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Eastern Partnership: The West’s Final Assault On the Former Soviet Union

August 26, 2009 1 comment

Stop NATO
February 13, 2009

Eastern Partnership: The West’s Final Assault On the Former Soviet Union
Rick Rozoff

At a meeting of the European Union’s General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels on May 26 of last year, Poland, seconded by Sweden, first proposed what has come to be known as the Eastern Partnership, a program to “integrate” all the European and South Caucasus former Soviet nations – except for Russia – not already in the EU and NATO; that is, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

The above are half of the former Soviet republics in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) established as a sop to Russia immediately after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 and in theory to be a post-Soviet equivalent of the then-European Community, now European Union. (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania never joined and both were absorbed into the European Union and NATO in 2004.)

The Eastern Partnership has since last May been presented as an innocuous enough proposal containing a mission statement to promote “a substantial upgrading of the level of political engagement, including the prospect of a new generation of Association Agreements, far-reaching integration into the EU economy, easier travel to the EU for citizens providing that security requirements are met, enhanced energy security arrangements benefitting all concerned, and increased financial assistance.” [1]

The key phrases, though, are “upgrading of the level of political engagement” and “enhanced energy security arrangements.”

What the Eastern Partnership is designed to accomplish is to complete the destruction of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) comprised of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and the only post-Soviet multinational security structure, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), as well as to abort the formalization of the Belarus-Russia Union State.

Which is to say, to isolate Russia from six of the other eleven CIS states, with the remaining five, in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), simultaneously targeted by a complementary EU initiative.

The ultimate intent of the Eastern Partnership is to wean away all the other ex-Soviet states from economic, trade, political, security and military ties with Russia and to integrate them into broader so-called Euro-Atlantic structures from the European Union itself initially to NATO ultimately.

Coming out of last year’s NATO summit in Romania the increased political, security and military integration – one is tempted to say merger – of the EU and NATO, trumpeted by France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, warmly embraced by the Bush administration and since affirmed most strongly by British Foreign Minister David Miliband at the recent Munich Security Conference, is the yet further consolidation of the longstanding EU-NATO “soft power, hard power” division of labor mutually agreed upon.

“[T]he Partnership would demonstrate the ‘power of soft power’ and acknowledge that the conflict in Georgia in August had influenced the decision to launch the Partnership.” [2]

The Eastern Partnership was first proposed in May of 2008 as mentioned earlier, but the impetus to endorse it at a meeting of leaders last December was the “soft power” response by the EU to complement NATO’s establishment of the NATO-Georgia Commission a month after Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia triggered last summer’s Caucasus war.

The EU will provide the “diplomatic” persuasion and the economic subsidies as NATO and its individual member states (in almost every instance in Europe the same as the EU’s) continue to supply Georgia with advanced offensive arms, surveillance systems, military training and permanent advisers.

As a further indication of what the EU’s true objective is, Belarus has been added to the other five only with the proviso it will be accepted “if it accepts a democracy improvement plan.” [3]

The same has not been openly stated regarding Armenia, but for two critical reasons it is in the same category as Belarus, all pabulum concerning democracy notwithstanding. (If democracy in any acceptation of the term was a precondition, then the U.S.-installed despot and megalomaniac Mikheil Saakashvili and the hereditary president-for-life dynasty of the Aliev family would disqualify Georgia and Azerbaijan, respectively.)

Armenia and Belarus are both in the second tier of Eastern Partnership candidates and will require a good deal of “improvement” before being absorbed into the West’s new “soft power” drive to the east.

Neither is part of the GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova) anti-CIS bloc set up in 1997 through the joint efforts of the Clinton administration and its secretary of state Madeleine Albright and its European Union allies in Strasbourg.

Both are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) with Russia and four Central Asian nations (all except for Turkmenistan), which has in recent years taken on a more overt military mutual defense nature.

The deadly “Daffodil Revolution” in Armenia a year ago and the attempted “Denim Revolution” in Belarus two years before having failed to replicate their predecessors and prototypes in Georgia in 2003, Ukraine in 2004 and Kyrgyzstan in 2005, other means were required to “reorient” the two nations from their close state-to-state and security relations with Russia.

Hence the need for the Eastern Partnership.

The role of GUAM, whose members are both identified by the EU as the preferred four in the Partnership and who collectively comprise two-thirds, indeed the foundation, of it, will be taken up in depth later on.

As will the simultaneous and complementary Brussels program aimed at Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, itself mirroring U.S. and NATO military and energy plans for Central Asia.

The day after Poland and Sweden first proposed the initiative in May of last year, the British newspaper The Telegraph, under the headline “Poland takes on Russia with ‘Eastern Partnership’ proposal,” wrote that “Poland will take on its mighty neighbour Russia today when it proposes that the European Union extends its influence deep into the former Soviet Union by establishing an ‘Eastern Partnership'” and more markedly that “The Eastern Partnership would be particularly galling for the Kremlin if its aspiration to include Belarus is achieved.” [4]

Ahead of last December’s EU summit where the plans were formalized for the implementation of the Eastern Partnership project at the summit of EU heads of state in March of 2009, the following commentary appeared in a Georgian paper:

“[T]his latest EU action could entail another consequence, one that few appear to be thinking about now.

“In the early 1990s, the United States took the lead in pushing the idea that EU membership for East European countries could serve as either a surrogate or a stepping stone to NATO membership.

