Archive for January, 2010

Hillary Clinton’s Prescription: Make The World A NATO Protectorate

January 31, 2010 3 comments

January 31, 2010

Hillary Clinton’s Prescription: Make The World A NATO Protectorate
Rick Rozoff

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was busy in London and Paris last week advancing the new Euro-Atlantic agenda for the world.

As the top foreign policy official of what her commander-in-chief Barack Obama touted as being the world’s sole military superpower on December 10, she is no ordinary foreign minister. Her position is rather some composite of several ones from previous historical epochs: Viceroy, proconsul, imperial nuncio.

When a U.S. secretary of state speaks the world pays heed. Any nation that doesn’t will suffer the consequences of that inattention, that disrespect toward the imperatrix mundi.

On January 27 she was in London for a conference on Yemen and the following day she attended the International Conference on Afghanistan in the same city.

Also on the 28th she and two-thirds of her NATO quad counterparts, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner (along with EU High Representative Catherine Ashton), pronounced a joint verdict on the state of democracy in Nigeria, Britain’s former colonial possession.

Afterwards she crossed the English channel and delivered an address called Remarks on the Future of European Security at L’Ecole Militaire in Paris on January 29. That presentation was the most substantive component of her three-day European junket and the only one that dealt mainly with the continent itself, her previous comments relating to what are viewed by the United States and its Western European NATO partners as backwards, “ungovernable” international badlands. That is, the rest of the world.

While in Paris, Clinton held a joint press conference with her counterpart Kouchner and said, “we…discussed the results of the London meetings on Yemen and Afghanistan. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We appreciate greatly the support that France has given in developing a European police force mission to support NATO in its effort to train police.

“We will be consulting even more closely. Our work in Africa is particularly important. I applaud France for resuming diplomatic relations with Rwanda, and I also appreciate greatly the work that Bernard and the government here is doing in Guinea and in other African countries.” [1]

Guinea (Conakry) is a former French colony.

Two days before she made a similar joint appearance in London with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Abdullah al-Qirbi. Yemen is a former British colony. The conference on that country held on January 27 also included the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prince Saud Al-Faisal, but not Secretary General Amr Moussa or any other representative of the 22-member Arab League.

Having the foreign minister of the unpopular government in Yemen that the U.S. is waging a covert – and not so covert – war to defend against mass opposition in both the north and south of the nation and the foreign minister of the nation that is bombing villages and killing hundreds of civilians in the north was sufficient for the Barack Obama and Gordon Brown governments. A war on the Arabian peninsula whose three major belligerents are the Yemeni government, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. is not viewed by Washington and London as a matter that 20 other Arab nations need to be consulted about.

Clinton delivered comments on the occasion that were exactly what were required to obscure the real state of affairs in Yemen in furtherance of her nation’s military campaign there: “The United States is intensifying security and development efforts with Yemen. We are encouraged by the Government of Yemen’s recent efforts to take action against al-Qaida and against other extremist groups. They have been relentlessly pursuing the terrorists who threaten not only Yemen but the Gulf region and far beyond, here to London and to our country in the United States.” [2]

Bombing Shia civilians in the country’s north and resorting to the preferred “diplomatic” intervention of the last four American secretaries of state – cruise missiles – in the south in the name of protecting London from Osama bin Laden is yet another illustration of how a nation behaves when it doesn’t have a formal diplomatic corps.

In the same breath she added “The Yemeni people deserve the opportunity to determine their own future,” when there was nothing further from her mind.

She acknowledged that “a longstanding protest movement continues” in the south and that fighting in the north “has left many thousands dead and more than 200,000 displaced” – without in any manner alluding to Saudi armed assaults in the north and U.S. cruise missile attacks in the south – but her focus remained firmly on “extremists who incite violence and inflict harm.” American bombs and missiles, of course, are nonviolent and harmless in the Secretary’s us-versus-them view of statecraft.

Clinton didn’t miss an opportunity to dress down her nation’s client Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh – “This must be a partnership if it is to have a successful outcome” – for his failure to adequately “protect human rights, advance gender equity, build democratic institutions and the rule of law.” The U.S. may extend its Afghanistan-Pakistan war into the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa [3] in nominal support of the Yemeni head of state and his Somali counterpart President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, but they and their like – Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai and Pakistan’s Asif Ali Zardari – should not for a minute forget who is in charge and who makes the rules.

The secretary of state had nothing to say about the condition of human rights, gender equality and so forth in Saudi Arabia and America’s other military vassals in the Persian Gulf. Medieval monarchies and hereditary autocracies that host American military bases, buy billions of dollars of advanced weapons from Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman and are home to the U.S. 5th Fleet are not subjected to homilies on human rights and “democratic institutions.”

On the day of the London conference on Afghanistan Clinton, flanked by the foreign ministers of Africa’s two former major colonial masters, Britain’s David Miliband and France’s Bernard Kouchner, also delivered a lecture to the government of Nigeria, ordering it to address “electoral reform, post-amnesty programs in the Niger Delta, economic development, inter-faith discord and transparency.” [4]

At the January 28 International Conference on Afghanistan, attended by the foreign ministers of all 28 NATO member states and dozens of NATO partnership underlings with troops in the South Asian war zone – the “international community” as the West defines it – Clinton complemented the Pentagon’s allies and satraps:

“I think that what we have seen is a global challenge that is being met with a global response. I especially thank the countries that have committed additional troops, leading with our host country, the United Kingdom, but including Italy, Germany, Romania.” [5]

She will need yet more troops in the near future for a far larger conflict than those the U.S. and NATO are currently involved with in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia if the following comments contribute to the results they appear to intend:

“I also had a chance to discuss Iran’s refusal to engage with the international community on its nuclear program. They continue to violate IAEA and Security Council requirements.

“The revelation of Iran’s secret nuclear facility at Qom has raised further questions about Iran’s intentions. And in response to these questions, the Iranian Government has provided a continuous stream of threats to intensify its violation of international nuclear norms. Iran’s approach leaves us with little choice but to work with our partners to apply greater pressure….”

Washington and its main NATO partners Britain, France and Germany along with miscellaneous allies around the world – “rogue” nuclear powers India, Israel and Pakistan among them (who know who to align with and purchase arms from) – dictate the terms on matters ranging from the proper holding of elections to which nation can develop a civilian nuclear power program. Any country outside the “Euro-Atlantic” and “international” communities faces censure, threats, “greater pressure” and ultimately military attack.

The U.S. has a population of 300 million and the European Union of 500 million, combined well under one-eighth that of the world. Yet the two, whose military wing is NATO, hold “international conferences” on Asia, the Middle East and other parts of the world and presume to deliver ultimatums to all other nations.

To cite a recent example, the New York Times reported that “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned China on [January 29] that it would face economic insecurity and diplomatic isolation if it did not sign on to tough new sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program, seeking to raise the pressure on Beijing to fall in line with an American-led campaign.” [6] On the same day “The Obama administration notified Congress on Friday of its plans to proceed with five arms sales transactions with Taiwan worth a total of $6.4 billion. The arms deals include 60 Black Hawk helicopters, Patriot interceptor missiles, advanced Harpoon missiles that can be used against land or ship targets and two refurbished minesweepers.” [7]

Clinton has joined in the U.S. chorus of hectoring of China since she took up her current post last year, in May even raising the specter of Chinese penetration of Latin America.

China is not Afghanistan or Yemen. It is not even Iran. The last generation’s foreign policy hubris and megalomania of the West, epitomized by its wars in Southeast Europe and South Asia and the Middle East, may be headed into far more dangerous territory.

Grandiosity, arrogance and perceived impunity blind those afflicted with them, whether individuals or nations.

No clearer example exists than Secretary Clinton’s remarks in Paris on January 29.

To demonstrate the worldview of those she represents – that the United States and Europe are the incontestable metropolises and rulers by right of the planet – early in her address Clinton said “I appreciate the opportunity to discuss a matter of great consequence to the United States, France, and every country on this continent and far beyond the borders: the future of European security.” [8]

That is, the U.S. arrogates to itself the prerogative of not only speaking with authority on the security of a continent 3,500 miles away but intervening around the world in its alleged defense.

Flattering her hosts, she further said: “As founding members of the NATO Alliance, our countries have worked side by side for decades to build a strong and secure Europe and to defend and promote democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. And I am delighted that we are working even more closely now that France is fully participating in NATO’s integrated command structure. I thank President Sarkozy for his leadership and look forward to benefiting from the counsel of our French colleagues as together we chart NATO’s future.”

Regarding the phrase “to defend and promote democracy, human rights, and the rule of law,” evocative of almost identical terms used two days earlier in reference to Yemen, Clinton’s Paris speech was fairly overflowing with similar language.

The words recently have been tarnished and debased so thoroughly by the use they have frequently served – justifying war – that they are at risk of deteriorating into not so much noble as suspect abstractions.

Worse yet, they are incantations employed to praise oneself for uniquely possessing them and to castigate others who don’t. [“Our work extends beyond Europe as well….European and American voices speak as one to denounce the gross violations of human rights in Iran.” But not in Saudi Arabia, Western Sahara, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, post-“independence” Kosovo, Estonia and Latvia, etc.]

Clinton’s speech contained these terms and phrases in the following sequence:

democracy, human rights, and the rule of law

unity, partnership, and peace

global progress

reconciliation, cooperation, and community

security and our prosperity

importance of liberty and freedom

peace and security

development, democracy, and human rights

human potential

democratic institutions and the rule of law

progress and stability

democracy and stability

accountable, effective governments

economic and democratic development

expanding opportunity

development and greater stability

defend and promote human rights

peace and opportunity and prosperity

defending and advancing our values in the world

a Europe transformed, secure, democratic, unified and prosperous

The last is a variant of A Europe Whole And Free [9] first employed by President George H.W. Bush in 1989 to inaugurate his putative new world order.

As will be seen by further excerpts from her address (as well as its location and context), Clinton’s use of the above expressions was, as noted, both self-congratulatory and in contradistinction to the implied lack of what they pertain to in the world outside of the Euro-Atlantic community and its approved allies elsewhere.

Again taking up the theme of Western superiority and the need for the Euro-Atlantic precedent to be enforced on others, she said “European security is, not only to the individual nations, but to the world. It is, after all, more than a collection of countries linked by history and geography. It is a model for the transformative power of reconciliation, cooperation, and community.”

However, “much important work remains unfinished. The transition to democracy is incomplete in parts of Europe and Eurasia.” The subjugation of Europe’s eastern “hinterlands” will be explored later in relation to her comments on the European Union’s Eastern Partnership and related matters.

“The transatlantic partnership has been both a cornerstone of global security and a powerful force for global progress.

“NATO is revising its Strategic Concept to prepare for the alliance’s summit at the end of this year here at (inaudible). I know there’s a lot of thinking going on about strategic threats and how to meet them. Next week, at the Munich Security Conference, leaders from across the continent will address urgent security and foreign policy challenges.

“The United States, too, has also been studying ways to strengthen European security and, therefore our own security, and to extend it to foster security on a global scale.”

To elite trans-Atlantic policy makers the above paragraphs’ meaning is indisputable: The use of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization military bloc – the true foundation of the “transatlantic partnership” – in waging war in and effectively colonizing the Balkans and in expanding into Eastern Europe, incorporating twelve new nations including former Warsaw Pact members and Soviet republics, is the worldwide paradigm for the West in the 21st century.

That mechanism, using Europe as NATO’s springboard for geopolitical aggrandizement in the east and the south, is being applied at the moment against larger adversaries than the bloc has tackled before now:

“European security remains an anchor of U.S. foreign and security policy. A strong Europe is critical to our security and our prosperity. Much of what we hope to accomplish globally depends on working together with Europe….And so we are working with European allies and partners to help bring stability to Afghanistan and try to take on the dangers posed by Iran’s nuclear ambition.”

“We have repeatedly called on Russia to honor the terms of its ceasefire agreement with Georgia, and we refuse to recognize Russia’s claims of independence for Abkhazia and South Ossetia. More broadly, we object to any spheres of influence claimed in Europe in which one country seeks to control another’s future. Our security depends upon nations being able to choose their own destiny.”

The final sentence is galling beyond endurance, coming as it does from the foreign policy chief of a nation with hundreds of thousands of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and which with its NATO allies waged war against Yugoslavia and tore the nation apart.

The one preceding it is equally absurd, as Clinton repeatedly insists on the right of the U.S. to be not only a major player on the European continent but the main arbiter of military, security, political, energy and other policies there while denouncing Russia – it didn’t need to be named – for alleged designs to establish a “sphere of influence” in neighboring states.

“Security in Europe must be indivisible. For too long, the public discourse around Europe’s security has been fixed on geographical and political divides. Some have looked at the continent even now and seen Western and Eastern Europe, old and new Europe, NATO and non-NATO Europe, EU and non-EU Europe. The reality is that there are not many Europes; there is only one Europe. And it is a Europe that includes the United States as its partner….We are closer than ever to achieving the goal that has inspired European and American leaders and citizens – not only a Europe transformed, secure, democratic, unified and prosperous, but a Euro-Atlantic alliance that is greater than the sum of its parts….” For decades, indeed since the end of World War II, American leaders have been “inspired” by a vision of a Europe transformed and unified – under NATO military command and a European Union serving as the civilian, and increasingly military, complement to the Alliance.

“NATO must and will remain open to any country that aspires to become a member and can meet the requirements of membership,” even Ukraine where the overwhelming majority of its citizens oppose being pulled into the military bloc. [“We stand with the people of Ukraine as they choose their next elected president in the coming week, an important step in Ukraine’s journey toward democracy, stability, and integration into Europe. And we are devoting ourselves to efforts to resolve enduring conflicts, including in the Caucasus and on Cyprus.”]

And should a nation be incorporated into the bloc even against the will of its people, then the U.S. “will maintain an unwavering commitment to the pledge enshrined in Article 5 of the NATO treaty that an attack on one is an attack on all. When France and our other NATO allies invoked Article 5 in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11th, 2001, it was a proclamation to the world that our promise to each other was not rhetorical, but real….And for that, I thank you. And I assure you and all members of NATO that our commitment to Europe’s defense is equally strong.

“As proof of that commitment, we will continue to station American troops in Europe, both to deter attacks and respond quickly if any occur. We are working with our allies to ensure that NATO has the plans it needs for responding to new and evolving contingencies. We are engaged in productive discussions with our European allies about building a new missile defense architecture….”

Washington is uncompromisingly bent on expanding NATO even further along Russia’s borders – Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Finland – despite misgivings among some NATO allies in Europe, and will use the Alliance’s Article 5 war clause to “protect” those new outposts. It will also drag all of Europe into its worldwide interceptor missile system.

And not against military threats – there is no military threat to any European nation – but against a veritable plethora of phantom pretexts, including so-called cyber and energy security, both of which are subterfuges for the U.S. to intervene against Russia. A host of other ploys for NATO intervention were added, many from NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s 17-point list of last year [10]: Iran’s nuclear program, “confronting North Korea’s defiance of its international obligations,” “tackling non-traditional threats such as pandemic disease, cyber warfare, and the trafficking of children” and the “need to be doing even more, such as in missile defense, counternarcotics, and Afghanistan.” Anything and everything is grist to the U.S.’s and NATO’s mill.

As Clinton put it, “In the 21st century, the spirit of collective defense must also include non-traditional threats. We believe NATO’s new Strategic Concept must address these new threats. Energy security is a particularly pressing priority. Countries vulnerable to energy cut-offs face not only economic consequences but strategic risks as well. And I welcome the recent establishment of the U.S.-EU Energy Council, and we are determined to support Europe in its efforts to diversify its energy supplies.”

Diversifying energy supplies is a code phrase for driving Russia and keeping Iran out of oil and natural gas deliveries to Europe. If the tables were turned the U.S. would view – and treat – such a policy as an act of war.

The global expansion of the American agenda in Europe was indicated further in Clinton’s remarks that “This partnership is about so much more than strengthening our security. At its core, it is about defending and advancing our values in the world. I think it is particularly critical today that we not only defend those values in the world. I think it is particularly critical today that we not only defend those values, but promote them; that we are not only on defense, but on offense.”

And placing the current world situation in historical perspective, she said: “We are continuing the enterprise that we began at the end of the Cold War to expand the zone of democracy and stability. We have worked together this year to complete the effort we started in the 1990s to help bring peace and stability to the Balkans. And we are working closely with the EU to support the six countries that the EU engages through its Eastern Partnership initiative.”

The Eastern Partnership is a U.S.-backed European Union program to pull six of twelve former Soviet republics that formed the Commonwealth of Independent States into the Western orbit: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. [11] Armenia and Belarus are members with Russia of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a potential counterbalance to NATO’s drive into the former Soviet Union. Along with Serbia and Cyprus, those nations represent the last obstacles to NATO, and behind it the U.S., securing control of all of Europe.

Clinton also had the audacity to raise the issues of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE), the first almost two months beyond its December 5 expiration and the other, in its adapted form, not ratified by a single member state of NATO, which – led by the U.S. – is exploiting its suspension for military buildups in new Eastern European nations.

“Two years ago, Russia suspended the implementation of the CFE Treaty, while the United States and our allies continue to do so. The Russia-Georgia war in 2008 was not only a tragedy but has created a further obstacle to moving forward….” The U.S. and NATO have justified their non-ratification of the Adapted Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty by demanding that Russia withdraw a small handful of peacekeepers it maintains in post-conflict zones in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transdniester. Had those forces been withdrawn earlier under Western pressure, Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia in 2008, coordinated with an attack on Abkhazia, might have proven successful for its American-trained army.

Part of Clinton’s self-serving interpretation of the CFE Treaty is “the right of host countries to consent to stationing foreign troops in their territory.” That is, U.S. and NATO and decidedly not Russia troops. There can be no spheres of influence in former Soviet space – except the West’s.

Her understanding of an autonomous Europe not “besieged” by Russia and Iran – and North Korea – includes not only stationing American troops on its soil but also nuclear weapons, hundreds of which are still housed in NATO bases in several European countries. “President Obama declared the long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons. As long as these weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure, and effective arsenal to deter any adversary, and we will guarantee that defense to our allies.

“[W]e are conducting a comprehensive Nuclear Posture Review to chart a new course that strengthens deterrence and reassurance for the United States and our allies….” Clinton didn’t indicate which European nations have requested to be placed under the Pentagon’s nuclear shield.

After her presentation Clinton answered questions from the audience at the French Military Academy.

Her extemporaneous comments were even more revealing that her prepared text.

They included:

“When it comes to NATO, I think that greater integration on the European continent provides even more opportunity for the level of cooperation to increase.

“But I think, given the complexity of the world today, closer cooperation and more complementarity between the EU and NATO is in all of our interests to try to forge common policies – economic and development and political and legal on the one hand in the EU, and principally security on the other hand in NATO. But as I said in my remarks, they are no longer separated. It’s hard to say that security is only about what it was when NATO was formed, and the EU has no role to play in security issues.”

NATO’s new Strategic Concept lays particular emphasis on the advancement – indeed the culmination – of U.S.-EU-NATO global military integration. [12]

Regarding the implementation of that project, Clinton stipulated the issue of energy wars. “[I]t would be the EU’s responsibility to create policies that would provide more independence and protections from intimidation when it comes to energy markets from member nations. But I can also see how in certain cases respecting energy, there may be a role for NATO as well.”

When asked about what in recent years has been referred to as Global NATO “extending the boundaries of NATO to non-Western countries, emerging powers like Brazil, India, other democracies that might fulfill their criteria,” Clinton advocated a series of expanding partnerships in addition to the Partnership for Peace, Adriatic Charter, Mediterranean Dialogue, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, Contact Country, Trilateral Afghanistan-Pakistan-NATO Military Commission and others that take in over a third of the nations in the world:

“How do we cooperate across geographic distance with countries in other hemispheres, different geopolitical challenges? And there is a modern living example of that with the NATO ISAF commitment in Afghanistan.

“In many ways, it’s quite remarkable, the success of this alliance. Yesterday at the London conference on Afghanistan, as you know, the United States, under President Obama, has agreed to put 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan. And member nations, NATO and ISAF – the international partners – have come up with a total of 9,000 more troops….NATO is leading the way, but NATO has to determine in what ways it can cooperate with others. I think that the world that we face of failing states, non-state actors, networks of terrorists, rogue regimes – North Korea being a prime example – really test the international community. And it’s a test we have to pass. Now, there are some who say this is too complicated, it is out of area, it is not our responsibility. But given the nature of the threats we face, I don’t think that’s an adequate response.

“[C]yber security breaches, concerted attacks on networks and countries, are likely to cross borders. We have to know how to defend against them and we have to enlist nations who are likeminded to work with. Similarly, with energy problems, attacks on pipelines, attacks on container ships, attacks on electric grids will have consequences far beyond boundaries. And it won’t just be NATO nations. NATO nations border non-NATO nations.”

A small consortium of Western nations, two in North America and 26 in Europe – though most of the latter are nothing more than slavishly subservient junior partners – has appointed itself, for its own interests, the arbiter of world affairs in all matters from judging the political legitimacy of governments to who receives energy supplies from whom to the most urgent question of all, when and against whom wars can be launched. [13]

Clinton’s speech in Paris has signaled her country’s intention to formalize and extend that role throughout the world in the 21st century.

3) U.S., NATO Expand Afghan War To Horn Of Africa And Indian Ocean
Stop NATO, January 8, 2010
6) New York Times, January 29, 2010
7) New York Times, January 30, 2010
9) Berlin Wall: From Europe Whole And Free To New World Order
Stop NATO, November 9, 2009
10) Berlin Wall: From Europe Whole And Free To New World Order
Stop NATO, November 9, 2009
11) Eastern Partnership: The West’s Final Assault On the Former Soviet Union
Stop NATO, February 13, 2009
12) EU, NATO, US: 21st Century Alliance For Global Domination
Stop NATO, February 19, 2009
13) EU, NATO, US: 21st Century Alliance For Global Domination
Stop NATO, February 19, 2009

Categories: Uncategorized

Pentagon Confronts Russia In The Baltic Sea

January 28, 2010 2 comments

January 28, 2010

Pentagon Confronts Russia In The Baltic Sea
Rick Rozoff

Twelve months ago a new U.S. administration entered the White House as the world entered a new year.

Two and a half weeks later the nation’s new vice president, Joseph Biden, spoke at the annual Munich Security Conference and said “it’s time to press the reset button and to revisit the many areas where we can and should be working together with Russia.”

Incongruously to any who expected a change in tact if not substance regarding strained U.S.-Russian relations, in the same speech Biden emphasized that, using the “New World Order” shibboleth of the past generation at the end, “Two months from now, the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will gather to celebrate the 60th year of this Alliance. This Alliance has been the cornerstone of our common security since the end of World War II. It has anchored the United States in Europe and helped forge a Europe whole and free.” [1]

Six months before, while Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he rushed to the nation of Georgia five days after the end of the country’s five-day war with Russia as an emissary for the George W. Bush administration, and pledged $1 billion in assistance to the beleaguered regime of former U.S. resident Mikheil Saakashvili.

To demonstrate how serious Biden and the government he represented were about rhetorical gimmicks like reset buttons, four months after his Munich address Biden visited Ukraine and Georgia to shore up their “color revolution”-bred heads of state (outgoing Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is married to a Chicagoan and former Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush official) in their anti-Russian and pro-NATO stances.

While back in Georgia he insisted “We understand that Georgia aspires to join NATO. We fully support that aspiration.”

In Ukraine he said “As we reset the relationship with Russia, we reaffirm our commitment to an independent Ukraine, and we recognize no sphere of influence or no ability of any other nation to veto the choices an independent nation makes,” [2] also in reference to joining the U.S.-dominated military bloc. Biden’s grammar may have been murky, but his message was unmistakably clear.

Upon his return home Biden gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal, the contents of which were indicated by the title the newspaper gave its account of them – “Biden Says Weakened Russia Will Bend to U.S.” – and which were characterized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies as “the most critical statements from a senior administration official to date vis-a-vis Russia.” [3]

It took the Barack Obama government eight months to make its first friendly gesture to Russia. In September of last year the American president and Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that they were abandoning the Bush administration’s plan to station ten ground-based midcourse interceptor missiles in Poland in favor of a “stronger, smarter, and swifter” alternative.

The new system would rely on the deployment of Aegis class warships equipped with SM-3 (Standard Missile-3) missiles – with a range of at least 500 kilometers (310 miles) – which “provide the flexibility to move interceptors from one region to another if needed,” [4] in Gates’ words.

The first location for their deployment will be the Baltic Sea according to all indications.

The proximity of Russia’s two largest cities, St. Petersburg and Moscow, especially the first, to the Baltic coast makes the basing of American warships with interceptor missiles in that sea the equivalent of Russia stationing comparable vessels with the same capability in the Atlantic Ocean near Delaware Bay, within easy striking distance of New York City and Washington, D.C.

Although Washington canceled the earlier interceptor missile plans for Poland, on January 20 the defense ministry of that country announced that not only would the Pentagon go ahead with the deployment of a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 anti-ballistic missile battery in the country, but that it would be based on the Baltic Sea coast 35 miles from Russia’s Kaliningrad district. [5]

The previous month Viktor Zavarzin, the head of the Defense Committee of the Russian State Duma (the lower house of parliament), said “Russia is concerned with how rapidly new NATO members are upgrading their military infrastructure” and “that Russia was especially concerned with the reconstruction of air bases in the Baltic countries for NATO’s purposes which include signal and air intelligence radio of Russian territory.” [6]

As it should be.

Since the Baltic Sea nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were ushered into NATO as full members in 2004, warplanes from Alliance member states have shared four-month rotations in patrolling the region, with two U.S. deployments to date.

Shortly before the patrols began almost six years ago the Russian media reported that “Relations between Russia and Estonia have been tense ever since NATO built a radar station on the Russian-Estonian border last year. On March 23, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko warned Russia would retaliate ‘if NATO planes fly over Russian borders after the Baltic nations join the alliance.'” [7]

Last year the Obama-Biden administration went ahead with a series of major military exercises in the Baltic region:

The annual BALTOPS (Baltic Operations), the largest international military exercise conducted in the Baltic Sea, run by the U.S. Navy, NATO and the latter’s Partnership for Peace program which included naval forces from twelve nations – Britain, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the United States – led by U.S. Carrier Strike Group 12.

The 10-day Loyal Arrow 2009 NATO military exercises in Sweden with 50 jet fighters (the U.S. Air Force’s F-15 Eagle among them) and NATO AWACS.

The Cold Response 09 NATO exercises in Norway (north and west of the Baltic) with over 7,000 troops from thirteen nations as well as air and naval forces.

“Cold Response 2010 is expected to be even larger” than last year’s war games. [8] The U.S. Marine Corps “is planning Cold Response 2010, an exercise in Norway that could include a company of infantry Marines and a detachment of trainers with Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.” [9]

“The Corps has used caves carved into the sides of mountains here [Norway] for nearly 20 years, storing vehicles, equipment and ammunition later shipped everywhere from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to training exercises in Africa….[T]he Norwegians plan their security knowing that Marines will defend Norway in an attack using everything from Humvees to Howitzers that are already in place.” [10]

The Defense Professionals website in Germany published a report on January 26 of a meeting of the Nordic-Baltic Chiefs of Defense (Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Norway, Finland. Lithuania and Sweden) to plan the “Baltic Host, Sabre Strike, and Amber Hope exercises to be held in the Baltics this and the following year.”

“Exercise Baltic Host will be held this year in Latvia for participants from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and the US.” [11] Last year’s Baltic Host in Estonia included military personnel from that nation and from Latvia, Lithuania, United States European Command (EUCOM) and Strike Force NATO.

The earlier Amber Hope 07 was held in Lithuania and included the participation of over 1,700 troops from NATO and Partnership for Peace countries: Armenia, Britain, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, as well as representatives from NATO multinational headquarters.

Earlier this month a planning conference was held at the Gen. Adolfas Ramanauskas Warfare Training Center in Lithuania for the Sabre Strike 2010 military drills “where representatives of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and the US prepare[d] documentation and draft plans for the exercise which is scheduled to take place in Latvia in October 2010.”

“Sabre Strike 2010 will be designed to tune together interoperability procedures of the three Baltic States and the US with prospects of participation in the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) operation in Afghanistan and other multinational operations in the future. This exercise for the first time will pull together troops of the Baltic States and the US for a training event of such character.” [12]

2,000 troops from the four nations will take part and the war games will end with “a complex field exercise.” [13]

On January 28 the Helsingin Sanomat announced that “Finland is to play host to what is by far the largest naval military exercise that has ever been seen in Finnish territorial waters” in September which “will be joined by 50 ships and 2,500 persons.”

The Northern Coasts maneuvers will include warships and troops from Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Poland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States and will consist of both sea and land drills, and the “maritime operations will be supported by air and special troops.” [14]

Not only hosting the largest naval war games in its history – ones simulating “a conflict between two countries that has an effect on the surrounding countries as well” – Finland will provide “nearly the entire Navy fleet” for the operation.

A local reported inquired whether the maneuvers were related to Russia’s plans for a natural gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea:

“At least according to the Finnish Navy, the exercise does not have anything to do with the Baltic Sea’s planned underwater gas pipeline, Nord Stream.

“But at least off hand, Annele Apajakari, Chief Public Information Officer at Navy Command Finland, was unable to say why also the United States, the Netherlands, and France will be involved.” [15]

The preceding day the same newspaper ran a story about prospective NATO-Russia military tensions in the Baltic region and quoted retired Lieutenant-General Matti Ahola as warning: “If the United States were to bring its planned anti-missile vessels into the Baltic Sea, it would bring about a reaction.” [16]

That was a week after the announcement that U.S. Patriot missiles and 100 troops were headed to Poland’s – eastern – Baltic coast.

In an article bearing the headline “Thanks to Poland, the alliance will defend the Baltics,” the British weekly the Economist on January 14 wrote that NATO would “stand by its weakest members — the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania” – and was elaborating “formal contingency plans to defend them.”

The magazine reported that “The main push came from Poland, a big American ally in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the first to gain contingency plans — initially only against a putative (and implausible) attack from Belarus, a country barely a quarter of its size….Poland accelerated its push for a bilateral security relationship with America, including the stationing of Patriot anti-missile rockets on Polish soil in return for hosting a missile-defence base.” [17]

“Formal approval is still pending and the countries concerned have been urged to keep it under wraps. But sources close to the talks say the deal is done: the Baltic states will get their plans, probably approved by NATO’s military side rather than its political wing. They will be presented as an annex to existing plans regarding Poland, but with an added regional dimension. That leaves room for Sweden and Finland (not members of the alliance but increasingly close to it) to take a role in the planning too. A big bilateral American exercise already planned for the Baltic this summer is likely to widen to include other countries.” [18]

Poland is the prototype for and the foundation upon which the Pentagon and NATO are constructing a formidable military – naval, air, ground and interceptor missile – network in the Baltic Sea region on Russia’s northwest frontier.

Late last year Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vygaudas Usackas delivered a lecture called “The New NATO Strategic Concept: Lithuania’s Vision” to participants of the Higher Command Studies Course of the Baltic Defense College (BALTDEFCOL) in which he stated “NATO is the embodiment of transatlantic relations. NATO should remain open to western countries, such as Finland or Sweden, to eastern countries like Ukraine or Georgia, as well as to the Balkan countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and other countries.” [19] (The Baltic Defense College is based in Estonia and in addition to instructing officers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania also trains personnel from other NATO and EU states and countries like Bosnia, Georgia, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine.)

As well as advocating the incorporation of states neighboring Russia to its west and its south into NATO, the Lithuanian foreign minister asserted “that Article 5 was the basis of the organisation and it should remain the cornerstone of NATO in the future.” [20]

NATO’s Article 5 is a mutual military assistance obligation, the main substance of which is in its first paragraph, which reads:

“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 and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”

The outlines of a NATO “defense force” in the Baltic area and beyond were further delineated last November when it was revealed that Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine are to establish a “joint army.” The combined military unit “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.” [21]

Additionally, it will be linked to the Multinational Corps Northeast which was initially formed of Danish, German and Polish troops and later joined by forces from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. And the U.S. “[T]he Baltic military has cooperation experience with Polish troops. The Ukrainian military, too, has cooperation experience with NATO within the Partnership for Peace program….Establishment of a permanent brigade-class joint unit is expected to improve teamwork, allowing Ukrainians to grow into NATO’s command, staff, tactical and logistic culture.” [22]

The Multinational Corps Northeast has been used in Afghanistan where it has acquired direct combat zone experience.

The American client responsible for Ukraine’s abrupt pro-NATO orientation, President Viktor Yushchenko, barely won 5 percent of the vote in this year’s January 17 presidential election and is on his way out of office barring a reprise of the “orange revolution” of six years ago. Though at the NATO Military Committee meeting on January 27 Colonel-General Ivan Svyda, Chief of the General Staff and Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, announced that his nation was training troops for the NATO Response Force, a 25,000-troop global strike force. “The NATO Response Force (NRF) is a highly ready and technologically advanced force made up of land, air, sea and special forces components that the Alliance can deploy quickly wherever needed.

“It is capable of performing missions worldwide across the whole spectrum of operations….” [23]

The Ukrainian military chief announced “We selected 12 detachments that are undergoing training in line with NATO standards and represent all types and branches of troops, including engineer units, the marines, field engineers, chemical and biological defense troops and others. Up to 500 Ukrainian servicemen will participate in the [alliance’s response] force.” [24]

The U.S. and NATO intend Ukraine to serve as a bridge between their new outposts on the Baltic Sea to the north and Georgia and Azerbaijan on Russia’s southern border.

Ukraine is being mentored and shepherded into the NATO pen with the U.S. employing the Baltic states of Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as both models and guides. The same mechanism with the same actors is being used for Georgia.

Last month the defense ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania signed a communique on joint military collaboration which “welcomed closer military cooperation in the security sector between the Baltic States and the USA which also included joint exercises in the Baltic region.” [25]

After releasing the statement, the three defense chiefs visited the Adazi Training Base in Latvia and “met with Gen. Roger A. Brady, Commander US Air Forces in Europe and NATO Allied Air Component.

“In the communique the NATO operation in Afghanistan was underscored as a priority of all the Baltic States.” [26]

On January 1 the Trilateral Baltic Battalion (BALTBAT) – with troops from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – began duty in the 14th rotation of the NATO Response Force. “On the same date Lithuanians…also enter[ed] a half-year standby period in the EU Battle Group.” [27]

On the Western end of the Baltic, on January 17 Swedish Defense Minister Sten Tolgfors spoke on the Targeting Decisions on Strengthening Defense Capability (TDSDC) program launched on January 1, pledged that “Sweden will develop its national defense in cooperation with NATO and neighbors Finland, Denmark and Norway” and added:

“Our defense policy adds a new neighborhood perspective. The structure and direction of Sweden’s Armed Forces will continue to have a clear Baltic profile. We have northern Europe’s largest and most qualified Air Force that is twice as large as any of our neighbors, and it has a full operational range.”

“It is the biggest renewal of security and defense policy for decades in Sweden. We will use 2010 to make the requisite decisions to carry out the modernization of our military, and civilian crisis, management capabilities.” [28]

Under the new program all members of the Swedish armed forces, now transitioned from a conscript to an all-volunteer (according to NATO demands for military “professionalization” of member and partner states) status, “are to be available for deployment at home or abroad in five to seven days in situations of ‘heightened alert.'” [29]

“In the old system, a third of the forces – which in 2008 meant 11,400 military personnel – were supposed to be able to deploy within one year from mobilization. In the new defence system, all 50,000 members of the forces would have to be ‘usable and available’ within a week….The soldiers in the conscript army could never be used for missions outside Sweden’s borders, but now that all soldiers will either be full-time employees or on contract, they will be available to deploy anywhere….New is also the focus on the Baltic Sea Region.” [30]

Last autumn a German Luftwaffe Eurofighter intercepted a Russian plane over the Baltic Sea. “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.” [31]

This month NATO extended its Baltic warplane deployments until 2014. “The Baltic skies are presently secured by the so-called NATO air police, which in addition to fighter planes also provide air defense systems and manpower.” [32]

Added to the permanent presence of Western military aircraft are now American Patriot missiles and troops to operate them in Poland, “a demonstrative anti-Russian move” according to a leading general of the latter nation. [33]

Persistent U.S. and NATO military moves are threatening to turn the Baltic Sea region into a powder keg that another hostile encounter between Western and Russian military aircraft could ignite at any time.

