of any nation to challenge it globally or regionally. In any region of the world. Russia, because of what it was, what it is, where it is and what it has – massive reserves of oil and natural gas, a developed nuclear industry and the world’s only effective strategic triad outside the U.S. – is and will remain the main focus of efforts by the United States and NATO to rid themselves of impediments to achieving uncontested global domination.

Carthage must be destroyed is the West’s policy toward the former Soviet Union.

1) Eastern Partnership: The West’s Final Assault On the Former Soviet Union
Stop NATO, February 13, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/eastern-partnership-the-wests-final-assault-on-the-former-soviet-union

2) Georgia Online, November 9, 2009
3) Azeri Press Agency, November 10, 2009
4) Azeri Press Agency, November 12, 2009
5) Azeri Press Agency, November 17, 2009
6) Azeri Press Agency, November 16, 2009
7) Azertag, November 18, 2009
8) Azeri Press Agency, November 18, 2009
9) Azeri Press Agency, November 18, 2009
10) Azerbaijan Business Center, November 19, 2009
11) Azertag, November 20, 2009
12) Ibid
13) Ibid
14) Azeri Press Agency, November 18, 2009
15) Trend News Agency, November 18, 2009
16) Focus News Agency, November 11, 2009
17) Itar-Tass, November 12, 2009
18) Civil Georgia, November 20, 2009
19) Voice of Russia, November 20, 2009
20) Trend News Agency, November 20, 2009
21) Georgia Ministry of Defence, November 20, 2009
22) Rustavi2, November 19, 2009
23) Civil Georgia, November 18, 2009
24) Rustavi2, November 17, 2009
25) Azeri Press Agency, November 11, 2009
26) Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 11, 2009
27) Voice of Russia, November 10, 2009
28) Civil Georgia, November 14, 2009
29) Voice of Russia, November 9, 2009
30) Voice of Russia, November 13, 2009
31) Interfax-Ukraine, November 19, 2009
32) NATO, November 16, 2009
33) Reuters, November 16, 2009
34) Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 18, 2009
35) Polish Radio, November 16, 2009
36) Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 17, 2009
37) Ibid
38) Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2009
39) Reuters, November 18, 2009
40) Azertag, November 17, 2009

Categories: Uncategorized

Rumors Of Coups And War: U.S., NATO Target Latin America

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Stop NATO
November 18, 2009

Rumors Of Coups And War: U.S., NATO Target Latin America
Rick Rozoff

———-
There is no way of overestimating the challenge that the emergence of ALBA and the overall reawakening of Latin America pose to the role that the U.S. arrogates to itself as lord of the entire Western Hemisphere. The almost two-century-old Monroe Doctrine exemplifies Washington’s claim to exclusive influence over all of North, Central and South America and the Caribbean Basin and its self-claimed right to subordinate them to its own interests. Never before the election victories of anti-neoliberal forces throughout Latin America over the past eleven years has the prospect of a truly democratic, multipolar New World existed as it does now.

It is in response to those developments that the U.S. and its former colonialist allies in NATO are attempting to reassert their influence in the Americas south of the U.S. border.
———-

November 28 will mark five months since the coup led by U.S.-trained commanders deposed the president of Honduras, the next day will see a mock election in the same nation designed to legitimize the junta of Roberto Micheletti, and the day following that will be a month since Washington signed an agreement with the Alvaro Uribe government in Colombia for the use of seven military bases in the country.

While intensifying a full-scale war in South Asia, continuing occupation missions in Iraq and the Balkans, maintaining warships off the coasts of Somalia and Lebanon, and deploying troops and conducting war games in most parts of the world, the United States and its NATO allies have not neglected Latin America.

Central and South America and the Caribbean are receiving a degree of attention from the U.S. and its partners not witnessed since the Cold War and in some ways are the targets of even more intense scrutiny and intervention.

Nearly five months since the June 28 coup d’etat against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya led by General Romeo Vasquez Velasquez, a graduate of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly the School of the Americas, Washington has not used its substantial – decisive – leverage with the illegal government and its military supporters to reverse the armed takeover of power. Instead it has conspired with the junta to drag out deliberately futile negotiations and has thrown its weight behind the November 29 election which, occurring without the previous reinstalling of President Zelaya, will be a travesty of law and international protocols and is in fact intended to lend false credibility to the current regime.

On November 15 Manuel Zelaya wrote a letter to American President Barack Obama decrying Washington’s machinations and stating that accepting the terms of the U.S.-sanctioned (to say no more) arrangement with Micheletti regarding the upcoming election would amount to “covering up the coup d’etat, which we know has a direct impact due to the military repression on the human rights of the inhabitants of our country.”

The letter also said “The same day that the accord’s Verification Commission was set up in Tegucigalpa the statements by officials from the State Department surprised (everyone) where they modify their position and interpret the accord unilaterally with the following statement: ‘the elections should be recognized by the United States with or without the reinstatement’” of President Zelaya. [1]

The accord in question was one brokered by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias and signed on October 29 which would have led to a unity government with Manuel Zelaya returned to the presidency preparatory to a new election.

Micheletti and his supporters in the country’s business community and “muscle” in the military unilaterally abrogated the terms of the agreement by thwarting Zelaya’s reinstatement and appointing all members of the national cabinet. With the active connivance of Washington, as Zelaya’s letter to Obama contends.

If a government friendly to the United States was overthrown in the manner that the Honduran one was on June 28 it would not take the White House and the State Department five months to respond, and even then only to abet the crime. Censure, sanctions and covert operations would have been resorted to immediately.

In nations where candidates not entirely to the West’s liking win elections or unapproved presidents win reelection, the whole panoply of “regime change” interventions are put into effect with some variation of a “color revolution” ultimately negating and reversing the result. That such efforts have not been extended in Honduras is ample proof that the U.S. is satisfied with matters as they stand and would prefer the likes of Micheletti and General Vasquez to preside over a country where the Pentagon has a military facility at the Soto Cano Air Base and there stations its Joint Task Force Bravo replete with Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters.

On November 16 a photograph appeared on a Pentagon website, Defense Link, of the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, and his Colombian opposite number, General Freddy Padilla de Leon, shaking hands outside the Pentagon three days earlier. [2]

No story on or details of their meeting are available, not even on Defense Department sites. Only the photograph and brief notices on Facebook and Twitter.

Padilla’s resume is both illustrative and typical. He earlier matriculated in “terrorism studies” at George Washington University and received a fellowship for the Foreign Service Program at Georgetown University, as well as taking a course on advanced military studies at Fort Belvoir, Virginia and training in strategic intelligence at the Defense Intelligence Analysis Center in Washington, D.C.

The transcripts of his discussions with Mullen would prove intriguing, focusing as they no doubt did on the buildup at the seven military bases in Colombia recently turned over to the Pentagon and on the uses thereof.

Since the agreement on their acquisition by the United States was signed on October 30 confirmation of the bases’ dual purpose – escalating the counterinsurgency war inside the country and containing and confronting two of its neighbors, Venezuela and Ecuador – has been witnessed.

Bogota reported that nine of its soldiers were killed and four wounded in a major clash with FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) fighters in the southwestern department of Cauca on November 10.

Five days later Colombia seized four Venezuelan border guards on a river off Colombia’s Vichada Department. A few days earlier two Venezuelan National Guard troops were killed in the state of Tachira on the Colombian border, leading Caracas to deploy 15,000 troops to the area on November 5.

The preceding week Venezuela arrested eight Colombian nationals and two locals suspected of paramilitary activity on the two countries’ border. Government official Ricardo Sanguino “denounced increasing paramilitary activity as a strategy to conceal soaring US access to Colombian military bases” and said “they are trying to destabilize the government of Venezuela….” [3]

Recently Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez renewed repeated concerns over the new American bases on the territory of his western neighbor, saying “that according to recently produced documents, the military bases would be used for espionage purposes, allowing US troops there to launch a military offensive against Venezuela.” [4]

On November 8 Bolivian President Evo Morales said that “the use of Colombian military bases by U.S. troops meant a provocation to the Latin American peoples, mainly to the members of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA).”

He specified that “With the excuse of fighting against drug trafficking and terrorism, thousands of U.S. soldiers will be deployed in Colombia.” [5]

ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, consists of Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras (until the coup), Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda, the last three nations joining this June.

Washington using Colombia as the nucleus of a new Latin American military bloc to counteract ALBA has been explored in a previous article in this series. [6] Other prospective candidates include post-coup Honduras, Panama, Peru and Chile, with pressure placed on Brazil, Guyana and Suriname to either supply bases or in other ways augment American and European military presence in Latin America and the Caribbean. [7]

The seven new U.S. military bases in Colombia allow the Pentagon far more scope than is required merely for alleged drug interdiction surveillance and even for the counterinsurgency war against the FARC. The agreement on the bases, bearing the sleep-inducing title of Supplemental Agreement for Cooperation and Technical Assistance in Defense and Security Between the Governments of The United States of America and the Republic of Colombia, lists where U.S. military personnel and equipment will be deployed:

German Olano Moreno Air Base, Palanquero; Alberto Pawells Rodriguez Air Base, Malambo; Tolemaida Military Fort, Nilo; Larandia Military Fort, Florencia; Capitan Luis Fernando Gomez Nino Air Base, Apiay; ARC Bolivar Naval Base in Cartagena; and ARC Malaga Naval Base in Bahia Malaga. [8]

The document also states that “the Parties agree to deepen their cooperation in areas such as interoperability, joint procedures, logistics and equipment, training and instruction, intelligence exchanges, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, combined exercises, and other mutually agreed activities” and Washington’s Colombian client concedes, in addition to the seven bases named above, “access to and use of other facilities and locations as may be agreed by the Parties.”

Furthermore, “The authorities of Colombia shall, without rental or similar costs to the United States, allow access to and use of the agreed facilities and locations, and easements and rights of way, owned by Colombia that are necessary to support activities carried out within the framework of this Agreement, including agreed construction. The United States shall cover all necessary operations and maintenance expenses associated with its use of agreed facilities and locations.”

U.S. military, intelligence and drug enforcement personnel – and American private contractors – “and their dependents” are granted “the privileges, exemptions, and immunities accorded to the administrative and technical staff of a diplomatic mission under the Vienna Convention….Colombia shall guarantee that its authorities verify, as promptly as possible, the immunity status of United States personnel and their dependents who are suspected of criminal activity in Colombia and hand them over as promptly as possible to the appropriate United States diplomatic or military authorities.”

One of the military bases obtained by the United States – the Larandia Military Fort in Florencia – is within easy striking distance of Ecuador (as the Alberto Pawells Rodriguez Air Base in Malambo is of Veneuzela).

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa and Defense Minister Javier Ponce visited Russia late last month and on October 29 the two nations signed a declaration on strategic partnership. Correa and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev discussed energy and military cooperation. Ahead of the visit Ecuador’s president stated, “We need to restore the might of our army” in reference to the U.S. buildup in Colombia, its neighbor to the north. “Ecuador has been alarmed by the decision of Colombia, with which it severed diplomatic relations in March 2008, to allow U.S. troops to use its bases.” [9] The severing of relations occurred after Colombia’s army launched an attack inside Ecuador.

Ecuador and Russia signed a contract for the delivery of Mi-171E Hip transport helicopters to the Ecuadoran Ground Forces and a Russian newspaper said “Russia could supply six Su-30MK2 Flanker multirole fighters, several helicopters, and air defense systems to Ecuador, which would increase the value of their military cooperation to over $200 million.” [10]

Like other members of ALBA – Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua – Ecuador is purchasing Russian military equipment as a counterbalance to traditional U.S. domination of its defense procurements, with the potential for sabotage and blackmail it entails, and as protection against potential attacks from Washington and its proxies, most notably Colombia.

There is no way of overestimating the challenge that the emergence of ALBA and the overall reawakening of Latin America pose to the role that the U.S. arrogates to itself as lord of the entire Western Hemisphere. The almost two-century-old Monroe Doctrine exemplifies Washington’s claim to exclusive influence over all of North, Central and South America and the Caribbean Basin and its self-claimed right to subordinate them to its own interests. Never before the election victories of anti-neoliberal forces throughout Latin America over the past eleven years has the prospect of a truly democratic, multipolar New World existed as it does now.

It is in response to those developments that the U.S. and its former colonialist allies in NATO are attempting to reassert their influence in the Americas south of the U.S. border.

The Pentagon recommissioned the Navy’s Fourth Fleet, disbanded in 1950 after World War II, last year and fully activated it this one. Its area of responsibility is the Caribbean Sea and Central and South America.

In early November a new commander for U.S. Army South was appointed, Major General Simeon Trombitas. The Army Times of November 10 provided background information on him:

“Trombitas, a 1978 West Point graduate, began his career in the 2nd Armored Division and served three tours with 7th Special Forces Group. He served in U.S. Southern Command and Special Operations Command in Panama and commanded the U.S. Military Group in Colombia. His general officer assignments include commanding general of Special Operations Command, Korea, and he served on the Iraq National Counter-Terrorism Force Transition Team.” [11]

The United States is not alone in threatening a newly and truly independent Latin America and Colombia and Honduras are not the only parts of Washington’s plans. On November 5 Paraguay’s President Fernando Lugo replaced the nation’s top military commanders – Army General Oscar Velazquez, Navy Rear Admiral Claudelino Recalde and Air Force General Hugo Aranda - against a backdrop of what Agence France-Presse reported as a fear of “an ouster similar to the one that befell Honduran President Manuel Zelaya….” [12]

That the Honduran putsch is intended to be the first in a series of similar plots in Latin America and is neither an aberration nor the last of its kind was also indicated last week when Nicaragua expelled a Dutch European Union parliamentarian. Radio Netherlands characterized the motivation for the action as follow: “Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega says Dutch MEP Hans van Baalen was in Nicaragua to see how the army felt about attempting a coup d´etat, but found no officers willing to go along with the idea.”

Van Baalen then moved to Honduras to “mediate in the political conflict between ousted President Manuel Zelaya and his de facto successor Roberto Micheletti.” [13]

Mexican journalist Luis Gutierrez, speaking at a conference against NATO’s global expansion in Berlin last month and in particular of the bloc’s Article 5 military mutual assistance clause, observed that “Mexico’s 3,000 kilometer border with the United States is also a border with NATO.” [14] Troops from 50 nations on five continents and in the Persian Gulf, the Caucasus and the South Pacific are serving or pledged to serve under NATO command in Afghanistan at the moment because of Article 5.

The Netherlands, for example, is not only assisting its American NATO ally in Nicaragua and Honduras, but allows its island possessions in the Caribbean – the Netherlands Antilles – to be employed for surveillance of and future military actions against Venezuela.

In Curacao, a Dutch possession only 70 kilometers from the Venezuelan coast, the leader of an opposition party, Pueblo Soberano (Sovereign People), demanded that the U.S. military base on the island be closed down.

Helmin Wiels said that “he wants to prevent Curacao from being dragged into what he predicts will be a future war between the US and Venezuela.

“The US has a number of military bases in Colombia, and Mr Wiels claims the country is intent on a confrontation with Venezuela’s leftwing President Hugo Chavez.” [15]

In May of 2008 a U.S. warplane flying from Curacao violated Venezuelan airspace, conducting surveillance of the Venezuelan military base on Orchila Island. President Chavez said of the intrusion: “They’re spying, they’re even testing our reaction capacity.” [16]

Moreover, Venezuela accused the U.S. of coordinating the action with Colombia, whose soldiers had crossed the Venezuelan border the day before.

In 2005 Chavez appeared on the American television news program Nightline and warned that the U.S. and its NATO allies were rehearsing invasion plans for his nation, codenamed Balboa, which involved aircraft carriers and warplanes, and said that American troops had been deployed to Curacao as part of the preparations.

He further admonished: “We are coming up with a counter-Balboa plan. That is to say if the government of the United States attempts to commit the foolhardy enterprise of attacking us, it would be embarked on a 100-year war. We are prepared.” [17]

A former Dutch possession in the Caribbean, Suriname, one country (Guyana) removed from Venezuela, offered the Pentagon bases to test military vehicles for jungle warfare in 2007.

In Guyana, Venezuela’s eastern neighbor, the nation’s former colonial master Britain canceled a security agreement after the Guyanese government questioned its partner’s real intentions.

The nation’s Office of the President released a statement which in part said: “This decision by the UK Government is believed to be linked to the administration’s refusal to permit training of British Special Forces in Guyana using live firing in a hinterland community on the western border with Brazil and Venezuela.” [18]

The Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, stated, “It could be that the UK Government did not fully appreciate how dearly held was our position on the non-violation of the sovereignty of Guyana. Their insistence in installing in their design in April…management features that seriously compromise Guyana’s ownership and when our new design re-established ownership that was more consistent with our notions of sovereignty, the plug was pulled….” [19]

With U.S. bases in Colombia to the west and in the Netherlands Antilles to the north, British military presence in the east would tighten the encirclement of Venezuela. A collective siege conducted by NATO allies the U.S., the Netherlands and Britain.

This June the chief of the Pentagon command that covers Central America, South America and the Caribbean – Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) – Admiral James Stavridis, was transferred to Brussels to become top military commander of United States European Command (EUCOM) and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).

The transition was seamless, as one of the first initiatives on his new watch was to recruit U.S.-trained Colombian counterinsurgency troops for the war in Afghanistan. When they arrive they will be the first forces from Latin America, and the Western Hemisphere in general except for NATO members the U.S. and Canada, to serve under the Alliance’s command in the escalating South Asian war. [20]

Elsewhere in the Caribbean, Panamanian opposition sources report that Washington is in the process of securing four air and naval bases in their country. A news story from late September revealed that a preliminary agreement on the bases “was reached between Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during recent talks in New York.” [21]

On November 9 Senator Bill Nelson of Florida spoke out against drilling for oil off his state’s coast, saying “many of the activities at Florida military bases, including testing missile and drone systems and training pilots, depend on the vast open stretches of ocean, much of it restricted airspace.”

He mentioned that the Gulf of Mexico is “the largest testing and training area for the U.S. military in the world.” [22]

A Cuban analysis of three years ago described the overall American military blueprint for Latin America and the Caribbean:

“The United States has a system of bases that has managed to establish two areas of control:

“1. The circle formed by the Caribbean islands, the Gulf of Mexico and Central America, which covers the largest oil deposits in Latin America, and is formed by the bases of Guantanamo, Reina Beatriz, Hato Rey, Lampira, Roosevelt, Palmerola, Soto Cano, Comalapa and other lesser military posts.

“2. The circle that surrounds the Amazon basin, downward from Panama, where the canal, the region’s wealth and the location of an entry to South America have been essential, and which is formed by the bases of Manta [closed by Ecuador this July], Larandia, Tres Esquinas, Cano Limon, Marandua, Riohacha, Iquitos, Pucallpa, Yurimaguas and Chiclayo, which in their turn are linked to those of the region further north….” [23]

The U.S. strategy to control the Amazon Basin and the Andean region depends on Colombia on the northwest of the South American continent and on obtaining bases and military allies further south. Peru is one such likely location and so is another which is at loggerheads with it, Chile.

Under former defense minister and current president Michelle Bachelet the nation has amassed a formidable arsenal of advanced weapons from NATO states: Hundreds of German, French and American tanks; F-16s from the Netherlands and the United States; Dutch and British destroyers; French Scorpion submarines. [24]

This unprecedented – and unjustified – arms buildup has alarmed Chile’s neighbors: Argentina, Bolivia and Peru.

A commentary from four years ago pointed out that “Foreign analysts have said that Chile is seeking hegemonic military power in Latin America vis-a-vis Peru, Argentina and Bolivia in order to defend Chilean economic interests in those countries and, in case of armed conflict, to expand its territory in the way it has done in the past.” [25]

On November 6 Bachelet appointed General Juan Miguel Fuente-Alba Poblete as new commander-in-chief of the Chilean army, which “aroused objections from human rights organizations, since he has been accused of being involved in a series of massive [violations] during the military regime of 1973-1990.” [26]

Six days later the Reuters news agency reported that the U.S. is to provide Chile with $655 million dollars worth of new arms: “The Pentagon on Thursday [November 5] advised the U.S. Congress of the possible sale of stinger missiles worth about $455 million, AIM medium-range missiles worth $145 million and Sentinel radar systems worth $65 million.” [27]

Several days later a report titled “U.S. Authorizes Sale of German Missiles to Chile” detailed:

“Seven months after Chile’s Defense Minister expressed interest in purchasing a fleet of used (U.S. made) F-16 Fighter Jets from Holland, the U.S. government helped seal the deal by supporting Chile’s bid to buy missiles for the jets.”

It added: “Also last week, the Pentagon endorsed two other possible defensive arms sales for Chile’s army. The first purchase would include six new Sentinel radar systems and six SINCGARS radio systems, at a cost of US$65 million. The second deal could include 36 Avenger planes and 390 ground-to-air missiles at a cost of US$455 million.” [28]
….
The accelerating pace and wide-ranging scope with which the U.S. and its allies are militarizing the world is unparalleled. Even during the depth of the Cold War most nations avoided being pulled into military blocs, arms buildups and wars. No longer. And Latin America is no exception.

1) CNN, November 15, 2009
2) Photograph

3) Prensa Latina, November 2, 2009
4) Press TV, November 16, 2009
5) Xinhua News Agency, November 10, 2009
6) Colombia: U.S. Escalates War Plans In Latin America
Stop NATO, July 22, 2009 http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/colombia-u-s-escalates-war-plans-in-latin-america
7) Twenty Years After End Of The Cold War:
Pentagon’s Buildup In Latin America
Stop NATO, November 4, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/stop-nato

8) http://justf.org/content/supplemental-agreement-cooperation-and-technical-assistance-defense-and-security-between-gov
9) Vedomosti, October 27, 2009
10) Ibid
11) Army Times, November 10, 2009
12) Agence France-Presse, November 6, 2009
13) Radio Netherlands, November 15, 2009
14) World Future Online, October 24, 2009
15) Radio Netherlands, November 16, 2009
16) Bloomberg News, May 21, 2008
17) Associated Press, September 16, 2005
18) Stabroek News, October 28, 2009
19) Ibid
20) Afghan War: NATO Builds History’s First Global Army
Stop NATO, August 9, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/afghan-war-nato-builds-historys-first-global-army

South Asia, Latin America: Pentagon’s 21st Century
Counterinsurgency Wars
Stop NATO, July 29, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/south-asia-latin-america-pentagons-21st-century-counterinsurgency-wars

21) Russian Information Agency Novosti, September 27, 2009
22) Tampa Tribune, November 10, 2009
23) Granma International, April 18, 2006
24) NATO Of The South: Chile, South Africa,
Australia, Antarctica
Stop NATO, May 30, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/nato-of-the-south-chile-south-africa-australia-antarctica

25) OhmyNews International, December 31, 2005
26) Xinhua News Agency, November 7, 2009
27) Reuters, November 12, 2009
28) Santiago Times, November 16, 2009

Categories: Uncategorized

In Israel wurde der Raketenabwehrschild der NATO geschmiedet und der Krieg gegen den Iran geprobt

November 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Stop NATO
November 16, 2009

In Israel wurde der Raketenabwehrschild der NATO geschmiedet und der Krieg gegen den Iran geprobt
Von Rick Rozoff

[Von Luftpost]

—————-
“Das ist das perfekteste Abwehrsystem gegen anfliegende Raketen, das wir jemals irgendwo auf der Welt installiert haben.”

