Archive for April, 2010

U.S. Consolidates Military Network In Asia-Pacific Region

April 28, 2010 1 comment

April 28, 2010

U.S. Consolidates Military Network In Asia-Pacific Region
Rick Rozoff

The United States has six naval fleets and eleven aircraft carrier strike groups patrolling the world’s oceans and seas. The U.S. Navy is as large as the world’s next thirteen biggest navies combined [1].

Washington has as many aircraft carriers as all other nations together. Russia has one; China has none. The U.S. and its NATO allies – Britain (2), Italy (2), France (1) and Spain (1) – account for 17 of 22 in service in the world. Ten of the eleven American carriers are Nimitz class nuclear-powered supercarriers, substantially larger than most all non-U.S. ones. The U.S. Navy has all ten supercarriers in the world at the moment. [2]

U.S. aircraft carriers contain 70-80 planes and are available for deployment in all the world’s oceans and most of its seas. They are escorted in their carrier groups by anti-air and anti-submarine warfare guided missile destroyers, anti-submarine warfare frigates, missile cruisers with long-range Tomahawks, and nuclear-powered fast-attack submarines. The U.S. also maintains between ten and twelve naval expeditionary strike groups which include amphibious assault ships and AH-1 Super Cobra attack helicopters in addition to destroyers, cruisers, frigates, attack submarines and P-3C Orion long-range anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft.

With the reestablishing of the Navy’s Fourth Fleet – its area of responsibility includes Central and South America and the Caribbean Sea – two years ago after a 58-year hiatus, the U.S. has six fleets that can be dispatched to all five oceans.

The Seventh Fleet (there is no First Fleet), based in Japan, is the largest of U.S. forward-deployed fleets and consists of as many as 40–60 ships, 200-350 aircraft and 20,000-60,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel. Its area of responsibility takes in more than 50 million square miles of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, from Russia’s Kuril Islands in the north to the Antarctic in the south, from the South China Sea to the Arabian Sea, South Africa to the Korean Peninsula, the Strait of Malacca to the Taiwan Strait.

When on the occasion of accepting the Nobel Peace Prize last December President Barack Obama referred to himself as the Commander-in-Chief of the world’s sole military superpower he was not guilty of hyperbole if he was of hubris. His defense budget for next year is almost half as large as world military spending for 2008, the last year for which the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has compiled figures.

The U.S. has mutual defense treaties with six nations in the Asia-Pacific area: Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand. The Pentagon has bases in Japan and South Korea, troops and base camps in the Philippines, satellite surveillance sites in Australia and the use of air bases in Thailand.

Australia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are included in the American global missile interceptor network with Patriot Advanced Capability-3 and ship-based Standard Missile-3 deployments in those four nations. Last December it was announced that the U.S. will supply Taiwan with 200 Patriot anti-ballistic missiles and the following month it was revealed that Washington will also provide Taiwan with eight frigates capable of being upgraded to fire Standard Missile-3 interceptors. [3]

Last week the head of the Missile Defense Agency, Lieutenant General Patrick O’Reilly, told the U.S. Congress that, as Reuters summarized it, “Japan remains fully committed to building a linchpin multibillion-dollar missile interceptor with the United States,” despite hopes to the contrary entertained after the Democratic Party of Japan’s Yukio Hatoyama became prime minister last September.

Referring to the current Standard Missile-3 enhancement program, O’Reilly said that Japanese government officials “have indicated that they are in full support and their commitments are solid.”

In regards to the upgraded interceptor missile, the SM-3 Block IIA, he added, “Within the next year, we will begin our discussions on production arrangements between the United States and Japan.” [4]

On April 27 the U.S. renewed a military logistics agreement with Australia “allowing deployed Australian forces to exploit the vast logistics capability of the American military” and permitting “U.S. forces on operations to make use of Australian logistics.”

“Since its inception, the agreement had ensured supply support and services to Australian and U.S. forces deployed to all parts of the world wherever they were operating together….That included mutual support during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.” [5]

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Marine General James Cartwright, is visiting New Zealand this week to consult with the country’s top military commanders and defense minister.

Cartwright is “the first vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to visit New Zealand since the position was established….” [6] His visit comes two weeks after NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. Admiral James Stavridis, made similar trips to New Zealand and Australia.

Last month New Zealand’s Defence Minister Wayne Mapp announced that joint military exercises with the U.S. would resume after 23 years, since the nation’s 1987 ban on the docking of nuclear-powered warships and submarines.

New Zealand has been brought back into the fold in part by providing NATO with over 200 troops for the war in Afghanistan. Australia, with over 1,500 soldiers assigned to the International Security Assistance Force in the nation, is the largest non-NATO troop contributor for the war. Last year it unveiled plans for the most extensive military buildup in its post-World War Two history. [7]

On April 23 the U.S. and India launched the ten-day Malabar 2010 military exercises after “Ships, submarines and aircraft from the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet arrived in Goa” to engage in maneuvers which include training for “surface and anti-submarine warfare, coordinated gunnery exercises [and] air defense….” [8] The U.S. contribution consists of two guided missile destroyers, a guided missile frigate, a guided missile cruiser, a nuclear fast-attack submarine, P-3 Orion anti-submarine and surveillance aircraft, SH-60B Seahawk helicopters and Navy SEAL (Sea, Air and Land) special forces.

The Malabar war games have been conducted jointly by the U.S. and India since 1992 (except for 1998-2001 after India carried out nuclear tests), but last year included Japan, and Malabar 2007 was a five-nation operation held in the Bay of Bengal with the U.S. and India joined by Australia, Japan and Singapore, leading to suspicions of U.S. designs for an Asia-Pacific analogue of NATO.

As Malabar 2010 was underway, “warships, combat aircraft and soldiers” from Australia, Britain, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore (all Commonwealth nations) began Exercise Bersama Shield 2010 “on the Malaysian peninsula and in the South China Sea.” [9]

Malaysia is among a minority of maritime states not to have joined the U.S.-launched Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) whose architect was then U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton. Established in 2003 as “a global effort that aims to stop trafficking of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their delivery systems, and related materials to and from states and non-state actors,” [10], it has grown to incorporate over 90 of the world’s 148 coastal nations. [11]

China, Indonesia and Malaysia have refused to join, though South Korea did in May of last year, and the first three countries along with Iran and North Korea – the states used as justification for the PSI – view the U.S.-led global surveillance, interdiction and boarding operation with deep concern and doubts about its legality, as it operates without a United Nations mandate, can be argued to circumvent and violate international maritime law, and in effect grants the U.S. and its allies the self-arrogated right to conduct piracy on the high seas.

“Launched on May 31, 2003, U.S. involvement in the PSI stems from the U.S. National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction issued in December 2002. That strategy recognizes the need for more robust tools to stop proliferation of WMD around the world, and specifically identifies interdiction as an area where greater focus will be placed. President Obama strongly supports the PSI. On April 5, 2009 in Prague, the President called on the international community to make PSI a ‘durable international institution.'” [12]

The PSI has been effectively if not formally extended into the Indian Ocean and the Horn of Africa with the U.S.-run Combined Task Force 150 and Combined Task Force 151 warship deployments. Recently the South Korean navy assumed command of Combined Task Force 151 from Singapore. Combined Task Force 150 contributing navies include those of the U.S., Britain, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, Spain and Turkey.

Last week it was announced that NATO welcomed South Korea as the 46th nation supplying it with troops for the war in Afghanistan. On March 29 Mongolia became the 45th. [13] Singapore also has troops serving under NATO and until this year Japan was providing naval support to the U.S. war effort there.

On April 26 the China Daily reported that Rear Admiral Yang Yi, formerly in charge of strategic studies at the Chinese army’s National Defense University, said, “The United States is the greatest perceived threat to the People’s Liberation Army” and that “the US was the only country capable of threatening China’s national security interests in an all-round way.” [14]

Another Chinese news source on the same day wrote of U.S. Prompt Global Strike (PGS) plans to be able to strike any target on earth within sixty minutes and the Pentagon’s recent test flights of the X-37B orbital space plane and the Falcon hypersonic spy plane, reporting that “Chinese space technology expert Pang Zhihao said the spaceship…aids the PGS program, which he said could be a potential threat to world peace.” [15]

The previous day London’s Sunday Times acknowledged that “Obama’s interest in Prompt Global Strike (PGS)…has alarmed China and Russia….” [16]

U.S. fast strike and first strike global missile and space strategy and its expansion of military alliances and networks in the Asia-Pacific area are rightly seen as threats to China and Russia. And to international security and peace.

1) Measured by battle fleet tonnage.
2) A supercarrier is currently defined as an aircraft carrier displacing 70,000 or more tons.
3) U.S.-China Military Tensions Grow
Stop NATO, January 19, 2010
4) Reuters, April 21, 2010
5) Xinhua News Agency, April 27, 2010
6) Ibid
7) Australian Military Buildup And The Rise Of Asian NATO
Stop NATO, May 6, 2009
8) Navy Newsstand, April 23, 2010
9) Agence France-Presse, April 26, 2010
10) U.S. Department of State
11) Proliferation Security Initiative And U.S. 1,000-Ship Navy: Control Of
World’s Oceans, Prelude To War
Stop NATO, January 29, 2009
12) U.S. Department of State, Ibid
13) Mongolia: Pentagon Trojan Horse Wedged Between China And Russia
Stop NATO, March 31, 2010
14) China Daily, April 26, 2010
15) Global Times, April 26, 2010
16) Sunday Times, April 25, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Japanese Military Joins U.S. And NATO In Horn Of Africa

April 26, 2010 1 comment

April 25, 2010

Japanese Military Joins U.S. And NATO In Horn Of Africa
Rick Rozoff

Japanese navy commander Keizo Kitagawa recently spoke with Agence France-Presse and disclosed that his nation was opening its first overseas military base – at any rate since the Second World War – in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

Kitagawa is assigned to the Plans and Policy Section of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, as his nation’s navy is called, and is in charge of the deployment.

AFP quoted the Japanese officer as stressing the unprecedented nature of the development: “This will be the only Japanese base outside our country and the first in Africa.” [1]

The military installation is to cost $40 million and is expected to accommodate Japanese troops early next year.

Djibouti rests at the confluence of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, across from strife-torn Yemen, and borders the northwest corner of equally conflict-ridden Somalia. The narrow span of water separating it from Yemen is the gateway for all maritime traffic passing between the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea.

Naval deployments to the Gulf of Aden by several major nations and alliances – the U.S., NATO, the European Union, China, Russia, India, Iran and others – are designed to insure the free passage of commercial vessels through the above route and to protect United Nations World Food Programme deliveries to Somalia. The second concern in particular led to the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1838 in 2008, which requests that nations with military vessels in the area suppress the capture of ships and their crews for ransom. An anti-piracy mission.

However, the above-mentioned Japanese naval officer was more direct in identifying his nation’s interest in establishing a military base in Africa. Kitagawa also told AFP that “We are deploying here to fight piracy and for our self-defence. Japan is a maritime nation and the increase in piracy in the Gulf of Aden through which 20,000 vessels sail every year is worrying.”

The term self-defense is not fortuitous. Article 9 of the 1947 Japanese Constitution explicitly affirms that “the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

As such, in the post-World War Two period the nation’s armed forces have been called the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF).

The Constitution also expressly prohibits the deployment of military forces outside of Japan, stating that it is “not permissible constitutionally to dispatch armed troops to foreign territorial land, sea and airspace for the purpose of using military power, as a so-called overseas deployment of troops, since it generally exceeds the minimum level necessary for self-defense.”

That notwithstanding, in the years following the Cold War all post-Second World War proscriptions against the use of military force by the former Axis nations have been disregarded, [2] and in February of 2004 Japan dispatched 600 troops, albeit in a non-combat role, to Iraq shortly after the U.S. and British invasion of the country. The nation’s navy, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, supplied fuel and water in support of the U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom campaign in Afghanistan from 2001-2007 and again from January of 2008 to the beginning of this year, thereby violating another basic tenet of its constitution, the ban on engaging in what the document refers to as collective self-defense, the relevant section of which reads:

“Japan has the right of collective self-defense under international law. It is, however, not permissible to use the right, that is, to stop armed attack on another country with armed strength, although Japan is not under direct attack, since it exceeds the limit of use of armed strength as permitted under Article 9 of the Constitution.”

However, a 2007 Defense White Paper left the door open to further military deployments with a provision on “international peace cooperation activities.”

It is in the spirit of that elastic and evasive phrase that Japan resumed support for the war in Afghanistan in 2008 and has now secured a military base on the African continent.

The Japanese official presiding over the latter project also said that “A camp will be built to house our personnel and material. Currently we are stationed at the American base.” Kitagawa added that “We sent military teams to Yemen, Oman, Kenya and Djibouti. In April 2009, we chose Djibouti.”

A year earlier, the Kyodo News cited an official of the Foreign Ministry as confirming that “Japan and Djibouti reached a status of forces agreement” on April 3, 2009, “stipulating the terms of operations and legal status for the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and related officials who will be based in the African nation during the current antipiracy mission in waters off Somalia.” [3]

The agreement was signed on the same day by Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and the foreign minister of Djibouti, Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, in Tokyo. The month before Japan sent two destroyers to the Gulf of Aden.

Two months later Japan deployed two new destroyers, the 4,550-ton Harusame and the 3,500-ton Amagiri, off the Horn of Africa. Also last July the Japanese press disclosed that “The U.S….asked Japan to build its own facilities to carry out full-fledged operations,” and that at the time “about 150 members of the Ground Self-Defense Force and MSDF [Maritime Self-Defense Force] stationed in Djibouti live in U.S. military lodgings near an airport.” [4] The Japanese military announced plans to construct a runway for Maritime Self-Defense Force P-3C surveillance planes and barracks for its troops.

Although Russian, Chinese, Indian and Iranian ships in the Horn of Africa are there to protect their own and other nations’ vessels and their missions are understood to be limited to anti-piracy operations and to a prescribed duration, Japan and its American and NATO allies have established permanent land, naval and air bases in the region for use in armed conflicts on the African continent.

In early 2001 the U.S. started negotiations with the government of Djibouti for setting up its first major military base in Africa at the former French Foreign Legion base Camp Lemonnier. (Until recently spelled Lemonier by the Pentagon.)

This was several years before combating piracy in the Gulf of Aden became the rationale for U.S. and NATO deployments in the region.

Djibouti is the last territory on the African continent to achieve independence (excepting Western Sahara, seized by Morocco in 1975 with the connivance of Spain’s General Franco), only being granted what independence it has by France in 1977. Its population is less than 900,000.

France still maintains its largest overseas military base in the world in the nation and has approximately 3,000 troops stationed there.

Since the Pentagon moved into and took over Camp Lemonnier in 2003, it established its Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) on the base and has an estimated 2,000 troops from all four branches of the U.S. military – Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps – stationed there.

The Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa’s area of operations incorporates Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and Yemen and increasingly the Indian Ocean island nations of Comoros, Madagascar and Mauritius.

As the U.S. was transferring the CJTF-HOA command from the Marine Corps to the Navy in 2005 – to free up Marines for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – the then commander, Major Marine General Timothy Ghormley, acknowledged that “U.S. forces have been working with militaries in Yemen, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Comoros” [5] and “operate throughout Kenya, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Yemen and Ethiopia.” [6]

France has used its base in Djibouti for deadly military interventions in Cote d’Ivoire and Chad and, because of the nation’s topography, Djibouti has also been used for training French troops for the war in Afghanistan, where the nation’s contingent is the fourth largest serving under NATO command.

Last December the commander of the French army in the country, Commandant Etienne du Fayet, said that “French officers are going to be training a contingent in Uganda next February and we are also going to Ethiopia.” [7] During deadly border clashes between Djibouti and Eritrea in June of 2008 France deployed additional troops, warships and aircraft to the region.

The U.S. base has been used for military operations in Somalia and Uganda. In 2008 the deputy commander of U.S. forces in the country was cited as revealing that “the Djibouti base facilitates some other military activities he won’t talk about.

“There have been reports of U.S. special operations forces working from the base on counter-terrorism missions in Somalia and elsewhere….[T]hat approach is the model for the new United States Africa Command….”

At the same time Rear Admiral Philip Greene took over as commander of the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa and, speaking over nine months before the formal activation of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), said “There is, I think, great synergy between what CJTF-Horn of Africa does now and what we’re about and what AFRICOM will represent as a combatant command.”

To indicate the range of the operations he envisioned, Greene also said he would “be watching some of the region’s hot spots for potential seeds of instability,” including “the situations in Kenya, Somalia and Sudan’s Darfur region, as well as tension on the Ethiopia-Eritrea border and piracy along the Indian Ocean coastline.” [8]

In 2006 a Kenyan daily newspaper wrote that (as of four years ago) “direct US arms sales to East Africa and the Horn of Africa countries – Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia – have shot up from under one million dollars in 2003 to over $25 million in 2006. Djibouti leads the list with nearly $20 million in direct arms purchases in 2005 and 2006.” [9]

The same feature described broader U.S. plans for the Horn of Africa region and further afield being hatched from Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti:

“Overall, direct US weapons sales [to Africa] increased from $39.2 million in 2005 to nearly $60 million in 2006. In both years, East Africa and the Horn accounted for nearly 40 percent of US weapons sales to Africa, and this demonstrates the US military’s strategic shift to the region.

“Access to strategic airfields and ports has also increased for the US military. Beyond Camp Lemonier in 2003, the US had an agreement with Kenya that allowed it access to the port of Mombasa and airfields at Embakasi and Nanyuki.

“Zambia and Uganda have joined Kenya in this unique arrangement. At Entebbe, the US has constructed two K-Span steel buildings to house troops and equipment. The so called ‘Lily Pad’ arrangement will allow the US military to use the base when needed in times of conflict or as a staging area for a conflict within the region.”

The article also stated, “Strategically, the US military has developed a regional operations plan that centres on Djibouti to support the Horn countries. It anchors the southern flank with bases in Kenya, Zambia and Uganda to the west….[L]ike in Nigeria, it can be used to ensure an uninterrupted flow of oil from the newly discovered fields of Uganda and Kenya, and it opens the door to the construction of a well-protected oil pipeline carrying oil from the interior of Central Africa to the port of Mombasa. It also provides a strategically located airbase to support future military operations to the north in Sudan or to the west.” [10]

In 2006 the Pentagon expanded Camp Lemonnier by almost five times its original size, from 88 to 500 acres. Late last year it completed an airfield project in the country to provide parking spaces for C-130 Hercules and CV-22 Osprey aircraft and to support C-17 Globemaster III and C-5 Galaxy military transport planes.

Four years ago the Reuters news agency reported “the United States is already providing Ethiopia and Kenya with logistical support and U.S. special forces had been observed on the Kenya-Somalia border,” [11] and shortly afterward the U.S. Air Force divulged that U.S. airmen were operating out of Contingency Operating Location Bilate (also known as Camp Bilate) in Ethiopia in conjunction with the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa headquarters at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. [12]

The U.S. military headquarters in Djibouti is in charge of three smaller downrange bases, known as Contingency Operating Locations, at Bilate and Hurso in Ethiopia and Manda Bay in Kenya.

An Ethiopian newspaper revealed at the time that “The United States would continue providing training and other assistance to the Ethiopian Defence Forces as per the Ethio-US bilateral cooperation” [13] during the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia in 2006.

Ethiopian troops were being trained in infantry tactics by soldiers with the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment at the Training Academy in Hurso as jets from the country bombed the Somali capital and ground forces invaded their eastern neighbor. The U.S. Army conducted training at the base starting no later than 2003. “U.S. military personnel with the Combined Joint Task Force—Horn of Africa…have spent the last four years training the Ethiopian National Defense Forces in basic military tactics.” [14] The effects of that preparation were seen in the 2006 invasion of Somalia.

The Pentagon’s role in Somalia was not limited to training and arming Ethiopian invasion forces, as in early 2007 it was reported that “recent military operations in Somalia have been carried out by the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command, which directs the military’s most secretive and elite units, like the Army’s Delta Force.

“The Pentagon established a desolate outpost in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti in 2002 in part to serve as a hub for special missions….” [15]

As U.S. special forces were operating in Somalia and Washington’s military client was launching air and ground attacks there, the U.S. deployed the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier, which “has an air wing of about 75 aircraft, including F/A-18 Hornet and SuperHornet strike fighters, E-2C Hawkeyes, EA-6B Prowlers, and SH-60 Seahawks,” [16] to join the guided-missile cruisers USS Bunker Hill and USS Anzio and the amphibious landing ship USS Ashland off the coast of Somalia.

An “AC-130 gunship, operated by the Special Operations Command, flew from its base in Djibouti to the southern tip of Somalia” [17] where it “rained gunfire on the desolate village of Hayo” on January 8. A local official was quoted as saying “There are so many dead bodies and animals in the village.” [18]

“Officials with CJTF-HOA, based in Djibouti, declined…to comment on the reported AC-130 attacks; media reports said the plane was based at Camp Lemonier.” [19]

Also in early January of 2007 a major Kenyan newspaper reported “The US counter-terrorism task force based in Djibouti acknowledges that American troops are on the ground in northern Kenya and in Lamu,” the latter on the Indian Ocean. [20]

In March of the same year two U.S. soldiers were killed in Ethiopia in what was attributed to an accident. They were assigned to a unit that was “part of the U.S.-led Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, headquartered at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti.” [21]

Late last year U.S. Africa Command deployed lethal Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), 133 military personnel and three P-3 Orion anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft to Seychelles in the Indian Ocean east of Kenya. The Pentagon now has its second major African military base.

In addition to the 5,000 U.S. and French troops stationed there, Djibouti also has been home to what in 2005 Agence France-Presse disclosed were “several hundred German, Dutch and Spanish soldiers.” [22]

That is, the diminutive state is for all practical purposes not only the headquarters for U.S. Africa Command but also for NATO in Africa.

In late 2005 Britain announced that it was also deploying troops to Djibouti.

Starting in March of 2009 NATO started rotating its Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG 1) and Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG 2) warship fleets off the coast of Somalia, first with Operation Allied Provider until August of last year and since with Operation Ocean Shield, which continues to the present day and which in March was extended until the end of 2012. The current fleet consists of warships from the U.S., Britain, Greece, Italy and Turkey. Its area of operations includes one million square kilometers in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin. (The current name of the naval groups are NATO Response Force Maritime Groups 1 and 2.)

NATO does not intend to leave the area soon if at all.

Even before the NATO Allied Provider and Ocean Shield operations began, the Italian destroyer MM Luigi Durand De La Penne, “a 5,000-ton multi-role warship capable of air defence, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare operations,” [23] part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, at the time comprised of warships from the U.S., Britain, Germany, Greece and Turkey, visited the Kenyan port city of Mombasa in October of 2008.

Of the current NATO deployment, last December then German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung said that it was “the most robust mandate we have ever had,” adding, “There may be combat situations, and in this respect it would of course be a combat deployment.” [24]

The NATO flotillas joined warships of the U.S.-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) with logistics facilities in Djibouti. Formerly the U.S. Navy’s Task Force 150, starting in 2001 it became a multinational operation with the inclusion of NATO allies and those from an emerging Asian NATO. Full participating nations are the U.S., Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany and Pakistan, and others who have been involved are Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Spain and Turkey. CTF-150 has 14-15 warships near Somalia at any given time and is coordinated with the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, under the Combined Forces Maritime Component Commander/Commander US Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain.

In January of 2009 the U.S. Navy inaugurated Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151), which will include warships from 20 nations, NATO and Asian NATO states.

European NATO nations are also “double-duty” participants in the European Union Naval Force Somalia – Operation Atalanta, the first naval operation conducted by the EU and run under the auspices of the European Security and Defence Policy. It was launched in December of 2008 and is based at the Northwood Operation Headquarters in Britain, which also houses NATO’s Allied Maritime Component Command Northwood. Current participants in Operation Atalanta are Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain, and “a number of Cypriot, Irish, Finnish, Maltese and Sweden military personnel supplement the team at the Northwood Operation Headquarters.” [25]

Starting no later than September of 2009 NATO commanders have visited and in essence established a headquarters in Somalia’s autonomous Puntland state. Last autumn British Commodore Steve Chick, commander of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, met with Puntland authorities on board the HMS Cornwall. “The talks ended successfully with NATO and Puntland officials agreeing to cooperate in combating pirates operating along the Somali coast.” [26]

This January Admiral Pereira da Cunha, commander of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1, hosted Puntland officials on the Portuguese flagship Alvares Cabral, and the meeting “focused on human intelligence gathering, capacity building and counter piracy cooperation between NATO and Puntland authorities.”

“NATO…has established a close working relationship with the Puntland Coastguard….This is just a start. With 60 years of experience and coalition building, NATO is well placed to make things happen.” [27]

In March ministers of the Puntland government met with Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 commander Commodore Steve Chick on board the HMS Chatham, current flagship of the NATO naval group in the region. The talks “covered ways in which further cooperation between NATO and the Puntland authorities could be developed in the future.” [28]

According to a Puntland news source, NATO’s activities aren’t limited to operations in the waters off Somalia: “NATO has a working relationship with Puntland authorities in a bid to enhance its fight against the piracy scourge along the lawless waters of the Horn of Africa. Puntland has offered its help in terms of dealing with the gangs in the mainland.” [29]

The European Union will soon begin training 2,000 Ugandan troops for deployment to Somalia to aid the Transitional Federal Government, which is fighting for its life even in the nation’s capital.

Last October a Kenyan newspaper announced that Kenyan troops sailed to Djibouti to receive military training along with the armed forces of other regional nations. At the same time military officers from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden were in Kenya to “assist the region in the ongoing establishment of a united military force to deal with conflicts on the continent.”

“The experts from the European countries, which are part of the Nordic Bloc, are based at the EASBRIG headquarters, at the Defence Staff College in Karen, Nairobi.” [30]

EASBRIG, the East African Standby Brigade, “will be deployed to trouble spots within 14 days after chaos erupts, to restore order….The brigade will have troops from 14 countries….The military unit will comprise 35,000 soldiers and 1,000 police officers plus 1,000 civilian staff. Kenya is already training 2,000 soldiers to be seconded to the force once it is in place.” [31]
Japan’s destroyers off the coast of Somalia and the nation’s first foreign military base in the post-World War Two era in Djibouti are in line with the geostrategic plans of Tokyo’s allies in North America and Europe.

Plans which are embodied most fully in the creation of the first U.S. regional military command outside North America in a quarter of a century, Africa Command. Long after pirates, al-Qaeda affiliates and other threats have ceased to serve as their justification, the Pentagon, NATO and Japan will retain their military footholds in Africa.