As to government officials and the news media in Russia, a year is a sufficiently long period of time to awaken from the illusion of an imaginative rest button that will reverse a decade of NATO penetration of the Baltic Sea and the consolidation of military infrastructure there aimed squarely – and exclusively – at their own nation.

Related articles:

Scandinavia And The Baltic Sea: NATO’s War Plans For The High North

Afghan War: NATO Trains Finland, Sweden For Conflict With Russia

End of Scandinavian Neutrality: NATO’s Militarization Of Europe

ABC Of West’s Global Military Network: Afghanistan, Baltics, Caucasus

1) Berlin Wall: From Europe Whole And Free To New World Order
Stop NATO, November 9, 2009
2) Associated Press, July 23, 2009
3) Center for Strategic and International Studies, July 28, 2009
4) Russia Today, September 17, 2009
5) With Nuclear, Conventional Arms Pacts Stalled, U.S. Moves Missiles And
Troops To Russian Border
Stop NATO, January 22, 2010
6) Voice of Russia, December 8, 2009
7) RosBusinessConsulting, March 26, 2004
8) Barents Observer, March 4, 2009
9) Marine Corps Times, July 21, 2009
10) Ibid
11) Defense Professionals, January 26, 2010
12) Lithuanian Armed Forces, January 11, 2010
13) Ibid
14) Helsingin Sanomat, January 28, 2010
15) Ibid
16) Helsingin Sanomat, January 27, 2010
17) Economist, January 14, 2010
18) Ibid
19) Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, November 28, 2009
20) Ibid
21) Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 18, 2009
22) Ibid
24) Ukrinform, January 28, 2010
25) Defense Professionals, December 14, 2009
26) Ibid
27) Defense Professionals, January 4, 2010
28) Defense News, January 25, 2010
29) Ibid
30) Radio Sweden, January 18, 2010
31) The Local (Germany), November 3, 2009
32) Russian Information Agency Novosti, January 4, 2010
33) Interfax-Ukraine, January 20, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Gefährlicher Scheideweg: Die USA stationieren Raketen und Truppen an der russischen Grenze

January 28, 2010 Leave a comment

January 28, 2010

Gefährlicher Scheideweg: Die USA stationieren Raketen und Truppen an der russischen Grenze
Rick Rozoff

Atomwaffensperrvertrag und Sperrverträge über konventionelle Waffen sind ausgesetzt


Das Jahr 2010 begann auf eine Art, wie es sich eigentlich mehr für den dritten Monat des Jahres, der nach dem römischen Kriegsgott benannt ist, geziemt und nicht für den ersten Monat, dessen Name von einer friedlichen Gottheit herrührt.

Am 13.01.2010 berichtete Associated Press, dass das Weiße Haus am 01.02.2010 seinen Vierjahres-Verteidigungs-Bericht an den Kongress übermitteln will und eine Rekordsumme in Höhe von USD 708 Milliarden für das Pentagon fordert. Das ist der höchste absolute, wie auch inflationsbereinigte Betrag seit 1946, dem Jahr nachdem der Zweite Weltkrieg endete. Nehmen wir noch die anderen Verteidigungsausgaben hinzu, die nicht über das Pentagon laufen, könnte die Gesamtsumme USD 1 Billion übersteigen.

Die USD 708 Milliarden beinhalten zum ersten Mal Gelder für die Kriege in Afghanistan und im Irak, welche in den vorangegangenen Jahren zum Teil durch wiederkehrende ergänzende Anforderungen finanziert wurden, enthalten jedoch nicht die im oben genannten Bericht als erste Notanfrage der neuen Regierung angegebene Forderung für denselben Zweck: Angeblich USD 33 Milliarden.

Diesen Monat haben bereits mehrere NATO-Länder weitere Truppen zugesagt und das sogar noch vor der Londoner Konferenz am 28.01.2010, bei der tausende zusätzlicher Truppen dem Krieg zugeteilt werden könnten, in dem bereits über 150.000 Soldaten unter dem Kommando der USA und NATO dienen oder bald ihren Dienst antreten werden.

Washington hat in Pakistan seine tödlichen Raketenangriffe mit Drohnen verstärkt und fordert, dass dieses Modell auch für den Jemen übernommen wird. Dies wird vor allem durch den Senator Carl Levin, den Vorsitzenden des Militärausschusses des Senats (Senate Armed Services Committee), gefordert, der am 13.01.2010 für Luftangriffe und Operationen durch Sondereinsatzkräfte in dem Land plädierte. [1]

Das Pentagon wird unter einem 10-Jahres Militärabkommen, das am 30.10.2009 unterzeichnet wurde, mit der Entsendung von 1.400 Soldaten nach Kolumbien beginnen um sieben neue Basen einzurichten. [2]

In diesem Jahre werden die USA auch ihre USD 110 Millionen teuren Militärbasen in Bulgarien und Rumänien fertigstellen um dort mindestens 4.000 amerikanische Soldaten zu stationieren. [3]

Das neueste Regionalkommando des Pentagons, Africa Command, wird über die aktuellen Operationen zur Bekämpfung Aufständischer in Somalia, Mali und Uganda hinaus seine Aktivitäten entlang der Küsten des Kontinents ausweiten und von einer neu erworbenen Anlage auf den Seychellen Drohnen aufsteigen lassen. [4]

Aber dieser Monat brachte noch dramatischere Entwicklungen und gefährliche Neuigkeiten mit sich. Das Pentagon bewilligte den Abschluss eines USD 6,5 Milliarden Waffengeschäfts mit Taiwan über die Lieferung von 200 antiballistischen Patriot Raketen. Die Volksrepublik China ist entzürnt, so wie es auch Washington wäre, wenn sich die Situation umgekehrt darstellte und Peking ein vergleichbares Waffenarsenal beispielsweise an das unabhängige Puerto Rico lieferte. [5]

Als wäre diese Aktion nicht provokativ genug gewesen, gab der polnische Verteidigungsminister am 20.01.2010 bekannt, dass eine U.S.-Patriot Raketenbatterie und 100 amerikanische Soldaten, welche diese betreiben, nicht wie ursprünglich vorgesehen an den westlichen Ausläufern der Hauptstadt Warschau, sondern in der an der Ostsee gelegenen Stadt Morag, 60 Kilometer von Polens Grenze zu Russland entfernt [6], stationiert werden.

Es ist geplant, dass die Raketenbatterie und die Truppen zwischen März und April eintreffen. Als Teil von Obamas neuen Raketenschutzschildprojekts werden sie bei der NATO integriert um ganz Europa zu umfassen und bis in den Nahen Osten sowie den Kaukasus hineinzureichen. Den Patriot-Raketen folgt dann die Stationierung von Kriegsschiffen mit Standard-3-Abfangraketen (Standard Missile-3, SM-3) in der Ostsee und, das erste Mal überhaupt, die Aufstellung von bodenbasierten Raketen dieser Art. „Das Pentagon wird Kommandoposten mit SM-3-Raketen verlegen, welche Kurzstrecken- wie auch Mittelstreckenraketen abfangen können…“[7] Eine SM-3 Rakete wurde Februar 2008 vom Pentagon dazu verwendet einen Satelliten in die Umlaufbahn zu schießen, um mal eine Angabe zur Reichweite zu liefern.

Weitere Stationierungen werden folgen.

Das neue Raketenabfangsystem der Nach-George-W.-Bush-Regierung wird „vorhandene auf dem Boden und auf See befindliche Raketen [einsetzen]…Die Stationierung verbesserter Raketenverteidigung würde sich bis 2020 erstrecken. Der erste Schritt ist die Bewaffnung von Zerstörern und Kreuzern mit seebasierten Waffensystemen der Aegis-Klasse.“ [8]

„Anschließend würde in einem europäischen Land ein mobiles Radarsystem stationiert…Später würden auch an anderen Orten in Europa höher entwickelte, mobile Systeme stationiert werden. Ihr Herzstück werden…Lockheeds Terminal High Altitude Defense Abfangraketen und verbesserte Standard-3 IB Raketen von…Raytheon sein.“ [9]

Letzten Dezember unterzeichnete Washington eine Truppenstatutsvereinbarung (SOFA), welche Pläne „zur militärischen Stationierung amerikanischer Truppen und militärischer Ausrüstung auf polnischem Gebiet“ formalisiert und „den Weg für die versprochene Stationierung von Patriot-Raketen und US-Truppen…als Teil einer aufgewerteten NATO-Luftverteidigung in Europa freimacht.“ [10]

Im Oktober, kurz nachdem der US-Vizepräsident Joseph Biden Warschau besuchte um den Plan zum Abschluss zu bringen, traf sich der stellvertretende polnische Verteidigungsminister, Stanislaw Komorowski, mit seinem Gegenüber der USA, dem stellvertretenden Verteidigungsminister für internationale Sicherheitsangelegenheiten, Alexander Vershbow, und gab bekannt, dass amerikanische Raketen „gefechtsbereit sein werden und keine Attrappen, wie Washington zuvor vorschlug.“ In demselben Bericht wird zusätzlich angemerkt, dass „Ukrainische und amerikanische Beamte zuvor mitteilten, dass ukrainisches Gebiet auf irgendeine Art bei dem neuen Antiraketenschild genutzt werden könnte.“ [11] Polen grenzt an die russische Enklave Kaliningrad, wohingegen die Ukraine 1.576 Kilometer Grenze mit Russland hat.

Das US-Außenministerium veröffentlichte eine Presseerklärung zu dem Vertrag über die Stationierung amerikanischer Truppen in Polen, den ersten ausländischen Streitkräften die seit dem Ende des Warschauer Pakts 1991 in Polen stationiert werden sollen: „Die Vereinbarung wird ein Spektrum gemeinsam vereinbarter Aktivitäten erleichtern, wozu gemeinsame Ausbildung und Übungen, Stationierungen von US-Militär und voraussichtlich die Stationierung ballistischer Abwehrraketen gehören.“ [12]

Ein Sprecher des Pentagons sagte: „Die US-Armee wird der polnischen Armee bei der Entwicklung ihrer Luft- und Raketenverteidigung helfen. Wenn man das gemeinsame Training bedenkt, was wir mit der polnischen Armee bereits durchführen, so ist dieses Patriot-Trainingsprogramm nur eine Erweiterung dieser Bemühung.“ [13]

Wenn die früheren Pläne, landbasierte Mittelstreckenraketen in Polen zu stationieren, eine, wenn auch unlogische, iranische Raketenbedrohung heraufbeschworen, so können die Patriot-Raketen nur für Russland gemeint sein.

Der russische Generalleutnant Aitech Bizhev, früherer Kommandant der Luftabwehrsysteme der Gemeinschaft Unabhängiger Staaten, teilte einer der großen Nachrichtenagenturen seines Landes mit:

„Es ist völlig unklar, warum die Luftverteidigungsgruppe der NATO-Nordflanke eine Stärkung braucht – die NATO hat mannigfaltige Überlegenheit gegenüber der bestehenden konventionellen Militärtechnik Russlands.

Es kann nicht ausgeschlossen werden, dass der Stationierung von Patriot-Raketen in Polen eine Reihe weiterer Aktionen folgen um die militärische Infrastruktur der Amerikaner in Osteuropa weiter auszubauen…“ [14]

Der Vertrag zur Verringerung strategischer Nuklearwaffen (START) über die Reduzierung und Begrenzung strategischer Offensivwaffen, der zum 05.12.2009 auslief, ist verlängert worden. Aber nach 48 Tagen ist immer noch kein neuer Vertrag zustande gekommen.

Ende letzten Jahres ist der russische Staatspräsident Vladimir Putin zur Verzögerung befragt worden und identifizierte das Haupthindernis, das einer Lösung entgegensteht: „Was ist das Problem? Das Problem ist, dass unsere amerikanischen Partner ein Antiraketenschild errichten und wir keins aufbauen.“

Er führte weiter aus: „Wenn wir kein Antiraketenschild entwickeln, dann besteht die Gefahr, dass sich unsere Partner durch die Schaffung eines solchen „Schirmes“ völlig sicher fühlen werden und es sich daher erlauben können zu tun, was sie wollen, das Gleichgewicht zu stören und die Aggressivität wird umgehend ansteigen.“

Bezüglich der Aussichten, wie es um eine Reduzierung, viel weniger um eine Abschaffung, nuklearer Waffen in Europa und Amerika stünde, ergänzte Putin: „Um das Gleichgewicht zu erhalten…müssen wir ein offensives Waffensystem entwickeln.“ [15] Er wiederholte damit die in der Woche zuvor gemachte Aussage seines ersten stellvertretenden Ministerpräsidenten Medwedew. Das Timing der Ankündigung, dass das Pentagon bald mit der Stationierung von Patriot-Raketen nahe russischen Gebiets beginnt, wird der Sache nicht dienlich sein. Genauso wenig, wie die Behauptung des US-Außenministeriums, dass „die START Nachfolgevereinbarung nicht das geeignete Mittel zur Adressierung“ des Themas von „Raketenangriff und Raketenverteidigung“ ist. [16]

Einen Monat zuvor enthüllten russische Medien, dass „Russlands Strategische Raketenstreitkräfte (SMF), die landbasierte Komponente der nuklearen Dreiergruppe, bis Ende 2009 ein zweites mit einem mobilen Topol-M Raketensystem ausgestattetes Regiment in Gefechtsbereitschaft versetzen werden.

Von der Topol-M-Rakete, mit einer Reichweite von rund 11.000 Kilometern, wird gesagt, dass sie gegenüber der aktuellen und künftigen U.S.-ABM [Antiballistische Raketen] Verteidigung immun sei. Sie ist in der Lage Ausweichmanöver durchzuführen um in der Anflugphase eine Zerstörung durch Abfangraketen [zum Beispiel Patriot-Raketen] zu vermeiden und verfügt über Gegenmaßnahmen und Täuschziele zur Zielablenkung.“ [17]

Genauso, wie die Belieferung Taiwans mit kampfwertgesteigerten antiballistischen Patriot-Raketen (PAC-3) China dazu veranlasste am 11.01.2010 eine bodenbasierte Mittelstreckenabfangübung durchzuführen, ist die Verlegung von US-Militärtechnik und Soldaten an Russland heran ein schlechtes Vorzeichen für einen Vertrag zur Verringerung von Nuklearwaffen.

An der nichtstrategischen Front wird der Vertrag über Konventionelle Streitkräfte in Europa (KSE-Vertrag), der die Menge und Ausweitung von Rüstungsgütern auf dem Kontinent begrenzt, durch die Pläne der USA und der NATO für ein Raketenschild ebenfalls ernsthaft aufs Spiel gesetzt. Der adaptierte KSE-Vertrag von 1999 ist von keinem NATO-Mitgliedsland ratifiziert worden, was sie mit den sogenannten „gefrorenen Konflikten“ der früheren Sowjetunion in Verbindung brachten. Der Georgisch-Russische Krieg im August 2008 war eine Folge dieser quertreiberischen und angriffslustigen Politik. Die Etablierung von ständigen U.S.- und NATO-Militärbasen im Kosovo, in Bulgarien, Rumänien, Litauen und jetzt in Polen ist ein grober Verstoß und könnte sich als Todesstoß für den KSE-Vertrag erweisen.

Russland hat die Einhaltung seiner Verpflichtungen unter dem KSE-Vertrag am 14.07.2007 wegen „außerordentlicher Umstände [ausgesetzt]…, welche die Sicherheit der Russischen Föderation beeinträchtigen und umgehender Maßnahmen bedürfen.“ [18]

Bei den Umständen, auf die angespielt wurde, handelte es sich um das U.S.-Projekt zur Schaffung von Raketenabfanganlagen in Osteuropa und der allgemeinen Verschiebung von NATO-Basen und Streitkräften in die Regionen der Ostsee und Schwarzen Meeres.

Am 29.11.2009 „veröffentlichte [Russland] einen Vorschlagsentwurf für eine neue europäische Sicherheitsvereinbarung, welche, so der Kreml, die veralteten Institutionen, wie die NATO und die Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa (OSZE), ersetzen soll.“ [19]

Die chinesischen Analysten Yu Maofeng und Lu Jingli behaupteten, dass Moskau von Sorgen über die Raketenpläne der USA und der NATO, der Ausweitung der NATO in Richtung Osten an die russischen Grenzen, den Jugoslawien Krieg im Jahre 1999, die westlich finanzierten „farbigen Revolutionen“ in früheren Sowjetstaaten sowie die Nichtratifikation des Vertrages über Konventionelle Streitkräfte in Europa (KSE-Vertrag) angetrieben wurde.

Seit den vergangenen dreißig Jahren hat jeder nachfolgende Präsident einen vorgeblichen Plan zur Abschaffung von Nuklearwaffen bekanntgegeben, wenn zuvor auch noch keiner von ihnen während seiner Amtszeit den Friedensnobelpreis erhielt. [21] Dafür hatte Jeder von ihnen unbesorgt die Aufrüstung und die bewaffneten Aggressionen im Ausland in dem Bestreben ausgeweitet die weltweite militärische Vorherrschaft zu erlangen. Da ist der gegenwärtige US-Oberbefehlshaber mit seiner außenpolitischen Gefolgschaft von Robert Gates, James Jones und Hillary Clinton keine Ausnahme.

1) Yemen: Pentagon’s War On The Arabian Peninsula
Stop NATO, December 15, 2009

2) Rumors Of Coups And War: U.S., NATO Target Latin America
Stop NATO, November 18, 2009

3) Bulgaria, Romania: U.S., NATO Bases For War In The East
Stop NATO, October 24, 2009

4) AFRICOM Year Two: Seizing The Helm Of The Entire World
Stop NATO, October 22, 2009

5) U.S.-China Military Tensions Grow
Stop NATO, January 19, 2010

6) New York Times, January 21, 2010

7) Voice of Russia, December 14, 2009

8 ) U.S. Missile Shield System Deployments: Larger, Sooner, Broader
Stop NATO, September 27, 2009
Black Sea, Caucasus: U.S. Moves Missile Shield South And East
Stop NATO,September 19, 2009
U.S. Expands Global Missile Shield Into Middle East, Balkans
Stop NATO, September 11, 2009

9) Bloomberg News, January 14, 2010

10) Polish Radio, December 11, 2009

11) Russia Today, October 16, 2009

12) Stars and Stripes, December 21, 2009

13) Ibid

14) Interfax Ukraine, January 20, 2010

15) Reuters, December 29, 2009

16) Ibid

17) Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 18, 2009

18) Time, July 14, 2007

19) Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, November 30, 2009

20) Strategic considerations behind Russian proposal for new European security treaty
Xinhua News Agency, December 1, 2009

21) Obama Doctrine: Eternal War For Imperfect Mankind
Stop NATO, December 10, 2009

22) White House And Pentagon: Change, Continuity And Escalation
Stop NATO, March 19, 2009

Categories: Uncategorized

Bases, Missiles, Wars: U.S. Consolidates Global Military Network

January 26, 2010 1 comment

January 26, 2010

Bases, Missiles, Wars: U.S. Consolidates Global Military Network
Rick Rozoff

Afghanistan is occupying center stage at the moment, but in the wings are complementary maneuvers to expand a string of new military bases and missile shield facilities throughout Eurasia and the Middle East.

The advanced Patriot theater anti-ballistic missile batteries in place or soon to be in Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates describe an arc stretching from the Baltic Sea through Southeast Europe to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, the Caucasus, the Persian Gulf and beyond to East Asia. A semicircle that begins on Russia’s northwest and ends on China’s northeast.

Over the past decade the United States has steadily (though to much of the world imperceptibly) extended its military reach to most all parts of the world. From subordinating almost all of Europe to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization through the latter’s expansion into Eastern Europe, including the former Soviet Union, to arbitrarily setting up a regional command that takes in the African continent (and all but one of its 53 nations). From invading and establishing military bases in the Middle East and Central and South Asia to operating a satellite surveillance base in Australia and taking charge of seven military installations in South America. In the vacuum left in much of the world by the demise of the Cold War and the former bipolar world, the U.S. rushed in to insert its military in various parts of the world that had been off-limits to it before.

And this while Washington cannot even credibly pretend that it is threatened by any other nation on earth.

It has employed a series of tactics to accomplish its objective of unchallenged international armed superiority, using an expanding NATO to build military partnerships not only throughout Europe but in the Caucasus, the Middle East, North and West Africa, Asia and Oceania as well as employing numerous bilateral and regional arrangements.

The pattern that has emerged is that of the U.S. shifting larger concentrations of troops from post-World War II bases in Europe and Japan to smaller, more dispersed forward basing locations south and east of Europe and progressively closer to Russia, Iran and China.

The ever-growing number of nations throughout the world being pulled into Washington’s military network serve three main purposes.

First, they provide air, troop and weapons transit and bases for wars like those against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq, for naval operations that are in fact blockades by other names, and for regional surveillance.

Second, they supply troops and military equipment for deployments to war and post-conflict zones whenever and wherever required.

Last, allies and client states are incorporated into U.S. plans for an international missile shield that will put NATO nations and select allies under an impenetrable canopy of interceptors while other nations are susceptible to attack and deprived of the deterrent effect of being able to retaliate.

The degree to which these three components are being integrated is advancing rapidly. The war in Afghanistan is the major mechanism for forging a global U.S. military nexus and one which in turn provides the Pentagon the opportunity to obtain and operate bases from Southeast Europe to Central Asia.

One example that illustrates this global trend is Colombia. In early August the nation’s vice president announced that the first contingent of Colombian troops were to be deployed to serve under NATO command in Afghanistan. Armed forces from South America will be assigned to the North Atlantic bloc to fight a war in Asia. The announcement of the Colombian deployment came shortly after another: That the Pentagon would acquire seven new military bases in Colombia.

When the U.S. deploys Patriot missile batteries to that nation – on its borders with Venezuela and Ecuador – the triad will be complete.

Afghanistan is occupying center stage at the moment, but in the wings are complementary maneuvers to expand a string of new military bases and missile shield facilities throughout Eurasia and the Middle East.

On January 28 the British government will host a conference in London on Afghanistan that, in the words of what is identified as the UK Government’s Afghanistan website, will be co-hosted by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Afghanistan’s President Karzai and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and co-chaired by British Foreign Minister David Miliband, his outgoing Afghan counterpart Rangin Spanta, and UN Special Representative to Afghanistan, Kai Eide.

The site announces that “The international community are [sic] coming together to fully align military and civilian resources behind an Afghan-led political strategy.” [1]

The conference will also be attended by “foreign ministers from International Security Assistance Force partners, Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours and key regional player [sic].”

Public relations requirements dictate that concerns about the well-being of the Afghan people, “a stable and secure Afghanistan” and “regional cooperation” be mentioned, but the meeting will in effect be a war council, one that will be attended by the foreign ministers of scores of NATO and NATO partner states.

In the two days preceding the conference NATO’s Military Committee will meet at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. “Together with the Chiefs of Defence of all 28 NATO member states, 35 Chiefs of Defence of Partner countries and Troop Contributing Nations will also be present.” [2]

That is, top military commanders from 63 nations – almost a third of the world’s 192 countries – will gather at NATO Headquarters to discuss the next phase of the expanding war in South Asia and the bloc’s new Strategic Concept. Among those who will attend the two-day Military Committee meeting are General Stanley McChrystal, in charge of all U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan; Admiral James Stavridis, chief U.S. military commander in Europe and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander; Pakistani Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Israeli Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.

Former American secretary of state Madeleine Albright has been invited to speak about the Strategic Concept on behalf of the twelve-member Group of Experts she heads, whose task it is to promote NATO’s 21st century global doctrine.

The Brussels meeting and London conference highlight the centrality that the war in Afghanistan has for the West and for its international military enforcement mechanism, NATO.

During the past few months Washington has been assiduously recruiting troops from assorted NATO partnership program nations for the war in Afghanistan, including from Armenia, Bahrain, Bosnia, Colombia, Jordan, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Ukraine and other nations that had not previously provided contingents to serve under NATO in the South Asian war theater. Added to forces from all 28 NATO member states and from Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, Adriatic Charter and Contact Country programs, the Pentagon and NATO are assembling a coalition of over fifty nations for combat operations in Afghanistan.

Almost as many NATO partner nations as full member states have committed troops for the Afghanistan-Pakistan war: Afghanistan itself, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Colombia, Egypt, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Jordan, Macedonia, Mongolia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.

The Afghan war zone is a colossal training ground for troops from around the world to gain wartime experience, to integrate armed forces from six continents under a unified command, and to test new weapons and weapons systems in real-life combat conditions.

Not only candidates for NATO membership but all nations in the world the U.S. has diplomatic and economic leverage over are being pressured to support the war in Afghanistan.

The American Forces Press Service featured a story last month about the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force’s Regional Command East which revealed: “In addition to…French forces, Polish forces are in charge of battle space, and the Czech Republic, Turkey and New Zealand manage provincial reconstruction teams. In addition, servicemembers and civilians from Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates work with the command, and South Korea runs a hospital in the region.”

With the acknowledgment that Egyptian forces are assigned to NATO’s Afghan war, it is now known that troops from all six populated continents are subordinated to NATO in one war theater. [3]

How commitment to the Alliance’s first ground war relates to the Pentagon securing bases and a military presence spreading out in all directions from Afghanistan and how worldwide interceptor missile plans are synchronized with both developments can be shown region by region.

Central And South Asia

After the U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom attacks on and subjugation of Afghanistan began in October of 2001 Washington and its NATO allies acquired the indefinite use of air and other military bases in Afghanistan, including Soviet-built airfields. The West also moved into bases in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and with less fanfare in Pakistan and Turkmenistan. It has also gained transit rights from Kazakhstan and NATO conducted its first military exercise in that nation, Zhetysu 2009, last September.

The U.S. has lobbied the Kazakh government to supply troops for NATO in Afghanistan (as it had earlier in Iraq) under the bloc’s Partnership for Peace provisions.

The Black Sea

The year after Romania was brought into NATO as a full member in 2004 the U.S. signed an agreement to gain control over four bases in Romania, including the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base. The next year a similar pact was signed with Bulgaria for the use of three military installations, two of them air bases. The Pentagon’s Joint Task Force-East (which operates from the above-named base) conducted nearly three-month-long joint military exercises last summer in Bulgaria and Romania in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan.

On January 24 eight Romanian and Bulgaria soldiers were wounded in a rocket attack on a NATO base in Southern Afghanistan. Three days earlier Romania announced that it would deploy 600 more troops to that nation, bringing its numbers to over 1,600. Bulgaria has also pledged to increase its troop strength there and is considering consolidating all its forces in the country in Kandahar, one of the deadliest provinces in the war zone.

Late last November Foreign Minister Rumyana Zheleva of Bulgaria was in Washington, D.C. to “hear the ideas of US President Barack Obama’s administration on the strategy of the anti-missile defense in Europe.” [4]

During the same month Bogdan Aurescu, State Secretary for Strategic Affairs in the Romanian Foreign Ministry, stated that “The new variant of the US anti-missile shield could cover Romania.” [5] A local newspaper at the time commented on Washington’s new “stronger, smarter, and swifter” missile shield plans that “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.” [6]

Also last November a Russian news source wrote that “Anonymous sources in the Russian intelligence community say 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.” [7] In October the U.S. led the two-week Immediate Response 2009 war games to prepare the first of an estimated 1,000 Georgian troops for counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan, prompting neighboring Abkhazia – which knew who the military training was also aimed against – to stage its own exercises at the same time.

American Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptor missiles in Georgia would be deployed against Russia, as they will be 35 miles from its border in Poland.

Former head of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency Lieutenant General Henry Obering stated two years ago that Georgia and even Ukraine were potential locations for American missile shield deployments.

Middle East

Last October and November the U.S. and Israel held their largest-ever joint military exercise, Operation Juniper Cobra 10, which established another precedent in addition to the number of troops and warships involved: The simultaneous testing of five missile defense systems. An American military official present at the war games was one of several sources acknowledging that the exercises were in preparation for the Barack Obama administration’s more extensive, NATO-wide and broader, missile interception system. Juniper Cobra was the initiation of the U.S. X-Band radar station opened in 2008 in Israel’s Negev Desert. Over 100 American service members are based there for the foreseeable future, the first U.S. troops formally deployed in that nation.

In December the Jerusalem Post quoted an unnamed Israeli defense official as saying “The expansion of the war in Afghanistan opens a door for us.”

The same source wrote “the NATO-U.S. plan to deploy a cross-continent missile shield in Europe also represents an opportunity for the Jewish state to market its military platforms….” [8]

“Meanwhile, recent months have seen several senior NATO officials travel to Israel for discussions that reportedly focused on, among other things, how Israel could help NATO troops fight in Afghanistan.” [9]

Last June Israeli President Shimon Peres led a 60-member delegation that included Defense Ministry Director-General Pinhas Buchris to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, on opposite ends of the Caspian Sea. A year ago “Kazakhstan’s defense ministry said…it had asked Israel to help it modernize its military and produce weapons that comply with NATO standards.” [10]

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the first Arab country to provide troops to NATO for Afghanistan. It has a partnership arrangement with NATO under provisions of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members.

Early this month a local newspaper announced that “the UAE became the largest foreign purchaser of US defence equipment with sales of $7.9bn, ahead of Afghanistan ($5.4bn), Saudi Arabia ($3.3bn) and Taiwan ($3.2bn).

“The spending included orders for munitions for the UAE’s F-16 fighter jets as well as a new Patriot defensive missile system and a fleet of corvettes for the navy.” [11]

Nine days later the same newspaper reported on a visit by Lt. Gen. Michael Hostage, commander of the U.S. Air Force Central Command, to discuss “the possibility of setting up a shared early warning system and enhancing the region’s ballistic-missile deterrence.”

Hostage was quoted as saying “I am attempting to organize a regional integrated air and missile defense capability with our GCC partners.” [12]

An Emirati general added, “The GCC needs a national and multinational ballistic missile defence (BMD) to counter long-range proliferating regional ballistic missile threats.” [13]

The missile shield is aimed against Iran.

Last September Pentagon chief Robert Gates said, “The reality is we are working both on a bilateral and a multilateral basis in the Gulf to establish the same kind of regional missile defense [as envisioned for Europe] that would protect our facilities out there as well as our friends and allies.” [14]

“In a September 17 briefing, Gates said…the United States has already formed a Gulf missile defense network that consisted of PAC-3 and the Aegis sea-based systems.” The exact system soon to be deployed in the Baltic Sea and Mediterranean and afterwards the Black Sea.

In addition, the “UAE has ordered the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, designed to destroy nuclear missiles in the exoatmosphere.

“Over the last two years, the Pentagon has been meeting GCC military chiefs to discuss regional and national missile defense programs….At the same time, the U.S. military has been operating PAC-3 in Kuwait and Qatar. The U.S. Army has also been helping Saudi Arabia upgrade its PAC-2 fleet.” [15]

Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported at the end of last year that “Turkey is set to make crucial defense decisions in 2010 as the U.S. offer to join a missile shield program and multibillion-dollar contracts are looming over the country’s agenda.

“If a joint NATO missile shield is developed, such a move may force Ankara to join the mechanism despite the possible Iranian reaction….U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has invited Ankara to join a Western missile shield system….” [16]

An account of the broader strategy adds:

“U.S. officials are also urging Turkey to choose the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) against Russian and Chinese rivals competing for a Turkish contract for the purchase of high-altitude and long-range antimissile defense systems….[A] new plan calls for the creation of a regional system in southeastern Europe, the Mediterranean and part of the Middle East.

“In phase one of the new Obama plan, the U.S. will deploy SM-3 interceptor missiles and radar surveillance systems on sea-based Aegis weapons systems by 2011. In phase two and by 2015, a more capable version of the SM-3 interceptor and more advanced sensors will be used in both sea-and land-based configurations. In later phases three and four, intercepting and detecting capabilities further will be developed.” [17]

One of Russia’s main news agencies reported on U.S. plans to incorporate Turkey into its new missile designs, with Turkey as the only NATO state bordering Iran serving as the bridge between a continent-wide system in Europe and its extension into the Middle East: “According to the Milliyet daily, U.S. President Barack Obama last week proposed placing a ‘missile shield’ on Turkish soil….Both Russia and Iran will perceive that [deployment] as a threat,’ a Turkish military source was quoted as saying.” [18]

A broader description of the interceptor missile project in progress includes: “Obama’s team has…sought to ‘NATO-ise’ the US plan by involving other allies more closely in its development and deployment. The idea is to create a NATO chain of command similar to that long used for allied air defences. That would involve a NATO ‘backbone’ for command-and-control jointly funded by the allies, into which the US sea-based defences and other national assets, such as short-range Patriot missile interceptors purchased by European nations including Germany, the Netherlands and Greece, could be ‘plugged in’ to the NATO system creating a multi-layered defence shield.” [19]

The advanced Patriot theater anti-ballistic missile batteries in place or soon to be in Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates describe an arc stretching from the Baltic Sea through Southeast Europe to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, the Caucasus, the Persian Gulf and beyond to East Asia. A semicircle that begins on Russia’s northwest and ends on China’s northeast.

Baltic Sea

Poland’s Defense Ministry revealed on January 20 that the U.S. will deploy a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 anti-ballistic missile battery and 100 troops to a Baltic Sea location 35 miles from Russian territory.

The country’s foreign minister – former investment adviser to Rupert Murdoch and resident fellow of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. -Radek Sikorski, recently pledged to increase Polish troop numbers in Afghanistan from the current 1,955. “We will be at 2,600 by April and 400 additional troops on standby, which we will deploy if there is a need to strengthen security.” [20]

Fellow Baltic littoral states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania combined have almost 500 troops in Afghanistan, a number likely to rise. The Lithuanian Siauliai Air Base was ceded to NATO in 2004 after the three Baltic states became full members. The Alliance has flown regular air patrols in the region, with U.S. warplanes participating in four-month rotations, ever since. Within a few minutes flight from Russia.

The three nations will be probable docking sites for U.S. Aegis-class warships and their Standard Missile-3 interceptors under new Pentagon-NATO missile shield deployments.

Far East Asia

South Korea pledged 350 troops for NATO’s Afghan war last year and in late December Seoul announced that it would send a ranking officer for the first time “to attend a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) conference to seek ways to strengthen cooperation with other nations in dispatching troops to Afghanistan and coordinate military operations there,” [21] likely a reference to the January 26-27 Military Committee meeting.

In the middle of January the U.S. conducted Beverly Bulldog 10-01 exercises in South Korea which “involved more than 7,200 U.S. airmen at Osan and Kunsan air bases and other points around the peninsula in an air war exercise” and “about 125 soldiers of the U.S. Army’s Patriot missile unit in South Korea….” [22]

On January 14 the new government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama ended Japan’s naval refuelling mission carried out in support of the U.S. war in Afghanistan since 2001. However, pressure will be exerted on Tokyo at the January 28 conference in London, particularly by Hillary Clinton, to re-engage in some capacity.

On last year’s anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, the U.S. and Japan held joint war games, Yama Sakura (Mountain Cherry Blossom), on the island of Hokkaido in northernmost Japan, that part of the country nearest Russia on the Sea of Japan. North Korea was the probable alleged belligerent.

Over 5,000 troops participated in drills that included “battling a regional threat that includes missile defenses, air defense and ground-forces operations….”

“Japan’s military has been actively developing its anti-missile defenses in cooperation with the United States. It currently has deployed Patriot PAC-3 missile defenses at several locations and also has two sea-based Aegis-equipped Kongo-class warships with anti-missile interceptors,” [23] the latter having engaged in joint SM-3 missile interceptions with the U.S. off Hawaii.

If support for the war in Afghanistan is linked with deployment of tactical missile shield installations in Israel and Poland, in the first case aimed at Iran and in the second at Russia, the case of Taiwan is even more overt.