Die Entfernung zwischen Tel Aviv und Teheran beträgt 993 Meilen [1.598 km]; die Reichweite des US-Radars zur Raketenabwehr (das in Israel positioniert wurde) übertrifft diese Distanz um fast 2.000 Meilen (3.218 km). Das reicht aus, um das ganze östliche und den größten Teil des südlichen Russlands abzudecken, wo ein Großteil der strategischen Raketen dieses Landes aufgestellt ist.
—————–

Die Vereinigten Staaten und Israel haben gerade die größte gemeinsame Übung zum Abfangen von Raketen beendet, die jemals von den beiden Staaten durchgeführt wurde; sie war, was den Umfang und die Raffinesse angeht, vielleicht das umfassendste Manöver, das mehrere Staaten gemeinsam veranstaltet haben, und schloss sogar das Abfeuern von Raketen ein, die zum Abfangen ballistischer Raketen geeignet sind.

Die Operation Juniper-Cobra 10 begann am 21. Oktober und endete am 3. November. (2009). Während der beiden Wochen nahmen mehr als 1.000 Soldaten der Vereinigten Staaten und eine gleiche Anzahl israelischer Soldaten an einer Reihe integrierter Übungen mit Raketen teil, deren Hauptziel es war, “fünf verschiedene Raketenabwehrsysteme zu testen … und die Infrastruktur zu schaffen, die notwendig ist, falls sich die Obama-Administration dazu entschließt, im Falle eines Konflikts US-Systeme hierher zu entsenden”. [1]

Die fünf in den Übungen verwendeten Raketenabwehrsysteme waren:

• das taktische Raketenabwehrsystem Arrow 2 gegen in großer Höhe anfliegende ballistische Raketen, das von den Vereinigten Staaten und Israel gemeinsam entwickelt wurde – und zwar von den Firmen Isreal Aerospace Industries und Boeing unter Aufsicht des israelischen Verteidigungsministeriums und der Missile Defense Agency (der Raketenabwehr-Agentur) des Pentagons (s. http://www.army-technology.
com/projects/arrow2/ ),

• das System Terminal High Altitude Area Defense / THAAD, das von der Firma
Lockheed Martin Space Systems entwickelt wurde und ballistische Kurz- und Mittelstreckenraketen kurz vor dem Einschlag zerstören soll (s. http://www.army-technology. com/projects/thaad/ ),

• die Patriot Advanced Capability 3 / PAC-3, eine ferngesteuerte Abwehrrakete, 1/15 Friedenspolitische Mitteilungen aus der
US-Militärregion Kaiserslautern/Ramstein LP 254/09 – 16.11.09
mit der siebenfachen Reichweite früherer Patriot-Modelle (s. http://www.lockheedmartin.com/products/PAC-3/index.html ),

• das auf Schiffen installierte Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, ausgestattet mit der Standardrakete 3 / SM-3 und dem AN/SPY-1 Radar mit einem Wirkungsbereich von 360 Grad (s. http://www.lockheedmartin.com/products/AegisBallistic-
MissileDefense/index.html ).

• Die SM-3, mit der im Februar 2008 ein US-Satellit aus dem Orbit abgeschossen wurde, um ihre Reichweite zu testen, soll für das neue bodengestützte Raketenabwehrsystem modifiziert werden, das der US-Präsident Barack Obama und Verteidigungsminister Robert Gates am 17. September angekündigt haben (s. http://www.luftpost-kl.de/luftpost-archiv/LP_09/LP18609_310809.pdf ). Das vierzehntägige Juniper-Cobra-Manöver dieses Jahres war “die größte gemeinsame Übung, die beide Länder bisher durchgeführt haben”; [2] auch siebzehn US-Kriegsschiffe
waren beteiligt, und “erstmals wurden alle genannten Systeme zusammen in Israel eingesetzt”. [3]

Ein an der Operation teilnehmender Colonel (Oberst) der US-Army stellte fest, es sei “das erste Großmanöver gewesen, bei dem das THAAD-System, Patriot-Boden-Luft-Raketen und das seegestützte Aegis-System integriert waren”, und fügte hinzu: “Das ist das perfekteste Abwehrsystem gegen anfliegende Raketen, das wir jemals irgendwo auf der Welt installiert
haben.” [4]

Eine andere israelische Quelle schrieb: “Eine beispiellose Anzahl amerikanischer Generäle und 1.400 Soldaten der US-Army nehmen zusammen mit führenden Offizieren der Israel Defense Forces / IDF an der hochrangigen Militärübung Juniper-Cobra teil, die nach Aussage eines Commanders (eines Korvettenkapitäns) der US-Navy auf “spezifische Bedrohungen” vorbereiten soll.” [5] (Weitere Infos dazu unter http://www.luftpost-kl.de/luftpost-archiv/LP_09/LP25109_131109.pdf )

Das Manöver wurde am letzten Tag auch von Premierminister Benjamin Netanjahu, Verteidigungsminister Ehud Barak, IDF-Generalstabschef Gabi Ashkenazi, James Cunningham, dem US-Botschafter in Israel, und James Stavridis, einem weiteren führenden USAmerikaner, besucht.

Die Übung fand in der Weltpresse wenig Beachtung, und über die Tatsache, dass Admiral Stavridis, der Chef des U.S. European Command (EUCOM in Stuttgart) und Supreme Allied Commander Europe / SACEUR (militärischer Oberkommandierender der NATO) ist, im November in Israel eintraf, um an den Endstadien teilzunehmen, wurde nur in der israelischen Presse berichtet.

Während seines Besuchs traf sich Stavridis “mit Generalleutnant Gabi Ashkenazi, dem Chef des (israelischen) Generalstabs, Major General Benjamin Gantz, dem stellvertretenden Generalstabschef, und mehreren anderen Kommandeuren. Der Admiral wurde von weiteren EUCOM-Befehlshabern begleitet.” [6]

Die BBC zitierte am 2. November unter der Überschrift “Der Schatten hinter den Kriegsspielen der USA und Israels” einen Commodore (Korvettenkapitän) der US Navy, der zum Hauptziel des Manövers Juniper-Cobra gesagt hatte: “Wir sind aus einigen sehr spezifischen Gründen hier, wegen spezifischer Bedrohungen, die gegen die Israelis gerichtet sind, und die uns auch interessieren. Mehr möchte ich dazu nicht sagen.” (s. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8338155.stm )

Im gleichen Bericht wird ein Szenario erwähnt, über das die von der BBC interviewten US-Militärs nicht reden wollten.

“Israel bombardiert iranische Atomanlagen – und der Iran schlägt zurück.
In diesem Fall bräuchte Israel ganz bestimmt einen Raketenabwehrschild – bestehend aus einem hoch empfindlichen Radarsystem großer Reichweite und Antiraketen-Raketen des Typs Patriot – und genau der wurde in den Kriegsspielen dieser Woche getestet.

An der Operation Juniper-Cobra sind etwa 2.000 amerikanische und israelische Soldaten beteiligt. Sie findet regelmäßig alle zwei Jahre statt, aber in diesem Jahr wird heftiger als sonst spekuliert, dass sich Israel darauf vorbereitet, den Iran zu bombardieren, um dessen vermutetes Atomwaffenprogramm zu stoppen.” [7] Kurz vorher und während des Manövers – das eigentlich am 12. Oktober beginnen sollte, aber ohne Erklärung einen Tag vorher verschoben wurde, obwohl im Hafen der Stadt Haifa schon US-Kriegsschiffe lagen – tauchte auch in mehreren anderen Berichten der oben geäußerte Verdacht auf.

Ende Oktober wurde bekannt gegeben, dass die israelische Firma Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. mit der (US-Firma) Raytheon Missile Systems “zwei Verträge im Gesamtwert von über 100 Millionen Dollar” über den Entwurf und die Entwicklung des David’s Sling Weapon Systems / DSWS (des Waffensystem David-Schleuder) abgeschlossen hat.
(s. http://www.defencetalk.com/tag/sling-weapon-system/ )

“Das DSWS ist ein gemeinsames Programm der Missile Defense Agency (der USA) und der Israel Missile Defense Organization. Das System soll ballistische Kurzstreckenraketen, großkalibrige Raketen und Marschflugkörper in der Endphase des Anflugs zerstören.

“Der erste Vertrag sieht die gemeinsame Entwicklung der Stunner Interceptor (des Tollen Fängers), der Raketen-Komponente des DSWS vor. Stunner soll eine hochentwickelte Abfangrakete werden, die sowohl in das DSWS als auch in Raketenabwehrsysteme der Alliierten integriert werden kann.” [8]

Fünf Wochen vorher hat Deutschland vorzeitig zwei U-212 Unterseeboote der Dolphin-Klasse an Israel geliefert, von denen “Marschflugkörper mit Atomsprengköpfen” starten können. Sie sollten ursprünglich erst im Jahr 2010 ankommen.

“Mit den beiden neuen U-Booten verfügt Israel jetzt über insgesamt fünf deutsche Unterseeboote; es sind die teuersten Waffensysteme in Israels Arsenal.

Israelische Medien haben berichtet, den Dolphin-Unterseebooten fiele bei einem Angriff auf die umstrittenen Atomanlagen des Irans eine Schlüsselrolle zu.” [9]

Am 15. Oktober hat die JERUSALEM POST einen Bericht veröffentlicht, der die folgende beunruhigende Information enthielt:

“In einem französischen Magazin war zu lesen, Israel plane, nach dem Dezember (2009) militärische Angriffe auf den Iran durchzuführen. ISRAEL RADIO zitierte einen Bericht aus LE CANARD ENCHAINÉ, in dem es hieß, Jerusalem habe bei einem französischen Nahrungsmittelhersteller bereits Kampfrationen hoher Qualität für Soldaten von Eliteeinheiten bestellt und Reservisten dieser Einheiten, die sich im Ausland aufhalten, aufgefordert, nach Israel zurückzukehren.”

Die französische Zeitschrift wird auch mit der Behauptung zitiert, “Gabi Ashkenazi, der Generalstabschef der Israel Defense Forces / IDF, habe bei seinem jüngsten Besuch in Frankreich dem französischen Generalstabschef Jean-Louis Georgelin mitgeteilt, Israel plane nicht, den Iran zu bombardieren; man werde aber vielleicht Elitetruppen entsenden, um Aktivitäten am Boden zu entfalten. Denkbar seien Sabotageakte gegen Atomanlagen und die Ermordung führender iranischer Atomwissenschaftler.” [10] (s. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1255547721120&pagename=
JPArticle%2FShowFull )

Am 2. November wurde auf arabischsprachigen Websites berichtet: “Das US-Militär hat die Errichtung eines hoch entwickelten Radarsystems im Irak abgeschlossen und kann damit jetzt die Grenzen zum Iran, zu Syrien und zur Türkei überwachen.” [11] Der Iran und seine Nachbarn sind nicht die einzigen Nationen, die in Reichweite des Raketenkillersystems liegen, das in den letzten beiden Wochen in Israel Premiere hatte. Zusätzlich zu den “spezifischen Bedrohungen” die in den Berichten über Juniper-Cobra immer wieder auftauchten, wurde auch ein anderes Thema wiederholt hervorgehoben:

Das Manöver war gleichzeitig ein Probelauf für einen NATO-Raketenabwehrschild, der den ganzen europäischen Kontinent abschirmen soll.

In der amerikanischen und israelischen Presse wurde dieser Plan immer wieder erwähnt.

So hieß es zum Beispiel:

“Das ist eine sehr schnelle und umfangreiche Demonstration der Raketenabwehr-Pläne der neuen (US-)Regierung.” [12] (Der zitierte Artikel ist aufzurufen unter http://www.luftpost-kl.de/luftpost-archiv/LP_09/LP23209_231009.pdf .)

“Die große Luftverteidigungsübung, die in dieser Woche zusammen mit Israel gestartet wurde, wird den Vereinigten Staaten helfen, ihren Raketenabwehrschild für Europa durchzusetzen,’ äußerte ein US-Kommandeur. … In dem dreiwöchigen Manöver wird auch Aegis,
ein Raketenabwehrsystem der US-Navy, erprobt, das als erste Komponente eines Raketenabwehrschildes für Europa auch im östlichen Mittelmeer eingesetzt werden soll, wie die Regierung des Präsidenten Barack Obama letzten Monat ankündigte.” [13]

“Ein US-Offizier sagte am Dienstag, die große Raketenabwehrübung der amerikanischen und israelischen Streitkräfte werde bei der Entwicklung des geplanten NATO-Raketenabwehrschildes für Europa sehr hilfreich sein.

Der Offizier ist Tony English, ein Colonel (Oberst) der US-Army; er stellte ausdrücklich fest: ‘Wir werden viele Lehren aus dieser Übung ziehen, die uns für das geplante System sehr nützlich sein werden.” [14]

“Was die Amerikaner aus diesen komplizierten Übungen lernen, wird ihnen perspektivisch helfen, den NATO-Raketenabwehrschild für Europa zu gestalten.” [15]

“Die Erkenntnisse, die den israelischen und amerikanischen Streitkräften aus der Raketenabwehrübung Juniper-Cobra erwachsen, werden dem US-Verteidigungsministerium helfen, einen neuen NATO-Raketenabwehrschild für Europa zu installieren,’ äußerten führende Verteidigungsfachleute. Die Übung ist auch deshalb für eine potenzielle europäische Raketenabwehr wichtig, weil die Amerikaner ihre Systeme unter verschiedenen Wetterbedingungen testen müssen.

Der neue Plan, der gerade erwogen wird, sieht die Entsendung von US-Kriegsschiffen vor, die mit dem Aegis-Raketenabwehrsystem ausgestattet sind; sie könnten im Mittelmeer zusammen mit wenigen landgestützten Systemen einen (schwimmenden) Schutzwall für Europa bilden.

Die Amerikaner überlegen zur Zeit, welches landgestützte System sie einführen sollen. Die NATO-Partner möchten sich für die SM-3, die Rakete des seegestützten Aegis-Systems entscheiden, aber das US-Militär wird wahrscheinlich auch andere Systeme prüfen, auch die israelischen Raketen Arrow (Pfeil) und die Arrow 3, die gerade entwickelt und von der (US-)Regierung finanziert wird.” [16]

Gegen Ende August, wenige Wochen bevor Washington ankündigte, die Pläne zur Stationierung stationärer Abwehrraketen in Polen und einer X-Band-Radaranlage in der Tschechischen Republik aufgeben zu wollen, berichtete die polnische Zeitung GAZETA WYBORCZA:

“Washington sucht jetzt nach alternativen Positionen – auch auf dem Balkan, in Israel und in der Türkei.” [17]

In einem meiner früheren Artikel in dieser Reihe habe ich die Entwicklung vor der Ankündigung am 17. September untersucht. [18]

Mitte Oktober hatte der israelische Verteidigungsminister Ehud Barak Polen besucht, das damals nach den Plänen der USA und der NATO noch eine zentrale Position im Raketenabwehrsystem erhalten sollte – mit landgestützten Patriots und SM-3-Raketen auf Schiffen in der Ostsee. In Warschau begrüßte Barak die “US-Entscheidung, einen seegestützten Raketenabwehrschild zu errichten”, und stellte dazu fest:

“Die neuen Überlegungen erlauben wirklich mehr Flexibilität und schaffen in einer relativ kurzen Zeit eine viel wirksamere und wirtschaftlichere Möglichkeit, effektiv auf die Bedrohung durch iranische Raketen zu reagieren.” [19]

Der polnische Rundfunk berichtete: “Nach einer Erklärung des israelischen Verteidigungsministeriums wird Barak in Polen und in derTschechischen Republik Gespräche über eine gemeinsame Reaktion auf die atomaren Ambitionen des Irans führen und Möglichkeiten zur Entwicklung von Kontakten zwischen Rüstungsfirmen erkunden.” [20]

Zur gleichen Zeit bestätigten israelische Quellen, dass sich die israelische Marine an der NATO-Operation Active Endeavour beteiligen wird. Dieses seit acht Jahren durchgeführte Marineunternehmen ist ein Überwachungs- und Kontrollprogramm, das sich auf die in Artikel 5 des NATO-Vertrags festgeschriebene Verpflichtung zu gegenseitigem Beistand beruft. Es ermöglicht eine Abriegelung des gesamten Mittelmeers und seiner Zugänge – der Meerenge von Gibraltar, des Suezkanals und der Dardanellen. (s. dazu ://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Active_Endeavour )

In westlichen Führungskreisen wird bereits darüber diskutiert, ob der Geltungsbereich des Artikels 5 nicht ausgeweitet werden soll. Darin heißt es jetzt noch: “Die Parteien vereinbaren, dass ein bewaffneter Angriff gegen eine oder mehrere von ihnen in Europa oder Nordamerika als ein Angriff gegen sie alle angesehen werden wird; … ” (zitiert nach http://www.uni-kassel.de/fb5/frieden/themen/NATO/NATO-Vertrag.
html ) Neben den NATO-Partnern sollen auch weitere Länder einbezogen werden, bis zu einer Gesamtzahl von 60 Staaten. (Der NATO gehören zur Zeit 28 Staaten an, s, http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO .)

Israel gehört zu den möglichen Kandidaten. Auch die Nachbarn des Irans am Persischen Golf.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, der Generalsekretär der NATO, hat vom 29. – 30. Oktober an einer internationalen Konferenz in den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten / UAE teilgenommen; sie beschäftigte sich mit dem Thema “Die Beziehungen der NATO zu den UAE und die weitere Entwicklung der Istanbul Cooperation Initiative”; zu den Teilnehmern gehörten “die ständigen NATO-Vertreter im Nordatlantikrat, der Stellvertretende Generalsekretär der NATO, der Vorsitzende des NATO-Militärausschusses, andere hochrangige NATO-Offizielle und Regierungsvertreter, Meinungsführer, Akademiker und wichtige Wissenschaftler aus Ländern der Golfregion”. [21]

Die Istanbul Cooperation Initiative wurde 2004 auf dem NATO-Gipfel in der türkischen Stadt Istanbul 2004 gegründet, um die Dialog-Partner der NATO am Mittelmeer – Algerien, Ägypten, Israel, Jordanien, Mauretanien, Marokko und Tunesien – auf ein Niveau anzuheben, das vergleichbar mit der Partnerschaft für den Frieden ist, die im letzten Jahrzehnt dazu diente, zehn neue Nationen als Vollmitglieder (in die NATO) aufzunehmen und ein Militärbündnis mit den sechs Mitgliedern des Gulf Cooperation Council / GCC) zu schmieden – mit Bahrain, wo die 5. US-Flotte ihr Hauptquartier hat, mit Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi-Arabien und den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten.

In einem Artikel einer Zeitung aus den Emiraten wird unter dem Titel “Rasmussen sagt, die NATO werde die UAE bei einem Angriff verteidigen” der NATO-Generalsekretär mit folgender Äußerung zu einer Vereinbarung zwischen der NATO den UAE zitiert:

“Die Vereinbarung wurde geschlossen, um die Zusammenarbeit in Sicherheitsangelegenheiten zu vertiefen….Es gibt noch einen anderen Anlass. … Wir stimmen mit den GCC Staaten in Fragen des Schutzes, der gemeinsamen Sicherheit und einer gedeihlichen Zusammenarbeit überein. Falls etwas geschehen sollte, werden wir sie gemeinsam verteidigen.”
[22]

Während seines Aufenthalts in den UAE sagte Rasmussen unter Berufung auf die Bindungen zu diesem Staat auch: “Wir haben das gemeinsame Interesse, Ländern wie Afghanistan und dem Irak zu helfen, damit sie wieder auf eigenen Füßen stehen können und der Mittlere Osten insgesamt stabiler wird; wir wollen auch verhindern, dass Länder wie Somalia und der Sudan noch tiefer ins Chaos stürzen. … Wir alle sind sehr besorgt über die atomaren Ambitionen des Irans.” [23]

Zusammen mit weiteren Truppenverstärkungen in Afghanistan, im östlichen Nachbarland des Irans, ist die Ausweitung der NATO auf den Persischen Golf ein integaler Bestandteil der Einkreisung des Irans – zur Vorbereitung eines künftigen Angriffs auf diesen Staat.

Eine weitere Initiative in dieser Kampagne, mit der versucht wird, militärische Fähigkeiten des Irans zu neutralisieren, um Vergeltungsschläge im Falle eines Überraschungs-Angriffs zu verhindern, wurde im September 2008 gestartet – ein Jahr bevor die Änderungen in
den Plänen der USA für die europäische Flanke ihres globalen Raketenabwehrschildes bekannt gegeben wurden.

Der US-Senat bewilligte 89 Millionen Dollar für die Aufstellung eines transportablen X-Band-Radarsystems in Israel; es trägt jetzt die Bezeichnung Army Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance (AN/TPY-2). Eine US-Militärzeitung schrieb damals: “Das Radar kann ein Objekt von der Größe eines Baseballs schon in einer Entfernung von 2.900 Meilen (4.666 km) erkennen … ” [24] (Der übersetzte Artikel ist nachzulesen
unter http://www.luftpost-kl.de/luftpost-archiv/LP_08/LP18508_031008.pdf .)

Die Entfernung zwischen Tel Aviv und Teheran beträgt 993 Meilen [1.598 km]; die Reichweite des US-Radars zur Raketenabwehr (das in Israel positioniert wurde) übertrifft diese Distanz um fast 2.000 Meilen (3.218 km). Das reicht aus, um das ganze östliche und den größten Teil des südlichen Russlands abzudecken, wo ein Großteil der strategischen Raketen dieses Landes aufgestellt ist. Moskau ist 2.641 Kilometer von Tel Aviv entfernt. Eine israelische Zeitung schätzte die Reichweite dieses Radars auf 4.800 Kilometer, das wären noch 134 Meilen mehr. (Die überprüften Zahlen weichen vom denen im Originaltext ab.)