“If that idea should resurface, and some of its authors will be returning to office with the incoming Obama Administration in Washington, it would change both the EU and NATO and equally would change how Moscow would deal with Brussels, thus introducing yet another complication in East-West relations.” [5]

With the Czech Republic poised to take over the presidency of the EU in two days, The Telegraph of Britain accurately characterized not only the subversive but the provocative nature of the Eastern Partnership by indicating that “The Czech Republic, which will become the first former Warsaw Pact country to hold the presidency, has made a priority of a scheme to establish closer ties with former Soviet states, irrespective of Russian concerns of encroachment close to its borders.”

It further stated that Czech Foreign Minister Karol Schwarzenberg, coincidentally or otherwise a staunch supporter of U.S. missile radar plans for his country, “stressed that the EU’s relations with the former Soviet states were its own affair and that Russia should not interfere.” [6]

To insure that the point wasn’t missed in Moscow, Schwarzenberg thundered that Russia should abandon any illusions it might entertain concerning “some privileged interests abroad” and, throwing down the gauntlet altogether, “in such cases a red line must be established beyond which the EU must not make concessions.” [7]

The Czech foreign minister evinced a curious sense of geography in his use of the word abroad, as Russia borders Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine and is only one nation removed from Armenia and Moldova, whereas his own government is pressing for the deployment of missile radar facilities and troops from the other side of the world and has troops stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

As though in anticipation of Schwarzenberg’s diktat, two weeks earlier Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned “[W]e cannot agree when attempts are being made to pass off the historically conditioned mutually privileged relations between the states in the former Soviet expanse as a ‘sphere of influence,'” adding “If you accept that logic, then under this definition fall the European Neighborhood Policy, Eastern Partnership and many other EU (let alone NATO) projects, on which the decisions are taken without the participation of Russia or countries to which they apply.” [8]

Two days ago the last American ambassador to the Soviet Union [1987-1991], Jack Matlock, “explained Russian motivations and highlighted what he considered to be American hypocrisy in geopolitical affairs. While America has claimed nearly monopolistic power in the Western Hemisphere for 200 years, Matlock said, it has increasingly denied Russia its own regional sphere of influence since the fall of the Soviet Union.

“The West has been picking and choosing which principles to uphold.” [9]

To backtrack, a month after the initial proposal for the establishment of the Eastern Partnership in May of 2008 Polish Foreign Minister Radoslav Sikorski called the Partnership “the practical and ideological continuation of the European Neighbourhood Policy,” which should become a supplement to the Mediterranean Union…. [10]

Sikorski was alluding to the Mediterranean Union project of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, which in July 13, 2008 was renamed the Union for the Mediterranean, the southern wing of the European Union’s “push east and south” (U.S. State Department phrase for its own emphasis in and from Europe), the eastern complement of which is, of course, the Eastern Partnership.

A summit of EU leaders in Brussels in the same month, June of 2008, further pursued the initiative and the “Eastern Partnership…Polish- Swedish proposition of deepening cooperation with Eastern European countries” was discussed. [11]

The above advancement of the project evoked these comments from a Caucasus news source:

“Moscow itself understood that the main aim of the initiative was to save the above-mentioned countries from the influence of Russia” and “According to the EU Commissioner for Foreign Relations and Neighborhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner at least one billion euro per year will be allocated for the Black Sea Synergy project.” [12]

The Black Sea Synergy project is synergy not as in the word whose adjective form is synergistic but as in syn + energy. Of the six nations targeted for the Eastern Partnership two, Georgia and Ukraine, are on the Black Sea and one, Azerbaijan, is a Caspian Sea littoral state.

The Eastern Partnership is designed among several other purposes to complement the Union of the Mediterranean and to augment the Black Sea Synergy program as an integral and advanced component of the West’s campaign to dominate world energy supplies and transit and to provide the civilian supplement to NATO’s expansion throughout Eurasia, the Mediterranean, Africa and the Middle East.

The website of the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, on a page dedicated to Black Sea Synergy includes these comments:

“The Black Sea region, which includes Bulgaria and Romania, occupies a strategic position between Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. The European Union intends to support regional commitments tending to increase mutual confidence and remove obstacles to the stability, security and prosperity of the countries in this region.”

“Black Sea Synergy is a cooperation initiative that proposes a new dynamic for the region, its countries and their citizens. Regional cooperation could provide additional value to initiatives in areas of common interest and serve as a bridge to help strengthen relations with neighbouring countries and regions (Caspian Sea, Central Asia, South-eastern Europe).”

And, which will bring the issue back to GUAM and the prospects for further armed confrontations after the model of last August’s war in the Caucasus:

“The EC advocates a more active role in addressing frozen conflicts (Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh).” [13]

GUAM was set up by the West in 1997 to accomplish several strategic objectives: As a Trojan Horse within the Commonwealth of Independent States – until Georgia withdrew after the war last August all four GUAM member states were in the CIS – it was intended to undermine and ultimately dissolve the community, eventually luring other CIS states away from it. The inclusion of Armenia and Belarus in the Eastern Partnership is an example of this strategy.

Incorporating the four ex-Soviet states into a trans-Eurasian strategic energy and military transit corridor from the Black Sea through the Caspian Sea Basin to Central and South Asia. The addition of Uzbekistan in 1999 extended the range of the bloc, although Uzbekistan would withdraw in 2005.

The GUAM states are involved in all four of the so-called frozen conflicts in the former Soviet Union: Georgia with Abkhazia and South Ossetia; Azerbaijan with Nagorno-Karabakh; Moldova with Transdniester (Pridnestrovie).