Almost immediately after announcements that the U.S. would provide it with over 200 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles and double the amount of frigates it had earlier supplied, with Taiwan planning to use the warships for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System upgrades, the nation’s China Times newspaper wrote that “Following a recent US-Taiwan military deal, the Obama administration has demanded that Taiwan provide non-military aid for troops in Afghanistan….The US wants Taiwan to provide medical or engineering assistance to US troops in Afghanistan that will be increased….” [24] Dispatching troops to Afghanistan would be too gratuitous an incitement against China (which shares a narrow border with the South Asian nation), but Taiwan will nevertheless be levied to support the war effort there.

Wars: Stepping Stones For New Bases, Future Conflicts

The 78-day U.S. and NATO air war against Yugoslavia in 1999, Operation Allied Force, allowed the Pentagon to construct the mammoth Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo and within ten years to incorporate five Balkans nations into NATO. It also prepared the groundwork for U.S. Navy warships to dock at ports in Albania, Croatia and Montenegro.

Two years later the attack on Afghanistan led to the deployment of U.S. and NATO troops, armor and warplanes to five nations in Central and South Asia. The war in Afghanistan and Pakistan has also contributed to the Pentagon’s penetration of the world’s second most populous nation, India, which is being pulled into the American military orbit and integrated into global NATO. The U.S. and Israel are supplanting Russia as India’s main arms supplier and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently returned from India where his mission included “lifting bilateral military relations from a policy-alignment plane to a commercial platform that will translate into larger contracts for American companies.” [25]

With the quickly developing expansion of the Afghanistan-Pakistan war into an Afghanistan-Pakistan-Yemen-Somalia theater, NATO warships are in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and the U.S. has stationed Reaper drones, aircraft and troops in Seychelles. [On the same day as the London conference on Afghanistan a parallel meeting on Yemen will be held in the same city.]

After the 2003 invasion of Iraq the Pentagon gained air and other bases in that nation as well as what it euphemistically calls forward operating sites and base camps in Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

In less than a decade the Pentagon and NATO have acquired strategic air bases and ones that can be upgraded to that status in Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania and Romania.

Global NATO And Militarization Of The Planet

The January 26 Chief of Defense session of NATO’s Military Committee with top military leaders of 63 countries attending – while the bloc is waging and escalating the world’s largest and lengthiest war thousands of miles away from the Atlantic Ocean – is indicative of the pass that the post-Cold War world has arrived at. Never in any context other than meetings of NATO’s Military Committee do the military chiefs of so many nations (including at least five of the world’s eight nuclear powers), practically a third of the world’s, gather together.

That the current meeting is dedicated to NATO operations on three continents and in particular to the world’s only military bloc’s new Strategic Concept for the 21st century – and for the planet – would have been deemed impossible twenty or even ten years ago. As would have been the U.S. and its NATO allies invading and occupying a Middle Eastern and a South Asian nation. And the elaboration of plans for an international interceptor missile system with land, air, sea and space components. In fact, though, all have occurred or are underway and all are integrated facets of a concerted drive for global military superiority.

2) NATO, Allied Command Transformation, January 22, 2010
4) Standart News, November 25, 2009
5) ACT Media, November 16, 2009
6) The Diplomat, November, 2009
7) RosBusinessConsulting/Komsomolskaya Pravda, November 10, 2009
8) Jerusalem Post, December 3, 2009
9) Xinhua News Agency, December 3, 2009
10) Agence France-Presse, January 22, 2009
11) The National, January 2, 2010
12) The National, January 11, 2010
13) Gulf News, January 12, 2010
14) World Tribune, September 30, 2009
15) Ibid
16) Hurriyet Daily News, December 30, 2009
17) Ibid
18) Russian Information Agency Novosti, December 16, 2009
19) Europolitics, January 20, 2010
20) Sunday Telegraph, January 17, 2010
21) Xinhua News Agency, December 22, 2009
22) Stars and Stripes, January 16, 2010
23) Washington Times, December 3, 2009
24) China Times, December 27, 2009
25) The Telegraph (Calcutta), January 2, 2009

Categories: Uncategorized

Aumenta la tensión militar entre Estados Unidos y China

January 26, 2010 Leave a comment

January 26, 2010

Aumenta la tensión militar entre Estados Unidos y China
Rick Rozoff

Traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Beatriz Morales Bastos

A pesar de que el presupuesto militar de Estados Unidos es casi diez veces el de China (que tiene una población más de cuatro veces mayor) y de que Washington planea un presupuesto de defensa récord de 708.000 millones de dólares para el próximo año en comparación con el de Rusia, que el año pasado gastó en el suyo menos de 40.000 millones, China y a Rusia son retratados como amenazas para Estados Unidos y sus aliados.

China no tiene tropas fuera de sus fronteras; Rusia tiene unas pocas en sus antiguos territorios de Abjazia, Armenia, Osetia del Sur y Transdniester. Estados Unidos tiene cientos de miles de soldados estacionados en seis continentes.

Cuando [Robert] Gates era el responsable de las guerras en Afganistán e Iraq, y de casi la mitad del gasto militar internacional, le pareció inadmisible que la nación más poblada del mundo aspirase a “negar a los demás países la capacidad de amenazarla”.

El 23 de diciembre del año pasado la Compañía Raytheon anunció que había recibido un contrato de 1.100 millones de dólares con Taiwán para la compra de 200 misiles antibalísticos Patriot. A principios de junio el Departamento de Defensa estadounidense autorizó la transacción “a pesar de la oposición de su rival China, donde un oficial militar propuso sancionar a las empresas estadounidenses que vendieran armas a la isla” [1].

La venta completa era un paquete por valor de 6.500 millones de dólares, aprobada por la anterior administración de George W. Bush a finales de 2008. En palabras de la agencia principal en Asia de Defense News, “ésta es la última pieza que Taiwán estaba esperando” [2].

Defense News era la primera en informar sobre el acuerdo y recordaba a sus lectores que “Raytheon ya había logrado contratos más pequeños con Taiwán en enero de 2009 y en 2008 para mejorar los sistemas Patriot que poseía el país. Estos contratos eran para mejorar los sistemas hasta llegar a la Configuración 3, la misma mejora que la compañía está llevando a cabo para el ejército estadounidense”.

La fuente también describía en qué consiste la capacidad mejorada Patriot: “Configuración 3 es el sistema Patriot de Raytheon más avanzado y permite el uso de misiles Patriot de Capacidad 3 Avanzada (PAC-3, en sus siglas en inglés, como las demás que vienen a continuación) de Lockheed [y] misiles de Táctica de Orientación de Misiles Mejorada [Patriot-2 mejorada] de Raytheon […]” [3].

El PAC-3 es el último y más avanzado diseño de misiles Patriot y el primero capaz de derribar misiles balísticos tácticos. Es el primer nivel de sistema del escudo de misiles escalonado que incluye también el Área de Defensa Terminal de Gran Altitud (THAAD), el Interceptor de Base en Tierra (GBI), el Interceptor de Base en Tierra de Medio Curso (GMD), el Área de Defensa Terminal de Gran Altitud (THAAD), la Defensa de Misiles Balísticos Aegis basado en barcos equipados con interceptores de Missile Estandar-3 (SM-3), el Radar de Banda-X Delantero (FBXB) y componentes del Vehículo Asesino Exoatmosférico (EKV). Una red integrada que abarca desde el campo de batalla hasta los cielos.

El sistema es modular y altamente móvil, y de este modo sus baterías son capaces de evitar más fácilmente la detección y el ataque. También aumenta varias veces el alcance de las versiones anteriores de Patriot.

“Los interceptores PAC-3, mejorados con un radar avanzado y un comando central, son capaces de proteger una zona aproximadamente siete veces mayor que el sistema Patriot original” [4].

Si, como el resto del mundo, las autoridades chinas previeron una reducción, por no decir una detención, del ritmo de la expansión militar global estadounidense con la llegada de una nueva administración estadounidense hace un año, como todos los demás ellos también se han sentido bruscamente desengañados.

A principios de este mes, en la sexta advertencia oficial en una semana, el viceministro de Exteriores He Yafei urgió a Estados Unidos a reconsiderar el paquete de armas para Taiwán en una declaración a la agencia oficial de noticias Xinhua: “China ha protestado enérgicamente ante la reciente decisión del gobierno estadounidense de permitir que la Compañía Raytheon y a Lockheed Martin Corp. venda armas a Taiwán” y “la venta de armas de Estados Unidos a Taiwán mina la seguridad nacional de China” [5].

Una información posterior se sumó a lo que ya existía y a la ira de China cuando se reveló que “la administración Obama pronto anunciaría la venta a Taiwán de un paquete por valor de miles de millones de dolares, con helicópteros Black Hawk, sistemas antimisiles y planos de submarinos diesel, en una medida posiblemente tomada para enfurecer a China” [6].

Además, el China Times informó de que Taiwán iba a obtener de Estados Unidos fragatas de clase Oliver Hazard Perry de segunda mano, además de 200 misiles Patriot. Los barcos de guerra se diseñaron en la década de 1970 como alternativas comparativamente baratas a los destructores de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. El nuevo trato duplicará la cantidad de fragatas clase Perry estadounidenses que Taiwán ya posee hasta llegar a 16.

También incluirán una defensa de misiles de alto nivel, ya que “la isla espera armarlos con una versión del Sistema de Combate Aegis avanzado (véase más arriba), que utiliza ordenadores y radar para eliminar múltiples objetivos, así como una sofistica tecnología de lanzamiento de misiles […]” [7].

Aunque Washington y Taipei presentarán las transacciones de armas como de una naturaleza estrictamente defensiva, merece la pena recordar que el pasado otoño Taiwán llevó a cabo sus “mayores pruebas realizadas hasta entonces de lanzamiento de misiles desde una base secreta y rigurosamente custodiada en el sur de Taiwán” con misiles “capaces de alcanzar a las principales ciudades chinas” [8].

El president Ma Ying-jeou asistió al lanzamiento de misiles que “incluía la prueba de lanzamiento de un misil tierra-tierra top secret y desarrollado recientemente, con un alcance de 3.000 kilómetros, capaz de atacar las ciudades principales en el centro, norte y sur de China” [9].

El PAC y el interceptor de misiles SM-3 que Estados Unidos está proporcionado a Taiwán se podría utilizar perfectamente para un contraataque desde China continental o al menos para proteger los lugares de lanzamiento de misiles de Taiwán de medio alcance que, como se ha señalado antes, son capaces de atacar la mayoría de las principales ciudades chinas.

El 11 de enero Beijing respondió llevando a cabo una prueba de intercepción de misiles de tierra de curso medio en su territorio.

El professor Tan Kaijia, de la Universidad de Defensa Nacional del Ejército de Liberación del Pueblo (PLA), declaró a Xinhua: “Si se considera el misil balístico una lanza, ahora hemos logrado construir un escudo para defendernos” [10].

La revista Time describió la importancia de la prueba al escribir: “No hay posibilidad de que la táctica de China disuada a Estados Unidos de respaldar a Taiwán […]. Pero la prueba indica un paso más en las tensiones entre Beijing y Washington […]” [11].

Tanto China como Estados Unidos destruyeron satélites en órbita, el primero en 2007 y el segundo al año siguiente, con un Misil-3 Estándar lanzado desde una fragata Aegis situada en el océano Pacífico en el caso estadounidense. Había empezado el alba de la guerra del espacio.

Un artículo del 15 de enero, publicado en una página web rusa, titulado “Posible guerra del espacio en un futuro próximo”, proporcionaba los siguientes antecedentes: “Es difícil sobrestimar el papel desempeñado por los sistemas de satélites militares. Desde la década de 1970 una cantidad cada vez mayor de procesos de control de tropas, telecomunicaciones, adquisición de objetivos, navegación y otros procesos depende de naves espaciales que desde entonces se están volviendo más importantes […]. El papel del escalón espacial es directamente proporcional al nivel de desarrollo de cualquier nación y de sus fuerzas armadas” [12].

Durante años China y Rusia han defendido la prohibición del uso del espacio para propósitos militares y plantean anualmente el problema en las Naciones Unidas. Estados Unidos simplemente se ha opuesto con la misma persistencia a las iniciativas.

Para entender el contexto en el que han ocurrido los acontecimientos recientes, durante tres años Washington ha incluido cada vez más y de forma tendenciosa a China y Rusia, con Irán y Corea del Norte, como [países] agresivos en posibles conflictos futuros

La campaña empezó a principios de febrero de 2007, cuando el todavía jefe del Pentágono Robert Gates testificó ante el Comité de Servicios Armados Estadounidense sobre la Solicitud de Presupuesto del Departamento de Defensa para el año fiscal y dijo entre otras cosas: “Además de luchar la guerra global contra el terrorismo nos enfrentamos también al peligro planteado por las ambiciones nucleares de Irán y Corea del Norte, y a la amenaza que plantean no sólo a sus vecinos sino también globalmente debido a su historial de proliferación; a los inciertos caminos de China y Rusia, que siguen ambos con sofisticados programas de modernización militar; y a toda una serie de otros puntos álgidos y de desafíos […]. Nosotros mismos necesitamos capacidad para conflictos fuerza a fuerza regulares porque no sabemos qué se va a desarrollar en lugares como Rusia y China, en Corea del Norte, en Irán y en cualquier otro lugar” [13].

Si se objetara que Gates sólo estaba aludiendo a unos planes de eventualidades generales que se podrían aplicar a cualquier nación importante, desde entonces ni sus comentaristas ni ninguno de los altos cargos estadounidenses de defensa han mencionado a potencias nucleares amigas como Gran Bretaña, Francia, India e Israel, pero han reiterado su preocupación por Rusia y China con una regularidad alarmante. De hecho, China y Rusia han sustituido a Iraq en la antigua categoría del eje del mal.

A pesar de que el presupuesto militar de Estados Unidos es casi diez veces el de China (que tiene una población más de cuatro veces mayor) y de que Washington planea un presupuesto de defensa récord de 708.000 millones de dólares para el próximo año en comparación con el de Rusia que el año pasado gastó en el suyo menos de 40.000 millones, China y a Rusia son retratados como amenazas para Estados Unidos y sus aliados.

Tanto Rusia como China reaccionaron severamente ante las declaraciones de Gates en febrero de 2007 y sólo tres días después el presidente ruso Vladímir Putin pronunció un discurso, con Gates en la audiencia, en la Conferencia anual de Seguridad de Munich, en el que advirtió:

“¿Qué es un mundo unipolar? Se embellezca como se embellezca el término, a fin de cuentas se refiere a un tipo de situación, a saber, un centro de autoridad, un centro de fuerza, un centro de toma de decisiones.

Es un mundo en el que hay un amo, un soberano. Y a fin de cuentas esto es pernicioso no sólo para aquellos que están dentro del sistema, sino también para el propio soberano, porque se destruye a sí mismo desde dentro.

Las acciones unilaterales y con frecuencia ilegítimas no han resuelto ningún problema. Es más, han causado nuevas tragedias humanas y creado nuevos centros de tensión. Juzguen ustedes mismos: no han disminuido las guerras ni los conflictos locales y regionales […]. Y no muere menos gente en estos conflictos, sino que mueren incluso más que antes, ¡considerablemente más, considerablemente más!

Hoy somos testigos de un uso desmedido de la fuerza (de la fuerza militar) casi incontrolado en las relaciones internacionales, fuerza que está sumiendo al mundo en un abismo de conflictos permanentes.

Un Estado y, por supuesto, el primero y más importante, Estados Unidos, ha sobrepasado sus límites nacionales en todos los sentidos. Esto es visible en las políticas económicas, políticas, culturales y educativas que impone a otras naciones […]” [14].

En Washington no se tuvo en cuenta la advertencia.

Tres meses después el jefe del Pentágono reanudó sus anteriores acusaciones. En mayo de 2007 el Departamento de Defensa publicó su informe anual sobre la capacidad militar de China que citaba “los continuos esfuerzos de proyectar poder chino más allá de su región inmediata y de desarrollar sistemas de alta tecnología que pueden desafiar a lo mejor de mundo. El Secretario de Defensa estadounidense Robert Gates afirma que le preocupan algunos de los esfuerzos de China”.

El informe afirmaba: “China está llevando a cabo una transformación a largo plazo y total de sus fuerzas militares” para “permitirle proyectar poder y negar a otros países la posibilidad de amenazarla” [15]. Cuando Gates era el responsable de las guerras en Afganistán e Iraq, y de casi la mitad del gasto militar internacional, le pareció inadmisible que la nación más poblada del mundo aspirase a “negar a los demás países la capacidad de amenazarla”.

Un año después de que Gates vinculara a China y Rusia con los países sospechosos supervivientes del “eje del mal” Irán y Corea del Norte, el Director Nacional de Inteligencia Michael McConnell señaló a China, Rusia y la Organización de Países Exportadores de Petróleo (OPEC) como las mayores amenazas para Estados Unidos, más incluso que al-Qaeda.

Voice of Russia respondió a las acusaciones de McDonnell en un comentario en el que se incluían los siguientes extractos:

“Rusia ha exigido una explicación a Estados Unidos por un informe del Director de la Inteligencia estadounidense en el que se mencionaba a Rusia, China, Iraq, Irán, Corea del Norte y al-Qaeda como fuentes de amenazas estratégicas para Estados Unidos […]. Muy posiblemente, el informe de la comunidad de inteligencia estadounidense equivale a dar cuentas por la increíble cantidad de dinero que cada año se asigna a su mantenimiento. Podría haber otras razones que explicaran por qué se ha incluido a Rusia entre los Estados que plantean una amenaza para Estados Unidos” [16].

Gates ha permanecido como Secretario de Defensa de la nueva administración estadounidense y lo mismo su retórica antichina y antirrusa.

El pasado 1 de mayo la Secretaria de Estado Hillary Clinton afirmó que “la administración Obama está trabajando para mejorar las deterioradas relaciones con varias naciones de América Latina para contrarrestar la creciente influencia iraní, china y rusa en el hemisferio occidental […]” [17]. El mes después de pronunciar estas palabras se dio un golpe de Estado en Honduras, dos semanas después de que Estados Unidos se asegurara el uso de siete bases militares en Colombia.

En septiembre el Director de la Inteligencia Nacional Dennis Blair dio a conocer el informe de Estrategia de Inteligencia Nacional de Estados Unidos, publicado cada cuatro años, en el que se afirmaba que “Rusia, China, Irán y Corea de Norte plantean los mayores desafíos para los intereses nacionales de Estados Unidos” [18].

La agencia France-Presse afirmó que “el 15 de septiembre Estados Unidos situó a la emergente superpotencia China y al enemigo de la Guerra Fría, Rusia, al lado de Irán y Corea del Norte en la lista de las cuatro principales naciones que desafían los intereses estadounidenses” y citaba del informe de Blair: se señalaba a China por su “ diplomacia cada vez más centrada en las fuentes naturales y su modernización militar. Rusia es un socio de Estados Unidos en importantes iniciativas, como garantizar material físil y luchar contra el terrorismo nuclear, pero puede que continúe buscando vías para reafirmar poder e influencia de una manera que complica los intereses estadounidense” [19].

A China no se le permite negar a otras naciones la posibilidad de amenazarla y a Rusia no se le permite complicar los intereses estadounidenses.

Esta tendencia, cuya persistencia no presagia nada bueno, ha continuado este año.

El vicepresidente del Sistema de Defensa de Misiles de Lockheed Martin, John Holly, promocionó el papel de su compañía en el Sistema de Defensa de Misiles Balísticos Aegis (cuyos componentes se están entregando a Taiwán) como “la estrella resplandeciente” de la cartera de interceptores de misiles de Lockheed, y según un periódico de la ciudad que alberga la Agencia de Defensa de Misiles del Pentágono, “al señalar a los programas de misiles de Corea del Norte, Irán, Rusia y China, Holly dijo: ‘el mundo no es un mundo muy seguro […] y nos incumbe a nosotros en la industria proporcionar [al Pentágono] las mejores capacidades'” [20].

Tres días después del Asesor del Pentágono del Secretario de Defensa para Cuestiones de Seguridad para Asia y el Pacífico, Wallace Gregson, “expresó sus dudas acerca de la insistencia de China en que su uso del espacio es para medios pacíficos” y afirmó que “los chinos han afirmado que se oponen a la militarización del espacio. Sus acciones parecen indicar la intención contraria” [21].

Al día siguiente el almirante Robert Willard, jefe del Comando Estadounidense del Pacífico, declaró en un testimonio ante el Comité de los Servicios Armados que “la poderosa maquinaria económica de China también está financiando el programa de modernización militar que ha suscitado preocupación en la zona, una preocupación también compartida por el Comando Estadounidense del Pacífico” [22].

La Armada estadounidense tienen seis flotas y once grupos de ataque con portaaviones repartidos en todo el mundo o preparados para el despliegue, pero China con sólo una armada de “aguas marrones”* en sus propias costas es causa de preocupación para Estados Unidos.

Como escribió el pasado mes de septiembre Alan Mackinnon, presidente de la Campaña Escocesa por el Desarme Nuclear:

“El mundo de la guerra hoy está dominado por una única superpotencia. En términos militares Estados Unidos se asienta en el mundo como un coloso. Un país con sólo el 5% de la población mundial es responsable de casi el 50% del gasto global en armamento.

Sus once flotas navales con portaaviones patrullan cada océano y sus 909 bases militares están repartidas estratégicamente por todos los continentes. Ningún otro país tiene bases recíprocas en el territorio estadounidense, sería impensable e inconstitucional. Hace veinte años que acabó la Guerra Fría y Estados Unidos y sus aliados no se enfrentan hoy a ninguna amenaza militar significativa. Entonces, ¿por qué no hemos tenido el esperado dividendo de paz? ¿Por que la nación más poderosa de la tierra sigue aumentando su presupuesto militar, que supera ahora los 1,2 trillones de dólares en un año en términos reales? ¿Qué amenaza se supone que va a contrarrestar todo eso?

La respuesta estadounidense ha sido en gran parte militar, la expansión de la OTAN y encerrar a Rusia y China dentro de un anillo de bases y alianzas hostiles. Y sigue presionando para aislar y debilitar Irán” [23].

Unas observaciones que la gente tendrá que tener muy presentes mientras China es presentada cada vez más como un desafío para la seguridad (y una amenaza estratégica) de la única superpotencia militar del mundo.

Artículos relacionados:

U.S. Expands Asian NATO Against China, Russia
Stop NATO, October 16, 2009

Broader Strategy: West’s Afghan War Targets Russia, China, Iran
Stop NATO, September 8, 2009

U.S. Accelerates First Strike Global Missile Shield System
Stop NATO, August 19, 2009

Australian Military Buildup And The Rise Of Asian NATO
Stop NATO, May 6, 2009


1) Reuters, 7 de enero de 2010.

2) Ibid.

3) Defense News, 23 de diciembre de 2009.


5) Agencia Rusa de Información Novosti, 9 de enero de 2010.

6) Taiwan News, 4 de enero de 2010.

7) Agencia France-Presse, 11 de enero de 2010.

8) Radio Taiwan Internacional, 14 de octubre de 2009.

9) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 14 de octubre de 2009.

10) Asian Times, 20 de enero de 2010.

11) Time, 13 de enero de 2010.

12) Russian Information Agency Novosti, 15 de enero de 2010.



15) Voice of America News, 26 de mayo de 2007.

16) Voice of Russia, 8 de febrero de 2008.

17) Associated Press, 1 de mayo de 2009.

18) Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 16 de septiembre de 2009.

19) Agencia France-Presse, 15 de septiembre de 2009.

20) Huntsville Times, 10 de enero de 2010.

21) Agencia France-Presse, 13 de enero de 2010.

22) Washington Post, 14 de enero de 2010.

* El término “armada de aguas marrones” [a “brown water” navy] lo creó la armada estadounidense para designar a los barcos pequeños usados en ríos y por extensión a aquellas armadas que sólo tienen capacidad para llevar a cabo operaciones militares en ríos, lagos o cerca del litoral [n. de la t.].

23) Scottish Left Review, 17 de noviembre de 2009.

Categories: Uncategorized

With Nuclear, Conventional Arms Pacts Stalled, U.S. Moves Missiles And Troops To Russian Border

January 22, 2010 4 comments

January 22, 2010

With Nuclear, Conventional Arms Pacts Stalled, U.S. Moves Missiles And Troops To Russian Border
Rick Rozoff

2010 is proceeding in a manner more befitting the third month of the year, named after the Roman god of war, than the first whose name is derived from a pacific deity.

On January 13 the Associated Press reported that the White House will submit its Quadrennial Defense Review to Congress on February 1 and request a record-high $708 billion for the Pentagon. That figure is the highest in absolute and in inflation-adjusted, constant (for any year) dollars since 1946, the year after the Second World War ended. Adding non-Pentagon defense-related spending, the total may exceed $1 trillion.

The $708 billion includes for the first time monies for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which in prior years were in part funded by periodic supplemental requests, but excludes what the above-mentioned report adds is the first in the new administration’s emergency requests for the same purpose: A purported $33 billion.

Already this month several NATO nations have pledged more troops, even before the January 28 London conference on Afghanistan when several thousand additional forces may be assigned for the war there, in addition to over 150,000 already serving or soon to serve under U.S. and NATO command.

Washington has increased lethal drone missile attacks in Pakistan, and calls for that model to be replicated in Yemen have been made recently, most notably by Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who on January 13 also advocated air strikes and special forces operations in the country. [1]

The Pentagon will begin the deployment of 1,400 personnel to Colombia to man seven new bases under a 10-year military agreement signed last October 30. [2]

This year the U.S. will also complete the $110 million dollar construction of new military bases in Bulgaria and Romania to house at least 4,000 American troops. [3]

The Pentagon’s newest regional command, Africa Command, will expand its activities on and off the coasts of that continent beyond current counterinsurgency operations in Somalia, Mali and Uganda and drone flights from a newly acquired site in Seychelles. [4]

But this month has brought even more dramatic and dangerous news. The Pentagon has authorized the completion of a $6.5 billion arms deal with Taiwan with an agreement to deliver 200 Patriot Advanced Capability anti-ballistic missiles. The People’s Republic of China is infuriated, as Washington would be if the situation were reversed and Beijing provided a comparable arsenal of weapons to, for example, an independent Puerto Rico. [5]

As though that action was not provocative enough however, on January 20 the Polish Defense Ministry announced that a U.S. Patriot missile battery, and the 100 American soldiers who will operate it, would not be based on the outskirts of the capital of Warsaw as previously announced but in the Baltic Sea city of Morag, 35 miles [6] from Poland’s border with Russia.

The missile battery and troops are scheduled to arrive in March or April. As part of the Obama administration’s new missile shield project, one which will be integrated with NATO to take in all of Europe and extend into the Middle East and the Caucasus, the Patriots will be followed by Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptor deployments on warships in the Baltic Sea and, for the first time ever, a land-based version of the same. “The Pentagon will deploy command posts of SM-3 missiles, which can intercept both short- and mid-range missiles….” [7] An SM-3 was used by the Pentagon to shoot a satellite out of orbit in February of 2008 to give an indication of its range.

Further deployments will follow.

The new, post-George W. Bush administration, interceptor missile system will employ “existing missile systems based on land and at sea….Deployment of the revised missile defense would extend through 2020. The first step is to put existing sea-based weapons systems on Aegis-class destroyers and cruisers. [8]

“Subsequently, a mobile radar system would be deployed in a European nation….More advanced, mobile systems would be put in place later elsewhere in Europe. Their centerpiece would be…Lockheed’s Terminal High Altitude Defense interceptor missiles and improved Standard Missile-3 IB missiles made by…Raytheon.” [9]

Last December Washington signed a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that formalizes plans for “the United States military to station American troops and military equipment on Polish territory” and “opens the way for the promised Patriot missiles and US troops to be stationed in Poland…as part of an upgrading of NATO air defences in Europe.” [10]

In October, shortly after U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden visited Warsaw to finalize the plan, Polish Deputy Defense Minister Stanislaw Komorowski met with his opposite number from the U.S., Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow, and announced that the American missiles “will be combat-ready, not dummy varieties as Washington earlier suggested.” The same report added that “Earlier, Ukrainian and American officials stated that Ukrainian territory may be used in some way in the new antimissile shield.” [11] Poland borders Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave, but Ukraine has a 1,576 kilometer (979 mile) border with Russia.

The State Department issued a press release on the agreement to deploy American troops to Poland, the first foreign forces to be based there since the end of the Warsaw Pact in 1991, which stated “The agreement will facilitate a range of mutually agreed activities including joint training and exercises, deployments of U.S. military personnel, and prospective Ballistic Missile Defense deployments.” [12]

A Pentagon spokesperson said “U.S. Army Europe will help the Polish Armed Forces develop their air and missile defense capabilities. Considering the cooperative training we already do with the Polish Armed Forces, this Patriot training program is just another extension of that effort.” [13]

If earlier plans to deploy ground-based midcourse missiles to Poland evoked, however implausibly, an alleged Iranian missile threat, the Patriots can only be meant for Russia.

Russian Lieutenant-General Aitech Bizhev, former commander of the United Air Defense System of the Commonwealth of Independent States, told one of his nation’s main news agencies:

“It’s completely unclear why the air defense group of the northern flank of NATO needed strengthening – NATO has manifold superiority over Russian conventional armaments as it is.

“It can’t be ruled out that the stationing of the Patriots in Poland may be followed by other actions in building up the American military infrastructure in Eastern Europe….” [14]

The 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms expired on December 5 and has been extended, but no agreement has been reached on a new pact, 48 days later.

At the end of last year Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was asked about the delay and identified the main impediment to resolving it: “What is the problem? The problem is that our American partners are building an anti-missile shield and we are not building one.”

He further defined the problem: “If we are not developing an anti-missile shield, then there is a danger that our partners, by creating such ‘an umbrella,’ will feel completely secure and thus can allow themselves to do what they want, disrupting the balance, and aggressiveness will rise immediately.”

In respect to how prospects for the reduction, much less elimination, of nuclear arms in Europe and North America were faring, Putin added, “In order to preserve balance…we need to develop offensive weapons systems,” [15] reiterating a statement by his nation’s president, Dmitry Medvedev, a week before. The timing of the announcement that the Pentagon will soon station Patriot missiles so close to Russian territory will not help matters. Nor was the State Department’s contention that “the START follow-on agreement is not the appropriate vehicle for addressing” the issue of “missile offense and defense.” [16]

A month before, Russian news media revealed that “Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces (SMF), the land-based component of the nuclear triad, will put on combat duty a second regiment equipped with Topol-M mobile missile systems by the end of 2009.

“The Topol-M missile, with a range of about 7,000 miles (11,000 km), is said to be immune to any current and future U.S. ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] defense. It is capable of making evasive maneuvers to avoid a kill using terminal phase interceptors [for example Patriot missiles], and carries targeting countermeasures and decoys.” [17]

Just as supplying Taiwan with Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) theater anti-ballistic missiles led China to conduct a ground-based midcourse missile interception on January 11, so moving U.S. military hardware and troops nearer Russia bodes poorly for a nuclear arms reduction agreement.

On the non-strategic front, the 1990 Treaty On Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) limiting the amount and expansion of major armaments on the continent is also seriously jeopardized by U.S. and NATO missile shield plans. The adapted CFE (Agreement on Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe) of 1999 has not been ratified by any member of NATO, which has linked it with so-called frozen conflicts in the former Soviet Union. The August 2008 Georgia-Russia war was a consequence of that obstructionist and belligerent policy. The establishment of permanent U.S. and NATO military bases in Kosovo, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania and now Poland is a gross violation of and may prove the death knell for the CFE.

Russia suspended the observance of its treaty obligations under the CFE on July 14, 2007 because of “extraordinary circumstances…which affect the security of the Russian Federation and require immediate measures.” [18]

The circumstances alluded to were the U.S. project of establishing missile interception facilities in Eastern Europe and the general movement of NATO bases and forces to the Baltic and Black Sea regions.

On November 29 of last year Russia “released a draft of a proposal for a new European security agreement the Kremlin says should replace outdated institutions such as NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).” [19]

Chinese analysts Yu Maofeng and Lu Jingli contend that Moscow was motivated by its concerns over U.S. and NATO missile plans, NATO’s eastward expansion to its borders, the 1999 war against Yugoslavia, Western-sponsored “color revolutions” in other former Soviet states and NATO members’ non-ratification of the Treaty On Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. [20]

For the past thirty years each successive American president has unveiled an ostensible plan to eliminate nuclear weapons, if none before now has received the Nobel Peace Prize while in office [21]. Each in turn then escalated reckless arms buildups and armed aggression abroad in an effort to achieve global military dominance. The current U.S. commander-in-chief with his foreign policy entourage of Robert Gates, James Jones and Hillary Clinton is no exception. [22]

1) Yemen: Pentagon’s War On The Arabian Peninsula
Stop NATO, December 15, 2009
2) Rumors Of Coups And War: U.S., NATO Target Latin America
Stop NATO, November 18, 2009
3) Bulgaria, Romania: U.S., NATO Bases For War In The East
Stop NATO, October 24, 2009
4) AFRICOM Year Two: Seizing The Helm Of The Entire World
Stop NATO, October 22, 2009
5) U.S.-China Military Tensions Grow
Stop NATO, January 19, 2010
6) New York Times, January 21, 2010
7) Voice of Russia, December 14, 2009
8) U.S. Missile Shield System Deployments: Larger, Sooner, Broader
Stop NATO, September 27, 2009
Black Sea, Caucasus: U.S. Moves Missile Shield South And East
Stop NATO,September 19, 2009
U.S. Expands Global Missile Shield Into Middle East, Balkans
Stop NATO, September 11, 2009
9) Bloomberg News, January 14, 2010
10) Polish Radio, December 11, 2009
11) Russia Today, October 16, 2009
12) Stars and Stripes, December 21, 2009
13) Ibid
14) Interfax Ukraine, January 20, 2010
15) Reuters, December 29, 2009
16) Ibid
17) Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 18, 2009
18) Time, July 14, 2007
19) Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, November 30, 2009
20) Strategic considerations behind Russian proposal for new
European security treaty
Xinhua News Agency, December 1, 2009
21) Obama Doctrine: Eternal War For Imperfect Mankind
Stop NATO, December 10, 2009
22) White House And Pentagon: Change, Continuity And Escalation
Stop NATO, March 19, 2009

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S.-China Military Tensions Grow

January 20, 2010 4 comments

January 19, 2010

U.S.-China Military Tensions Grow
Rick Rozoff

Even though the U.S. military budget is almost ten times that of China’s (with a population more than four times as large) and Washington plans a record $708 billion defense budget for next year compared to Russia spending less than $40 billion last year for the same, China and Russia are portrayed as threats to the U.S. and its allies. China has no troops outside its borders; Russia has a small handful in its former territories in Abkhazia, Armenia, South Ossetia and Transdniester. The U.S. has hundreds of thousands of troops stationed in six continents.

While Gates was in charge of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and responsible for almost half of international military spending he was offended that the world’s most populous nation might desire to “deny others countries the ability to threaten it.”

On December 23 of last year Raytheon Company announced that it had received a $1.1 billion contact with Taiwan for the purchase of 200 Patriot anti-ballistic missiles. In early January the U.S. Defense Department cleared the transaction “despite opposition from rival China, where a military official proposed sanctioning U.S. firms that sell arms to the island.” [1]

The sale completes a $6.5 billion weapons package approved by the previous George W. Bush administration at the end of 2008. In the words of the Asia bureau chief of Defense News, “This is the last piece that Taiwan has been waiting on.” [2]

Defense News first reported on the agreement and reminded its readers that “Raytheon already won smaller contracts for Taiwan in January 2009 and in 2008 for upgrades to the Patriot systems the country already had. Those contracts were to upgrade the systems to Configuration 3, the same upgrade the company is completing for the U.S. Army.”

The source also described what the enhanced Patriot capacity consisted of: “Configuration 3 is Raytheon’s most advanced Patriot system and allows the use of Lockheed Martin’s Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles [and] Raytheon’s Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical [Patriot-2 upgrade] missiles….” [3]

The PAC-3 is the latest, most advanced Patriot missile design and the first capable of shooting down tactical ballistic missiles. It is the initial tier of a layered missile shield system which also includes Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI)/ Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD), ship-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense equipped with Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptors, Forward Based X-Band Radar (FBXB) and Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) components. An integrated network that ranges from the battlefield to the heavens.

The system is modular and highly mobile and its batteries are thus more easily able to evade detection and attack. It also extends the range of previous Patriot versions several fold.