Das U.S. European Command (EUCOM), das für das Projekt verantwortlich ist, und dessen Chef Admiral James Stavridis auch Supreme Allied Commander Europe / SACEUR, also NATO-Oberbefehlshaber ist, hat gegen Ende September 2008 die USE inheiten genannt, die damit beauftragt wurden, das Radar aufzustellen und zu betreiben.

Sie kamen aus folgenden Bereichen und Kommandos:

• 357th Air Missile Defense Detachment, U.S. Army (stationiert in Kaiserslautern),

• 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army (stationiert in Kaiserslautern),

• Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, U.S. Marine Corps (wahrscheinlich aus
Neapel),

• 86th Contingency Response Group, U.S. Air Force (von der Air Base Ramstein),

• 31st Logistics Readiness Squadron, U.S. Air Force (stationiert in Aviano, Italien),

• 5th Signal Command, U.S. Army (noch in Mannheim stationiert) und von der

• Missile Defense Agency (im Pentagon)

(Weitere Informationen über das Radar und die genannten Einheiten sind nachzulesen unter
http://www.luftpost-kl.de/luftpost-archiv/LP_08/LP18508_031008.pdf )

Insgesamt waren 120 Personen von der US-Army, der Air Force und der Marineinfanterie beteiligt. Ein EUCOM-Sprecher erklärte damals: “Das Radar wird auf Wunsch der israelischen Regierung bereitgestellt und soll deren Verteidigungsmöglichkeiten verbessern,” [26]

Es war die erste längere Stationierung von US-Soldaten oder Soldaten einer anderen Nation in Israel in der 61-jährigen Geschichte dieses Landes. Obwohl keine formelle Vereinbarung über eine dauerhafte Stationierung getroffen wurde, gibt es keinen Grund für die Annahme, das Radarsystem werde jemals wieder zurückgezogen.

Es wurde auf der Nevatim Air Base in der Wüste Negev installiert, wo auch die israelischen Atomwaffen gelagert sein sollen.

Die Radarstation war im Dezember letzten Jahres voll betriebsbereit, und im April 2009 nahmen US-Truppen an der Erprobung das Systems teil. “Israel führte einen Test mit einer verbesserten Arrow-Abwehrrakete durch, bei dem eine anfliegende Rakete abgeschossen wurde. Es war der erste israelische Test, in den auch das US-Radar einbezogen war.” [27]

Das 2.900 – 3.000 Meilen weit reichende Radarsystem wurde in den letzten beiden Wochen im Rahmen des Manövers Juniper-Cobra viel intensiver genutzt; es wurde nicht nur in das Pilotprojekt zur Erprobung einer mehrstufigen land- und seege-stützten Raketenabwehr integriert, es wurde auch als Prototyp für den neuen Raketenabwehrschild der USA und der NATO getestet, der – wie Barack Obama am 17. September (2009) sagte – noch “stärker, intelligenter und schneller” reagieren und nicht nur den ganzen europäischen Kontinent, sondern auch das Schwarze Meer, den Kaukasus, das Östliche Mittelmeer und den Persischen Golf abdecken soll. Seine weitere Ausdehnung nach Süden und Osten zeichnet sich bereits ab.

Der Raketenabwehrschild ist ein System, das potenzielle Opfer eines militärischen Erstschlags unfähig zur Vergeltung machen soll, mit dem man die Fähigkeit zur Abschreckung und zu einer wirksamen Reaktion zerstören will.

Anmerkungen
1) Jerusalem Post, 31. Oktober 2009
2) ebd.
3) United Press International, 30. Oktober 2009
4) The Associated Press, 27. Oktober 2009
5) Arutz Sheva, 3. November 2009
6) Israeli Defense Forces, 3. November 2009
7) BBC News, 2. November 2009
8) Raytheon Company, 27. Oktober 2009
9) Agence France-Presse, 29. September 2009
10) Jerusalem Post, am 15. Oktober 2009
11) Press TV, 2. November 2009
12) Stars and Stripes, am 23. Oktober 2009
13) Reuters, 22. Oktober 2009
14) Associated Press, 27. Oktober 2009
15) United Press International, 30. Oktober 2009
16) Jerusalem Post, 31. Oktober 2009
17) United Press International, 27. August 2009
18) U.S. Expands Global Missile Shield Into Middle East, Balkans
Stop NATO, September 11, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/u-s-expands-global-missile-shield-into-middle-east-balkans

19) Agence France-Presse, 14. Oktober 2009
20) Polish Radio,13. Oktober 2009
21) NATO, 28. Oktober 2009
22) Khaleej Times, 30. Oktober 2009
23) Emirates News Agency, 29. Oktober 2009
24) Stars and Stripes, 30. September 2008
25) Jerusalem Post, 23. November 2008
26) Stars and Stripes, 30. September 2008
27) Stars and Stripes, 13. April 2009

(Wir haben den Artikel komplett übersetzt und zusätzlich mit eigenen Anmerkungen in runden Klammern und Hervorhebungen versehen. Anschließend drucken wir den Originaltext ab.)

Categories: Uncategorized

1989-2009: Il Muro di Berlino si sposta sui confini della Russia

November 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Stop NATO
November 14, 2009

1989-2009: Il Muro di Berlino si sposta sui confini della Russia
di Rick Rozoff

Traduzione di Curzio Bettio di Soccorso Popolare di Padova

Il 9 novembre segnerà il ventesimo anniversario della decisione da parte del governo della Repubblica Democratica di Germania di aprire valichi di passaggio nel muro che separava i settori orientali ed occidentali di Berlino.

Dal 1961 al 1989 il muro aveva costituito una linea di divisione nella -, un simbolo di -, e un metonimo per -, Guerra Fredda.

Una generazione successiva a questi eventi si incontrerà a Berlino per commemorare la “caduta del Muro di Berlino”, l’ultima vittoria che l’Occidente può rivendicare negli ultimi due decenni.

Impantanati nella guerra in Afghanistan, nell’occupazione dell’Iraq e nella peggior crisi finanziaria dal tempo della Grande Depressione degli anni Trenta del secolo scorso, gli Stati Uniti, la Germania e l’Occidente nel suo complesso sono ansiosi di gettare un tenero sguardo all’indietro verso quello che è apparso come il loro più grande trionfo, il collasso del blocco socialista nell’Est Europeo seguito a ruota stretta dalla dissoluzione dell’Unione Sovietica.

Tutti gli attori di questo dramma – Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, George H. W. Bush (N.d.tr.: Bush padre!), Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa – e gli eventi che hanno condotto a questo, saranno con riverenza elogiati e considerati degni di celebrità.

Gorbachev assisterà (forse con qualche imbarazzo?) alla festa di anniversario alla Porta di Brandenburgo e le pagine di editoriali di tutto il mondo, dense di deferenza, ripeteranno la litania di banalità, di cose pietose, di elogi auto-gratificanti e di grandiose rivendicazioni, come ci si deve aspettare per l’occasione.

Quelli che non verranno riportati sono i commenti come quello pronunciato il 6 novembre da Mikhail Margelov, Presidente della Commissione per gli Affari Esteri della Camera Alta del Parlamento Russo, il Consiglio della Federazione. Vale a dire, che “il Muro di Berlino è stato sostituito da un cordone sanitario di nazioni ex-Sovietiche, dal Mar Baltico al Mar nero.” [1]

Con l’unificazione, prima di Berlino e poi dell’intera Germania, l’Unione Sovietica e il suo Presidente Mikhail Gorbachev avevano ricevuto assicurazioni che l’Organizzazione del Trattato Nord-Atlantico (NATO) non si sarebbe allargata verso est, verso i confini dell’URSS.

Gorbachev ribadisce che nel 1990 l’allora Segretario di Stato James Baker gli aveva dichiarato: “Guarda, se tu ritiri le tue truppe e consenti l’ingresso della Germania nella NATO, la NATO non si espanderà di un pollice verso est.” [2]

Non solo l’ex Germania Est veniva assorbita dalla NATO, ma negli ultimi dieci anni anche altri alleati del Patto di Varsavia entravano come membri di diritto del blocco NATO – Bulgaria, la Repubblica Ceca, Ungheria, Polonia, Romania e Slovacchia.

La Russia è stata attaccata dall’Occidente per due volte, dai più imponenti eserciti di invasione mai assemblati nel continente Europeo e a un tempo nel mondo (nonostante le valutazioni iperboliche di Erodoto relative all’armata di Serse), quello di Napoleone Bonaparte nel 1812 e di Adolf Hitler nel 1941. Il primo esercito consisteva di 700.000 uomini e il secondo di 5 milioni.

Le preoccupazioni di Mosca per l’accerchiamento invasivo militare a cui è sottoposta e il suo desiderio di assicurarsi almeno delle zone neutre tampone attorno ai suoi confini occidentali sono invariabilmente dipinte negli Stati Uniti e nelle capitali Occidentali alleate degli USA come una qualche combinazione di paranoia Russa e di trama per far rivivere l’“Impero Sovietico”.

Quello che i luminari auto-incensanti di geopolitiche Occidentali pensano sul concetto di neutralità verrà considerato più avanti.

Con l’espansione del blocco militare, dominato dagli USA, nell’Europa Orientale nel 1999 e nel 2004, in quest’ultimo caso non solo i restanti stati non-Sovietici dell’ex Patto di Varsavia ma tre delle repubbliche ex-Sovietiche sono divenute membri effettivi della NATO, attualmente esistono cinque nazioni NATO che confinano con la Russia. Tre direttamente adiacenti alla sua terraferma – Estonia, Lettonia e Norvegia – e due più contigue all’exclave di Kaliningrad, la Lituania e la Polonia.

La Finlandia, la Georgia, l’Ucraina e l’Azerbaijan si stanno preparando a seguirne l’esempio e così si completerà l’accerchiamento dal Golfo di Barents al Baltico, dal Mar Nero al Mar Caspio.

La lunghezza del Muro di Berlino che separava la Berlino Ovest dalla Repubblica Democratica Tedesca era di 96 miglia. Il cordone militare NATO dalla Norvegia nord-orientale all’Azerbaijan settentrionale andrebbe ad estendersi oltre le 3.000 miglia (più di 4.800 chilometri).

Di recente, un notiziario Russo commentava così la spesa di 110 milioni di dollari da parte degli USA per migliorare due delle sette nuove basi militari che il Pentagono ha acquisito sul Mar Nero di fronte alla Russia : “Le installazioni in Romania e in Bulgaria sono in linea con il programma di rilocazione delle truppe Americane in Europa annunciato nel 2004 dall’allora Presidente George Bush. Il principale obiettivo è la dislocazione il più vicino possibile ai confini della Russia.” [3]

Il muro che sta per essere eretto e allacciato attorno a tutta la Russia Europea non è una ridotta difensiva, una barriera di protezione. Si tratta di una falange di basi e di strutture militari in avanzamento senza tregua.

Il mese scorso, il Segretario Generale della NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen era in Lituania per ispezionare la Base Aerea Siauliai, dalla quale gli aerei da guerra della NATO hanno condotto ininterrottamente pattugliamenti sopra il Mar Baltico per più di cinque anni, navigando sopra le coste della Russia, a tre minuti di volo da St. Pietroburgo.

In questa occasione, la nuova Presidente della Lituania Dalia Grybauskaite ha dichiarato: “Noi abbiamo ricevuto assicurazioni che la NATO è tuttora interessata ad impegnarsi nella difesa della regione Baltica… Sono contenta di vedere qui, in Lituania, il Segretario Generale della NATO, nell’unica, ma molto importante base aerea della NATO presente negli stati Baltici. Questo è uno dei punti cruciali di difesa NATO nella regione Baltica.” [4]

Nella contigua Polonia, un servizio giornalistico dello scorso aprile ha fornito dettagli sul grado dello sviluppo sempre crescente dell’Alleanza Atlantica nella nazione:

“Gli investimenti della NATO in infrastrutture di difesa in Polonia nei prossimi cinque anni potranno aumentare a più di un miliardo di euro (1 euro = 4,15 zloty)…

“La Polonia è forse l’area del più largo volume di investimenti della NATO nel mondo.

“Al presente, sono vicini al completamento lavori di costruzione o di ammodernamento su sette aeroporti militari, due porti marittimi, cinque depositi di carburante, come su sei basi strategiche radar a lungo raggio. Progetti di posto comando di difesa aerea a Poznan, Varsavia, e Bydgoszcz hanno già ricevuto il benestare inizio lavori, come pure un progetto di comunicazioni radio a Wladyslawowo.

“Fra le altre cose, i nuovi investimenti includeranno l’equipaggiamento di aeroporti militari a Powidz, Lask e Minsk Mazowiecki con nuove installazioni di logistica e difesa.” [5]

La Polonia, presto, ospiterà qualcosa come 196 missili Americani intercettori Patriot e 100 militari incaricati del loro funzionamento, ed esiste un sito analogo per il dispiegamento di batterie di missili Americani anti-balistici SM-3.

Come abbiamo fatto menzione in precedenza, Washington e la NATO si sono assicurati l’uso a tempo indefinito di sette basi militari in Bulgaria e Romania, prossime al Mar Nero della Russia, incluse le basi aeree di Bezmer e Graf Ignatievo in Bulgaria e la base aerea di Mihail Kogalniceanu in Romania. [6]

Il 28 ottobre si trovava in Romania il Gen. Roger Brady, comandante delle Forze Aeree USA in Europa, per sovrintendere alle manovre di addestramento militare congiunte, durante le quali “la Forza Aerea USA effettuava 100 missioni, metà delle quali avvenivano in collaborazione con la Forza Aerea della Romania.” [7]

Il Pentagono conduce esercitazioni annuali NATO “Brezza di Mare” in Ucraina, nella Crimea, dove è di base la Flotta Russa del Mar Nero.

Inoltre dirige regolarmente manovre militari di “Risposta Immediata” in Georgia, la più ampia di queste esercitazioni da far risalire ai giorni che hanno preceduto l’attacco della Georgia contro l’Ossezia del Sud e il conflitto risultante con la Russia nell’agosto 2008, e attualmente una manovra è in fase di completamento.

Nel mese di maggio gli USA hanno condotto in Georgia le annuali esercitazioni tattiche “Cooperative Longbow 09/Cooperative Lancer NATO Partnership for Peace”, con l’impiego di 1.300 uomini di truppa di 19 nazioni.[8]

Pochi giorni fa, si trovava in Georgia il Generale Comandante dell’Esercito USA in Europa, Generale Carter F. Ham, per “informarsi sull’addestramento di “Immediate Response 2009” in corso fra l’esercito USA e quello della Georgia” e per “visitare la Base Militare di Vaziani e sovrintendere alle esercitazioni.” [9]

Un ufficiale Russo, Dmitry Rogozin, parlava di queste esercitazioni militari congiunte e metteva in guardia che “Noi tutti abbiamo presente che simili attività avvenute lo scorso anno hanno avuto un seguito con gli avvenimenti di questo agosto.” [10]

In un giornale Georgiano, un editoriale sulle manovre militari confermava le apprensioni Russe reiterando questo collegamento: “La Georgia sta combattendo in Afghanistan per la pace e la stabilità, in modo da assicurare alla fine pace e stabilità in Georgia, perché chi semina bene raccoglie senza dubbio meglio, nella pienezza dei tempi.” [11]. Che è come dire, dato che la Georgia assiste militarmente gli USA in Afghanistan, allora gli USA forniranno appoggio alla Georgia in qualche futuro conflitto con i suoi vicini nel Caucaso.

La stampa mondiale ha di recente riferito su una visita di tre giorni del Ministro degli Esteri Polacco Radoslaw Sikorski negli Stati Uniti per, fra le altre cose, “incontrare il Segretario di Stato USA Hillary Clinton… per discutere della situazione in Afghanistan e di una nuova proposta Statunitense per uno scudo missilistico” [12] e per tenere una conferenza alla Brookings Institution, dove ha trattato del programma di Partnership Orientale di Polonia, Svezia ed Unione Europea per inglobare Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bielorussia, Georgia, Moldavia ed Ucraina nell’orbita “Euro-Atlantica” e delle preoccupazioni di Mosca che l’Occidente stia muovendosi per assumere il controllo dell’area ex Sovietica: “L’Unione Europea non necessita del consenso della Russia.” [13]

Quantunque, ciò che ha suscitato maggiori controversie è stato il suo discorso ad una conferenza sponsorizzata dal Centro Internazionale di Studi Strategici (CSIS), dal titolo “Gli Stati Uniti e l’Europa Centrale: interessi strategici convergenti o divergenti?”

Naturalmente, il principale motivo della conferenza era il ventesimo anniversario della fine della Guerra Fredda simbolizzata dallo smantellamento del Muro di Berlino.

L’ex Consigliere per la Sicurezza Nazionale degli Stati Uniti Zbigniew Brzezinski presentava una relazione densa di riferimenti alle supposte “aspirazioni imperiali” della Russia, alle minacce Russe contro la Georgia e l’Ucraina e alle intenzioni della Russia di diventare una “potenza mondiale imperiale.” [14]

Sikorski, non un estraneo a Washington, qui essendo stato membro residente presso l’American Enterprise Institute e direttore esecutivo del New Atlantic Initiative dal 2002-2005, prima di ritornare in patria per diventare Ministro della Difesa della Polonia, suggeriva che le recenti manovre militari congiunte Bielorusso-Russe necessitavano di impegni più decisi della NATO nel Nord-Est dell’Europa.

Ribadiva che l’impegno di assistenza militare secondo l’Articolo 5 dello Statuto dell’Alleanza – fra parentesi, ecco il perché a presto andranno in Afghanistan almeno 3.000 soldati Polacchi – era troppo “vago” e proponeva come alternativa più concreta qualcosa come i 300.000 uomini di truppa USA di stanza nella Germania Ovest durante la Guerra Fredda.[15]

Successivamente, il governo Polacco ha negato che il suo Ministro degli Esteri esplicitamente avesse invocato un dispiegamento di truppe Americane, e di fatto non l’aveva chiesto, ma i suoi commenti erano in linea con diversi altri avvenimenti e dichiarazioni recenti.

Per esempio, lo scorso ottobre la Polonia dichiarava pubblicamente che era stato pianificato un imponente miglioramento delle sue forze armate per 60 miliardi di dollari.

“Il Ministro della Difesa Bogdan Klich rendeva di pubblico dominio un piano… per modernizzare l’esercito mediante 14 programmi: sistemi di difesa aerea, elicotteri da combattimento e da trasporto, modernizzazione della flotta, aerei per attività spionistica e telecomandati, simulatori da addestramento ed equipaggiamento per le truppe… Klich annunciava piani per la costruzione di un nuovo velivolo per addestramento al combattimento LIFT, di rampe di lancio per missili Langust, di obici auto-propulsi Krab, di rampe per razzi Homar, e di un numero maggiore di mezzi blindati Rosomak e dichiarava una spesa di 30 miliardi di zloty per la sola modernizzazione dell’esercito.” [16]

L’arrivo, in quello stesso periodo, del cacciatorpediniere USS Ramage della flotta da guerra Statunitense con i suoi 250 marines, freschi di manovre NATO sulle coste della Scozia, “per partecipare ad una esercitazione militare con ufficiali della flotta Polacca,” prova che i desideri di Sikorski non erano stati ignorati. [17]

Prima della sua partenza, la rete televisiva locale TVN24 riportava che la USS Ramage “mentre partecipava alle manovre congiunte USA-Polacche. .. sparava sulla costa della Polonia”. [18]

[N.d.tr.: Il 28 ottobre, sono partiti tre colpi da una mitragliatrice M240 della USS Ramage, che stazionava in prossimità del porto della cittadina Gdynia. I colpi sono piovuti sulla cittadina polacca, senza provocare vittime. La notizia si è diffusa dopo che diversi abitanti della cittadina si erano rivolti alle locali autorità di polizia per denunciare di aver udito forti spari di origine sconosciuta. La polizia polacca ha quindi abbordato la nave americana per avviare un’inchiesta sull’accaduto. Le autorità militari statunitensi hanno spiegato che un membro dell'equipaggio avrebbe accidentalmente fatto partire tre colpi, mentre puliva la M240.

Questa è almeno la versione ufficiale che tuttavia lascia aperto più di un interrogativo, visto che le caratteristiche dell’arma rendono piuttosto improbabile che un colpo possa partire durante la sua manutenzione. La USS Ramage stava ritornando al porto dopo l’esercitazione NATO sul Mar Baltico.]

Il Comandante Tom Williamson comunicava all’ambasciata USA a Varsavia: “L’equipaggio della USS Ramage è stato sottoposto ad inchiesta in relazione all’accaduto.” [19]

Successivamente, un’altra nave da guerra Americana, il cacciatorpediniere lanciamissili USS Cole dotato di missili teleguidati di tipo Aegis, che aveva partecipato alle manovre navali congiunte in Scozia “Joint Warrior 09-2”, attraccava in Estonia.

Agli inizi di questo mese, la fregata lanciamissili USS John L. Hall che vedeva imbarcati “uomini di marina del Nono Distaccamento dello Squadrone 48 di Elicotteri Anti-Sottomarino” [20] arrivava in Lituania.
Sulla visita, un ufficiale della marina USA dichiarava: “Noi siamo qui come esempio della presenza continua della Marina Militare degli Stati Uniti nel Mar Baltico… Inoltre siamo qui per collaborare con la Marina da Guerra Lituana, nostro partner prezioso e la nostra visita fa parte delle relazioni in corso fra i nostri due paesi e le nostre due flotte.” [21]

A dimostrazione di come navi da guerra Americane reiterassero la loro “presenza continua nel Mar Baltico”, il Ministro della Difesa dell’Estonia affermava che “la NATO possiede piani di difesa per i Paesi Baltici, e questi piani sono in pieno sviluppo” [22], e il suo collega Lituano ribadiva: “Per la Lituania è importante che il nuovo Concetto di Alleanza Strategica vada ad includere punti che prevedono l’unità collettiva per l’applicazione della sicurezza strategica nella regione del Mar Baltico e la comune responsabilità per il futuro delle operazioni militari dell’Alleanza.” [23]

Il Ministro della Difesa Estone Jaak Aaviksoo dichiarava all’Associated Press “che il suo paese vedeva all’orizzonte nuove minacce, dal momento che la Russia aveva invaso la Georgia l’anno passato e dal fatto che nel 2007 un attacco cibernetico aveva preso di mira l’Estonia.”