Related articles:

NATO: AFRICOM’s Partner In Military Penetration Of Africa

AFRICOM’s First War: U.S. Directs Large-Scale Offensive In Somalia

U.S., NATO Expand Afghan War To Horn Of Africa And Indian Ocean

U.S., NATO Expand Afghan War To Horn Of Africa And Indian Ocean

AFRICOM Year Two: Seizing The Helm Of The Entire World

AFRICOM Year Two: Seizing The Helm Of The Entire World

Cold War Origins Of The Somalia Crisis And Control Of The Indian Ocean

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

1) Agence France-Presse, April 23, 2010
2) Former Axis Nations Abandon Post-World War II Military Restrictions
Stop NATO, August 12, 2009
3) Kyodo News, April 3, 2009
4) Kyodo News, July 31, 2009
5) Stars And Stripes, September 23, 2005
6) US Department of Defense, September 22, 2005
7) Radio France Internationale, December 11, 2009
8) Voice of America News, January 25, 2008
9) The East African, November 6, 2006
10) Ibid
11) Reuters, November 21, 2006
12) Air Force Link, January 7, 2007
13) Ethiopian Herald, January 5, 2007
14) Stars and Stripes, January 10, 2007
15) Xinhua News Agency, January 13, 2007
16) Stars and Stripes, January 10, 2007
17) Voice of Russia, January 9, 2007
18) Reuters, January 10, 2007
19) Stars and Stripes, January 10, 2007
20) The Nation, January 3, 2007
21) Stars and Stripes, March 8, 2007
22) Agence France-Presse, December 22, 2005
23) The Standard (Kenya), October 29, 2008
24) Associated Press,December 23, 2009
25) European Union Naval Force Somalia
26) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Maritime Component Command Headquarters Northwood
September 11, 2009
27) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
January 27, 2010
28) Royal Navy, March 30, 2010
29) Garowe Online, April 8, 2010
30) The Nation, October 29, 2009
31) Ibid

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Nuclear Weapons And Interceptor Missiles: Twin Pillars Of U.S.-NATO Military Strategy In Europe

April 23, 2010 5 comments

April 23, 2010

Nuclear Weapons And Interceptor Missiles: Twin Pillars Of U.S.-NATO Military Strategy In Europe
Rick Rozoff

The two-day NATO foreign ministers meeting in the Estonian capital of Tallinn on April 22-23 focused on the completion of the military alliance’s first 21st century Strategic Concept and on the war in Afghanistan, the near-complete absorption of the Balkans into the bloc, and the expansion of operations at the Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence established by NATO two years ago in the same city.

The most important deliberations, however, were on the integrally related questions of U.S. nuclear weapons stored on air bases in five NATO member states and the expansion of the Pentagon’s interceptor missile program to all of Europe west of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

Discussions on the role of nuclear arms in Europe a generation after the end of the Cold War are in line with the Nuclear Posture Review released last month by the U.S. Department of Defense. NATO has never been known to deviate from American precedents and expectations. Its role is to accommodate and complement Pentagon initiatives. A nation like the Netherlands or Poland proposes, Washington disposes.

While speaking at a press conference in the ministerial meeting’s host city, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen directly tied together the retention of U.S. nuclear arms in Europe and NATO’s cooperation with its dominant member on a continent-wide interceptor missile system:

“NATO’s core business, its raison-d’etre, is to protect our territory and our populations….And in a world where nuclear weapons actually exist, NATO needs a credible, effective, and safely managed deterrent.

“Missile defence is no replacement for an effective deterrent. But it can complement it. Because there are states, or other actors, who might not be rational enough to be deterred by our nuclear weapons. But they might be deterred by the realisation that their few missiles might not get through our defences.”

What Rasmussen failed to mention was that in the event NATO collectively or a coalition of its main powers was to launch first strikes against nations to the east and south with conventional weapons, nuclear ones or a combination of both, an advanced phase interceptor system could prevent effective retaliation.

The NATO chief also said, “The missile threat to Europe is clear, and it is growing….Which means, to my mind, that we need to take on Alliance missile defence as a NATO mission.”

Recent statements by Rasmussen, one of which has drawn the ire of Iran directly, would indicate from where the missile threat to Europe is alleged to emanate, but Rasmussen has no aversion to belaboring – or exaggerating – a point and added, “30 countries, including of course Iran, have or are developing missiles.” To address the non-existent challenge to Europe Rasmussen announced that the foreign ministers in attendance would discuss “issues surrounding missile defence, including cost, command and control,” and stated that at the bloc’s summit in Lisbon, Portugal this November “NATO nations will decide whether or not it will to take on Alliance missile defence as a NATO mission.”

After the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, NATO ordinarily held a summit every third year in the 1990s and every second year from 1999 to 2008. But this year’s summit will be the third of what have become annual events: Romania in 2008, France and Germany in 2009, and Portugal this year.

The last will be the first NATO summit held entirely in a founding member state since the fiftieth anniversary one in Washington, DC in 1999.

Not only the increased frequency (the Alliance has never before in its 61-year history conducted summits in three successive years), but the locations of the summits reveal the intensification of NATO activity and its steady drive to the east over the last decade. In the ten years between the Washington and last year’s Strasbourg, France-Kehl, Germany summits, every one was held in Eastern Europe: In the Czech Republic in 2002, Turkey in 2004, Latvia in 2006 and Romania in 2008.

The sites, to the east and south of previous ones, are indicative of what NATO has become in the 21st century: An expansionist, active military force that has deployed troops to several current and recent conflict zones – Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and Somalia – and to numerous adjoining nations such as Albania, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Jordan and Kuwait. There were 50,000 multinational forces under NATO command in Kosovo in 1999. There are now over 90,000 (of 120,000 foreign troops) in Afghanistan, with both the aggregate number and the percentage to increase shortly.

In his opening statement at the foreign ministers meeting in Estonia, Rasmussen emphasized the centrality of U.S.-led missile shield plans in relation to the upcoming summit in Portugal and the new Strategic Concept that will be adopted there: “In Lisbon, NATO nations will decide if missile defence for our European territory and population should become an Alliance mission. I make no secret that I think it should.”

He linked maintaining American nuclear gravity bombs in several European nations and the expansion of interceptor missile facilities in Eastern Europe to the Alliance’s so-called collective defense doctrine. In his main address Rasmussen stated: “[W]e are delivering solidarity through our unflinching commitment to territorial defence. This core task of NATO is embodied in Article 5 of our founding treaty: An attack on one Ally is considered an attack on all. This is the very foundation of our Alliance….We need the right type of military capabilities. We need modern and mobile armed forces. Armed forces that are not static. Forces that are able to deploy quickly to assist an Ally in need.”

The secretary general faithfully echoed the two rationales for nuclear first strikes continued in the new U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, and indeed the American global war on terror phraseology of the past nine years, in asserting that NATO “must retain a nuclear capability as long as there are rogue regimes or terrorist groupings that may pose a nuclear threat to us.”

But he then segued seamlessly into identifying that NATO’s main prospective target remains what it has always been: Russia. Without identifying it (or needing to in the following context), he said:

“We also need a visible presence of NATO across the entire territory of our Alliance. And we see a perfect example here in this region. We have put in place arrangements to police the Baltic airspace. A range of NATO members are actively engaged – sharing responsibility – showing solidarity – and demonstrating a capable and credible Alliance that is determined to defend our territory and to protect our populations.

“We also need to guard against new risks and threats to the security of our nations, such as energy cut-offs or cyber attacks. And here as well, we have a good example right here in Estonia, with the Alliance’s Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.”

There are neither rogue nations nor al-Qaeda operatives with “nuclear suitcases” in the Baltic Sea region. References to energy cut-offs and cyber attacks are undeniable and exclusive allusions to actions NATO states have accused Russian of perpetrating.

The patrolling of Baltic air space by NATO warplanes and the – to call it by its proper name – cyber warfare center in Estonia are both aimed at Russia and Russia only.

In his speech Rasmussen was unequivocal in his pro-nuclear weapons stance. In addition to affirming that “What we…need is a credible nuclear deterrent” – supposedly because of “rogue regimes or terrorist groupings” – he added “for this reason, we also need a credible missile defence system, providing coverage for all the Allies.”

Again the connection between U.S. nuclear arms at NATO nations’ air bases in Europe and anti-ballistic missile installations on or near Russia’s borders was made directly and again with the transparently untenable claim that both are needed against Iran and al-Qaeda.

What plans the new Strategic Concept to be endorsed at the November summit will finalize were indicated in another statement by Rasmussen:

“The United States already has a missile defence system. Some European Allies have a capacity to protect deployed forces against missile attacks….If we connect national systems into a NATO wide missile shield to protect all our Allies, that would be a very powerful demonstration of NATO solidarity in the 21st Century. And I hope we can make progress in that direction by the time of the next NATO Summit in Lisbon in November.”

He repeated NATO’s position on nuclear arms in an interview on Estonian public television: “If we look at today’s world, then there is no alternative to nuclear arms in NATO’s deterrent capability….My personal opinion is that the stationing of US nuclear weapons in Europe is part of deterrence to be taken seriously.”

The 2010 Strategic Concept will not differ in any substantive manner from the current one adopted in 1999, which states:

“The supreme guarantee of the security of the Allies is provided by the strategic nuclear forces of the Alliance, particularly those of the United States; the independent nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and France, which have a deterrent role of their own, contribute to the overall deterrence and security of the Allies.

“A credible Alliance nuclear posture and the demonstration of Alliance solidarity and common commitment to war prevention continue to require widespread participation by European Allies involved in collective defence planning in nuclear roles, in peacetime basing of nuclear forces on their territory and in command, control and consultation arrangements. Nuclear forces based in Europe and committed to NATO provide an essential political and military link between the European and the North American members of the Alliance. The Alliance will therefore maintain adequate nuclear forces in Europe.”

The presence of nuclear weapons in Europe is a foundational tenet of NATO and one of the root purposes for the bloc’s existence. The first NATO Strategic Concept (The Strategic Concept For The Defense Of The North Atlantic Area), that of the year of its founding, 1949, includes among its commitments to:

“Insure the ability to carry out strategic bombing including the prompt delivery of the atomic bomb. This is primarily a US responsibility assisted as practicable by other nations.”

NATO’s policy in the intervening 61 years has also obligated European member states to adhere to what is called nuclear sharing or nuclear burden sharing; that is, nuclear bombs stationed on bases in Europe are to be delivered by the host nations’ air forces.

Currently there are from 200-400 U.S. tactical nuclear weapons stored on air bases in Britain, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. The Federation of American Scientists has estimated the number as between 200 and 350 in the six aforementioned nations. All but Britain are non-nuclear states and the storage of U.S. nuclear weapons on their territories is a blatant violation of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which stipulates:

“Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly….Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly.”

The exigencies of international treaties, even ones to which NATO members are signatories, don’t appear to have affected Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s commitment to retaining American nuclear arms in Europe.

Nor do they influence U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s stance on the issue. According to a New York Times report on the first day of the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Estonia, she “was expected to urge caution in remarks to the ministers” in regards to her nation’s nuclear weapons in Europe.

Paralleling Rasmussen’s coupling of the two issues, “A senior American official said [Clinton] would underscore the need for NATO to maintain a deterrent capability and the need for the alliance to act together on this issue. The Obama administration is also pushing for NATO to embrace the American missile-defense system in Eastern Europe as a core mission of the alliance.”

On the same day the Associated Press reported that Clinton “ruled out an early withdrawal of U.S. nuclear forces from Europe, telling a NATO meeting that any reductions should be tied to a nuclear pullback by Russia, which has far more of the weapons in range of European targets,” and that “Clinton also said the Obama administration wants NATO to accept missile defense as a core mission of the alliance….”

What Clinton is attempting to effect is a linkage between her country’s tactical nuclear weapons in Europe and Russia’s arsenal of as many as 2,000 of the same. However, Russia maintains its weapons in its own territory, while the U.S.’s are half the world away, some as close to Russia as Turkey. Additionally, Russia’s battlefield nuclear arsenal, given the diminished stature of its military in general in the post-Soviet period, is its last line of defense against a conventional or nuclear first strike and a deterrent against that threat.

With plans to launch its Prompt Global Strike program and with the testing of the X-37B orbital space plane while the Tallinn meeting was underway, the Pentagon is striving for a fast strike, first strike conventional weapons military superiority that could render Russia’s nuclear forces easy to neutralize, hence useless. On April 23 former head of the Russian Air Force General Anatoly Kornukov described the launching of the X-37B as evidence of the U.S.’s weaponization of space and as part of a project to integrate Air Force, Space Command, and air and missile defense capabilities. The retired general told the Interfax news agency, “Now the US will be able to deliver a strike in a short time without due resistance.”

Kornukov further warned that “aggressors from space could turn Russia into something like Iraq or Yugoslavia.”

The director of Advanced Space Programs Development for the U.S. Air Force in the Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter administrations, Robert M. Bowman, was quoted by the Voice of Russia on the space plane launch: “One possible mission would be the destruction of opposing military satellites, gaining absolute military control of space. The second would be to destroy targets on the surface of the Earth from space without warning. These two missions were the missions assigned to the Department of Defense in 1982 by Ronald Reagan in his secret defense guidance document.”

To return to the issue of U.S. nuclear arms in Europe, Clinton’s prepared address for a private dinner with the foreign ministers of the other 27 NATO states on the evening of April 22 “said that sticking with a nuclear NATO is consistent with Obama’s Prague speech because the administration believes it should seek a balance between reducing the role of nuclear weapons in the world and meeting the future security needs of the alliance.”

Continuing from the earlier-cited Associated Press account, Clinton “made several points that appeared to exclude the possibility of bringing an early end to the presence of the weapons,” including the assertion “that as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance.” In her own words, for NATO, “as a nuclear alliance, sharing nuclear risks and responsibilities widely is fundamental.”

U.S. nuclear strategy and the missile shield project on the European continent are incorporated into NATO doctrine and practice, whatever Europeans as a whole or individual governments think about the two issues.

Recent statements by Clinton’s subordinate Ellen Tauscher, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, and even more forceful ones by the chief of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, Lieutenant General Patrick O’Reilly, leave no doubt that the April 8 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) agreement signed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will in no manner impede American missile deployments in Eastern Europe.

On April 21 Tauscher told a panel discussion at the Atlantic Council in Washington that “The new START Treaty does not constrain U.S. missile defense programs. The United States will continue to improve our missile defenses, as needed, to defend ourselves, our deployed forces, and our allies and partners.”

Regarding Russian objections, severe enough to have led the nation’s foreign minister to warn Russia reserves the right to withdraw from the treaty if Washington forges ahead with its interceptor missile plans, Tauscher said that Moscow’s position “is not an integral part of the New START Treaty. It’s not legally-binding. It won’t constrain U.S. missile defence programs.”

On April 23 Andrei Nesterenko, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said at a press briefing in Moscow: “We are concerned about the United States’ absolutely unfounded anti-missile activities in Poland.

“It is not clear to us why Patriot anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems are being deployed near the Russian border. Nor have we an answer to the question about what threats will be tackled in the drill which will be held very close to Russia’s Kaliningrad region.”

Three days before, the Missile Defense Agency’s O’Reilly told a hearing of the House Armed Services subcommittee on defense appropriations that “The new START treaty actually reduces constraints on the development of the missile defense program.”

Not one to mince words, he added, “Our targets will no longer be subject to START constraints, which limited our use of air-to-surface and waterborne launches of targets which are essential for a cost-effective testing of a missile defense interceptor against medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in the Pacific region.”

Less than a week earlier the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, Yuri Baluyevsky – former chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and first deputy defense minister – identified “the deployment of the U.S. global missile defense system” as one of the two main military threats to Russia.

In 2007 NATO’s senior governing body, the North Atlantic Council, endorsed the Alliance’s participation in a missile shield that would take in the territory of all member states. The 2008 and 2009 summits confirmed that position.

Earlier this month Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk met with President Obama in Prague and, in addition to a U.S. Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile battery and 100 troops to arrive in Poland next month, said that the START II agreement would have no impact on the deployment of more advanced Standard Missile-3 anti-missile interceptors in his country.

In the same week Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov disclosed that his government will enter into negotiations with the U.S. later this year on the deployment of interceptor missiles. The missiles to be stationed in Bulgaria will presumably also be an adaptation of the previously ship-based Standard Missile-3. In his comments on the subject Mladenov explicitly described the deployments as related to NATO plans for all of Europe.

His nation, like neighboring Romania, which in February announced its intention to house U.S. interceptor missiles as well, and Poland, are former Warsaw Pact states that are now NATO members. As such they are obligated to accede to Alliance, which is to say American, plans for stationing missiles and turning their Cold War era military bases over to the West for modernization and expansion. And, if requested, to allow the deployment of strategic weapons and delivery systems.

NATO is the conduit used for bringing U.S. nuclear weapons into Europe, where they remain two decades after the end of the Cold War. Europe will not be free of nuclear arms until NATO is disbanded.

Related articles:

U.S. Reserves Use Of Nuclear Arms, Missile Shield To Defend Global Empire

Prompt Global Strike: World Military Superiority Without Nuclear Weapons

As Obama Talks Of Arms Control, Russians View U.S. As Global Aggressor

Rasmussen In Poland: Expeditionary NATO, Missile Shield And Nuclear Weapons

U.S. Tightens Missile Shield Encirclement Of China And Russia

NATO Expansion, Missile Deployments And Russia’s New Military Doctrine

NATO’s Secret Transatlantic Bond: Nuclear Weapons In Europe

Dangerous Missile Battle In Space Over Europe: Fifth Act In U.S. Missile Shield Drama

U.S. Accelerates First Strike Global Missile Shield System

Germany And NATO’s Nuclear Nexus

Militarization Of Space: Threat Of Nuclear War On Earth

NATO’s Sixty-Year Legacy: Threat Of Nuclear War In Europe

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Relentless Global Drive: NATO On Six Continents In Seven Days

April 20, 2010

Relentless Global Drive: NATO On Six Continents In Seven Days
Rick Rozoff

During the twenty years following the end of the Cold War the military alliance whose founding signalled the advent of an armed East-West confrontation in Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, has transformed itself into history’s first international military formation.

In the process the bloc has progressively substituted itself for and attempted to supplant the 56-nation Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Eurasia and the United Nations globally.

Over six years ago the current U.S. permanent representative to NATO, Ivo Daalder, co-authored an opinion piece in the Washington Post that was titled “Global NATO.” The theme of the article was encapsulated in one sentence: “With little fanfare – and even less notice – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has gone global.” [1]

During the NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania in April of 2008 then chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Canadian General Raymond Henault, offered this contrast between the North Atlantic military bloc shortly after the end of the Cold War and what it had become by 2008:

“Less than 20 years ago, NATO consisted of 16 members, counted none as partners, and had conducted no operations or exercises outside its member state borders….Today, NATO counts 26 members and 38 other countries in four Partnership arrangements….Importantly, the non-Russian former Warsaw Pact states have successfully integrated into NATO….In a few short years, NATO has conducted 8 operations on 4 continents.” [2]

At the time Henault, who would step down from his position later in the year to be succeeded by Italian Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola. reminisced on his three-year tenure: “I have had the great fortune of being able to regularly visit many of our theatres of operation, all 26 NATO nations, 14 Partner countries – including Japan, Australia, and those aspiring to join – plus our important ally Pakistan.” [3]

By 2009 the self-defined “military alliance of democratic states in Europe and North America” had expanded from 16 to 28 full members, all of the new additions in Eastern Europe, with operations on four of six inhabited continents and military partners on five.

The person who preceded the Netherlands-born Ivo Daalder as U.S. ambassador to NATO, Kurt Volker, anticipated Henault’s account of the breathtaking expansion of the world’s only military bloc by two years.

Ahead of the 2006 NATO summit in Riga, the capital of Latvia, itself only brought into the Alliance two years earlier – a NATO summit in the former Soviet Union yet – Volker celebrated the ultimate Western victory in the Cold War: The extension of the military alliance founded and dominated by the U.S. throughout almost all of Europe and its elaboration of networks worldwide.

Volker began his foreign policy career as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency in 1986, from which post he became first secretary of the American mission to NATO in 1998 and the following year Deputy Director of NATO Secretary-General George Robertson’s private office in the year of the bloc’s air war against Yugoslavia. In 2001 he was appointed acting director for European and Eurasian Affairs in the George W. Bush administration’s National Security Council.

In the last-named capacity he was in charge of his nation’s preparations for the NATO summits in the Czech Republic in 2002 and in Turkey in 2004. The Istanbul summit effected the largest expansion in NATO’s history – seven new Eastern European members – and created the eponymous Istanbul Cooperation Initiative to upgrade partnerships with NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue members – Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia – and create an analogous program for the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. [4]

Before the 2006 summit, by which time Volker had been appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, he delivered an address at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, in which he said:

“Recognizing the demands that will be placed on NATO now and in the future, we want to see NATO deepen its capabilities for current and future operations, build new partnerships, and prepare for future enlargement.” [5]

His immediate objectives were to “ensure that NATO succeeds in Afghanistan as it prepares to expand the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to the south and thereafter to the east,” in the process broadening its military presence throughout the entire nation; to expand NATO’s role in and around Darfur in western Sudan; to increase the bloc’s training mission in Iraq, whose commander the previous year had been General David Petraeus, now head of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as chief of U.S. Central Command, and further develop “partnerships in training and education” in the Middle East and Africa; to cultivate NATO’s “relationship with global security partners, such as Australia or Japan”; and “to ensure that the NRF [global rapidly deployable NATO Response Force] is strengthened, trained, and funded…to make sure that it is usable.” [6]

A month earlier Volker gave a speech at Howard University’s Model NATO Conference in which he boasted that “NATO is in the process of enormous transformation. The NATO of the Cold War – the NATO that was a static collective defense alliance – that never engaged in a single military operation is gone. That NATO was successful. That’s not the NATO that we look at today.

“If you think about 1994, NATO had never conducted a military operation, had done a lot of exercises. It was an alliance of 16 countries at that time. If you look at the NATO of 2005, just ending last year, it was an organization that was running eight military operations simultaneously, that had 26 members, had partnership relationships with another 30 countries in Eurasia and another 22 countries in the broader Middle East, and looking at other relationships.” [7]

As though moving a pointer over a map of most of the non-Euro-Atlantic world, he continued: “Now NATO is operating…in Afghanistan, in Pakistan – we just closed that operation – in Iraq, in Darfur. Operating a much greater geographic distance. I think this is a trend that’s only going to continue….[A]s NATO is active in places like Afghanistan or Iraq or Darfur, we are working together with countries that share NATO’s values and that are capable of contributing to security, such as Australia or New Zealand or South Korea or Japan, and we would like to find ways to cooperate with these countries, as well, because our expectation is if over the last ten years alliance leaders have given NATO four, five, six, seven, eight operational tasks to take on, this is going to continue.” [8]

For the past decade American (and not a few European) political commentators have bemoaned the imminent demise of NATO. An article to that effect is always handy on a slow news day when an empty column space is staring back at a bemused editor.

That NATO’s Defense Planning Committee invoked the bloc’s Article 4 (“The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened”) to deploy Patriot interceptor missiles and AWACS radar aircraft to Turkey a month before the invasion of Iraq was not a sufficient commitment by the Alliance. That two months after the invasion NATO’s North Atlantic Council unanimously agreed to assist new member Poland’s occupation zone in the country, situated between the American and British ones, wasn’t an adequate response either.

That in 2004 the NATO Training Mission – Iraq was established in Baghdad and is likely to outlast U.S. military presence in the country wasn’t enough for the advocates of the “NATO is dead” school of thought either.

The military bloc’s involvement in the almost nine-year Operation Active Endeavor naval mission throughout the Mediterranean Sea, in Central Africa, in the Horn of Africa, in establishing the Trilateral Afghanistan-Pakistan-NATO Military Commission and in creating Contact Country military partnerships with Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea is not counted as a significant development as well. [9]

That NATO has now recruited and deployed troops from nations as diverse as Singapore and Colombia, the United Arab Republics and Mongolia, Montenegro and Sweden for the war in Afghanistan is given scant attention. [10]

165 Western troops have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year, including at least seven soldiers from Germany, which had not suffered combat deaths since the Second World War before now.

In less than four months there will be 150,000 troops serving under the joint commander of the U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force operations, General Stanley McChrystal, almost all of them under NATO command.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has indeed “gone global,” and as Ivo Daalder pointed out six years, several military operations and tens of thousands of troops deployed earlier, with little fanfare and hardly more notice.

A survey of the Alliance’s activities last week – on all six populated continents – will provide an updated view of how truly global the “military alliance of democratic states in Europe and North America” has grown to become.


The Pentagon’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy Bradley Roberts announced on April 15 that “U.S. anti-ballistic missile systems will cover all of Europe by 2018.” Specifically, “Full coverage of NATO territory in Europe would be achieved around 2018” when “a second land-based site is to be established in northern Europe for updated Raytheon Co (RTN.N) Standard Missile-3 missile interceptors.”

“The Pentagon dubs this Phase 3 of its new ‘adaptive’ missile-defense plans, a continued bone of contention with Russia.” [11]

On April 12 NATO launched four large-scale war games in northern Europe.

The eleven-day Brilliant Ardent 2010 NATO Response Force live air force exercises started in Germany with the participation of military aircraft from the U.S., the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Turkey. “Participation by U.S. Air Forces in Europe units directly aligns with the command key mission areas of providing forces for global operations and building partnership.” [12]

The major war games include “Sixty aircraft ranging from fighters, attack aircraft, helicopters, tanker and airborne early warning aircraft…operating from air bases located in Germany, the Czech Republic, France, Poland, and UK,” which will also test theater missile defense and ground-based air defense components.

Occurring during the same eleven days, April 12-22, the NATO Response Force is also drilling its maritime forces in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea with 31 warships, four submarines and 28 aircraft.

The Brilliant Mariner maneuvers also include 6,500 troops from the United States, Britain, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Spain. “A large fleet of warships, submarines and auxiliary vessels from NATO’s Response Force (NRF) sailed from ports across Europe on 12 April to take part….The ships and submarines will take part in integration training that will enable them to respond to operations or crisis situations anywhere in the world if required.” [13]

Also on April 12 NATO began the Joint Warrior 10-1 “multiwarfare exercise designed to improve interoperability between allied navies and prepare participating crews to conduct combined operations during deployment.” [14]

Held off the coast of Scotland and elsewhere in the United Kingdom, the biennial Joint Warrior is “Europe’s largest military exercise,” [15] and this month twenty-one warships, five submarines and fifty warplanes are involved. On the British side, “The exercise will involve 16 Air Assault Brigade and the Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group headed by HMS Ark Royal.” [16] The other participating nations are the U.S., with seven ships, and Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and NATO Contact County and Afghan war partner New Zealand.

The fourth military exercise begun on April 12 is Frisian Flag 2010 in the Netherlands with warplanes from the U.S., Britain and several other NATO allies, including U.S. F-15C Eagle, Dutch F-16 Fighting Falcon, Swedish JAS-39 Gripen, Finnish F-18 Hornet, Norwegian F-16 Fighting Falcon, German F-4 and Polish F-16 Fighting Falcon multirole jet fighters. [17]

“The multi-nation exercise will last until April 22 and is meant to train pilots on offensive and defensive roles through realistic scenarios….” [18]

The four exercises all began on April 12 and will end on either April 22 or 23. None of them are tailored for the sort of asymmetric warfare NATO is conducting in either Afghanistan or the Somali basin currently. Russian ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin has mentioned that the aerial exercises being held in Germany are based on a scenario that resembles a new war in the South Caucasus between Georgia and Russian forces based in South Ossetia.

The war games could also be in preparation for future attacks against Iran.

Last week the chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, Italian Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, and commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command Naples U.S. Admiral Mark Fitzgerald announced plans to visit Kosovo to “watch a training of the Kosovo Security Forces,” [19] an embryonic army founded, armed and trained by NATO in the first pseudo-state formed by the Western military bloc, an aberration not recognized by almost two-thirds of world governments.

The Lithuanian Ministry of Defense announced the latest deployment of its nation’s soldiers to serve under NATO command in Afghanistan on April 15. In the words of Chief of Defense Major General Arvydas Pocius, “Troops of the Lithuanian Armed Forces are going to enforce NATO’s principles. The ‘one for all’ principle must be observed. That is why the Lithuanian sky is daily protected by NATO’s fighter-jets, NATO’s warships come to our seaport, and our partners are ready to arrive in case our nation is in need of help.” [20]

Nature may have accomplished what no government or major political party in Europe will dare venture: Challenging NATO. The air force facet of Joint Warrior has been suspended, the NATO delegation visit to Kosovo postponed and participation in the impending 56-nation NATO foreign ministers meeting in Estonia is problematic because of drifting ash from a volcano in Iceland.