“[T]he PAC-3 interceptors, enhanced by [an] advanced radar and command center, are capable of protecting an area approximately seven times greater than the original Patriot system.” [4]

If like the rest of the world Chinese authorities anticipated a reduction if not halt in the pace of American global military expansion with the advent of a new administration in Washington a year ago, like everyone they else have been rudely disabused of the notion.

Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei urged the United States to reconsider the Taiwan arms package in the sixth official Chinese warning in a week earlier this month, telling his nation’s Xinhua News Agency that “China had strongly protested the U.S. government’s recent decision to allow Raytheon Company and Lockheed Martin Corp. to sell weapons to Taiwan” and “The U.S. arms sales to Taiwan undermine China’s national security.” [5]

Later information added to the inventory and to China’s ire when it was revealed that “the Obama Administration would soon announce the sale to Taiwan of a package worth billions of U.S. dollars including Black Hawk helicopters, anti-missile systems and plans for diesel-powered submarines in a move likely to anger China.” [6]

In addition, the China Times reported that Taiwan was to obtain eight second-hand Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates from the U.S. in addition to the 200 Patriot missiles. The warships were designed in the 1970s as comparatively inexpensive alternatives to World War II-era destroyers. The new deal will double the amount of U.S. Perry-class frigates that Taiwan already possesses to 16.

They will also factor into missile defense and at a higher level, as “The island hopes to arm them with a version of the advanced Aegis Combat System (see above), which uses computers and radar to take out multiple targets, as well as sophisticated missile launch technology….” [7]

While both Washington and Taipei will present the weapons transactions as strictly defensive in nature, it is worth recalling that last autumn Taiwan conducted its “largest-ever missile test…launched from a secretive and tightly guarded base in southern Taiwan” with missiles “capable of reaching major Chinese cities.” [8]

President Ma Ying-jeou observed the missile launches which “included the test-firing of a top secret, newly developed medium-range surface-to-surface missile with a range of 3,000 kilometres, capable of striking major cities in central, northern and southern China.” [9]

The Patriot Advanced Capability and SM-3 interceptor missiles the U.S. is providing Taiwan could well be employed to counter a mainland Chinese counterattack or at the least protect the launch sites of Taiwanese medium range missiles which, as noted above, are capable of hitting most of China’s major cities.

Beijing responded on January 11 by conducting a ground-based midcourse interceptor missile test over its territory.

Professor Tan Kaijia of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) National Defense University told Xinhua “If the ballistic missile is regarded as a spear, now we have succeeded in building a shield for self-defense.” [10]

Time Magazine characterized the significance of the test in writing: “There’s no chance China’s gambit will deter the U.S. from backing Taiwan….But the test does signal a ratcheting up of tensions between Beijing and Washington….” [11]

Both China and the U.S., the first in 2007 and the second the following year, with a Standard Missile-3 fired from an Aegis-class frigate in the Pacific Ocean in the American case, destroyed satellites in orbit. The dawn of space war had begun.

A January 15 feature on a Russian website titled “Possible space wars in the near future” provided background information. “It is hard to overestimate the role played by military satellite systems. Since the 1970s, an increasingly greater number of troop-control, telecommunications, target-acquisition, navigation and other processes depend on spacecraft which are therefore becoming more important…The space echelon’s role is directly proportional to the development level of any given nation and its armed forces.” [12]

China and Russia for years have been advocating a ban on the use of space for military purposes, annually raising the issue in the United Nations. The U.S. has just as persistently opposed the initiatives.

To comprehend the context in which recent developments have occurred, Washington has for three years increasingly and tenaciously included China and Russia with Iran and North Korea as belligerents in prospective future conflicts.

The campaign began in earnest in February of 2007 when then and still Pentagon chief Robert Gates testified before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee on the Defense Department Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Request and said among other matters:

“In addition to fighting the global war on terror, we also face the danger posed by Iran and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and the threat they pose not only to their neighbors, but globally because of their record of proliferation; the uncertain paths of China and Russia, which are both pursuing sophisticated military modernization programs; and a range of other flashpoints and challenges….We need both the ability for regular force-on-force conflicts because we don’t know what’s going to develop in places like Russia and China, in North Korea, in Iran and elsewhere.” [13]

If it be objected that Gates was only alluding to general contingency plans, ones that could apply to any major nation, neither his comments nor any by U.S. defense officials since have mentioned fellow nuclear powers Britain, France, India and Israel in a similar vein, but have reiterated concerns about Russia and China with an alarming consistency. In fact China and Russia have been substituted for Iraq in the former axis of evil category.

Even though the U.S. military budget is almost ten times that of China’s (with a population more than four times as large) and Washington plans a record $708 billion defense budget for next year compared to Russia spending less than $40 billion last year for the same, China and Russia are portrayed as threats to the U.S. and its allies. China has no troops outside its borders; Russia has a small handful in its former territories in Abkhazia, Armenia, South Ossetia and Transdniester. The U.S. has hundreds of thousands of troops stationed in six continents.

Russia and China both reacted harshly to Gates’ statements in February of 2007 and only three days afterward, with Gates in the audience, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the annual Munich Security Conference in which he warned:

“[W]hat is a unipolar world? However one might embellish this term, at the end of the day it refers to one type of situation, namely one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making.

“It is a world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within.”

“Unilateral and frequently illegitimate actions have not resolved any problems. Moreover, they have caused new human tragedies and created new centres of tension. Judge for yourselves: wars as well as local and regional conflicts have not diminished….And no less people perish in these conflicts – even more are dying than before. Significantly more, significantly more!

“Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force – military force – in international relations, force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts.”

“One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations….” [14]

The warning was not heeded in Washington.

Three months later the Pentagon chief resumed his earlier accusations. In May of 2007 the Defense Department issued its annual report on China’s military capability, citing “continuing efforts to project Chinese power beyond its immediate region and to develop high-technology systems that can challenge the best in the world.”

“U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says some of China’s efforts cause him concern.”

The report said “China is pursuing long-term, comprehensive transformation of its military forces” to “enable it to project power and deny other countries the ability to threaten it.” [15] While Gates was in charge of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and responsible for almost half of international military spending he was offended that the world’s most populous nation might desire to “deny others countries the ability to threaten it.”

A year after Gates linked China and Russia with surviving “axis of evil” suspects Iran and North Korea, National Director of Intelligence Michael McConnell singled out China, Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as the main threats to the United States, even more than al-Qaeda.

The Voice of Russia responded to McDonnell’s accusations in a commentary that included these excerpts:

“Russia has demanded an explanation from America over a report by the Director of American national intelligence in which Russia, China, Iraq, Iran, North Korea and al-Qaida are described as sources of strategic threats to the U.S….Quite possibly, the report by the U.S intelligence community amounts to accounting for the staggering sums of money that is allocated yearly for its upkeep. There could be other reasons to explain why Russia has been included among states posing a threat to America.” [16]

Gates has remained as defense secretary for the new American administration and so has the anti-Chinese and anti-Russian rhetoric.

On May 1 of last year Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that “The Obama administration is working to improve deteriorating U.S. relations with a number of Latin American nations to counter growing Iranian, Chinese and Russian influence in the Western Hemisphere….” [17] The month after she spoke those words a military coup was staged in Honduras and two weeks after that the U.S. secured the use of seven military bases in Colombia.

In September Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair issued the U.S.’s quadrennial National Intelligence Strategy report which said “Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea pose the greatest challenges to the United States’ national interests. [18]

Agence France-Presse said that “The United States on [September 15] put emerging superpower China and former Cold War foe Russia alongside Iran and North Korea on a list of the four main nations challenging American interests” and quoted from Blair’s report:

China was fingered for its “increasing natural resource-focused diplomacy and military modernization.”

“Russia is a US partner in important initiatives such as securing fissile material and combating nuclear terrorism, but it may continue to seek avenues for reasserting power and influence in ways that complicate US interests.” [19]

China is not allowed to deny other nations the ability to threaten it and Russia is not permitted to complicate U.S. interests.

The trend, ominous in its relentlessness, continues into this year.

The vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Missile Defense Systems, John Holly, touted his company’s role in the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System – components of which are being delivered to Taiwan – as “the shining star” of Lockheed’s interceptor missile portfolio, and according to a newspaper in the city which hosts the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency “Pointing to missile programs in North Korea, Iran, Russia and China, Holly said, ‘the world is not a very safe world … and it is incumbent upon us in industry to provide [the Pentagon] with the best capabilities.'” [20]

Three days afterward the Pentagon’s Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Wallace Gregson “voiced doubts about China’s insistence that its use of space is for peaceful means” and stated “The Chinese have stated that they oppose the militarization of space. Their actions seem to indicate the contrary intention.” [21]

The next day Admiral Robert Willard, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, stated in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee that China’s “powerful economic engine is also funding a military modernization program that has raised concerns in the region — a concern also shared by the U.S. Pacific Command.” [22]

The U.S. Navy has six fleets and eleven aircraft carrier strike groups in or available for deployment to all parts of the world, but China with only a “brown water” navy off its own coast is a cause for concern to the U.S.

As Alan Mackinnon, the chairman of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, wrote last September:

“The world of war is today dominated by a single superpower. In military terms the United States sits astride the world like a giant Colossus. As a country with only five per cent of the world’s population it accounts for almost 50 per cent of global arms spending.

“Its 11 naval carrier fleets patrol every ocean and its 909 military bases are scattered strategically across every continent. No other country has reciprocal bases on US territory – it would be unthinkable and unconstitutional. It is 20 years since the end of the Cold War and the United States and its allies face no significant military threat today. Why then have we not had the hoped-for peace dividend? Why does the world’s most powerful nation continue to increase its military budget, now over $1.2 trillion a year in real terms? What threat is all this supposed to counter?

“The US response has been largely military – the expansion of NATO and the
encirclement of Russia and China in a ring of hostile bases and alliances. And continuing pressure to isolate and weaken Iran.” [23]

Observations to be kept in the forefront of people’s minds as China is increasingly presented as a security challenge – and a strategic threat – to the world’s sole military superpower.

Related articles:

U.S. Expands Asian NATO Against China, Russia
Stop NATO, October 16, 2009

Broader Strategy: West’s Afghan War Targets Russia, China, Iran
Stop NATO, September 8, 2009

U.S. Accelerates First Strike Global Missile Shield System
Stop NATO, August 19, 2009

Australian Military Buildup And The Rise Of Asian NATO
Stop NATO, May 6, 2009

1) Reuters, January 7, 2010
2) Ibid
3) Defense News, December 23, 2009
5) Russian Information Agency Novosti, January 9, 2010
6) Taiwan News, January 4, 2010
7) Agence France-Presse, January 11, 2010
8) Radio Taiwan International, October 14, 2009
9) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 14, 2009
10) Asian Times, January 20, 2010
11) Time, January 13, 2010
12) Russian Information Agency Novosti, January 15, 2010
15) Voice of America News, May 26, 2007
16) Voice of Russia, February 8, 2008
17) Associated Press, May 1, 2009
18) Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, September 16, 2009
19) Agence France-Presse, September 15, 2009
20) Huntsville Times, January 10, 2010
21) Agence France-Presse, January 13, 2010
22) Washington Post, January 14, 2010
23) Scottish Left Review, November 17, 2009

Categories: Uncategorized

Israel: Global NATO’s 29th Member

January 17, 2010 1 comment

January 17, 2010

Israel: Global NATO’s 29th Member
Rick Rozoff

Extending Article 5 protection, hitherto limited to full member states, to Israel was being advocated with the inescapable implication that a coalition of most of the world’s most powerful military nations, led by the self-designated world’s sole military superpower, would retaliate against Iran if it responded to an Israeli first strike attack. As the U.S. stations hundreds of nuclear warheads at NATO bases in Europe, including in Iran’s neighbor Turkey, invoking NATO’s war clause could provoke a nuclear conflagration.

“Washington has no plans to restrict the expansion only by admitting Israel. The alliance desires to attract India, Japan, Australia and Singapore….The continuation of NATO expansion is undoubtedly an alarming and dangerous idea that could split the world into groups of countries that oppose each other….According to the NATO Charter, an attack on a member state is considered as an aggression against all the members of the alliance [and] any conflict of Israel with its neighbours could become a source of a large-scale regional conflict that could turn into a global war.”

As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is pressuring its 28 member states and dozens of partnership affiliates on five continents to contribute more troops for the war in Afghanistan, the Jerusalem Post reported on January 13 that “Israel is launching a diplomatic initiative in an effort to influence the outcome of NATO’s new Strategic Concept which is currently under review by a team of experts led by former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.” [1]

NATO is crafting its updated Strategic Concept to replace that last formulated in 1999, the year of the military bloc’s expansion into Eastern Europe and its first full-fledged war, the 78-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.

Madeleine Albright, arguably the individual most publicly identified with orchestrating both NATO’s absorption of three former Warsaw Pact members, including her native Czech Republic, and in launching Operation Allied Force, co-chairs NATO’s Group of Experts with Jeroen van der Veer, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell until June of 2009.

In addition, “To ensure close coordination between the Group of Experts and NATO Headquarters, the Secretary General has designated a small NATO team lead by Dr. Jamie Shea, head of Policy Planning Unit, to function as a secretariat and staff support.” [2] Shea was NATO spokesman in 1999 and is now Director of Policy Planning in the Private Office of the Secretary General at NATO Headquarters.

Last October 1 NATO and Lloyd’s of London (“the world’s leading insurance market” in its own words) co-organized a conference in London to unveil and promote the new Strategic Concept. Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen of NATO and Lloyd’s chairman Lord Peter Levene delivered the major addresses.

Host Levene conjured up “a myriad of determined and deadly threats” that required NATO intervention worldwide and Rasmussen itemized no fewer than eighteen of those – none remotely resembling a military attack on or challenge to a single member state. [3]

Recently Madeleine Albright has been traveling to several European capitals to preside over a series of seminars on the updated Strategic Concept and the latest of those, in Oslo, Norway on January 13, was attended by officials from the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

In preparation for the above meeting “Several weeks ago, a former senior Israeli diplomat met privately with Albright to discuss Israeli interests in the concept that is under review.” [4]

The same source added the following background information:

“Israeli-NATO ties have increased dramatically in recent years. Chairman of the Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola visited Israel in November, and the Israeli Navy has announced plans to deploy a missile ship with Active Endeavour, a NATO mission to patrol the Mediterranean Sea….

“Israel is also seeking to receive an upgraded status following the conclusion of the Strategic Concept review that will enable Israeli officials to participate in top NATO forums….Israel is a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue, which was created in 1994 to foster ties with Middle Eastern countries like Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco.” [5]

By 2000 NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue had expanded to include seven nations in the Middle East and Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.

1994 was the same year that the North Atlantic bloc launched the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. Both partnerships were inaugurated only three years after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the breakup of the Soviet Union left not only Eastern Europe but the Middle East, Africa and Asia open to Western military penetration and expansion.

The Partnership for Peace has included all fifteen former Soviet and all six former Yugoslav federal republics as well as all non-Soviet Warsaw Pact members. Twelve of those – Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia – became full NATO members in the decade ending last year after passing through the PfP.

In addition, the program takes in all former neutral, non-aligned states in Europe except for Cyprus: Austria, Finland, Ireland, Malta, Sweden and Switzerland. Malta withdrew from the PfP in 1996 but was reabsorbed in 2008. Pro-U.S. parties in the Cypriot parliament are waging an all-out campaign to drag their nation into the program.

Except for Malta, only recently reentering the PfP, the six nations listed above have sent troop contingents of varying sizes to Afghanistan to serve under NATO command. The only countries in all of Europe (excluding the microstates of Andorra, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City), including the Caucasus, that have not offered troops for the Afghan war front to date are Russia, Belarus, Serbia, Malta, Moldova and Cyprus.

At its 2004 summit in Istanbul, Turkey the largest single expansion of NATO in its history occurred as seven states were brought in as full members, all in Eastern Europe and including the first former Soviet and former Yugoslav republics recruited as full members of the Alliance.

The Istanbul summit also lent itself to another, similarly ambitious, project: The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI). [6] The ICI purposed to elevate the seven Mediterranean Dialogue partners to a status analogous to that of the Partnership for Peace and to consolidate military ties with the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Since Algeria joined the Mediterranean Dialogue in 2000, Montenegro became an independent state in 2006 and joined the Partnership for Peace the same year, and Malta rejoined the latter two years later, every Mediterranean littoral and island nation except – for the moment – Cyprus, Lebanon, Libya and Syria is either a NATO member or partner. The Mediterranean Dialogue also allows NATO to stretch down the Atlantic Coast of Africa to Morocco and Mauritania.

If the accession of new members and the Partnership for Peace provided NATO with outposts on Russia’s borders (Azerbaijan, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine) and on China’s (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative has allowed for the further encirclement of Iran by moving Alliance influence and military presence into the Persian Gulf.

Of the thirteen Middle Eastern and African nations targeted by it, Israel is the one that most immediately and substantively seized on the opportunity the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative offered.

The enhanced status of the Mediterranean Dialogue led within months of the Istanbul NATO summit to Israel engaging in Alliance activities for the first time.

On February 24, 2005 Jaap de Hoop Scheffer became the first NATO secretary general to visit Israel and the next month “Israel and NATO conducted their first ever joint naval exercise in the Red Sea, signalling a strengthening of relations.” An Alliance naval group visited the Israeli Red Sea port of Eilat for a week-long visit, “which included a joint exercise with the Israel Navy.” [7]

As Britain’s Jane’s Defence Weekly reported, “The novelty in the exercise was the fact it was conducted with NATO ships, which operate regularly in the Mediterranean, but rarely visit the Red Sea.” [8]

In May of the same year it was announced that “Israel plans to stage three military exercises with NATO during 2005.

“Israeli officials said the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has submitted a plan to NATO that would include the staging of three exercises with Israel’s military over the next 10 months. They said the exercises would take place at NATO headquarters in Brussels….”

An Israeli official was cited as saying, “We have no doubt that Israel will gain immensely from closer ties with NATO, and we also believe that Israel has much to offer NATO in return.” [9]

In the same month a planning conference for “NATO-led military exercises in the framework of the Partnership for Peace” program was held in Macedonia and was “attended by representatives of over 20 countries, including, for the first time, two countries from the so-called Mediterranean Dialogue – Israel and Jordan.” [10]

Jane’s again: “Whereas Israel’s geopolitical location could offer an ‘external base’ for the defence of the West, NATO’s military and economic status could provide added security and economic benefits for the host state.

“In a rapidly changing strategic environment, Israeli policy makers are recognising definite advantages, especially in security affairs, in developing closer ties with NATO. The present Israeli government’s enthusiasm for this project can be seen in an ambitious set of proposals submitted to the Alliance,” which included “joint military training [and] future joint development of weapons systems.” [11]

In June “The Israeli navy participated for the first time in a NATO submarine exercise in the Gulf of Taranto off the Italian coast,” Sorbet Royal 2005. “Israel was seeking to extend its strategic alliance with NATO beyond what is offered to its Mediterranean cooperation group, even up to full membership of NATO.” [12]

According to an Israeli account before the war games began, “14 nations and about 2,000 forces are to spend the next three weeks hunting for four submarines resting on the ocean floor….” [13]

In July of 2005 Israeli ground troops participated in a NATO military exercise for the first time, a 22-nation training mission in Ukraine that lasted for two and a half weeks. “The drill dealt mainly with antiterrorism combat and low-intensity conflict, but it also symbolized an increasing participation of Israeli forces in NATO.”

Israeli Colonel Alon Friedman said on the occasion that “There have been senior commanders who have gone to NATO events as well as consultants, but never combatants like this.” The Jerusalem Post reported that “Friedman said he was not privy to the diplomatic moves to get the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] more involved in NATO, but he understood the initiative came from NATO.” [14]

By the following year the level of collaboration between the world’s sole military bloc and Israel had increased further. A column appeared at an Israeli news site on February 1 called “Is Israel headed for NATO?” authored by Uzi Arad. Arad established the Atlantic Forum of Israel in 2004 and still chairs the organization. The Atlantic Forum is the main vehicle for promoting NATO-Israel integration on the Israeli side. It’s website, currently under construction, features a Star of David side-by-side with the NATO symbol. [15]

Uzi Arad has an interesting biography, both before and after the founding of the Atlantic Forum. He was the Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from 1997-1999 “on secondment from the Mossad, in which he served for more than two decades, culminating in his tenure as Director of Research (Intelligence).” [16] He has also been Advisor to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Complications developed last year when was “designated to become chairman of the National Security Council under Netanyahu,” but “The press in Washington…reported that Arad had been refused permission to enter the country” [17] because of “his alleged contacts with Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin, who has been convicted of passing information to Israel.” [18] By the end of last March the Obama administration nevertheless approved his visa application for discussions in Washington on Iran.

An Israeli newspaper described his major project: “Working closely with NATO, the Atlantic Forum of Israel seeks to promote and enhance Israel’s relations and standing with the Atlantic Alliance and has played an important role in advancing this relationship.” [19]

In the aforementioned article of Arad’s in February of 2006 he wrote “For the past two years, cooperation between Israel and NATO has become closer, to a certain degree – both on a multilateral level, within the Mediterranean Dialogue, and on a bilateral level, directly with NATO.”

He added that “Last year, Israeli Ambassador [to the European Union in Brussels and envoy to NATO] Oded Eran submitted an official proposal for increasing cooperation, and since the visit of NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer to Israel last June, NATO and Israel have been negotiating over completing the multilateral cooperation plan.

“Israel consented, and announced its willingness to participate in Operation Active Endeavor, which is being conducted in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the alliance’s counter-terrorism effort. It also took part in three military exercises and hosted a conference of air force commanders from NATO and its partners.” [20]

A feature in the Wall Street Journal a few days after Arad’s article appeared, “NATO, Israel Draw Closer,” quoted Arad as asserting: “The only thing worse than Israel being a member of NATO may be Israel not being a member of NATO.” It also mentioned another prime mover in fostering the Israel-NATO nexus, one on the U.S. (and European) end. “Ronald Asmus, a senior State Department official during the Clinton administration who is credited by Mr. Arad with being an ‘intellectual godfather’ of closer NATO-Israel links, says arguments against membership remind him of the initial opposition to NATO enlargement to former Soviet bloc states or the alliance assuming its first missions beyond Europe.” [21]

The German Marshall Fund of the United States website provides this background information on Asmus:

“Dr. Asmus is currently Executive Director of the Brussels-based Transatlantic Center and responsible for Strategic Planning at the German Marshall Fund of the US.

“[He was] Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs from 1997-2000 and has been a senior analyst and fellow at Radio Free Europe, RAND and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been a pioneering voice in the debate over post-Cold War European security and NATO’s transformation. He has published widely and is the author of Opening Nato’s Door.

“For his ideas and diplomatic accomplishments, he has been decorated by the U.S. Department of State as well as the governments of Estonia, Georgia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden.” [22]

The Washington Post published his article “Contain Iran: Admit Israel to NATO” on February 21, 2006 which contained these recommendations:

“The best way to provide Israel with that additional security is to upgrade its relationship with the collective defense arm of the West: NATO. Whether that upgraded relationship culminates in membership for Israel or simply a much closer strategic and operational defense relationship can be debated.”

“Several leading Europeans have called for NATO to embrace Israel, but this debate will not get serious until the United States, Israel’s main ally, puts its weight behind the idea. The time has come to do so.” [23]

Earlier in the month he co-authored a lengthy piece called “Does Israel Belong In the EU and NATO?” with Bruce P. Jackson. Jackson was the founder and head of the U.S. Committee on NATO/Expand NATO and the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq set up four months before the invasion of the nation and is on the Board of Directors of the Project for the New American Century. Asmus and Jackson wrote that “what some Israeli strategic thinkers are starting to discuss – and what we are addressing here – is…an upgraded strategic relationship between Israel and EuroAtlantic institutions like NATO and the EU that would lead to increasingly closer ties and could include eventual membership.” [24]

The third leg of the Israel-NATO integration stool is Ivo Daalder, until recently Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and now the new U.S. administration’s ambassador to NATO where he has a free hand to implement his projects.

In the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs, published by the Council on Foreign Relations, he and co-author James Goldgeier, Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote an article called “Global NATO” which included this excerpt:

“With little fanfare – and even less notice – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has gone global.”

What Daalder had in mind had been adumbrated two years earlier when he wrote “We need an Alliance of Democratic States. This organization would unite nations with entrenched democratic traditions, such as the United States and Canada; the European Union countries; Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia; India and Israel; Botswana and Costa Rica.” [25]

NATO will be the framework for a new U.S.-led global order with the United Nations reduced to a mere handmaiden and cleanup service.

In March of 2006 James Jones, then military chief of the Pentagon’s European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe and now U.S. National Security Adviser, commented on another advance in NATO-Israeli military integration, the first deployment of NATO AWACS to Israel for a military exercise “apparently as a signal to Iran”:

“We’ve had NATO AWACS deployed to do some demonstrations in Israel, and we do have an active dialogue with the Israeli defense force in terms of interoperability, and particularly as it regards the security of the Mediterranean basin at sea.” [26]

In May eight NATO warships docked in the Israeli port city of Haifa “which the military said was an indication of strengthening ties between Israel and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation” preparatory to the Israeli Navy “tak[ing] part for the first time in a NATO naval exercise in the Black Sea in June….” [27] That month the Israeli navy missile ship Achi Eilat left Haifa with its NATO counterparts to join in Operation Mako, “a ten-country joint training exercise in the Black Sea led by NATO-Mediterranean Dialogue countries.” The war games also included ships from “Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, France, Albania, Algeria, Georgia, the United Arab Emirates and others.” The event marked “the first time that an operational unit of the IDF will fully participate with NATO in a military-like operation.” [28] (By way of follow-up, on January 11, 2010 Focus News Agency in Bulgaria revealed that the Israeli Air Force plans to use bases in that country for training exercises.)

NATO reported on the exercises, especially in reference to the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, that “over 2000 personnel and some 25 ships from NATO and Partner countries are rehearsing joint operations at sea in and around Constanta, Romania” where the U.S. and NATO have subsequently acquired a strategic military base.

“Nine NATO countries are taking part (Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom), four Partner countries (Albania, Azerbaijan, Croatia and Georgia) as well as two Mediterranean Dialogue countries (Algeria and Israel).

“In addition, for the first time, the exercise is being observed by a country from NATO’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative – the United Arab Emirates.” [29]

“The purpose of the exercise [is] to create better interoperability between the Israeli Navy and NATO naval forces. Israel was invited to participate in the exercise as a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue.” [30]

In the same month the Israeli Defense Ministry acknowledged that “In a move intended to further bolster ties between Israel and NATO, the IDF is putting search-and-rescue forces on standby so they can be immediately dispatched to participate in NATO global operations.”

In addition, it was announced that “Israel might also be willing to send field hospitals to NATO peacekeeping forces stationed around the world” and “The IDF has also decided to dispatch a high-ranking navy officer to Naples in the coming months, where he will participate in NATO’s…Operation Active Endeavor.” [31]

Toward the end of June a U.S. Congressional committee “unanimously approved a resolution that calls for enhancing Israel’s relationship with NATO.”

“The resolution recommends upgrading Israel’s affiliation to a ‘leading member of NATO’s Individual Cooperation Program,’ a promotion the bill says ultimately will lead to Israel’s full membership in the alliance.” [32]

The Individual Cooperation Program was a provision made available to Mediterranean Dialogue members within the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. On October 16, 2006 NATO and Israel concluded an Individual Cooperation Program agreement.

“Israel and NATO have approved a long-term plan for cooperation in 27 different areas” and “Israel is the first non-European country, and the first in the Middle East to cooperate with NATO and reach a bilateral agreement with the organization.” [33]

Indeed, it is the only country (excepting Iceland) outside of Europe that is included in the U.S. European Command’s area of responsibility. (As neighboring Egypt is the only African nation not in Africa Command.) The rest of the Middle East, like Egypt, is covered by Central Command. For NATO’s purposes Israel – like the South Caucasus states of Armenia and Georgia if not Azerbaijan – is for all intents a European nation.

As the country’s minister of foreign affairs Tzipi Livni said at the NATO’s Transformation, the Mediterranean Dialogue, and NATO-Israel Relations seminar in Herzliya on October 24, 2006, “The alliance between NATO and Israel is only natural….Israel and NATO share a common strategic vision….[T]hreats, aimed at Israel and the western-valued moderate community, position Israel more than ever before on the Euro-Atlantic side. In many ways, Israel is the front line defending our common way of life.” [34]

The two-day conference was organized by the Atlantic Forum of Israel and the NATO Public Diplomacy Division and occurred only two months after the end of Israel’s second Lebanon war, which displaced 900,000 Lebanese, a quarter of the nation’s population.

Delivering her address at the meeting, Livni acknowledged “it is…no secret that Israel preferred the involvement of the forces of NATO in Lebanon….In meeting these strategic threats, NATO is most essential.” She also said “Israel will be glad to cooperate and participate in positive NATO regional and local initiatives, among them: the Mediterranean Dialogue; the like minded global partnership; and the inclusion of Israel in the PFP (Partnership For Peace) NATO program.” [35]

NATO was represented by Deputy Secretary General Alessandro Minuto Rizzo, whose keynote address included:

“We have recently agreed [upon] an individual cooperation programme – or ICP. This programme is the first of its kind in the Mediterranean Dialogue….Just a few weeks ago, an exchange of letters between NATO and Israel set the stage for an Israeli contribution to Active Endeavour….This will be the first contribution from a Mediterranean Dialogue nation and represents another truly significant step forward for both NATO and Israel.

“The posting of an Israeli Liaison Officer to the NATO Command in Naples is a further indication of the vitality of our cooperation, as was the demonstration of a NATO AWACS plane in Israel. And, last but not least, over the course of this year, Israel has participated in two major NATO/PfP military exercises in Romania and Ukraine.” [36]

A retired Israeli intelligence officer told an American news agency that the Individual Cooperation Program with NATO “allows for 2,000 joint activities – thrice the volume open to the countries involved in the Mediterranean Dialogue.” [37]

The previously mentioned Oded Eran, Israel’s representative at NATO headquarters, alluding to the Alliance’s military assistance clause, was quoted by the same source as saying that what had been achieved was “a multilateral umbrella….We don’t necessarily need article 5. The very fact we’re members of such an organization gives…a sort of guarantee.” [38]

By the end of 2006 Israel-NATO military integration had proceeded to the stage that:

The Jewish state was granted a partnership agreement with the Western military bloc more advanced than any accorded any other nation outside of Europe.

The nation’s foreign minister publicly called for her country’s inclusion in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, which has recently successfully groomed twelve other states for full membership in the bloc.

Calls were being made in the West and Israel alike for the latter’s full membership in NATO.

Extending Article 5 protection, hitherto limited to full member states, to Israel was being advocated with the inescapable implication that a coalition of most of the world’s most powerful military nations, led by the self-designated world’s sole military superpower, would retaliate against Iran if it responded to an Israeli first strike attack. As the U.S. stations hundreds of nuclear warheads at NATO bases in Europe, including in Iran’s neighbor Turkey, invoking NATO’s war clause could provoke a nuclear conflagration.

The nation was being promoted as the linchpin of a new Global NATO as now U.S. ambassador to the Alliance Ivo Daalder openly proclaimed it.

In 2007 a Russian analyst warned of the consequences of the above developments:

“By admitting Israel Washington plans to use the alliance as an instrument for exerting pressure on Arab states and strengthening its position in the Middle East….Washington has no plans to restrict the expansion only by admitting Israel. The alliance desires to attract India, Japan, Australia and Singapore….The continuation of NATO expansion is undoubtedly an alarming and dangerous idea that could split the world into groups of countries that oppose each other….According to the NATO Charter, an attack on a member state is considered as an aggression against all the members of the alliance [and] any conflict of Israel with its neighbours could become a source of a large-scale regional conflict that could turn into a global war.” [39]

Undeterred by such grave considerations, even the threat of world war, Washington, Brussels and Tel Aviv continued their joint military collaboration.

In April of 2007 six NATO warships – from Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey – docked in the Israeli Red Sea port of Eilat “for joint drills with the navy’s Red Sea Task Force.” [40] NATO had in effect extended its comprehensive Mediterranean Sea naval surveillance and interdiction operation, Active Endeavor, to the Red Sea and would later establish a permanent presence in the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea.

“Six NATO frigates commanded by a Turkish admiral arrived…in Haifa for a joint drill with Israeli Navy missile boats.

“Israel has been shoring up ties recently with NATO as part of preparations for any future showdown with Iran.” [41]

Following the signing of the Individual Cooperation Program (ICP) the preceding November, in June NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning John Colston visited Israel and invited the nation to provide troops for international Alliance missions. “We welcome very strongly the interest of a whole range of partner nations in participating in NATO-led operations around the world. There are currently seven to eight thousand troops from non-NATO nations participating in missions and further such contributions are always welcome.” In Colson’s words, troop and other contributions – presumably to Afghanistan in the first case – would “fill the ICP framework with practical cooperation.”

The NATO official confirmed his organization’s plans to “add Israel to NATO’s ‘operational capabilities concept’ with the goal of creating better cooperation between the militaries…that would lay the groundwork for potential Israeli participation in NATO-led missions.”

What such missions would entail was indicated by Colson’s announcement that “We agreed to share lessons from Afghanistan with Israel to gain and benefit from one another.” [42]

NATO Deputy Secretary-General Claudio Bisogniero visited Israel in October for two days of meetings arranged by the Atlantic Forum of Israel. “Bisogniero and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni are set to address the second annual NATO Israel Symposium at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya on Monday night, to be followed the next day by a seminar on NATO’s role in the Middle East,” a follow-up to the 2006 two-day affair also addressed by Livni and by Bisogniero’s predecessor, Alessandro Minuto Rizzo. Bisogniero arrived only three weeks after taking up his post and his trip marked the first anniversary of Israel’s Individual Cooperation Program with NATO.

The Atlantic Forum’s Uzi Arad said of the event “There is an evolving process of Israel and NATO drawing together. NATO is constantly transforming itself. As it looks at its role outside of Europe and in the Middle East, it looks into the prospect of closer Israel-NATO relations.” [43]

The most significant comment at the symposium came from a (once and future) Israeli head of state: “Addressing the Atlantic Forum’s symposium in Hertzliyah…former prime minister Netanyahu urged NATO to accept Israel as a ‘full partner’ by the year 2010.” [44]

The next month the chiefs of general staff of Israel and Egypt (which followed Israel in entering into an Individual Cooperation Program) participated in a meeting of all 26 of their counterparts from NATO member states. In fact, “Chiefs of Defence of more than 60 Countries together with NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Operations and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation attended, at various levels, the NATO Military Committee Meetings.” [45]

In December an Indian news source revealed more about NATO’s increased cooperation with Israel within the context of building an Asia-Pacific and beyond that a Global NATO. “India will join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) countries, as well as Israel, Japan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada in the United States in June-July 2008 for the Red Flag wargames for the first time.” [46]

Israeli warplanes also participated in the 2009 Red Flag exercises.

This came against the backdrop of Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman (current Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister), then past and future U.S. presidential candidates John Edwards and Rudolph Giuliani, former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar and other major Western figures demanding full NATO membership for Israel.

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who wrote two articles as far back as 2001 urging NATO to take over the Palestinian Gaza Strip and West Bank, in 2003 advocated that not only Israel but Egypt and (post-invasion) Iraq be welcomed as NATO member states. Incidentally, Friedman’s call for NATO to subjugate Palestine was echoed in differing degrees by James Jones when he was U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Security and by Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft in 2008. The Jerusalem Post wrote early in that year about Jones, previously supreme commander of NATO and now the Obama administration’s National Security Adviser, that “The United States is reviewing the feasibility of deploying a NATO force in the West Bank as a way to ease IDF security concerns….The plan, which is being spearheaded by US Special Envoy to the region Gen. James Jones, is being floated among European countries, which could be asked to contribute troops to a West Bank
multinational force. [47]

Another news source described the plan in franker terms: “James Jones, a former Marine Corps general and NATO military commander from 2003-2005, has been assigned the task of preparing a plan to take over the military occupation of the Occupied Territories of Palestine on behalf of Israel’s security interests.