“Aaviksoo progetta di incontrare il Ministro della Difesa degli USA Robert Gates” il 10 novembre. [24]

Il Presidente dell’Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves, un espatriato Americano ed ex attivista della Radio Libera Europa, proponeva che manovre NATO si tenessero negli stati Baltici.

Recentemente, il Ministro della Difesa Imants Liegis confermava che “nella prossima estate la Lituania avrebbe condotto esercitazioni militari su larga scala, in risposta alle manovre strategiche Russo-Bielorusse.” [25] Senza dubbio, non da sola!

Il catalogo soprastante delle attività militari e delle dichiarazioni bellicose fa supporre un alt alle ottimistiche aspettative risultanti dalla fine della Guerra Fredda, che di fatto non è mai terminata ma ha spostato le sue operazioni, in buona sostanza, verso Oriente.

Comunque, coloro i cui i nomi saranno evocati ed invocati il 9 novembre in occasione dell’anniversario dell’abbattimento del Muro di Berlino non hanno avuto successo nell’immediato periodo successivo.

Tre anni dopo la caduta del Muro, George H. W. Bush senior, perfino un anno dopo l’Operazione “Tempesta sul Deserto”, è diventato solo il terzo Presidente Americano, a partire dall’Ottocento, a perdere il tentativo di una rielezione.

Quattro anni dopo la caduta, Mikhail Gorbachev concorreva alla Presidenza della Russia e riceveva solo lo 0.5% dei voti.

Nella sua ultima corsa alla Presidenza della Polonia nel 2000, Lech Walesa, visto che il suo elettorato nazionale aveva finalmente capito qualcosa sul suo conto, ha ricevuto l’1% dei consensi.

Ma lui e i suoi camerati Occidentali eroi della Guerra Fredda marciano ancora e sempre per affrontare la Russia durante l’attuale fase di un nuovo conflitto.

In luglio, in quella che è stata intestata come “Una lettera aperta all’Amministrazione Obama dall’Europa Centrale e Orientale”, campioni della vecchia/nuova Guerra Fredda, come Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel, Valdas Adamkus, Alexander Kwasniewski e Vaira Vike-Freiberga – Adamkus ha vissuto per diversi decenni negli USA e Vike-Freiberga in Canada – hanno inchiodato la loro retorica anti-Russa a toni che non si erano mai più uditi dall’epoca dell’Amministrazione Reagan.

Questi, alcuni dei loro commenti:

“Noi abbiamo operato per costruire rapporti d’amicizia e relazioni bilaterali. Noi rappresentiamo voci dell’Atlantismo all’interno della NATO e dell’Unione Europea. Le nostre nazioni si sono sempre impegnate a fianco degli Stati Uniti nei Balcani, in Iraq, e attualmente in Afghanistan. .. Nubi tempestose hanno cominciato ad ammassarsi all’orizzonte della politica estera.”

“Le nostre speranze per un miglioramento delle relazioni con Mosca e che finalmente Mosca si capacitasse del tutto della nostra completa sovranità ed indipendenza, dopo il nostro ingresso nella NATO e nell’Unione Europea, non si sono pienamente realizzate. Al contrario, la Russia è ritornata ad essere una potenza revisionista inseguendo un programma Ottocentesco, però con tattiche e metodi del XXI secolo.”

“Il pericolo è che la strisciante intimidazione di Mosca e i tentavi di allargare la sua influenza nella regione possano portare fuori tempo ad una neutralizzazione de facto della regione.”

“La nostra regione ha patito quando gli Stati Uniti hanno dovuto sottostare al ‘realismo’ di Yalta.

E ha goduto benefici quando gli Stati Uniti hanno usato la loro potenza in una lotta di principio. Questo è stato cruciale durante la Guerra Fredda e quando si sono aperte le porte alla NATO. Avesse prevalso un analogo ‘realistico’ punto di vista agli inizi degli anni Novanta del secolo scorso, ora noi non saremmo nella NATO….”

“Noi sentiamo il bisogno di un rafforzamento della NATO come il più importante punto di collegamento fra Stati Uniti ed Europa per la sicurezza. Per noi la NATO rappresenta la sola credibile potenza che ci garantisce in modo deciso la sicurezza. La NATO deve riconfermare la sua funzione centrale di difesa collettiva, anche adesso che siamo nel XXI secolo soggetti a nuove minacce. Un fattore chiave a partecipare con tutte le nostre potenzialità alle missioni di spedizione oltremare della NATO è il pensiero che noi siamo sicuri a casa nostra.” [26]

Quindi, la missiva collettiva clamorosamente appoggiava i progetti USA per l’intercettazione di missili nell’Europa Orientale e appoggiava la Georgia di Mikheil Saakashvili (un altro ex-residente negli Stati Uniti) come motivo di riferimento per un nuovo confronto con la Russia.

Il 22 settembre, il Britannico The Guardian pubblicava una simile “Lettera Aperta” di gruppo, questa volta sottoscritta da Vaclav Havel, Valdas Adamkus, Mart Laar, Vytautas Landsbergis, Otto de Habsbourg, Daniel Cohn Bendit, Timothy Garton Ash, André Glucksmann, Mark Leonard, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Adam Michnik e Josep Ramoneda, che faceva appello all’Europa per un appoggio alla Georgia, e metteva in evidenza storiche allusioni ad avvenimenti attuali, prima del settantesimo anniversario dell’inizio della Seconda Guerra Mondiale e del ventesimo della caduta del Muro di Berlino:

“Nel momento in cui l’Europa ricorda la vergogna del patto Ribbentrop-Molotov del 1939 e gli accordi di Monaco del 1938, e quando si prepara a celebrare la caduta del Muro di Berlino e lo smantellamento della Cortina di Ferro del 1989, una questione ci sorge nella mente: “Abbiamo veramente imparato le lezioni della storia?”

“Vent’anni dopo l’emancipazione di mezzo continente, un nuovo muro sta per essere innalzato in Europa – questa volta attraverso il territorio sovrano della Georgia.

“Noi facciamo appello urgente ai 27 leaders democratici dell’Unione Europea di definire una attiva strategia opportuna ad aiutare la Georgia a riguadagnare pacificamente la sua integrità territoriale e ad ottenere il ritiro delle forze Russe illegalmente stazionanti sul suolo Georgiano… Diventa essenziale che l’Unione Europea e i suoi stati membri inviino un chiaro ed inequivocabile messaggio all’attuale dirigenza Russa.” [27]

La Georgia è divenuta una duplice Cecoslovacchia, quella del 1938 e quella del 1968, una nuova Berlino, una nuova Polonia e così via.

Personaggi dell’Europa Orientale ed Occidentale, come i firmatari dell’appello precedente, contrariamente a quello che asseriscono, sono nostalgici della Guerra Fredda e ansiosi di lanciare una nuova crociata contro una Russia stroncata ed indebolita.

Nel pieno stile degli “interventi umanitari” degli anni Novanta del secolo scorso, queste campagne sono la loro merce in vendita.

Ma la richiesta di una maggior “potenza decisa” che gli Stati Uniti dovrebbero fornire in Europa, così come nel Caucaso e di una espansione della NATO verso i confini della Russia, può provocare una catastrofe, che il continente e il mondo erano stati abbastanza fortunati da avere scampato la prima volta.

Note:
1) Agenzia Russa di Informazioni Novosti, 6 novembre 2009
2) Riportato da Bill Bradley, Foreign Policy (Politica Estera), 7 novembre, 2009
3) Voce della Russia, 22 ottobre 2009
4) Presidente della Repubblica di Lituania, 9 ottobre 2009
5) Warsaw Business Journal, 20 aprile 2009
6) Bulgaria, Romania: basi USA e NATO per la guerra ad Oriente
Stop NATO, 24 ottobre 2009
http://rickrozoff. wordpress. com/2009/ 10/25/bulgaria- romania-u- s-nato-bases- for-war-in- the-east
7) U.S. Air Forces in Europa, 29 ottobre 2009
8) Esercitazioni tattiche NATO in Georgia: minacce di una nuova guerra
nel Caucaso
Stop NATO, 8 maggio 2009 a:
http://rickrozoff. wordpress. com/2009/ 08/28/nato- war-games- in-georgia- threat-of- new-caucasus- war
9) Trend News Agency, 28 ottobre 2009
10) Rustavi2, 31 ottobre 2009
11) The Messenger, 3 novembre 2009
12) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 28 ottobre 2009
13) Radio Polonia, 3 novembre 2009
14) Video
http://csis. org/multimedia/ video-strategic- overview- us-and-central- europe-strategic -interests
15) Audio
http://csis. org/multimedia/ corrected- us-and-central- europe-radoslaw- sikorski
16) Radio Polonia, 27 ottobre 2009
17) Radio Polonia, 28 ottobre 2009
18) Russia Today, 28 ottobre 2009
19) Radio Polonia, 28 ottobre 2009
20) Comando degli Stati Uniti per l’Europa , 2 novembre
2009
21) Ibid
22) Baltic Business News, 27 ottobre 2009
23) Defense Professionals, 26 ottobre 2009
24) Associated Press, 2 novembre 2009
25) Russian Information Agency Novosti, 2 novembre 2009
26) Gazeta Wyborcza, 15 luglio 2009
27) The Guardian, 22 settembre 2009

Categories: Uncategorized

Pentagon’s Global Reach: Around The World In 12 Days

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Stop NATO
November 13, 2009

Pentagon’s Global Reach: Around The World In 12 Days
Rick Rozoff

On January 20 a changing of the guard occurred in the United States White House with two-term president George W. Bush being replaced by former freshman senator Barack Obama.

Bush had continued the policies of his predecessor Bill Clinton in relation to the Balkans, the Middle East and Latin America – with troops and a massive military base in Kosovo, regular bombings of Iraq and a monumental expansion of military aid to Colombia – and in addition launched two wars of his own, those against Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq two years later.

Obama, so thoroughly does U.S. polity predetermine individual administrations’ policies, entered office by intensifying the deadly drone missile attacks in Pakistan begun by Bush in late 2008 and announced that he was doubling the number of American troops in Afghanistan.

Already presiding over the world’s largest military budget, officially 41.5% of world expenditures in 2008 and far larger with non-Defense Department spending factored in, in April the new president requested from Congress an additional $85 billion in supplemental funding for the war in Afghanistan and the occupation of Iraq.

U.S. lawmakers were more than accommodating and on July 24 Obama signed Iraq and Afghanistan War Supplemental Appropriations amounting to $106 billion.

On October 28 he signed the $680 billion 2010 National Defense Authorization Act which includes another $130 billion to fund what his administration now calls overseas contingency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

With the authorization of $106 billion in July, the last official supplemental appropriation for the wars, and $130 billion last month for Afghanistan and Iraq the combined official spending for both wars will exceed $1 trillion. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) 2009 Year Book, total international military spending for 2008 was not much more than that: $1.464 trillion.

Eight days after the authorization of the $680 billion Pentagon budget for next year, the New York Times reported that the top American military commander, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, said “he expected the Pentagon to ask Congress in the next few months for emergency financing to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” with the newspaper estimating the size of the demand to be $50 billion. [1]

Despite the Obama administration’s pledge to the contrary, July’s war supplement may not be the last one. It will simply be renamed an emergency appropriation. The first of many more to come.

Not only does one country account for the overwhelming plurality of world military expenditures, but that nation also has troops and bases on all six habitable continents (as well as a 54-year military mission in Antarctica, Operation Deep Freeze) and eleven aircraft carrier strike groups and six navy fleets that roam the world’s oceans and seas at will. It is also expanding a global interceptor missile system on land, on sea, in the air and into space that will leave it invulnerable to retaliation.

Reports from the first twelve days of November indicate the global scope of the first attempt in history by one nation to achieve uncontested worldwide military power.

A survey of that period will trace recent trends across the globe with the alphabet as a compass.

Afghanistan

Any day now Washington may announce plans to add 40,000 or more troops to the 68,000 already there. [2] Plans are underway to accommodate that influx.

The American military compound at and fanning out from the Bagram Air Field has been expanded from 3,993 to 5,198 acres since 2001 and is in the process of further enlargement. It already hosts some 25,000 U.S. troops and contractors and “a new parking ramp supporting the world’s largest aircraft is to be completed this spring….[I]t is continuing to grow to keep up with the requirements of an escalating war and troop increases.” [3]

Regarding non-military personnel at Bagram and elsewhere in the nation, “Contractors in Afghanistan outnumber U.S. troops there” [4] as they do in Iraq.

The Army Times recently reported on the main purpose of the airbase at Bagram. Last month the number of U.S. and NATO air strikes in Afghanistan was the highest since July of 2008, with 647 bombs dropped in October compared to 752 a year ago July. “The airstrike numbers don’t include strafing runs, attacks by special operations AC-130 gunships, launches of small missiles or helicopter attacks.” [5]

Africa

A U.S. Defense Department news source reported on November 5 that Air Forces Africa commanders visited Mali and Senegal in West Africa. Vice commander Michael Callan “visited Mali’s 33d Parachute Regiment, a unit that carries out operations using tactical vehicles and communication equipment provided by the U.S. Defense and State Departments.” The Malian military is involved in a counterinsurgency war in the nation’s north aided by Washington.

A commander of Mali’s armed forces said, “Ninety-five percent of our soldiers were trained by the U.S, and we’ve engaged with you in exercises like Flintlock, Joint Planning and Assessment Teams and special bilateral training.” [6] Flintlock military exercises have been held in different locations on the African continent for years, this year’s being conducted by the new Africa Command (AFRICOM) for the first time. The U.S. also recently led multinational military exercises in Gabon and Uganda on both ends of the continent. [7]

The USS San Juan, “a fast-attack submarine,” arrived in South Africa on November 4, “setting the stage for a series of first-ever, at-sea engagements with the South African Navy submarine force.” [8]

Armenia

Robert Simmons [9], NATO’s special representative to the South Caucasus and Central Asia – former Senior Adviser to the United States Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs on NATO – was in this South Caucasus nation earlier this month and announced that he had recruited an initial contingent of Armenian troops for the war in Afghanistan. This marks the first deployment to that nation of soldiers from the Russian-led seven-nation Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a potential counterbalance to NATO in post-Soviet space.

“Simmons expressed NATO’s ‘appreciation to Armenia for its strong contributions’ to alliance missions, which he said began in Kosovo and will now be repeated in Afghanistan.” [10]

In reference to his mission of pulling yet another Russian ally into the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization orbit, Simmons said, “We are continuing cooperation with the Armenian Defense Ministry. NATO assists the implementation of reforms and the development of strategically important documents.” [11]

Baltic Sea

After participating in NATO war games off the coast of Scotland, the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole paid visits to the capitals of Finland and Estonia in the Baltic Sea. “Cole hosted a reception in Helsinki, which was joined by Adm. Mark Fitzgerald, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, U.S. Naval Forces Africa and Allied Joint Forces Command Naples.

“Immediately following the departure from Helsinki, Cole arrived in Tallinn, Estonia, a few hours later.” [12]

The beginning of this month the guided-missile frigate USS John L. Hall with sailors of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 48 “completed a theater security cooperation (TSC) port visit to Klaipeda, Lithuania.”

A U.S. Navy official stated: “We are here as part of the United States Navy’s continuing presence in the Baltic Sea….We are also here to work with the Lithuanian Navy, who has been a valuable partner and our visit here is part of the ongoing relationship between our two countries and our two navies.” [13] [14]

On November 3 Estonian Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo was at the Pentagon to meet with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Associated Press reported on the occasion that he was “discussing with the United States why NATO needs plans in case his region is attacked.” [15]

Bangladesh

In early November three high-ranking American military officials arrived in the country. The three – U.S. Army Lieutenant General Benjamin R. Mixon, Commanding General of U.S. Army, Pacific, Vice-Admiral John M. Bird, Commander of U.S. Navy 7th Fleet, and U.S. Marine Corps Major General Randolph D. Alles, Director for Strategic Planning and Policy at the U.S. Pacific Command – engaged in discussions focusing “on interoperability, readiness in the region, security-force assistance, and bilateral approaches to maintaining regional stability.” [16]

On November 12 the U.S.-led Tiger Shark military exercises to train Bangladeshi naval commandos ended. A press release on the operation stated: “The training demonstrates the United States government’s commitment to Bangladesh and to regional security by promoting military-to-military relationships throughout Asia and the Pacific.” [17]

Black Sea

The Pentagon’s European Command (EUCOM) reported on November 2 that its Joint Task Force-East had completed an almost three-month series of trainings in Bulgaria and Romania which began on August 7 and included Stryker and Airborne units destined for the war in Afghanistan. [18] “Nearly 600 members of the Romanian Land Forces, 500 Bulgarian Land Forces, and more than 1,500 U.S. service members participated in this year’s combined training.” [19]

After U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden’s visit to the country on October 22, a news source in Romania wrote of Washington’s new interceptor missile plans: “A strong and modern surveillance system located in Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey could monitor three hot areas at once: the Black Sea, the Caucasus and the Caspian and relevant zones in the Middle East.” [20]

Colombia

The Obama administration signed a ten-year military treaty with the Alvaro Uribe government on September 30 which “gives American military forces access to seven Colombian army, navy and air force bases, but also to major international civilian airports in the country. In addition, U.S. personnel and defense contractors will enjoy diplomatic immunity under the agreement.” [21]

A copy of the pact surfaced on November 4 and detailed that it “allows Washington access to civilian airports as well as military bases” and as a result “the US will have access to all international airports across the Andean nation including airports in the cities of Barranquilla, San Andres, Cartagena, Bogota, Cali, Medellin and Bucaramanga.” [22]

In the initial phase an estimated 1,400 U.S. personnel will be assigned to the seven bases with the likelihood that the number will be increased as Washington sees fit. [23]

Eva Golinger observed that one of the newly acquired bases, that at Palanquero, was identified by an American Air Force document as providing the Pentagon “an opportunity for conducting full spectrum operations throughout South America….” [24]

Two South American nations bordering or near Colombia, Venezuela and Bolivia, were not slow to respond.

Earlier this month Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez stated in his weekly radio and television address that “We cannot waste one day to fulfill our mission: to prepare for war and help the people to get ready for war,” [25] warning that an armed conflict with the U.S. client regime in Bogota “could extend throughout the whole continent.” [26]

Days earlier two Venezuelan National Guard troops were killed at a checkpoint near Colombia and Caracas deployed 15,000 troops to the border.

In his November 13 address Chavez added. “Don’t make a mistake, Mr. Obama, by ordering an attack against Venezuela by way of Colombia.” [27]

On the same day his Bolivian counterpart, President Evo Morales, warned “I am convinced that where there are military bases, the social peace, the democracy and the development of the nations as well as their integration are not guaranteed. These facilities are an open provocation against the peace.”

Morales also said that he failed to comprehend how the American head of state could have been awarded the Peace Nobel Price “when his country does everything to promote wars and conflicts.

“Obama must justify that award by withdrawing all the troops of his country from around the world….” [28]

Czech Republic

Following up on his visit to Prague in late October, on November 5 U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden hosted Czech President Vaclav Klaus at the White House and “they mostly discussed the U.S. plan for a new missile defence architecture.”

The two “also talked about the situation in Afghanistan and Iran” and “Klaus said the United States knows that it is necessary to continue with the anti-missile project in Europe.” [29]

The next day U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Alexander Vershbow met with Czech defense officials in their nation to discuss new American missile plans for Eastern Europe, ones intended to be “stronger, smarter, and swifter” than the previous Bush administration version and to incorporate all of Europe under a NATO umbrella.

Vershbow characterized the content of the talks as having presented “some concrete ideas to begin that process of developing the Czech role in the new approach” and said that the Czech contribution could include “potential facilities here on the territory of the Czech Republic.” [30]

On November 4 the local press announced that “A few U.S. delegations will visit the Czech Republic in November, following up on the recent visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, including an expert military team that arrives in Prague this Friday.”

One of those delegations will include Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Ellen Tauscher, who “recently said the command for the managing and control of elements of the new version of anti-missile defence could be stationed in the Czech Republic.”

“The USA wants to build the system in cooperation with NATO.” [31]

Georgia

Earlier this week U.S. Marines completed the two-week Immediate Response 2009 military training exercises in the South Caucasus nation of Georgia. The preceding maneuvers of the same name, those of 2008 in which over 1,000 American troops participated, ended one day before Georgia started shelling neighboring South Ossetia and killed several people including a Russian peacekeeper. [32]

Days after that the U.S. client regime launched an all-out invasion of South Ossetia, triggering a five-day war with Russia.

The official purpose of this year’s exercises was to train Georgian troops to serve under NATO command in Afghanistan, but a Russian news source saw matters differently:

“Immediate Response was clearly designed not to fight against the Taliban or al-Qaeda…..Commander of US Army in Europe General Carter Ham visited Georgia to inspect the exercises but no one came from Afghanistan.

“Perhaps, the exercises were aimed at issuing a warning to Russia.” [33]

As the drills were ending Alexander Shliakhturov, chief of Russia’s military intelligence, said “that he did not rule out that Georgia might again use force against breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia.” [34]

A lengthier account of Shliakhturov’s concerns appeared in the Georgian media and included these quotes:

“According to our information, Georgia is still getting military aid from Ukraine, Israel and NATO. NATO countries, especially Eastern European countries, provide Georgia with arms and equipment, Israel provides Georgia with air equipment, the USA trains Georgian troops and Ukraine provides Georgia with heavy equipment, namely, tanks.”