The foreign ministers meeting in Estonia scheduled for April 22-23 is to focus on the war in Afghanistan, the bloc’s new Strategic Concept, NATO’s nuclear weapons policy in light of the new U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, “missile defence as a building block for the Lisbon Summit” [21] in November, and further expansion into Eastern Europe.


The Western war in Afghanistan that will be nine-years-old on October 7 is to be intensified to its deadliest level yet when “NATO forces…launch a major offensive in the Afghanistan city of Kandahar in June….” [22]

In the past weeks an estimated 120 Afghan civilians have been killed and over 100 injured as a result of the conflict, NATO’s first war in Asia and first ground war.

A major American newspaper reported last week that “Deaths of Afghan civilians by NATO troops have more than doubled this year, NATO statistics show….” [23]

NATO partner Finland, which had not lost troops in combat operations since World War Two until recently in Afghanistan, is currently involved in its “largest joint operation” to date in the north of Afghanistan with troops from Sweden, Germany, Belgium and Hungary. [24] Sweden has registered its first combat losses in almost 200 years.

NATO troop deployments “will peak at 150,000 in August.” [25]


U.S. Admiral James Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO forces in Europe, visited New Zealand on April 11-12 and met with the country’s minister of defence, secretary of defence force and chief of defence force.

“We wanted to come to one of the most important ISAF partners we have which is contributing across the spectrum of operations in Afghanistan,” NATO’s top military commander said. [26]

On April 13 Stavridis “continued his official visit to the South Pacific with a trip to Australia’s capital city, Canberra,” where he met with the secretary of defence, the air chief and chief of defence forces. “While in Canberra, Adm Stavridis spoke before 900 officer cadets at the Australia Defence Force Academy regarding International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and leadership.” [27] Australia has 1,550 troops serving under NATO In Afghanistan and has lost its first troops in combat operations – eleven – since the war in Vietnam.


The commander of NATO Training Mission – Iraq [NTM-I], Major General Giuseppe Spinelli, delivered a speech last week at the Ar-Rustamiyah Joint Staff and Command College in Baghdad on the occasion of sixteen officers graduating from Brigade Command and Battalion Command courses conducted by personnel from the Western military bloc. The Italian commander said, “The NATO advisor teams very much enjoy working alongside our Iraqi partners. I wish to assure you of the future support of the NATO Training Mission as you prepare for the next courses.” The next round of courses begins in June. [28]

At the same time Spinelli’s countryman Maurizio Melani, Italian ambassador to Iraq, presented a lecture on the NATO training mission at the Iraqi National Defence University. He spoke to students of the Iraqi National Defence College (NDC) on the topic of “The European Union as a factor of peace and stability; the role of Italy.”

The speech “inaugurated a cycle of conferences that will be held by Ambassadors of NATO nations, in the framework of the NTM-I initiative to support the Iraqi NDC.

“The aim of this project is to provide a selected audience from the NDC and other prestigious Iraqi military educational institutions with a political perspective from a range of NATO countries, focusing on different approaches to Iraq and the future of the Gulf region, and a general overview about the NATO organization and its current roles.

“The NDC is the lead cross departmental Institute for the delivery of high level courses, both for military and civilian high-ranking officials, focusing on Grand Strategic and Military Strategic issues.” [29]


Last week Admiral Mark Fitzgerald, commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe and Africa and of NATO’s Allied Joint Task Force Command Naples, advocated the arming of civilian vessels in the Horn of Africa, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, stating, “We could put a World War II fleet of ships out there and we still wouldn’t be able to cover the whole ocean.” [30]

NATO’s naval deployment in the area, Operation Ocean Shield, consists of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) with its five warships. Last week an SNMG2 press release disclosed that “The five ships of NATO’s Task Force conducting counter piracy operations have been at the centre of the fight against piracy in the waters off Somalia in recent days.”

“Operating deep in the Indian Ocean, the Greek warship HS LIMNOS saw action against 3 pirate groups in as many days. Working closely with Swedish and Luxemburg maritime patrol aircraft operating from the Seychelles, the frigate destroyed 6 pirate attack boats together with all of their weapons and other piracy equipment between 7 and 9 April.”

Last autumn U.S. Africa Command deployed lethal Reaper drones, military aircraft and over 100 troops to the Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles for action in the Horn and on the Somali mainland.

The commander of the NATO naval contingent, Commodore Steve Chick of the British Royal Navy, was quoted as saying, “This has been a busy period for the NATO Task Force and we have seen significant successes against the pirates….[W]e have been able to deny the pirates the use of mother ships from which they can base their attacks at significant ranges from the shore.” [31]

The Americas

On April 15 NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (ACT), established after the 2002 summit in Prague and located in Norfolk, Virginia, hosted nearly 100 Latin American students from the Washington, DC-based Inter-American Defense College (IADC).

Chief of Staff at NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, British Royal Navy Vice Admiral Robert Cooling, while addressing the attendees said, “This is an exciting time for Allied Command Transformation because this is the first time that we have welcomed your course here.”

The ACT website added that the Inter-American Defense College course is “a graduate-level study for senior military and government officials and provides an opportunity to study global security issues. Students develop these competencies through the study of political, economic, social and military factors. Visits such as this help the students further understand the role of ACT and the NATO Alliance.” [32]

The World

Late last year the president of the United States, Barack Obama, acknowledged and embraced the status of commander-in-chief of the world’s sole military superpower. Few in the world appeared to be alarmed, offended or even distressed by this unprecedented claim to international preeminence based on the superiority of armed might. Nor has there been an outcry at home or abroad over the Pentagon’s World War II-level $708 billion budget for next year.

Neither is there any concern, much less outrage, that the U.S.-led NATO military bloc has fanned out from the North Atlantic Ocean region to all compass points and has staked out the entire planet as its area of responsibility.

The world has deferred if not fully subscribed to NATO’s grandiose and aggressive global strategy: That a Western military bloc whose officials are not elected by or accountable to any nation or people is empowered to intervene anywhere in the world with deadly force at its own discretion.

When this year’s NATO summit convenes in Lisbon, Portugal in November to formalize the Alliance’s new 21st century world military doctrine, to enclose the European continent under a U.S. interceptor missile canopy, and to continue what is already the largest and longest war in the world in South Asia, the protesters confronting the political and military leaders of NATO will be a – very small – fraction of the number of people who would attend a Britney Spears concert in the same city.

Most all of the world has reconciled and submitted itself to the domination of one global military superpower and its equally global military alliance with barely a murmur. An unparalleled political and moral capitulation.

1) Washington Post, May 23, 2004
2) Nine O’Clock News (Romania), April 3, 2008
3) Ibid
4) NATO In Persian Gulf: From Third World War To Istanbul
Stop NATO, February 6, 2009
5) U.S. Department of State, March 30, 2006
6) Ibid
7) U.S. State Department, February 24, 2006
8) Ibid
9) Global Military Bloc: NATO’s Drive Into Asia
Stop NATO, January 24, 2009
10) Afghan War: NATO Builds History’s First Global Army
Stop NATO, August 9, 2009
11) Reuters, April 15, 2010
12) U.S. Air Forces in Europe, April 14, 2010
13) North Atlantic Treaty Organization, April 14, 2010
14) United States Navy, April 13, 2010
15) BBC News, April 11, 2010
16) United States Navy, April 13, 2010
17) United States European Command, April 14, 2010
18) Ibid
19) Focus News Agency, April 17, 2010
20) Lithuania Officer of the Chief of Defence, April 15, 2010
21) North Atlantic Treaty Organization, April 19, 2010
22) Fox News, April 16, 2010
23) USA TODAY, April 15, 2010
24) Helsingin Sanomat, April 16, 2010
25) Agence France-Presse, April 18, 2010
26) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
April 13, 2010
27) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
April 14, 2010
28) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NATO Training Mission – Iraq
April 15, 2010
29) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NATO Training Mission – Iraq
April 15, 2010
30) U.S. Department of Defense, April 16, 2010
31) Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2)
Allied Maritime Component Command Headquarters Northwood
April 15, 2010
32) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation
April 15, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Attacco Immediato Globale: la superiorità militare mondiale senza armi nucleari

April 20, 2010 1 comment

April 20, 2010

Attacco Immediato Globale: la superiorità militare mondiale senza armi nucleari
Rick Rozoff

Traduzione per Voci Dalla Strada a cura di VANESA

Si può vincere una guerra senza farla. Si può vincere se un avversario sa che è vulnerabile ad un attacco istantaneo ed imprevisto, sconvolgente e devastante, senza la possibilità di difendersi o di reagire.

Ciò che vale per un determinato paese si applica anche a tutti i potenziali avversari, anzi per qualsiasi altra nazione del mondo.

Esiste un solo paese con la capacità militare e scientifica e che ha annunciato apertamente la sua intenzione di raggiungere tale capacità.

Questa nazione è quella di cui il suo attuale capo di Stato ha definito a dicembre 2009 come l’ unica superpotenza militare del mondo (1). Un paese che aspira ad essere l’unico nella storia a detenere la dominazione militare a spettro completo sulla terra, in aria, nei mari e nello spazio.

Che mantiene ed estende basi militari e truppe, gruppi di combattimento di porta aerei e bombardieri strategici in quasi ogni longitudine e latitudine. E lo fa con un bilancio di guerra da record, dalla Seconda Guerra Mondiale, con 708.000 milioni di dollari per l’anno prossimo.

Dopo aver raggiunto questo status in gran parte per essere stato il primo paese a sviluppare ed usare armi atomiche, è ora in grado di rafforzare la propria supremazia globale, attraverso la sostituzione dell’opzione nucleare.

Tra il 1999 e il 2003, gli USA, hanno guidato tre grandi guerre in meno di 4 anni contro la Jugoslavia, l’Afghanistan e l’Iraq, ed in tutti i 3 i casi ha inviato decine e centinaia di migliaia di soldati dopo attacchi aerei e con missili. Il Pentagono ha stabilito basi militari nelle tre zone di guerra e, anche se la contaminazione con l’uranio impoverito e le bombe a grappolo continuano ad esistere nei tre paesi, i soldati statunitensi non hanno dovuto affrontare un terreno irradiato. Sarebbe inutile e troppo costoso in molti modi lanciare un attacco nucleare se un attacco convenzionale servisse per allo stesso scopo.

L’8 aprile i presidenti di USA e Russia, Barack Obama e Dmitri Medvedev, hanno firmato un nuovo Trattato sulla Riduzione delle Armi Strategiche (START, sigle in inglese) nella capitale ceca Praga per ridurre i loro rispettivi arsenali nucleari e sistemi di lancio (soggetto a ratifica dal Senato degli USA e dalla Duma russa). Prima, durante la stessa settimana, è stato pubblicato un nuovo Studio sulla Posizione Nucleare (NPR) che per la prima volta sembrò di abbandonare il primo uso delle armi nucleari.

Sembrava che l’oscura nube nucleare che ha avvolto l’umanità negli ultimi 65 anni si stesse dissipando.

Ma, gli Stati Uniti conservano ancora 1.550 testate nucleari sparse e 2.200 (in base ad alcuni calcoli, 3.500) in più conservate ed una triade di veicoli per i lanci terresti, aerei e sottomarini.

Quello che allarma di più, però, è che Washington continua ad andare avanti con il progetto di sostituire la spada e lo scudo nucleare- per ricatto e dissuasione- con un modello non nucleare che potrebbe destabilizzare il precedente “equilibrio del terrore” che è stato un incubo criminale per sei decenni, ma con sessant’anni senza una guerra massiva di missili.

La nuova spada, o lancia, integra piani per sistemi di armi convenzionali di primo attacco usando la stessa triade di componenti terra-aria-mare – più lo spazio- e lo scudo è una rete mondiale di dispiegamenti di missili intercettori, anche nelle quattro aree. Il Pentagono si propone di poter attaccare per primo ed impunemente.

L’arsenale non nucleare usato per neutralizzare e distruggere le difese aeree e strategiche, potenzialmente tutte le forze militari importanti di altre nazioni, consisterà in missili balistici intercontinentali, missili balistici adattati a lanci da sottomarini, missili crociera e bombardieri ipersonici, su un’area marittima vicina o un’altra nazione scelta dagli USA.

Un commento russo di tre anni fa ha descritto l’interazione tra il primo attacco e i sistemi missilistici intercettori così:

“Si può investire nello sviluppo di un missile antibalistico (ABM) veramente efficace e di armi di primo attacco, per esempio, in sistemi convenzionali ad alta precisione. L’obiettivo finale è creare la capacità perché un primo attacco disarmante (nucleare, non nucleare o misto) del potenziale nucleare strategico del nemico. L’ABM distruggerà tutto quello che sopravvivrà al primo colpo”(2).

Il tanto ritardato Documento dello Studio sulla Posizione Nucleare di questo mese riconferma i piani del Pentagono di “mantenere una dissuasione nucleare credibile e di rafforzare le strutture della sicurezza regionali con la difesa dei missili…”(3).

Conferma anche che l’incorporazione di “sistemi non nucleari agli obiettivi di dissuasione regionali e della sicurezza degli USA sarà preservata evitando limitazioni nella difesa dei missili e preservando opzioni per l’uso di bombardamenti pesanti e dei sistemi di missili di lungo raggio in compiti convenzionali”.

In una conferenza stampa del 6 aprile sugli Studi delle Posizioni Nucleari con il segretario della Difesa Robert Gates, il capo dello Stato Maggiore Congiunto, l’ammiraglio Micheal Mullen, la segretaria di Stato, Hillary Clinton e il segretario dell’energia Steven Chu, Gates ha detto che “manterremo la triade nucleare dell’ICBM (Missili balistici intercontinentali) aerei con capacità nucleare e sottomarini con missili balistici” e “continueremo a sviluppare e migliorare le capacità no- nucleari, includendo difese di missili regionali”. Mullen ha parlato di “difendere gli interessi vitali degli USA e quelli dei nostri soci e alleati con un mix più equilibrato di mezzi nucleari e non nucleari di quelli che abbiamo a nostra disposizione attualmente” (4).

Il documento dello Studio della Difesa con Missili Balistici del 1 febbraio, ha segnalato che “gli USA manterranno una visione adattabile per fasi della difesa con missili” e “svilupperà capacità mobili e ricollocabili”.

Inoltre, “il governo è impegnato con l’implementazione di una nuova Visione Europea Adattabile per Fasi in un contesto della NATO. In Asia Orientale, gli USA, lavorano per migliorare le difese con missili attraverso una serie di relazioni bilaterali. Gli USA manterranno anche una cooperazione rafforzata con una serie di soci in Medio Oriente” (5).

Il Dossier dello Studio Quadriennale della Difesa di febbraio parla di progetti simili.

Lo Studio “presenta due obiettivi chiari. Il primo riequilibrare ancora di più le capacità delle Forze Armate degli USA per imporsi nelle guerre attuali, mentre crea le capacità richieste per affrontare le future minacce”.

Segnala che “Gli USA continuano ad essere l’unica nazione capace di proiettare e di sostenere le operazioni su grande scala a distanze estese”, con “una forza militare di 400.000 membri….messi in posizioni avanzate o dispiegati in tutto il mondo” e che “ha capacità cibernetiche e spaziali e rafforzate capacità statunitensi per respingere gli obiettivi dei loro avversari attraverso la difesa balistica di missili….”

Uno dei suoi obiettivi centrali è di “espandere le future capacità di attacco a lungo raggio” e di promuovere la “veloce crescita delle capacità di difesa con missili balistici basati in mare ed in terra” (6).

Gli USA intensificano anche i programmi di guerra spaziale e cibernetica con il potenziale di paralizzare i sistemi di controllo e di comando militare, controllo, comunicazione informatica e dell’intelligence di altre nazioni, portandole ad uno stato indifeso in tutti gli ambiti, fuori della tattica più elementare.

Il programma secondo il quale Washington sviluppa la sua capacità di armi convenzionali per supplementare la sua precedente strategia nucleare è chiamato Attacco Globale Immediato (PGS, in inglese) che si riferisce alternativamente come Attacco Globale Immediato Convenzionale (CPGS).

Il Global Security Newswire ha scritto recentemente sulla proposta di START II che “membri dell’elite politica della Russia sono preoccupati per quello che l’accordo dice e non dice sui sistemi di difesa dei missili balistici degli USA e di un “attacco immediato globale”…(7).

Di fatto, il successore di START non dice nulla sulle politiche statunitensi di missili intercettori o di primo attacco convenzionale, e in questo modo dice tutto al riguardo. Cioè, il nuovo trattato non li limita o pregiudica in alcun modo.

Dopo la cerimonia della firma a Praga l’8 aprile il Dipartimento di Stato degli USA ha emesso un foglio di dati sull’Attacco Globale Immediato che segnalava:

“Punto chiave: Il Nuovo Trattato START non contiene alcuna restrizione sul potenziale attuale o pianificato di attacco globale convenzionale degli USA.”

A titolo d’informazione sugli antecedenti e per dare un quadro per l’attuale strategia militare degli USA, aggiunge:

“La crescita delle capacità militari convenzionali senza rivali degli USA ha contribuito alla nostra possibilità di ridurre il ruolo di armi nucleari nella dissuasione di attacchi non nucleari…Il Dipartimento della Difesa (DOD) esplora attualmente tutta la gamma di tecnologie e di sistemi per una capacità di Attacco Globale Immediato Convenzionale che potrebbe offrire al presidente opzioni più verosimili e tecnicamente adeguate per affrontare minacce nuove ed in sviluppo” (8).

Nel descrivere le parti costituenti del PGS, il comunicato stampa del Dipartimento di Stato ha anche rivelato:

“Gli sforzi attuali esaminano anche tre concetti: Veicolo di Tecnologia Ipersonica, Missile di Attacco Convenzionale e Arma Ipersonica Avanzata. Questi progetti sono amministrati dall’Agenzia di Progetti di Investigazione Avanzata (DARPA), il Centro Spaziale e di Missili delle Forze Aeree degli USA, ed il Comando Spaziale e della Difesa dei Missili dell’Esercito rispettivamente….Il limite (di START II) sistemerebbe tutti i progetti che gli USA potrebbero sviluppare durante la vita di questo Trattato per dispiegare centrali convenzionali in missili balistici.”

In un linguaggio senza equivoci come quello noto del Dipartimento di Stato, la dichiarazione aggiunge:

“Il nuovo START II protegge la capacità degli USA di sviluppare e dispiegare una capacità CPGS. Il Trattato non proibisce in nessun modo la costruzione o il dispiegamento degli USA di missili balistici con armi convenzionali”.

Il Dipartimento della Difesa “studia il CPGS nel contesto del suo portafoglio di tutte le capacità di attacco non nucleare a lungo raggio includendo sistemi basati in terra o in mare, così come bombardieri porta-missili e/o penetrazione…” (9).

I missili non nucleari ai quali si riferisce sono stati disegnati per attaccare qualsiasi sito in terra entro i 60 minuti, ma come si è vantato il principale propugnatore del PGS, il vice capo dello Stato Maggiore Congiunto, generale dei marines James Cartwright : “Al massimo”, si potrebbero realizzare attacchi in “300 millesecondi” (10).

Parlando del terzo della forza aerea nella triade GPS- missili crocieri con armamenti nucleari lanciati da bombardieri B-53, aerei senza equipaggiamento X-51 che possono volare a 8.000 km all’ora, l’”aereo spaziale” Blacswift- Cartwright ha anche detto che i bombardieri attuali con armamenti convenzionali sono “troppo lenti e troppo intrusivi” per numerose “missioni di attacco globale” (11).

Il 21 gennaio il vicepresidente della difesa William Lynn ha chiesto che si collocasse al Pentagono “in una base permanente per liberare conflitti di bassa intensità col fine di mantenere il dominio aereo e di avere la capacità di attaccare qualsiasi obiettivo sulla Terra in ogni momento…La prossima priorità nella guerra aerea per il Pentagono è lo sviluppo di una prossima generazione con capacità di attacco di penetrazione profonda che possa trionfare sulle difese aeree avanzate…(12).

In un’analisi sul Global Security Networ intitolato “Il costo di provare un missile statunitense di un attacco globale potrebbe arrivare fino ai 500 milioni di dollari”. Elaine Grossman ha scritto:

“Il governo di Obama ha sollecitato 239.900 milioni di dollari per la ricerca e lo sviluppo di un attacco globale immediato da parte dei servizi militari nell’anno fiscale 2011…Se i livelli del finanziamento si mantengono, come sono stati anticipati nei prossimi anni, il Pentagono avrà speso circa 2.000 milioni di dollari in un attacco globale immediato per la fine dell’anno fiscale 2015, secondo documenti sui fondi presentati il mese scorso al Congresso (13).

Il componente basato in terra del GPS, missili balistici intercontinentali Minuteman con un carico convenzionale “sarà lanciato inizialmente verso lo spazio come un missile balistico, invieranno un “veicolo di prova ipersonico” perché voli e manovri verso una destinazione programmata, che potrebbe essere aggiornata o modificata tramite controllo remoto (telecomando)durante il volo” (14).

Lo scorso mese il Defense News ha pubblicato un articolo con il titolo “Gli USA appuntano armi di precisione per le guerre del XXI Secolo”, che includeva questo passaggio:

“Per fermare…difese aeree, il Pentagono vuole costruire una moltitudine di armi di precisione che possano raggiungere qualsiasi obiettivo da migliaia di metri. Conosciute come una famiglia di sistemi, queste armi potrebbero includere tutto quello che la Forza Aerea scelga come il suo prossimo bombardiere, un nuovo insieme di missili da crociera ed anche, un giorno, armi ipersoniche, sviluppate sotto il programma di Attacco Globale Immediato del Pentagono, che darebbe la velocità e la portata di un missile balistico intercontinentale ad una centrale convenzionale (15).

Un recente documento del Washington Post sul PGS ha citato l’avvertimento del ministro degli esteri russo Sergei Lavrov che “sarà difficile che gli Stati del mondo accettino una situazione nella quale spariscano le armi nucleari, ma che emergano armi che non sono meno destabilizzanti in mani di certi membri della comunità internazionale” (16).

La stessa fonte ha aggiunto: “il governo di Obama…vede i missili come una catena in una gamma di armi difensive e offensive che potrebbero sostituire le armi nucleari” ed ha citato a Cartwright, del Pentagono,che ha affermato: “La dissuasione non può basarsi solo sulle armi nucleari. Deve essere più ampia” (17).

Il giorno seguente, l’Indipendent britannico ha pubblicato un articolo le cui citazioni dovrebbero disingannare chiunque avesse la speranza che il mondo post-nucleare di Washington sarà più sicuro:

Riferendosi ai missili balistici intercontinentali PGS con (o almeno in teoria) testate convenzionali, il giornale ha avvertito che:

“Una volta che siano stati raggiunti, potrebbe essere difficile distinguere le sue cariche tradizionali da quelle nucleari. Questo, a sua volta, potrebbe scatenare una ritorsione nucleare accidentale da parte della Russia o di un’altra potenza con armi simili.

Un altro pericolo è che se la questione è che non ci sono più le armi nucleari, vi è una tentazione più grande per i comandanti militari statunitensi di prendere con più leggerezza l’ordine di compiere attacchi. E a meno che non si abbia fiducia interamente nelle formazioni dell’intelligence, le probabilità che siano attaccati obiettivi sbagliati sono elevate” (18)

Responsabili statunitensi hanno discusso la prospettiva di lanciare simili missili ad un’altezza inferiore a quella usata dai ICBM nucleari, ma ci sarebbe bisogno di un grado quasi illimitato di fiducia- o di credulità- da parte di responsabili militari russi e cinesi perché abbiano fiducia nella garanzia che i ICBM diretti verso o vicino al loro territorio non portassero realmente armi nucleari, sia quale sia la distanza dalla superficie della Terra alla quale volassero.

Nel 2007, un anno dopo che il Pentagono annunciasse per la prima volta i suoi piani di un Attacco Globale Immediato, un analista russo ha scritto che “agli statunitensi non interessa particolarmente il loro arsenale nucleare” e che “hanno calcolato esaustivamente le vere minacce alla loro sicurezza col fine di essere pronti per andare in guerra, se fosse necessario sul serio, e aggiunge che “il XXI Secolo ha visto due guerre mondiali ed una terza sorge minacciosa”.

“Nonostante la minaccia ovvia per la civiltà, gli USA presto potrebbero acquistare armi orbitali sotto il piano per l’Attacco Globale Immediato. Queste darebbero loro la capacità per realizzare un attacco convenzionale in qualsiasi posto del mondo in un’ora”. (19)

Elaine Grossman ha scritto l’anno scorso:

“Una volta che sia costruito, si spera che il Missile di Attacco Convenzionale combini razzi propulsori con un “veicolo di consegna di carico” di volo veloce capace di portare un proiettile di energia cinetica contro un obiettivo. Ad arrivare al suo punto finale, il proiettile si dividerà in decine di frammenti letali potenzialmente capaci contro gli esseri umani, veicoli e strutture, secondo quanto detto da funzionari della difesa…” (20)

Uno scenario orripilante comparabile agli effetti di un attacco del PGS, la versione basata sul mare, apparso tre anni fa su Popular Mechanics:

“Nel Pacifico, emerge un sottomarino nucleare della classe Ohio, pronto per l’ordine di lancio del presidente. Quando l’ordine arriva, il sottomarino spara verso il cielo un missile Trident II di 65 tonnellate. In due minuti, il missile vola a più di 22.000 Km/h. Sugli oceani e fuori dall’atmosfera accelera durante mille di m.

“Nella cuspide della sua parabola, nello spazio, le 4 testate del Trident si separano e cominciano la loro discesa verso il pianeta.Volando a 21.000 km/h, le testate vengono riempite di barre di tungsteno con il doppio della resistenza dell’acciaio.Sull’obiettivo, le testate detonano, facendo piovere sull’area migliaia di barre- ognuna con 12 volte la potenza di un proiettile di calibro 50. Tutto quello che si trova nel raggio di 279 metri quadrati di questa vertiginosa tempesta metallica, è annichilito” (21).

Il 7 aprile di quest’anno, il capo dello Stato Maggiore Congiunto delle forze armate russe, il generale Leonid Ivashov ha scritto una colonna chiamata “la sorpresa nucleare di Obama”.

In riferimento al discorso del presidente degli USA a Praga un anno fa- “l’esistenza di migliaia di armi nucleari è il vincolo più pericoloso della guerra fredda” e alla sua firma all’accordo START II nella stessa città l’8 aprile, l’autore ha detto:

“Non si può scoprire nella storia degli USA durante il secolo scorso un solo esempio di servizio sacrificatore delle elite statunitensi per l’umanità o per i popoli di altri paesi. Sarebbe realista sperare che l’arrivo di un presidente afro-statunitense alla Casa Bianca cambi la filosofia politica del paese, orientata tradizionalmente ad ottenere il dominio globale? Quelli che credono che qualcosa di simile sia possibile dovrebbero cercare di capire perché gli USA, il paese con la finanziaria militare più grande di qualsiasi altro paese nel mondo nel loro insieme, continua a spendere enormi somme di denaro in preparativi per la guerra” (22).

In un riferimento specifico al PGS, ha dettagliato che “Il Concetto di Attacco Globale immediato prevede un attacco concentrato usando varie migliaia di armi convenzionali di precisione da 2 a 4 ore che distruggerebbe le infrastrutture critiche del paese obiettivo e così lo obbligherebbe alla capitolazione”.