“The plan for the West Bank will try to draw from the experience made by the deployment of the UNIFIL-forces, led by NATO-countries, but engaging African and Asian troops as well in southern Lebanon.” [48]

NATO plans reach far beyond contingencies for patrolling Israel’s borders with Gaza and the West Bank and even occupying and subjugating Palestinian territories.

A former George H.W. Bush administration State Department official (in the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs), Bennett Ramberg, wrote an article for a major U.S. newspaper almost two years ago bearing the title “An Israeli-NATO pact.” It presented a scenario for military confrontation with Iran and overcoming Russian air defenses in that nation. The writer’s suggestions included:

“As NATO expanded its international reach beyond the European theater in recent years, Israel´s association has become a matter of discussion in Brussels….Israel´s integration into NATO, possibly with a separate American security guarantee, would provide Israel with the defense in depth it has yearned for….[S]hould the United States consent to provide F-22 stealth fighter-bombers, Israel´s capacity will increase. Equally impressive are the American-supplied bunker-buster bombs the aircraft may carry.” [49]

In November of 2008 Israeli Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi attended a NATO meeting in Brussels in which he “set out the strategic threats to Israel and appeal[ed] for increased cooperation….”

Ashkenazi addressed the military chiefs of staff of all twenty-six NATO states at the time and “presented the various threats to the State of Israel, the strategic challenges in the Middle East and the rise of global terrorism, as well as the need for increased cooperation between Israel and NATO members in order to confront the shared threats.” [50]

The following month, December, with Israel’s Operation Cast Lead assault on Gaza only weeks away, NATO expanded and enhanced its Individual Cooperation Program with Israel. “The agreement allows for an exchange of intelligence information and security expertise on different subjects, an increase in the number of joint Israel-NATO military exercises and further cooperation in the fight against nuclear proliferation.

“It also paves the way for an improvement of collaboration in the fields of rearmament and logistics and Israel’s electronic link to the NATO system.”

Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Livni was present for the signing of the pact and said, “Israel’s security capabilities are a household name and we see the strengthening of cooperation between Israel and the international security body as a strategic objective that reinforces Israel.

“Israel is a power within the international index when it comes to the army and its capabilities in the fight against terror; the whole world recognizes this and the expansion of cooperation between Israel and NATO as it was expressed this morning is important proof of this.” [51]

On December 8 NATO hosted a delegation from the Atlantic Forum of Israel at its headquarters in Brussels.

On December 27 Tel Aviv began its relentless attacks in Gaza, replete with reports of the use of white phosphorous bombs and depleted uranium weaponry.

The president of the United Nations General Assembly at the time, Nicaragua’s Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, criticized the offensive as a breach of international law and said, “Gaza is ablaze. It has been turned into a burning hell.” [52]

A week and a half into the attacks a Russian news source wrote that “American planners want to carry 3,000 tonnes of ammunition from the Greek port of Astakos to the Israeli port of Ashdod” and “An even larger shipment of arms, which included laser-guided bombs, arrived in December.” [53]

In the middle of the assaults and carnage NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer arrived in Tel Aviv to deliver a speech to the Atlantic Forum highlighted by his contention that “This is a new NATO.” In a feature with that title, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper printed remarks by Scheffer which included:

“NATO has transformed to address the challenges of today and tomorrow. We have built partnerships around the globe from Japan to Australia to Pakistan and, of course, with the important countries of the Mediterranean and the Gulf.”

“[The] Alliance is projecting stability in Afghanistan, in Kosovo, in the Mediterranean (with Israeli support), and elsewhere – including fighting pirates off the Somali coast – without in any way diluting our core task to defend NATO member states and populations. Finally, we are looking at playing new roles, as well, in energy security and cyber defence….”

“In 2005 and in 2006 Israel participated in two NATO military exercises. In addition, the NATO-Israel Agreement on the Security of Information allows us to share intelligence….In 2006 Israel decided to contribute to NATO’s…Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean….”

“Israel has been the first country to finalize with NATO, in October 2006, a very detailed individual cooperation program, which had been revised and upgraded last November.” [54]

Scheffer met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni, and Livni and Scheffer “discussed means of cooperation between Israel and NATO with regard to the war on terror and methods of preventing smuggling into the Gaza Strip” even as the fighting continued.” [55]

Olmert assured Scheffer that “Israel stands behind NATO and fully supports its struggle against terrorism, just as we expect that you will understand us in our struggle against terrorism….” He also “discussed with him the situation in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip since the beginning of Operation Cast Lead.” [56]

The NATO website reported that Scheffer also met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and now prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In his Atlantic Forum address he said, “Israel has been a most enthusiastic Mediterranean Dialogue partner and that tells me that this country knows full well about the Dialogue and about the benefits that it brings”. [57]

In March Livni returned the favor by flying to Brussels to meet with Scheffer.

The next month the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung office in Jerusalem released the results of a study it commissioned on Israeli attitudes towards NATO intervention in the Gaza Strip and full membership in the military bloc. Dr. Lars Hansel, the head of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Israel, was quoted by the Jerusalem Post:

“[T]he German marines deployed on the Lebanese coast…are seen (by Israelis) as a welcome development. We are clearly sensing a shift in discourse in Israel about this.” [58]

A poll conducted by an Israeli research group demonstrated how successful the efforts of Uzi Arad’s Atlantic Forum and its allies have been.

“[A] majority of respondents (54%) supported outright Israeli membership in NATO (33% did not). Support rose to 60% when only Jewish responses were counted. Almost two-thirds of Israeli Jews support sending NATO troops to the West Bank in a peacekeeping capacity….Israeli Jews supported the presence of NATO peacekeepers in Palestinian areas by 62 percent to 34%, the study found. But that support was not shared among Israeli Arabs, who opposed the idea by 44% to 24%.” [59]

As an indication that words may soon be translated into action, Haaretz wrote last April that “The possibility of an Israeli attack against a nuclear Iran…will be a test of the willingness of NATO’s member states to implement Article 5 of the treaty’s convention….” [60]

An analysis published by China’s Xinhua News Agency last July, “Israel pushes for major upgrade in relations with NATO,” stated “Reports in the Israeli media this week suggest that Israel is looking forward to participation in several key exercises and operations with NATO and individual NATO members during the remainder of 2009.

“However, this seems to be only part of plans for a much broader gradual integration into NATO by Israel.”

It added “Some reports suggest Israel’s desire to cooperate with NATO and to up its operational exercises is Israel’s further preparation for any attack on Iran.” [61]

The same news agency also reported in July that “the IAF [Israel Air Force] will take part later this year in a joint aerial exercise with a NATO-member state, which is yet to be identified,” quoting “Israeli defense officials as saying that the overseas exercises would be used to drill long-range maneuvers.” The source also mentioned that “In 2007, Israeli warplanes bombed a suspected nuclear site inside Syria.

“Last summer, over 100 IAF jets flew over Greece in an exercise widely seen as a test-run for a potential air raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities.” [62]

Late last autumn as the U.S. and NATO prepared to increase troop strength in Afghanistan to over 150,000, the full reciprocity and the geographical range of Israeli-NATO military cooperation were revealed.

The Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, paid a two-day visit to Tel Aviv to meet with leaders of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and “to study the tactics and methods of the IDF” and “was studying the IDF in order to gain a better understanding of how to deal with the ongoing war in Afghanistan.” [63]

A senior Israeli defense official spoke of a meeting between the head of NATO’s Military Committee and Israeli Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi: “The one thing on NATO’s mind today is how to win in Afghanistan. [Di Paola] was very impressed by the IDF, which is a major source of information due to our operational experience.”

Di Paola “noted that NATO and the IDF were facing similar threats – NATO in Afghanistan and Israel in its war against Hamas and Hizbullah.” [64]

Israel has trained Czech helicopter crews in a desert base for deployment to Afghanistan and has supplied and offered its Heron drones to Canada, Germany and other NATO states for the war in that nation.

As another portent of what Brussels and Tel Aviv are jointly anticipating – if not planning – NATO sponsored a three-day course in Haifa in November that provided “emergency management professionals with training on staff teaching and preparation methods in the face of mass casualty situations.

“These situations include all emergencies causing a large number of casualties that require special organisation and response by local, regional and national medical and other services.” [65]

Earlier in the month NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander and U.S. European Command chief Admiral James Stavridis arrived in the Israeli capital to meet 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. The Admiral [was] accompanied by other EUCOM commanders.” [66]

The occasion was the last day of the two-week Operation Juniper Cobra 10, the most recent and by far the largest of biennial joint U.S.-Israeli military exercises. Last year’s was on an unparalleled scale, in fact the biggest-ever joint war games between the two nations. 1,400 American troops and seventeen warships participated in what is probably the most ambitious layered, integrated missile defense exercises ever staged anywhere. [67] “An unprecedented number of American generals, along with 1,400 U.S. army soldiers, are participating with top IDF brass in the high-level Juniper Cobra military exercise that one U.S. Navy commander said is aimed at ’specific threats.’” [68]

The unprecedented drills came shortly after the current U.S. administration announced plans to cancel the ground-based midcourse missile project of President George W. Bush in Eastern Europe in favor of what President Barack Obama on September 17 affirmed were “stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America’s allies.” Reports had surfaced earlier that the U.S. and NATO were to abandon the project of basing ground-based interceptor missiles in Poland and a complementary radar installation in the Czech Republic and instead deploy far more mobile, often non-detectable missile interceptor components to Israel, the Balkans, Turkey and the South Caucasus. [69]

Last year’s Juniper Cobra exercises were the opening salvo for the new plan, clearly prepared for long in advance.

The official purpose was to protect Israel from possible Iranian missile attacks, but the truth is far different. More than a year before, the Pentagon’s European Command, whose top military commander is also NATO’s supreme commander, installed a missile shield radar base in Israel’s Negev Desert, near the host country’s nuclear program at Dimona. The American Forward Based X-Band Transportable Radar has a range of 2,900 miles [4,300 kilometers], far more than what would be required for Iran but sufficient to cover all of western and much of southern Russia.

120 U.S. military personnel were assigned to the base, the first foreign troops to ever be stationed in Israel. Juniper Cobra was the testing phase for U.S. global interceptor missile deployments in the Middle East and beyond. The new American plans have been described by the White House and the Pentagon to be fully integrated with NATO to encompass all of Europe, and Israel’s role in those designs is pivotal. Last autumn’s U.S.-Israeli missile exercises helped “the United States craft its European missile shield…Featuring in the…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.” [70]

As a U.S. Army officer present for Juniper Cobra stated at the time, “On a wider perspective, what the Americans learn from these complex exercises will help shape a NATO defense shield for Europe.” [71]

Earlier this month Israel announced that it has successfully tested what it calls its Iron Dome short- and medium-range anti-missile system, which consists of the newly developed Arrow 2 and David’s Sling interceptor missiles. The first Arrow “was deployed in 2000, and Israel and the United States have since conducted a joint, biennial missile defense exercise, called Juniper Cobra, to work on integrating the weapons, radars and other systems of the two countries.” [72]

Last May in the “first meeting of senior Israeli defense officials with the Obama administration’s new staff at the Pentagon,” the Director General of Israeli Ministry of Defense, General Pinchas Buhris, and American counterparts in Washington, DC it was announced that the U.S. will fully fund a $100 million advanced Arrow 3 missile defense system.

“Israel and the United States are also developing David’s Sling – a missile defense system for medium-range missile with a range between 70 and 250 kilometers. The Arrow 3 will be a longer-range version of the Arrow defense system currently in IDF operation. It will be capable of intercepting incoming enemy missiles at higher altitudes and farther away from Israel.” [73]

In July the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency worked with Israel to test the Arrow system at a U.S. range in the Pacific Ocean.

The head of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, Army Lieutenant General Patrick O’Reilly, said regarding the Pacific drills that “the test will allow Israel to measure its advanced Arrow system against a target with a range of more than 620 miles (1,000 km), too long for previous Arrow test sites in the eastern Mediterranean.

An unnamed U.S. Defense Department official was quoted by Reuters as saying “The upcoming test…provides us the opportunity to have the Patriot system, the THAAD [Terminal High Altitude Area Defense] system and the Aegis system all interacting with the Arrow system so that we’re demonstrating full interoperability as we execute this test.” The same four interceptor missile systems were used jointly in the Juniper Cobra exercises in October and November. [74]

Other NATO states are also assisting the missile and general military buildup for a potential catastrophe in the Middle East, most notably Germany, which will double the amount of Dolphin submarines it has provided Israel. Dolphins are considered capable of carrying Israeli nuclear cruise missiles for any future conflict with Iran. “A bigger Dolphin fleet could allow Israel the option of basing some in its Red Sea port of Eilat, providing a short-cut to the Gulf. An Israeli submarine crossed the Suez Canal for an exercise off Eilat last July, the first such deployment.” [75]

On January 11 Haaretz wrote that “The U.S. Army will double the value of emergency military equipment it stockpiles on Israeli soil, and Israel will be allowed to use the U.S. ordnance in the event of a military emergency….” Citing the U.S.-based Defense News, the Israeli newspaper added, “an agreement reached between Washington and Jerusalem last month will bring the value of the military gear to $800 million.

“This is the final phase of a process that began over a year ago to determine the type and amount of U.S. weapons and ammunition to be stored in Israel, part of an overarching American effort to stockpile weapons in areas in which its army may need to operate while allowing American allies to make use of the ordnance in emergencies.”

It also revealed that “The deal allows Israel access to a wider spectrum of military ordnance, and the U.S. [is] considering which forms of military supplies would be added to stores in Israel. Missiles, armored vehicles, aerial ammunition and artillery ordnance are already stockpiled in the country.” [76]

The U.S., Israel and NATO are preparing for momentous events in the Middle East. They will not be peaceful ones.

1) Jerusalem Post, January 13, 2010
2) NATO’s New Strategic Concept
3) Thousand Deadly Threats: Third Millennium NATO, Western Businesses
Collude On New Global Doctrine
Stop NATO, October 2, 2009
4) Jerusalem Post, January 13, 2010
5) Ibid
6) NATO In Persian Gulf: From Third World War To Istanbul
Stop NATO, February 6, 2009
7) Jane’s Defence Weekly, May 10, 2005
8) Ibid
9) Middle East Newsline, May 21, 2005
10) Makfax, April 21, 2005
11) Jane’s Defence Weekly, May 12, 2005
12) Jane’s Defense Weekly/Islamic Republic News Agency, June 28, 2005
13) Jerusalem Post, June 19, 2005
14) Jerusalem Post, July 22, 2005
16) Haaretz, March 20, 2009
17) Haaretz, March 31, 2009
18) Haaretz, March 20, 2009
19) Ibid
20) Ynetnews, February 1, 2006
21) Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2006
23) Washington Post, February 21, 2006
25) Washington Post, May 23, 2004
26) Jewish Telegraphic Agency, March 7, 2006
27) Agence France-Press, May 30, 2006
28) Israel National News, June 14, 2006
29) NATO, June 22, 2006
30) Jerusalem Post, June 26, 2006
31) Jerusalem Post, June 23, 2006
32) Jewish Telegraphic Agency, June 27, 2006
33) Israel Today, October 17, 2006
34) NATO, October 24, 2006
35) Ibid
36) NATO, October 24, 2006
37) United Press International, October 26, 2006
38) Ibid
39) Eduard Sorokin, What Is Behind The US Plan For NATO Expansion?
Voice of Russia, September 25, 2007
40) Jerusalem Post, April 16, 2007
41) Jewish Telegraph Agency, April 1, 2008
42) Jerusalem Post, June 25, 2007
43) Jerusalem Post, October 22, 2007
44) Winnepeg Free Press, October 30, 2007
45) NATO, November 19, 2008
46) The Asian Age, December 20, 2007
47) Jerusalem Post, February 20, 2008
48) Arab Monitor, January 8, 2008
49) Washington Times, July 5, 2008
50) Agence France-Presse, November 18, 2008
51) Haaretz, December 2, 2008
52) Press TV, January 15, 2009
53) Russia Today, January 10, 2009
54) Haaretz, January 10, 2009
55) Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, January 11, 2009
56) Arutz Sheva, January 12, 2009
57) NATO, January 11, 2009
58) Jerusalem Post, April 22, 2009
59) Ibid
60) Haaretz, April 3, 2009
61) Xinhua News Agency, July 7, 2009
62) Xinhua News Agency, July 6, 2009
63) Israel Today, November 23, 2009
64) Jerusalem Post, November 20, 2009
65) NATO, November 16, 2009
66) Israel Defense Forces, November 3, 2009
67) Israel: Forging NATO Missile Shield, Rehearsing War With Iran
Stop NATO, November 5, 2009
68) Arutz Sheva, November 3, 2009
69) U.S. Expands Global Missile Shield Into Middle East, Balkans
Stop NATO, September 11, 2009
Black Sea, Caucasus: U.S. Moves Missile Shield South And East
Stop NATO, September 19, 2009
70) Reuters, October 22, 2009
71) United Press International, October 30, 2009
72) Washington Post, September 19, 2009
73) Jerusalem Post, May 20, 2009
74) Reuters, July 14, 2009
75) Reuters, January 14, 2010
76) Haaretz, January 11, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Afghanistan: NATO Intensifies Its First Asian War

January 13, 2010 1 comment

January 13, 2010

Afghanistan: NATO Intensifies Its First Asian War
Rick Rozoff

With former Joint Special Operations Command chief General Stanley McChrystal in charge of what will soon be over 150,000 U.S. and NATO troops in the Afghanistan-Pakistan war theater, Washington will conduct its largest counterinsurgency operations since those in Indochina in the 1960s and early 1970s.

NATO, established in 1949 supposedly to confront the Soviet Union and its allies in Central Europe, is waging its first land war almost 3,000 miles east of its former border with the Warsaw Pact.

The world’s sole military superpower…is extending its troop deployments, bases, missile shield components, warplanes and warships to all six inhabited continents, over the past decade to Afghanistan, Australia, Bulgaria, Colombia, Djibouti, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, the Philippines, Poland, Romania and Seychelles.

On January 8 the Washington Post provided North Atlantic Treaty Organization secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt a column in which the two, while deferring to their big brother in Washington – “The United States has played a central role in defending the values and the security of the Euro-Atlantic community” – nevertheless asserted that “Europe can deliver and can be a real partner for the United States. That is what is happening now in the global mission in Afghanistan.” [1]

Unquestioned loyalty to the trans-Atlantic partnership with the United States is synonymous with subordination to NATO, and currently the touchstone for fealty to the military bloc is blind willingness to follow the U.S. further and yet deeper into the increasingly bloody imbroglio in Afghanistan.

In addressing the ongoing and by all appearances interminable colonial war in South Asia, one which cost the U.S. and its NATO allies more lives last year than in any of the seven full years preceding it, the joint propaganda puff piece by Bildt and Rasmussen included the boast that “U.S. allies and partners in the NATO-led military operation have responded clearly to President Obama’s decision to significantly increase American troop levels in the mission. In early December, the other members of the mission pledged an additional 7,000 troops, on top of the almost 40,000 non-U.S. troops already on the ground. Non-U.S. forces will eventually be about 40 percent of the total; they already endure about 40 percent of the casualties. There should be no more doubt in the United States on whether America can count on its allies; we are proving that in blood and treasure every day in Afghanistan.” [2]

Their arithmetic matches that of U.S. permanent representative to NATO, Netherlands-born Ivo Daalder, who four months ago quantified what it means to be a dependable member of the bloc: “Over 40 percent of the bodybags that leave Afghanistan do not go to the U.S. They go to other countries….” [3] Daalder has long been an advocate of NATO not so much supplementing as replacing the United Nations as arbiter of international conflicts and indeed of all important world issues. [4]

It is uncertain whether leading Western governments have formally determined what the optimal distribution and division of blood and currency, deaths and dollars/euros between the United States and its NATO partners should be in order to preserve solidarity between members of the “military alliance of democratic states in Europe and North America.” Perhaps someone in Brussels and Washington computes that lethal calculus.

Bildt, whose country is not yet a full member of NATO notwithstanding the efforts of himself and co-conspirators to surreptitiously pull Sweden into full integration with the world’s only military bloc [5], presumably spoke on behalf of the European Union – though his nation does not currently hold the EU presidency. Spain does.

However, Swedish troops serve under NATO command in Afghanistan and in recent months have been involved in several firefights in the north of the nation, where with fellow former (officially) neutral Finland it is in charge of four provinces for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. Bildt’s nation has lost two soldiers in the Alliance’s Asian war, the first it has sacrificed in an armed conflict since the Norwegian-Swedish War of 1814.

On February 4 and 5 the defense chiefs of all 28 full NATO member states and no doubt counterparts from many of the more than twenty partner nations – from Australia to the United Arab Emirates, Mongolia to Colombia, Bosnia to Singapore, Georgia to South Korea – that have provided or pledged troops to the bloc for its first Asian war will meet in Istanbul, Turkey to plan the next phase of the escalation of the Afghan campaign. “The situation in Afghanistan and sending military reinforcements to join the International Security Assistance Force are expected to be the key matters of the meetings.” [6]

5,000 NATO Casualties Predicted For New Year

What reinforcements from NATO member and partner states will encounter was indicated by retired U.S. general Barry McCaffrey, who earlier this month projected that “US forces in Afghanistan should brace themselves for up to 500 casualties a month this year.” The Times of London added “The anticipated increase would produce around 3,000 American casualties this year, and a total for Western forces in Afghanistan of around 5,000 killed and wounded – the equivalent of seven infantry battalions.” [7]

By way of comparison, in 2009 there were 512 U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom and NATO International Security Assistance Force deaths in Afghanistan, more than a third of the 1,500 Western fatalities since the war began in October of 2001. McCaffrey’s numbers allow for some multiple of last year’s combined U.S. and other NATO member and partner combat deaths to occur later this year.

Such is the test – and the price – of the “Euro-Atlantic” partnership touted by Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Recent developments substantiate predictions of heightened NATO casualties this year, even before planned spring and summer offensives commence.

The New Year has begun with NATO announcing the deaths of over a dozen soldiers, including six in attacks on January 11. The pace of combat deaths this year already promises a total exceeding the previous high in 2009.

The main victims of the expansion of the war in South Asia by the U.S. and NATO will remain Afghan civilians and their opposite numbers in Pakistan [8], but Western military occupation forces will not fare much better.

As deployments increase so will casualties, and both are growing steadily.

NATO Recruits Middle East Partners For Afghan War

On December 30 the Jordanian Army announced that one of its officers became the nation’s first fatality in Afghanistan. Before that the United Arab Emirates was thought to be the only Arab country to supply troops to NATO for that war theater, but on the day of the loss a German news agency revealed that “NATO’s website listed 90 Jordanian soldiers alongside other contributions to the multinational force.” [9] It was later reported that the captain killed in Afghanistan lost his life along with seven Americans in an attack on a CIA forward operating base and was the alleged handler for what has been described as a double agent, a physician from Jordan.

Nine days after its first military loss, Jordan in the person of its foreign minister, Nasser Judeh, asserted “our presence in Afghanistan will be enhanced and increased in the coming phase. This is something that is ongoing. Jordan was one of the first countries there.” [10] U.S. Secretary of State Hillary was in the nation’s capital on January 8 “to discuss strategic cooperation.” [11]

Jordan is a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue partnership along with Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. The United Arab Emirates is a carefully cultivated NATO, American and French military ally in the Persian Gulf and a mainstay of the Alliance’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. [12]

NATO chief Rasmussen recently gave an interview to a Danish newspaper in which he “urged Muslim nations to contribute troops for service in Afghanistan.” The likely recruits are the six Arab members of the Mediterranean Dialogue and the six Gulf Cooperation Council states targeted by the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.)

Afghan War Used To Train Caucasus Armies For Local Wars

The bloc has also secured troop commitments from all three former Soviet republics in the South Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Azerbaijan, bordering both Iran and Russia, has doubled its contingent under pressure from NATO’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia Robert Simmons [13] and recently the vice speaker of its parliament said “At the recent meeting of NATO foreign ministers a proposal was made to increase the number of servicemen in Afghanistan. If we receive an appeal, the issue on increasing the number of Azerbaijani servicemen in Afghanistan may be considered.” [14] Azerbaijani officials, including President Ilham Aliyev, routinely threaten war with neighboring Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Georgia hosted U.S. Marines late last year to train the first new installment of troops from that nation to be deployed to Afghanistan. [15] Georgian troop strength is projected to reach 1,000 within months, thereby rendering the state the largest per capita contributor to NATO’s war in Afghanistan. “By March, the Georgian contingent will become about 1,000 strong, according to the Defense Ministry.” [16]

The nation’s mercurial and bellicose head of state, U.S.-educated Mikheil Saakashvili, said of the Afghan deployment: “This is a unique chance for our soldiers to receive a real combat baptism. We do not need the army only for showing off at military parades.” [17] Saakashvili meant that crack Georgian military forces trained by the U.S. Marine Corps and serving under NATO in Afghanistan will be better prepared for the next war with Russia over South Ossetia and Abkhazia when they return home.

On January 10 the first Afghanistan-bound Armenian troops “depart[ed] for Germany for training before joining the ISAF mission in Afghanistan” and “will be in Afghanistan in mid-February.” [18]

Unlike its neighbors Azerbaijan and Georgia, Armenia is a member of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), seen by many observers as a bulwark against further NATO expansion into former Soviet space. Although Armenia sent a small contingent of troops to Iraq earlier, they were deployed under a bilateral arrangement with the U.S. and did not serve under NATO command as they will in Afghanistan. Armenian troops will be the first from the CSTO to do so.

Another former Soviet republic, Estonia, a full member of NATO since 2004, announced this month that in keeping with other Alliance members and partners from five continents it was prepared to increase its Afghan war contingent. “150 soldiers from the Baltic country are involved in the conflict and it’s likely that more troops are going to be sent.” [19]

NATO’s War Trajectory: From Southeastern Europe To South Asia

The North Atlantic military bloc, the only one in the world since the formal dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991, effected its transition from an alleged defensive organization to an active out of area perpetrator of armed aggression with the 78-day Operation Allied Force air war against Yugoslavia in 1999. Slightly over two years after that conflict ended NATO invoked its Article 5 mutual military assistance provision to join the U.S. in Afghanistan and in the general global war on terror announced by the American administration.

Currently all six former Yugoslav federal republics except for Serbia, which is also marked for further NATO integration and will in turn be pressured for troops, have committed forces to serve under NATO in the Afghan war zone.

Late last month Defense Minister Selmo Cikotic confirmed that “Bosnia is planning to send troops next year to join the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan.” [20]

A Croatian soldier was injured in Afghanistan on December 30 in an attack of an undisclosed nature.

Macedonia is a perennial candidate for full NATO membership that has attempted to prove its bona fides to the Alliance by sending troops to, first, Iraq and now Afghanistan. It will not be accepted until it changes its name under foreign pressure and effectively cedes its northwest region to Kosovo, an artificial political entity violently forged by NATO.

On January 8 the country dispatched 150 troops for a new rotation. The forces will join a British military unit. Earlier the Macedonian Defense Ministry announced that it was increasing troop strength to over 243, a fifty percent boost.

In neighboring Bulgaria a news source recently divulged that the nation was adding deployments to Afghanistan which will bring the country’s troops there to over 300.

Poland: NATO Uses Afghan War To Train Army For Combat, Warfare

Late in December Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski made a tour of inspection to the NATO Joint Force Training Center in Bydgoszcz and said, “I think that slowly but consistently we are implementing our strategy in Afghanistan. We have completed our missions in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Chad and strengthened the one in Afghanistan. I think that, as a result, the Polish Army is getting an experience there and entering NATO’s first league….” [21]

Poland has pledged an additional 600 troops for the war this year and the total number will reach 2,600, the largest overseas military deployment in the nation’s history, 100 more than it had deployed in Iraq where it lost 22 soldiers.

For Poland, as with fellows neighbors of Russia like Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Latvia and Lithuania [22], NATO is supplying military training and combat experience for future action nearer home. Toward the end of last year a Polish officer, speaking of his country’s National Forces Reserve, said that “in the event of war, the reserve units could be mobilised” and that they will “train on a regular basis to keep up their combat skills in the event of warfare.” [23] The application of such training is not for Afghanistan.

The major, older NATO nations are also stepping up their roles in the Afghan conflict.

Even before the January 28 conference on Afghanistan to be held in London, at and after which it is expected that NATO troop contributions will expand even beyond the additional 7,000 pledged since U.S. President Obama’s troops surge announcement last December 1, the host nation Britain has assigned several hundred more troops. The country’s death toll reached 246 early this year.

France: Back In NATO Military Command, In Afghanistan For The Duration

On January 8 French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has already sent 2,600 soldiers to Afghanistan, “defended his country’s military force in Afghanistan, saying…that now is not the time to pull out.”

He also “insisted on the importance of France’s participation in NATO. France rejoined NATO’s integrated military command in 2009, more than 40 years after quitting it and kicking American military bases off French soil.” [24]

On January 4 Der Spiegel reported that the U.S. “has decided to send 2,500 soldiers to Kunduz,” where German forces called in a NATO air strike in early September of last year that killed 150 civilians [25], “the region under German command in the northern part of the country. The move is sure to increase the pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.” Pressure, that is, to dispense with the limit of 4,500 troops imposed by the parliament, the Bundestag, and “intensify the debate in Germany about sending more troops. Internally, the government in Berlin has already decided to increase German troop numbers by up to 2,000 soldiers….” [26] American troops would serve under German command for the first time in Afghanistan or anywhere else.

German Troops “Trained To Kill”

The following day the new Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, in recent years German ambassador to the United States and to Britain, was quoted as saying that “Germany must confront the reality that its soldiers are trained to kill” and that “certain military facts had to be confronted.”

Ischinger stated in his own words: “Soldiers are trained to kill others, or at least to threaten people in a way that they consider it plausible that they will be killed if they don’t do what is expected of them.”

He urged a troop increase in Afghanistan and added, “If we send too many, it can’t get so bad. If we send too few, it could be that the whole thing doesn’t work…We are building fewer wells, and unfortunately have to shoot more.” [27]

The war in Afghanistan, like that against Yugoslavia in 1999, is providing Germany the opportunity of reemerging on the world military stage. [28]

Scandinavia, Spain: Killing And Dying In South Asia

The Norwegian press this year has reported on the heightened combat role of its nation’s troops. On New Year’s Eve a “Norwegian patrol came under fire from several directions. The fighting lasted for seven hours.” [29] The country’s Defense Ministry claimed that several Afghan insurgents were killed. Norwegian troops are also not constructing wells; neither are their Finnish and Swedish counterparts who have been in regular firefights in northern Afghanistan.

“The Christmas period has seen troops from Norway involved in several battles across northern Afghanistan,” one of which “led to NATO being called on to provide assistance from the air.”

“On Christmas Day a mission with drone and helicopter support was deployed to an under siege Afghan border post by Norwegian and Afghan troops.” [30]

At the beginning of January “it was announced that Norwegian forces, which number around 500 in Afghanistan, were involved in fighting every third day on average.” [31]

On January 8 a Danish soldier was killed and five were injured in Helmand province. Denmark, which has 700 troops assigned to NATO, has lost 29 military personnel in the Afghan war.

On January 8 the Spanish contingent in Afghanistan – “Spain currently has about 800 troops serving with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and plans to deploy an additional 220 soldiers to that nation” [32] – lost a soldier, an Ecuadoran national, to a non-combat injury, bringing Spain’s toll to 90 Afghan war-related deaths. Another 150 soldiers have been seriously injured.

The Spanish government refuses to name a withdrawal date and “[J]udging by the amazing Spanish base being built close to the airport of the capital of the Province of Badghis, the withdrawal will not come soon.

“This base will have a capacity to accommodate around 300,000 soldiers and its cost will exceed 44 million euros. The base will have an extension of around 173 acres and a perimeter of 3 miles.” [33]

Spanish troops killed one Afghan civilian and wounded another in late December in Herat province.

During the same period “The Dutch television channel RTL news…obtained evidence that, it claims, shows that Dutch troops in Afghanistan have been responsible for more than 100 civilian deaths.” [34]

On December 30 four more Canadian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, bringing Canada’s death tally to 138, the third largest of any NATO state and the largest per capita.

Two Italian troops were among those wounded on December 28 when an Afghan National Army soldier fired on NATO troops. Italy has lost 22 soldiers in the war and will add 1,000 more troops this year to the 3,200 already in Afghanistan.


With former Joint Special Operations Command chief General Stanley McChrystal in charge of what will soon be over 150,000 U.S. and NATO troops in the Afghanistan-Pakistan war theater, Washington will conduct its largest counterinsurgency operations since those in Indochina in the 1960s and early 1970s.

The New York Times reported in late December that “Secretive branches of the military´s Special Operations forces have increased counterterrorism missions…in Afghanistan and, because of their success, plan an even bigger expansion next year, according to American commanders.”

“Senior military officials say it is not surprising that the commandos are playing such an important role in the fight, particularly because Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the senior American and NATO officer in Afghanistan, led the Joint Special Operations Command for five years.

“In addition to the classified American commando missions, military officials say that other NATO special operations forces have teamed up….” [35]

NATO, established in 1949 supposedly to confront the Soviet Union and its allies in Central Europe, is waging its first land war almost 3,000 miles east of its former border with the Warsaw Pact.

Associated Press reported on January 12 that the Obama White House is to request a record $708 billion for the Pentagon for next year and the first of what will become regular emergency requests for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, overwhelmingly for the first: $33 billion.

The integration of U.S. armed forces and those of the other fifty nations providing troops for NATO in Afghanistan, a global NATO in embryo [36], is not limited to the war in Afghanistan.

Last week it was reported that the chief of the U.S. Joint Forces Command, Marine Corps General James Mattis, who was also NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation [ACT] until last September, “pitched to Defense Secretary Robert Gates a proposal to rename the Norfolk, Va.-based organization, aiming to reflect how much it works with non-American entities and officials.

“34 senior officers from both NATO and ‘Partnership for Peace member nations, as well as Asia-Pacific, African and Middle Eastern nations,’ are hosted by the command. Nearly 90 officials from 48 nations ‘routinely collaborate’ with the joint organization,” according to Mattis. [37]

His memo to Pentagon chief Gates contained this core recommendation:

“In alignment with our mission and consistent with the continued importance of partnership with multinational partners, request your approval to immediately pursue the renaming of U.S. Joint Forces Command to U.S. Joint and Coalition Forces Command. This [proposed] name will better reflect the day-to-day reality of this non-geographically-oriented command and signify a command focused on more than internal U.S. priorities.” [38]

The world’s sole military superpower, as President Barack Obama referred to the nation whose commander-in-chief he is on the occasion of receiving the now even further tarnished Nobel Peace Prize, is extending its troop deployments, bases, missile shield components, warplanes and warships to all six inhabited continents, over the past decade to Afghanistan, Australia, Bulgaria, Colombia, Djibouti, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, the Philippines, Poland, Romania and Seychelles.

The U.S. has the mightiest and most lethal military arsenal in human history at its disposal and the world’s second-largest standing army (only China’s having more troops). It intends to spend over $700 billion next year on its defense budget and will continue to add on special appropriations for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

It also is in charge of the world’s first global military bloc, NATO, which is participating with the U.S. in an expanding war in Asia with forces from over a quarter of the world’s nations under its command.