“The Russian Intelligence Service is addressing other dangers too, namely, the efforts being made by the USA and NATO to bring Georgia and Ukraine into the alliance and the new US plan to locate anti-missile systems in Europe.” [35]

Four days later other Russian sources revealed “that the United States plans to supply weapons, including a Patriot-3 air defense system and shoulder-launched Stinger missiles, worth a total of $100 million, to Georgia.” [36]

The next day Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “recalled the situation in the summer of 2008 when many countries ignored Russian warnings that modern arms in Saakashvili’s hands might prompt this man to unleash military aggression.” [37]

The chief of the Russian General Staff, General Nikolai Makarov, said “Georgia is getting large amounts of weapons supplied from abroad” and “Georgian military potential is currently higher than last August [2008].” [38]

India

Shortly after the Pentagon wrapped up the largest joint U.S.-Indian military exercises ever, Yudh Abhyas [Preparation for War] – which featured the first deployment of new American Stryker armored combat vehicles outside of Iraq and Afghanistan – at the end of October [39], it was announced that “India is negotiating with the United States to acquire state of the art Javelin anti-tank missiles worth several million dollars for large-scale induction.” [40]

Days earlier former president George W. Bush was in India and called on his host nation to join in the war in Afghanistan, urging the U.S. and India to “work together to win the war in Afghanistan.” [41]

Iraq

In early November Arabic language news sources revealed that “The US military has finished erecting an advanced radar system in Iraq to monitor the border with Iran, Syria and Turkey” and that “the radar is a preparatory measure aimed at providing the United States and its allies advanced control capabilities in event of a US military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.” [42]

Israel

The largest-ever joint American-Israeli military exercises, the two-week Juniper Cobra 10, ended on November 3. They concentrated on live-fire missile interception exercises described by many observers as a test run for the new continent-wide NATO missile shield planned for Europe. [43]

Over 2,000 troops from the two nations and 17 U.S. warships participated in the war games to create “the infrastructure that would be necessary in the event that the Obama administration decides to deploy US systems here in the event of a conflict.” [44]

The top military commander of United States European Command and of NATO, Admiral James Stavridis, paid a three-day call to Israel for the occasion and met with “Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Gantz and several other commanders.” [45]

On November 1 American arms manufacturer Raytheon Company announced that it had secured contracts worth $100 million for a joint interceptor missile program of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and the Israel Missile Defense Organization.

The Pentagon’s European Command has over 100 troops stationed in Israel’s Negev Desert manning an advanced missile radar site there.

Korean Peninsula

The South Korean Yonhap News Agency reported on November 1 that “The US and South Korea have completed joint action plans for responding to a regime collapse and other internal emergency situations in North Korea….” [46]

Citing an unidentified South Korean official, the report contains these details:

“South Korea and the US had long worked on Concept Plan 5029, to prepare for a regime collapse and other internal emergencies in North Korea.

“Since its inauguration last year, the [South Korean President] Lee Myung-bak government has pushed to convert the concept plan into an operational plan and it was recently completed.

“If the South Korea-US combined forces intervene in North Korea’s internal instabilities, the South Korean military will assume the leading role in consideration of neighboring countries, while the US military will be responsible for the removal of the North’s nuclear facilities and weapons.” [47]

On the final day of last month Washington expressed its satisfaction at South Korea redeploying troops to Afghanistan shortly after Pentagon chief Robert Gates’ visit to Seoul and the South Korean defense ministry on October 22.

“Washington supports and welcomes South Korea’s plans to deploy troops to Afghanistan…the U.S. Department of State said.” [48]

Kosovo

This month began with former U.S. president Bill Clinton arriving in the capital of Kosovo for the unveiling of a gaudy 11-foot gold-sprayed bronze statue of himself on November 1. [49]

He was being hailed by the breakaway entity’s nominal prime minister, former Kosovo Liberation Army chieftain Hashim Thaci, for his role in launching the 78-day NATO air war against Yugoslavia in March of 1999. That sustained bombing campaign, Operation Allied Force, inaugurated the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as an active war-making machine and issued in the ten-year war cycle that continues to this day with no indication of it ever abating.

A Russian commentary of the following day put the ceremony in perspective:

“Over the course of the 10-week conflict, NATO aircraft flew over 38,000 combat missions; even the German Luftwaffe had its first taste of combat over the skies of Yugoslavia since having its wings clipped in World War II.

“The ensuing 78-day aerial bombardment campaign, which grew continuously more aggressive and reckless, spared little infrastructure: factories, bridges, roads and power stations were all bombed with deadly accuracy. As a result, thousands of innocent civilians suffered great deprivation on both sides of the battle.

“In perhaps the worst public relations disaster for NATO during the conflict, five US ‘smart’ bombs severely damaged the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, killing three Chinese journalists. NATO officials, in an effort to cool Chinese outrage, blamed the error on outdated maps. Chinese officials rejected both the apologies and explanations.” [50]

Pakistan

Over the past year the nine-year-long U.S. and NATO war in Afghanistan has been extended into Pakistan, the so-called AfPak theater of operations.

On November 4 the U.S. launched its latest drone missile attack into North Waziristan, killing two Pakistanis.

“According to independent reports, since August 2008 alone, around 70 cross-border predator strikes carried out by American drones have resulted in the death of 687 Pakistani civilians.” [51]

The Nation, a Pakistani daily newspaper, reported on November 12 that the massive increase in NATO convoys crossing the country en route to Afghanistan are overwhelming the country’s highways and that “Pakistani authorities are simply helpless in checking truckloads of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) forces badly damaging the Indus Highway, the repair of which would cost billions of rupees to the national exchequer….NATO trucks and trailers have not been [held accountable] even once for the repair and maintenance work, while cracks are developing on the Indus Highway after every three to four months due to overloading….” [52]

Persian Gulf

A local news sources wrote on November 9 that “The US has deployed a new expeditionary force in the Persian Gulf – the first time a permanent self-sustaining US naval force has been set up in the region.

“The newly established Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5 will serve in the area of responsibility of the US Navy 5th Fleet Combined Task Force (CTF) 51 in Manama, Bahrain,” where the entire U.S. Fifth Fleet is based. [53]

The Philippines

Two American servicemen were killed in a mine attack in Mindanao in late September, the first official deaths in the U.S.-assisted counterinsurgency war against not only the Abu Sayyaf Group but also the Moro National Liberation Front and the New People’s Army.

Filipino senators “called for the abrogation of the [Visiting Forces Agreement], saying the US Seabees killed in the explosion weren’t supposed to be there, as…the presence of the alleged land mine constitutes the area as a war zone.” [54]

Pentagon chief Robert Gates insisted earlier in the month “that some 600 US counter-terrorism troops will remain in the southern Philippines….” [55]

An opponent of the active American military involvement in the country said that “the US military has established its permanent presence in the Philippines through the auspices of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). Many of the US soldiers are currently deployed in Mindanao under the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines headquartered in Zamboanga City.” [56]

On November 12 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Manila after the Philippine Senate recently passed a nonbinding resolution calling on the government to renegotiate the 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement, “which enables U.S. forces to train and assist Philippine troops” and “vowed…to continue American military support.” [57]

Poland

Before departing for the Philippines Clinton hosted Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski in Washington “to discuss the new anti-missile shield plan.” [58]

On the same day, November 2, U.S. Air Force personnel transferred five C-130 Hercules military cargo planes from the Ramstein Air Base in Germany to the Powidz Air Base in Poland.

A U.S. Air Force website offered these details: “Prepping Polish aircrews and maintainers for the transition to the larger Lockheed-Martin built Hercules has been accomplished with a blend of English language and specialty knowledge training at bases in Texas and Arkansas and through a type of work mentorship exchange between U.S. and Polish air force personnel….”

A Polish air force officer revealed the purpose of the U.S. transfer in stating “The main task for the C-130s is to support our contingency operations in Afghanistan, Chad, Africa and everywhere Polish troops and supplies are needed.” [59]

After NATO defense chiefs, including the U.S.’s Gates, met in Slovakia late last month and U.S. Vice President Biden visited Poland at about the same time, Warsaw announced that it was deploying 600 more troops to Afghanistan, bringing the nation’s total toward the 3,000 mark.

Sweden

Sweden’s Chief of Defense Staff General Sverker Goranson was in Washington, D.C. in early November and was interviewed by Defense News.

His nation, which has for decades presented itself as neutral, has 500 troops serving under NATO command in Afghanistan – Sweden and Finland are in charge of four northern provinces for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force – and five Swedish soldiers were injured in a roadside bomb explosion on November 11, two them seriously.

Goranson’s comments demonstrate how far from anything resembling neutrality Sweden has recently strayed:

“The transformation we are conducting is a huge turnaround, and as I told Adm. [Michael] Mullen [U.S. Joint Chiefs chairman], we know where we are going….The major shift is globalization and the fact that most of the things we are dealing with aren’t necessarily about national boundaries.

“What turned Sweden around is not focusing on national defense, but being a part of this globalized world and solving issues together, because wherever conflicts are, whether in the Balkans or Afghanistan….”

When asked about the potential for a showdown in the Arctic Circle with Russia, he spoke about starting “discussions between the United States, Norway, Denmark and Canada [all NATO members] about what are the borders….As part of the Nordic Battle Group, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark are already sharing the operational picture in the air and on the sea, and that can be extended to the High North.”

Lastly, the Swedish visitor, whose meetings included one with the U.S.’s top military commander, acknowledged: “We had a defense resolution in 1996 that said the Swedish armed forces should be completely NATO-interoperable, which is the standard we have worked to accordingly, to make sure that wherever we go, as we did to Afghanistan.” [60]

Yemen

The government of Yemen is waging military operations against Shiite rebels in the north of the country and neighboring Saudi Arabia started launching air strikes against them earlier this month.

On November 10 Yemen’s official news agency, Saba, announced that the U.S. has signed a military cooperation agreement with the nation.

The news agency also quoted Brigadier General Jeffrey Smith, the commander of the U.S. 5th Signal Command, “as renewing Washington’s support for Yemen’s unity, security and stability.” [61]

One account of the agreement was provided under the headline “Yemen, US sign military deal to fight rebels.” [62]

As the rebels are Shiite Muslims, Washington is exploiting the conflict to recruit Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations against Iran.

Yemen, on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, lies directly across from Djibouti where the Pentagon maintains its only permanent base in Africa, Camp Lemonier, and from Somalia, which U.S. warships periodically shell from the Indian Ocean.

1) New York Times, November 5, 2009
2) Afghanistan: West’s 21st Century War Risks Regional Conflagration
Stop NATO, October 12, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/afghanistan-wests-21st-century-war-risks-regional-conflagration

3) Associated Press, November 1, 2009
4) Reuters, November 3, 2009
5) Army Times, November 11, 2009
6) U.S. Department of Defense, American Forces Press Service, November 5, 2009
7) AFRICOM Year Two: Seizing The Helm Of The Entire World
Stop NATO, October 22, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/africom-year-two-taking-the-helm-of-the-entire-world

8) Navy Newsstand, November 5, 2009
9) Mr. Simmons’ Mission: NATO Bases From Balkans To Chinese Border
Stop NATO, March 4, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/27/mr-simmons-mission-nato-bases-from-balkans-to-chinese-border

10) Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, November 9, 2009
11) PanArmenian.net, November 6, 2009
12) United States European Command, November 3, 2009
13) United States European Command, November 2, 2009
14) Baltic Sea: Flash Point For NATO-Russia Conflict
Stop NATO, February 27, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/27/baltic-sea-flash-point-for-nato-russia-conflict

Scandinavia And The Baltic Sea: NATO’s War Plans For The High North
Stop NATO, June 14, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/scandinavia-and-the-baltic-sea-natos-war-plans-for-the-high-north

15) Associated Press, November 2, 2009
16) All Headline News, November 2, 2009
17) Financial Express, November 13, 2009
18) Bulgaria, Romania: U.S., NATO Bases For War In The East
Stop NATO, October 24, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/10/25/bulgaria-romania-u-s-nato-bases-for-war-in-the-east

19) United States European Command, November 2, 2009
20) The Diplomat, November, 2009
21) AllGov, November 6, 2009
22) Press TV, November 4, 2009
23) Twenty Years After End Of The Cold War: Pentagon’s Buildup In Latin America
Stop NATO, November 4, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/stop-nato

24) VHeadline, November 5, 2009
25) Xinhua News Agency, November 9, 2009
26) Press TV, November 9, 2009
27) Ibid
28) Xinhua News Agency, November 10, 2009
29) Czech News Agency, November 6, 2009
30) Associated Press, November 6, 2009
31) Czech News Agency, November 4, 2009
32) NATO War Games In Georgia: Threat Of New Caucasus War
Stop NATO, May 8, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/28/nato-war-games-in-georgia-threat-of-new-caucasus-war

33) Voice of Russia, November 9, 2009
34) Civil Georgia, November 5, 2009
35) Interpressnews, November 6, 2009
36) RosBusinessConsulting/Komsomolskaya Pravda November 10, 2009
37) Voice of Russia, November 11, 2009
38) Voice of Russia, November 10, 2009
39) U.S. Expands Asian NATO Against China, Russia
Stop NATO, October 16, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/u-s-expands-asian-nato-against-china-russia

40) Daily Times, November 11, 2009
41) Indo-Asian News Service, October 31, 2009
42) Press TV, November 2, 2009
43) Israel: Forging NATO Missile Shield, Rehearsing War With Iran
Stop NATO, November 5, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/israel-forging-nato-missile-shield-rehearsing-war-with-iran

44) Jerusalem Post, October 31, 2009
45) Israel Defense Forces, November 3, 2009
46) Press TV, November 1, 2009
47) Yonhap News Agency, November 1, 2009
48) Russian Information Agency Novosti, October 31, 2009
49) Kosovo: Marking Ten Years Of Worldwide Wars
Stop NATO, October 31, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/kosovo-marking-ten-years-of-worldwide-wars

50) Russia Today, November 2, 2009
51) Press TV, November 4, 2009
52) The Nation, November 12, 2009
53) Press TV, November 9, 2009
54) Business Mirror, September 30, 2009
55) Mindanao Examiner, September 13, 2009
56) Ibid
57) Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2009
58) Polish Radio, November 2, 2009
59) U.S. Air Forces in Europe, November 12, 2009
60) Defense News, November 2, 2009
61) Agence France-Presse, November 10, 2009
62) Daily Times, November 12, 2009

Categories: Uncategorized

Fort Hood, Veterans Day And Defending America

November 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Stop NATO
November 11, 2009

Fort Hood, Veterans Day And Defending America
Rick Rozoff

On November 10 President Barack Obama delivered a speech at Fort Hood where five days before 13 soldiers were killed and 29 wounded in a shooting rampage by a U.S. army psychiatrist.

The attack resulted in the largest number of U.S servicemen killed in one day anywhere in the world in almost four and a half years: 14 Americans were killed in helicopter crashes in Afghanistan on October 26 of this year but three were Drug Enforcement Agency officials, 11 soldiers. The last day preceding November 5 when military deaths were higher than those at Fort Hood was on June 28, 2005 when 19 troops were killed in Afghanistan.

There is no reason to doubt the sincerity of the sentiments expressed by Obama or to believe that whoever had won the U.S. presidential election last year would not have said something similar.

While mentioning of the dead that “Some had known intense combat in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Obama’s emphasis, as that of the government and the country’s media as whole, was on honoring those who defend America. Especially those who die defending America.

In fact he said “We are a nation that endures because of the courage of those who defend it” and “Their life’s work is our security, and the freedom that we too often take for granted. Every evening that the sun sets on a tranquil town; every dawn that a flag is unfurled; every moment that an American enjoys life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – that is their legacy.”

He also bemoaned the fact that “This is a time of war. And yet these Americans did not die on a foreign field of battle. They were killed here, on American soil, in the heart of this great American community. It is this fact that makes the tragedy even more painful and even more incomprehensible.”

In a previous era, indeed in all eras before the modern one, it was understood that soldiers defending their country died on their own land. Or at least near its borders. That was axiomatic.

A soldier who died abroad wasn’t defending his country but conquering someone else’s. During the past century defending a third party’s security or peace was added, that nation generally being an ally or one portrayed as the victim of an adversary’s attack. Or threat of attack. The word defend has since taken on such elasticity that it has become almost limitless in its application and is frequently used in the opposite sense of its traditional meaning.

It is a transitive verb and requires an object. And a preposition, against. A soldier doesn’t simply defend, he defends against something. An attack. An attack by an adversary. And if his action is truly defensive, that adversary must be an aggressor.

An invading army can defend its positions, its flanks or its supply lines, but is not defending its country.

American soldiers deployed to war and occupation zones from Fort Hood and other military bases in their own land or that of others are not defending their country. Not their nation, nor its borders, nor its coasts. Not their communities, their homes or their families.

They may be securing their government’s and the nation’s business interests’ objectives – economic, energy, political and geopolitical – but they are not defending their country. Not even by extension.

For example, like all countries Russia, China and India are alert to their national interests and take what measures they can to protect and advance them, but they have no troops stationed overseas or bases abroad. Much less in six continents like the U.S., which has a base in Africa and three in Australia as well as in its own continent, Europe, Asia and seven new ones in South America, in Colombia.

In a culture of perpetual warfare, in a warrior society, violence is done to language and logic just as it is employed against people.

Defending one’s country is sometimes extended to include protecting one’s citizens. No matter where they are in the broad world.

But America’s last three wars – Yugoslavia ten years ago, Afghanistan starting in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 – were waged against countries whose governments in no manner threatened Americans either at home or abroad.

Wars throughout history have as often been waged to avenge a previous defeat as to expand the aggressor’s territory or install a compliant regime.

And the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were in large part motivated by vengeance for the attacks inside the U.S. on September 11, 2001.

Yet neither the ruling authorities nor any citizen of either country were involved in those attacks. American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan – and those based indefinitely in (to cite only deployments over the last ten years) Kosovo, Djibouti, Colombia, the Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Bulgaria, Romania and Israel, with Poland and others to follow – are not defending their homeland or avenging attacks on Americans at home or anywhere else.

Obama’s somber address at Fort Hood occurred the day before what is commemorated in the country as Veterans Day, in other nations known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, marking the formal end of World War I, “the war to end all wars,” on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

The American president used the words killed and died but never the one that should be used to describe the intentional taking of a human life when the victim was not threatening anyone else’s: Murder. A person can die of natural causes and be killed in an accident or by a wild beast. He can only be murdered by a fellow human being.

To violently end a human existence in any other context than to protect other lives is just that, whether committed in uniform or not. The perpetrator of last week’s massacre, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, was a uniformed member of the U.S. armed forces, an officer.

Just as shocking to the American president and nation that U.S. soldiers were killed on their own soil is that they were killed by a fellow serviceman.

If an American soldier drops a bomb on a wedding party in a village in Afghanistan, fires a missile into the Chinese embassy or a passenger train in Serbia or shoots to death a family at a checkpoint in Iraq, it is considered – by the Pentagon and the White House – as regrettable, as collateral damage. Only worthy of a perfunctory investigation certain to exonerate the party responsible.

No American official will swear, as Obama did on November 10, “And for what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice – in this world, and the next.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Berlin Wall: From Europe Whole And Free To New World Order

November 9, 2009 2 comments

Stop NATO
November 9, 2009

Berlin Wall: From Europe Whole And Free To New World Order
Rick Rozoff

—————-
“When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, NATO was an Alliance of 16 members and no partners. Today, NATO has 26 members – with 2 new invitees, prospective membership for others, and over 20 partners in Europe and Eurasia, seven in the Mediterranean, four in the Persian Gulf, and others from around the world.

“NATO matched the Partnership for Peace with the establishment of the Mediterranean Dialogue, and…NATO realized the need to reach out to new partners around the world….This included establishing the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative to reach out to nations of the Persian Gulf. In addition, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and now Singapore are making valuable contributions to NATO operations, especially in Afghanistan….”
—————–

On November 9 a modest gathering of political figures and at least one long-since-its-prime American rock band will gather at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate to make political capital or attempt to revive a flagging career.

The Fall of The Berlin Wall has been enshrined as a mythic event comparable to the parting of the Red Sea, the defeat of Bonaparte at Waterloo, Neil Armstrong hopping over moon craters and the 1985 We Are the World musical extravaganza to eliminate world hunger.

This year’s twentieth anniversary ceremony, though, will reflect the West’s preoccupation with the after-effects of the new world order that the Berlin events of a generation ago are considered to have ushered in.

The twin offspring of the end of the Cold War, global neoliberalism and the transformation of the North Atlantic Treaty organization into history’s first international military bloc, have assuredly both assisted and reflected the domination of the world by the United States and its Western allies. They have also resulted in the near collapse of the American financial sector with reverberations around the world, especially in Europe, and the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression preceding World War II.

The expansion of NATO over the past decade into a planetary force with missions on four continents, partners on six and wars in two has also cast a shadow over this year’s Brandenburg Gate festivities, as there are currently over 100,000 troops from NATO nations in the ninth year of a war in South Asia which is escalating by the day and which will never end as long as NATO exists.

With the longest war in America’s history since its retreat from Vietnam and with the now 60-year-old NATO embroiled in its first ground war and first conflict in Asia, Western leaders – most notably U.S. President Barack Obama – have more pressing exigencies to attend to than once again pontificating on the teleological significance of a wall being torn down.

The November 9th roster, then, will be a reduced one and consist of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and assorted stars of yesteryear like Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa and Bon Jovi. Medvedev’s motivation for appearing at the Freedom Festival (Fest der Freiheit) is uncertain. Bon Jovi’s is clear: To emerge from obscurity and promote their new single, “We Weren’t Born to Follow,” the title of which is a pluralized rehash of the 1968 Carole King song “Wasn’t Born To Follow.” There is no reason to expect anything more original from the other participants. A thousand giant dominos may upstage them all.

In the days leading up to the Freedom Festival, which is not a free festival as the usual well-connected ones will be given the choice locations, several events have occurred which illustrate the nature of the new order which succeeded the end of the Cold War. On November 5 Irish rock band U2 headlined an MTV concert in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate for an audience of 10,000 ticket holders only. A free concert, but only for those with tickets.

To keep out the unwanted from this warm-up to the November 9th celebration of freedom, however, a six and a half foot high metal barrier surrounded the concert site, leading one of the excluded to state, “It’s completely ridiculous that they are blocking the view. I thought it’s a free show, but MTV probably wants people to watch it on TV to get their ratings up.” [1]

Tearing down a wall constructed of bricks is a world-historical event, a watershed in the advancement of humanity toward a luminous millennium of dozens of fast food restaurant chains, as many commercial brands of tennis shoes and the right to pay cable fees to watch MTV. Setting up a metal wall to separate the elite sheep from the mass of superfluous goats at a public relations gimmick to mark the Dawn of Liberty is not seen as an infringement of post-1989 promises.

In 1987 British recording acts David Bowie, Genesis and the Eurythmics (all big draws at the time) were flown into West Berlin for three nights of performances – Concert for Berlin – in front of the Reichstag building to audiences of over 60,000 with speakers turned toward the east. Having united Germany and expanded NATO to Russia’s borders, the West now offers Berliners…Bon Jovi. For older music aficionados, Daniel Barenboim will conduct a selection from Wagner. At the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

Six days before the anniversary, November 3, it was reported that “A German Luftwaffe fighter jet recently intercepted a Russian military aircraft” over the Baltic Sea. “The Bundeswehr confirmed…the incident, involving a German Eurofighter and a Russian radar plane along the Estonian-Russian border….After the German jet challenged the radar plane, the Russians scrambled two fighters, which approached at supersonic speed. Finnish jets then escorted the Russians back to international airspace, averting a further escalation of the situation.” [2]

German warplanes are conducting the current six-month rotation of NATO patrols over the Baltic Sea that have run continuously since Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania became full members of the bloc in 2004. At the beginning of the year U.S. planes were in charge of the mission.