“Il concetto di Attacco Globale Immediato ha lo scopo di assicurare il monopolio degli USA nel campo militare e ampliare la breccia tra questo paese ed il resto del mondo. In combinazione con il dispiegamento della difesa missilistica che teoricamente dovrebbe mantenere gli USA immuni da attacchi di rappresaglie della Russia o della Cina, l’iniziativa dell’Attacco Globale Immediato convertirà Washington in un dittatore globale dell’era moderna”.

“Essenzialmente, la nuova dottrina nucleare degli USA è un elemento della nuova strategia della sicurezza degli USA che sarebbe descritta in modo più adeguato come la strategia dell’impunità totale. Gli USA aumentano i loro fondi militari, scioglie le redine alla NATO come gendarme globale, e pianifica esercizi in una situazione reale in Iran per provare l’efficienza nella pratica dell’iniziativa dell’Attacco Globale Immediato. Allo stesso tempo, Washington parla di un mondo totalmente libero di armi nucleari” (23).

1) Obama Doctrine: Eternal War For Imperfect Mankind
Stop NATO, 10 Dicembre 2009
2) Alexander Khramchikhin, The MAD situation is no longer there
Russian Information Agency Novosti, 29 maggio 2007
3) Nuclear Posture Review Report United States Department of Defense
April 2010
4) United States Department of Defense
American Forces Press Service
6 Aprile 2010
5) United States Department of Defense, 1 febbraio 2010
6) United States Department of Defense, Febbraio 2010
Quadrennial Defense Review Report, Febbraio 2010
7) Global Security Newswire, April 2, 2010
8) U.S. Department of State, April 9, 2010
9) Ibid.
10) Defense News, June 4, 2009
11) Ibíd.
12) Defense News, January 22, 2010
U.S. Extends Missile Buildup From Poland And Taiwan To Persian Gulf
Stop NATO, 3 Febbraio 2010
13) Global Security Network, 15 Marzo 2010
14) Ibid.
15) Defense News, March 22, 2010
16) Washington Post, April 8, 2010
17) Ibid.
18) The Independent, 9 Aprile 2010
19) Andrei Kislyakov, Defense budget: nuclear or conventional?
Russian Information Agency Novosti, 20 Novembre 2007
20) Global Security Newswire, July 1, 2009
21) Noah Shachtman, Hypersonic Cruise Missile: America’s New Global Strike
Weapon Popular Mechanics, January 2007
22) Strategic Culture Foundation, April 7, 2010
23) Ibid.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO: Pentagon’s Gateway Into Former Warsaw Pact And Soviet Union

April 15, 2010

NATO: Pentagon’s Gateway Into Former Warsaw Pact And Soviet Union
Rick Rozoff

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was founded in April of 1949 by a country not on the European continent, the United States, and eleven subordinates which had fought on both sides of the World War that had ended four years earlier: Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal. Greece and Turkey were added in 1952 after their service in the Korean War and West Germany joined in 1955.

Five days after the inclusion of the Federal Republic of Germany on May 9, in contravention of the 1945 Potsdam Agreement between Britain, the U.S. and the Soviet Union which explicitly demanded and meticulously detailed plans for the demilitarization of Germany, the Soviet Union established the Warsaw Treaty Organization (Warsaw Pact) in response. Fellow members were Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland and Romania. Albania formally withdrew in 1968, though it had not been a participating member since the early 1960s, and Romania had been a member in name only for at least twenty years before the pact’s formal disbandment.

With the accession of Spain into the “military alliance of democratic states in Europe and North America” in 1982 the U.S.-led military bloc grew from its original 12 to 16 members. By that time the Warsaw Pact had shrunk from eight to seven members and some of the remaining ones were only selectively involved.

NATO regularly held large-scale military exercises in alleged defense of Norway, Denmark and other members, but never deployed forces or conducted operations outside member states’ territories, counting on the thousands of American nuclear warheads in European NATO states to respond to the Warsaw Pact’s conventional military superiority in the event of armed confrontation. [1]

Military forces from the Warsaw Pact intervened in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and in the early 1980s it appeared they might do so again in Poland, and the Soviet Union sent troops to Hungary in 1956 after Prime Minister Imre Nagy withdrew his nation from the Warsaw Pact.

The Soviet Union’s justification for those actions was that nations in Eastern Europe gravitating toward the West could be transformed into sites from which NATO, and especially its dominant member the U.S., would present a military threat on or near its borders.

In 1999, eight years after the formal dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the fragmentation of the Soviet Union itself, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland were brought into NATO as full members during the bloc’s fiftieth anniversary summit in Washington, DC, while NATO was conducting its first large-scale military operation outside the territory of its member states and its first major armed conflict: The almost three-month Operation Allied Force air war against Yugoslavia, which had not been a member of either Cold War military alliance.

The accession of three former Warsaw Pact nations in 1999 was the largest one-time expansion in NATO’s history. Five years later at the Istanbul summit seven new members were inducted, six former Warsaw Pact countries, including three ex-Soviet republics, and a former federal republic of Yugoslavia: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

With the earlier absorption of East Germany into NATO with German reunification in 1990, by 2004 every member of the erstwhile Warsaw Pact outside the Soviet Union except short-term member Albania had been brought into the Western military alliance. Albania was incorporated into NATO at the Strasbourg-Kehl summit last year.

The worst suspicions harbored east of the Cold War divide had been confirmed. Not only have all of the Soviet Union’s previous allies in Eastern Europe been recruited into a Washington-dominated military bloc that for eleven years has been actively waging wars in Europe and beyond Europe in Asia, but territory of what had been the Soviet Union itself now contains a NATO air base (Lithuania) and a cyber warfare center (Estonia).

Once Soviet republics like Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia are being actively pursued by NATO, which has held military exercises in those countries.

In 2007 NATO selected the Papa Air Base in Hungary for its first Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) operation in support of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (for the present). In the same year the Alliance announced it would open its first training center in a former Warsaw Pact country, in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz.

Starting the year after they were admitted as full NATO members, Bulgaria and Romania were approached by the U.S. to offer the Pentagon access to several major military bases. [2] Both countries had turned their air bases over to Washington in late 2002 and early 2003 for the invasion of Iraq, but in 2005 and 2006 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed formal agreements for the acquisition of military bases with Romania and Bulgaria, respectively. The Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base and training and firing grounds in Babadag, Cincu and Smardan in Romania, and the Bezmer Air Base, the Graf Ignatievo Air Base and the Novo Selo Training Range in Bulgaria were locked into initial ten-year agreements. The Pentagon is not planning to leave, surely not after spending billions of dollars to modernize the facilities.

The deployment of between 5,000-10,000 U.S. troops to the bases at any one time is the first Pentagon presence in former Warsaw Pact nations. And the seven Bulgarian and Romanian installations are the first American military bases in any of those countries. Neither the troops nor the bases were the last.

The U.S. has moved its Joint Task Force-East, whose name alone indicates its purpose, to the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania, and in the words of the unit’s deputy commander in 2008, “We are building a permanent forward operating station here….” [3]

The worst fear of the Soviet Union during the Cold War years was not just of NATO in general but of the U.S. in particular moving its military personnel and hardware toward its borders. Anyone who experienced a nightmare of that occurring twenty years ago and only woke up decades later would have difficulty realizing it was no longer just a dream.

NATO is, simply put, the major mechanism for moving the U.S. military into the territory of what had been the Warsaw Pact. And the Soviet Union. Permanently and aggressively.

By 2006 the advance of the Pentagon into Eastern Europe under the banner of NATO had become apparent enough – inescapably so – that quite far from the continent a Chinese military analyst, Lin Zhiyuan, deputy office director of the World Military Affairs Research Department of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, wrote that “new military bases, airports and training bases will be built in Hungary, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria and other nations to ensure ‘gangways’ to some areas in the Middle East, Africa and Asia [for] possible military actions in the years ahead.” [4]

As a major American news agency described the plans in 2007, “The bases are part of an ambitious plan to shift EUCOM’s [European Command’s] fighting brigades from western Europe – mostly Germany – to forward bases closer to the Caucasus, the Balkans, the Middle East and Africa, for a quicker strike capability.” [5] [6]

The Bezmer, Graf Ignatievo and Mihail Kogalniceanu air bases in Bulgaria and Romania are being upgraded to serve as part of a series of new American strategic air bases outside the U.S. Aimed toward the east and the south.

In Poland, the activation of an Advanced Patriot Capability-3 interceptor missile battery manned by at least 100 U.S. military personnel has been scheduled for later this month. The troops will be deployed only 35 miles from Russia’s isolated enclave of Kaliningrad and will be the first foreign forces stationed in that nation since the end of the Warsaw Pact.

They will not be the last. After U.S. President Barack Obama met with the leaders of eleven new Eastern European NATO states – Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia – in Prague on April 8 following the signing of a Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) II agreement with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk told reporters “From the perspective of [President Obama] and the U.S. the signing of the START 2 treaty has no influence on the work on the SM3 anti-missile shield.” [7]

Tusk was not speaking of the short- to medium-range Patriots missiles that may arrive in his country any day, but of Standard Missile-3 longer-range anti-missile and anti-satellite interceptors that will be adapted from sea-based to land-based use. In Pentagonese, the Aegis Ashore component of the Phased Adaptive Approach for progressively longer-range missiles in Eastern Europe, ones which in the third phase could cripple Russia’s ability to launch a retaliatory response to a first strike.

This February 27 the now late Polish President Lech Kaczynski ratified a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the U.S. for the stationing of the latter’s troops on his nation’s soil.

On March 5 the Polish armed forces launched combat training exercises with the participation of “scores of U.S. Army soldiers.” [8]

Going backward in time, in August of 2008 the U.S. signed an agreement with Poland which includes a “commitment for both states to come to each other’s assistance in case of military threats.” [9] What certainly appears to be a mutual defense pact.

In 2002 Poland signed the largest military purchase agreement in its history: 48 F-16 multirole jet fighters, the first of which were delivered in 2006. They were the first U.S. fighters provided to a former Eastern Bloc nation.

In 2005 Poland became the first former Warsaw Pact state to assume control of the NATO Baltic air patrol established immediately after Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined the bloc in 2004. Polish warplanes took over from U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons. Poland will again take control of the mission next month with four warplanes operating out of and 100 troops stationed at the Lithuanian Air Force base at Siauliai.

In 2007 the Pentagon announced plans to sell Romania 48 F-16s as well, 24 new and 24 refurbished older jet fighters, for $4.5 billion, without doubt the most expensive military purchase in that nation’s history also. Late last month the Romanian government confirmed its decision to buy the 24 second-hand F-16s, beating out competition from France’s Dassault (Rafale), Sweden’s SAAB (Gripen) and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (Eurofighter).

Early this month U.S. arms manufacturer Textron disclosed it would jointly produce armored vehicles with a Romanian counterpart, as “Romania is planning to buy about 800 armored vehicles.” [10] Romania’s NATO accession has proven invaluable for the Pentagon’s plans to expand deployments and operations from Europe to the east and the south and has been correspondingly lucrative for U.S. arms firms.

In March the Czech press revealed that “the Czech Republic is in discussions with the Obama administration to host a command center for the United States’ altered missile-defense plan.” [11]

During the recently-concluded Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC where a number of decidedly unrelated agreements were reached including one with which the U.S. secured the right for military overflights from Kazakhstan [12], Czech Defense Minister Martin Bartak disclosed that his meetings in the American capital included one with Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Ellen Tauscher, the latter a long-time advocate for and organizer of U.S. missile shield projects in Eastern Europe.

In addition to being pressured by his American interlocutors to provide more troops for the Afghan war, Bartak said the three talked about Washington’s interceptor missile system, specifically that “The Czech Republic may be a part of a new warning system against possible enemy missile attacks,” personally adding that “the Czech Republic is prepared to participate in the system.” To demonstrate that the deliberations were not of an abstract nature, the Czech defense chief also mentioned the “sharing of data from commanding and observing elements placed in two locations in the Czech Republic.” [13]

Both the missile shield command center and the surveillance sites would include, in fact would be run by, American military personnel.

As will the (presumably) Standard Missile-3 interceptor missile sites offered to the U.S. in February by the Romanian and Bulgarian governments.

In Hungary, the world’s first multi-national strategic airlift operation was activated last July at the Papa Air Base. Although established under the auspices of NATO and jointly operated by twelve NATO and all-but-acknowledged NATO members – the U.S., Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania and Slovenia and Finland and Sweden – it is not under NATO command. It is an American project for the expanding war in Afghanistan with, as one U.S. officer assigned to the command put it, a “24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week” operation which “recently moved 2.1 million pounds of equipment essential to surge operations supporting the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.” [14]

U.S. Air Force personnel are deployed there for the indefinite future, as their fellow service members are in Bulgaria and Romania and soon will be in Poland.

In former Soviet space, in addition to the participation of American warplanes over the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and the regular participation of troops in NATO Partnership for Peace and other war games in Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia, the Pentagon has established a permanent presence in Georgia since 2002, first with a Train and Equip Program and since then with U.S. Marines there on an ongoing basis and a steady parade of Marine commanders in and out of the capital of Tbilisi. Most recently Lieutenant General Richard F. Natonski, Commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command, and Brigadier General Paul W. Brier, Commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe (and of U.S. Marine Forces Africa) earlier this month. [14]

U.S. troops and equipment were in that nation during the five-day war with Russia in August of 2008 and are there now.

The U.S. guided missile frigate USS John L. Hall arrived at the Georgian Black Sea port of Poti on April 14 for a week of joint exercises.

In turbulent Kyrgyzstan the U.S. runs one of the largest transit operations for the war in Afghanistan. In March U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke stated that 35,000 American troops pass through the air base at Manas each month on their way to and from Afghanistan, and U.S. Central Command has acknowledged that the number reached 50,000 last month.

In neighboring Kazakhstan, the U.S. gained military flyover rights with the government on April 11 which include for the first time the transit of combat troops and lethal military equipment.

A Kyrgyz news source revealed that in discussions between Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, U.S. President Obama and his main Russia and Eurasia hand Michael McFaul, the last-named proposed the establishment of an American military base in Kazakhstan to either supplement or replace if need be the Transit Center at Manas in Kyrgyzstan. [15]

Retired Russian general Leonid Ivashov has stated that new U.S.-Kazakh military cooperation plans “threaten the interests of Russia and other countries, notably China and especially Iran against which the United States is preparing a military operation,” particularly if as seems increasingly likely the U.S. opens “a military base in Kazakhstan similar in size to the Kyrgyz facility.” [16]

In the post-Cold War period the Pentagon through bilateral agreements, but even more so through NATO partnerships, has ensconced itself in former Warsaw Pact and Soviet nations from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea to Central Asia. From the Balkans to the Chinese border.

1) NATO’s Sixty Year Legacy: Threat Of Nuclear War In Europe
Stop Nato, March 31, 2009
NATO’s Secret Transatlantic Bond: Nuclear Weapons In Europe
December 3, 2009
2) Bulgaria, Romania: U.S., NATO Bases For War In The East
Stop NATO, October 24, 2009
Black Sea: Pentagon’s Gateway To Three Continents And The Middle East
Stop NATO, February 21, 2009
3) United States Army, July 24, 2008
4) People’s Daily, December 5, 2006
5) United Press International, May 18, 2007
6) Bulgaria, Romania: U.S., NATO Bases For War In The East
Stop NATO, October 24, 2009
7) Polish Radio, April 9, 2010
8) U.S., NATO Intensify War Games Around Russia’s Perimeter
Stop NATO, March 6, 2010
9) Bloomberg News, August 15, 2008
10) Agence France-Presse, April 9, 2010
11) Prague Post, February 10, 2010
12) Kazakhstan: U.S., NATO Seek Military Outpost Between Russia And China
Stop NATO, April 13, 2010
13) Czech News Agency, April 14, 2010
14) United States Air Forces in Europe, April 2, 2010
15) U.S. Marines In The Caucasus As West Widens Afghan War
Stop NATO, September 3, 2009
16), April 12, 2010
17) Nezavisimaya Gazeta, April 14, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Ataque Inmediato Global: la superioridad militar mundial sin armas nucleares

April 15, 2010

Ataque Inmediato Global: la superioridad militar mundial sin armas nucleares
Rick Rozoff

Traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Germán Leyens

Se puede ganar una guerra sin librarla. Se puede vencer si un adversario sabe que es vulnerable a un ataque instantáneo e indetectable, abrumador y devastador, sin la posibilidad de defenderse o de tomar represalias.

Lo que se aplica a un país en particular también vale para todos los adversarios potenciales y ciertamente para cualquier otra nación del mundo.

Existe sólo un país con la capacidad militar y científica y que ha proclamado abiertamente su intención de lograr esa capacidad. Esa nación es la que su actual jefe de Estado definió en diciembre pasado como la única superpotencia militar del mundo. [1] Un país que aspira a seguir siendo el único Estado en la historia que ejerce la dominación militar de espectro completo en la tierra, en el aire, en los mares y en el espacio.

Que mantiene y extiende bases militares y tropas, grupos de batalla de portaaviones y bombarderos estratégicos sobre y en casi cada latitud y longitud. Que lo hace con un presupuesto de guerra récord posterior a la Segunda Guerra Mundial de 708.000 millones de dólares para el próximo año.

Después de lograr esa situación en gran parte por haber sido el primer país que desarrolló e utilizó armas atómicas, está ahora en condiciones de fortalecer su supremacía global a través del reemplazo de la opción nuclear.

Entre 1999 y 2003 EE.UU. dirigió tres grandes guerras en menos de cuatro años contra Yugoslavia, Afganistán e Iraq y en los tres casos envió entre decenas y cientos de miles de soldados después de ataques aéreos y con misiles. El Pentágono estableció bases militares en las tres zonas de guerra y, aunque la contaminación con uranio empobrecido y bombas de racimo sigue existiendo en los tres países, los soldados estadounidenses no han tenido que enfrentar un terreno irradiado. Sería superfluo y demasiado costoso en muchos sentidos lanzar un ataque nuclear si un ataque convencional sirve para el mismo fin.

El 8 de abril los presidentes de EE.UU. y Rusia, Barack Obama y Dmitri Medvedev, firmaron un nuevo Tratado de Reducción de Armas Estratégicas (START por sus siglas en inglés) en la capital checa Praga para reducir sus respectivos arsenales nucleares y sistemas de lanzamiento (sujeto a ratificación por el Senado de EE.UU. y la Duma rusa). Antes, durante la misma semana, publicó su nuevo Estudio de la Postura Nuclear (NPR) que por primera vez pareció abandonar el primer uso de armas nucleares.

Parecería que la sombría nube nuclear que ha colgado sobre la cabeza de la humanidad durante los últimos 65 años se estuviera disipando.

Sin embargo EE.UU. conserva 1.550 ojivas nucleares desplegadas y 2.200 (según algunos cálculos 3.500) más almacenadas y una tríada de vehículos de lanzamiento terrestres, aéreos y submarinos.

Lo que es más alarmante, sin embargo, es que Washington sigue adelante con el proyecto de reemplazar la espada y el escudo nuclear –para chantaje y disuasión– por un modelo no nuclear que podría desestabilizar el anterior “equilibrio del terror” que ha sido una pesadilla criminal durante seis décadas, pero con sesenta años sin una guerra masiva de misiles.

La nueva espada, o lanza, integra planes para sistemas de armas convencionales de primer ataque empleando la misma tríada de componentes de tierra, aire y mar –más el espacio– y el escudo es una red mundial de despliegues de misiles interceptores, también en las cuatro áreas. El Pentágono se propone poder atacar primero e impunemente.

El arsenal no nuclear utilizado para neutralizar y destruir las defensas aéreas y estratégicas, potencialmente todas las fuerzas militares importantes de otras naciones, consistirá en misiles balísticos intercontinentales, misiles balísticos adaptados a lanzamiento desde submarinos, misiles crucero y bombarderos hipersónicos, y bombarderos estratégicos “super-stealth” capaces de evitar la detección por radar y así evitar las defensas basadas en tierra y aire.

Cualesquiera misiles de alcance corto, intermedio y largo que queden en el país atacado serán en teoría destruidos después de ser lanzados por misiles interceptores cinéticos, capaces de destruir por impacto. Si los misiles neutralizados portaran ojivas nucleares, la precipitación radioactiva ocurriría sobre el país que los lanza, sobre un área marítima cercana u otra nación elegida por EE.UU.

Un comentario ruso de hace tres años describió la interacción entre el primer ataque y los sistemas de misiles interceptores como sigue:

“Se puede invertir en el desarrollo de un misil antibalístico (ABM) verdaderamente efectivo y de armas de primer ataque, por ejemplo, en sistemas convencionales de alta precisión. El objetivo final es crear la capacidad para un primer ataque desarmante (nuclear, no nuclear o mixto) del potencial nuclear estratégico del enemigo. El ABM destruirá todo lo que sobreviva el primer golpe.” [2]

El tan retrasado Informe del Estudio de la Postura Nuclear de este mes reafirma los planes del Pentágono de “mantener un disuasivo nuclear creíble y de reforzar las estructuras de seguridad regionales con defensas de misiles…” [3]

También confirma que la incorporación de “sistemas no nucleares a los objetivos de disuasión regional y de seguridad de EE.UU. será preservada evitando limitaciones en la defensa de misiles y preservando opciones para el uso de bombarderos pesados y de sistemas de misiles de largo alcance en tareas convencionales.”

En una conferencia de prensa del 6 de abril sobre el Estudio de la Postura Nuclear con el secretario de defensa Robert Gates, el jefe del Estado Mayor Conjunto, almirante Michael Mullen, la secretaria de Estado Hillary Clinton y el secretario de energía Steven Chu, Gates dijo que “mantendremos la tríada nuclear de ICBM [Misiles balísticos intercontinentales], aviones con capacidad nuclear y submarinos con misiles balísticos” y “seguiremos desarrollando y mejorando capacidades no nucleares, incluyendo defensas de misiles regionales.” Mullen habló de “defender los intereses vitales de EE.UU. y los de nuestros socios y aliados con una mezcla más equilibrada de medios nucleares y no nucleares que la que tenemos a nuestra disposición actualmente.” [4]

El Informe del Estudio de Defensa con Misiles Balísticos del 1 de febrero, señaló que “EE.UU. mantendrá un enfoque adaptable por fases de la defensa con misiles” y “desarrollará capacidades móviles y relocables.”

Además, “el gobierno está comprometido con la implementación de un nuevo Enfoque Europeo Adaptable por Fases dentro de un contexto de la OTAN. En Asia Oriental, EE.UU. trabaja para mejorar las defensas con misiles mediante una serie de relaciones bilaterales. EE.UU. también mantendrá una cooperación reforzada con una serie de socios en Oriente Próximo.” [5]

El Informe del Estudio Cuadrienal de Defensa de febrero habla de planes similares.

El Estudio “presenta dos objetivos claros. Primero, reequilibrar aún más las capacidades de las Fuerzas Armadas de EE.UU. para imponerse en las guerras actuales, mientras crea las capacidades requeridas para encarar futuras amenazas.”

Señala que “EE.UU. sigue siendo la única nación capaz de proyectar y sostener operaciones a gran escala en distancias extensas” con “con una fuerza militar de 400.000 miembros… estacionados en posiciones avanzadas o desplegados por todo el mundo,” y que está “capacitada por capacidades cibernéticas y espaciales y reforzada por capacidades estadounidenses para rechazar los objetivos de sus adversarios mediante la defensa balística de misiles…”

Uno de sus objetivos clave es “expandir las futuras capacidades de ataque de largo alcance” y promover el “rápido crecimiento de las capacidades de defensa con misiles balísticos basados en mar y tierra.” [6]

EE.UU. también intensifica los programas de guerra espacial y cibernética con el potencial de paralizar los sistemas de vigilancia y comando militar, control, comunicaciones, informáticos y de inteligencia de otras naciones, llevándolas a la indefensión en todos los ámbitos, fuera del táctico más básico.

El programa según el cual Washington desarrolla su capacidad de armas convencionales para suplementar su anterior estrategia nuclear es llamado Ataque Global Inmediato (PGS por sus siglas en inglés), al que se refiere alternativamente como Ataque Global Inmediato Convencional (CPGS).

Global Security Newswire escribió recientemente sobre la propuesta de START II que “miembros de la elite política de Rusia están preocupados por lo que el acuerdo dice o no dice sobre los sistemas de defensa de misiles balísticos de EE.UU. y de “ataque inmediato global…” [7]

De hecho, el sucesor de START I no dice nada sobre políticas estadounidense de misiles interceptores o de primer ataque convencional, y al hacerlo dice todo al respecto. Es decir, el nuevo tratado no las limita o afecta de ninguna manera.

Después de la ceremonia de firma en Praga el 8 de abril el Departamento de Estado de EE.UU. emitió una hoja de datos sobre el Ataque Global Inmediato que señalaba:

“Punto clave: el Nuevo Tratado START no contiene ninguna restricción sobre el potencial actual o planificado de ataque global inmediato convencional de EE.UU.”

A modo de información sobre los antecedentes y para suministrar un marco para la actual estrategia militar de EE.UU. agregó:

“El crecimiento de capacidades militares convencionales sin rival de EE.UU. ha contribuido a nuestra posibilidad de reducir el papel de armas nucleares en la disuasión de ataques no nucleares… El Departamento de Defensa (DoD) explora actualmente toda la gama de tecnologías y sistemas para una capacidad de Ataque Global Inmediato Convencional (CPGS) que podría ofrecer al presidente opciones más verosímiles y técnicamente adecuadas para encarar amenazas nuevas y en desarrollo.” [8]

Al describir las partes constituyentes de PGS, el comunicado de prensa del Departamento de Estado también reveló:

“Los esfuerzos actuales también examinan tres conceptos: Vehículo de Tecnología Hipersónica, Misil de Ataque Convencional, y Arma Hipersónica Avanzada. Esos proyectos son administrados por la Agencia de Proyectos de Investigación Avanzada (DARPA), el Centro Espacial y de Misiles de la Fuerza Aérea de EE.UU., y el Comando Espacial y de Defensa de Misiles del Ejército respectivamente… El límite [de START II] acomodaría todos los planes que EE.UU. podría desarrollar durante la vida de ese Tratado para desplegar ojivas convencionales en misiles balísticos.”

En lenguaje tan inequívoco como el conocido del Departamento de Estado, la declaración agrega:

“El nuevo START protege la capacidad de EE.UU. de desarrollar y desplegar una capacidad de CPGS. El Tratado no prohíbe de ninguna a manera la construcción o el despliegue por EE.UU. de misiles balísticos con armas convencionales.”