1) Washington Post, January 8, 2010
2) Ibid
3) Reuters, September 14, 2009
4) West Plots To Supplant United Nations With Global NATO
Stop NATO, May 27, 2009
5) Stop The Stealthy Accession To NATO!
6) Aysor, January 11, 2010
7) The Times, January 7, 2010
8) West’s Afghan War: From Conquest To Bloodbath
Stop NATO, January 5, 2010
9) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, December 30, 2009
10) Agence France-Presse, January 8, 2010
11) Trend News Agency, January 10, 2010
12) NATO In Persian Gulf: From Third World War To Istanbul
Stop NATO, February 6, 2009
13) Mr. Simmons’ Mission: NATO Bases From Balkans To Chinese Border
Stop NATO, March 4, 2009
Eurasian Crossroads: The Caucasus In U.S.-NATO War Plans
Stop NATO, April 7, 2009
Azerbaijan And The Caspian: NATO’s War For The World’s Heartland
Stop NATO, June 10, 2009
14) Azeri Press Agency, December 24, 2009
15) U.S. Marines In The Caucasus As West Widens Afghan War
Stop NATO, September 3, 2009
16) Interfax, January 13, 2010
17) The Telegraph, December 8, 2009
18), January 9, 2010
19) Estonian Free Press, January 8, 2010
20) Reuters, December 28, 2009
21) Polish Radio, December 31, 2009
22) Afghan War: NATO Trains Finland, Sweden For Conflict With Russia
Stop NATO, July 26, 2009
23) Polish Radio, December 28, 2009
24) Associated Press, January 8, 2010
25) Following Afghan Election, NATO Intensifies Deployments, Carnage
Stop NATO, September 6, 2009
26) Der Spiegel, January 4, 2010
27) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, January 5, 2010
28) New NATO: Germany Returns To World Military Stage
Stop NATO, July 12, 2009
29) Norway Post, January 3, 2010
30) IceNews, January 3, 2010
31) Ibid
32) EFE, January 8, 2010
33) Prensa Latina, December 28, 2009
34) Radio Netherlands, December 24, 2009
35) New York Times, December 27, 2009
36) Afghan War: NATO Builds History’s First Global Army
Stop NATO, August 9, 2009
37) Defense News, January 6, 2009
38) Ibid

Categories: Uncategorized

Estados Unidos y la OTAN expanden la guerra de Afganistán al Cuerno de África y el océano Índico

January 13, 2010 Leave a comment

January 13, 2010

Estados Unidos y la OTAN expanden la guerra de Afganistán al Cuerno de África y el océano Índico
Rick Rozoff

Traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Beatriz Morales Bastos

De forma paralela a la escalada de la guerra en el sur de Asia (operaciones contra la insurgencia en Afganistán y ataques con misiles lanzados desde [aviones teledirigidos] drones en Pakistán), Estados Unidos y sus aliados de la OTAN han preparado el trabajo preliminar para operaciones navales, aéreas y por tierra cada vez mayores en el Cuerno de África y el golfo de Adén.

Durante el mes pasado Estados Unidos llevó a cabo mortales ataques militares en Yemen: bombardeos aéreos en el norte y ataques con misiles crucero en el sur de la nación. Se ha acusado a Washington de matar a gran cantidad de civiles en estos ataques en ambas partes del país que se llevaron a cabo antes del incidente del 25 de diciembre en Northwest Airlines utilizado para justificar ex post facto estas acciones anteriores de Estados Unidos. Y de forma preocupante el incidente se ha explotado para hacer retumbar un sonido constante de tambores de guerra pidiendo que se expanda la intervención militar y sea aún más directa.

El programa militar y de seguridad del Pentágono para Yemen revelado públicamente aumentó desde 4,6 millones de dólares en 2006 a 67 millones el año pasado. “Esta cifra no incluye la ayuda encubierta y confidencial que ha proporcionado Estados Unidos” [1].

Además, “según un nuevo acuerdo de cooperación confidencial, Estados Unidos podría hacer volar misiles crucero, aviones de combate o aviones armados drone no tripulados contra objetivos en el país, pero permanecería callado públicamente acerca de su papel en los ataques aéreos” [2].

El día 1 de enero el general David Petraeus, jefe del Comando Central del Pentágono, que se ocupa tanto de las guerras de Afganistán e Iraq como de las operaciones en Yemen y Pakistán, se encontraba en la capital iraquí, Bagdad, y habló de profundizar la implicación militar en Yemen: “El año pasado tuvimos, es bien conocido, unos 70 millones de dólares en ayuda de seguridad. El próximo año esta ayuda será más que duplicada” [3].

Al día siguiente Petraeus estaba en la capital de Yemen donde se reunió con el residente del país, Ali Abdullah Saleh, para discutir “el continuo apoyo estadounidense para extirpar las células terroristas” [4].

El asesor de antiterrorismo de la Casa Blanca (ayudante del presidente para la seguridad nacional y antiterrorismo) John Brennan informó al presidente Barack Obama sobre la visita de Petraeus al nuevo escenario de la guerra de Washington y después declaró: “Hemos convertido a Yemen en una prioridad para el curso de este año y esto es lo último en este esfuerzo” [5].

Estados Unidos y los gobiernos occidentales han identificado las supuestas células terroristas en cuestión como células afiliadas a al Qaeda en la Península Arábiga (AQAP, en sus siglas en inglés). Sin embargo, el 4 de enero CNN informó de que “un alto cargo estadounidense citó una rebelión de las tribus huti [houthi] en el norte y actividad secesionista en las áreas tribales del sur” como elementos que preocupaban a Washington. [6]

El origen confesional de los houthis es el Islam chií y no sunní, y las fuerzas de oposición en el sur están dirigidas por el Partido Socialista Yemení, por lo tanto los intentos de relacionar a cualquiera de los dos con al Qaeda son erróneos, interesados y deshonestos.

Tanto en el norte como en el sur [de Yemen] Estados Unidos, sus aliados de la OTAN (Gran Bretaña y Francia cerraron sus embajadas en Yemen a principios de este semana de forma conjunta con Estados Unidos) y Arabia Saudí están trabajando conjuntamente para apoyar al gobierno de Saleh en lo que a lo largo del mes pasado se ha convertido en un estado de guerra contra las fuerzas de oposición en el país. Arabia Saudí ha emprendido bombardeos aéreos regulares y ataques con infantería y vehículos armados en el norte del país, y de acuerdo con fuentes rebeldes houthi, han sido apoyados por aviones de combate estadounidenses en sus ataques mortíferos contra pueblos. Los portavoces houthi han acusado a Riyadh de lanzar más de mil misiles en Yemen y a finales de diciembre el ministro de Defensa saudí reconoció que sus bajas militares en el mes anterior incluían 73 muertos, 26 desaparecidos y 470 heridos. En resumen, una guerra entre dos países
fronterizos en la Península Arábiga.

Sin embargo, Occidente tiene unos planes aún más amplios para Yemen, unos planes que incluyen integrar operaciones militares desde el noreste de África hasta la frontera china. Típico de las recientes declaraciones de altos cargos estadounidenses y de sus aliados occidentales, la semana pasada el primer ministro británico Gordon Brown afirmó, falazmente, que “la debilidad de al Qaeda en Pakistán les ha obligado a salir de Pakistán e ir a Yemen y Somalia” [7].

Brown declaró el 3 de enero a la BBC: “Se ha reconocido Yemen, al igual que Somalia, como una de las zonas en las que no sólo tendremos que estar pendientes sino que tendremos que hacer algo más. Esto significa fortalecer la cooperación antiterrorista, significa trabajar más duramente en los esfuerzos de inteligencia” [8]. A Brown le corresponde explicar por qué si se “ha obligado a salir” a al Qaeda de Pakistán, está añadiendo soldados a la oleada de tropas estadounidenses y de la OTAN que pronto hará que la suma de soldados occidentales llegue a 150.000 en Afganistán mientras que se intensifican los ataques mortíferos en el propio Pakistán.

El primer ministro británico también ha pedido que se celebre un encuentro internacional sobre Yemen para finales de este mes y ha anunciado que “Gran Bretaña y Estados Unidos han acordado financiar una unidad de policía antiterrorista en Yemen…” [9]

En las noticias occidentales, o más bien venta de rumores, se acusa a los rebeldes yemeníes de suministrar armas a miembros de la oposición somalí y se dice que estos han ofrecido combatientes a los primeros.

En resumen, la oficialmente descartada pero reanimada y expandida de hecho “guerra global contra el terrorismo” se está librando hoy en un único teatro de guerra que se extiende desde el mar Rojo hasta Pakistán. Un esfuerzo conjunto por parte de los Comandos Central de África del Pentágono y de la Organización del Tratado del Atlántico Norte de forjar la consolidación de casi todo el continente europeo bajo el control de la OTAN y del Pentágono y ceder el control del continente africano al Comando de África estadounidense (AFRICOM) (excepto para Egipto, activo individual del Pentágono y socio del Diálogo Mediterráneo de la OTAN).

De hecho la administración Reagan inauguró el Comando Central en 1983 sobre los cimientos de la Fuerza Conjunta de Despliegue Rápido (RDJTF, en sus siglas en inglés) que su predecesor Jimmy Carter había activado tres años antes [10]. El desarrollo posterior de las Fuerzas de Despliegue Rápido (RDF, en sus siglas en inglés) se lanzó directamente para contrarrestar los acontecimientos en Afganistán y Somalia un 1979 (un componente integral de la doctrina Carter) y se diseñó deliberadamente para establecer el control militar en el Cuerno de África, el mar de Omán y el oeste del océano Índico.

Las administraciones pueden salir (George W. Bush y Tony Blair han cesado en sus cargos) y los nombres pueden cambiar (la guerra global contra el terrorismo se ha rebautizado operaciones de contingencia en el exterior) pero las ambiciones geopolíticas globales de Washington, ilimitadas desde el colapso del Pacto de Varsovia y de la Unión Soviética en 1991 no han hecho sino aumentar y universalizarse, y los medios empleados para llevarlas a cabo sino hacerse más agresivos.

En los últimos tiempos la Casa Blanca y sus aliados europeos han resucitado y exagerado el espectro de al Qaeda hasta un grado nunca visto desde los días inmediatamente posteriores al 11 de septiembre de 2001.

Con la excusa de proteger el territorio estadounidense de esta vaga y ubicua entidad, el Pentágono está implicado en operaciones militares que van desde el oeste de África hasta el este de Asia contra, entre otros, grupos de izquierda decididamente no vinculados a Osama bin Laden en Colombia, Filipinas y Yemen; milicias chiíes en Líbano y Yemen; rebeldes étnicos en Mali y Niger; y una rebelión cristiana extremista en Uganda.

Como los tristemente célebres ladrones de tumbas del siglo XIX William Burke y William Hare, tan bien pagados por proporcionar cadáveres a la facultad de medicina de Edimburgo y que cuando se quedaban sin cadáveres para vender los creaban, al Qaeda es un villano digno de confianza al que se puede evocar cuando sea necesario.

Se puede confundir a los combatientes al-Shabaab en Somalia con piratas en golfo de Adén para proporcionar un pretexto para una presencia naval permanente de la OTAN y sus aliados de la Unión Europea en una red que incluye el mar Rojo, el mar de Omán que lleva al Golfo Pérsico y la mayor parte de la costa este de África.

El componente estadounidense de la más amplia guerra afgana es la Operación Libertad Duradera que abarca Afganistán, Cuba (la base naval de la bahía de Guantánamo), Djibouti, Eritrea, Etiopía, Jordania, Kenia, Kirguizstán, Pakistán, Filipinaas, las Seychelles, Sudán, Tajikistán, Turquía, Uzbekistán y Yemen.

Djibouti, que alberga a aproximadamente 2.500 miembros del personal militar estadounidense en la primera base permanente del Pentágono en África, también es el cuartel general de la Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta Combinada-Cuerno de África (CJTF-HOA, en sus siglas en inglés), establecida en 2001 varios meses antes de la Operación Libertad Duradera y que en muchos aspectos se superpone con ésta. El Comando Central del Pentágono trasladó la CJTF-HOA, con base en la base militar francesa de Camp Lemonier, a su Comando de África (AFRICOM) el 1 de octubre de 2008 cuando se activó formalmente AFRICOM.

Su zona de responsabilidad incluye Djibouti, Etiopía, Eritrea, Kenia, las Seychelles, Somalia, Sudán, Tanzania, Uganda y Yemen. Sus zonas de interés son las Comores, Mauricio y Madagascar. Éstas tres últimas son, como las Seychelles, islas naciones en el océano Índico. Estados Unidos amplió Camp Lemonier cinco veces su tamaño en 2006 y los soldados de todas las ramas de los servicios armados estadounidenses “utilizan la base cuando no trabajan ‘repartidos’ por países como Kenia, Etiopía y Yemen” [11].

Al anunciar recientemente que “Yemen ha recibido equipamiento militar de Estados Unidos para ayudar al gobierno a luchar contra la red de al Qaeda en el sur del país” una agencia de noticias alemana añadía estos antecedentes: “En la década de 1990 Yemen dio la bienvenida a los combatientes árabes que habían abandonado Afganistán tras la caída de la Unión Soviética” [12].

Como con el propio Afganistán y otros lugares en los que el ejército estadounidense está luchando contra grupos insurgentes (Filipinas, Somalia y Yemen), con frecuencia el Pentágono se enfrenta con combatientes financiados, armados y adiestrados por su propio gobierno en Pakistán desde 1978-1992 bajo la Operación Ciclón, la mayor operación encubierta emprendida nunca por la CIA.

Una edición de 2008 de U.S. News & World Report, una revista a la que no se puede acusar de ser poco amistosa con la Casa Blanca y el Pentágono, escribió acerca de la guerra en Afganistán que “dos de los actores más peligrosos son dos violentos islamistas afganos llamados Gulbuddin Hekmatyar y Jalaluddin Haqqani, según altos cargos estadounidenses” [13].

Una valoración repetida en la Valoración Inicial del 30 de agosto de 2009 del general Stanley McChrystal, comandante de todas las fuerzas de Estados Unidos y de la OTAN en Afganistán. El informe, que fue la base para que la Casa Blanca incrementara las tropas en el teatro de la guerra hasta llegar a más de 100.000 soldados, afirmaba que “los principales grupos insurgentes en función de su amenaza para la misión son el Quetta Shura Taliban (05T), la Red Haqqani (HQN) y el Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HiG)”.

La revista U.S. News & World Report proporcionó estos antecedentes:

“[E]stos dos señores de la guerra (que actualmente encabezan la lista estadounidense de los hombres más buscados en Afganistán) fueron una vez unos de los más valiosos aliados de Estados Unidos. En la década de 1980 la CIA canalizó cientos de millones de dólares en armas y munición para ayudarles a luchar contra el ejército soviético… Hekmatyar, al que Washington consideraba que era un rebelde antisoviético en el que se podía confiar, incluso voló a Estados Unidos llevado por la CIA en 1985.

Los altos cargos estadounidense incluso tenían una alta opinión de Haqqani, al que consideraban el señor de la guerra rebelde más eficaz… Haqqani también fue uno de los principales defensores de los llamados afganos árabes y organizó hábilmente a los combatientes voluntarios árabes que fueron a emprender la jihad contra la Unión Soviética y ayudaron a proteger al futuro dirigente de al Qaeda Osama bin Laden” [14].

En nombre de luchar contra este mismo bin Laden y al Qaeda, Estados Unidos y sus aliados de la OTAN, además de aumentar la fuerza militares combinadas que luchan en Afganistán ahora en su noveno año hasta más de 150.000 hombres, más hombres de los que desplegó nunca la Unión Soviética en esta nación, están intensificando las misiones mortíferas de los misiles drone, los helicópteros de combate y los ataques de comandos dentro del vecino Pakistán. Un reciente informe del gobierno en esta nación indicaba que habían muerto 708 personas sólo a causa de ataques con drones de la CIA. Sólo cinco de estas personas fueron identificadas como sospechosas de al Qaeda y talibán [14]. El 6 de enero al menos 13 personas más murieron en un ataque con misil en la agencia tribal pakistaní de Waziristán del Norte.

El mes pasado un periódico militar estadounidense informó de que “un equipo operativo de combate de marines formado por 1.000 soldados capaz de desplegarse rápidamente a lugares conflictivos podría estar pronto a disposición del Comando de África estadounidense”, un anuncio que llegó “unos pocos meses después de que las fuerzas especiales estadounidenses perpetraran un ataque a la luz del día en el interior del sur de Somalia” y después de que otra fuerza de marines “ya se hubiera desplegado para apoyar a misiones de adiestramiento en Uganda y Mali” [15].

A finales de octubre del año pasado el Secretario General de la OTAN el general Anders Fogh Rasmussen estuvo en los Emiratos Árabes Unidos [UAE, en sus siglas en inglés] para coordinar a los miembros de la Iniciativa de Cooperación de Estambul de la OTAN para una futura confrontación con Irán. En una conferencia sobre las Relaciones OTAN-UAE y Futuras Perspectivas de la Iniciativa de Cooperación de Estambul amplió su misión a reclutar a las monarquías del golfo Persa para la siempre en aumento Guerra del Gran Afganistán: “Tenemos un interés común en ayudar a países como Afganistán e Iraq a volverse a levantar, en fomentar la estabilidad en Oriente Medio…y en impedir que países como Somalia y Sudán se deslicen más hacia el caos” [16].

Dos meses antes se informó de que “unos 75 miembros del ejército estadounidense y civiles se dirigirán a las islas Seychelles en las próximas semanas para organizar… operaciones [con aviones] Reaper, que empezarían en octubre o noviembre. El Comando de África estadounidense llama a la misión dirigida por la Marina Ocean Look. Estados Unidos instalará la base de los [aviones] Reapers (que se utilizarán para servicios de inteligencia, vigilancia y reconocimiento) en el aeropuerto regional de Mahe en las Seychelles…” [17]. El [avión] Reaper es el más novedoso vehículo aéreo (drone) no tripulado “cazador-asesino” del Pentágono equipado con quince veces más potencia de fuego y que vuela a tres veces la velocidad de su Predador precursor, utilizado con un efecto devastador en Pakistán y Somalia. El pasado mes de octubre rebeldes somalíes afirmaron haber abatido un drone estadounidense y “residentes locales informan rutinariamente de aviones sospechosos de ser drones estadounidenses sobrevolando [su ciudad]. Se cree que los drones salen desde barcos de guerra situados en el océano Índico” [18].

El estacionamiento permanente de fuerzas militares estadounidenses en las islas Seychelles forma parte de un modelo de los últimos años de establecer tropas estadounidenses para manejar baterías de misiles, radares para interceptar misiles, bases aéreas, bases de contrainsurgencia y otras instalaciones en países en los que su presencia habría sido inconcebible hace unos pocos años: Afganistán, Colombia, Bulgaria, Djibouti, Iraq, Israel, Kirguizstán, Mali, Polonia y Rumanía. Un informe del 7 de enero afirma que Estados Unidos planea establecer una base aérea en Yemen, en el archipiélago Socotra del océano Índico [19].

Más tarde se reveló que “además de los aviones no tripulados, el ejército estadounidense está considerando establecer la base de la patrulla de aviones Navy P-3 Orion en las Seychelles por un tiempo limitado. Como el Reaper, el Orion puede vigilar una amplia región…” [20].

Una fuente de noticias de de Oriente Medio informó de la siguiente manera sobre estos hechos: “Estados Unidos está llevando esta empresa militar en África a nuevos niveles en medio de sospechas de que Washington podría estar promoviendo, sin embergo, otra agenda oculta.

Se espera que operativos estadounidenses lancen aviones de vigilancia no tripulados sobre el territorio de las Seychelles desde barcos estadounidenses situados en sus costas, en lo que Washington afirma son [despliegues] con el objetivo de espiar a los piratas somalíes… [P]retextos similares se utilizaron para justificar la invasión estadounidense de Afganistán, los ataques con misiles en Pakistán y sus cada vez menores operaciones militares en Iraq… Washington también ha empezado a equipar a Mali con vehículos militares y equipamiento de comunicación por valor de 4,5 millones de dólares estadounidenses, en lo que se informa que es una creciente implicación estadounidense en África” [21].

A Estados Unidos no le llevó mucho tiempo hacer operar a los Reapers. A finales de octubre Associated Press informaba de que “aviones militares drone estadounidenses están patrullando las costas de Somalia por primera vez… Oficiales del ejército estadounidense afirman que aviones teledirigidos drones llamados Reapers, estacionados en la isla nación de Seychelles, están patrullando el océano Índico”[22].

“Esto sucede mientras la Casa Blanca busca terrenos en los que establecer una importante presencia militar en África. El ejército estadounidense afirma que ha desplegado sus drones [‘del tamaño de un avión de combate’], capaces de llevar misiles para patrullar las aguas de Somalia…” [23].

El intento de Washington de establecer una conexión Afganistán-Pakistán-Somalia-Yemen está íntimamente unido a sus planes para África en su conjunto [24].

El 4 de enero una página web militar estadounidense publicaba la siguiente actualización: “El Comando de África estadounidense ha reforzado sus fuerzas antipiratas con la reciente adición de un avión de patrullaje marítimo y más personal en las islas Seychelles. El pasado mes la armada desplegó tres aviones P-3 desde [barcos] VP-26 Tridents con base en Maine junto con 112 marinos a las Seychelles para patrullar las aguas del este de África… La insignia del Escuadrón Patrol 26, una calavera sobre un compás y dos bombas o torpedos en forma de X, se parece a la bandera Jolly Roger que simboliza la piratería” [25].

El pasado mes de septiembre se demostró qué tipo de piratas está utilizando el Pentágono como pretexto para su concentración militar en el Cuerno de África y en el conjunto del este de África cuando “soldados extranjeros en helicópteros bombardearon un coche…en una ciudad somalí…mataron a dos hombres y capturaron a otros dos que estaban heridos; los testigos afirmaron que oficiales del ejército estadounidense habían asegurado que había fuerzas estadounidenses implicadas en el ataque”.

“Dos oficiales del ejército estadounidense afirmaron que estaban implicadas fuerzas del Comando de Operaciones Conjuntas Especiales estadounidense” [26]. Stanley McChrystal dirigió el Comando de Operaciones Conjuntas Especiales desde 2003 hasta 2008. Durante estos años se ha trasladado desde la vigilancia de operaciones de contrainsurgencia en Iraq para asumir el control de todas las operaciones de Estados Unidos y la OTAN en Afganistán.

Un testigo también informó de que “los helicópteros despegaron de un barco de guerra que llevaba la bandera francesa” [27] y una fuente rebelde afirmó: “Estamos reuniendo información de que un barco de guerra francés atacó un coche, lo destruyó completamente y se llevaron a algunos de los pasajeros” [28].

Las fuerzas militares francesas permanecen en la antigua colonia de Djibouti donde se adiestran para operaciones no sólo en Afganistán, sino también en varias antiguas posesiones africanas. Tropas, aviones de guerra y vehículos blindados de las naciones de la OTAN (bajo las banderas de la propia OTAN, de la Unión Europea, de Francia y de Estados Unidos) han intervenido en conflictos civiles y entre países fronterizos a lo largo y ancho de toda África en los últimos años: Somalia, Djibouti-Eritrea, Chad, la República Centroafricana, la región de Darfur en Sudán y en Costa de Marfil; desde el Cuerno de África hasta el rico en petróleo golfo de Guinea.

Un reportaje del mes pasado proporciona algunas indicaciones sobre el papel de Francia en el continente. Radio France Internationale describía a “soldados franceses en Djibouti adiestrándose para Afganistán y echando un ojo a África” con los siguientes detalles:

“Doce comandos de las fuerzas especiales llegaron primero” y “el ejército…tomó por asalto la playa… El ejercicio, considerado crucial para la preparación de batallas en una región tristemente célebre por sus políticas rebeldes, incluyó a todos los sectores militares del país, tierra, mar y aire.

Al tiempo que tanques del desierto salían disparados hacia la playa, aviones Mirage cruzaban el cielo abierto. Mientras tanto, desde las bocas de vehículos blindados para transporte de personal se despachaba a las tropas de tierra y los helicópteros transportaban las armas a tierra.

‘Es una demostración de fuerza. Demuestra que Francia es capaz de actuar militarmente’, afirmó un oficial de la armada.

En los últimos años las tropas francesas en Djibouti han estado implicadas en varias…misiones militares en África. Ayudaron a reforzar a una brigada de Naciones Unidas que patrullaba en Costa de Marfil y el año pasado proporcionaron ayuda logística y táctica a soldados de Djibouti que rechazaron un ataque de la vecina Eritrea.

Por el momento el primer escenario de combate que verán estas tropas es Afganistán, donde Francia forma parte del contingente de la OTAN. Su paisaje montañoso y árido se parece mucho al paisaje ondulado y lunar de Djibouti.

Estas tropas forma un contingente de 2.500 soldados con base en Djibouti” [29].

Además de encuentros armados intermitentes entre tropas de Djibouti y Eritrea, en las últimas semanas han salido a la luz noticias de combates mortales dentro de Eritrea y entre esta nación y la vecina Etiopía. Djibouti y Etiopía son regímenes cliente de Occidente y poderes militares en el Cuerno de África, y como se ha demostrado más arriba, está avanzando rápidamente la integración de los frentes de guerra del sur de Asia y del noreste de África.

Desde el otoño de 2008 la OTAN empezó lo que denomina operaciones en contra de la piratería en las costas de Somalia y más lejos en el interior del golfo de Adén, a menudo en asociación con despliegues similares por parte de la Unión Europa con la que comparte buques de guerra, comandantes e “intereses estratégicos comunes” según el acuerdo Berlin Plus y otros [30].

La operación de vigilancia naval y de destrucción de la OTAN en el Cuerno de África y cerca de éste es una extensión de su toma de poder efectiva de todo el mar Mediterráneo con la Operación Esfuerzo Activo [31] iniciada en 2001 según la cláusula de asistencia militar mutua del Artículo 5 de la Alianza e incrementada con el bloqueo de la costa mediterránea de Líbano por parte de barcos de guerra de naciones de la OTAN bajo los auspicios de la Fuerza Provisional de Naciones Unidas en Líbano (UNIFIL, en sus siglas en inglés) que se inició después del ataque israelí a Líbano en 2006. La Fuerza Conjunta Marítima (MTF, en sus siglas en inglés) de esta última “ha saludado a unos 27.000 barcos y remitido a casi 400 barcos sospechosos a las autoridades libanesas para una inspección en profundidad. Trece países (Bélgica, Bulgaria, Dinamarca, Francia, Alemania, Grecia, Indonesia, Italia, Países Bajos, Noruega, España, Suecia y Turquía) han contribuido al MTF con unidades navales” [32].

Los despliegues de la OTAN y la UE en el golfo de Adén son las primeras operaciones navales en la región en la historia de ambas organizaciones y las primeras de la UE en las aguas de la costa de África.

La expansión de la presencia militar en el golfo de Adén y en el mar de Omán da a las naciones de la OTAN el control de las vías navegables que van desde el estrecho de Gibraltar al de Hormuz.

Como veterano diplomático y analista indio M. K. Bhadrakumar lo describió en 2008: “Actuando como un rayo y sin publicidad la OTAN seguramente ha creado un fait accompli [hecho consumado].

El despliegue naval de la OTAN en la región del océano Índico es un paso histórico y un hito en la transformación de la Alianza. Ni si quiera en el momento más crucial de la Guerra Fría la Alianza tuvo presencia en el océano Índico. Estos tipos de despliegue casi siempre tienden a ser de duración indefinida.

En 2007, una fuerza naval de la OTAN visitó las Seychelles en el océano Índico y Somalia, dirigió ejercicios en el océano Índico y volvió a entrar en el mar Mediterráneo vía en mar Rojo a finales de septiembre” [33].

Y añadió: “Altos cargos estadounidenses han declarado públicamente que AFRICOM y la OTAN prevén una conexión institucional aguas abajo. La estrategia global de Estados Unidos es llevar paulatinamente la OTAN a África de manera que llegue a ser óptimo su futuro papel en la región del océano Índico (y en Oriente Medio) como instrumento de la agenda de seguridad global estadounidense” [34].

El pasado mes de agosto el director de AFRICOM, general William Ward, afirmó que Somalia era “un foco central del ejército estadounidense en el continente”.

Para indicar el alcance de los planes del Pentágono no sólo en Somalia sino en la región “el general William Ward ha prometido un apoyo continuo al gobierno federal de transición de Somalia… Hizo estas declaraciones durante una visita a Nairobi, Kenya, que es un aliado clave de Estados Unidos en la región. Cuando se le preguntó por las advertencias estadounidenses a Eritrea por su supuesto apoyo a al-Shabab, el general estadounidense condenó todo apoyó exterior a los rebeldes somalíes” [35].

Altos cargos estadounidenses, británicos y de otros países occidentales han estado haciendo un gran esfuerzo para establecer la (muy) endeble relación entre el llamado frente de guerra AfPak y la necesidad de una intervención militar directa en el este de África y la península Arábiga, como se vio anteriormente con la ridícula afirmación del primer ministro británico de que la OTAN ha tenido tanto éxito en expulsar a supuestos miembros de al Qaeda de Pakistán que han buscado refugio en Somalia y Yemen. Más lógicamente, en vez de ello [lo han buscado] en sitios como Cachemira, Tajikistán y Uzbekistán.

De forma similar los gobiernos occidentales no están ahorrando esfuerzos para fabricar o exagerar vínculos entre los numerosos conflictos armados en el Cuerno de África. Se acusa a los rebeldes somalíes de apoyar al gobierno de Eritrea en su conflicto fronterizo con Djibouti; también se les acusa de ofrecer combatientes para el conflicto interno en el sur de Yemen.

A su vez se acusa a los rebeldes yemeníes de proporcionar armas a los combatientes al-Shabaab de Somalia y cerniéndose por encima de todo ello está la implicación de que Irán está patrocinando a las fuerzas chiíes en el norte de Yemen.

Sin embargo, existe gran cantidad de pruebas que documentan una genuina intervención extranjera en la región: ataques estadounidenses con misiles, bombas, helicópteros y fuerzas especiales en Somalia y Yemen, y coordinación con los ejércitos de Djibouti y Etiopía en conflictos dentro de Somalia y con Eritrea. Ataques saudíes por aire y tierra en Yemen con el resultado de la muerte de cientos de personas y el desplazamiento de miles de civiles. Operaciones de comando francesas en Somalia y adiestramiento en combate en Djibouti para la guerra en la zona y más allá.

En Occidente se ignora a las verdaderas fuerzas exteriores implicadas en acciones militares a favor de afirmaciones no fundamentadas de que la región está siendo inflamada por los mismos adversarios contra los que Estados Unidos y la OTAN están en guerra en el subcontinente indio y de que los villanos dentro del Cuerno de África y cerca de éste, además de ser la franquicia de al Qaeda, están inextricablemente unidos y en cierto modo vinculados con las operaciones de los piratas. Ésta es la retorcida lógica y los rocambolescos subterfugios utilizados para preparar a las opiniones públicas de Occidente para una escalada de la intervención militar a lo largo de más de 3.000 kilómetros por todo el océano Índico desde el teatro de la guerra de Afganistán-Pakistán.

Los barcos de guerra de la OTAN están haciendo de puente entre ambos extremos. El pasado mes de agosto el bloque militar lanzó su segunda operación naval en las costas de Somalia, el nombre de la cual, Escudo del Océano, indica por sí mismo solo el alcance de los objetivos de la Alianza en el triángulo África-Asia-Oriente Medio. La misión incluye barcos militares de Gran Bretaña, Grecia, Italia, Turquía y Estados Unidos, y según la OTAN “otros países están pensando reforzar la operación que podría evolucionar en cualquier momento”. Un portavoz de la OTAN dijo entonces: “No se ha establecido un marco temporal para esta operación a largo plazo, que durará cuanto se considere necesario” [36].

La Unión Europea está llevando a cabo una misión complementaria, la Operación Atalanta, “que tiene seis fragatas y trabaja con armadas de la Organización del Tratado del Atlántico Norte y la coalición dirigida por Estados Unidos”, y “opera en el golfo de Adén y el océano Índico …desde el este de las aguas territoriales somalíes a 60 grados de longitud, que va hacia el sur desde la punta este de Omán y 250 millas al este de las Seychelles” [37]. El contraalmirante Peter Hudson del centro del comando de la flota en Gran Bretaña anunció el mes pasado que la operación podía aumentar aún más su alcance hasta llegar a la mayor parte del oeste del océano Índico.

El pasado mes de septiembre el comandante del Grupo Marítimo 2 de la OTAN en el golfo de Adén se reunió con altos cargos de la región autónoma de Puntland en Somalia para planificar operaciones.

A mediados de diciembre la OTAN estableció una conexión directa entre su guerra en el sur de Asia y su expansión en el océano Índico al anunciar que estaba considerando desplegar aviones de vigilancia AWACS al segundo. “Los comandantes están tratando de respaldar un destacamento especial en contra de la piratería formado por cinco barcos con uno de los aviones de vigilancia con sistemas de alarma y control, posiblemente compartiéndolo con la Fuerza Internacional de Asistencia en Seguridad aliada que combate en Afganistán” [38].

El primer día de este año en una noticia con el titular de “Canadá ayudará a defender Yemen de los refuerzos de al Qaeda” una agencia de noticias canadiense revelaba que “un portavoz de la OTAN afirmó que barcos de guerra que patrullan la vías de navegación por el golfo de Adén, que separa Somalia de Yemen, tenían conocimiento de que al-Shabab, un grupo armado inspirado en al Qaeda y con base en Somalia, había anunciado sus planes de enviar combatientes a Yemen” y a consecuencia de ello “un barco de guerra canadiense implicado en operaciones dirigidas por la OTAN en contra de la piratería en las costas de Somalia ahora tenía una tarea adicional…” [39].

Somalia y Yemen están uno frente a otro en el extremo del golfo de Adén donde el mar Rojo se encuentra con el mar de Omán y el Mediterráneo se conecta con el océano Índico. Un arco que efectúa la conjunción de tres de los más importantes continentes del mundo. Un territorio demasiado importante para Estados Unidos, cuyo jefe de Estado el pasado mes se autoproclamó comandante en jefe de la única superpotencia militar del mundo y que durante la década pasada se declaró vetado a las expediciones militares conjuntas y de la OTAN.


1) Reuters, 1 de enero de 2010

2) Russian Information Agency Novosti, 30 de diciembre de 2009

3) Reuters, 1 de enero de 2010

4) CNN, 4 enero de 2010

5) CNN, 2 de enero de 2010

6) CNN, 4 de enero de 2010

7) Agence France-Presse, 4 de enero de 2010

8) Xinhua News Agency, 4 de enero de 2010

9) Press TV, 3 de enero de 2010

10) Cold War Origins Of The Somalia Crisis And Control Of The Indian Ocean Stop NATO, 3 de mayo de 2009

11) Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, 17 de abril de 2009

12) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 1 de enero de 2010

13) U.S. News & World Report, 11 de julio de 2008

14) Ibid

15) Stars And Stripes, 16 de diciembre de 2009

16) Al Arabiya, 1 de noviembre de 2009

17) Stars and Stripes, 29 de agosto de 2009

18) Press TV, 19 de octubre de 2009

19) Press TV, 7 enero de 2010

20) Voice of America News, 2 de septiembre de 2009

21) Press TV, 21 de octubre de 2009

22) Associated Press, 23 de octubre de 2009

23) Press TV, 25 de octubre de 2009

24) AFRICOM: Pentagon Prepares Direct Military Intervention In Africa

Stop NATO, 24 de agosto de 2009

AFRICOM Year Two: Seizing The Helm Of The Entire World

Stop NATO, 22 de octubre de 2009

25) Stars and Stripes, 4 de enero de 2010

26) Associated Press, 14 de septiembre de 2009

27) Ibid

28) Agence France-Presse, 14 de septiembre de 2009

29) Radio France Internationale, 11 de diciembre de 2009

30) NATO

31) NATO

32) UN News Centre, 31 de agosto de 2009

33) Asian Times, 20 de octubre de 2008

34) Ibid

35) Voice of America News, 21 de agosto de 2009

36) Agence France-Presse, 17 de agosto de 2009

37) Bloomberg News, 11 de diciembre de 2009

38) Bloomberg News, 21 de diciembre de 2009

39) Canwest News Service, 1 de enero de 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Gli USA reclutano in totto il mondo per la guerra in Afghanistan

January 13, 2010 Leave a comment

January 13, 2010

Gli USA reclutano in totto il mondo per la guerra in Afghanistan
Rick Rozoff

Tradotto e segnalato per Voci Dalla Strada da VANESA

I primi dei 33.000 soldati aggiuntivi degli USA sono arrivati in Afghanistan per un’ “ondata” natalizia e presto se ne aggiungeranno fino a 10.000 non statunitensi che serviranno la NATO nell’ISAF (Forza Internazionale di Assistenza per la Sicurezza). Washington avrà un personale in divisa composto da più di 100.000 soldati e decine di migliaia di nuovi contrattisti militari nella zona della guerra sud asiatica, e con più di 50.000 soldati della NATO e di partner della NATO, la somma delle forze supererà i 150.000.