In early October the Polish Foreign Ministry confirmed that Washington will deploy theater interceptor missiles in the country – estimates range from between 92 and 196 and “Poland’s deputy defense minister previously said U.S. Patriot air-defense missiles and over 100 U.S. personnel would be deployed in Poland by the end of this year.” [3]

To demonstrate that the end of the Berlin Wall and the Cold War signalled the demise – not the completion but undoing – of the post-Yalta, post-World War II era, an event of a few days ago offers an illustrative example.

The Japanese destroyer Myoko was in Hawaii to hold a joint interceptor missile test with two warships from Pearl Harbor, the USS Paul Hamilton and the USS Lake Erie. USS Lake Erie is the Aegis-class guided-missile cruiser that fired an SM-3 interceptor missile into the heavens in February of 2008 to destroy a satellite.

“The U.S. fired the test’s target from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, and the JS Myoko destroyer detected the target, tracked it, then fired an SM-3 interceptor missile from its deck.

“The interceptor hit the target in space about 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean….The SM-3 interceptors fired from ships are designed to intercept missiles midway through their flights. The U.S. is developing other systems to shoot down missiles in their initial and final stages….Japan and the U.S. are also jointly developing future upgrades to the SM-3 missile.” [4]

The U.S. missile interception system not only includes the entire European continent under NATO auspices but is global in scope.

Shortly before the first fully successful U.S.-Japanese missile shield test off Hawaii, “U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked Japan…to export a new type of ship-based missile interceptor under joint development by Tokyo and Washington to third countries, presumably European….The United States is hoping to get an answer to Gates’ request by the end of 2010, and envisages Japan exporting the new interceptors to European countries, including Germany….” [5]

During the Cold War era Japan was, at least in theory, expected to abide by Article 9 of its American-authored constitution which states:

“Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

“To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

After 1989 Article 9 obstructed Western worldwide military ambitions and has been incrementally whittled away at, as has the related proscription against “collective self-defense.”

During the Cold War few nations were in one or the other military bloc, NATO or the later Warsaw Pact. In fact the vast majority of countries were in neither and most nations could remain free of military entanglements. In 1989 the Non-Aligned Movement had 103 members.

Twenty years later and for the first time in history most of the world’s nations have been pulled into one variety or another of collective or bilateral military partnership, specifically with the United States and its NATO allies. The new U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) alone encompasses 53 countries.

As much as former Western political officials, historians and journalists like to claim that the fall of the Berlin Wall was a spontaneous manifestation of a long-suppressed collective longing of “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” a program for structuring the world after the end of the U.S.-Soviet bipolar era had been long in the making.

After attending the fortieth anniversary NATO summit in Brussels, then U.S. President George H.W. Bush delivered a speech in Mainz, West Germany on May 31, 1989 called A Europe Whole and Free. [6]

The title of the address warrants close attention as that identical phrase and an adaptation of it – Europe whole, free and at peace – have been used consistently by Western leaders in the intervening twenty years.

Bush’s comments, uttered seven months before the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, left little doubt as to which organization – which military bloc – was to unite Europe.

His speech included these excerpts:

“We must recall that the generation coming into its own in America and Western Europe is heir to gifts greater than those bestowed to any generation in history: peace, freedom, and prosperity. This inheritance is possible because 40 years ago the nations of the West joined in that noble, common cause called NATO.

“The NATO alliance did nothing less than provide a way for Western Europe to heal centuries-old rivalries, to begin an era of reconciliation and restoration. It has been, in fact, a second Renaissance of Europe.”

“As you know best, this is not just the 40th birthday of the alliance, it’s also the 40th birthday of the Federal Republic….”

“Let Berlin be next – let Berlin be next! Nowhere is the division between East and West seen more clearly than in Berlin.”

“We’ve always believed that a strong Western defense is the best road to peace.”

“[W]e’re also challenged by developments outside of NATO’s traditional areas of concern. Every Western nation still faces the global proliferation of lethal technologies, including ballistic missiles and chemical weapons….”

“NATO’s first mission is now nearly complete. But if we are to fulfill our vision – our European vision – the challenges of the next 40 years will ask no less of us. Together, we shall answer the call. The world has waited long enough.”

Note the words “our European vision” and in general the speaking on behalf of Europe by the head of state of a country a hemisphere removed from the continent.

Less than two years later while announcing the beginning of Operation Desert Storm, the U.S.-led, NATO nations-supported war with Iraq, Bush would develop the theme of his Mainz speech, especially his references to “developments outside of NATO’s traditional areas of concern” and “challenges of the next 40 years.”

The main rhetorical device in Bush’s speech of January 16, 1991 was “While the world waited,” used to open four paragraphs. Compare that to his “The world has waited long enough” in the earlier A Europe Whole and Free text.

In the announcement of the beginning of armed hostilities against Iraq, Bush tied together the two themes, the end of the Cold War and the inauguration of a new world order:

“This is an historic moment. We have in this past year made great progress in ending the long era of conflict and cold war. We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations a new world order….”

On the twentieth anniversary of an event that signalled the end of the post-World War II and the beginning of an announced new world order, an examination of recent examples of the use of George H.W. Bush’s 1989 expression, which in the interim has become a Western geopolitical catch phrase and serves as a post-Cold War coded message, will reveal quite a lot.

On the same day, January 29, 2008, U.S. Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, at the time both candidates for the Democratic Party presidential nomination and now president and secretary of state, respectively, issued statements of support for Ukraine becoming a full member of NATO.

Obama: “NATO`s upcoming summit in Bucharest in April 2008 is a critical opportunity to continue to build the Europe ‘whole and free’ that has been the goal of all recent U.S. presidents. I call on President Bush and all of NATO`s leaders to seize that opportunity.” [7]

Clinton: “I take great pride in Ukraine`s contributions to our common goal of building a Europe that is whole and free….

“The United States should actively encourage our NATO Allies to deepen their own ties with Ukraine….” [8]

In April of 2008 Daniel Fried, then the State Department’s Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, testified before the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Europe and said:

“The United States will continue to provide leadership in enlarging the Alliance. NATO enlargement has been a bipartisan effort from its beginning – and the work of the last three Presidents. In his address to the Croatian people just after the Bucharest Summit, President [George W.] Bush said, ‘Today the people of Europe are closer than ever before to a dream shared by millions: A Europe that is whole, a Europe that is at peace, and a Europe that is free.’”

He continued:

“[NATO] is evolving into a 21st century role, enlarging the area in Europe…defending this transatlantic community against new threats and challenges that are often global in scope, and building partnerships around the globe with like-minded countries who want to work together with NATO to face these challenges. The Bucharest Summit further advanced NATO’s transformation in each of these areas.”

“Allies strengthened their commitment to operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Iraq, furthering NATO’s transformation from a static Cold War instrument…to an active, expeditionary force capable of projecting power out of area where needed.”

“We must maintain our collective resolve in the face of future provocations and attempts by outside actors to instigate violence.

“[NATO members] declared unequivocally that Ukraine and Georgia will become members of NATO. The declaration language reads: ‘NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agree today that these countries will become members of NATO.’”

“As a larger NATO tackles 21st century security challenges that know no geographic limits, NATO is increasingly working with partners who share this desire to meet today’s security challenges.

“When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, NATO was an Alliance of 16 members and no partners. Today, NATO has 26 members – with 2 new invitees, prospective membership for others, and over 20 partners in Europe and Eurasia, seven in the Mediterranean, four in the Persian Gulf, and others from around the world.”

“NATO matched the Partnership for Peace with the establishment of the Mediterranean Dialogue, and…NATO realized the need to reach out to new partners around the world….This included establishing the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative to reach out to nations of the Persian Gulf. In addition, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and now Singapore are making valuable contributions to NATO operations, especially in Afghanistan….” [9]

In June of 2008 Judy Ansley, national security adviser for regional affairs, spoke of the visit of President George W. Bush – a major proponent and architect of U.S.-European Union-NATO global military cooperation [10] to a meeting of EU member states in Slovenia and said of the trip, which “coincide[d] with the 60th anniversary of the Marshall Plan and the Berlin Airlift,” that the EU is “truly a partner for the U.S. now in confronting a whole series of global challenges” and Bush’s presence at the meeting “highlights the United States’ role in supporting the transition to a prosperous Europe, which is increasingly whole, free and at peace.” [11]

The following month, July, “Henry Kissinger honored former U.S. President George H.W. Bush…for his commitment to Germany amid the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification.”

At the ceremony, held in Berlin, Kissinger awarded Bush the honor (if such it is) named after himself, the Henry A. Kissinger Prize, “which is bestowed annually by the American Academy in Berlin to an American or European deemed to have made an extraordinary contribution to trans-Atlantic relations.”

Richard Holbrooke, U.S. ambassador to reunified Germany from 1993-1994 and now the top civilian in charge of America’s war in South Asia as Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, introduced Bush and Kissinger and said “There is no one who Germans are more appreciative of than President Bush.”

Bush himself said, reprising the term from eight years earlier, “Germany had earned its place in Europe, free and whole.”

He was also in Berlin to celebrate the launching of the new American embassy on Pariser Platz, home to the Brandenburg Gate, where it stood until World War II.

Holbrooke said of the dual purpose of Bush’s visit: “There is something so perfectly symmetrical about the opening of the embassy and President Bush receiving this award.” [12]

Days after the end of the Georgian-provoked five-day war with Russia in early August of 2008, President George W. Bush released a statement supporting the aggressor, Mikheil Saakashvili, and the American-backed “Rose Revolution” that brought him to power which included:

“Every administration since the end of the Cold War has worked with European partners to extend the reach of liberty and prosperity. And now, for the first time in memory, Europe is becoming a continent that is whole, free, and at peace.

“I’ve just received an update from my national security team on the situation in Georgia. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Tbilisi. She’s conferring with President Saakashvili and expressing America’s wholehearted support for Georgia’s democracy.”

“Georgia has sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq to help others achieve the liberty that they struggled so hard to attain. To further strengthen their democracy, Georgia has sought to join the free institutions of the West.” [13]

A few days afterward influential American senators Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham were given a guest column in the Wall Street Journal with the title “Russia’s Aggression Is a Challenge to World Order,” which contained statements like “[T]he watchword of the West must be solidarity: solidarity with the people of Georgia and its democratically elected government, solidarity with our allies throughout the region, and above all, solidarity with the values that have given meaning to our trans-Atlantic community of democracies and our vision of a European continent that is whole, free and at peace.”

For anyone who still believes that the Cold War is dead or that American diplomacy is alive, the authors proceeded to rant:

“Russia’s aggression is not just a threat to a tiny democracy on the edge of Europe. It is a challenge to the political order and values at the heart of the continent.”

“Russia’s invasion of Georgia represents the most serious challenge to this political order since Slobodan Milosevic unleashed the demons of ethnic nationalism in the Balkans. What is happening in Georgia today, therefore, is not simply a territorial dispute. It is a struggle about whether a new dividing line is drawn across Europe: between nations that are free to determine their own destinies, and nations that are consigned to the Kremlin’s autocratic orbit.”

“The first priority of America and Europe must be to prevent the Kremlin from achieving its strategic objectives in Georgia.”

“Our response…must include regional actions to…strengthen trans-Atlantic solidarity. This means reinvigorating NATO as a military alliance, not just a political one. Contingency planning for the defense of all member states against conventional and unconventional attack, including cyber warfare, needs to be revived. The credibility of Article Five of the NATO Charter – that an attack against one really can and will be treated as an attack against all – needs to be bolstered.” [14]

That language like “the Kremlin’s autocratic orbit” and the invocation of NATO’s war clause in a clear allusion to Russia emanated from a man who narrowly missed becoming U.S. vice president and perhaps after that president is beyond alarming.

In October of 2008 then NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer delivered a speech in the former Soviet republic of Moldova, which in the interim has experienced a “color revolution” and is now well on its way to NATO integration.

Beginning with the standard incantation “It has been and remains a longstanding objective of the Alliance to help create a European continent that is whole, free and at peace,” Scheffer provided an inventory that detailed how far from Europe, free or otherwise, the world’s only military bloc has expanded in recent years:

“NATO ships are patrolling the Mediterranean [and] off the coast of Somalia….We are assisting defence reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are training Iraqi and Afghan security forces. We are [engaged with] airlifts to Somalia and…in and out of Darfur.”

Regarding the ultimate target of the Alliance’s ambitions, the former Soviet Union, he added “NATO has stood by Georgia through the crisis in August….Like Georgia, your [Moldova's] neighbour Ukraine has strong Euro-Atlantic aspirations as well, which NATO also supports….” [15]

Two days later a NATO-sponsored conference opened in Riga, Latvia, of which it was written slightly before that “Topping the bill will be Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, on his first visit to the Baltic region since his country went to war with Russia in August.”

Saakashvili and his Latvian, Estonia and Ukrainian counterparts – Valdis Zatlers, Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Viktor Yushchenko – appeared on a panel called “A vision of Europe, whole and free.” [16]

Less than two weeks later in neighboring Estonia Pentagon chief Robert Gates joined “his fellow NATO defense ministers [and] got down to business…in consultations on Ukraine’s course toward membership in the alliance.”

An unnamed American official told a reporter with American Forces Press Service:

“We need to be clear that Russia has not succeeded in drawing a line across Europe with its invasion of Georgia.

“We also need to convey that NATO remains very much on track working with countries in the East on this process of building a Europe whole and free.” [17]

Note that with Georgia the West defines Europe politically – and militarily – rather than physically.

After the Georgian-Russian war Washington started crafting the United States-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership, in parallel with NATO granting Georgia a new fast track program to full membership, the Annual National Plan.

Equivalents of both were offered to Ukraine.

The United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership was activated in December of last year, the United States-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership in January of this.

The first contains this paragraph:

“A strong, independent and democratic Ukraine, capable of responsible self-defense, contributes to the security and prosperity not only of all the people of Ukraine, but of a Europe whole, free and at peace.”

The second includes this:

“A strong, independent, sovereign and democratic Georgia, capable of responsible self-defense, contributes to the security and prosperity not only of all Georgians, but of a Europe whole, free and at peace.”

The texts are virtually identical except for the word sovereign inserted in the Georgian version, a reference to Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

At the signing ceremony of the United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, “We have long believed that Ukraine’s independence, its democracy, is essential to a Europe whole and free and at peace.

“This charter underscores our principles of relations. It outlines a way to advance cooperation in defense and security, in economics and trade, in energy security….The United States supports Ukraine’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures. And in that regard, I want to assure you that the declaration at Bucharest which foresees that Ukraine will be a member of NATO….” [18]

Rice added, “I would like to call your attention to the areas in this document that address defense, security…and also to the presence of the United States in Ukraine, in particular in the Crimea.” [19]

In March of this year NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe at the time, General Bantz John Craddock, was in Prague to address the Czech parliament on the tenth anniversary of the nation becoming a full Alliance member.

Craddock extolled (NATO’s word) the results of the anniversary. “In the last 10 years, 10 Central and Eastern European Nations, many of whom lived behind the Iron Curtain just 20 years ago, have joined the 16 nations of a Cold War NATO in a community of democracies.

“I believe it is this enlargement of NATO, alongside that of the European Union, which has brought reality to the vision of a ‘Europe whole and free.’” [20]

In May American senator Jeanne Shaheen, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, wrote in a column for the Boston Globe entitled “A new NATO for a new world”:

“The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, widely considered the most successful regional security alliance in history, recently celebrated its 60th anniversary…NATO helped end the Cold War [and] is responsible for bringing together a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace….”

In insuring that the bloc would never run out of missions around the world, Shaheen also stated that “NATO’s military commitment in Afghanistan remains the most pressing issue for the Alliance in the short term. But a number of other nontraditional threats face NATO members, including nuclear proliferation, cyber warfare, energy security, piracy, even pandemic health problems.” [21]

Also in May, soon-to-be-retired NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer gave an address at the NATO Defense College in Rome which made reference to this week’s Berlin Wall anniversary and related developments. In it he again connected Bush’s speech of May of 1989 with the events of November 9.

“Over the past twenty years, the Alliance – together with the European Union – has played a major role in the creation of a European continent that is whole, free and at peace.”

He also marked the transition from “Europe whole and free” to “a new world order”:

“A new Strategic Concept should emphasise the importance of a NATO with global partners….today, this goes well beyond what one might term as NATO’s traditional, Euro-Atlantic partners.

“My Deputy, Ambassador Bisogniero, was here just two weeks ago to give the closing address at the first fully fledged NATO Regional Cooperation Course, with active participation not only by several of our Mediterranean but also some of our Gulf partners.

“Last month, NATO celebrated its 60th anniversary as the most successful alliance in history. [T]he common spirit of security cooperation is shared by many nations – nations in the Euro-Atlantic area, in the Mediterranean and the Gulf regions, and even further beyond.” [22]

Four days afterward Scheffer spoke in Paris and accentuated the role of the NATO-E.U.-U.S. triad, an effective symbiosis, accelerated by American and French Presidents Bush and Sarkozy starting at the 2008 Alliance summit in Romania, as well as adding to the list of future international NATO missions.

“In addition to terrorism, failed states, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the Alliance has already recognised the security implications of climate change, cyber-attacks, energy interdependence and piracy.

“But what about pandemics, mass migration, and humanitarian disasters?”

“I firmly believe there is a valuable role for enhanced NATO-EU cooperation in capability development.

“Over the past twenty years, the Alliance – together with the European Union – has played a major role in the creation of a European continent that is whole, free and at peace.” [23]

In June of this year Philip H. Gordon, State Department Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, speaking before the Subcommittee on Europe of the House Foreign Affairs Committee reiterated points made earlier by Scheffer, Lieberman and Graham.

“The objective of all Presidents since World War II, both Democratic and Republican, has been to work with Europe to realize a joint vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. One of the ways the United States seeks to further this goal is through our critical partnerships in Europe – which include the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union (EU), and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

“The United States also remains unequivocally committed to our Article 5 commitment; we will not waiver from the enduring premise that an attack against one is an attack against all.” [24]

The following month an Open Letter from former Eastern European “dissidents” – Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa, Valdas Adamkus, et al. – urging the U.S. to resume and intensify the Cold War era confrontation with Russia included this typical excerpt:

“Our region suffered when the United States succumbed to ‘realism’ at Yalta. And it benefited when the United States used its power to fight for principle. That was critical during the Cold War and in opening the doors of NATO. Had a ‘realist’ view prevailed in the early 1990s, we would not be in NATO today and the idea of a Europe whole, free, and at peace would be a distant dream.” [25]

Late last month in an article titled “Biden rejects Russian dominance in Europe” the U.S. vice president was quoted addressing an audience in Bucharest, Romania: “You have begun to realize those dreams that only the bold imagined 20 years ago – a Europe whole and free, anchored in a European-Atlantic alliance institutions of NATO, and the European Union.” [26]

Europe is hardly at peace. Great Britain and every nation on the continent except for Belarus, Moldova (for the moment), Russia and Serbia have or have had troops in Afghanistan serving under NATO command. It is not free, if freedom is understood to include the right of nations and peoples to determine their own state-to-state and defense policies.

But it is decidedly whole twenty years after the collapse of the Berlin Wall. United firmly under the banner of an American-led global military bloc and in shedding and spilling blood overseas.

1) Associated Press, November 6, 2009
2) Rheinische Post, November 3, 2009
3) Russian Information Agency Novosti, October 6, 2009
4) Associated Press, October 28, 2009
5) Kyodo News Agency, October 25, 2009
6) http://usa.usembassy.de/etexts/ga6-890531.htm
7) U.S. Senator Barack Obama welcomes Ukraine`s readiness to advance
MAP with NATO, UNIAN (Ukraine), January 29, 2008
8) Senator Hillary Clinton welcomes Ukraine`s joining NATO Membership
Action Plan, Ibid
9) U.S. Department of State, April 23, 2008
10) EU, NATO, US: 21st Century Alliance For Global Domination
Stop NATO, February 19, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/eu-nato-us-21st-century-alliance-for-global-domination

11) United Press International, June 9, 2008
12) Associated Press, July 3, 2008
13) The White House, President George W. Bush, August 15, 2008
14) Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2008
15) NATO International, October 30, 2008
16) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 31, 2008
17) United States European Command, November 13, 2008
18) U.S. Department of State December 19, 2008
19) Ibid
20) NATO, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, March 13, 2009
21) Boston Globe, May 13, 2009
22) NATO, May 28, 2009
23) NATO, June 2, 2009
24) U.S. Department of State, June 16, 2009
25) Gazeta Wyborcza, July 15, 2009
26) Washington Times, October 22, 2009

Categories: Uncategorized

1989-2009: Moving The Berlin Wall To Russia’s Borders

November 7, 2009 3 comments

Stop NATO
November 7, 2009

1989-2009: Moving The Berlin Wall To Russia’s Borders
Rick Rozoff

November 9 will mark the twentieth anniversary of the government of the German Democratic Republic opening crossing points at the wall separating the eastern and western sections of Berlin.

From 1961 to 1989 the wall had been a dividing line in, a symbol of and a metonym for the Cold War.

A generation later events are to be held in Berlin to commemorate the “fall of the Berlin Wall,” the last victory the West can claim over the past two decades. Bogged down in a war in Afghanistan, occupation in Iraq and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the United States, Germany and the West as a whole are eager to cast a fond glance back at what is viewed as their greatest triumph: The collapse of the socialist bloc in Eastern Europe closely followed by the breakup of the Soviet Union.

All the players in that drama and events leading up to it – Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, George H. W. Bush, Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa – will be reverently eulogized and lionized.

Gorbachev will attend the anniversary bash at the Brandenburg Gate and the editorial pages of newspapers around the world will dutifully repeat the litany of bromides, pieties, self-congratulatory praises and grandiose claims one can expect on the occasion.

What will not be cited are comments like those from Mikhail Margelov, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the upper house of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council, on November 6. To wit, that “The Berlin Wall has been replaced with a sanitary cordon of ex-Soviet nations, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.” [1]

With the unification of first Berlin and then Germany as a whole, the Soviet Union and its president Mikhail Gorbachev were assured that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would not expand eastward toward their border. Gorbachev insists that in 1990 U.S. Secretary of State James Baker told him “Look, if you remove your troops and allow unification of Germany in NATO, NATO will not expand one inch to the east.” [3]

Not only was the former East Germany absorbed into NATO but over the past ten years every other Soviet ally in the Warsaw Pact has become a full member of the bloc – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

Russia has twice before been attacked from the West, by the largest invasion forces ever assembled on the European continent and indeed in the world at one time (Herodotus’ hyperbolical estimates of Xerxes’ army notwithstanding), that of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1812 and of Adolf Hitler in 1941. The first consisted of 700,000 troops and the second of 5 million.