El Departamento de Defensa “estudia el CPGS dentro del contexto de su portafolio de todas las capacidades de ataque no nuclear de largo alcance incluyendo sistemas basados en tierra y en el mar, así como bombarderos porta-misiles y/o de penetración…” [9]

Los misiles no nucleares a los que se refiere han sido diseñados para atacar cualquier sitio en la tierra dentro de sesenta minutos, pero como alardeó recientemente el principal propugnador de PGS, el vicejefe del Estado Mayor Conjunto, general de marines James Cartwright: “Al extremo,” se podrían realizar ataques en “300 milisegundos.” [10]

Hablando del tercio de la fuerza aérea en la triada GPS –misiles crucero con armamento nuclear lanzados desde bombarderos B-52, aviones sin tripulación X-51 que pueden volar a 8.000 kilómetros por hora, el “avión espacial” Blackswift– Cartwright también ha dicho que los bombarderos actuales con armamento convencional son “demasiado lentos y demasiado intrusivos” para numerosas “misiones de ataque global.” [11]

El 21 de enero el vicesecretario de defensa William Lynn llamó a que se colocara al Pentágono “en una base permanente para librar conflictos de baja intensidad a fin de mantener la dominación aérea y tener la capacidad de atacar cualquier objetivo sobre la Tierra en todo momento… La próxima prioridad en la guerra aérea para el Pentágono es el desarrollo de una próxima generación de capacidad de ataque de penetración profunda que pueda triunfar sobre defensas aéreas avanzadas…” [12]

En un análisis en Global Security Network intitulado “Coste de ensayar un misil estadounidense de ataque global podría llegar a 500 millones de dólares,” Elaine Grossman escribió:

“El gobierno de Obama ha solicitado 239.900 millones de dólares para investigación y desarrollo de ataque global inmediato por parte de los servicios militares en el año fiscal 2011… Si los niveles de financiamiento se mantienen como han sido anticipados en los próximos años, el Pentágono habrá gastado unos 2.000 millones de dólares en ataque global inmediato para fines del año fiscal 2015, según documentos presupuestarios presentados el mes pasado al Congreso.” [13]

El componente basado en tierra de PGS, misiles balísticos intercontinentales Minuteman con una carga convencional, “serán lanzados inicialmente hacia el espacio como un misil balístico, enviarán un ‘vehículo de ensayo hipersónico’ para que planee y maniobre hacia una destinación programada, la que podría ser actualizada o modificada por control remoto durante el vuelo.” [14]

El mes pasado Defense News publicó un artículo con el título “EE.UU. apunta a armas de precisión para las guerras del Siglo XXI,” que incluía este pasaje:

“Para contrarrestar… defensas aéreas, el Pentágono quiere construir una multitud de armas de precisión que pueden alcanzar cualquier objetivo desde miles de kilómetros. Conocidas como una familia de sistemas, esas armas podrían incluir todo lo que la Fuerza Aérea escoja como su próximo bombardero, un nuevo conjunto de misiles crucero e incluso, algún día, armas hipersónicas, desarrolladas bajo el programa de Ataque Global Inmediato del Pentágono, lo que otorgaría la velocidad y el alcance de un misil balístico intercontinental a una ojiva convencional.” [15]

Un reciente informe del Washington Post sobre PGS citó la advertencia del ministro de exteriores ruso Sergei Lavrov de que “será difícil que los Estados del mundo acepten una situación en la cual desaparezcan las armas nucleares, pero que emerjan armas que no son menos desestabilizadoras en manos de ciertos miembros de la comunidad internacional.” [16]

La misma fuente agregó: “el gobierno de Obama… ve los misiles como un eslabón en una gama de armas defensivas y ofensivas que podrían terminar por reemplazar las armas nucleares,” y citó a Cartwright, del Pentágono, que afirmó: “La disuasión ya no puede basarse sólo en armas nucleares. Tiene que ser más amplia.” [17]

El día siguiente, el Independent británico publicó un artículo cuyas siguientes citas deberían desengañar a cualquiera que albergara esperanzas de que el mundo post-nuclear de Washington sea algo más seguro:

Refiriéndose a misiles balísticos intercontinentales PGS con (por lo menos en teoría) ojivas convencionales, el periódico advirtió que:

“Una vez que hayan sido lanzados, podría ser difícil distinguir sus cargas convencionales de las nucleares. Esto, a su vez, podría gatillar accidentalmente una represalia nuclear por parte de Rusia u otra potencia con armas similares.

“Otro peligro es que si el tema ya no son las armas nucleares, haya una tentación mayor para que los comandantes militares estadounidenses tomen más a la ligera la orden de realizar ataques. Y a menos que se pueda confiar enteramente en informaciones de inteligencia, las probabilidades de que sean atacados objetivos equivocados son elevadas.” [18]

Responsables estadounidenses han discutido la perspectiva de lanzar semejantes misiles a una altura inferior que la utilizada por ICBM nucleares, pero se necesitaría un grado casi ilimitado de confianza –o de credulidad– por parte de responsables militares rusos o chinos para que confíen en la garantía de que los ICBM dirigidos hacia o cerca de su territorio no portaran realmente armas nucleares, sea cual sea la distancia de la superficie de la Tierra a la que volaran.

En 2007, un año después que el Pentágono anunciara por primera vez sus planes de Ataque Global inmediato, un analista ruso escribió que “a los estadounidenses no les preocupa especialmente su arsenal nuclear” y que “han estado calculando exhaustivamente las verdaderas amenazas a su seguridad a fin de estar listos para ir a la guerra, si fuera necesario en serio, y agrega que “El Siglo XX vio dos guerras mundiales y una tercera surge amenazadoramente.”

“A pesar de la amenaza obvia para la civilización, EE.UU. podría adquirir pronto armas orbitales bajo el plan para Ataque Global Inmediato. Éstas le darán la capacidad para realizar un ataque convencional virtualmente en cualquier sitio del mundo dentro de una hora.” [19]

Elaine Grossman escribió el año pasado:

“Una vez que sea construido, se espera que el Misil de Ataque Convencional combine cohetes impulsores con un ‘vehículo de entrega de carga’ de vuelo rápido capaz de llevar un proyectil de energía cinética contra un objetivo. Al llegar a su punto final, el proyectil se dividiría en docenas de fragmentos letales potencialmente capaces contra seres humanos, vehículos y estructuras, según funcionarios de la defensa…” [20]

Un escenario horripilante comparable de los efectos de un ataque de PGS, éste de la versión basada en el mar, apareció hace tres años en Popular Mechanics:

“En el Pacífico, emerge un submarino nuclear de la clase Ohio, listo para la orden de lanzamiento del presidente. Cuando llega la orden, el submarino dispara hacia el cielo un misil Trident II de 65 toneladas. Dentro de 2 minutos, el misil vuela a más de 22.000 kilómetros por hora. Por sobre los océanos y fuera de la atmósfera acelera durante miles de kilómetros.

“En la cúspide de su parábola, en el espacio, las cuatro ojivas del Trident se separan y comienzan su descenso hacia el planeta.

“Volando a 21.000 km/h, las ojivas van repletas de barras de tungsteno con el doble de la resistencia del acero.

“Sobre el objetivo, las ojivas detonan, haciendo llover sobre el área miles de barras – cada una con 12 veces la fuerza destructora de un bala de calibre .50. Todo lo que se encuentra dentro de 279 metros cuadrados de esa vertiginosa tormenta metálica es aniquilado.” [21]

El 7 de abril de este año, el jefe del Estado Mayor Conjunto de las fuerzas armadas rusas, general Leonid Ivashov escribió una columna llamada “La sorpresa nuclear de Obama.”

Con referencia al discurso del presidente de EE.UU. en Praga hace un año –“La existencia de miles de armas nucleares es el legado más peligroso de la Guerra Fría”– y su firma del acuerdo START II en la misma ciudad el 8 de abril, el autor dijo:

“No se puede descubrir en la historia de EE.UU. durante el siglo pasado un solo ejemplo de servicio sacrificatorio de las elites estadounidenses para la humanidad o para los pueblos de otros países. ¿Sería realista esperar que la llegada de un presidente afro-estadounidense a la Casa Blanca cambie la filosofía política del país, orientada tradicionalmente a lograr la dominación global? Los que creen que algo semejante sea posible deberían tratar de comprender por qué EE.UU. –el país con un presupuesto militar mayor que los de todos los demás países del mundo en su conjunto– sigue gastando enormes sumas de dinero en preparativos para la guerra.” [22]

En una referencia específica al PGS, detalló que “El concepto de Ataque Global Inmediato prevé un ataque concentrado utilizando varios miles de armas convencionales de precisión en 2 a 4 horas que destruiría las infraestructuras críticas del país objetivo y así lo obligaría a capitular.”

“El concepto del Ataque Global Inmediato tiene el propósito de asegurar el monopolio de EE.UU. en el campo militar y ampliar la brecha entre ese país y el resto del mundo. En combinación con el despliegue de defensa de misiles que supuestamente debería mantener a EE.UU. inmune contra ataques de represalias de Rusia y China, la iniciativa de Ataque Global Inmediato va a convertir a Washington en un dictador global de la era moderna.

“Esencialmente, la nueva doctrina nuclear de EE.UU. es un elemento de la nueva estrategia de seguridad de EE.UU. que sería descrita de modo más adecuado como la estrategia de impunidad total. EE.UU. aumenta su presupuesto militar, da rienda suelta a la OTAN como gendarme global, y planifica ejercicios en una situación real en Irán para probar la eficiencia en la práctica de la iniciativa de Ataque Global Inmediato. Al mismo tiempo, Washington habla de un mundo totalmente libre de armas nucleares.” [23]


1) Obama Doctrine: Eternal War For Imperfect Mankind
Stop NATO, December 10, 2009
2) Alexander Khramchikhin, The MAD situation is no longer there
Russian Information Agency Novosti, May 29, 2007
3) Nuclear Posture Review Report
United States Department of Defense
April 2010
4) United States Department of Defense
American Forces Press Service
April 6, 2010
5) United States Department of Defense, February 1, 2010
6) United States Department of Defense, February 2010
Quadrennial Defense Review Report, February 2010
7) Global Security Newswire, April 2, 2010
8) U.S. Department of State, April 9, 2010
9) Ibíd
10) Defense News, June 4, 2009
11) Ibíd
12) Defense News, January 22, 2010
U.S. Extends Missile Buildup From Poland And Taiwan To Persian Gulf
Stop NATO, February 3, 2010
13) Global Security Network, March 15, 2010
14) Ibíd
15) Defense News, March 22, 2010
16) Washington Post, April 8, 2010
17) Ibíd
18) The Independent, April 9, 2010
19) Andrei Kislyakov, Defense budget: nuclear or conventional?
Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 20, 2007
20) Global Security Newswire, July 1, 2009
21) Noah Shachtman, Hypersonic Cruise Missile: America’s New Global Strike
Popular Mechanics, January 2007
22) Strategic Culture Foundation, April 7, 2010
23) Ibíd

Categories: Uncategorized

Kazakhstan: U.S., NATO Seek Military Outpost Between Russia And China

April 15, 2010 3 comments

April 14, 2010

Kazakhstan: U.S., NATO Seek Military Outpost Between Russia And China
Rick Rozoff

On April 11, the day before the two-day Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, DC, U.S. President Barack Obama met with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev and their deliberations resulted in the U.S. obtaining the right to fly troops and military equipment over (and later directly into) the territory of Kazakhstan for the escalating war in Afghanistan.

Michael McFaul, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and senior director of Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the United States National Security Council, “told reporters in a conference call that the agreement will allow troops to fly directly from the United States over the North Pole to the region.”

McFaul directly stated, “This will save money; it will save time in terms of moving our troops and supplies needed into the theater.” The Washington Post cited other White House officials claiming “Sunday’s meeting between Obama and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev was the turning point,” [1] an allusion to the advance it signified over the last agreement on military transport for the Afghan war signed between the two countries in January, which permitted the transport of only non-lethal American military supplies and equipment across the country by rail.

The government of Kazakhstan has also allowed limited flights containing non-lethal military cargo over its territory, but that entailed a lengthy and circuitous route from the eastern United States to Europe and over the Caspian Sea to Kazakhstan, ultimately headed to the Manas Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan, which is currently in jeopardy after the overthrow of the government in that nation on April 7.

However, now “Kazakhstan has agreed to let the United States fly troops and weapons over its territory, a deal that opens a direct and faster route over the North Pole for American forces and lethal equipment headed to Afghanistan.” [2]

The new arrangement will also substitute for a previous one under which U.S. military cargo planes flew combat troops and materiel to the Ramstein Air Base in Germany, from there to air bases in Kuwait and other destinations in the Persian Gulf, circumventing Iran which forbids American military overflights, and then either directly into the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or to Pakistan. The second option often entails using treacherous land routes subject to regular attacks by militants on the Pakistani side of the border.

The Pentagon has also been working on a sea and land route beginning at the Georgian Black Sea port of Poti and from there to fellow Caucasus nation Azerbaijan and that country’s Caspian Sea neighbors Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, conspicuously circumventing Russia, as do the oil and natural gas pipelines the West has promoted to transport hydrocarbons in the opposite direction, from Kazakhstan to the Black Sea.

“The new route over the North Pole to Bagram Air Base, the military’s main air hub in Afghanistan, will allow troops to fly direct from the United States in a little more than 12 hours.” [3]

The Air Force Times detailed that “Flying over Russia and Kazakhstan means Air Force cargo jets could fly from Alaska to Afghanistan without refueling, U.S. Transportation Command officials have said. Chartered passenger jets could leave from Chicago and fly over the North Pole to deliver troops.” [4]

Colonel Jon Chicky, a faculty member at the National Defense University, said of the new transport route, “Just look at a map, it’s a lot easier to go over the polar ice cap than all the way across the Atlantic and Europe.” [5]

U.S. military planes would necessarily have to fly over Russia from the North Pole to reach Kazakhstan, but there is no information that Russia has approved such overflights.

Sunday’s deal is the latest in a steady and expanding series of moves by the Pentagon and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to establish a permanent military outpost in Kazakhstan, the most critically important spot on the earth for the West to monitor its two main potential challengers and to hold joint Russian-Chinese initiatives like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization [6] in check (if not to tear the heart out of them). Kazakhstan is a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as well as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) along with Russia and five other former Soviet states. In terms of land mass it is the second largest member of the CSTO and the third most populous behind Russia and Uzbekistan.

The geopolitical significance of the country in general has not escaped the U.S. since the day the Soviet Union was fragmented into its fifteen federal republics in 1991 and has been an even greater cynosure of Washington’s attention since Barack Obama was elected president on November 4, 2008.

And with good reason. Kazakhstan borders Kyrgyzstan, the most vital transit country for the war in Afghanistan, where according to U.S. Central Command 50,000 U.S. troops passed through on their way to and from Afghanistan last month alone. [7]

It also borders Uzbekistan, which evicted U.S. military forces in 2005, and fellow Caspian Sea nation Turkmenistan, a country in transition since the death of President Saparmurat Niyazov in 2006 and until now the only state from the Balkans to Central Asia not pulled into the Pentagon’s and NATO’s greater Afghan war network.

Kazakhstan has a 950-mile (1,533-kilometer) border with China and a 4,030-mile (6,846-kilometer) one with Russia, the longest continuous border between any two nations in the world. It is the second largest nation in terms of territory to emerge from the Soviet Union next to Russia and the ninth biggest in the world.

As stated during a visit to the country by then NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in June of 2009, it is “a nation almost the size of the whole of western Europe and bordering Russia and China [and] is also part of all the economic and military alliances of its two powerful neighbours, including the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO).” [8]

Kazakhstan has projected oil reserves of 100-110 billion barrels, which if realized will be the third largest in the world. Its projected natural gas reserves are as high as 5 trillion cubic meters.

It possesses the world’s largest reserves of uranium, barite, lead and tungsten, and last year became the world’s leading uranium producer. In addition, the Central Asian nation has the second largest reserves of chromite, silver, and zinc, the third largest of manganese, and substantial if not yet reliably established deposits of copper, gold and iron ore. [9]

The country has the largest economy in Central Asia and more energy reserves than the other four nations in the region combined.

It is also home to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the world’s first and largest space launch facility, from which the first manned space flight was launched in 1961. It is currently managed by the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Russian Space Forces under a lease with the Kazakh government. Should Kazakhstan shift further into the U.S. and NATO orbit that arrangement will be subject to change.

In appreciation of its geostrategic location and role, Kazakhstan was brought into NATO’s counterintuitively-named Partnership for Peace (PfP) program in 1994 and the bloc’s 50-nation (28 full member and 22 PfP states) Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.

Steppe Eagle 2010 exercise as part of the Individual Partnership Action Plan between Kazakhstan and NATO

In 2003 the U.S. Defense Department signed a five-year Military Cooperation Plan with the country, the only nation in the region the Pentagon has such a program with, which included “such important directions of cooperation as the development of the peacekeeping potential of the Kazakh Armed Forces, improvement of the Kazakhstan system of military education and mutual participation in trainings.” Kazakh troops were deployed to Iraq in the same year.

Over 300 Kazakh officers have been sent for training to U.S. military institutions, including the West Point Military Academy and the National Defense University, as part of the agreement

As the Kazakh news source from which the above information originated reported in January of 2009, “Realization of the first Plan successfully ended in 2008. In February 2008 a 2008-2012 Cooperation Plan was signed. Kazakh-American cooperation in defense and security has achieved significant results within implementation of the first plan.” [10]

Before that, “Kazakhstan signed two agreements supporting U.S. and NATO military operations in Afghanistan, within the framework of the Enduring Freedom plan, on December 15, 2001, and on June 10, 2002,” [11] which were formally ratified by the nation’s senate in late 2008.

In December of 2008 the Jamestown Foundation, a U.S. think tank concentrating on the former Soviet Union, featured an analysis of “the renewed focus by American President-elect Barack Obama on Central Asia, particularly Kazakhstan,” which is worth quoting from at some length.

The nation even then, sixteen months ago, was being prepared for a larger, even preeminent, role in expanding U.S. war plans for South Asia in light of “Obama’s pledge to raise the American contingent in Afghanistan to 20,000 [as] the U.S. forces will not be able to rely entirely on Manas airfield in Kyrgyzstan.”

More importantly, “by expanding their military presence in Central Asia, the United States and NATO forces are determined to squeeze Russia and China out of the oil-rich and strategically important region.

“This strategy also corresponds to the U.S.-backed plan of creating a Greater Central Asia extending from Afghanistan, through the Central Asian states, to the Middle East.”

Steppe Eagle 2010

Specifically, by ratifying the previously-mentioned military agreements, “allowing U.S. and NATO coalition forces to use Almaty airport as an emergency airfield for fighter planes flying on missions to Afghanistan,” the Kazakh Senate provided the U.S. “an opportunity to watch and gather intelligence on Chinese nuclear facilities….” [12]

“It appears that for Kazakhstan, NATO, and the United States, the backup airfield will be a symbol of military cooperation between the West and Central Asia….” [13]

The month after that feature appeared, Indian political analyst M. K. Bhadrakumar wrote a column which featured these observations:

“The US is working on the idea of ferrying cargo for Afghanistan via the Black Sea to the port of Poti in Georgia and then dispatching it through the territories of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. A branch line could also go from Georgia via Azerbaijan to the Turkmen-Afghan border.

“The project, if it materializes, will be a geopolitical coup – the biggest ever that Washington would have swung in post-Soviet Central Asia and the Caucasus. At one stroke, the US will be tying up military cooperation at the bilateral level with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

“Furthermore, the US will be effectively drawing these countries closer into NATO’s partnership programs.”

“Besides, The US will have virtually dealt a blow to the Russia-led Collective Security Treat Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).”

“[T]he proposed land route covering Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan can also be easily converted into an energy corridor and become a Caspian oil and gas corridor bypassing Russia.

“Such a corridor has been a long-cherished dream for Washington. Furthermore, European countries will feel the imperative to agree to the US demand that the transit countries for the energy corridor are granted NATO protection in one form or the other. That, in turn, leads to NATO’s expansion into the Caucasus and Central Asia.

“The time may not be far off before they begin to sense that the ‘war on terror is providing a convenient rubric under which the US is incrementally securing for itself a permanent abode in the highlands of the Hindu Kush and the Pamirs, Central Asian steppes and the Caucasus that form the strategic hub overlooking Russia, China, India and Iran.” [14]

Bhadrakumar’s contentions had been verified before the fact as it were in June of 2008 when then U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Bryza delivered an address in Washington, DC called “Invigorating the U.S.-Turkey Strategic Partnership,” which contained the following comments:

“Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev welcomed international investors to help develop the Caspian Basin’s mammoth oil and gas reserves. Then-Turkish President Suleyman Demirel worked with these leaders, and with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, to develop a revitalized concept of the Great Silk Road in the version of an East-West Corridor of oil and natural gas pipelines.”

“The East-West Corridor we had been building from Turkey and the Black Sea through Georgia and Azerbaijan and across the Caspian became the strategic air corridor, and the lifeline, into Afghanistan allowing the United States and our coalition partners to conduct Operation Enduring Freedom.”[15]

If the former Indian diplomat asserted that the military corridor from the Black Sea to Afghanistan could be transformed into a strategic energy route running in the opposite direction, the State Department’s Bryza had already revealed that under the guise of solely oil and natural gas projects the U.S. and its NATO allies had long in advance of the so-called global war on terror created the infrastructure required to move troops and equipment from Europe to Central and South Asia.

In November of 2008 U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman was in the capital of Azerbaijan, on the eastern shores of the Caspian Sea, and said eleven days after the election of Barack Obama that “the incoming Obama administration will maintain an interest in Caspian Sea energy resources.

“It is my firm belief that this effort and this region of the world will also be a priority for the next administration.” [16]

To give an indication of how far-reaching U.S. plans are for a trans-Eurasian (Caspian-to-Black-to-Baltic Seas) energy strategy to drive Russia out of the European market, Bodman’s comments were delivered at an energy summit attended by the presidents and other leading officials of host nation Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Turkey and Ukraine.

At the same time “the state energy firms of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan agreed [on November 14] to begin shipping Kazakh oil across the Caspian Sea from 2013.

“The deal follows up on a 2006 deal for Kazakhstan to partake in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline project, a pipeline that bypasses Russia to transfer oil from Azerbaijan, through Georgia, to Turkey.” [17]

The month before Washington’s Special Envoy for European Affairs and Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy C. Boyden Gray, speaking of the Nabucco natural gas project, spoke in a vein similar to Bodman’s in stating “a deal may soon be sealed allowing natural gas from ex-Soviet nations to reach western Europe bypassing Russian territory.” [18]

The following January, after the change in U.S. presidential administrations, U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan Richard Hoagland stated that “President Barack Obama’s administration will adhere to policies to develop alternative energy routes from Central Asia,” and “I am quite confident that Obama’s administration will adhere to several alternative-routes policies for hydrocarbons transportation.”[19]

Shortly afterward the same American envoy promoted the long-nurtured U.S. ambition to construct an oil pipeline under the Caspian Sea to transport Kazakh oil to Azerbaijan and connect with the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline into Europe, a project fiercely opposed by fellow Caspian nations Iran and Russia for both environmental and economic reasons.

In February of last year Hoagland said: “The U.S. government backs the so-called Kazakh Caspian transport system which calls for supplying crude oil from Eskene in Kurik [in Kazakhstan, the beginning of an Eskene-Kurik-Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan route] via a pipeline and onwards to Baku via tankers….We think the Trans-Caspian pipeline is technically and economically more advantageous than providing supplies via tankers. It is also politically well-grounded.” [20]

It was announced in April of 2009 that Barack Obama would be the first American president to visit Kazakhstan, relations with which he described as “strategic.” The plan didn’t materialize, but may now after the further warming of relations between the two nations. [21]

On June 24-25 of last year NATO held its third-ever Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council Security Forum in the Kazakh capital of Astana, the first conducted outside Europe and on former Soviet space. It focused on “discussions of Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Caucasus and energy security.” [22]

Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer presided over the event and said, “My presence here today means that cooperation between NATO and Kazakhstan is deepening.” [23] Kazakhstan is the only Central Asian nation with a NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan.

“Today, Kazakhstan is NATO’s most active Partner in the Central Asian region. We have also achieved solid progress in defence and military co-operation, particularly in enhancing the ability of our military forces to work together,” Scheffer added. [24]

The Kazinform news agency conducted an interview with Scheffer after the forum, a gathering in which “NATO [was] seeking to deepen cooperation with its partner countries in Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan,” and the Alliance’s chief’s comments included:

“I do believe that both Kazakhstan and NATO influence each other. Kazakhstan’s position as an energy supplier and the political role of your president play an important role in different areas and international organizations active in this region.

“I’ve just come back from the Palace of the President. We did not only discuss the Central Asian region but the Middle East region as well.” [25]

In August U.S. Ambassador Hoagland met with Kazakh Defense Minister Adilbek Dzhaksybekov, and the Kazakh Defense Ministry later issued a statement that said in part: “Speaking about interaction in defense and security, it is necessary to stress the importance of the five-year cooperation plan. Operations are successfully conducted in peacekeeping, training, technical assistance and development of military education.

“During the meeting Kazakh Defense Minister Dzhaksybekov paid special attention to the increased number of actions of the plan of military contacts directed to developing Kazbrig, the study of the advanced experience and organization of the U.S army, as well as the exchange of experience.

“Opportunity for training of teachers of our military institutions in the U.S. Military Academy at West Point is new and a very promising trend. During the training they can familiarize [themselves] with advanced methods of teaching and various training programs.” [26]

KAZBRIG is “an airborne assault battalion…for deployment in NATO-led peace support operations” provided by Kazakhstan. [27]

In the same month General David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, visited Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to enlist support for the war in Afghanistan, at the time particularly for the transit of non-lethal military freight. There was speculation that Petraeus was also soliciting troop contributions.

Four months before, NATO’s Special Representative for the South Caucasus and Central Asia and Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Security Cooperation and Partnership Robert Simmons, the individual most responsible for extending NATO bases and troop presence from the Balkans to the Chinese border, [28] was quoted saying “NATO is awaiting a decision from Kazakhstan on dispatching a peacekeeping contingent to Afghanistan.” [29]

He made that statement while addressing Kazakh journalists at NATO headquarters in Brussels. “Simmons said Kazakh peacekeepers could be sent to Afghanistan and appropriate documents had been developed by NATO and passed to Kazakhstan.” [30]

In September Simmons was in Kazakhstan where he “discussed the further development of Kazakhstan-NATO cooperation at a meeting in the Kazakh Senate.” [31]

In September U.S. Ambassador Richard Hoagland reiterated the request. While giving a speech at the opening ceremony of the Steppe Eagle-2009 military training exercise which included “1,300 servicemen from Kazakhstan, the UK, and the U.S.” and “100 units of combat and special equipment and military transport aircraft” to “check the coordination of Kazbrig units and NATO forces in peacekeeping operations,” he “offered to Kazakhstan to take part in the peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan.” [32]

In the same month NATO held its first military exercise in Central Asia, Zhetysu 2009, in Kazakhstan. A six-day disaster response exercise, it included 500 Kazakh and an equal amount of NATO and non-Kazakh Partnership for Peace forces.

In early October French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited the capital of Kazakhstan, which took over the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) this year, and signed a bilateral military agreement which allows “France to use Kazakh territory and airspace to supply its 3,070 troops deployed in Afghanistan.”