In fact there are several other unresolved territorial disputes in the GUAM states including Adjaria (suppressed and occupied by Georgia in 2004 after a show of force by Saakashvili’s American-trained and -equipped army, the first example of the “peaceful resolution of a frozen conflict”) and the ethnic Armenian inhabited area of Samtskhe-Javakheti/Javakhk in Georgia; Gaugazia in Moldova; and the Crimea and potentially even the Donetsk region in Ukraine.

The four frozen conflicts proper – Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia and Transdniester – are illustrative of the cataclysmic consequences of the precipitate breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. All four former autonomous republics seceded from the respective ex-Soviet Socialist Federal Republics they had belonged to, in all cases also entailing armed conflict and loss of life.

The four, and the other potential conflict areas mentioned above, for example Crimea in Ukraine, part of Russia for centuries until being ceded to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1954, had belonged to the three federal republics they did until 1991 only within the context of the broader Soviet framework; once the latter ceased to exist, so too did the rationale for the autonomous republics remaining within new states that had never before existed as nations – Moldova and Ukraine – or, if so, not for centuries except for a three year period during the Russian civil war with Georgia from 1918–1921 and a two year interlude with Azerbaijan from 1918–1920.

The U.S. and its NATO allies are past masters at fishing in troubled waters and in troubling the waters the better to fish in them, and the frozen conflicts in the former Soviet Union allow the West to impede integration processes within the Commonwealth of Independent States, develop close military ties to the nations involved with them and increasingly to intervene in post-Soviet territory under the auspices of peacekeeping operations whether through the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union or, the ultimate objective, NATO.

Most dangerously, the U.S. and all its NATO allies have refused to ratify the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) arms treaty – which has only been approved by Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine (as successor states to the former Soviet Union) – and have justified their non-ratification by linking it to the withdrawal of small Russian peacekeeper contingents – mandated by the Commonwealth of Independent States and in at least one instance the United Nations – from Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transdniester.

In the eighteen year interim since the treaty was negotiated until now numerous new nations have been created in Europe – Bosnia, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia (and of course the pseudo-state of Kosovo) and in the South Caucasus Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia – which are not signatories to the CFE and which then could have American and NATO forces and arms stationed on their territories without any provisions made for Russia and the three other nations that have ratified the treaty to monitor them.

Such deployments are not limited to conventional weaponry.

At the 2006 summit in Kiev, Ukraine GUAM expanded its name to GUAM -Organization for Democracy and Economic Development, declared itself an international organization and announced the creation of a joint military (alleged peacekeeping) force.

The summit also laid out in more detail and candor why the U.S. and its allies created and fostered GUAM, whose expanded format is the Eastern Partnership, to begin with:

“The creation of the bloc is a bold step in promoting energy supply routes linking the Caspian Sea basin and consumers in the E.U. allowing to reduce heavy dependence on Russian energy.

“One of the main projects to be promoted is launching supplies of Caspian Sea crude oil from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan via Georgian and Ukrainian pipelines to markets in Europe….[T]he plan also calls for extending the Odessa-Brody pipeline to Plock in Poland, which is already hooked up with a major oil terminal and an oil refinery in Gdansk.” [14]

The same report contains this important detail: “[T]he situation changed last year when Yushchenko, a pro-Western leader, had been inaugurated to the presidency in Ukraine and had pledged to replace Russian shipments with Caspian supplies. The pipeline would bypass Russia on the way to Ukraine and to the E.U….” [15]

A Russian commentary of late last autumn reflected the last paragraph’s allusion to the role of putative “color revolutions” in strengthening GUAM’s subservience to Western interests by remarking that the group “was created with a broad list of functions to combat Russian influence in the region, but remained largely unused, before the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and Mikhail Saakashvili’s coming to power in Georgia.” [16]

The following year at its summit in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, a GUAM-U.S., GUAM-Japan, GUAM-Visegrad Four (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia), GUAM-Baltic and other new partnerships were launched.

In November of 2007 the U.S. hosted a meeting of GUAM states national coordinators in Washington where “A special topic of the discussions was the assessment of the potential of Caspian Sea networks in the consolidation of the GUAM states’ energy security and the present-day shape of the Nabucco Project.” [17] The latter is a proposed tran-Caspian natural gas project promoted by the West to squeeze Russia out of the European energy market.

At the 2008 GUAM summit in Batumi, the capital of Georgian-subjugated Adjaria, “The sides [chartered a] course for the development of regional cooperation as a part of the European and Asian integration processes, and for strengthening partnership relations with the US, Poland, Japan and other states as well as international organizations.

“The declaration expressed concern over the protracted conflicts [and] aggressive separatism…and underlined the importance of the international community’s support for the settlement of the conflicts.” [18]

David Merkel, Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of State, “said GUAM unites the Caspian and Black Sea regions and can fulfill the function of connecting Central Asia with the Near East.” [19]

The Georgian Energy Minister, Aleksandre Khetaguri, extended the reach of GUAM-centered energy projects to the Baltic Sea in adding “We have discussed the question of an Odessa–Brody–Gdansk pipeline, which will allow the oil from the Caspian countries to be transported first to Ukraine and then to other parts of Eastern Europe.” [20]
…..
The turning point in the West’s resolve to back its GUAM, and now Eastern Partnership, clients to definitively “solve” the issue of the frozen conflicts came at the NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania in April of last year.

All twenty six Alliance members affirmed that Georgia and Ukraine, the most pro-American and pro-NATO of the four GUAM and six Eastern Partnership states, were on an irreversible road to full NATO accession but baulked at granting them a Membership Action Plan, the final stage to complete integration.

Two central barriers to a nation joining NATO are unresolved conflicts in and foreign (that is, non-NATO nations’) bases on their territories.