Moscow’s concerns about military encroachments on its western borders and its desire to insure at least neutral buffers zones on them are invariably portrayed in the U.S. and allied Western capitals as some combination of Russian paranoia and a plot to revive the “Soviet Empire.” What the self-anointed luminaries of Western geopolitics feel about neutrality will be seen later.

With the expansion of the U.S-dominated military bloc into Eastern Europe in 1999 and 2004, in the latter case not only the remaining non-Soviet former Warsaw Pact states but three ex-Soviet republics became full members, there are now five NATO nations bordering Russia. Three directly abutting its mainland – Estonia, Latvia and Norway – and two more neighboring the Kaliningrad territory, Lithuania and Poland. Finland, Georgia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan are being prepared to follow suit and upon doing so will complete a belt from the Barents to the Baltic, from the Black to the Caspian Seas.

The total length of the Berlin Wall separating all of West Berlin from the German Democratic Republic was 96 miles. A NATO military cordon from northeastern Norway to northern Azerbaijan would stretch over 3,000 miles (over 4,800 kilometers).

As a Russian news commentary recently noted in relation to the U.S. spending $110 million to upgrade two of the seven new military bases the Pentagon has acquired across the Black Sea from Russia, “The installations in Romania and Bulgaria go in line with the program of relocation of American troops in Europe announced on 2004 by then president George Bush. Its main goal is the maximum proximity to Russian borders.” [3]

The wall being erected (and connected) around all of European Russia is not a defensive redoubt, a protective barrier. It is a steadily advancing phalanx of bases and military hardware.

Last month NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was in Lithuania to inspect the Siauliai Air Base from where NATO warplanes have conducted uninterrupted patrols over the Baltic Sea for over five years, skirting the Russian coast a three-minute flight from St. Petersburg.

New Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said at the time “We have been assured that NATO is still interested in investing in defence of the Baltic region….I am happy to see the NATO Secretary General here, in Lithuania, in the only and most important NATO air force base in the Baltic states. This is one of the main NATO defence points in the Baltic region.” [4]

In neighboring Poland a newspaper report of last April provided details on the degree of the Alliance’s buildup in the nation:

“NATO’s investments in defense infrastructure in Poland may amount to over 1 euros (4.3 zlotys) billion over the next five years….

“Poland is already the site of the largest volume of NATO investment in the world.

“Currently, construction or modernization work on seven military airports, two seaports, five fuel bases as well as six strategic long-range radar bases is nearing completion. Air defense command post projects in Poznan, Warsaw and Bydgoszcz have already been given the go-ahead, as has a radio communication project in Wladyslawowo.

“New investments will include, among other things, the equipping of military airports in Powidz, Lask and Minsk Mazowiecki with new logistics and defense installations.” [5]

The nation will soon host as many as 196 American Patriot interceptor missiles and 100 troops to man them as well as being a likely site for the deployment of American SM-3 anti-ballistic missile batteries.

As mentioned earlier, Washington and NATO have secured the indefinite use of seven military bases in Bulgaria and Romania, Russia’s Black Sea neighbors, including the Bezmer and Graf Ignatievo airbases in Bulgaria and the Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase in Romania. [6]

Gen. Roger Brady, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, was in Romania on October 28 to oversee joint military trainings where “the U.S. Air Force flew about 100 sorties; half of those sorties were flown with the Romanian air force.” [7]

The Pentagon leads annual NATO Sea Breeze exercises in Ukraine in the Crimea where the Russian Black Sea Fleet is based.

It also conducts regular Immediate Response military drills in Georgia, the largest to date ending days before Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia and the resultant war with Russia in August of 2008 and one currently just being completed. This May the U.S. led the annual Cooperative Longbow 09/Cooperative Lancer NATO Partnership for Peace war games in Georgia with 1,300 servicemen from 19 countries. [8]

The Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe, General Carter F. Ham, was in Georgia a few days ago and “got acquainted with the carrying out of the Georgian-US military training Immediate Response 2009″ which included “visit[ing] the Vaziani Military Base and attend[ing] military training.” [9]

A Russian official, Dmitry Rogozin, spoke of the joint military exercises, warning that “We all remember that similar activities carried out last year were followed by the August events.” [10]

A Georgian commentary on the drills confirmed Russian apprehensions by reiterating this link:

“Georgia is fighting for peace and stability in Afghanistan in order to eventually ensure peace and stability in Georgia, as one good turn will undoubtedly deserve another in the fullness of time.” [11]. Which is to say, as Georgia assists the U.S. militarily in Afghanistan, so the U.S. will back Georgia in any future conflicts with its neighbors in the Caucasus.

The world press has recently reported on Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski’s three-day visit to the U.S. to among other things “meet with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton…to discuss Afghanistan and a new US proposal for a missile shield” [12] and attend a conference at the Brookings Institution where he said of the Polish-Swedish-European Union Eastern Partnership program to recruit Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine into the “Euro-Atlantic” orbit and of Moscow’s concerns that the West was moving to take over former Soviet space, “The EU does not need Russia’s consent.” [13]

What created the most controversy, though, was his address at a conference sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) called The United States and Central Europe: Converging or Diverging Strategic Interests?

The main motif of the conference was, of course, the twentieth anniversary of the end of the Cold War as symbolized by the dismantling of the Berlin Wall.

Former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski gave a presentation replete with references to Russia’s alleged “imperial aspirations,” its threats to Georgia and Ukraine and its intent to become an “imperial world power.” [14]

Sikorski, no stranger to Washington, having been resident fellow of the American Enterprise Institute and executive director of the New Atlantic Initiative there from 2002-2005 before returning home to become Poland’s Defense Minister, suggested that recent joint Belarusian-Russian military exercises necessitated stronger NATO commitments in Northeastern Europe. Saying that the Alliance’s Article 5 military assistance obligation – which is why, by the way, there will soon be almost 3,000 Polish troops in Afghanistan – was too “vague” and offered as a more concrete alternative something on the order of the 300,000 U.S. troops stationed in West Germany during the Cold War. [15]

The Polish government has subsequently denied that its foreign minister explicitly called for American troop deployments, and in fact he did not, but his comments are in line with several other recent events and statements.

For example, Poland revealed in late October that it planned a massive $60 billion upgrading of its armed forces. “Minister of Defense Bogdan Klich announced a plan…to modernize the army within 14 programs: air defense systems, combat and cargo helicopters, naval modernization, espionage and unmanned aircraft, training simulators and equipment for soldiers….

“Klich announced plans to buy new LIFT combat training aircraft, Langust missile launchers, Krab self-propelled howitzers, Homar rocket launchers, as well as several more Rosomak tanks and 30 billion zloty will be spent on army modernization alone.” [16]

The arrival at the same time of the American destroyer USS Ramage and its 250 marines, fresh from NATO war games off the coast of Scotland, “to participate in a military exercise with Polish navy officers,” proves Sikorski’s wishes are not being ignored. [17] Before leaving, the USS Ramage “which was participating in joint US-Polish maneuvers…shelled the coast of Poland, local TV-channel TVN24″ reported. [18] Commander Tom Williamson at the U.S. embassy in Warsaw said “The USS Ramage crew is being interrogated in relation to the case.” [19]

Another American warship that had participated in the NATO naval maneuvers off Scotland, Joint Warrior 09-2, docked in Estonia afterward. The Aegis-equipped guided missile destroyer USS Cole.

The guided-missile frigate USS John L. Hall which included “embarked sailors of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 48 Detachment 9″ [20] arrived in Lithuania early this month. A U.S. navy officer said of the visit: “We are here as part of the United States Navy’s continuing presence in the Baltic Sea….We are also here to work with the Lithuanian Navy, who has been a valuable partner and our visit here is part of the ongoing relationship between our two countries and our two navies.” [21]

As American warships were demonstrating their “continuing presence in the Baltic Sea,” Estonia’s defense minister affirmed that “NATO has defence plans in the Baltics and they’re being developed” [22], and his Latvian counterpart said, “It is important for Latvia that the new Alliance Strategic Concept will include points about the collective unity for the enforcement of the strategic security in the Baltic Sea region and the common responsibility for the future of Alliance military operations.” [23]

Estonian Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo told The Associated Press “that his country sees new threats since Russia’s invasion of Georgia last year and a cyber attack that targeted his country in 2007.

Aaviksoo met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at the Pentagon on November 3 and said “that for Estonia the presence and visibility of the US in Europe and its mutual trust and support are very important.” [24]

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, an American expatriate and former Radio Free Europe operative, offered to hold NATO drills in the Baltic states.

Defense Minister Imants Liegis recently confirmed that “Latvia is to hold large-scale military exercises in summer, in response to the Russian-Belarusian strategic exercises.” [25] Not alone, no doubt.

The above catalogue of military activities and bellicose statements should put to rest sanguine expectations resulting from the end of the Cold War, which never in fact ended but shifted its operations – substantially – eastwards.

Those whose names will be evoked and invoked on November 9 on the occasion of the anniversary of the dismantling of the Berlin Wall didn’t fare well in the immediate aftermath.

Three years afterward Georgia H. W. Bush, even a year after Operation Desert Storm, became only the third American president since the 1800s to lose a reelection bid.

Four year after that Mikhail Gorbachev ran for the Russian presidency and received 0.5% of the vote.

In his last race for the Polish presidency in 2000 Lech Walesa, when his nation’ electorate had finally seen through him, got 1% of the vote.

But he and fellow Cold War heroes of the West march ever onward in confronting Russia during the current phase of the new conflict.

In July, in what they titled An Open Letter to the Obama Administration from Central and Eastern Europe, old/new Cold War champions like Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel, Valdas Adamkus, Alexander Kwasniewski and Vaira Vike-Freiberga – Adamkus lived for several decades in the U.S. and Vike-Freiberga in Canada – ratcheted up anti-Russian rhetoric to a pitch not heard since the Reagan administration.

Their comments included:

“We have worked to reciprocate and make this relationship a two-way street. We are Atlanticist voices within NATO and the EU. Our nations have been engaged alongside the United States in the Balkans, Iraq, and today in Afghanistan….[S]torm clouds are starting to gather on the foreign policy horizon.”

“Our hopes that relations with Russia would improve and that Moscow would finally fully accept our complete sovereignty and independence after joining NATO and the EU have not been fulfilled. Instead, Russia is back as a revisionist power pursuing a 19th-century agenda with 21st-century tactics and methods.”

“The danger is that Russia’s creeping intimidation and influence-peddling in the region could over time lead to a de facto neutralization of the region.”

“Our region suffered when the United States succumbed to ‘realism’ at Yalta. And it benefited when the United States used its power to fight for principle. That was critical during the Cold War and in opening the doors of NATO. Had a ‘realist’ view prevailed in the early 1990s, we would not be in NATO today….”

“[W]e need a renaissance of NATO as the most important security link between the United States and Europe. It is the only credible hard power security guarantee we have. NATO must reconfirm its core function of collective defense even while we adapt to the new threats of the 21st century. A key factor in our ability to participate in NATO’s expeditionary missions overseas is the belief that we are secure at home.” [26]

The collective missive also resoundingly endorsed U.S. interceptor missile plans for Eastern Europe and held up the Georgia of Mikheil Saakashvili (another former U.S. resident) as the cause celebre for a new confrontation with Russia.

On September 22 Britain’s Guardian published a similar group Open Letter, this one from Vaclav Havel, Valdas Adamkus, Mart Laar, Vytautas Landsbergis, Otto de Habsbourg, Daniel Cohn Bendit, Timothy Garton Ash, André Glucksmann, Mark Leonard, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Adam Michnik and Josep Ramoneda, called Europe must stand up for Georgia, which featured these topical allusions ahead of the seventieth anniversary of the beginning of World War II and the twentieth of the demise of the Berlin Wall:

“As Europe remembers the shame of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact of 1939 and the Munich agreement of 1938, and as it prepares to celebrate the fall of the Berlin wall and the iron curtain in 1989, one question arises in our minds: Have we learned the lessons of history?”

“Twenty years after the emancipation of half of the continent, a new wall is being built in Europe – this time across the sovereign territory of Georgia.”

“[W]e urge the EU’s 27 democratic leaders to define a proactive strategy to help Georgia peacefully regain its territorial integrity and obtain the withdrawal of Russian forces illegally stationed on Georgian soil….[I]t is essential that the EU and its member states send a clear and unequivocal message to the current leadership in Russia.” [27]

Georgia has become a new Czechoslovakia twice, that of 1938 and of 1968, a new Berlin, a new Poland and so forth. Eastern and Western European figures like the signatories of the above appeal, contrary to what they state, are nostalgic for the Cold War and anxious to launch a new crusade against a truncated and weakened Russia.

Along with 1990s-style “humanitarian intervention,” such campaigns are their stock in trade.

But the demand for more American military “hard power” in Europe as well as the Caucasus and the expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders may provoke a catastrophe that the continent and the world were fortunate enough to be spared the first time around.

1) Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 6, 2009
2) Quoted by Bill Bradley, Foreign Policy, November 7, 2009
3) Voice of Russia, October 22, 2009
4) President of the Republic of Lithuania, October 9, 2009
5) Warsaw Business Journal, April 20, 2009
6) Bulgaria, Romania: U.S., NATO Bases For War In The East
Stop NATO, October 24, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/10/25/bulgaria-romania-u-s-nato-bases-for-war-in-the-east

7) U.S. Air Forces in Europe, October 29, 2009
8) NATO War Games In Georgia: Threat Of New Caucasus War
Stop NATO, May 8, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/28/nato-war-games-in-georgia-threat-of-new-caucasus-war

9) Trend News Agency, October 28, 2009
10) Rustavi2, October 31, 2009
11) The Messenger, November 3, 2009
12) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 28, 2009
13) Polish Radio, November 3, 2009
14) Video

http://csis.org/multimedia/video-strategic-overview-us-and-central-europe-strategic-interests

15) Audio

http://csis.org/multimedia/corrected-us-and-central-europe-radoslaw-sikorski

16) Polish Radio October 27, 2009
17) Polish Radio. October 28, 2009
18) Russia Today, October 28, 2009
19) Polish Radio, October 28, 2009
20) United States European Command November 2, 2009
21) Ibid
22) Baltic Business News, October 27, 2009
23) Defense Professionals, October 26, 2009
24) Eesti Elu, November 4, 2009
25) Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 2, 2009
26) Gazeta Wyborcza, July 15, 2009
27) The Guardian, September 22, 2009

Categories: Uncategorized

Israel: Forging NATO Missile Shield, Rehearsing War With Iran

November 5, 2009 2 comments

Stop NATO
November 5, 2009

Israel: Forging NATO Missile Shield, Rehearsing War With Iran
Rick Rozoff

————-
“This is the most complete air missile defense system we’ve ever done anywhere in the world.”

The distance between Tel Aviv and Tehran is 993 miles [1,598 kilometers), so the U.S. missile radar overshoots the mark by almost 2,000 miles. Enough to cover all of eastern and most of southern Russia where the bulk of that nation's strategic missile forces are stationed.
--------------

The United States and Israel have just completed the largest joint interceptor missile exercises ever conducted by the two nations and, in terms of scope and sophistication, possibly the most comprehensive joint live-fire anti-ballistic missile drills held by any combination of countries.

Operation Juniper Cobra 10 began on October 21 and ended on November 3. During those two weeks over 1,000 U.S. and an equal number of Israeli troops participated in an integrated series of missile maneuvers whose main objective was "testing five different missile defense systems...and creating the infrastructure that would be necessary in the event that the Obama administration decides to deploy US systems here in the event of a conflict." [1]

The five missile interception system components employed for the exercises were:

The high-altitude Arrow 2 theater anti-ballistic missile system jointly developed by the U.S. and Israel – Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing – and supervised by the Israeli Ministry of Defence and the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency.

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), designed for destroying on impact short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, developed by Lockheed Martin Space Systems.

Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) guided missiles with seven times the range of earlier Patriot models.

The ship-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System equipped with the Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) and AN/SPY-1 radar with 360 degree coverage. The SM-3, which was used to shoot a U.S. satellite out of orbit in February 2008 to give an idea of its range, is to be modified for ground deployment as part of the new interceptor missile system announced by U.S. President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates on September 17.

This year’s fourteen-day Juniper Cobra was “the largest joint exercise ever held by the countries,” [2] which included seventeen U.S. warships, and represented “the first time that all these systems have been deployed in Israel together”. [3]

A U.S. Army colonel participating in the operation stated that it was “the first major exercise integrating THAAD and Patriot ground-to-air missiles and the ship-launched Aegis system” and added “This is the most complete air missile defense system we’ve ever done anywhere in the world.” [4]

An Israeli new source wrote that “An unprecedented number of American generals, along with 1,400 U.S. army soldiers, are participating with top IDF [Israel Defense Forces] brass in the high-level Juniper Cobra military exercise that one U.S. Navy commander said is aimed at ‘specific threats.’” [5]

The last day’s drills were attended by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, James Cunningham, and another major American official, James Stavridis.

The drills received limited coverage in the world press and the fact that Admiral Stavridis, commander of U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), arrived in Israel on November to inspect their final stages was only reported in the Israeli press.

During the visit, Stavridis met with “the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Gantz and several other commanders. The Admiral [was] accompanied by other EUCOM commanders.” [6]

A BBC report of November 2, “The shadow behind US-Israeli war games,” quoted a U.S. Navy commodore on one of the main objectives of Juniper Cobra: “We’re here for some very specific reasons, some specific threats that the Israelis are interested in, that we’re interested in. And that’s as far as I want to go down that road.”

The same report mentioned a scenario that American military personnel interviewed by the BBC wouldn’t discuss:

“Israel bombs Iranian nuclear facilities – and Iran hits back.

“In that case, Israel would definitely need the missile shield – sophisticated long-range radars and Patriot anti-missile devices – being tested in joint war games this week.

“Operation Juniper Cobra involves some 2,000 American and Israeli personnel. It is a regular event, taking place every two years, but this year speculation is more intense than ever that Israel is prepared to bomb Iran to stop its supposed nuclear weapons programme.” [7]

Shortly before and during the course of the exercises – which were scheduled to begin on October 12 and postponed without explanation the day before, although U.S. warships were docked in the port city of Haifa – several other reports surfaced that lend credence to the above suspicion.

In late October it was announced that Raytheon Missile Systems “was awarded two contracts worth in excess of $100 million by [Israel's] Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. to design and develop the David’s Sling Weapon System [DSWS].

“The DSWS is a joint program between the Missile Defense Agency and the Israel Missile Defense Organization. The system will defeat short-range ballistic missiles, large-caliber rockets and cruise missiles in their terminal phase of flight.

“The first contract was awarded to codevelop the Stunner Interceptor, the missile component of the DSWS. Stunner is an advanced hit-to-kill interceptor designed for insertion into the DSWS and allied integrated air and missile defense systems.” [8]

Five weeks earlier Germany delivered two U212 Dolphin-class submarines, which “can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads,” to Israel ahead of schedule. They were initially to have arrived in 2010.

“Including the new subs, Israel has five German submarines – the most expensive weapon platforms in Israel’s arsenal.

“Israeli media have written that the Dolphin submarine could be key in any attack on Iran’s controversial nuclear sites.” [9]

On October 15 the Jerusalem Post ran a story that included the following alarming information:

“Israel is planning to carry out military attacks in Iran after December, a French magazine reported….According to a report in Le canard enchainé quoted by Israel Radio, Jerusalem has already ordered from a French food manufacturer high-quality combat rations for soldiers serving in elite units and also asked reservists of these units staying abroad to return to Israel.”

The French magazine was also cited as claiming that “in a recent visit to France, IDF [Israel Defense Forces] Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi told his French counterpart Jean-Louis Georgelin that Israel is not planning to bomb Iran, but may send elite troops to conduct activities on the ground there [which] may involve sabotage to nuclear facilities as well as assassinations of top Iranian nuclear scientists.” [10]

On November 2 Arabic language news sites reported that “The US military has finished erecting an advanced radar system in Iraq to monitor the border with Iran, Syria and Turkey….” [11]

Iran and its neighbors are not the only nations in the gun sights of the layered, integrated missile killer system premiered in Israel over the past two weeks.

In addition to the “specific threats” motif that ran through reports of Juniper Cobra, another theme was repeatedly stressed: That what the exercises focused on was a trial run for a NATO missile system to encompass the entire European continent.

The American and Israeli press in unison highlighted that plan. For example:

“It’s a very prompt and sizable demonstration of what the new administration’s missile defense plans are.” [12]

“A major air defense exercise launched with Israel this week will help the United States craft its European missile shield, a U.S. commander said….Featuring in the three weeks of maneuvers is Aegis, a U.S. Navy anti-missile system that the administration of President Barack Obama plans to deploy in the eastern Mediterranean as the first part of a missile shield for Europe announced last month.” [13]

“A U.S. military officer said Tuesday that a major missile defense exercise staged by American and Israeli forces will help the development of a planned NATO missile shield for Europe.”

The officer in question, U.S. Army Col. Tony English, explicitly stated, “We’re going to learn a lot of lessons here that will definitely apply to that later system.” [14]

“On a wider perspective, what the Americans learn from these complex exercises will help shape a NATO defense shield for Europe.” [15]

“Results of the Juniper Cobra missile defense exercise staged by Israeli and American forces…will be used by the US Defense Department to help formulate a new NATO missile shield for Europe, senior defense officials said….The drill was also relevant for a potential European missile shield, since the Americans would need to test their systems in different weather conditions.

“[A] new plan under consideration will include the deployment of US navy ships equipped with Aegis missile defense systems to form a front line in the Mediterranean Sea alongside a few land-based missile systems in Europe.