“Paris’s unique relationship with Astana might help secure a policy objective long pursued by Washington and London. This relates to convincing Astana to operationally deploy peacekeepers from its peacekeeping brigade (KAZBRIG) to support the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

“U.S. and U.K. military cooperation with Kazakhstan since 2003 has focused, among other key goals, on developing the country’s peace support operations (PSO) capabilities, in line with its NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) goals….” [33]

As part of what was described as a strategic partnership, “The military transit deal had been under discussion for two years and covers both air transit and train transit of French military personnel and equipment via Kazakhstan, according to a French Foreign Ministry spokesman. He said train traffic could then go through neighboring Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan where France already has a military presence.” [34]

To again illustrate that the NATO corridor from the Black Sea to Central Asia runs in both directions:

“Kazakhstan also awarded a consortium of French companies a deal to take part in building a crucial $2 billion oil pipeline linking the vast Kashagan field to the Caspian. Energy supplies through the route will be transported across the inland sea by tanker to Azerbaijan and pumped by pipeline westward to Europe, circumventing Russia….Other commercial accords included an agreement to create a joint venture between the two countries’ state-owned nuclear power companies to produce and market fuel for nuclear power plants.” [35]

Only days earlier it was reported that the governments of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan had announced further plans for oil transit arrangements between the two countries: “Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s largest oil producer, already ships some of its output by tankers across the Caspian to Baku, where it is fed into the Baku-Ceyhan and Baku-Supsa pipelines….Kazakhstan plans to double oil output to 150 million tonnes a year within the next decade, largely by starting production at Kashagan, the world’s biggest oil find in the last 30 years.” [36]

Earlier in the year the Kazakh Defense Ministry “asked Israel to help it modernize its military and produce weapons that comply with NATO standards.” [37] In July Israeli President Shimon Peres became first high-ranking official of his nation to visit Kazakhstan as well as Azerbaijan. He led a delegation that included Defense Ministry Director-General Pinhas Buchris and “some 60 representatives of military-industrial companies.” [38]

At the time the Jerusalem Post reported that “Kazakhstan’s commitment to purchase satellite and surveillance technology from Israel reflects the growing role of Israeli defense industries in the country.” [39]

The preceding year it was reported that “Jerusalem [has been] supporting the massive Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, or BTC, pipeline that opened its taps across the south Caucasus in 2006.

“The Jewish state also embraced ambitious plans to one day build underwater pipelines beneath the Caspian that would tap into the oil reserves of Kazakhstan and natural-gas fields of Turkmenistan – purportedly the world’s second largest – and deliver them westward along those same BTC pipelines.” The newspaper account added, “the U.S.-led NATO military alliance considers it a top priority, with many of its members frantic about ‘energy security.’” [40]

In mid-October NATO military observers inspected an airfield at the Almaty International Airport in the former Kazakh capital to familiarize themselves with ground assault and airborne units and military aircraft. [41] It is the base that will receive direct military flights from the U.S. in the future.

At the beginning of this year NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in acknowledging the transit agreement with Kazakhstan for the war in Afghanistan that will involve 150,000 U.S. and NATO troops by August said:

“I am…pleased to announce the finalisation of an agreement with Kazakhstan that will allow the transit of supplies for NATO and Partner forces. I thank the Kazakh Government for coming to this agreement with us. This allows supplies for our forces to start moving from Europe to Afghanistan, beginning in the coming days, complementing the very important transit route through Pakistan. [42]

Slightly over two months later the Pentagon would obtain the right to fly troops and military equipment over Kazakhstan via the Arctic Circle.

If developments proceed in the manner they are headed, the Afghan war will secure for the Pentagon and NATO a bulwark in the heart of Eurasia and a permanent military presence in a country bordering almost 5,000 miles of Russian and Chinese territory, far broader in scope than comparable plans for Mongolia. [43]

1) Washington Post, April 12, 2010
2) New York Times, April 12, 2010
3) Ibid
4) Air Force Times, April 12, 2010
5) Eurasia Insight, April 12, 2010
6) The Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Prospects For A Multipolar World
Stop NATO, May 21, 2009
7) Associated Press, April 8, 2010
8) EUobserver, June 26, 2009
9) About Kazakhstan
10) Kazinform, January 14, 2009
11) Ibid
12) Eurasia Daily Monitor
The Jamestown Foundation
December 5, 2008
13) Ibid
14) The Day After, January 2, 2009
15) U.S. Department of State, June 24, 2008
16) Press TV, November 15, 2008
17) Ibid
18), October 13, 2008
19) Trend News Agency, January 28, 2009
20) Trend News Agency, February 21, 2009
21) Russian Information Agency Novosti, April 7, 2009
22) Trend News Agency, May 29, 2009
23) Trend News Agency, June 25, 2009
24) North Atlantic Treaty Organization, June 24, 2009
25) Kazinform, July 5, 2009
26) Trend News Agency, August 7, 2009
27) North Atlantic Treaty Organization, February 24, 2009
28) Mr. Simmons’ Mission: NATO Bases From Balkans To Chinese Border
Stop NATO, March 4, 2009
29) EurasiaNet, April 24, 2009
30) Interfax, May 15, 2009
31) Trend News Agency, September 11, 2009
32) Interfax, September 14, 2009
33) Eurasia Daily Monitor, October 13, 2009
34) Trend News Agency, October 7, 2009
35) Ibid
36) Reuters/Azeri Press Agency, September 26, 2009
37) Agence France-Presse, January 22, 2009
38) Ynetnews, June 28, 2009
39) Jerusalem Post, July 1, 2009
40) Jewish Telegraph Agency, December 18, 2008
41) Trend News Agency, October 13, 2009
42) North Atlantic Treaty Organization, January 27, 2010
43) Mongolia: Pentagon Trojan Horse Wedged Between China And Russia
Stop NATO, March 31, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Reserves Use Of Nuclear Arms, Missile Shield To Defend Global Empire

April 13, 2010 2 comments

April 13, 2010

U.S. Reserves Use Of Nuclear Arms, Missile Shield To Defend Global Empire
Rick Rozoff

This month has seen the signing of an agreement on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty II by U.S. and Russian heads of state Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev in Prague on the 8th and the release of the new U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, both of which are being widely interpreted as heralding the downgrading of the role of nuclear weapons in American foreign policy.

In fact the new treaty on the reduction of the nuclear arsenals of the two nations that account for 90-95 percent of the world’s supply of such weapons, with a commensurate cutback in the delivery systems for them, is a quantitative advance in the direction of eliminating the deadliest and most destructive weapons ever devised by man, but still leaves 3,100 deployed nuclear weapons in both nations’ quivers and thousands more in storage.

Similarly, the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), in stating for the first time that the U.S. will not employ nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states – with two notable (and critically important) exceptions, which will be examined below – also has been construed by some observers as another milestone on the road to a world free from the threat of nuclear war and in the worst case thermonuclear annihilation.

With the two-day, 47-nation Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C. following so closely on the START II agreement and the release of the Nuclear Posture Review, the world press is abuzz with almost millenarian optimism regarding the prospects for a planet free of nuclear weapons. American establishment news agencies and political commentators – half government ventriloquist dummies and half mock devil’s advocates – are rightly celebrating the START II and the Nuclear Security Summit as victories for their nation. The first allows the U.S. to forge ahead with programs like international interceptor missile deployments and Prompt Global Strike [1]; the latter positions Washington as sole arbiter and main enforcer in regards to nuclear proliferation worldwide.

The only naysayers are American superhawks for whom anything other than uncontested U.S. strategic military superiority with the fervent willingness to use it is an unwarranted concession if not a treasonous capitulation.

The above are often congress persons from districts which are home to large arms manufacturers’ headquarters and production facilities and others on the payroll of the military-industrial lobby.

When leading officials of the current administration issue bellicose foreign policy statements the press often attributes those pronouncements to pressure from or fear of the opposition Republican Party, especially in a congressional election year like 2010. However, the Democratic administration of President Barack Obama has retained George W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, and has installed Bush-era U.S. European Command and North Atlantic Treaty Organization top military commander James Jones as its national security adviser. It is also not a Republican administration that requested and has secured an unprecedented $708 billion dollar military budget for next year.

Regarding international military strategy, except for which weapon systems are favored over others there is continuity in the White House that verges on indistinguishability.

To illustrate how little has changed since the heated days following the attacks in New York City and Washington, DC on September 11, 2001, on April 11 – the day before the two-day Nuclear Security Summit in Washington – President Obama boldly asserted “We know that organizations like al-Qaida are in the process of trying to secure nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction, and would have no compunction at using them.”

Aside from the curious choice of preposition to accompany “would have no compunction,” the U.S. head of state evidently has no compunction about claiming to know the intentions of al-Qaida or about making such an assertion without revealing how he knows it to be true. Perhaps it is sufficient simply to assume any enemy of the “world’s sole military superpower” is actuated by the most nefarious of designs and has the ability to carry them out.

In the 1700s the French philosopher Montesquieu wrote of the predatory masters of the jungle that he who terrorizes also trembles. Establishing unchallenged dominance based on force means that the sound of every twig being broken and the rustling of every leaf trigger a heightened state of vigilance and the instinct to strike. There is always a threat and always a prey.

Obama added “The central focus of this nuclear summit is the fact that the single biggest threat to U.S. security – both short term, medium term and long term – would be the possibility of a terrorist organization obtaining a nuclear weapon.” In his meetings on April 11 with the heads of state of India, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and South Africa, Obama was flanked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, National Security Adviser James Jones and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, hardly a peace-loving coterie. (The only substantive agreement to come out of the meetings had nothing to do with nuclear proliferation. Instead the U.S. gained the right to fly troops and military equipment for the war in Afghanistan over Kazakhstan, which borders both China and Russia, after first passing over the North Pole.)

On the same day the country’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates were featured on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CBS’s “Face the Nation” and ABC’s “This Week” and “gave interviews meant to reassert the nation’s military strength.” [2] In the last-named program (taped on April 9), Clinton’s comments included:

“We’ll be, you know, stronger than anybody in the world as we always have been with more nuclear weapons than are needed many times over. And so we do not see this [the new Nuclear Posture Review] as in any way a diminishment of what we are able to do.”

“I think if you actually read the nuclear posture review, you would make three conclusions. First – we intend to maintain a robust nuclear deterrent. Let no one be mistaken. The United States will defend ourselves, and defend our partners and allies. We intend to sustain that nuclear deterrent by modernizing the existing stockpile. In fact, we have $5 billion in this year’s budget going into that very purpose.” [3]

Gates touted both facets of the new U.S. international military strategy, the ability to deliver rapid, long-range first strikes with conventional weapons and to then hide behind a globally expanding missile shield should retaliation ensue:

“We have more robust deterrents today, because we’ve added to the nuclear deterrent missile defense. And – and with the phased adaptive approach that the president has approved, we will have significantly greater capability to deter the Iranians, because we will have a significantly greater missile defense.

“We’re also developing this conventional prompt global strike, which really hadn’t gone anywhere in the – in the Bush administration, but has been embraced by the new administration. That allows us to use long range missiles with conventional warheads. So we have – we have more tools if you will in the deterrents kit bag than – than we used to.” [4]

In her “Face the Nation” appearance Clinton said “we leave ourselves a lot of room for contingencies” and Gates stated that if other countries don’t, in Washington’s estimate, adhere to the stipulations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) then “all bets are off.” Both addressed Iran and North Korea, the remaining two-thirds of George W. Bush’s “axis of evil,” as the main targets of their attention.

So much for the new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) reversing the U.S. doctrine of “reserving the right” (see below) to wage nuclear attacks, even so-called preemptive nuclear attacks, against non-nuclear nations. The other key point is Clinton’s use of the phrase “our partners and allies,” which is an expression that is repeated like a red thread throughout the Nuclear Posture Review and the new Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).

The NPR includes the contention that “In pursuit of their nuclear ambitions, North Korea and Iran have violated non-proliferation obligations” – and as such are not excluded from nuclear strikes – and “as long as nuclear weapons exist, the United States will sustain safe, secure, and effective nuclear forces. These nuclear forces will continue to play an essential role in deterring potential adversaries and reassuring allies and partners around the world.” [5]

The U.S. “will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states” only if the latter “are party to the NPT and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations.”

“The United States is…not prepared at the present time to adopt a universal policy that deterring nuclear attack is the sole purpose of nuclear weapons,” and “reserves the right to make any adjustment in the assurance that may be warranted by the evolution and proliferation of the biological weapons threat and U.S. capacities to counter that threat.”

Just as the U.S. will decide itself which countries are and are not in compliance with the NPT (whatever the International Atomic Energy Agency says on the matter) and which that are not will be subjected to sanctions and even direct military attacks, so it “reserves the right” to use nuclear weapons, including in advance of an attack, against any state that is accused of developing biological weapons or harboring non-state actors that are doing so. Precisely the language of President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after September 11, 2001.

With the unspoken assumptions added in parentheses, the NPR statement on biological weapons reads: The United States reserves the (exclusive, arbitrary, unilateral) right to make any adjustment in the (non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states) assurance that may be warranted by the evolution and proliferation of the (real or hypothetical or contrived) biological weapons threat and U.S. capacities to counter that threat (as was done with Iraq in 2003).

To demonstrate that Iran and North Korea are not the only countries that the NPR is developing contingency plans against, it also mentions that “Russia remains America’s only peer in the area of nuclear weapons capabilities,” and “the United States and China’s Asian neighbors remain concerned about China’s current military modernization efforts, including its qualitative and quantitative modernization of its nuclear arsenal.”

Though its main emphasis remains the one that served as the pretext for the war against Iraq seven years ago: “In coming years, we must give top priority to discouraging additional countries from acquiring nuclear weapons capabilities and stopping terrorist groups from acquiring nuclear bombs or the materials to build them.” The occupant of the Oval Office and the name of his worldwide military campaign – transformed from the global war on terror to overseas contingency operations – may have changed, but nothing else has except the public inclusion of a nuclear component to the strategy. The next Niger “yellow cake” fabrication may lead to a far more catastrophic conflagration.

Hillary Clinton reinforced the point on April 11: “We fear North Korea and Iran, because their behavior as – the first case, North Korea being – already having nuclear weapons, and Iran seeking them – is that they are unpredictable. They have an attitude toward countries like Israel, like their other neighbors in the Gulf that makes them a danger.” [6]

Gates added on “Face the Nation”: “Because North Korea and Iran are not in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty….All options are on the table.” [7]

On April 12 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that an attack on Iran would be “the worst possible scenario,” and “if conflict of that kind happens, and a strike is performed, then you can expect anything, including use of nuclear weapons. And nuclear strikes in the Middle East, this means a global catastrophe. Many deaths.” [8]

On the same day the chief of the Russian General Staff Nikolai Makarov said that air strikes against Iran by the U.S. and Israel would be “unacceptable,” and that “This is a last resort that exists in the plans of both the United States and Israel.” [9]

To insure the ability to deliver just such strikes, “The NPR concluded that the current alert posture of U.S. strategic forces with heavy bombers off full-time alert, nearly all ICBMs on alert, and a significant number of SSBNs at sea at any given time should be maintained for the present.”

Speaking of the U.S. global missile shield project in early February, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy said “We believe this approach will provide reassurance to our allies that the United States will stand by our security commitments to them and will help to negate the coercive potential of regional actors attempting to limit U.S. influence and actions in key regions.” [10]

No nation on earth will be permitted to respond to American political and military intrusions in its neighborhood or off its coast. And potential first strike-related interceptor missile deployments will be installed under the guise of protecting the U.S.’s “allies and partners.”

The allies and partners in question are first of all the other 27 members of NATO, which are covered under the bloc’s Article 5 mutual military assistance provision and, for the most part secondarily, other military client states throughout the world. The partners that Clinton emphasized the Nuclear Posture Review included as covered by the U.S. nuclear umbrella and conceivably even to launch nuclear attacks on behalf of.

Possible scenarios for the implementation of this policy include, with the U.S. intervening on behalf of the first belligerent, conflicts or confrontations between:

-Israel and Iran, Lebanon and Syria or any combination of the three.

-The Persian Gulf monarchies – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – and Iran.

-South Korea and North Korea.

-Japan and North Korea.

-Colombia and Venezuela and Ecuador.

-Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

-Canada and Russia in the Arctic Circle.

-Taiwan and China.

-Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno Karabakh. Armenia hosts a small contingent of Russian peacekeepers and is a member of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization. In a major conflict between the two South Caucasus countries Turkey, a NATO member, would be pressured to intervene on behalf of Azerbaijan.

-Moldova and Transdniester. The second also has Russian troops on its territory and NATO member Romania would almost certainly enter the fray on Moldova’s side should a major armed conflict erupt.

-A resumption of fighting between Djibouti, where the U.S. bases its Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and approximately 2,000 troops, and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa, with pressure on American client Ethiopia to intervene as it did in Somalia in 2006.

-A less likely but by no means impossible armed altercation between Australia, which last year approved its largest military buildup since World War II, [11] and one of its neighbors, in the most dangerous instance Indonesia.

Canada is a founding member of NATO and Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Georgia, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Moldova, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates are NATO partner states under the Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative and Contact Country programs and several of them – Azerbaijan, Georgia, Israel and Moldova – have individual NATO partnerships.

With the exception of ice-bound Antarctica, the “allies and partners” rationale would permit Washington to threaten the use of or to in fact employ nuclear weapons on every continent.

If the realization of what an elastic interpretation of the Nuclear Posture Review, “with a lot of room for contingencies” and when “all bets are off,” portends is not yet present in the U.S. itself, it is becoming so elsewhere. On April 11 Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei criticized President Obama for threatening his nation with a nuclear attack, stating “An example of this is the recent statement by the US president, who implicitly threatened the Iranian nation with the use of nuclear arms.” [12]

On the same day it was reported that the Iranian embassy in Denmark issued a similar condemnation of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, stating:

“The former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s Wednesday article” – “The case for western missile defence” in The Guardian – “which raised some issues about Iran, was full of misinterpretations, ill-intent, and false accusations about Tehran’s peaceful nuclear and missile activities.”

“He, like others who seek any opportunity to spread their warmongering views, has once again resorted to preconceptions, lies and deception.” [13] The Iranian Foreign Ministry has announced plans to raise the issue in the United Nations Security Council.

Rasmussen is the main ringleader of the U.S.’s major “allies and partners.”

The NPR states “Although the risk of nuclear attack against NATO members is at an historic low, the presence of U.S. nuclear weapons – combined with NATO’s unique nuclear sharing arrangements under which non-nuclear members participate in nuclear planning and possess specially configured aircraft capable of delivering nuclear weapons contribute to Alliance cohesion and provide reassurance to allies and partners who feel exposed to regional threats.”

It also maintains that “Any changes in NATO’s nuclear posture should only be taken after a thorough review within and decision by the Alliance.

“In Asia and the Middle East where there are no multilateral alliance structures analogous to NATO the United States has maintained extended deterrence through bilateral alliances and security relationships and through its forward military presence and security guarantees.”

Part of February’s Ballistic Missile Defense Review policy is to “Deploy new sensors in Europe to improve cueing for missiles launched at the United States by Iran or other potential adversaries in the Middle East,” as well as to “Invest in further development of the Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) for future land-based deployment as the ICBM threat matures.” [14]

It is not indicated when if ever Iran is expected to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking the U.S., a patent absurdity. Whether, for example, it would occur before or after al-Qaida acquires nuclear weapons according to Washington’s claims is not specified.

The NPR states that “As President Obama has made clear, today’s most immediate and extreme danger is nuclear terrorism.”

It also contains a pledge to “maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear arsenal to deter attack on the United States, and on our allies and partners.”

“Agile and flexible U.S. military forces with superior capabilities across a broad spectrum of potential operations are a vital component of this broad tool set.”

The Ballistic Missile Defense Review also advances plans to “Pursue a number of new GMD [Ground-Based Midcourse Defense, supposedly abandoned last September 17] system enhancements, develop next generation missile defense capabilities, and advance other hedging strategies including continued development and assessment of a two-stage ground-based interceptor,” and to develop “new capabilities such as a land-based SM-3 system (tentatively called ‘Aegis Ashore’)” and “increasingly capable PATRIOT batteries for point defense, the AN/TPY-2 X-band radar for detecting and tracking ballistic missiles, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries for area defense, space-based sensors, and sea-based capabilities such as the SM-3 Block IA interceptor.”

The putative purpose for doing so is because the “ballistic missile threat is increasing both quantitatively and qualitatively, and is likely to continue to do so over the next decade.” Twenty years after the end of the Cold War.

The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review outlines additional plans to:

Assure access to space and the use of space assets

Expand future long-range strike capabilities

Defeat enemy sensors and engagement systems

Centralize command of cyber operations

The army is to maintain “7 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries” and the Navy “10–11 aircraft carriers and 10 carrier air wings 84 – 88 large surface combatants, including 21–32 ballistic missile defense-capable combatants and Aegis Ashore.” [15]

The Nuclear Posture Review parallels the above plans with the demand for “U.S.-based nuclear weapons that could be deployed forward quickly to meet regional contingencies,” and to “Retain the capability to forward-deploy U.S. nuclear weapons on tactical fighter-bombers and heavy bombers” in part “to assure U.S. allies and other security partners that they can count on America’s security commitments.”

Whereas other nations’ military doctrines mention defending their own homelands, “as a global power, the strength and influence of the United States are deeply intertwined with the fate of the broader international system — a system of alliances, partnerships, and multinational institutions that our country has helped build and sustain for more than sixty years.”

The Quadrennial Defense Review also states: “Our deterrent remains grounded in land, air, and naval forces capable of fighting limited and large-scale conflicts in environments where anti-access weaponry and tactics are used, as well as forces prepared to respond to the full range of challenges posed by state and non-state groups.”

For six decades Washington has built military alliances around the globe and at an accelerating pace since the end of the Cold War. “Allies and partners” are military outposts that will be defended – preemptively and with nuclear weapons if deemed necessary – and will be used as springboards for attacks on other nations.

1) Prompt Global Strike: World Military Superiority Without Nuclear Weapons
Stop NATO, April 10, 2010
2) Washington Post, April 12, 2010
3) ABC News, April 11, 2010
4) Ibid
5) Nuclear Posture Review Report
U.S. Department of Defense, April 2010
6) ABC News, April 11, 2010
7) American Forces Press Service, April 12, 2010
8) Russian Information Agency Novosti, April 12, 2010
9) Russian Information Agency Novosti, April 12, 2010
10) American Forces Press Service, February 1, 2010
11) Australian Military Buildup And The Rise Of Asian NATO
Stop NATO, May 6, 2009
12) Press TV, April 11, 2010
13) Press TV, April 11, 2010
14) Ballistic Missile Defense Review Report
U.S. Department of Defense, February 1, 2010
15) Quadrennial Defense Review Report
U.S. Department of Defense, February 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Kirguizistán y la batalla por Asia Central

April 13, 2010

Kirguizistán y la batalla por Asia Central
Rick Rozoff
Traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Sinfo Fernández

El Presidente kirguiz Kurmanbek Bakiyev fue depuesto cinco años después y de la misma manera en la que llegó al poder: mediante un levantamiento sangriento.

Elegido presidente dos meses después de la denominada Revolución de los Tulipanes de 2005, que ayudó a fraguar, fue desde entonces el jefe de estado de la principal nación de tránsito en la guerra de EEUU y la OTAN en Afganistán.

El Pentágono aseguró la Base Aérea de Manas (conocida a partir del año pasado como el Centro de Tránsito de Manas) en Kirguizistán poco después de haber invadido Afganistán en octubre de 2001, y en todo ese período, según una publicación de las fuerzas armadas estadounidenses del pasado junio: “Más de 170.000 integrantes de la coalición han pasado por la base en su camino de ida o vuelta de Afganistán; Manas era también el punto de tránsito para 5.000 toneladas de carga, incluidas piezas de repuesto y equipamiento, uniformes y diversos artículos destinados a apoyar al personal y las necesidades de la misión.

“En la actualidad, alrededor de mil soldados estadounidenses, junto con algunos cientos de España y Francia, están asignados en la base”. [1]

El Representante Especial de la Casa Blanca para Afganistán y Pakistán, Richard Holbrooke, visitó Kirguizistán en febrero en su primer viaje en el puesto –y también las otras tres ex repúblicas soviéticas de Asia Central que la bordean: Kazajstán, Tayikistán y Uzbekistán- y declaró que: “35.000 soldados pasaban en tránsito por allí cada mes en su camino de ida y vuelta a/de Afganistán” [2]. Al ritmo que mencionó, unos 420.000 soldados al año.

EEUU y la OTAN establecieron también bases militares en Tayikistán y Uzbekistán para la guerra en el Sur de Asia, pero a menor escala. (A las fuerzas del ejército estadounidense se les ordenó salir del segundo país cuando el gobierno uzbeco afirmó que se había producido un levantamiento armado, tipo Revolución de los Tulipanes, en su provincia de Anidjan, menos de dos meses después del precedente kirguiz. Alemania mantiene una base cerca de la ciudad uzbeca de Termez utilizada para tránsito de tropas y equipamiento militar hacia la provincia afgana de Kunduz, donde se concentra el grueso de sus 4.300 soldados).

En febrero de 2009, el gobierno kirguiz anunció que iba a desalojar también de su país a las fuerzas de EEUU y de la OTAN, pero acabó cediendo en junio cuando Washington ofreció 60 millones de dólares para que revocara su decisión.

Kirguizistán es fronteriza con China.

No sólo bordea China, Kazajstán, Tayikistán y Uzbekistán, sino que está separada de Rusia por una única nación, Kazajstán. Para poder valorar las preocupaciones rusas y chinas por los cientos de miles de soldados estadounidenses y de la OTAN pasando a través de Kirguizistán, imaginen que una cantidad parecida de soldados chinos y rusos pasaran regularmente a través de Méjico y Guatemala, respectivamente. Durante casi nueve años y a un ritmo acelerado.

El papel que para Occidente juega Kirguizistán supone para Rusia y China no sólo un “poder militar duro” sino también una amenaza de “poder suave”.

La nación forma parte de la post-soviética Organización del Tratado de Seguridad Colectiva (CSTO, por sus siglas en inglés) junto con Rusia, Armenia, Bielorrusia, Kazajstán, Tayikistán y Uzbekistán –visto por muchos como la único homóloga de la OTAN en el antiguo espacio soviético- y de la Organización para la Cooperación de Shanghai (SCO, por sus siglas en inglés) junto a China, Rusia y las tres naciones centro-asiáticas anteriormente mencionadas.

Según oficiales estadounidenses, durante y después de la Revolución de los Tulipanes de 2005, no se canceló, ni siquiera se retrasó, un solo vuelo de EEUU o de la OTAN. Pero sí se cancelaron unos ejercicios de las seis naciones de la CSTO que iban a tener lugar unos días después.

El levantamiento y el derrocamiento del presidente Askar Akayev en marzo de 2005, fue la tercera autodenominada “revolución de color” en la antigua Unión Soviética en dieciséis meses, tras la Revolución de las Rosas en Georgia, a finales de 2003, y la Revolución Naranja en Ucrania, a finales de 2004 y principios de 2005.

Cuando la versión kirguiz estaba en marcha, los medios de comunicación occidentales se estaban haciendo ya la pregunta, “¿Quién es el siguiente?”. Entre los candidatos figuraban otros estados ex soviéticos como Armenia, Azerbaiyán, Bielorrusia, Kazajstán, Moldavia y Uzbekistán. Y Rusia. Junto con Georgia, Ucrania y Kirguizistán, esas naciones suponían diez de los doce miembros de la Comunidad de Estados Independientes (CIS, por sus siglas en inglés) ex soviéticos.

Como la Agence France Presse detallaba a primeros de abril de 2005: “La CIS se fundó en diciembre de 1991, el mismo día en que desapareció la Unión Soviética… Pero en el año y medio último, tres fieles aliados del Kremlin fueron derrocados por… revoluciones: Eduard Shevardnadze en Georgia, Leonid Kuchma en Ucrania y, la pasada semana, Askar Akayev en Kirguizistán… Aunque los nuevos dirigentes interinos de Kirguizistán hayan hecho votos por continuar con las políticas de amistad de su depuesto predecesor hacia Moscú, el veloz derrocamiento del gobierno ha generado que se empezara a especular con que la CIS se vendría pronto abajo”. [3]

Mijail Saakashvili, de Georgia, el dirigente del prototipo de las “revoluciones de color”, se regodeó con el “cambio de régimen” kirguiz, atribuyendo las “valientes” acciones de la oposición en Ucrania y Kirguizistán al “factor Georgia”, y añadió: “No vamos a esperar el desarrollo de los acontecimientos, sino que vamos a hacer cuanto podamos para destruir el imperio en la CIS”. [4]

Poco después del levantamiento, el ex diplomático y analista político indio M. K. Bhadrakumar escribió del entonces al parecer inexorable momentum de las revueltas de “color” en la ex Unión Soviética:

“Todos y cada uno de esos tres países [Georgia, Ucrania, Kirguizistán] están estratégicamente situados en el espacio post-soviético. Conforman el ‘extranjero cercano’ de Rusia.