Georgia still laid claim to Abkhazia and and South Ossetia and Ukraine still hosted the Russian Sixth Fleet at Sevastopol in the Crimea.

Far from being the rebuff to Georgia and Ukraine and to their American sponsor the non-granting of Membership Action Plans to the two candidates appeared to some, Georgia and Ukraine were both given not only a green light to resolve these issues but in fact were directed if not ordered to do so.

At the beginning of last August Georgian shelling killed six people, including a Russian peacekeeper, and wounded twelve on the outskirts of the South Ossetian capital and on August 7 Georgia’s American-armed and -trained military forces crossed the border and laid waste to much of the capital.

The assault, coming only days after the Pentagon had completed a two week military drill, Exercise Immediate Response 2008, under the sponsorship of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program with troops from Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine, weeks after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had visited the Georgian capital and hours after Georgia’s Saakashvili had proclaimed a unilateral ceasefire, led to direct military hostility between Russia and the preeminent client of the U.S.

During the same interim after the NATO summit Ukrainian authorities escalated their demands that the lease for the Russian Sixth Fleet not be renewed.

Weeks after the Caucasus war ended, the EU convened an extraordinary summit “devoted to the situation in Georgia” at which it adopted a resolution stating that “it is more necessary than ever to support regional cooperation and step up its relations with its eastern neighbours, in particular through its neighbourhood policy, the development of the Black Sea Synergy initiative and an Eastern Partnership.” [21]

Shortly thereafter Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk revealed the true dimensions of the Eastern Partnership when he said that, “Developments of the past months, especially the crisis in the Caucasus, have shown the farsightedness of the Swedish and Polish initiative – a proposal for
the entire European Union with a global dimension….” [22]

The above occurred as the U.S. sent a flotilla of warships to Georgian ports on, and NATO boosted its naval presence in, the Black Sea.

In the middle of last November an energy summit was held in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku and attended by the presidents of Ukraine, Turkey, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Romania and Georgia and other heads of states.

American expatriate and current Lithuanian president Valdas Adamkus said that “The number of letters in the word ‘GUAM’ should be increased: it would consolidate both the organization and the participating countries,” explaining “[W]e are working towards strengthening the GUAM organization, expanding contacts between the countries of the Baltic, Black and Caspian Sea regions, and making cooperation in the energy field more intense.” [23]

Adamkus’ statements were supported in a Western press report of the same day:

“The plan [elaborated at the summit] emphasised developing a ‘southern gas corridor” to transport supplies from the Caspian Sea and Middle East regions, bypassing Russia, as well as an energy ring linking Europe and southern Mediterranean countries.” [24]

The meeting was overseen by U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and special envoy of the American president for Eurasian energy issues Boyden Gray.

The main focus was on the Caspian-Black Sea-Baltic, Odessa-Brody-Gdansk oil pipeline project but also included as the Agence France-Presse dispatch earlier alluded to the Nabucco natural gas mega-project which is to take in North African and Persian Gulf as well as Caspian energy resources and transit lines.

While at the summit, U.S. Energy Secretary Bodman effused that the “Baku Energy Summit is the continuation of ‘The Contract of Century’ signed in 1994,” an allusion to the contract signed between American and Western companies and Azerbaijan in that year which laid the foundation for the subsequent trans-Eurasian Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipelines as well as the Nabucco project.

Those three energy undertakings, unprecedented in scope and political capital expended, are to be expanded with the new Eastern Partnership.
….
In late November of last year the EU issued a draft communique on the Eastern Partnership which stated, inter alia, “On the energy front, Memorandums of Understanding are to help guarantee EU energy security, leading to ‘joint management, and even ownership of pipelines by companies of supplier, transit and consumer countries,'” as well as noting “EU ‘concern’ over energy infrastructure in conflict zones, such as a Russia-Balkans gas pipeline running through the disputed Moldovan region of Transdniestria.” [25]

A European Commission report of a few days later included the demand that “The EU must significantly boost relations with Ukraine and five other ex-Soviet republics and make easing Moscow’s sway over them a priority.

The report says the EU must seek “diversification of energy routes by enabling the ex-Soviet nations to build new and better connected pipelines and oil and gas storage facilities.

“The EU wants to see a gas pipeline from the Caucasus fully skirting Russia.” [26]

As mentioned above the EU signed the draft communique on the Eastern Partnership in December of last year with the intent of pulling “the EU’s six post-Soviet neighbors closer to the West by recognizing their ‘European aspirations’ and creating a new European Economic Area….” [27], the process having been “Accelerated partly because of the summer 2008 conflict in the Caucasus….” [28]

On December 12 the heads of state of all 27 EU members approved the establishment of the Eastern Partnership.

Twelve days later the EU special representative to the South Caucasus, Peter Semneby, added, “This program was elaborated in the light of the recent developments in the region, the war in Georgia, as well as the concerns of the South Caucasus countries on security issues….” [29]

On December 19 Washington signed a United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership with its compliant client in Kiev, Viktor Yushchenko, and within a week the Ukraine-Russia gas dispute began, plunging much of Europe into a crisis and renewing Western calls for – as was to be expected – energy routes circumventing Russia.

On February 10 of this year Deputy Prime Minister for EU Affairs for the Czech Republic, which assumed the EU presidency on the first of the year, Alexandr Vondra, announced that he expected the Eastern Partnership to be formally inaugurated on May 7 in Prague at the EU summit to be held there.

Dispensing with the standard verbs like assisting and aiding, he added another one – stabilizing.