“The Americans are currently considering which land-based system to use. NATO is pushing for the SM-3, the missile that is the backbone of the Aegis ship-based system, but the US military will likely review other systems as well, including Israel’s Arrow and Arrow 3, development of which began recently and which is being funded by the administration. ” [16]

In late August, weeks before the announcement that Washington was going to abandon previous plans for ground-based interceptor missiles in Poland and an X-band missile radar installation in the Czech Republic, the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza revealed that “Washington is now looking for alternative locations including in the Balkans, Israel and Turkey….” [17]

A previous article in this series explored this development before the September 17 revelations. [18]

In mid-October Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was in Poland, still slated to be a central location for U.S. and NATO missile shield plans and to host Patriot missiles and SM-3s on ships in the Baltics, on land or both. While in Warsaw he applauded the “US move to create a sea-borne anti-missile shield” and stated:

“The new approach really provides more flexibility and, in a relatively short time, a much more effective, economical way to deal effectively with the challenge of missiles from Iran.” [19]

Polish Radio reported that “According to a statement by the Israeli defence ministry, Barak will be having talks in Poland and the Czech Republic on a common approach to Iran’s nuclear ambitions and further developing defence industry contacts….” [20]

At the same time Israeli sources confirmed that the nation’s navy will join NATO’s Operation Active Endeavor, the eight-year-old naval surveillance and interdiction program which has comprehensively policed the entire Mediterranean Sea and all entrances into it (the Strait of Gibraltar, the Suez Canal, the Dardanelles) under the aegis of the Alliance’s Article 5 collective military assistance provision.

Discussions have been common in leading Western circles on extending the Article 5 clause – “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all” – to NATO partners as well as to full member states. In all some 60 nations.

Israel is a case in point. And so are Iran’s neighbors in the Persian Gulf.

NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was in the United Arab Emirates on October 29-30 to attend and address an international conference called NATO-UAE Relations and the Way Forward in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative along with “NATO Permanent Representatives on the North Atlantic Council, the Deputy Secretary General of NATO, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee and high level NATO officials with government representatives, opinion leaders, academics and senior scholars from countries in the Gulf region….” [21]

The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative was launched at the NATO summit in Istanbul, Turkey in 2004 to upgrade the bloc’s Mediterranean Dialogue partners (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) to a level comparable to members of the Partnership for Peace program, used to promote ten new nations into full membership over the past decade, and to forge a military alliance with the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): Bahrain, where the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet is headquartered, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

An article in an Emirati newspaper featured the title “NATO will defend UAE if attacked: Rasmussen” and quoted the NATO chief on an agreement that was signed between the bloc and the UAE:

“The agreement was signed to deepen cooperation on security matters….There is another angle…that we agree with the GCC countries on the security and safety of each other and sound cooperation. So, in case anything happens, we would collectively defend it.” [22]

During his stay in the UAE Rasmussen also said in regards to ties with that nation that “We share an interest in helping countries like Afghanistan and Iraq to stand on their feet again, fostering stability in the Middle East more broadly, and preventing countries like Somalia and Sudan from slipping deeper into chaos….We all are seriously concerned about Iran’s nuclear ambitions….” [23]

Along with escalation of troop deployments to Iran’s eastern neighbor, Afghanistan, NATO’s expansion into the Persian Gulf is an integral component of the encirclement of Iran preparatory to any future military attack on that country.

Another aspect of the campaign to neutralize Iranian military capabilities and thus prevent retaliation in the event of a first strike assault on it was started in September of 2008, a year before the announced changes in U.S. plans for the European flank of its global missile interception system.

The U.S. Senate voted to allot $89 million for the deployment of a Forward Based X-Band Transportable Radar, now Army Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance (AN/TPY-2), to Israel. According to an American armed forces publication at the time, “The radar [is] reportedly capable of tracking a baseball-size object from a distance of 2,900 miles [4,300 kilometers]….” [24]

The distance between Tel Aviv and Tehran is 993 miles [1,598 kilometers), so the U.S. missile radar overshoots the mark by almost 2,000 miles. Enough to cover all of eastern and most of southern Russia where the bulk of that nation's strategic missile forces are stationed. Moscow is 2,641 kilometers from Tel Aviv. An Israeli newspaper estimated the range of the radar to be 4,800 kilometers, another 310 miles. [25]

U.S. European Command (EUCOM), which is in charge of the project and whose top military commander, Admiral James Stavridis, is also NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, in late September of 2008 listed American military units assigned to set up and staff the missile radar deployment:

-357th Air Missile Defense Detachment, U.S. Army

-21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army

-Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, U.S. Marine Corps

-86th Contingency Response Group, U.S. Air Force

-31st Logistics Readiness Squadron, U.S. Air Force

-5th Signal Command, U.S. Army

-Missile Defense Agency

120 personnel from the U.S. Army, Air Force and Marine Corps were involved and according to a EUCOM spokesman, “[The radar] was provided at the request of the Israeli government to improve their defensive capabilities.” [26]

This represents the first formal deployment of American troops, of any foreign soldiers, to Israel in the nation’s 61-year history. Although not formally a permanent assignment, there is no reason to believe that the radar installation will ever be withdrawn. It is located at the Nevatim airbase in the Negev Desert where Israeli nuclear weapons are assumed to be stored.

The radar station became fully operational last December and in April of 2009 U.S. troops participated in a trial of the system. “Israel conducted a test of an upgraded version of the Arrow anti-missile system that involved shooting down a rocket…This was the first Israeli test to include the U.S. radar.” [27]

The 2,900-3,200-mile range missile radar system was put to far more extensive use over the past two weeks in the Juniper Cobra exercises, and was integrated into not only a pilot project for layered, joint land and sea, missile interception, but also served as the prototype for the new American and NATO “stronger, smarter, and swifter” (Barack Obama on September 17) missile system that will take in the entire European continent and extend into the Black Sea, the Caucasus, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf and points further south and east.

A system that will render potential victims of a first strike military onslaught incapable of threatening retaliation – the deterrence capability – or of effectively responding after the fact.

1) Jerusalem Post, October 31, 2009
2) Ibid
3) United Press International, October 30, 2009
4) Associated Press, October 27, 2009
5) Arutz Sheva, November 3, 2009
6) Israel Defense Forces, November 3, 2009
7) BBC News, November 2, 2009
8) Raytheon Company, October 27, 2009
9) Agence France-Presse, September 29, 2009
10) Jerusalem Post, October 15, 2009
11) Press TV, November 2, 2009
12) Stars and Stripes, October 23, 2009
13) Reuters, October 22, 2009
14) Associated Press, October 27, 2009
15) United Press International, October 30, 2009
16) Jerusalem Post, October 31, 2009
17) United Press International, August 27, 2009
18) U.S. Expands Global Missile Shield Into Middle East, Balkans
Stop NATO, September 11, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/u-s-expands-global-missile-shield-into-middle-east-balkans

19) Agence France-Presse, October 14, 2009
20) Polish Radio, October 13, 2009
21) NATO, October 28, 2009
22) Khaleej Times, October 30, 2009
23) Emirates News Agency, October 29, 2009
24) Stars and Stripes, September 30, 2008
25) Jerusalem Post, November 23, 2008
26) Stars and Stripes, September 30, 2008
27) Stars And Stripes, April 13, 2009

Categories: Uncategorized

Twenty Years After End Of The Cold War: Pentagon’s Buildup In Latin America

November 4, 2009 Leave a comment

Stop NATO
November 4, 2009

Twenty Years After End Of The Cold War: Pentagon’s Buildup In Latin America
Rick Rozoff

This year began with Admiral Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, visiting Colombia in mid-January and meeting with that nation’s defense minister and top military commander. While in Bogota, Mullen railed against the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrillas and accused the government of Venezuela of conniving with them.

Less than two months and the inauguration of a new president later, America’s top military commander returned to Colombia, the third largest recipient of U.S. military assistance in the world, as part of a Latin American tour that also took him to Brazil, Chile, Peru and Mexico. Upon returning to Washington Mullen said that “The U.S. military is ready to help Mexico in its deadly war against drug cartels with some of the same counter-insurgency tactics used against militant networks in Iraq and Afghanistan” [1] and “the Plan Colombia aid package could be an ‘overarching’ model for Pakistan and Afghanistan….” [2]

He was then speaking for the Barack Obama and no longer the George W. Bush administration but Mullen, like his superior Defense Secretary Robert Gates who nominated him for his current post in 2007, was advocating a military and geostrategic polity that is pursued regardless of who occupies the Oval Office in the White House and whose photograph adorns the State Department’s Harry S. Truman Building headquarters in Foggy Bottom.

Military commanders and former CIA directors like Mullen and Gates have seen a succession of presidents and secretaries of state pass by during their professional careers and the latter, like shadows on a wall, have not affected in any substantive manner plans for international military and intelligence expansion. Elected officials and their civilian appointees are to be humored, cajoled or ignored as the situation requires but have never stood in the way of the creation and maintenance of a 65-year-old military-security-intelligence state with its tentacles extended into every latitude and longitude of the planet.

The role of American elected officials on the federal level and what the nation and the world politely pretend to consider its diplomatic corps is to issue a steady stream of imprecations against “rogue regimes” and frighten the domestic populace with inflated if not entirely concocted claims of other, non-Western, nations’ military threats, the better to give the Pentagon (which may play the part of a coy and hesitant ingenue for public consumption) what it wants.

Witness the false alarm sounded by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on May 1st of this year when she, striking the pose of a modern Paul Revere, warned that Washington’s backyard was besieged by specters of the Cold War once thought long laid to rest and spoke of the need to “counter growing Iranian, Chinese and Russian influence in the Western Hemisphere,” lamenting that “Republican President George W. Bush’s policy had been counterproductive, allowing leftist leaders like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Bolivia’s Evo Morales and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega to promote anti-U.S. sentiment and rely on aid from China, Iran and Russia.” [3]

The fact that the three heads of state identified by Clinton as a New World Axis of Evil irrationally bent on contaminating their neighbors with an “anti-U.S. sentiment” were popularly elected is of no concern to Washington. Central and South American electorates have voted before in ways displeasing to the U.S. – Guatemala in 1951, Guyana in 1953 and 1961, Chile in 1970 – and Washington successfully reversed the outcomes through subversion and coups d’etat.

The month after Clinton’s statement U.S.-trained commanders in Honduras ordered troops to storm the residence of President Manuel Zelaya, abduct him and fly him to exile in Costa Rica. The leader of the coup, School of the Americas-trained General Romeo Vasquez Velasquez, also dispatched troops to assault the ambassadors of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, as though he had studied Hillary Clinton’s comments and taken them to heart.

Following the armed overthrow of the Honduran government on June 28, a state of affairs still not reversed over four months afterward notwithstanding the U.S.’s decisive leverage over the ringleaders in Tegucigalpa, media coverage was rife with allusions to a return to the era of Latin American coups staged and backed by Washington during the Cold War.

This November 9th will mark the twentieth anniversary of the event that more than any other is acknowledged as having signalled the end of the Cold War: The opening of the gates along the wall dividing East and West Berlin. The fall of the Berlin Wall.

At the time much of the world breathed a collective sigh of relief and in some quarters emitted a whoop of triumph, expecting that the end of the decades-long U.S.-Soviet conflict would issue in a golden age of global harmony, disarmament, the elimination of nuclear weapons and a massive peace dividend to fund civilian needs long given short shrift during the preceding forty-three years.

Those hopes turned out to be so many vain opium reveries.

Warning signs were evident even at the time.

The former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) was abruptly and without a referendum absorbed into the Federal Republic (West Germany) – and into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a U.S.-dominated military bloc – and the 1990 Western armed buildup in the Persian Gulf and the next year’s war with Iraq followed almost immediately.

One didn’t have to wait that long, however, to discover that the fruits of a Western victory in the Cold War were sour. Were poison.

Less than a month following the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, on December 2, 1989 U.S. president George H.W. Bush and his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev led respective national delegations to the Mediterranean island nation of Malta for a summit described fairly typically since as “the most important since 1945, when British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Soviet premier Joseph Stalin and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed on a post-war plan for Europe at Yalta.” [4]

The American delegation, incidentally, included two officials who weren’t familiar to many observers at the time but would become so over a decade later: Then Director for Soviet and East European Affairs at the National Security Council Condoleezza Rice and U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz.

Within days of the summit’s completion and as though to suggest that the two leaders agreed to address respective Cold War era thorns in their sides, ten days of violence erupted in Romania on December 16, culminating in the nation’s aged leader, Nicolae Ceausescu, and his wife Elena dragged before a firing squad on Christmas Day.

In the middle of that ten-day uprising Washington launched an armed invasion of Panama, Operation Just Cause, with over 27,000 troops and 300 aircraft, deposing President Manuel Noriega, who continues to languish in an American prison cell almost twenty years later.

The post-Cold War world order was baptized in blood.

Following the Panama attack and the next two years’ preparation for and activation of war plans against Iraq, the U.S. and its allies observed an almost decent interval – aside from wreaking carnage in Somalia, conducting ongoing bombing runs in Iraq, bombing Bosnian Serb targets with depleted uranium-tipped shells and firing cruise missiles into Afghanistan and Sudan – until 1999, when the U.S. and NATO launched a 78-day air war against Yugoslavia and right afterward Washington inaugurated Plan Colombia. The latter has resulted in Washington providing almost $5 billion in military assistance to Colombia since 2000. Current American vice president Joseph Biden pushed the hard-line – counterinsurgency – version of the initiative in the U.S. Senate in 1999.

Since then there has been a reactivation of the worst aspects of the Cold War period. Just as then, political change in any country is viewed through the prism of what it means in terms of alignment with or apart from the United States. And neutrality is not an option. The top official in charge of American foreign policy, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has indicated her view of Latin American nations attempting an independent regional and global orientation. They are enemies. And are the proxies of larger adversaries: Russia, China and Iran.

On October 30 the U.S. and the Alvaro Uribe regime in Colombia signed an agreement during a closed-door ceremony in Bogota for the Pentagon to acquire seven new military bases in the South American country. [5]

“One of the bases involved, at Palanquero, 180 kilometers (110 miles) west of Bogota, boasts a 3.5-km (two-mile) runway adapted for large cargo planes, which critics say would allow the US to project itself far beyond Colombia’s borders.” [6]

“The United States maintains similar ‘forward operating locations’ in El Salvador and Aruba-Curacao [Netherlands Antilles].” [7]

Colombian troops illegally entered neighboring Venezuela last August and Caracas claims to have apprehended Colombian paramilitaries on its soil at the time of the signing of the U.S.-Colombia bases deal on October 30.

In late September, less than two months after elections brought pro-Washington President Ricardo Martinelli to power, Panama’s La Prensa newspaper announced that the new government will “sign a treaty with the United States on the opening of two U.S. naval bases on its territory….”

Minister of Government and Justice Jose Raul Mulino was quoted confirming that “The U.S. and Panama will sign before October 30 an agreement on the deployment of two naval bases on the Pacific coast of our country….One of the bases will be located in Bahia Pina…450 kilometers [280 miles] east of the capital, Panama City, and another one – in Punta Coca about 350 km [217 miles] west of the capital.” [8]

American bases had been closed and troops brought home in 1999 in accordance with the 1977 treaty signed by the two nations. However, Washington led the 11-day PANAMAX 2009 military exercise in September with forces from Argentina, Brazil, Belize, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and NATO allies Canada, France and the Netherlands. The formal purpose of the maneuvers was to “simulate a terrorist threat in the Panama Canal,” Gerald W. Ketchum, U.S. Operation, Preparation and Mobilization sub-director from the Southern Command, claimed. [9]

A comparable multinational exercise, Honduras-Commando Force 2007, was held in the nearby Central American nation two years earlier which included “marine, air and shelling operations” and the participation of troops from the United States, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. The drills were also described as “anti-terrorist exercises…under the aegis of the United States under the pretext of an alleged attack by the Al Qaeda network.” [10]

What purpose U.S. training of the Honduran armed forces in fact has been put to was demonstrated last June 28. The Pentagon maintains its Joint Task Force-Bravo at the Soto Cano Air Base in the nation.

Further south, in 2007 two retired Peruvian military intelligence officers, Jesus Suasnabar and Juan Castro, exposed American plans to construct a base in their country to replace the military base in Manta, Ecuador from which the U.S. has now been evicted.

“The two ex-military officers pointed out that the US base would be the center of domination of Peruvian and Brazilian Amazonia, where multinational rapid-action forces would be deployed….[T]he military base would also prevent the consolidation of an energy bloc made up of Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela….Peru might get involved in the Colombian conflict, as the military facility would be used to intervene in that country.” [11]

Washington has now compensated, and far more than compensated, for the loss of the air base at Manta with the acquisition of seven new bases in Colombia, positioning its military closer to that country’s eastern border with Venezuela. (And perhaps its southwestern border with Ecuador.)

As with all other parts of the world, where the Pentagon goes so do its NATO allies. Until earlier this year Great Britain was reported to be the second largest provider of military aid to Colombia.

In Venezuela’s eastern neighbor, Guyana, the Pentagon deployed 650 troops (infantry, naval and air force) this July for New Horizons Guyana, “a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored annual exercise starting July 1 designed to strengthen ties with partner nations in Central and South America….” [12]

In recent days a controversy has arisen in Guyana after Britain withdrew assistance for a security project following the Guyanese government’s “refusal to allow training by UK Special Forces on a western border location with live firing….” [13] Guyana’s western border is with Venezuela. A letter to a local newspaper denounced the “U.K.’s demands for the training of British Special Forces officers on Guyana’s territory, and worse yet, in close proximity to Guyana’s South American neighbours, namely, Brazil and Venezuela.

“Such a request from the British must be seen as unreasonable, an affront to Guyana’s territorial sovereignty and could even undermine Guyana’s relationship with her neighbours whom we know from previous experiences could interpret the presence of Western military personnel in close proximity to their borders as an act of hostility or concern and may even spark an arms race in South America.” [14]

In Guyana’s eastern neighbor, Suriname, the Pentagon has also been busy. Two years ago U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited and secured “military premises on its territory.

“Suriname President Ronald Venetiaan said the United States wants to build military premises in Surinamese soil to test the capabilities of military vehicles in the forest,” Associated Press reported on October of 2007. [15]

Anticipating American military chief Mullen’s tour this March, “Before his…visit to Suriname, Gates met leaders in El Salvador, Colombia, Chile and Peru.” [16]

The eastern-most of the three Guianas, the French, is still an overseas department and used for various military purposes.

French military instructors at a camp on the premises of the Guiana Space Center in Kourou “operate one of the most grueling courses in jungle warfare and survival, opening it to Special Forces from around the world….

The base’s “main purpose is preparing legionnaires for hardships in places where France still uses them for military intervention, like Chad, Djibouti or Ivory Coast.” [17]

Three years ago Paris used the space center, “which each year launches into orbit about half of the world’s commercial satellite payloads,” [18] for another objective. It launched “the military satellite Syracuse 3B from Kourou in French Guiana thereby creating the conditions for faster and more efficient military exercises abroad.

“The satellite is to be made available to Germany’s military and to the NATO alliance.”

The Syracuse satellites “cover an area extending from the eastern United States to eastern China and would multiply the existing transfer capacity by ten…of France and the European Union to act.” [19]

No part of the world is now isolated from and left unmolested by the West’s worldwide military network.

This past September the new president of Paraguay Fernando Lugo (elected last year) cancelled the U.S. Southern Command’s scheduled New Horizons military maneuvers after the announcement that Washington was going to sign the agreement with Colombia for seven new bases. Lugo said of his government’s decision “There would be about 500 US military and other personnel in the country and that wouldn’t go unnoticed.” [20]

Elections in Central and South America over the past eleven years – Venezuela in 1998 and since, Argentina in 2003, Uruguay in 2004, Bolivia in 2005, Ecuador and Nicaragua in 2006, Paraguay in 2008, El Salvador in 2009 and for while in Panama after 2004 and Honduras after 2006 – have severely limited the scope of the Pentagon’s plans to renew and expand its presence in Latin America. To compensate for these unprecedented losses, long-time military clients in Colombia and Peru are being tapped for greater commitments and concentrated efforts are being exerted to recruit Brazil and Chile into the fold. [21]

Three years ago retired Brazilian scholar Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira provided an outline of American armed forces plans for South America:

“They occupy an area extending from Guiana into Colombia….Most of them are not uniformed soldiers, but employees of what are known as private sector military companies. The Pentagon has been outsourcing war operations since the 1990s. These private military contractors have been playing an important role in military operations exactly because they are outside restrictions imposed by the US Congress.” [22]

Twenty years after the end of the Cold War and ten after NATO declared itself a global organization rivaling and ultimately supplanting the United Nations, the Western Hemisphere south of the United States is not being spared in plans for a Western-dominated international military bloc. In August the Colombian regime announced that it would “send 84 soldiers to join NATO forces in Afghanistan in yet another nod to US wishes,” [23] joining troops from four other continents.

In 1989 no one could have foreseen that a decade later Western military expansion would begin a process that led to American bases in parts of the world where their presence was hitherto unimaginable: Kosovo, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, Australia, Bulgaria and Romania. And the first permanent U.S. base in Africa, Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, with a new regional military command, AFRICOM, covering the entire continent. [24]

That Washington would gain strategic air bases on the Black Sea and in Central Asia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Would conduct military exercises in Cambodia, East Timor, Gabon, Georgia, India, Mali, Mongolia, Senegal, Uganda and Ukraine. Would redeploy its military to the Philippines and permanently assign troops to Israel and Poland to staff missile radar and interceptor missile bases. Would stake out the Arctic Circle for military and missile shield deployments.

The Cold War ended a generation ago. Wars did not. Neither did the militarization of the world, which has instead intensified, reaching even into space.

1) Reuters, March 6, 2009
2) Reuters, March 5, 2009
3) Associated Press, May 1, 2009
4) Wikipedia
5) Colombia: U.S. Escalates War Plans In Latin America
Stop NATO, July 22, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/colombia-u-s-escalates-war-plans-in-latin-america

6) Agence France-Presse, October 30, 2009
7) CNN, October 30, 2009
8) Russian Information Agency Novosti, September 27, 2009
9) Xinhua News Agency, September 12, 2009
10) Prensa Latina, June 23, 2007
11) Prensa Latina, December 27, 2007
12) Air Forces Southern Command, May 29, 2009
13) Stabroek News, October 29, 2009
14) Stabroek News, October 29, 2009
15) El Universal, October 8, 2007
16) Canadian Press, October 7, 2007
17) New York Times, December 1, 2008
18) Ibid
19) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, August 12, 2006
20) Press TV, September 18, 2009
21) NATO Of The South: Chile, South Africa, Australia, Antarctica
Stop NATO, May 30, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/nato-of-the-south-chile-south-africa-australia-antarctica

22) Agencia Brasil, January 19, 2006
23) Press TV, August 8, 2009
24) AFRICOM: Pentagon Prepares Direct Military Intervention In Africa
Stop NATO, August 24, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/africom-pentagons-prepares-direct-military-intervention-in-africa/

Categories: Uncategorized
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