“Washington ha estado en los últimos años ampliando su influencia en el arco de las antiguas repúblicas soviéticas –en el Báltico… el Cáucaso y Asia Central- con una tenacidad que preocupa en Moscú.

“Desde 2003, cuando el Sr. Akayev decidió permitir que Rusia estableciera una base militar de pleno derecho en Kant, sabía que estaba en la ‘lista de observación’ estadounidense. La temperatura política en Kirguizistán empezó a subir.

“Los estadounidenses dejaron bien claro en muchos sentidos que deseaban un cambio de régimen en Bishkek… La ‘revolución’ en el estado centroasiático de Kirguizistán ha revelado diversas sorpresas. Un buen punto de partida será compararla con las dos “revoluciones de color” anteriores acaecidas en Georgia y Ucrania.

“En primer lugar, deben señalarse debidamente las sorprendentes similitudes entre las tres ‘revoluciones’. Se quiere hacer creer que las tres vienen a significar la imparable propagación del fuego de la libertad encendido por Estados Unidos en Afganistán e Iraq tras el 11-S.

“Pero detrás de toda esa retórica, la verdad es que EEUU quería cambios de régimen en Georgia, Ucrania y Kirguizistán debido a sus dificultades con el liderazgo existente. Los dirigentes de los tres países –Eduard Shevardnadze en Georgia, Leonid Kuchma en Ucrania y Askar Akayev en Kirguizistán- contaron con el apoyo de EEUU durante la mayor parte de su gobierno.

“Washington les había venido citando repetidamente como faros de esperanza para la democracia y globalización en los territorios de la ex Unión Soviética.

“Sus problemas empezaron cuando empezaron gradualmente a inclinarse hacia una renaciente Rusia bajo Vladimir Putin”. [5]

Siete semanas después de que apareciera la columna de Bhadrakumar, su análisis iba a ser confirmado nada menos que por una autoridad en la materia como era el Presidente estadounidense George W. Bush.

Al visitar la capital de Georgia año y medio después de su “Revolución de las Rosas”, fue acogido por su homólogo Mijail Saakashvili, ex becario del Departamento de Estado y residente en EEUU, quién se había hecho con el poder en lo que sólo puede describirse como un golpe de estado, quien, sin embargo, dijo:

“Georgia se convertirá en el principal socio de Estados Unidos en la expansión de la democracia y la libertad en el espacio post-soviético. Ese es nuestro objetivo. Siempre estaremos con Vds. para proteger la libertad y la democracia”.

Bush reflejó la inflada estimación sobre sí mismo de Saakashvili: “Vd. está haciendo muchas contribuciones importantes a la causa de la libertad, pero la aportación más importante es su ejemplo. Cambios espectaculares se suceden en lugares desde Bagdad y Beirut hasta Bishkek [Kirguizistán]. Pero antes de que hubiera una Revolución Púrpura en Iraq o una Revolución Naranja en Ucrania o una Revolución de los Cedros en Líbano, hubo una Revolución de las Rosas en Georgia”. [6]

Pocos días después del golpe kirguiz, Bush dio la bienvenida al presidente “naranja” de Ucrania Viktor Yushchenko –quien, en enero pasado, sólo recogió el 5,45% de los votos para su reelección- y aplaudió su ascenso al poder, con ayuda estadounidense, diciendo que “podría considerarse que aunque fuera sólo una parte de la historia de Ucrania, la Revolución Naranja representaba también a las revoluciones por todas partes… Compartimos el objetivo de extender la libertad a otras naciones”. [7]

Más allá de la amenaza de disolución de la CIS y de la CSTO, en abril de 2005, Der Spiegel publicó un informe titulado: “Las revoluciones aceleran la desintegración de Rusia”. Revelaba en parte quienes eran las personas influyentes principales tras los acontecimientos en Kirguizistán. Según Der Spiegel (4 abril 2005):

“Ya en febrero”, Roza Otunbayeva –ahora el presunta jefa del gobierno provisional- “prometió lealtad a un pequeño grupo de socios y patrocinadores de la revolución kirguiz, a ‘nuestros amigos estadounidenses’ en Freedom House (que donaron una imprenta a la oposición en Bishek)…

“En un intento de ayudar al proceso democrático, los estadounidenses vertieron unos 12 millones de dólares en Kirguizistán a través de becas y donaciones, y eso sólo durante el pasado año. El Departamento de Estado de Washington financió incluso el equipamiento de una cadena de televisión de la provincia sureña rebelde de Osh”. [8] [9].

Este proceso de transformación geoestratégica, desde los Balcanes a la antigua Unión Soviética y Oriente Medio estuvo también apoyado por la Freedom House, el National Endowment for Democracy, el National Democratic Institute, el International Republican Institute y otras organizaciones no gubernamentales.

Una semana después de que los “tulipanes” se hicieran con el poder, el director del proyecto de Freedom House, Mike Stone, resumió el papel de su organización con dos palabras: “Misión cumplida”. [10]

Un periódico británico que le entrevistó añadió: “La implicación estadounidense en el pequeño y montañoso país es mayor, proporcionalmente, que lo fue en la revolución de las ‘rosas’ en Georgia o en el levantamiento ‘naranja’ de Ucrania”. [11]

También se proveyó de ayuda a través de “jóvenes activistas” financiados y formados por Occidente, siguiendo el modelo quienes se organizaron en Yugoslavia en el año 2000 para derrocar al gobierno de Slobodan Milosevic:

Comparen los nombres:

Yugoslavia: Otpor! (Resistencia)

Ucrania: Pora! (¡Ya es hora!)

Georgia: Kmara! (¡Basta!)

Kirguizistán: Kelkel! (¡Levántate y anda!)

Detrás de todos ellos, el depuesto presidente kirguiz Askar Akayev identificó a los verdaderos arquitectos de su expulsión. El 2 de abril afirmó: “Hubo organizaciones internacionales que apoyaron y financiaron la Revolución de los Tulipanes en Kirguizistán.

“Una semana antes de esos acontecimientos vi una carta en Internet firmada por el embajador estadounidense en Kirguizistán. Contenía un plan detallado para la revolución”. [12]

La Revolución kirguiz de los Tulipanes (antes llamada del Limón, Rosa y del Narciso) fue tan inconstitucional y tan perjudicial para la nación como fueron sus predecesoras georgiana y ucraniana, pero mucho más violenta. Hubo muertos y heridos en las ciudades sureñas de Osh y Jalalabad y en la capital de Bishkek.

Fue también la primera revuelta de “color” en una nación fronteriza con China. No sólo Rusia y China manifestaron serias preocupaciones por los desarrollos en Kirguizistán, también Irán, al ver cómo se desarrollaba la trayectoria del “cambio de régimen”.

Durante las cuatro décadas de la Guerra Fría, los cambios políticos mediante elecciones o de otro modo en cualquier nación del mundo –no importa cuán pequeña, empobrecida, aislada e insignificante pueda parecer- adquirieron una importancia que excedía con mucho a sus efectos internos. Los analistas políticos y los responsables políticos mundiales se hacían siempre una cuestión clave: ¿Con quién iba a alinearse el nuevo gobierno, con EEUU o con la Unión Soviética?

En el período posterior a la Guerra Fría, la pregunta ya no es de filosofía política u orientación socio-económica, sino ésta: ¿Cómo apoyará, o se opondrá, la nueva administración a los planes estadounidenses para su dominio regional y global?

Con Roza Otunabayeva como portavoz jefe, cuando no al frente de un nuevo “gobierno popular” kirguiz, hay razones para creer que Washington no se va a sentir muy disgustado por el derrocamiento de su antiguo socio “tulipán” Bakiyev. Ella ha confirmado ya que no se va a cerrar la base estadounidense de Manas.

Menos de dos meses después del golpe de 2005, Otunbayeva, que entonces era ministra de asuntos exteriores, celebró una reunión con su homóloga estadounidense Condoleeza Rice en Washington, durante la cual la última aseguró que “la administración estadounidense continuará ayudando al gobierno kirguiz a fomentar procesos democráticos en el país”. [13]

Poco después de la “transformación democrática” de marzo, su santo patrón, Mijail Saakashvili de Georgia, se jactó de que “Roza Otunbayeva trabajó en Tbilisi en años recientes y fue la directora de la oficina de Naciones Unidas en Abjazia. Durante la Revolución de las Rosas, ella estaba en Georgia y sabía todo lo que estaba sucediendo… el factor georgiano fue un catalizador de muchas de las cosas que estaban allí sucediendo [en Kirguizistán]”. [14]

Desde la perspectiva estadounidense, ella parece tener fiables y buenas referencias.

Rusia ha puesto su base aérea en Kirguizistán en alerta máxima, aunque los comentarios de los principales dirigentes del gobierno ruso –especialmente del Primer Ministro Vladimir Putin- indican una aceptación del levantamiento que ha causado ya 65 muertos y cientos de heridos.

Pero Rusia intentó poner su mejor cara también en la revuelta de hace cinco años.

La dirección que adopte el próximo gobierno kirguiz repercutirá más allá del pequeño tamaño y población de esa nación (apenas por encima de los cinco millones de habitantes):

Podría afectar a los planes de EEUU y la OTAN para la mayor ofensiva militar de la guerra afgana, cuyo comienzo está fijado dentro de dos meses en la provincia de Kandahar.

Podría determinar el futuro de la Organización del Tratado de Seguridad Colectiva y de la Organización de Cooperación de Shanghai, las dos principales barreras a la potencial penetración militar de Occidente en vastas extensiones de Eurasia.

Las apuestas no podrían estar más altas.


1) Stars and Stripes, 16 de junio de 2009 2) Agence France-Presse, 4 de marzo de 2010 3) Agence France-Presse, 3 de abril de 2005 4) The Messenger, 31 de marzo de 2005 5) The Hindu, 28 de marzo de 2005 6) Civil Georgia, 10 de mayo de 2005 7) Associated Press, 4 de abril de 2005 8) Der Spiegel, 4 de abril de 2005 9) Russian Information Agency Novosti, 16 de junio de 2005 10) The Telegraph, 2 de abril de 2005 11) Ibid 12) Associated Press, 2 de abril de 2005 13) Interfax, 15 de junio de 2005 14) Civil Georgia, 30 de marzo de 2005

Categories: Uncategorized

Prompt Global Strike: World Military Superiority Without Nuclear Weapons

April 10, 2010 3 comments

April 10, 2010 

Prompt Global Strike: World Military Superiority Without Nuclear Weapons
Rick Rozoff 

A war can be won without being waged. Victory can be attained when an adversary knows it is vulnerable to an instantaneous and undetectable, overwhelming and devastating attack without the ability to defend itself or retaliate. 

What applies to an individual country does also to all potential adversaries and indeed to every other nation in the world. 

There is only one country that has the military and scientific capacity and has openly proclaimed its intention to achieve that ability. That nation is what its current head of state defined last December as the world’s sole military superpower. [1] One which aspires to remain the only state in history to wield full spectrum military dominance on land, in the air, on the seas and in space. 

To maintain and extend military bases and troops, aircraft carrier battle groups, jet fighters and strategic bombers on and to most every latitude and longitude. To do so with a post-World War II record war budget of $708 billion for next year. 

Having gained that status in large part through being the first country to develop and the only to use nuclear weapons, it is now in a position to strengthen its global supremacy by superseding the nuclear option. 

The U.S. led three major wars in less than four years against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq from 1999-2003 and in all three cases deployed from tens to hundreds of thousands of “boots on the ground” after air strikes and missile attacks. The Pentagon established military bases in all three war zones and, although depleted uranium contamination and cluster bombs are still spread across all three lands, American troops have not had to contend with an irradiated landscape. Launching a nuclear attack when a conventional one serves the same purpose would be superfluous and too costly in a variety of ways. 

On April 8 American and Russian presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev signed a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) agreement in the Czech capital of Prague to reduce their respective nation’s nuclear arsenals and delivery systems (subject to ratification by the U.S. Senate and the Russian Duma). Earlier in the same week the U.S. released its new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) which for the first time appeared to abandon the first use of nuclear arms. 

The dark nuclear cloud that has hung over humanity’s head for the past 65 years appears to be dissipating. 

However, the U.S. retains 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 2,200 (by some counts 3,500) more in storage and a triad of land, air and submarine delivery vehicles. 

More ominously, though, Washington is forging ahead with a replacement for the nuclear sword and shield – for blackmail and for deterrence – with a non-nuclear model that could upset the previous “balance of terror” arrangement that has been a criminal nightmare for six decades, but for sixty years without a massive missile war. 

The new sword, or spear, entails plans for conventional first strike weapon systems employing the same triad of land, air and sea components – with space added – and the shield is a worldwide network of interceptor missile deployments, also in all four areas. The Pentagon intends to be able to strike first and with impunity. 

The non-nuclear arsenal used for disabling and destroying the air defenses and strategic, potentially all major, military forces of other nations will consist of intercontinental ballistic missiles, adapted submarine-launched ballistic missiles, hypersonic cruise missiles and bombers, and super stealthy strategic bombers able to avoid detection by radar and thus evade ground- and air-based defenses. 

Any short-range, medium-range and intermediate-range missiles remaining in the targeted country will in theory be destroyed after launching by kinetic, “hit-to-kill” interceptor missiles. Should the missiles so neutralized contain nuclear warheads, the fallout will occur over the country that launches them or over an adjoining body of water or other nation of the U.S.’s choosing. 

A Russian commentary of three years ago described the interaction between first strike and interceptor missile systems as follows: 

“One can invest in the development of a really effective ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] system and first-strike weapons, for example, in conventional high-accuracy systems. The final goal is to create a capability for a disarming first strike (nuclear, non-nuclear or mixed) at the enemy’s strategic nuclear potential. ABM will finish off whatever survives the first blow.” [2] 

The long-delayed Nuclear Posture Review Report of earlier this month asserts the Pentagon’s plans for “maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent and reinforcing regional security architectures with missile defenses….” [3] 

It also confirms that the addition of “non-nuclear systems to U.S. regional deterrence and reassurance goals will be preserved by avoiding limitations on missile defenses and preserving options for using heavy bombers and long-range missile systems in conventional roles.” 

At an April 6 press conference on the Nuclear Posture Review with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Navy Admiral Michael Mullen, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Gates said “we will maintain the nuclear triad of ICBMs [Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles], nuclear-capable aircraft and ballistic-missile submarines” and “we will continue to develop and improve non-nuclear capabilities, including regional missile defenses.” Mullen spoke of “defend[ing] the vital interests of the United States and those of our partners and allies with a more balanced mix of nuclear and non-nuclear means than we have at our disposal today.” [4] 

The Pentagon’s Ballistic Missile Defense Review Report of February 1 stated “The United States will pursue a phased adaptive approach to missile defense” and “develop capabilities that are mobile and relocatable.” 

Furthermore, “the Administration is committed to implementing the new European Phased Adaptive Approach within a NATO context. In East Asia, the United States is working to improve missile defenses through a series of bilateral relationships. The United States is also pursuing strengthened cooperation with a number of partners in the Middle East.” [5] 

The Quadrennial Defense Review Report of February spoke of similar plans. 

The Review “advances two clear objectives. First, to further rebalance the capabilities of America’s Armed Forces to prevail in today’s wars, while building the capabilities needed to deal with future threats.” 

It states “The United States remains the only nation able to project and sustain large-scale operations over extended distances” with “400,000 U.S. military personnel…forward-stationed or rotationally deployed around the world,” and which is “enabled by cyber and space capabilities and enhanced by U.S. capabilities to deny adversaries’ objectives through ballistic missile defense….” 

One of its key goals is to “Expand future long-range strike capabilities” and promote the “rapid growth in sea- and land-based ballistic missile defense capabilities.” [6] 

The U.S. is also intensifying space and cyber warfare programs with the potential to completely shut down other nations’ military surveillance and command, control, communications, computer and intelligence systems, rendering them defenseless on any but the most basic tactical level. 

The program under which Washington is developing its conventional weapons capacity to supplement its previous nuclear strategy is called Prompt Global Strike (PGS), alternately referred to as Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS). 

Global Security Newswire recently wrote of the proposed START II that “Members of Russia’s political elite are worried about what the agreement says or does not say about U.S. ballistic missile defense and ‘prompt global strike’ systems….” [7] 

In fact the successor to START I says nothing about American interceptor missile or first strike conventional attack policies, and as such says everything about them. That is, the new treaty will not limit or affect them in any manner. 

After the signing ceremony in Prague on April 8 the U.S. State Department issued a fact sheet on Prompt Global Strike which stated: 

“Key Point: The New START Treaty does not contain any constraints on current or planned U.S. conventional prompt global strike capability.” 

By way of background information and to provide a framework for current U.S. military strategy it added: 

“The growth of unrivaled U.S. conventional military capabilities has contributed to our ability to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in deterring non-nuclear attacks….The Department of Defense (DoD) is currently exploring the full range of technologies and systems for a Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS) capability that could provide the President more credible and technically suitable options for dealing with new and evolving threats.” [8] 

Describing the constituent parts of PGS, the State Department press release also revealed: 

“Current efforts are examining three concepts: Hypersonic Technology Vehicle, Conventional Strike Missile, and Advanced Hypersonic Weapon. These projects are managed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Center, and Army Space and Missile Defense Command respectively….[The START II] warhead ceiling would accommodate any plans the United States might develop during the life of this Treaty to deploy conventional warheads on ballistic missiles.” 

In language as unequivocal as the State Department has been known to employ, the statement added: 

“New START protects the U.S. ability to develop and deploy a CPGS capability. The Treaty in no way prohibits the United States from building or deploying conventionally-armed ballistic missiles.” 

The Department of Defense “is studying CPGS within the context of its portfolio of all non-nuclear long-range strike capabilities including land-based and sea-based systems, as well as standoff and/or penetrating bombers….” [9] 

The non-nuclear missiles referred to are designed to strike any spot on earth within sixty minutes, but as the main proponent of PGS, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine General James Cartwright, recently boasted, “At the high end,” strikes could be delivered in “300 milliseconds.” [10] 

Speaking of the air force third of the GPS triad – nuclear-armed cruise missiles fired from B-52 bombers, X-51 unmanned aircraft that can fly at 5,000 miles per hour, the Blackswift “spaceplane” – Cartwright has also said that current conventionally armed bombers are “too slow and too intrusive” for many “global strike missions.” [11] 

On January 21 Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn called for placing the Pentagon “on a permanent footing to fight both low-intensity conflicts to maintaining air dominance and the ability to strike any target on Earth at any time….The next air warfare priority for the Pentagon is developing a next-generation, deep-penetrating strike capability that can overcome advanced air defenses….” [12] 

In a Global Security Newswire analysis titled “Cost to Test U.S. Global-Strike Missile Could Reach $500 Million,” Elaine Grossman wrote: 

“The Obama administration has requested $239.9 million for prompt global strike research and development across the military services in fiscal 2011….If funding levels remain as anticipated into the coming years, the Pentagon will have spent some $2 billion on prompt global strike by the end of fiscal 2015, according to budget documents submitted last month to Capitol Hill.” [13] 

The land-based component of PGS, Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles with a conventional payload, will “initially boost into space like a ballistic missile, dispatch a ‘hypersonic test vehicle’ to glide and maneuver into a programmed destination, which could be updated or altered remotely during flight.” [14] 

Last month Defense News featured an article with the title “U.S. Targets Precision Arms for 21st-Century Wars,” which included this excerpt: 

“To counter…air defenses, the Pentagon wants to build a host of precision weapons that can hit any target from thousands of miles away. Known as a family of systems, these weapons could include whatever the Air Force chooses as its next bomber, a new set of cruise missiles and even, someday, hypersonic weapons developed under the Pentagon’s Prompt Global Strike program that would give the speed and range of an ICBM to a conventional warhead.” [15] 

A recent Washington Post report on PGS quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warning that “World states will hardly accept a situation in which nuclear weapons disappear, but weapons that are no less destabilizing emerge in the hands of certain members of the international community.” [16] 

The same source added “the Obama administration…sees the missiles as one cog in an array of defensive and offensive weapons that could ultimately replace nuclear arms,” and quoted the Pentagon’s Cartwright as affirming: “Deterrence can no longer just be nuclear weapons. It has to be broader.” [17] 

The following day Britain’s Independent ran a story the following quotes from which should disabuse anyone hoping that Washington’s “post-nuclear world” will be any safer a one. 

Referring to PGS intercontinental ballistic missiles with (at least in theory) conventional warheads, the newspaper warned that: 

“Once they are launched, there could be difficulty in distinguishing their conventional payloads from nuclear ones. That in turn could accidentally trigger a nuclear retaliation by Russia or another similarly-armed power. 

“Another danger is that if nuclear weapons are no longer at issue, there would be a bigger temptation for American military commanders to become more cavalier about ordering strikes. And unless intelligence can be fully relied upon, the chances of striking mistaken targets are high.” [18] 

U.S. officials have discussed the prospect of launching such missiles at a lower altitude than nuclear ICBMs would travel, but it would take an almost limitless degree of trust – or gullibility – on behalf of Russian or Chinese military officials to depend upon the assurance that ICBMs heading toward or near their territory were in fact not carrying nuclear weapons at whatever distance from the earth’s surface they were flying. 

In 2007, the year after the Pentagon first announced its Prompt Global Strike plans, a Russian analyst wrote that “the Americans are not particularly worried about their nuclear arsenal” and “have been thoroughly calculating the real threats to their security to be ready to go to war, if need be, in real earnest,” adding “The 20th century saw two world wars and a third one is looming large.” 

“Despite the obvious threat to civilization the United States may soon acquire orbital weapons under the Prompt Global Strike plan. They will give it the capacity to deal a conventional strike virtually anywhere in the world within an hour.” [19] 

Elaine Grossman wrote last year: 

“Once it is built, the Conventional Strike Missile is expected to pair rocket boosters with a fast-flying ‘payload delivery vehicle’ capable of dispensing a kinetic energy projectile against a target. Upon nearing its endpoint, the projectile would split into dozens of lethal fragments potentially capable against humans, vehicles and structures, according to defense officials….” [20] 

A comparably horrifying scenario of the effects of a PGS attack, this one from the sea-based version, appeared in Popular Mechanics three years ago: 

“In the Pacific, a nuclear-powered Ohio class submarine surfaces, ready for the president’s command to launch. When the order comes, the sub shoots a 65-ton Trident II ballistic missile into the sky. Within 2 minutes, the missile is traveling at more than 20,000 ft. per second. Up and over the oceans and out of the atmosphere it soars for thousands of miles. 

“At the top of its parabola, hanging in space, the Trident’s four warheads separate and begin their screaming descent down toward the planet. 

“Traveling as fast as 13,000 mph, the warheads are filled with scored tungsten rods with twice the strength of steel. 

“Just above the target, the warheads detonate, showering the area with thousands of rods – each one up to 12 times as destructive as a .50-caliber bullet. Anything within 3000 sq. ft. of this whirling, metallic storm is obliterated.” [21] 

This April 7 former Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces General Leonid Ivashov penned a column called “Obama’s Nuclear Surprise.” 

Referring to the U.S. president’s speech in Prague a year ago – “The existence of thousands of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War” – and his signing of the START II agreement in the same city this April 8, the author said: 

“No examples of sacrificial service of the US elites to mankind or the peoples of other countries can be discovered in US history over the past century. Would it be realistic to expect the advent of an African-American president to the White House to change the country’s political philosophy traditionally aimed at achieving global dominance? Those believing that something like that is possible should try to realize why the US – the country with a military budget already greater than those of all other countries of the world combined – continues spending enormous sums of money on preparations for war.” [22] 

Specifically in reference to PGS, he detailed that “The Prompt Global Strike concept envisages a concentrated strike using several thousand precision conventional weapons in 2-4 hours that would completely destroy the critical infrastructures of the target country and thus force it to capitulate. 

“The Prompt Global Strike concept is meant to sustain the US monopoly in the military sphere and to widen the gap between it and the rest of the world. Combined with the deployment of missile defense supposed to keep the US immune to retaliatory strikes from Russia and China, the Prompt Global Strike initiative is going to turn Washington into a modern era global dictator. 

“In essence, the new US nuclear doctrine is an element of the novel US security strategy that would be more adequately described as the strategy of total impunity. The US is boosting its military budget, unleashing NATO as a global gendarme, and planning real-life exercises in Iran to test the efficiency of the Prompt Global Strike initiative in practice. At the same time, Washington is talking about a completely nuclear-free world.” [23] 

1) Obama Doctrine: Eternal War For Imperfect Mankind
Stop NATO, December 10, 2009
2) Alexander Khramchikhin, The MAD situation is no longer there
Russian Information Agency Novosti, May 29, 2007
3) Nuclear Posture Review Report
United States Department of Defense
April 2010
4) United States Department of Defense
American Forces Press Service
April 6, 2010
5) United States Department of Defense, February 1, 2010
6) United States Department of Defense, February 2010
Quadrennial Defense Review Report, February 2010
7) Global Security Newswire, April 2, 2010
8) U.S. Department of State, April 9, 2010
9) Ibid
10) Defense News, June 4, 2009
11) Ibid
12) Defense News, January 22, 2010
U.S. Extends Missile Buildup From Poland And Taiwan To Persian Gulf
Stop NATO, February 3, 2010
13) Global Security Newswire, March 15, 2010
14) Ibid
15) Defense News, March 22, 2010
16) Washington Post, April 8, 2010
17) Ibid
18) The Independent, April 9, 2010
19) Andrei Kislyakov, Defense budget: nuclear or conventional?
Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 20, 2007
20) Global Security Newswire, July 1, 2009
21) Noah Shachtman, Hypersonic Cruise Missile: America’s New Global  Strike Weapon
Popular Mechanics, January 2007
22) Strategic Culture Foundation, April 7, 2010
23) Ibid

Categories: Uncategorized

Kyrgyzstan And The Battle For Central Asia

April 8, 2010 1 comment

April 7, 2010

Kyrgyzstan And The Battle For Central Asia
Rick Rozoff

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was deposed five years after and in the same manner as he came to power, in a bloody uprising.

Elected president two months after the so-called Tulip Revolution of 2005 he helped engineer, he was since then head of state of the main transit nation for the U.S. and NATO war in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon secured the Manas Air Base (as of last year known as the Transit Center at Manas) in Kyrgyzstan shortly after its invasion of Afghanistan in October of 2001 and in the interim, according to a U.S. armed forces publication last June, “More than 170,000 coalition personnel passed through the base on their way in or out of Afghanistan, and Manas was the transit point for 5,000 tons of cargo, including spare parts and equipment, uniforms and various items to support personnel and mission needs.

“Currently, around 1,000 U.S. troops, along with a few hundred from Spain and France, are assigned to the base.” [1]

The White House’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke paid his first visit in his current position to Kyrgyzstan – and the three other former Soviet Central Asian republics which border it, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – in February and said “35,000 US troops were transiting each month on their way in and out of Afghanistan.” [2] At the rate he mentioned, 420,000 troops annually.