“The recent gas crisis has not only its technical but also political  implications. The crisis highlighted how important it is for the EU to assume responsibility for the stabilisation of its eastern neighbours and to pay them more political and financial attention.” [30]

The report from which the preceding quote is taken fleshed out the strategy in more detail:

“The Eastern Partnership summit is to be followed by a meeting of the countries that are connected with the ‘southern energy corridor’ that links the Caspian region with world markets, bypassing Russia….[T]he meeting will probably take place on the same day as the Eastern Partnership summit.” [31]

To further tie together the West’s plans to penetrate and assimilate all of former Soviet territory, the following day it was reported that “Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek will go to Central Asia on Thursday to have talks on the Eastern Partnership and possible gas supplies for the European Union that would reduce the EU’s dependency on Russian gas” and that “During his two-day visit, Topolanek will have talks with top politicians of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, ” and, lastly, “Topolanek will negotiate in Central Asia on behalf of the EU as the Czech Republic has been EU president since January.” [32]

And to further confirm the predetermined and integrated approach toward all non-Russian Commonwealth of Independent States nations, last December a Central Asian news sources revealed:

“The European Union launched, on 28 November, a rule of law initiative for Central Asia – one of the key elements of its strategy for a new partnership with five Central Asian countries adopted in May 2007.

“The initiative provides for support for Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan….” [33]

Exploiting the issue of alleged European energy security, a campaign first addressed in a major manner by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer at the Alliance’s 2006 summit in Riga, Latvia, the real intent of the Eastern Partnership is to subordinate eleven of the twelve former Soviet states not already in the EU (and NATO) to Brussels…and Washington.

By adding Belarus, either through cooptation or “regime change,” to the Western column Russia will lose its only buffer against NATO in Europe and the only substantive early warning missile surveillance and air defenses it has outside its own borders.

By adding Armenia Russia will effectively be driven out of the South Caucasus.

With the absorption of the five Central Asian nations, Russia would lose all influence throughout the entire former Soviet space except for its own territory.

1) European Union press release, December 3, 2008
2) PanArmenian.net, December 11, 2008
3) PanArmenian. net, December 12, 2008
4) Daily Telegraph, May 26, 2008
5) Georgian Daily, December 8, 2008
6) Daily Telegraph, December 30, 2008
7) Black Sea Press [Georgia], December 30, 2008
8) Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, December 15, 2008
9) Yale Daily News, February 12, 2009
10) Infotag [Moldova], June 26, 2008
11) Polish Radio, June 20, 2008
12) Azeri Press Agency, June 30, 2008
13) Europa, June 3, 2009
14) Ukrainian Journal, May 23, 2006
15) Ibid
16) Russia Today, November 7, 2009
17) Infotag, November 2, 2007
18) Azeri Press Agency, July 2, 2008
19) Georgian Public Broadcasting, July 1, 2008
20) The Messenger [Georgia], July 1, 2008
21) ForUm [Ukraine], September 2, 2008
22) UNIAN [Ukraine], September 18, 2008
23) Today.AZ [Azerbaijan], November 14, 2008
24) Agence France-Presse, November 14, 2008
25) Azeri Press Agency, November 25, 2008
26) Associated Press, November 30, 2008
27) PanArmenian. net, December 3, 2008
28) Sofia Echo, December 3, 2008
29) Today.AZ, December 24, 2008
30) Czech News Agency, February 10, 2009
31) Ibid
32) Czech News Agency, February 11, 2009
33) UzReport [Uzbekistan], December 19, 2008

Global Energy War: Washington’s New Kissinger’s African Plans

August 26, 2009 2 comments

Stop NATO
January 22, 2009

Global Energy War: Washington’s New Kissinger’s African Plans
Rick Rozoff

Lost amid the national and international fanfare accompanying the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States is attention to the person who is slated to be the next major foreign policy architect and executor, retired U.S. Marine General James Jones.

In nearly identical phraseology that cannot be construed as either fortuitous or without foundation, the Washington Post of November 22, 2008 referred to the then pending selection of Jones as National Security Adviser in these terms:

“Sources familiar with the discussions said Obama is considering expanding the scope of the job to give the adviser the kind of authority once wielded by powerful figures such as Henry A. Kissinger.”

And the following day’s Israeli Ha’aretz wrote:

“Jones is expected to play a key role in the Obama administration. According to U.S. press reports, he will be as strong as Henry Kissinger, the all-powerful national security adviser to President Richard Nixon.”

The analogy is with the role of Henry Kissinger as National Security Adviser to the first and second Nixon administrations (1969-1977, continuing into the Ford White House) and as both National Security Adviser and Secretary of State during the second term; that is, as a then unprecedentedly influential player in determining U.S. foreign policy.

A similar comparison can be made with the Carter administration’s National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the true power behind the foreign policy throne from 1977-1981, with Secretaries of State Cyrus Vance and, briefly, Edmund Muskie, largely figureheads in relation to him.

James Jones is now the first career military officer to hold the post as head of the National Security Council since retired general Colin Powell did so in the second Reagan Administration and is the first former NATO Supreme Allied Commander to hold the post.

Jones was appointed to the NATO post of Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and the overlapping, essentially coterminous one of Commander, United States European Command (COMUSEUCOM) in the first Bush term and is part of the two-thirds of the Obama administration’s foreign policy triumvirate – National Security Adviser, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense – inherited from the preceding administration. The other is Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who like Jones is a graduate of Georgetown University, with a doctorate degree in Sovietology and Russian studies.