Con l’eccezione di un piccolo numero di soldati assegnati alla Missione di Addestramento della NATO- Iraq, a Baghdad, è stato ordinato agli stati membri, soprattutto ai nuovi, della NATO, e agli Stati candidati, che trasferiscano le loro forze dall’Iraq all’Afghanistan circa un anno fa, e stanno inviando soldati alle missioni in Kosovo, Libano e Ciad verso la stessa destinazione. Il fronte di battaglia afgano, quindi, ha la maggior quantità di forze militari stazionate di qualsiasi altra zona del mondo. [1]

Soldati provenienti da paesi della NATO stazionati in Bosnia, Repubblica Centrafricana, Ciad, Libano e al largo delle coste della Somalia sono attualmente assegnati a missioni nell’Unione Europea (navi da guerra europee sono coinvolte anche in interdizione navale nell’Oceano Shield NATO nelle acque della Somalia e il Golfo di Aden) e il loro trasferimento verso il fronte Sud della guerra asiatica indica l’intercambiabilità virtuale di unità militari assegnate alla NATO e all’Unione Europea. [2]

Fin dall’inizio dell’ escalation della guerra in Afghanistan quest’anno, e verso il vicino Pakistan, personalità pubbliche e mass media occidentali si sono occupati frequentemente e ampiamente del fatto che la guerra è un – o il- test per la NATO, apparentemente il maggior successo nella sua storia in 60 anni.

Quando il blocco, l’unica alleanza militare al mondo, ha invocato la clausola di aiuto reciproco dell’Articolo 5 a settembre del 2001 per sostenere il suo principale membro, gli USA, nella sua invasione ed occupazione dell’Afghanistan, l’Alleanza aveva appena vissuto la sua prima guerra: la campagna di 78 giorni di bombardamenti contro la Jugoslavia agli inizi del 1999, il primo attacco militare generalizzato contro una nazione europea dal periodo degli attacchi ed invasioni di Hitler e di Mussolini del 1939-1941.

Mediante l’attivazione dell’articolo 5,- “Le Parti accordano che un attacco armato contro uno o più di essi in Europa o NordAmerica sarà considerato un attacco contro tutte esse (e) aiuteranno alla Parte o le Parti attaccate”- la NATO si preparò per la sua prima guerra terrestre e la sua prima guerra in Asia.

Approfittò anche della sua situazione di guerra effettiva per lanciare la Operation Active Endeavor (Operazione Sforzo Attivo) all’ inizio di ottobre del 2001, un programma esaustivo, ermetico, di controllo ed interdizione navale in tutto il Mar Mediterraneo che monitora tutta l’attività nel nuovo mare nostrum della NATO e domina tutti i punti di accesso al mare più importanti del mondo: Lo Stretto di Gibilterra, lo Stretto dei Dardanelli e il Canale di Suez, che collega il Mediterraneo con l’Oceano Atlantico, il Mar Nero, il Mar Rosso e quindi con l’Oceano Indiano, rispettivamente.

L’alleanza guidata dagli USA ha ottenuto il controllo di questa vasta gamma di vie navigabili attraverso l’adozione di pretesti statunitensi precedenti all’11 settembre del 2001 di combattere il terrorismo e le armi di distruzione di massa. Il primo è stato il pretesto per invadere l’Afghanistan, il secondo per invadere l’Iraq.

Tre anni dopo l’inaugurazione dello Sforzo Attivo, che continua con tutta la sua forza fino ad oggi, il summit della NATO in Turchia, ha sviluppato l’Iniziativa di Cooperazione di Strasburgo che ha aggiornato la cooperazione militare con i membri del Dialogo Mediterraneo del blocco- Algeria, Egitto, Israele, Giordania, Mauritana, Marocco e Tunisia ed ha proposto ai sei membri del Consiglio di Cooperazione del Golfo- Bahrein, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Arabia Saudita e gli Emirati Arabi- di avere un rapporto simile, modellato secondo il programma di Cooperazione per la Pace che ha preparato a dodici nazioni europee orientali per il loro accesso alla qualifica di membro pieno della NATO durante l’ultimo decennio. [3]

In dieci anni il blocco militare si è esteso molto oltre i suoi limiti avuti durante la Guerra Fredda, Nord America, Europa Occidentale e Meridionale e a quasi tutto l’Europa Orientale, incluso gli Stati del vecchio patto di Varsavia e le repubbliche sovietiche e jugoslave. La divisione militare bipolare dell’Europa simbolizzata dal Muro di Berlino [4], che è caduto 20 anni fa, è stata sostituita da una espansione unilaterale dell’unico blocco militare del mondo verso le frontiere occidentali della Russia, del mar Baltico al Mar Nero e Adriatico. Da lì è arrivato, attraverso i suoi insediamenti e corporazioni verso il sud del Caucaso, Africa nord orientale e centrale, Asia centrale e del sud.

Se l’Afghanistan è una prova o il saggio della NATO nel suo 60° anniversario, non lo è per la NATO del 1949 ma per quella che importanti funzionari dell’Alleanza e altri difensori hanno chiamato negli ultimi anni: LA NATO del XXI Secolo, una NATO di spedizione, una NATO globale: Il primo intento nella storia di forgiare un’alleanza militare internazionale. Una rete armata internazionale che ha come suo fondamento e suo nucleo l’ autoproclamata superpotenza esclusiva del mondo e il suo arsenale nucleare.

La guerra “asimmetrica” in Afghanistan, che è al suo nono anno, è un’impresa seminale per la NATO sotto diversi aspetti. Oltre a rappresentare la prima guerra terrestre del blocco e la sua prima escursione coloniale fuori dal mondo euro-atlantico, la prolungata, ed in base a tutti gli indizi indefinita campagna nel sud dell’Asia è un laboratorio e campo di addestramento, poligono di tiro e punto di convergenza per la consolidazione statunitense di una forza globale di attacco e di occupazione provata per la prima volta in Kosovo nel 1999 con 50.000 soldati sotto il comando della NATO, dopo in Iraq nel 2004 con decine di migliaia di soldati della NATO, nuove nazioni della NATO e candidate al blocco. [5]

Adesso Washington e Bruxelles hanno obbligato contingenti armati di cinquanta nazioni di cinque continenti perché siano sotto il comando del generale Stanley McChrystal, capo di tutte le forze degli USA e della NATO in Afghanistan.

I nuovi Stati che contribuiscono sono anche paesi geograficamente lontani e diversi in altri sensi, come la Colombia, la Bosnia, Georgia, Montenegro, Mongolia, Armenia e Corea del Sud.Tutti, ad eccezione della Mongolia, sono stati scenari di guerre o potrebbero esserlo in qualsiasi momento. Come hanno stabilito numerose dichiarazioni di dirigenti politici e militari di nazioni che forniscono soldati alla NATO per la guerra afgana, quel campo di battaglia è un luogo e un’ opportunità ideale per ottenere esperienza reale di combattimento con il fine di applicarla in casa. La maggior parte dei paesi in questa categoria confinano con la Russia sui versanti nord occidentale e sud occidentale. [6]

Il ministro di Difesa austriaco, una delle poche nazioni europee che ancora non è completamente membro della NATO, recentemente si è lamentato che funzionari statunitensi stessero facendo pressione al suo paese perché fornisse più soldati per il loro attacco in Afghanistan, ed ha dovuto ricordare ai lettori di uno dei giornali del suo paese che il suo paese continua ad essere uno Stato sovrano. Come informa il Deutsche Welle, “L’Austria e gli USA, discutono per la quantità di soldati austriaci in Afghanistan. Il governo austriaco dice che sente una forte pressione da parte degli USA perché si inviino altri soldati alla missione della NATO”.

Il giornale sud coreano Dong-A Ilbo, il 21 dicembre scriveva che “La NATO ha invitato per la prima volta una delegazione militare coreana ad una riunione il prossimo anno dove ci saranno i paesi che inviano soldati in Afghanistan”.

“L’invio di esercito coreano, programmato per luglio, probabilmente accelererà un’amplia cooperazione militare tra la Corea e la NATO”. La fonte ha aggiunto che la valutazione della Corea da parte della NATO sta cambiando con l’avvento del nuovo governo di Lee Myung-bak a Seul, dato che la Corea partecipa attivamente alla cooperazione internazionale sulla sicurezza, inclusa la decisione di inviare l’ esercito in Afghanistan e di unirsi pienamente all’ Iniziativa della Sicurezza della Proliferazione”. L’iniziativa della Sicurezza della Proliferazione (PSI) è un altro meccanismo vincolato al progetto dell’armata di migliaia di navi USA, così come l’Operazione di Active Endeavor NATO, per impegnare più e più nazioni di tutto il mondo in una rete militare internazionale diretta da Washington. [7]

La Corea è quella che dalla NATO viene identificato come Paese di Contatto partner, gli altri sono il Giappone, l’Australia e la Nuova Zelanda, come fondamento per una “NATO asiatica” in caso di emergenza anche Singapore e Mongolia- che hanno o avranno per la prima volta un esercito al servizio della NATO in Afghanistan- così come le Filippine, Tailandia, Brunei e future possibilità come l’India, Bangladesh e Cambogia e le cinque ex repubbliche sovietiche in Asia Centrale, così come l’Afghanistan e il Pakistan. [8]

Mentre si sposta verso est, il blocco del Nord Atlantico lo fa anche verso il Sud ed ha cominciato a penetrare formalmente l’Africa, con una missione di trasporto aereo verso la regione del Darfur nel Sudan nel 2005 ed insediamenti navali di fronte alla Somalia nel Corno dell’Africa dal 2007.

Il principale alleato militare di Washington in Sud America e in tutta l’America Latina, la Colombia, consegnando sette basi militari al Pentagono in un’azione che potrebbe provocare una guerra con i vicini Venezuela ed Ecuador, sta inviando una compagnia di soldati addestrati dagli Stati Uniti, alla missione dell’ISAF della NATO. Daranno la propria esperienza bellica alla nazione sud asiatica e ritorneranno a casa, come i loro equivalenti militari georgiani e sud coreani, allenati anche dagli USA, meglio preparati per conflitti armati contro gli Stati vicini.

A parte la Gran Bretagna, Francia e Paesi Bassi sono tenuti a fornire i propri possedimenti coloniali in America Latina e le loro coste al loro alleato statunitense della NATO da usare contro i paesi membri dell’Alleanza Bolivariana per i Popoli della Nostra America (ALBA), Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, Nicaragua e Venezuela (Honduras post golpe si è ritirato) sono state adottate misure negli ultimi quindici anni per espandere i legami della NATO con altre nazioni latinoamericane. [9]

Nel 1995 il Cile e l’Argentina (sotto la presidenza Menem) hanno inviato truppe perché servissero la NATO in Bosnia, il primo attacco militare dell’Alleanza fuori dal territorio di uno Stato membro. Questa settimana il Cile ha accettato la continuazione dell’insediamento di esercito in questo paese- la missione è stata trasferita dalla NATO all’UE- ed un funzionario del governo ha dichiarato: “Abbiamo visto il Cile insieme alla NATO in un paese europeo, e l’interazione delle nostre forze armate con eserciti di prima categoria nel mondo”. [10]

La guerra e la storia militare dei candidati alla NATO e agli Stati partner della NATO durante gli ultimi 15 anni si sono estesi dalla Bosnia al Kosovo, alla Macedonia e all’Iraq, e finalmente all’ Afghanistan. Le forze armate cilene, chiunque vinca il ballottaggio delle elezioni presidenziali, potrebbero essere inviate in Afghanistan.

Dal rafforzamento dei legami con il Cile, che è coinvolto nella controversia in corso multinazionale per i diritti nell’Antartide, e con il Sud Africa, dove hanno attraccato navi da guerra della NATO e realizzato esercitazioni navali durante gli ultimi due anni, oltre all’Australia che ha il più grande contingente di paesi non membri della NATO in servizio in Afghanistan, l’ Alleanza si posiziona per la corsa all’estremo sud del pianeta [11] come lo è attualmente per la parte superiore del mondo. [12]

Due mesi prima della demolizione del Muro di Berlino e la fine effettiva della Guerra Fredda, si è tenuto un summit triennale del Movimento dei Non-Allineati a Belgrado, Jugoslavia. Erano presenti i rappresentanti di 108 nazioni che sono stati definiti come non–allineati militarmente.

Venti anni più tardi, e con più di venti paesi supplementari nel mondo dopo la disintegrazione dell’Unione Sovietica, della Cecoslovacchia e Jugoslavia e l’indipendenza di Timor Est,di aderire agli accordi militari, associazioni, l’esercizio e la creazione di basi USA e della NATO è più intenso che durante la Guerra Fredda.

La recente attivazione del Comando Africa degli USA, conta solo 53 nazioni per associazioni individuali e collettive con il Pentagono. La guerra in Afghanistan oggi è un banco di prova più ampio a livello mondiale nella militarizzazione del mondo. Washington fa pressione su tutto il mondo perché contribuisca con eserciti, logistica e risorse finanziarie ed usa la guerra per stabilire legami bilaterali militari e l’interoperabilità di armi e tecnologia militare con le nazioni di tutto il mondo.

Il primo decennio del nuovo millennio è stata una guerra, che iniziò seriamente in Afghanistan, e l’espansione di basi e di eserciti statunitensi in Europa Orientale, Medio Oriente, Africa, Sud America e Asia Centrale e del sud. Aree che erano finora state risparmiate la presenza permanente del Pentagono.

1) U.S., NATO Poised For Most Massive War In Afghanistan’s History
Stop NATO, September 24, 2009
2) UE, NATO, USA: L’alleanza del secolo per il dominio globale
Stop NATO, February 19, 2009
3) NATO In Persian Gulf: From Third World War To Istanbu
Stop NATO, February 6, 2009
4) 1989-2009: Moving The Berlin Wall To Russia’s Borders
Stop NATO, November 7, 2009
5) Afghan War: NATO Builds History’s First Global Army
Stop NATO, August 9, 2009
6) Afghan War: NATO Trains Finland, Sweden For Conflict With Russia
Stop NATO, July 26, 2009
7) Proliferation Security Initiative And U.S. 1,000-Ship Navy: Control Of
World’s Oceans, Prelude To War
Stop NATO, January 29, 2009
8) Global Military Bloc: NATO’s Drive Into Asia
Stop NATO, January 24, 2009
U.S. Expands Asian NATO Against China, Russia
Stop NATO, October 16, 2009
9) Twenty Years After End Of The Cold War: Pentagon’s Buildup In Latin
Stop NATO, November 4, 2009
10) Xinhua News Agency, December 22, 2009
11) NATO Of The South: Chile, South Africa, Australia, Antarctica
Stop NATO, May 30, 2009
12) NATO’s, Pentagon’s New Strategic Battleground: The Arctic
Stop NATO, February 2, 2009

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S., NATO Expand Afghan War To Horn Of Africa And Indian Ocean

January 8, 2010 1 comment

January 8, 2010

U.S., NATO Expand Afghan War To Horn Of Africa And Indian Ocean
Rick Rozoff

In parallel with the escalation of the war in South Asia – counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan and drone missile attacks in Pakistan – the United States and its NATO allies have laid the groundwork for increased naval, air and ground operations in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden.

During the past month the U.S. has carried out deadly military strikes in Yemen: Bombing raids in the north and cruise missile attacks in the south of the nation. Washington has been accused of killing scores of civilians in the attacks in both parts of the country, executed before the December 25 Northwest Airlines incident that has been used to justify the earlier U.S. actions ex post facto. And, ominously, that has been exploited to pound a steady drumbeat of demands for expanded and even more direct military intervention.

The Pentagon’s publicly disclosed military and security program for Yemen grew from $4.6 million in 2006 to $67 million last year. “That figure does not include covert, classified assistance that the United States has provided.” [1]

In addition, “Under a new classified cooperation agreement, the U.S. would be able to fly cruise missiles, fighter jets or unmanned armed drones against targets in the country, but would remain publicly silent on its role in the airstrikes.” [2]

On January 1 General David Petraeus, the chief of the Pentagon’s Central Command, in charge of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as operations in Yemen and Pakistan, was in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and said of deepening military involvement in Yemen, “We have, it’s well known, about $70 million in security assistance last year. That will more than double this coming year.” [3]

The following day Petraeus was in the capital of Yemen where he met with the country’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to discuss “continued U.S. support in rooting out the terrorist cells.” [4]

White House counterterrorism adviser (Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism) John Brennan briefed President Barack Obama on Petraeus’ visit to Washington’s new war theater and afterward stated “We have made Yemen a priority over the course of this year, and this is the latest in that effort.” [5]

The alleged terrorist cells in question are identified by U.S. and other Western governments as being affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). However, on January 4 CNN reported that “A senior U.S. official cited a rebellion by Huti [Houthi] tribes in the north, and secessionist activity in the southern tribal areas” as of concern to Washington. [6]

The Houthis’ confessional background is Shi’a and not Sunni Islam and the opposition forces in the south are led by the Yemeni Socialist Party, so attempts to link either with al-Qaeda are inaccurate, self-serving and dishonest.

In both the north and south the United States, its NATO allies – Britain and France closed their embassies in Yemen earlier this week in unison with the U.S. – and Saudi Arabia are working in tandem to support the Saleh government in what over the past month has become a state of warfare against opposition forces in the country. Saudi Arabia has launched regular bombing raids and infantry and armored attacks in the north of the country and, according to Houthi rebel sources, been aided by U.S. warplanes in deadly attacks on villages. Houthi spokesmen have accused Riyadh of firing over a thousand missiles inside Yemen, and in late December the Saudi Defense Ministry acknowledged that its military casualties over the preceding month included 73 dead, 26 missing and 470 wounded. In short, a cross-border war on the Arabian Peninsula.

The West, though, has even larger plans for Yemen, ones which include integrating military operations from Northeast Africa to the Chinese border. Typical of recent statements by U.S. officials and their Western allies, last weekend British Prime Minister Gordon Brown disingenuously claimed that “The weakness of al Qaeda in Pakistan has forced them out of Pakistan and into Yemen and Somalia.” [7]

Brown told the BBC on January 3 “Yemen has been recognized, like Somalia, to be one of the areas we have got to not only keep an eye on, but we’ve got to do more. So it’s strengthening counter-terrorism cooperation, it’s working harder on intelligence efforts.” [8] It is up to Mr. Brown to explain why, if al-Qaeda has been “forced out” of Pakistan, he is adding soldiers to the U.S. and NATO surge that will soon bring combined Western troop numbers to over 150,000 in Afghanistan while intensifying deadly attacks inside Pakistan itself.

The British prime minister has also called for an international meeting on Yemen for later this month and announced that “The UK and the US have agreed to fund a counter-terrorism police unit in Yemen….” [9]

In Western news reports, or rather rumor peddling, Yemeni rebels are accused of supplying weapons to Somali opposite numbers and the second are reported to have offered fighters to the former.

In short the officially discarded but in fact revived and expanded “global war on terrorism” is now to be fought in a single theater of war that extends from the Red Sea to Pakistan. A joint endeavor by the Pentagon’s Central and Africa Commands and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to build upon the consolidation of almost the entire European continent under NATO and Pentagon control and the ceding of the African continent to the new U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). (Except for Egypt, an individual Pentagon asset and NATO Mediterranean Dialogue partner.)

In fact the Central Command was inaugurated by the Ronald Reagan administration in 1983 on the foundations of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF) that his predecessor Jimmy Carter activated three years before. [10] The latter developed out of the Rapid Deployment Forces (RDF) launched directly to counter developments in Afghanistan and Somalia in 1979 (an integral component of the Carter Doctrine) and was deliberately designed to establish military control of the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Sea and the Western Indian Ocean.

Administrations may depart – George W. Bush and Tony Blair have left public office – and names may change – the global war on terror has been rechristened overseas contingency operations – but Washington’s global geopolitical ambitions, limitless since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union in 1991, have only grown more universal and the military means employed for their realization more aggressive.

The White House and its European allies have of late resuscitated and inflated the al-Qaeda specter to a degree not witnessed since the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001.

Under the guise of protecting the American homeland from this shadowy and ubiquitous entity, the Pentagon is involved in military operations from West Africa to East Asia against among other decidedly non-Osama bin Laden-linked forces left-wing groups in Colombia, the Philippines and Yemen; Shi’a militias in Lebanon and Yemen; ethnic rebels in Mali and Niger; a Christian extremist rebellion in Uganda.

Like the notorious 19th century “body snatchers” William Burke and William Hare, paid so well to provide cadavers to the Edinburgh Medical College that, running out of corpses to sell, created them, al-Qaeda is a dependable villain to be evoked as needed.

Al-Shabaab fighters in Somalia can be conflated with pirates in the Gulf of Aden to provide the pretext for a permanent NATO and allied European Union naval presence in a nexus that includes the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea leading into the Persian Gulf and most of the eastern coast of Africa.

The American component of the Greater Afghan War is Operation Enduring Freedom, which takes in Afghanistan, Cuba (Guantanamo Bay Naval Base), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

Djibouti, which hosts some 2,500 U.S. military personnel in the Pentagon’s first permanent base in Africa, is also the headquarters of the U.S.’s Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), set up in 2001 several months before Operation Enduring Freedom and overlapping with it in many respects. The CJTF-HOA, based in the French military base of Camp Lemonier, was transferred from the Pentagon’s Central Command to its Africa Command on October 1, 2008 when AFRICOM was formally activated.

Its area of responsibility includes Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Yemen. Its areas of interest are Comoros, Mauritius, and Madagascar. The last three are, like Seychelles, island nations in the Indian Ocean. The U.S. expanded Camp Lemonier to five times its original size in 2006 and troops from all branches of the U.S. armed services “use the base when not working ‘downrange’ in countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Yemen.” [11]

In announcing recently that “Yemen has received military equipment from the United States to aid the government’s fight against the al-Qaeda network in the south of the country,” a German news agency added this background information: “Yemen, in the 1990s, welcomed back Arab fighters who left Afghanistan after the fall of the Soviet Union.” [12]

As with Afghanistan itself and other locations where the American military is fighting insurgent groups – the Philippines, Somalia and Yemen – the Pentagon is frequently confronting fighters funded, armed and trained by its own government in Pakistan from 1978-1992 under Operation Cyclone, the largest-ever CIA covert undertaking.

A 2008 edition of U.S. News & World Report, a magazine that can hardly be accused of being unfriendly to the White House and the Pentagon, wrote of the war in Afghanistan that “two of the most dangerous players are violent Afghan Islamists named Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Jalaluddin Haqqani, according to U.S. officials.” [13]

An assessment repeated in the August 30, 2009 Commander’s Initial Assessment of General Stanley McChrystal, commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The report, the basis for the White House increasing troop strength in the war theater to over 100,000, stated that “The major insurgent groups in order of their threat to the mission are: the Quetta Shura Taliban (05T), the Haqqani Network (HQN), and the Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HiG).”

The U.S. News & World Report feature provided this background information:

“[T]hese two warlords — currently at the top of America’s list of most wanted men in Afghanistan — were once among America’s most valued allies. In the 1980s, the CIA funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons and ammunition to help them battle the Soviet Army….Hekmatyar, then widely considered by Washington to be a reliable anti-Soviet rebel, was even flown to the United States by the CIA in 1985.”

“U.S. officials had an even higher opinion of Haqqani, who was considered the most effective rebel warlord….Haqqani was also one of the leading advocates of the so-called Arab Afghans, deftly organizing Arab volunteer fighters who came to wage jihad against the Soviet Union and helping to protect future al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.” [14]

In the name of combating the very same bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the U.S. and its NATO allies are now, in addition to increasing combined military forces waging a war in Afghanistan now in its ninth year to over 150,000, more than the Soviet Union ever deployed to that nation:

Intensifying deadly drone missile, helicopter gunship and commando attacks inside neighboring Pakistan. A recent government report in that nation tabulated that 708 people had been killed last year in CIA drone attacks alone. Only five of those were identified as al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects. [14] On January 6 at least thirteen more were killed in a missile attack in the Pakistani tribal agency of North Waziristan.

Last month an American military newspaper reported that “A 1,000-strong Marine combat task force capable of rapidly deploying to hot spots could soon be at the disposal of the new U.S. Africa Command,” which announcement came “just a few months after U.S. Special Forces staged a daring daylight raid deep inside southern Somalia” and after another Marine force “had already deployed in support of training missions in Uganda and Mali.” [15]

In late October of last year NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was in the United Arab Emirates [UAE] to rally NATO’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative partners for a future confrontation with Iran. Addressing a conference on NATO-UAE Relations and Future Prospects of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, he expanded his mission to recruit the Persian Gulf monarchies for the ever-expanding Greater Afghan War. “We have a shared interest in helping countries like Afghanistan and Iraq to stand on their feet again, fostering stability in the Middle East…and preventing countries like Somalia and Sudan from slipping deeper into chaos.” [16]

Two months earlier it was reported that “About 75 U.S. military personnel and civilians will be headed to the Seychelles islands in the coming weeks to set up…Reaper operations, which could start in October or November. U.S. Africa Command is calling the Navy-led mission Ocean Look.

“The U.S. will base the Reapers – to be used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance – at Seychelles’ Mahe regional airport….” [17] The Reaper is the Pentagon’s newest “hunter-killer” unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) which is equipped with fifteen times the firepower and travels at three times the speed of its Predator forerunner, used to devastating effect in Pakistan and Somalia. Last October Somali rebels claimed to have shot down an American drone and local “residents routinely report suspected US drones flying over [their city]. The drones are believed to be launched from warships in the Indian Ocean.” [18]

The permanent stationing of U.S. military forces in Seychelles is part of a pattern in recent years of basing American troops to man missile batteries, interceptor missile radar sites, air bases, counterinsurgency forward bases and other installations in countries where their presence would have been inconceivable even a few years ago: Afghanistan, Colombia, Bulgaria, Djibouti, Iraq, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Poland and Romania. A report of January 7 claims that the U.S. plans to establish an air base in Yemen in the Socotra archipelago in the Indian Ocean. [19]

Later it was revealed that “In addition to the Reaper UAVs, the U.S. military is also considering basing Navy P-3 Orion patrol aircraft in the Seychelles for a limited time. Like the Reaper, the Orion can survey a large region….” [20]

A Middle Eastern news source reported on this development as follows:

“The United States is taking its military venture in Africa to new levels amid suspicions that Washington could be advancing yet another hidden agenda.

“American operatives are expected to fly pilot-less surveillance aircraft over the Seychellois [Seychelles] territory from US ships off its coast, in what Washington claims are [deployments] meant to spy on Somali pirates….[S]imilar pretexts were used to justify the US invasion of Afghanistan, the missile attacks in Pakistan, and its waning military operations in Iraq….Washington has also started to equip Mali with USD 4.5 million worth of military vehicles and communications equipment, in what is reported to be an increasing US involvement in Africa.” [21]

It did not take long for the U.S. to put the Reapers into operation. In late October Associated Press reported “U.S. military surveillance drones are patrolling off Somalia’s coast for the first time….U.S. military officials say unmanned drones called Reapers, stationed in the island nation of Seychelles, are patrolling the Indian Ocean. [22]

“The developments come as the White House seeks grounds to establish a major military presence in Africa.

“The US military says it has deployed its drones [‘the size of a jet fighter’], capable of carrying missiles to patrol waters off Somalia….” [23]

Washington’s attempt to establish an Afghanistan-Pakistan-Somalia-Yemen connection is intimately connected with its plans for Africa as a whole. [24]

On January 4 a U.S. military website published this update:

“U.S. Africa Command has bolstered its anti-piracy forces with the recent addition of maritime patrol aircraft and more personnel in the Seychelles islands.

“The Navy last month deployed three P-3 Orion aircraft from the Maine-based VP-26 Tridents, along with 112 sailors, to the Seychelles to patrol the waters off East Africa….Patrol Squadron 26’s insignia, a skull over a compass and two bombs or torpedoes that form an X, resembles the Jolly Roger flag, which symbolizes piracy.” [25]

What sort of pirates the Pentagon is using as the pretext for its military buildup in the Horn of Africa and Eastern Africa as a whole was demonstrated last September when “Foreign troops in helicopters strafed a car…in a Somali town…killing two men and capturing two others who were wounded, witnesses said. U.S. military officials said American forces were involved in the raid.”

“Two U.S. military officials said forces from the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command were involved.” [26] The Joint Special Operations Command was headed up by Stanley McChrystal from 2003 to 2008. He has moved on from overseeing counterinsurgency operations in Iraq during those years to assuming control over all U.S. and NATO operations in Afghanistan.

A witness also reported that “the helicopters took off from a warship flying a French flag” [27] and a rebel source said “We are getting information that French army gunships attacked a car, destroying it completely and taking some of the passengers.” [28]

French military forces remain in the former colony of Djibouti where they train for operations not only in Afghanistan but in several former African possessions. Troops, warplanes and armored vehicles from NATO nations – under the flags of NATO itself, the European Union, France and the United States – have intervened in civil and cross-border conflicts across the entire width of Africa over the past few years: Somalia, Djibouti-Eritrea, Chad, the Central African Republic, the Darfur region of Sudan and the Ivory Coast; from the Horn of Africa to the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea.

A report from last month provides some indication of the French role on the continent. Radio France Internationale described “French soldiers in Djibouti train[ing] for Afghanistan and keep[ing] an eye on Africa” with the following details:

“Twelve special forces commandos arrived first” and “the army…storm[ed] the beach….The exercise, seen as crucial for battle preparedness in a region infamous for its fractious politics, included all the country’s military sectors – sea, land and air.

“As desert tanks zoomed onto the shore Mirage jets criss-crossed the open sky. Meanwhile, land troops were dispatched from the mouths of armoured personnel carriers and helicopters airlifted artillery guns onto the ground.

“‘It’s a show of force. It shows what France is able to do militarily,’ said one army officer.

“In recent years French troops in Djibouti have been involved in a number of…military missions in Africa. They helped reinforce the UN brigade patrolling Cote d’Ivoire and last year provided logistical and tactical help to Djiboutian soldiers warding off an attack from neighbouring Eritrea.

“For the time being, the first theatre of combat these troops will see is Afghanistan, where France is part of the Nato contingent. The mountainous, arid countryside closely resembles Djibouti’s own undulating moonscape.

“The troops taking part are a contingent of a 2,500-strong force based in Djibouti.” [29]

In addition to intermittent armed clashes between troops from Djibouti and Eritrea, in the past weeks reports have surfaced of deadly fighting within Eritrea and between that nation and neighboring Ethiopia. Djibouti and Ethiopia are the West’s client regimes and military proxies in the Horn of Africa and, as is demonstrated above, the integration of the South Asian and Northeast African war fronts is proceeding rapidly.

Starting in the autumn of 2008 NATO began what it calls counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia and further into the Gulf of Aden, often in league with comparable deployments by the European Union, with which it shares warships, commanders and “common strategic interests” under the Berlin Plus and other arrangements. [30]

The NATO naval surveillance and interdiction operation in and near the Horn of Africa is an extension of its effective takeover of the entire Mediterranean Sea with Operation Active Endeavor [31] initiated in 2001 under the Alliance’s Article 5 mutual military assistance clause and augmented by the blockade of Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast by NATO nations’ warships under UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) auspices that began after Israel’s assault on the country in 2006. The latter’s Maritime Task Force (MTF) “has hailed some 27,000 ships and referred nearly 400 suspicious vessels to Lebanese authorities for further inspection.

“Thirteen countries – Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Turkey – have contributed naval units to the MTF.” [32]

The NATO and EU deployments in the Gulf of Aden are the first such naval operations in the region in both organizations’ history and the EU’s first in African coastal waters.

The expansion of military presence into the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea gives NATO nations control of waterways ranging from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Strait of Hormuz.

As veteran Indian diplomat and analyst M K Bhadrakumar described it in 2008, “By acting with lightning speed and without publicity, NATO surely created a fait accompli.

“NATO’s naval deployment in the Indian Ocean region is a historic move and a milestone in the alliance’s transformation. Even at the height of the Cold War, the alliance didn’t have a presence in the Indian Ocean. Such deployments almost always tend to be open-ended.

“In 2007, a NATO naval force visited Seychelles in the Indian Ocean and Somalia and conducted exercises in the Indian Ocean and then re-entered the Mediterranean via the Red Sea in end-September.” [33]

He added: “US officials are on record that Africom and NATO envisage an institutional linkup in the downstream.

“The overall US strategy is to incrementally bring NATO into Africa so that its future role in the Indian Ocean (and Middle East) region as the instrument of US global security agenda becomes optimal.” [34]

Last August the chief of AFRICOM, General William Ward, said that Somalia was “a central focus of the U.S. military on the continent.”

To indicate the scope of Pentagon plans in not only Somalia but the region, “General William Ward has pledged continued support to Somalia’s transitional federal government….He made his remarks during a visit to Nairobi, Kenya, which is a key U.S. ally in the region.

“When asked about U.S. warnings to Eritrea against its alleged support of
al-Shabab, the U.S. general condemned any outside support for the Somali rebels.” [35]

U.S., British and other Western officials have been straining to establish (the most) tenuous connection between the so-called AfPak war front and the need for direct military intervention in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, as was seen earlier with the British prime minister’s risible claim that NATO has been so successful in expelling alleged al-Qaeda elements from Pakistan that they have sought refuge in Somalia and Yemen. Rather than, more logically, in locations like Kashmir, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Similarly, Western governments are sparing no effort to fabricate or exaggerate links between the numerous armed conflicts in the Horn of Africa. Somali rebels are accused of supporting the government of Eritrea in its border conflict with Djibouti; they are also accused of offering fighters for the internal conflict in southern Yemen.

In return, Yemeni rebels are accused of providing arms for Somalia’s al-Shabaab fighters and hovering over it all is the implication that Iran is sponsoring Arab Shi’a forces in Yemen’s north.

There is a plethora of evidence, however, documenting genuine foreign intervention in the region: U.S. missile, bombing, helicopter and special forces attacks in Somalia and Yemen and coordination with the armies of Djibouti and Ethiopia in conflicts inside Somalia and with Eritrea. Saudi air and land assaults in Yemen with the resultant deaths of hundreds and displacement of thousands of civilians. French commando operations in Somalia and combat training in Djibouti for warfare in the area and beyond.

The true outside forces engaged in military actions are ignored in the West in favor of unsubstantiated contentions that the region is being inflamed by the same adversaries the U.S. and NATO are waging war against on the Indian subcontinent and that the villains in and near the Horn of Africa are, in addition to being the local al-Qaeda franchise, inextricably linked and moreover somehow tied with piracy operations. Such are the tortured logic and far-fetched subterfuges used to prepare Western publics for an escalation of military intervention over 3,000 kilometers across the Indian Ocean from the Afghanistan-Pakistan war theater.

NATO warships are bridging the two extremes. Last August the military bloc launched its second naval operation off the coast of Somalia the name of which, Ocean Shield, alone indicates the scope of the Alliance’s objectives in the Africa-Asia-Middle East triangle. The mission includes military ships from Britain, Greece, Italy, Turkey and the U.S. and according to NATO “other countries are thinking of coming to reinforce the operation which could evolve at any moment.” A NATO spokesman said at the time, “No timeframe has been set for this long-term operation, which will last as long as it’s deemed necessary.” [36]

The European Union is conducting a complementary mission, Operation Atalanta, “which has six frigates and works with fleets from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the U.S.-led coalition” and “operates in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean…from Somali territorial waters east to 60 degrees longitude, which runs south from the eastern tip of Oman and 250 miles east of the Seychelles.” [37] Rear Admiral Peter Hudson at the fleet’s command center in Britain announced last month that the operation may expand its range even further, taking in most of the western Indian Ocean.

Last September the commander of NATO’s Maritime Group 2 in the Gulf of Aden met with officials of Somalia’s Puntland autonomous region to plan operations.