As commander of the Pentagon’s European Command (EUCOM) Jones was in charge of the largest military area of responsibility in world history, one that encompassed anywhere from 13-21 million square miles and included 92 of the world’s 192 nations. And as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander he was the chief military commander of an expanding military bloc of twenty six full members, two new candidates and twenty three Partnership for Peace, six Mediterranean Dialogue, six Gulf Cooperation Council and assorted other military partners in South and Far East Asia and the South Pacific, altogether on five continents.

While wearing both the above braided hats, Jones was the major architect of what last October 1st was officially launched as the first new U.S. military command in the last quarter century, Africa Command (AFRICOM), whose chartered area of operations includes fifty-two nations. (All of Africa except for Egypt.)

AFRICOM’s historical precedents were commented upon by a Ghanaian news source almost three years ago:

“Marine General James L. Jones, Head of the US European Command…said the Pentagon was seeking to acquire access…bases in Senegal, Ghana, Mali and Kenya and other African countries.

“The new US strategy [is] based on the conclusions of a May 2001 report of the President’s National Energy Policy Development group chaired by Vice President Richard Cheney and known as the Cheney report.” [1]

And by a Nigerian commentator the following year:

“[In January of 2002 the African Oil Policy Initiative Group] recommended that African oil be treated as a priority for the national security of the US after 9/11, that the US government declares the Gulf of Guinea an ‘area of vital interest’ and that it set up a sub-command structure for US forces in the region. In September 2002, the then U.S. Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, put forward a proposal to establish a NATO Rapid Response Force (NRF) which was approved by the defence ministers of NATO in Brussels in June 2003 and was inaugurated in October 2003.” [2]

In keeping with the above, after his formal selection as nominee for National Security Adviser late last year, Jones revealed that “[A]s commander of NATO, I worried early in the mornings about how to protect energy facilities and supply chain routes as far away as Africa, the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea.” [3]

Or as a U.S. daily newspaper put it later:

“During his 2003-2006 stint as NATO’s supreme commander, Jones stressed his view that energy policy was a top national security matter for the United States and a leading international security priority. For the past year, Jones has been president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy. Until his Dec. 1 selection by Obama, he also served as a board member of the Chevron Corp.” [4]

The above reflected designs voiced earlier, as evidenced by:

“NATO’s top commander of operations, U.S. General James Jones, has said he sees a potential role for the alliance in protecting key shipping lanes such as those around the Black Sea and oil supply routes from Africa to Europe.” [5]

And shortly before stepping down as both European Command and NATO commander, Jones, addressing U.S. business leaders, said:

“Officials at U.S. European Command spend between 65 to 70 percent of their time on African issues, Jones said….Establishing such a group [military task force in West Africa] could also send a message to U.S. companies ‘that investing in many parts of Africa is a good idea,’ the general said.” [6]

And, just as candidly, he and his NATO civilian cohort declared:

“NATOs’ [commanders] are ready to use warships to ensure the security of offshore oil and gas transportation routes from Western Africa,  Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO’s Secretary General,  reportedly said speaking at the session of the foreign committee of PACE [Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe].

“On April 30 General James Jones, commander-in-chief of NATO in Europe, reportedly said NATO was going to draw up the plan for ensuring security of oil and gas industry facilities.

“In this respect the block is willing to ensure security in unstable regions where oil and gas are produced and transported.” [7]

Note that while speaking to those he assumes to be interested and complicit parties, Jones is quite explicit in moving his finger across the map of the world and indicating precisely where the Pentagon’s – not the State Department’s, say, or the U.S. Department of Energy’s – priorities lie.

And they are, as mentioned above, immediately in three of the five areas of the world where hitherto unexploited or underexploited massive oil and natural gas deposits lie: Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, the Black and Caspian Seas and the Persian Gulf.

The other two contested zones and already current battlegrounds between the West and Russia and other emerging nations in this regard are the Arctic Circle and the northern part of South America and the Caribbean. Southeast Asia may be soon be another candidate for the role.

The drive into Africa, from the Mediterranean in the north to the South African way station to Antarctica and its offshore environs (the sixth key global energy chess piece) and from the war-torn northeast to the oil-rich Atlantic west, is thus integrally linked to the concomitant U.S. and NATO military expansion into the Black and Caspian Seas and Persian Gulf regions.

Mind, this is not a direct, reductionist ‘war for oil'; it is rather an international strategic bid by a consortium of declining Western powers united under the NATO aegis to seize and dominate world energy resources and transportation lines in order to in turn maintain and expand global economic and political hegemony. (Indeed, the two nations most central to Western plans for trans-Eurasian oil transit plans, Azerbaijan and Georgia, have recorded the largest per capita and percentile increases in military spending in the world over the past five years – a case of oil for war rather than the reverse.)

Jones’ resume as top military commander of both the Pentagon’s European Command and of NATO gave him, and still gives him, a pivotal role in what the State Department of Condoleezza Rice (herself with a doctorate degree in Sovietology and Russian studies) has referred to for years as the “push east and south.”

As the U.S. armed forces newspaper Stars and Stripes reported a year and a half ago:

“Five years ago, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sent marching orders to Marine Gen. James L. Jones, telling him that the U.S. European Command needed an overhaul to meet the unique challenges of the 21st century. Jones’ plan, started in 2002, called for the moving of thousands of troops from Europe back to the United States, moving troops into Eastern Europe and setting up forward operating sites in Africa.”

What has occurred in the interim regarding the first trajectory, the push to the east, is that the Pentagon and NATO have selected seven military bases in Bulgaria and Romania, after the latter two’s NATO accession in 2004, for land, naval and air ‘lily pads’ on the Black Sea for operations in the Caucasus, Ukraine, Central and South Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf.

The U.S. and its Alliance cohorts have similarly turned another Black Sea, and Caucasus, nation – Georgia – into a military and strategic energy corridor heading both east and south.

In fact Georgia is the central link in what Western officials for years have touted as the “project of the century”: The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline transporting oil from the Caspian to the Mediterranean Sea.

Along with its sister projects, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline and the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku (“China to London”) railway, the West envisions plans to export oil and natural gas from as far east as Kazakhstan on the Chinese border over, around and under the Caspian Sea to the South Caucasus and from there north to Ukraine and Poland to the Baltic Sea and onto Western Europe, and south along the Mediterranean to Israel to be shipped on tankers through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea and across the Arabian Sea to countries like India and Japan. That is, back to East Asia where much of it originated.

If any more grand (or grandiose) and far-reaching geopolitical design has ever been contemplated, history fails to record it.

Chinese military analyst Lin Zhiyuan summed up the general strategy over two years ago:

“[N]ew military bases, airports and training bases will be built in Hungary, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria and other nations to ensure ‘gangways’ to some areas in the Middle East, African and Asia in possible military actions in the years ahead.

“More important, the United States will successfully move eastward the gravity and frontline of its Europe defense, go on beefing up its military presence in the Baltic states and the central Asia region, and also raise its capability to contain Russia by stepping into the backyard of the former Soviet Union.

“James L. Jones, commander of the European command of the US army [EUCOM, as well as NATO], acknowledged that the EETAF [Eastern European Task Force] would ‘greatly upgrade’ the capacity of coordinating the forces of the U.S. and its allies, and the capacity of training and operation in Eurasia and the Caucasian region, so that they are able to make faster responses in some conflict areas….” [8]

The author was perhaps referring to an earlier statement by James Jones, one reported on the US State Department’s website on March 10, 2006:

“[Jones] discussed ongoing shifts in troop levels, the creation of rotational force hubs in Bulgaria and Romania, and initiatives in Africa….Those forces remaining in Europe will focus on being able swiftly to deploy to temporary locations in southeast Europe, Eurasia and Africa. Along the Black Sea, recent basing agreements will allow U.S. forces to start establishing an Eastern European Task Force [which will] ‘significantly increases’ the ability of U.S. and partner forces to coordinate and conduct training and missions in Eurasia and the Caucasus….

“Africa’s vast potential makes African stability a near-term global strategic imperative.”

Jones also described the Caspian Guard, a program to improve the capabilities of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in a strategic region that borders northern Iran. “Africa’s vast potential makes African stability a near-term global strategic imperative.”

In the past week the Pentagon’s Central Command chief General David Petraeus visited Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, the first and third on the Caspian Sea and the two largest producers of oil and natural gas in Central Asia.

This is the further implementation of Jones’ plan which he bluntly articulated well over three years ago:

“NATO’s top military commander is seeking an important new security role for private industry and business leaders as part of a new security strategy that will focus on the economic vulnerabilities of the 26-country alliance. “Two immediate and priority projects for NATO officials to develop with private industry are to secure the pipelines bringing Russian oil and gas to Europe…to secure ports and merchant shipping, the alliance Supreme Commander, Gen. James Jones of the U.S. Marine Corps said Wednesday.

“A further area of NATO interest to secure energy supplies could be the Gulf of Guinea off the West African coast, Jones noted…’a serious security problem.’ Oil companies were already spending more than a billion dollars a year on security in the region, he noted, pointing to the need for NATO and business to confer on the common security concern.” [9]

On the far western end of what British geographer and proto-geostrategist Halford Mackinder called the World Island (Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East) lies the Atlantic Coast of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea.

It is here that then EUCOM and NATO top military commander Jones arranged the foundation of the future AFRICOM.

Though not without attending to the rest of the continent as well during his dual tenure from 2003-2006.

In April of 2006 he already advocated the following:

“Jones…raised the prospect of NATO taking a role to counter piracy off the coast of the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, especially when it threatens energy supply routes to Western nations.” [10]

Two and a half years before NATO initiated the Atalanta interdiction operation in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden last autumn (NATO warships even docked at the Kenyan port city of Mombasa), Jones was laying the groundwork for the NATO cum European Union mission of today.

As the Horn of Africa region was the only part of continental Africa not formerly in EUCOM’s area of responsibility (it was in Central Command’s), Jones was clearly speaking of an AFRICOM that wouldn’t appear for another 30 months.

Also, in addition to American bilateral military agreements with Northern African states, Jones was NATO Supreme Commander in 2004 when at the Istanbul summit NATO upgraded the Alliance’s seven Mediterranean Dialogue members – the bulk of which are in North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) – to an enhanced partnership status.

He also created the military wing of the U.S. State Department’s Pan Sahel Initiative. The Pentagon’s website described it in early 2006 as follows:

“The 2002 Pan Sahel Initiative involved training and equipping a least one rapid-reaction company in each of the four Sahel states: Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad. The current initiative involves those four states and Algeria, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia and Nigeria.”

Jones is quoted in the same article as saying that, “U.S. Naval Forces Europe, (the command’s) lead component in this initiative, has developed a robust maritime security strategy and regional 10-year campaign plan for the Gulf of Guinea region.