In mid-December NATO made a direct link between its South Asian war and its expansion into the Indian Ocean by announcing it was considering dispatching AWACS surveillance aircraft to the second location. “Commanders are seeking to back up a five-ship counterpiracy task force with one of the airborne warning and control system surveillance planes, possibly sharing it with the allied International Security Assistance Force fighting in Afghanistan.” [38]

On the first day of this year a Canadian news agency, in a feature titled “Canada to help defend Yemen from al-Qaida reinforcements,” revealed that “A NATO spokeswoman said warships patrolling international shipping lanes through the Gulf of Aden, which separates Somalia from Yemen, were aware al-Shabab, an al-Qaida-inspired armed group based in Somalia, had announced plans to send fighters to Yemen” and as a result “A Canadian warship involved in NATO-led counter-piracy operations off Somalia’s coast now has an additional task….” [39]


Somalia and Yemen lie across from each other on either end of the Gulf of Aden where the Red Sea meets the Arabian Sea and the Mediterranean is connected with the Indian Ocean. An arc that effects the conjunction of three of the world’s five most important continents. Territory too important for the United States, whose head of state last month proclaimed himself commander-in-chief of the world’s sole military superpower, and what for the past decade has declared itself expeditionary and global NATO to leave untouched.

1) Reuters, January 1, 2010
2) Russian Information Agency Novosti, December 30, 2009
3) Reuters, January 1, 2010
4) CNN, January 4, 2010
5) CNN, January 2, 2010
6) CNN, January 4, 2010
7) Agence France-Presse, January 4, 2010
8) Xinhua News Agency, January 4, 2010
9) Press TV, January 3, 2010
10) Cold War Origins Of The Somalia Crisis And Control Of The
Indian Ocean
Stop NATO, May 3, 2009
11) Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, April 17, 2009
12) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, January 1, 2010
13) U.S. News & World Report, July 11, 2008
14) Ibid
15) Stars And Stripes, December 16, 2009
16) Al Arabiya, November 1, 2009
17) Stars and Stripes, August 29, 2009
18) Press TV, October 19, 2009
19) Press TV, January 7, 2010
20) Voice of America News, September 2, 2009
21) Press TV, October 21, 2009
22) Associated Press, October 23, 2009
23) Press TV, October 25, 2009
24) AFRICOM: Pentagon Prepares Direct Military Intervention In Africa
Stop NATO, August 24, 2009
AFRICOM Year Two: Seizing The Helm Of The Entire World
Stop NATO, October 22, 2009
25) Stars and Stripes, January 4, 2010
26) Associated Press, September 14, 2009
27) Ibid
28) Agence France-Presse, September 14, 2009
29) Radio France Internationale, December 11, 2009
30) NATO
31) NATO
32) UN News Centre, August 31, 2009
33) Asian Times, October 20, 2008
34) Ibid
35) Voice of America News, August 21, 2009
36) Agence France-Presse, August 17, 2009
37) Bloomberg News, December 11, 2009
38) Bloomberg News, December 21, 2009
39) Canwest News Service, January 1, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Die einzige militärische Supermacht der Welt führt mit zwei Millionen Soldaten Kriege, die bisher schon eine Billion Dollar verschlungen haben

January 8, 2010 Leave a comment


January 7, 2010

Die einzige militärische Supermacht der Welt führt mit zwei Millionen Soldaten Kriege, die bisher schon eine Billion Dollar verschlungen haben
Rick Rozoff

Quelle und Übersetzung: Wolfgang Jung

Obwohl von den fast 7 Milliarden Menschen auf der Erde nur ein paar mehr 300 Millionen US-Amerikaner sind, entfallen auf die USA mehr als 40 Prozent aller offiziell bestätigten Militärausgaben der Welt; bei einem Bevölkerungsanteil von etwa 4 Prozent ist das ein Missverhältnis von 10 zu 1.

Zusätzlich zu seinen 1.445.000 aktiven Soldaten kann das Pentagon auf 1,2 Millionen Nationalgardisten und andere Reservisten zurückgreifen. Etwa 30 Prozent der Soldaten, die in Afghanistan und im Irak eingesetzt werden, sind einberufene Reservisten. Die Nationalgarde der Army hat seit Beginn des Afghanistan-Krieges mehr als 400.000 Soldaten reaktiviert; im März 2009 waren etwa 125.000 Nationalgardisten und andere Reservisten im aktiven Dienst eingesetzt.

Die Verteidigungsministerium beschäftigt in den USA und weltweit über 800.000 Zivilangestellte. Das Pentagon kann also ständig auf mehr als 3,5 Millionen Menschen zurückgreifen, wobei das Personal der Kontraktfirmen, die militärische Hilfsdienste leisten, noch nicht einmal mitgezählt ist.

Obwohl bereits mehr als eine Billion Dollars für die Kriege in Afghanistan und im Irak verschwendet und mehr als zwei Millionen US-Staatsbürger in diesen beiden Ländern eingesetzt wurden, haben das militärische Establishment der USA und sein Friedenspräsident bereits Vorbereitungen für weitere Kriege getroffen. Die Rüstungsfirmen Boeing, Raytheon und General Electric werden nicht mehr lange warten müssen.

In seiner Rede bei der Verleihung des Friedensnobelpreises am 10. Dezember bezeichne­te der Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten sein Land als “die einzige militärische Super­macht der Welt” und sich selbst als “den militärischen Oberbefehlshaber einer Nation, die zwei Kriege führt”.

Das war wohl das erste Mal in der Geschichte, dass ein amerikanisches oder sonstiges Staatsoberhaupt sein Land als unangefochten führende Militärmacht unseres Planeten ge­rühmt hat, und wird zweifellos das einzige Mal bleiben, dass ein Friedensnobelpreisträger sich dazu bekennt, nicht nur einen, sondern gleich zwei Krieg zu führen.

Unabhängig davon, ob die Verleihung des angesehensten Friedenspreises der Welt durch das norwegische Nobelpreis-Komitee der richtige Ort und die passende Gelegenheit für solche Töne waren, bleibt Barack Obama wenigstens die Entschuldigung, dass seine Be­hauptungen wirklich zutreffen.

Als Oberbefehlshaber ist er tatsächlich für zwei große und mehrere kleinere Kriege verant­wortlich, und sein Staat ist zweifellos die erste militärische Weltmacht, die seit Jahrzehnten uneingeschränkt auf fünf von sechs bewohnten Kontinenten operiert und Truppen auf al­len sechs stationiert hat. Die US-Streitkräfte unterhalten in vielen Staaten insgesamt 820 Miliärbasen, die mit Soldaten und Waffen – einschließlich Atomwaffen – ausgestattet sind.

Die Vereinigten Staaten haben kürzlich sieben neue Basen in Bulgarien und Rumänien er­richtet, die Tausende von Soldaten aufnehmen können (s. dazu http://rickrozoff.word­ ) [1], als erstes Land ausländische Truppen in Israel stationiert, die eine Radarstation zum Erfassen anflie­gender Raketen in der Wüste Negev betreiben (Zusatzinformationen s. http://www.luftpost­ 08/LP 1 8508 03 1008. pdf u nd­chiv/LP_09/LP25409_161 109.pdf ) [2], und letzte Woche ein Abkommen über die Statio­nierung von Patriot-Raketen mit Polen geschlossen, denen bald noch landgestützte Aegis Standard Missile 3 / SM-3 folgen sollen, die bisher auf Schiffen stationiert waren (s. 09/LP 1 8609 3 1 0809.pdf ); die US-Soldaten, die mit den Patriots kommen, werden die ersten ausländischen Truppen in Polen seit der Auflösung des Warschauer Paktes im Jahr 1991 sein.

Der US-Militärhaushalt, der wieder auf dem Niveau des Kalten Krieges angekommen und der höchste seit Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs ist, beträgt nach dem Report 2008 des Stockholm International Peace Research Institute / SIPRI mehr als 41 Prozent der offiziell bestätigten internationalen Militärausgaben: 607 Milliarden Dollar von 1,464 Billionen Dol­lar, die weltweit für militärische Zwecke ausgegeben werden. Am 28. Oktober hat Präsi­dent Obama die Gesetzesvorlage zum Militärbudget 2010 unterzeichnet, das 680 Milliar­den Dollar umfasste, einschließlich der 130 Milliarden Dollar für die Kriege in Afghanistan und im Irak.

In dieser Summe sind die Militärausgaben, die nicht im Verteidigungshaushalt ausgewie­sen werden, noch nicht enthalten. Die US-Regierung überträgt seit Jahrzehnten in allen Bereichen staatliche Aufgaben an Firmen aus der Privatwirtschaft, und das Pentagon ist von dieser Praxis ganz sicher nicht ausgenommen. Nach verschiedenen Schätzungen be­laufen sich alle mit dem US-Militär zusammenhängenden Ausgaben – einschließlich des offiziellen Verteidigungshaushalts – pro Jahr auf insgesamt 1,16 Billionen Dollar; das ist fast die Hälfte aller staatlichen Ausgaben, die im letzten Jahr von den 192 Staaten der Welt – einschließlich der USA – getätigt wurden.

Obwohl von den fast 7 Milliarden Menschen auf der Erde nur ein paar mehr als 300 Millio­nen US-Amerikaner sind, entfallen auf die USA mehr als 40 Prozent aller offiziell bestätig­ten Militärausgaben der Welt; bei einem Bevölkerungsanteil von etwa 4 Prozent ist das ein Missverhältnis von 10 zu 1.

Die USA haben nach neuesten Schätzungen mit mehr als 1.445.000 Männern und Frauen unter Waffen die zweitgrößte Berufsarmee der Welt. Sie werden nur von China übertrof­fen, dessen Armee aus 2.255.000 Soldaten besteht. China hat eine Bevölkerung von über 1,325 Milliarden Menschen – mehr als viermal so viele, wie die USA – und setzt – anders als die USA – neben seinen Streitkräften keine zusätzlichen Hilfstruppen von Privatfirmen ein. Im Gegensatz zu den USA hat es auch keine Truppen im Ausland stationiert. Indien hat bei einer Bevölkerung von 1,140 Milliarden Menschen nur eine Armee von 1.415.000 Soldaten, die kleiner als die US-Armee ist.

Die USA und Großbritannien sind wahrscheinlich die einzigen Staaten, die Reservisten kämpfen lassen; im Februar 2009 gab Admiral Mike Mullen, der Chef des US-General‑
stabs bekannt, dass seit 2001 im Bereich des Central Command (s. dazu auch http://ww­ 09/LP27209 071209.pdf ), das für die Kriege in Afgha­nistan und im Irak zuständig ist, 600.000 Reservisten eingesetzt wurden. Zusätzlich zu sei­nen 1.445.000 aktiven Soldaten kann das Pentagon auf 1,2 Millionen Nationalgardisten und andere Reservisten zurückgreifen. Etwa 30 Prozent der Soldaten, die in Afghanistan und im Irak eingesetzt werden, sind einberufene Reservisten. Die Nationalgarde der Army hat seit Beginn des Afghanistan-Krieges mehr als 400.000 Soldaten reaktiviert; im März 2009 waren etwa 125.000 Nationalgardisten und andere Reservisten im aktiven Dienst eingesetzt.

Das Verteidigungsministerium beschäftigt in den USA und weltweit über 800.000 Zivilan­gestellte. Das Pentagon kann also ständig auf mehr als 3,5 Millionen Menschen zurück­greifen, wobei das Personal der Kontraktfirmen, die militärische Hilfsdienste leisten, noch nicht einmal mitgezählt ist.

In den letzten 48 Stunden sind zwei beispiellose Schwellen überschritten worden. Am Mor­gen des 19. Dezember traf sich der US-Senat in einer seltenen Samstagsitzung, um über den Militärhaushalt von 636,3 Milliarden Dollar für das nächste Jahr zu entscheiden. Er wurde mit 88 zu 10 Stimmen verabschiedet; das Repräsentantenhaus hatte ihn bereits am 16. Dezember mit 395 zu 34 Stimmen gebilligt. In beiden Fällen bedeuten die Nein-Stim­men nicht notwendigerweise eine Ablehnung der Kriegsausgaben; sie waren eher Teil des labyrinthischen US-Gesetzgebungsverfahrens, das von Absprachen, Koppelgeschäften und Geschacher in anderen Fragen bestimmt ist, die mit dem Sachverhalt, über den gera­de abgestimmt wird, überhaupt nichts zu tun haben müssen. In der Umgangssprache wird dieses Verhalten mit Kuhhandel, Stimmenkauf oder anderen schillernden Begriffen be­schrieben. Eine Nein-Stimme im Repräsentantenhaus oder im Senat ist also nicht automa­tisch ein Zeichen für die Ablehnung des Krieges oder für eine konservative Einstellung zur Haushaltspoliti k.

In der Pentagon-Vorlage sind auch 101 Milliarden Dollar für die Kriege in Afghanistan und der Irak enthalten. Erst im Juli 2009 hatte Obama ein Nachtragsbudget von 106 Milliarden Dollar für die Kriege im Irak und in Afghanistan unterzeichnet. Auch 2010 dürfte es wieder Nachforderungen für “Notfallmaßnahmen” in Afghanistan geben. Der erste Nachtrags­haushalt über 30 Milliarden Dollar ist schon zum Jahresbeginn zu erwarten – für die Ent­sendung der zusätzlichen 33.000 Mann, mit denen die Gesamtzahl der US-Soldaten in Af­ghanistan auf über 100.000 anwachsen wird.

Am Tag der Abstimmung im Senat zitierte BLOOMBERG NEWS den Congressional Re­search Service (den wissenschaftlichen Dienst des US-Kongresses), der die bisherigen Gesamtkosten für die Kriege in Afghanistan und im Irak mit über einer Billion Dollar bezif­fert hat: “Sie setzen sich aus 748 Milliarden Dollar für den Irak-Krieg und 300 Milliarden Dollar für den Afghanistan-Krieg zusammen, heißt es in einem Report des Research Ser­vice vom 28. September (2009).”

Der beschlossene Beschaffungsplan des Pentagons “sieht auch 2,5 Milliarden Dollar für 10 zusätzliche C-17-Transportflugzeuge der Firma Boeing vor, die das Pentagon über­haupt nicht angefordert hat. Die in Chicago angesiedelte Rüstungsfirma Boeing erhält wei­tere 1,5 Milliarden Dollar für 18 Kampfjets des Typs F/A-1 8F Super Hornet; auch das sind neun Maschinen mehr, als die Regierung beschaffen wollte.

Die Finanzierung von Flugzeugen, die das Verteidigungsministerium oder das Weiße Haus überhaupt nicht oder nur in geringerer Stückzahl haben wollten, ist ein weiterer be­zeichnender Bestandteil der US-Beschaffungspolitik. Die Bestellungen werden den Abge‑

ordneten, die angeblich das amerikanische Volk vertreten, direkt von den Rüstungsfirmen diktiert – und nicht nur von Rüstungsfirmen aus den USA. William Lynn, der derzeitige stellvertretende Verteidigungsminister, hat zum Beispiel vorher die Abteilung für Regie­rungsoperationen und Strategie der Rüstungsfirma Raytheon geleitet. Aufschlussreich sind auch die folgenden Passagen aus dem Bericht der BLOOMBERG NEWS:

“Verteidigungsminister Robert Gates hat am 6. April 2009 empfohlen, die C-17-Fertigung einzustellen, wenn Boeing gegen Ende des Jahres 2010 die letzten von 205 bestellten Transportflugzeugen des Typs C-17 ausgeliefert hat. Die Firma Boeing, der zweitgrößte Empfänger von Rüstungsaufträgen, hat sofort angekündigt, sie werde ihr Werk in Long Beach, Kalifornien, 2011 schließen, wenn keine neuen Bestellungen kämen.

Im Verteidigungshaushalt sind auch 465 Millionen Dollar für die Nachrüstung des Trieb­werks des Kampfjets F-35 Joint Strike Fighter vorgesehen. Das Triebwerk wird von der in Fairfield, Connecticut, angesiedelten Firma General Electric Co. und der Rolls Royce Plc. in London gebaut. Dabei hatte die Regierung vorher damit gedroht, den kompletten Vertei­digungshaushalt zurückzuziehen, wenn darin Geld für die Nachrüstung dieses Triebwerks eingestellt werden sollte.” (Der komplette BLOOMBERG-Artikel ist aufzurufen unter .) [3]

Das Pentagon und sein Chef Gates können Kämpfe mit dem Kongress und sogar mit dem Weißen Haus gewinnen, wenn es um den Einsatz militärischer Gewalt im Ausland geht, aber gegen die Rüstungsfirmen und die Kongressabgeordneten, deren Wahlkämpfe diese Firmen finanzieren, ziehen die Lamettaträger des Militärs immer den Kürzeren.

Zusätzlich zu der jährlich (mit 336,3 Milliarden Dollar, also) mit fast zwei Dritteln einer Billi­on Dollar gefüllten Kriegskasse des Pentagons verschaffen die andauernden Kriege im Mittleren Osten, die bereits über eine Billion Dollar verschlungen haben, den Großhänd­lern des Todes und ihren politischen Handlangern einen wahren Geldregen.

Am 18. Dezember wurde auf mehreren Websites der US-Streitkräfte ein Bericht veröffent­licht, dem zu entnehmen war, dass seit Beginn des Überfalls auf Afghanistan im Oktober 2001 insgesamt 3,3 Millionen US-Soldaten nach Afghanistan und in den Irak geschickt wurden. Das war nur möglich weil “793.000 Männer und Frauen der über 2 Millionen Sol­daten der US-Streitkräfte mehrmals an die Front geschickt wurden”. (s. dazu http://www.- deployments 1 21 809w/ )

Von den einzelnen Waffengattungen kamen:

mehr als 1 Million Soldaten von der Army.

mehr als 389.900 von der Air Force.

mehr als 367.900 von der Navy (der Marine) und

mehr als 251.800 von den Marines (der Marineinfanterie).

Allein im Oktober 2009 waren 172.800 Soldaten der Army, 31 .500 Soldaten der Air Force, 30.000 Matrosen und 20.900 Marineinfanteristen auf den beiden Kriegsschauplätzen ein­gesetzt. [4]

Die Masse der US-Berufsarmee wird zwar in Afghanistan und im Irak gebraucht, es blei­ben aber noch genügend Soldaten übrig, um die neuen Basen in Osteuropa zu beman­nen, um sie in andere Länder im Mittleren Osten zu schicken, um den Transitflughafen Manas in Kirgisistan zu betreiben, um sieben neue Militärbasen in Kolumbien zu überneh­men, um im Camp Lemonier in Dschibuti, dem ersten dauerhaften US-Militärstützpunkt in

Afrika, 2.400 Soldaten für regionale Operationen zu stationieren und um auf den Philippi­nen, in Mali, in Uganda, im Jemen und in Pakistan gegen “Aufständische” zu intervenie­ren.

Kürzlich berichtete eine US-Militärzeitung in unter dem Titel “AFRICOM could add Marine Air Ground Task Force” (AFRICOM könnte eine Sondereinsatzgruppe von Fallschirmjä­gern der Marineinfanterie erhalten), dass “AFRICOM bald eine 1.000 Mann starke Kampf­truppe der Marines für schnelle Einsätze an Krisenherden (in Afrika) zur Verfügung stehen könnte”.

In dem Artikel hieß es weiter, dass eine Einheit der Marines, die kürzlich AFRICOM unter­stellt wurde, “bereits zur Unterstützung von Trainingsmissionen in Uganda und Mali einge­setzt worden sei”; die Armee Ungandas kämpft gegen die Lord’s Resistance Army (die Wi­derstandsarmee des Herrn) und die Armee Malis gegen die Tuareg-Rebellen. (s. ) [5]

Im Jemen haben Quellen der Houthi-Rebellen am 15. Dezember “die US-Air Force be­schuldigt, sich an Luftangriffen gegen sie beteiligt und mindestens 120 Menschen im Nor-den dieses armen arabischen Staates getötet zu haben”. (s. dazu auch http://www.luft­ 09/LP28709 231209.pdf )

Ihr Informationsbüro teilte dazu mit: “Das schlimme Verbrechen der US-Air Force zeigt das wahre Gesicht der Vereinigten Staaten.” [6]

ABC NEWS berichtete: “Auf Befehl des Präsidenten Barack Obama startete das US-Militär am Morgen des 17. Dezember Cruise Missiles (Marschflugkörper) gegen zwei vermutete Al-Qaida-Camps im Jemen”. [7] Gleichzeitig gehen die Drohnenangriffe in Pakistan weiter.

Weil die Houthi-Rebellen Schiiten sind, ist jeder Versuch, sie mit Al-Qaida in Verbindung zu bringen, nur ein Vorwand, um die Bombardierung ihrer Dörfer zu rechtfertigen.

Zur gleichen Zeit hat sich General Roger Brady, der Kommandeur der US-Air Force in Eu­ropa und der NATO Allied Air Component (die beide ihr Hauptquartier auf der US-Air Base Ramstein haben, s. 09/LP27209 07 1209. pdf ), nachdem er gerade von einer Inspektionstour in die Kaukasus-Staaten Aserbaidschan und Georgien zurückgekommen war, auf dem Trainingsflugplatz Adazi in Lettland mit dem Ver­teidigungsminister dieses Landes und dessen Kollegen aus Estland und Litauen getroffen; dabei wurden Pläne zu “einer engeren militärische Zusammenarbeit in Sicherheitsfragen zwischen dem Baltikum und den USA besprochen, die auch gemeinsame Übungen in der Ostsee-Region vorsehen” [9] Alle fünf genannten Staaten – Aserbaidschan, Georgien, Estland, Lettland und Litauen – grenzen an Russland.

Auf der in der gleichen Woche in Havanna auf Cuba abgehaltenen Konferenz der Alianza

Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América, / ALBA (der Bolivarianischen Allianz für die Völker unseres Amerikas, s. %C3%BCr Amerika ), sagte Raul Castro, der Präsident des Gastgeberlandes, über den jüngsten Aufmarsch des Pentagons in Kolumbien: “Die Errichtung von US-Militärbasen in dieser Region ist … ein Akt der Aggression gegen Lateinamerika und die Karibik.” [9]

Weniger als eine Woche später gab die Regierung Kolumbiens – des drittgrößten Empfän­ger von US-Militärhilfe auf der Welt – bekannt, dass sie eine neue Militärbasis in der Nähe der Grenze mit Venezuela bauen werde. “Verteidigungsminister Gabriel Silva sagte am 18. Dezember, die auf der Halbinsel Guajira in der Nähe der Stadt Nazaret entstehende Basis werde bis zu 1.000 Soldaten beherbergen. In anderen Grenzgebieten würden zwei Luftwaffen-Bataillone aktiviert. General Oskar Gonzalez, der Chef des Heeres, kündigte am folgenden Tag an, insgesamt werde man sechs Luftwaffen-Bataillone aktivieren, davon zwei an der Grenze mit Venezuela.” [10]

Obwohl bereits mehr als eine Billion Dollars für die Kriege in Afghanistan und im Irak ver­schwendet und mehr als zwei Millionen US-Staatsbürger in diesen beiden Ländern einge­setzt wurden, haben das militärische Establishment der USA und sein Friedenspräsident bereits Vorbereitungen für weitere Kriege getroffen. Die Rüstungsfirmen Boeing, Raytheon und General Electric werden nicht mehr lange warten müssen.


1) Bulgarien, Rumänien: US- und NATO-Basen für den Krieg im Osten

Stop NATO, 24. Oktober 2009,

2) In Israel wurde der Raketenabwehrschild der NATO geschmiedet und der Krieg gegen den Iran geprobt, Stop NATO, 5. November 2009

3) Bloomberg News, 19. Dezember 2009

4) Michelle Tan, 2 Millionen Soldaten waren sich seitdem 11.09. an der Front, 18. Dezem­ber 2009

5) Stars and Stripes, 16. Dezember 2009

6) Reuters, 16. Dezember 2009

7) Abc News, 18. Dezember 2009

8) Verteidigungs-Fachleute, 14. Dezember 2009

9) Russische Nachrichtenagentur Novosti, 14. Dezember 2009

10) Agence France Presse, 19. Dezember 2009

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West’s Afghan War: From Conquest To Bloodbath

January 5, 2010 1 comment

January 5, 2010

West’s Afghan War: From Conquest To Bloodbath
Rick Rozoff

“When the commander in Kabul asked Obama for the extra troops, he knew the USA would end up with one achievement, and that is more civilian casualties.”

“Every time an American soldier gets killed, they bomb an entire village.”

“This thing is going to be $5 billion to $10 billion a month and 300 to 500 killed and wounded a month by next summer. That’s what we probably should expect. And that’s light casualties.”

On December 29 the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released figures demonstrating that Afghan civilian deaths had risen by 10 percent in the first ten months of 2009, from 1,838 during the same period a year earlier to 2,038. The majority of the killings were attributed to insurgent attacks, including those directed against U.S., NATO and government targets, but almost 500 civilians were killed by American and NATO forces.

Matters only grew worse last November and December, culminating in several massacres of Afghan civilians by Western forces at the end of the year.

In early December a NATO air strike killed thirteen civilians in Laghman province. One account also documents a deadly raid by American special forces there. “According to witnesses, US troops entered a number of houses near the provincial capital, Mehtar Lam, in an overnight operation. The victims included Mohammed Ismail, whose 10-year-old son, Rafiullah, described what happened: ‘When the soldiers came to our house, my father asked them, “Who are you?” Then they shot him in the head and told us, “Be quiet and tell us where the weapons are.”‘” [1]

The chairman of the Laghman provincial council presciently commented on the killings that “When the commander in Kabul asked Obama for the extra troops, he knew the USA would end up with one achievement, and that is more civilian casualties.” [2]

On the same day that the above-cited UN report was made public an air attack by U.S.-led warplanes killed four Afghans in the northern province of Baghlan. According to one report “A father and his three sons were reportedly among the [fatalities]. The raid also wounded eight others.” [3]

A member of parliament from a neighboring province, Haji Farid, said after the aerial onslaught that “Every time an American soldier gets killed, they bomb an entire village.” [4]

The following day a NATO missile strike killed seven Afghan civilians in Helmand province. According to the New York Times, “Neither NATO forces nor the Helmand governor’s office gave a definitive number of dead, but reports from local people said that five to seven civilians had been killed, including three children.” [5] Later a spokesman for the governor of the province confirmed that seven civilians had been slain and another wounded.

Far more atrocious news broke the same day, December 30, when, according to the next day’s edition of The Times of London, “American-led troops were accused…of dragging innocent children from their beds and shooting them during a night raid that left ten people dead” in Kunar province near the Pakistani border. [6]

U.S.-installed and -supported President Hamid Karzai dispatched an investigative team headed by former governor of Helmand province Assadullah Wafa to the scene of the massacre, dubbed by at least one news source as an Afghan My Lai.

A statement was later issued on the official website of the Afghan president that said in part: “The delegation concluded that a unit of international forces descended from a plane Sunday night into Ghazi Khan village in Narang district of the eastern province of Kunar and took ten people from three homes, eight of them school students in grades six, nine and ten, one of them a guest, the rest from the same family, and shot them dead.”

The delegation’s head, Wafa, added that “US soldiers flew to Kunar from Kabul, suggesting that they were part of a special forces unit,” and was quoted as saying “I spoke to the local headmaster. It’s impossible they were al-Qaeda. They were children, they were civilians, they were innocent. I condemn this attack.” [7]

The investigation he led established that eight of the victims were between the ages of 11 and 17. The slain students’ headmaster, Rahman Jan Ehsas, described the details of Barack Obama’s and top U.S. and NATO military commander Stanley McChrystal’s new special operations-led counterinsurgency approach as it was applied to his pupils:

“Seven students were in one room. A student and one guest were in another room, a guest room, and a farmer was asleep with his wife in a third building.

“First the foreign troops entered the guest room and shot two of them. Then they entered another room and handcuffed the seven students. Then they killed them. Abdul Khaliq [the farmer] heard shooting and came outside. When they saw him they shot him as well. He was outside. That’s why his wife wasn’t killed.” [8]

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) attempted to both widen and evade responsibility for the murders by claiming “the raid was a joint operation and it was still under investigation,” a ploy quickly exposed when “Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Zaher Azimy said Afghan troops had not taken part.” [9]

Demonstrators, particularly university students and their instructors, took to the streets in the provinces of Kabul and Nangarhar denouncing the rapidly escalating and by now routine slaughter of civilians, including children, by U.S. and NATO troops and warplanes. Their chants included “Obama! Obama! Take your soldiers out of Afghanistan!” and “Stop killing us!”

Professors and students at Kabul University passed a resolution demanding that NATO troops leave Afghanistan. [10]

Referring to the first of December’s massacres, a Middle Eastern newspaper wrote, “The raid in the eastern province of Laghman this month followed a pattern that has become sadly familiar in Afghanistan over recent years. As is often the case, international forces insisted militants were killed, but local officials and villagers claimed the dead were civilians.” [11]

With the increase of U.S. and other NATO nations’ and partners’ troops to over 150,000 in the near future and the announced shift from counterterrorism to counterinsurgency operations, the killing of Afghan civilians will grow exponentially.

On the other side of the border, Washington’s and NATO’s proclaimed AfPak war is no less murderous.

On January 2 Dawn News, Pakistan’s first 24-hour English news channel, reported on its website that 44 CIA-directed Predator drone missile attacks last year had killed 708 people, only five of them alleged al-Qaeda and Taliban targets. “According to the statistics compiled by Pakistani authorities, the Afghanistan-based US drones killed 708 people in 44 predator attacks targeting the tribal areas between January 1 and December 31, 2009.

“For each Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorist killed by US drones, 140 innocent Pakistanis also had to die. Over 90 per cent of those killed in the deadly missile strikes were civilians, claim authorities….On average, 58 civilians were killed in these attacks every month, 12 persons every week and almost two people every day.” [12]

There has been no diminution of such attacks. In the waning days of 2009 they were intensified. On December 27 “At least 13 people were killed in a suspected United States drone attack” in North Waziristan. “Following the strike, a U.S. B-52 jet plane, along with other spy planes, continued their flights over the tribal areas….” [13]

The preceding day another U.S. missile attack in North Waziristan killed three and wounded two people. “A statement from the [Pakistani] military Saturday said that a targeted airstrike at a compound in Orakzai had killed some civilians along with eight suspected militants.” [14]

The U.S. launched deadly drone missile attacks in Pakistan’s North Waziristan on both ends of the New Year. On December 31 “Five people were killed and at least two more injured” and on January 1 “A US pilotless aircraft fired a missile into Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal district” and “the attack destroyed [a] car and killed three people.” [15]

In the second case a regional security official was quoted by Reuters as stating “The bodies were burned beyond recognition. We are trying to determine their identity.” [16]

On January 3 five more people were killed in the same part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas by American drone attacks. However much the U.S., NATO and the Western media attempt to sanitize these killings, the Pakistani government figure – that over 99 percent of the victims are civilians – is a damning indictment of what can only be characterized as wanton war crimes.

A yearender feature in the U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripes reflected on 2009 and looked forward to this year.

“When President Barack Obama took office in January, he inherited a drifting and under-resourced war in Afghanistan, being fought with roughly 35,000 U.S. troops.

“Obama ordered 21,000 additional troops in March and then 30,000 more in December.

“In a little over a year, he will have nearly tripled their numbers, taking ownership of what he calls ‘the war we must win.’

“[E]very step the president has taken represents an escalation of the war, now in its ninth year.” [17]

Afghan and Pakistani civilians deaths have climbed correspondingly. They will rise even more in 2010 as the war, in its tenth calendar year, is broadened further and intensified in earnest.

For all the carnage wreaked on innocent Afghans and Pakistanis, a senior NATO intelligence officer told Western media representatives at a briefing on December 27 that “The Afghan Taliban have expanded their influence across Afghanistan and are now running a ‘full-fledged insurgency’ with their own ‘governors’ in all but one of the country’s provinces.” [18]

“In 33 out of 34 provinces, the Taliban has a shadow government…has a government-in-waiting, with ministers chosen” for the day the government falls in the unnamed official’s words. [19]

Over eight years of bombing villages, conducting deadly raids against civilian households, multiplying projected American and NATO troop strength by a factor of fifteen since 2003 and extending the war into Pakistan have produced this result.

NATO’s first ground war and its first armed conflict outside Europe has also cost the citizens of its own member states both blood and treasure.

Jeff Loftin, press officer of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, was recently quoted as confirming that last year 512 Western troops were killed in Afghanistan, the highest total for any year in the over eight-year war.

That number is over a third of the 1,481 ISAF fatalities (excluding American troops assigned to Operation Enduring Freedom) since the war began on October 7, 2001. The deaths include those of soldiers from NATO partner states Finland, Sweden and South Korea.

Germany, engaged under NATO command in its first combat operations since World War II, lost five soldiers last year, its highest number to date, and “Some 13,900 German soldiers served in Afghanistan this year [2009], up 1,700 from in 2008.” [20]

“At least 70 Western soldiers died each month from July through October, virtually double the rate of the previous summer. In the past year, nearly 500 foreign troops have lost their lives in Afghanistan, including more than 300 Americans.” [21]

On December 27 NATO announced the death of an American service member in a bomb attack in Afghanistan and the website calculated it to be the U.S.’s 310th of the year, double the 155 figure for 2008.

That number was also twice that of U.S. military deaths in Iraq in 2009, 148, the first time since 2003 that deaths in the first theater have been higher than in the second, and “Afghanistan is likely to become an even deadlier place for American forces as reinforcements are rushed there to battle insurgents.” [22]

How much deadlier was first revealed on January 3 when four U.S. soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb attack in southern Afghanistan.

Former U.S. Army General Barry McCaffrey, now an adjunct professor of international affairs at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, recently “traveled to the war zone…as an academic from West Point at the invitation of theater commander Gen. David Petraeus, commander of Central Command, and Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the operational commander in Afghanistan” and upon returning was cited by an armed forces news source as asserting that “Americans should prepare to accept hundreds of U.S. casualties each month in Afghanistan during spring offensives with enemy forces.”

Regarding the New Year’s surge, which will push U.S. troop strength to over 100,000 and combined U.S. and NATO numbers to over 150,000, he predicted that “this thing is going to be $5 billion to $10 billion a month and 300 to 500 killed and wounded a month by next summer. That’s what we probably should expect. And that’s light casualties.” [23]

As many 500 American soldiers killed and injured monthly is in McCaffrey’s estimate light casualties.

Another milestone in U.S. losses was marked on December 30 when a reported suicide bombing at the Forward Operating Base Chapman killed seven CIA agents, including the agency’s station chief. The Wall Street Journal quoted a former American intelligence official describing the event as “Pearl Harbor for the agency,” the second-largest loss in one day in the CIA’s history, only the 1983 attack on the U.S.’s embassy in Lebanon, which resulted in eight agency deaths, exceeding it. “The base played a critical role in the CIA’s significant operations in the country, including helping with drone attacks and informant networks in Pakistan.” [24]

According to a former agency official interviewed by the newspaper, “That was one of the bases where they were paying people and running people and sending them into Pakistan.” [25]

The White House of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize recipient and the Pentagon of former CIA director Robert Gates, who in the past boasted of funding and arming the founders of two of the three groups he is now waging war against in Afghanistan and Pakistan [26], have promised to increase the bloodshed in South Asia this year to an unprecedented level. In this instance if in no other the government can be trusted to faithfully fulfill its pledge.

1) The National (United Arab Emirates), December 28, 2009
2) Ibid
3) Press TV, December 29, 2009
4) Ibid
5) New York Times, December 31, 2009
6) The Times, December 31, 2009
7) Ibid
8) Ibid
9) Reuters, December 30, 2009
10) Pakistan Observer, January 4, 2010
11) The National, December 28, 2009
12) Dawn News, January 2, 2010
13) Xinhua News Agency, December 27, 2009
14) Associated Press, December 26, 2009
15) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, January 1, 2010
16) Press TV, January 1, 2010
17) Stars and Stripes, December 31, 2009
18) Reuters, December 27, 2009
19) Agence France-Presse, December 28, 2009
20) Brunei News, Agencies, January 1, 2010
21) Stars and Stripes, December 31, 2009
22) USA Today, December 31, 2009
23) Army Times, January 4, 2010
24) Wall Street Journal, January 1, 2010
25) Ibid
26) Afghan Warlords, Formerly Backed By the CIA, Now Turn Their Guns
On U.S. Troops
U.S. News & World Report, July 11, 2008

Categories: Uncategorized