“Africa’s vast potential makes African stability a near-term global strategic imperative.” [11]

In the following year an Algerian article called “U.S. embassies turned into command posts in North Africa” added this:

“[T]he countries involved in the U.S. embassies command posts are Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, Niger, Mali, Chad and Senegal. A major focus of AFRICOM will be the Gulf of Guinea, with its enormous oil reserves in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola and the Congo Republic….The U.S. is already pouring $500 million into its Trans-Sahel Counterterrorism Initiative that embraces Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria in North Africa, and nations boarding the Sahara including Mauritania, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Chad and Senegal.” [12]

And in May of 2005 NATO began its first official operation on the African continent, transporting troops to the Darfur region of Sudan, thereby beginning Western military intrusion into the Central African Republic-Chad-Sudan triangle.

Yet the Gulf of Guinea remained the main focus of attention.

No later than 2003 Western news sources reported on a suspected unprecedented oil bonanza in the former Portuguese possessions of Sao Tome and Principe in the Gulf.

Shortly afterward there was talk of the Pentagon establishing a naval base on Sao Tome.

The State Department estimated at the time that the U.S. was then currently importing 15% of its oil from the Gulf of Guinea and that the figure would rise to 25% in a few years.

Western Africa oil offers two key advantages to the U.S. It’s comparatively high-grade crude and can be transported on tankers directly across the Atlantic Ocean, thereby circumventing straits, canals and other potential choke points and attendant customs duties and taxes by littoral nations.

Throughout his time as EUCOM and NATO top military commander Jones touted what he described as ongoing and permanent U.S. and NATO naval presence in the Gulf.

In June of 2006 NATO held its first large-scale military exercises in Africa, in fact initiating the NATO Rapid Response Force, north of the Gulf in Cape Verde.

Below are accounts of the drills:

“Hundreds of elite North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) troops backed by fighter planes and warships will storm a tiny volcanic island off Africa’s Atlantic coast this week in what the Western alliance hopes will prove a potent demonstration of its ability to project power around the world.”  [13]

“Seven thousand NATO troops conducted war games on the Atlantic Ocean island of Cape Verde on Thursday in the latest sign of the alliance’s growing interest in playing a role in Africa.

“The land, air and sea exercises were NATO’s first major deployment in Africa and designed to show the former Cold War giant can launch far-flung military operations at short notice.

“‘You are seeing the new NATO, the one that has the ability to project stability,’ said NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told a news conference after NATO troops stormed a beach on one of the islands on the archipelago in a mock assault on a fictitious terrorist camp.

“NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe James Jones, the alliance soldier in charge of NATO operations, said he hoped the two-week Cape Verde exercises would help break down negative images about NATO in Africa and elsewhere.” [14]

Jones may have inveigled Reuters with concerns about NATO’s public image, but its rival agency was more forthcoming:

“NATO is developing a special plan to safeguard oil and gas fields in the region, says its Supreme Allied Commander on Europe, Gen. James Jones.

“He said a training session will be held in the Atlantic oceanic area and the Cabo Verde island in June to outline activities to protect the routes transporting oil to Western Europe….Jones said the alliance is ready to ensure the security of oil-producing and transporting regions.” [15]

That same month Jones was in the northern tip of the Gulf, in Monrovia, the capital of the one nation on the continent that seemed at first willing to host the future AFRICOM’s headquarters after Washington assisted in the toppling of the Charles Taylor government and the installation of former US-based Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to head its successor.

A local paper reported:

“A United States military delegation today met with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at her Executive Mansion office in Monrovia. The delegation was headed by General James Jones of the US Marine Corps who is also the head of the US government European Command.

“Also with General Jones today were seven members of his delegation, who were in full US military uniform. General Jones reaffirmed his government’s support in assisting the Liberian government in the formation of the new Liberian army. He said some members of his command, were due in Liberia soon, to begin the training of the new Liberian army, which is expected to begin in July. [16]

Two months before the US State Department reported on another of Jones’ African plans, the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Security Initiative, and thereby tied together a few threads in Washington’s African tapestry:

“‘Left unattended, political instability in Africa could require reactive and repeated interventions at enormous costs, as in the case of Liberia,’ Jones said.” [17]

And in the intervening month Jones reminded readers that he still wore two commanders’ caps and that his energy and broader geopolitical strategy encompassed, still, both south and east:

“Our strategic goal is to expand…to Eastern Europe and Africa….The United States is not unchallenged in its quest to gain influence in and access to Africa.” [18]

And so it remains.

The West, the U.S. in the first instance, is waging an unparalleled drive to retain and expand what military, political and economic domination and monopolies it has wrested from the rest of the world over the past five centuries, and control of the globe’s energy resources and their transportation is a vital component of that reckless campaign.

Africa is rapidly shaping up to be a major battleground in that international struggle.

With James Jones as new U.S. National Security chief, complemented by the ‘soft power’ efforts of former State Department Africa hand Dr. Susan Rice as probable ambassador to the United Nations, the continent’s and the world’s guard must not be relaxed.

1) Ghana Web, February 23, 2006
2) Leadership, November 22, 2007
3) Agence France-Presse, November 30, 2008
4) Houston Chronicle, December 25, 2008
5) Reuters, November 27, 2006
6) U.S. Department of Defense, August 18, 2006
7) Trend News Agency, May 3, 2006
8) People’s Daily, December 5, 2006
9) United Press International, October 13, 2005
10) Associated Press, April 24, 2006
11) Defense Link, March 8, 2006
12) Ech Chorouk, October 17, 2007
13) Associated Press, June 21, 2006
14) Reuters, June 22, 2006
15) Associated Press, May 2, 2006
16) African News Dimension, June 2, 2006
17) Washington File, April 7, 2006
18) Stars And Stripes, March 9, 2006

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