The U.S. and NATO also established military bases in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for the war in South Asia, but on a smaller scale. (U.S. military forces were ordered out of the second country following what the government claimed was a Tulip Revolution-type armed uprising in its province of Andijan less than two months after the Kyrgyz precedent. Germany maintains a base near the Uzbek city of Termez to transit troops and military equipment to Afghanistan’s Kunduz province where the majority of its 4,300 forces are concentrated.)

In February of 2009 the Bakiyev government announced that it was also evicting U.S. and NATO forces from its country, but relented in June when Washington offered it $60 million to reverse its decision.

Kyrgyzstan borders China.

It not only borders China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, but is only separated from Russia by a single nation, Kazakhstan. To gain an appreciation of Russian and Chinese concerns over hundreds of thousands of U.S. and NATO troops passing through Kyrgyzstan, imagine a comparable amount of Chinese and Russian soldiers regularly passing through Mexico and Guatemala, respectively. For almost nine years and at an accelerating rate.

It is not only a military “hard power” but also a “soft power” threat that the Western role in Kyrgyzstan poses to Russia and China.

The nation is a member of the post-Soviet Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) along with Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – seen by many as the only counterpart to NATO in former Soviet space – and of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) with China, Russia and the three above-mentioned fellow Central Asian countries.

According to U.S. officials, during and after the Tulip Revolution of 2005 not a single U.S. or NATO flight into the Manas Air Base was cancelled or even delayed. But a six-nation CSTO exercise scheduled for days afterward was cancelled.

The uprising and the deposing of standing president Askar Akayev in March of 2005 was the third self-styled “color revolution” in the former Soviet Union in sixteen months, following the Rose Revolution in Georgia in late 2003 and the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in late 2004 and early 2005.

As the Kyrgyz version was underway Western news media were asking the question “Who’s next?” Candidates included other former Soviet states like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Uzbekistan. And Russia. Along with Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan those nations accounted for ten of the twelve members of the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

As Agence France-Presse detailed in early April of 2005: “The CIS was founded in December 1991 on the very day the Soviet Union disappeared….But over the past year and a half, three faithful Kremlin allies were toppled in…revolutions: Eduard Shevardnadze in Georgia, Leonid Kuchma in Ukraine, and, last week, Askar Akayev in Kyrgyzstan….Even though Kyrgyzstan’s new interim leaders have vowed to continue their deposed predecessor’s Moscow-friendly policies, the lightning toppling of the government there has spawned speculation that the CIS would soon collapse.” [3]

The leader of the “color revolution” prototype, Georgia’s Mikheil Saakashvili, gloated over the Kyrgyz “regime change,” attributing the “brave” actions of the opposition in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan “to the Georgia factor,” and added, “We are not waiting for the development of events, but are doing our best to destroy the empire in the CIS.” [4]

Shortly after the uprising former Indian diplomat and political analyst M.K. Bhadrakumar wrote of the then seemingly inexorable momentum of “color” revolts in the former Soviet Union:

“[A]ll the three countries [Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan] are strategically placed in the post-Soviet space. They comprise Russia’s ‘near abroad.’

“Washington has been expanding its influence in the arc of former Soviet republics — in the Baltics…the Caucasus, and Central Asia – in recent years with a tenacity that worries Moscow.

“Ever since 2003 when Mr. Akayev decided on allowing Russia to establish a full-fledged military base in Kant he knew he was on the American ‘watch list.’ The political temperature within Kyrgyzstan began to rise.

“The Americans made it clear in many ways that they desired a regime change in Bishkek….The ‘revolution’ in the Central Asian state of Kyrgyzstan has already thrown up surprises. A comparison with the two earlier ‘colour revolutions’ in Georgia and Ukraine will be a good starting point.

“First, the striking similarities between the three ‘revolutions’ must be duly noted. All three are meant to signify the unstoppable spread of the fire of liberty lit by the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq in the aftermath of 9/11.

“But behind the rhetoric, the truth is that the U.S. wanted regime change in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan because of difficulties with the incumbent leadership. The leaders of all the three countries — Eduard Shevardnadze in Georgia, Leonid Kuchma in Ukraine, and Askar Akayev in Kyrgyzstan — had enjoyed the support of the U.S. during most of their rule.

“Washington had cited them repeatedly as the beacons of hope for democracy and globalisation in the territories of the former Soviet Union.

“Their trouble began when they incrementally began to edge towards a resurgent Russia under Vladimir Putin.” [5]

Seven weeks after Bhadrakumar’s column appeared his analysis would be confirmed by no less an authority on the matter than U.S. President George W. Bush.

Visiting the capital of Georgia a year and a half after its “Rose Revolution,” he was hosted by his counterpart Mikheil Saakashvili, former State Department fellowship recipient and U.S. resident, who seized power in what can only be described as a putsch but nevertheless said:

“Georgia will become the main partner of the United States in spreading democracy and freedom in the post-Soviet space. This is our proposal. We will always be with you in protecting freedom and democracy.”

Bush reflected Saakashvili’s inflated estimate of himself: “You are making many important contributions to freedom’s cause, but your most important contribution is your example. Hopeful changes are taking places from Baghdad to Beirut and Bishkek [Kyrgyzstan]. But before there was a Purple Revolution in Iraq or Orange Revolution in Ukraine or a Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, there was a Rose Revolution in Georgia.” [6]

A few days after the Kyrgyz coup Bush welcomed Ukraine’s “orange” president Viktor Yushchenko – who this January only received 5.45 per cent of the vote in his reelection bid – and applauded his U.S.-assisted ascent to power, saying it “may have looked like it was only a part of the history of Ukraine, but the Orange Revolution represented revolutions elsewhere as well….We share a goal to spread freedom to other nations.” [7]

Beyond the threat of the dissolution of the CIS and of the CSTO, in April of 2005 Der Spiegel featured a report with the title “Revolutions Speed Russia’s Disintegration.”

In part it revealed the prime movers behind the events in Kyrgyzstan:

“As early as February,” Roza Otunbayeva – now the apparent head of the provisional government – “pledged allegiance to a small group of partners and sponsors of the Kyrgyz revolution, to ‘our American friends’ at Freedom House (who donated a printing press in Bishkek to the opposition), and to George Soros, a speculator who previously helped unseat Edward Shevardnadze’s government in Georgia.

“Trying to help the democratic process, the Americans poured some $12 million into Kyrgyzstan in the form of scholarships and donations – and that was last year alone. Washington’s State Department even funded TV station equipment in the rebellious southern province town of Osh.” [8]

In June George Soros was obliging enough to confirm Otunbayeva’s gratitude was not without foundation by stating, “I provided for Georgian public servants to get $1,200 a month….And now I am ready to support the creation of a fund like this in Kyrgyzstan.” [9]

The two Georges – Bush and Soros – were not alone in fathering the “color” geostrategic transformations from the Balkans to the former Soviet Union and the Middle East. They received generous assistance from the likes of Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute and other alleged non-governmental organizations.

A week after the “tulip” takeover the project director for Freedom House, Mike Stone, summed up the role of his organization with two words: “Mission accomplished.” [10]

A British newspaper that interviewed him added, “US involvement in the small, mountainous country is higher proportionally than it was for Georgia’s ‘rose’ revolution or Ukraine’s ‘orange’ uprising.” [11]

Assistance also was provided by Western-funded and -trained “youth activists” modeled after and trained by those organized in Yugoslavia to topple the government of Slobodan Milosevic in 2000:

Compare the names:

Yugoslavia: Otpor! (Resistance!)
Ukraine: Pora! (It’s Time!)
Georgia: Kmara (Enough)
Kyrgyzstan: KelKel (Stand Up and Go)

Behind them all, deposed Kyrgyz president Askar Akayev identified the true architects of his ouster. On April 2 he stated “There were international organisations who supported and financed the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan.

“A week before these events I saw a letter on the internet signed by the US ambassador to Kyrgyzstan. It contained a detailed plan for the revolution.” [12]

The Kyrgyz Tulip (formerly Lemon, Pink and Daffodil) Revolution was as unconstitutional and as disruptive to the nation as its Georgian and Ukrainian predecessors were, but far more violent. Deaths and injuries occurred in the southern cities of Osh and Jalal Abad (Jalalabad, Jalal-Abad) and in the capital of Bishkek.

It was also the first “color” revolt in a nation bordering China. Not only did Russia and China voice grave concerns over the developments in Kyrgyzstan, Iran did also, seeing where the trajectory of “regime change” campaigns was headed.


In the four decades of the Cold War political changes through elections or otherwise in any nation in the world – no matter how small, impoverished, isolated and seemingly insignificant – assumed importance far exceeding their domestic effects. World political analysts and policy makers asked the key question: Which way would the new government align itself, with the U.S. or the Soviet Union?

In the post-Cold War period the question is no longer one of political philosophy or socio-economic orientation, but this: How will the new administration support or oppose U.S. plans for regional and global dominance?

With Roza Otunbayeva as now official head of a new Kyrgyz interim “people’s government,” there is reason to believe that Washington will not be dissatisfied with the overthrow of her former “tulip” partner Bakiyev. She has already confirmed that the American base at Manas will not be closed.

Having earlier served as her nation’s first ambassador to the U.S. and Britain, less than two months after the 2005 coup Otunbayeva, then acting foreign minister, met with her U.S. counterpart Condoleezza Rice in Washington during which the latter assured her that “the U.S. administration will continue to help the Kyrgyz government promote democratic processes in the country.” [13]

Shortly after the March “democratic transformation,” its patron saint, Georgia’s Mikheil Saakashvili, boasted that “Roza Otunbayeva worked in Tbilisi in recent years and was the head of UN office in Abkhazia. During the Rose Revolution she was in Georgia and knew everything that was happening…the Georgian factor was a catalyst of many things going on there [in Kyrgyzstan].”[14]

From the U.S. perspective she appears to have reliable bona fides.

Russia has put its air base in Kyrgyzstan on high alert, though comments from leading Russian government officials – Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in particular – indicate an acceptance of the uprising which has already caused 65 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

But Russia attempted to put the best face on the revolt five years ago also.

Which direction the next Kyrgyz government takes will have repercussions far greater than what the nation’s small size and population (slightly over five million) might indicate.

It could affect U.S. and NATO plans for the largest military offensive of the Afghan war scheduled to begin in two months in Kandahar province.

It could determine the future of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the two major potential barriers to Western military penetration of vast tracts of Eurasia.

The stakes could hardly be higher.

1) Stars and Stripes, June 16, 2009
2) Agence France-Presse, March 4, 2010
3) Agence France-Presse, April 3, 2005
4) The Messenger, March 31, 2005
5) The Hindu, March 28, 2005
6) Civil Georgia, May 10, 2005
7) Associated Press, April 4, 2005
8) Der Spiegel, April 4, 2005
9) Russian Information Agency Novosti, June 16, 2005
10) The Telegraph, April 2, 2005
11) Ibid
12) Associated Press, April 2, 2005
13) Interfax, June 15, 2005
14) Civil Georgia, March 30, 2005

Categories: Uncategorized

War In Afghanistan Evokes Second World War Parallels

April 7, 2010 2 comments

April 6, 2010

War In Afghanistan Evokes Second World War Parallels
Rick Rozoff

With the Pentagon and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization planning the largest military campaign of the Afghan war this summer in the south, Kandahar province, a complementary offensive in the north, Kunduz province, and increased troop strength of 150,000 in preparation for the assaults, a war that will enter its tenth calendar year this October 7 is reaching the apex of its intensity.

The length of the war if not the amount of troops deployed for it inevitably conjures up a comparison with the U.S. war in Vietnam, before now the longest in America’s history. Not only protracted but intractable, with its escalation in earnest beginning in early 1965 and the end of U.S. combat operations not occurring until 1973.

Another analogy is with the Korean War, far shorter in duration – three years – and with fewer U.S. troops and deaths than in Vietnam.

In at least two manners the Korean War more closely resembles the current armed conflict in South Asia. First, foreign intervention was formally authorized by the United Nations although in effect it was a U.S.-led and -dominated military operation on the Asian mainland.

Second, Washington then, as now, recruited troops from allied nations, particularly from members of post-World War II military blocs it had formed or was in the process of establishing. In addition to South Korea, soldiers from fifteen other countries fought under U.S. (and nominal UN) command.

From NATO, formed the year before the Korean War began in 1950: Britain, Canada, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and then candidate members Greece and Turkey.

From the Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty (ANZUS), formed during the Korean War in September of 1951: All three members.

From what in 1955 would be formalized as the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), envisioned at the time as an Asian parallel to NATO: The Philippines, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, along with the U.S., Britain and France which were also founding members.

Washington additionally dragooned between 1,800-3,000 troops each from Colombia, Ethiopia and apartheid South Africa for the war effort.

SEATO was dissolved in 1977 and ANZUS remains an active alliance, although for the expanding war in Afghanistan (and neighboring Pakistan) all foreign troops, including in the near future “virtually all American forces,” [1] are or will be under NATO command, including the first contingent of troops from Colombia. Australia and New Zealand, with 1,550 and 200 troops respectively, are now identified as NATO Contact Countries.

To return to the Vietnam precedent, on July 2, 2009 the U.S. launched its largest military offensive anywhere since the second attack on Fallujah in Iraq in 2004, Operation Phantom Fury, which included a total of 10,000-15,000 American troops.

In Operation Khanjar (Strike of the Sword) conducted in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, 4,000 U.S. forces and fifty aircraft participated in an assault that included “the biggest offensive airlift by the Marines since Vietnam.” [2]

In February 15,000 U.S., NATO and Afghan government troops launched the largest joint military attack of the war against the town of Marjah in Helmand province, with an estimated population of 75,000-80,000 and by one account as few as 400 suspected insurgents. [3] A more than 27-1 ratio of armed belligerents. The insurgents were not only outnumbered but outgunned and unlike their opponents didn’t have warplanes for air cover and bombing and strafing runs. Western troops were ferried in by helicopters and rockets were fired from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, in one case killing ten members of an Afghan family when their house was hit.

Nevertheless a U.S. officer described the fighting being as tough as that in Fallujah six years earlier. “In Fallujah, it was just as intense. But there, we started from the north and worked down to the south. In Marjah, we’re coming in from different locations and working toward the centre, so we’re taking fire from all angles.” [4]

The offensive was initiated on February 13th and six weeks later it was reported that U.S. and NATO troops were “still coming under fire and being targeted by bomb attacks despite efforts to restore Afghan government control.” [5]

The Russian ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, “said he was puzzled by allied claims that the offensive was a success,” according to the Associated Press, which moreover attributed a further statement of Rogozin’s – “So the result (of the Marjah offensive) was that the mountain shook, but only a mouse was born” – to a “Russian proverb.” [6]

What the Russian envoy no doubt knew if the U.S. news agency’s writer and editors didn’t was that Rogozin’s line was a quote from the Roman poet Horace: Parturiunt montes; nascetur ridiculus mus. The mountains are in labor; a ridiculous mouse will be born.

While the mountain was writhing with a stillborn victory, U.S. President Barack Obama paid an unannounced one-day visit to the Afghan capital of Kabul to, as it can be safely assumed, remind his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai who was in charge of the country.

The following day the U.S.’s top military commander, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, visited Marjah forty days after the offensive was unleashed there and in a news report entitled “Mullen in Afghan war zone as US gears up for Kandahar” it was disclosed that “The United States and allies have boosted their troop numbers to 126,000, with the number set to peak at 150,000 by August as the fight expands into neighbouring Kandahar province, the heartland of the insurgency.” [7]

If the U.S. and its NATO allies faced 400-2,000 armed fighters in Marjah (the most common figure cited in the Western press was 600), a town of no more than 80,000 inhabitants, and still confronted snipers and improvised explosive devices a month and a half into the operation, Kandahar presents a challenge several orders of magnitude greater. The province has a population of almost one million with half that number in the capital. It is also, in the copy and paste style of the American establishment news media, routinely referred to as the “heartland of the insurgency” and the “birthplace of Taliban.”

The assault on Marjah was intended and presented as a warm-up exercise for the campaign in Kandahar province and city scheduled to begin as early as June, and the public relations blitz before the February attack on Marjah was of a scope customarily reserved for high-budget Hollywood releases and professional sports events. The self-celebratory propaganda in advance of the offensive in Kandahar can be expected to exceed it in bravado and extravagance. To be proportionate to the scale of the fighting. The “battle for Kandahar” is intended to be the decisive victory in what will then be a nearly nine-year war, one that permits Washington and its Western allies to “retreat in dignity” from the Afghan imbroglio.

In preparation for the offensive the U.S. is increasing the transfer of troops and military equipment to the war zone. In early April the Pentagon’s Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Ashton B. Carter affirmed that a “massive amount of equipment and supplies being sent to support troops in Afghanistan is a historic logistical effort,” and stated:

“I think it’s fair to say that there’s never been, like in these months that we’re witnessing right now, as dramatic a logistics effort as we see in Afghanistan.” [8]

He was further cited as saying “From the ramp up of airlifts, sealifts and ground supply lines, to the building of forward operating bases, runways and tent cities…the effort to build up and supply the plus up of troops in Afghanistan is critical to NATO’s success there.” [9]

In 2008 NATO established its first multinational Strategic Airlift Capability operation at the Papa Air Base in Hungary, intended for supplying war efforts around the world in future but for the conflict in Afghanistan most immediately. The “first-of-its-kind mobility unit comprising airmen from 12 nations” [10] is staffed by U.S. military personnel, who are also now permanently stationed at bases in Bulgaria and Romania and later this month will be in Poland as well. Late last July the “first-ever multinational strategic airlift unit was officially activated…at a ceremony at Papa Air Base, Hungary, according to a U.S. Air Forces in Europe release.” [11]

A Pentagon website disclosed this April 2nd that the Hungarian-based “Heavy Airlift Wing, comprised of 12 nations, recently moved 2.1 million pounds of equipment essential to surge operations supporting the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

“The international wing has been part of the operation to move more than 6 million pounds of basic expeditionary airfield resources, or BEAR materiel, to build six forward operating bases supporting 3,500 people….” [12]

At a press conference at the same time the new commander of the U.S. Third – “Patton’s Own” – Army (United States Army Central), Lieutenant General William G. Webster, informed reporters in Kuwait that “The military is scrambling to finish what it calls the largest movement of troops and equipment since the buildup of World War II as it draws down in Iraq and ramps up in Afghanistan.”

He added that “the military is moving as fast as it can on the massive and complex job. There are roughly 3 million pieces of equipment in Iraq, including 41,000 vehicles and trailers,” and said “officials expect to be able to move the more than 5,000 vehicles needed for the Afghanistan buildup into that country by the end of the summer.

“Besides air deliveries to Afghanistan, the military is moving goods through neighboring Pakistan and is using a system of roads, rail and sea routes through Uzbekistan and other points to the north in Central Asia.” [13]

His was not the only recent reference to World War II in regards to the Afghan war. There is no literal comparison between the ongoing fighting in Afghanistan and the most deadly and destructive armed conflict in human history. The Second World War included all the world’s major industrial powers as belligerents (Sweden alone possibly excepted), which collectively mobilized up to 100 million troops.

The war cost the lives of as many as 70 million people, soldiers and civilians alike.

In the nuclear age the world would not survive any attempt at a similar conflagration.

But that war is increasingly becoming the frame of reference for the fighting in the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater.

In the April 1st edition of Toronto’s Global and Mail Michael O’Hanlon, director of research and senior fellow on foreign policy issues at the Brookings Institution, wrote in an opinion piece called “Kandahar is what the Canada-U.S. alliance is all about” that “Americans need to feel unabashed about asking Canada to stay on in Afghanistan past 2011,” as the two nations “are beginning the most important combined wartime operation since the Second World War.” [14]

Canada has lost 141 soldiers in Afghanistan, most all of them in Kandahar. That death toll is Canada’s highest since the Korean War, which ended 57 years ago. Australia, which has not suffered combat casualties since the wars in Korea and Vietnam, has acknowledged that twenty of its soldiers have been wounded in Afghanistan so far this year.

The carnage against Afghan civilians perpetrated by the U.S. and NATO from the sky and on the ground is steadily mounting (as deaths from U.S. drone missile attacks in adjoining Pakistan near the 800 mark). From Kunduz last autumn and Marjah the last two months to the unconscionable murder of two pregnant women (one a mother of ten, the other of six), a teenage girl and others in the village of Khataba in Paktia province in February, the counterinsurgency strategy of General McChrystal, commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, is having its lethal effect.

The war is also costing NATO a rising number of casualties in the military bloc’s first ground war. As of April 3rd Western nations had lost 144 soldiers this year. In the first three months of 2010 the NATO-led International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) acknowledged at least 138 deaths as compared to 78 during the same quarter in 2009, which itself was the deadliest year for U.S. and NATO forces – 520 losses – since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. “Military planners have said they expect an escalation of deaths and injuries among foreign troops as deployments surge to a peak of 150,000 by August….” [15]

American combat deaths also “roughly doubled in the first three months of 2010 compared to the same period last year,” and “have been accompanied by a dramatic spike in the number of wounded, with injuries more than tripling in the first two months of the year and trending in the same direction based on the latest available data for March.”

“U.S. officials have warned that casualties are likely to rise even further as the Pentagon completes its deployment of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and sets its sights on the Taliban’s home base of Kandahar province, where a major operation is expected in the coming months.” [16]

On April 2nd three German soldiers were killed and five seriously wounded in a firefight with an estimated 200 insurgents in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz. According to Deutsche Presse-Agentur, “It was the highest number of casualties the postwar German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, have suffered in battle and brought to 39 the number of German soldiers killed in Afghanistan.” [17] That is, the three soldiers killed represented the most German combat fatalities in a single exchange since the defeat of the Third Reich in 1945. The 39 deaths in total are also the first since the end of World War II.

German NATO troops responded by killing six Afghan government soldiers in the same province on the same day.

In mid-March German General Bruno Kasdorf, chief of staff of the International Security and Assistance Force in the Afghan capital, informed German public radio that “There will definitely be an operation up there in Kunduz (province),” and that the offensive would be “similar” in scale “to the offensive currently underway in the southern province of Helmand involving 15,000 US, NATO and Afghan troops.” [18]

Germany currently has approximately 4,300 troops in Afghanistan, the third largest contingent after the U.S. and Britain and the most deployed abroad in the post-World War II period since 8,500 troops were assigned to the NATO force in Kosovo in 1999. [19]

In Afghanistan, as evidenced above, they are in an active war zone for the first time in 65 years. Last September 5th German troops called in NATO air strikes against villages near their base in Kunduz which resulted in the deaths of over 150 Afghan civilians. [20]

German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Dirk Niebel, who was in Afghanistan on the day of the deadly fighting that cost the lives of five of his own country’s soldiers and six from the government of Afghanistan, the protection of which is the pretext for German military involvement in the nation, in speaking of his nation’s combat troops at a ceremony for those killed on April 2nd stated “They want people to understand that they have to defend themselves – sometimes also preventatively. And they don’t understand why they have to explain themselves to the German public, or why they could even be prosecuted.” [21]

Another report of the same day quoted German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg asseverating, “We will stay in Afghanistan” although the mission is being conducted under “war-like” circumstances and the situation confronting German troops could be categorized as a war.

“The remarks reflect calls by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and some others to reclassify the German mission in Afghanistan as ‘armed conflict.’ So far, German military forces have been subjected to the civil penal code, given their participation in training Afghan police and soldiers and in reconstruction activities.” [22]

Reclassifying Germany’s – overt and incontrovertible – combat mission in Afghanistan as war in place of the previous designations of peacekeeping and reconstruction would allow for a relaxation of legal and other constraints on its troops, so-called combat caveats, so that massacres like that in Kunduz last September will be more likely to be repeated and less likely to be prosecuted.

Germany’s military role in NATO’s first Asian war is of special significance as the May 8th (May 9th in much of Eastern Europe) 65th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe approaches.

When the leaders of the Big Three allied powers – Britain, the Soviet Union and the U.S. – met in Yalta and Potsdam in 1945 to discuss what a post-war Europe would look like, particular emphasis was placed on building a new legal and security structure that would prevent the possibility of the horrors of the Second World War ever again being inflicted on the continent and the world.

The nation that had ignited the deadliest war in human history – Germany with its invasions of Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Yugoslavia, Greece and the Soviet Union between 1939 and 1941 – was to be demilitarized. At the time many in the world hoped the model might be extended to all of Europe and even to the rest of the world.

That wish was dashed with the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949 and the inclusion of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) into the military bloc six years afterward.

Germany itself would violate the post-World War II prohibition against engaging in armed conflicts by supplying Luftwaffe warplanes for NATO’s 78-day air war against Yugoslavia in 1999 and then by deploying troops for what has now become a full-fledged combat role in Afghanistan. German forces have been appointed to lead fellow NATO nations’ troops in the upcoming large-scale military offensive in Kunduz province.

On May 9th troops from the other Second World War allied powers in the European theater – the U.S., Britain and France – are for the first time to March in the Victory Day parade in the Russian capital.

There are different ways to commemorate the end of the world’s bloodiest war.

Britain’s Sunday Telegraph ran a feature on April 4th titled “Luftwaffe and RAF join forces in Afghanistan,” which celebrated the fact that “Sixty-five years after the end of the Second World War” a “Luftwaffe navigator has flown into combat in the same plane as an RAF pilot for the very first time.”

That the British Royal Air Force and its German opposite number would not only forget dogfights over the English channel and bombing raids over the continent in the early 1940s but join ranks in combat missions over an unoffending nation and its people in faraway South Asia seemed a cause for approbation to the major British daily, which detailed that “the [German] navigator climbed into a Tornado GR4 ground attack aircraft at Kandahar airbase in southern Afghanistan to provide air support for troops in Helmand province.” The British Tornado GR4 multirole fighter, equipped for Storm Shadow and Brimstone missiles, earlier saw action in Iraq.

In fact the Tornado combat plane jointly flown by a German and a British pilot in Afghanistan “was armed with 500lb Paveway air-to-ground bombs, Brimstone missiles and a 27mm cannon.” [23]

On May 8th and 9th when the world remembers the end of a conflict that accounted for the largest-ever loss of human life, two distinct, exclusive and even opposite interpretations will be offered on the events of 65 years ago.

One is that humanity must never allow the use of war to achieve political, territorial and economic objectives or in the name of redressing past grievances, which all too often is reduced to motives of revenge.

The other is that the majority of the world’s major military powers must intensify plans for international armed intervention based on global rapid deployment forces able to confront and attack any nation accused of posing a threat outside or inside its borders. “Preventatively.”

The West’s war in Afghanistan – with an ever-widening network of military bases and transit infrastructure in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, the Middle East, and Central and South Asia servicing it – is the era’s most egregious example of the second strategy.

1) Associated Press, March 16, 2010
2) Associated Press, July 1, 2009
3) Associated Press, February 14, 2010
4) Christian Science Monitor, February 14, 2010
5) Agence France-Presse, March 31, 2010
6) Associated Press, March 15, 2010
7) Agence France-Presse, March 31, 2010
8) U.S. Department of Defense
American Forces Press Service
April 2, 2010
9) Ibid
10) U.S. Air Forces in Europe, June 2, 2009
11) Stars and Stripes, July 29, 2009
12) United States European Command, April 2, 2010
13) Associated Press, April 2, 2010
14) Globe and Mail, April 1, 2010
15) Daily Jang/The News, March 31, 2010
16) Associated Press, March 28, 2010
17) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, April 2, 2010
18) Agence France-Presse, March 18, 2010
19) New NATO: Germany Returns To World Military Stage
Stop NATO, July 12, 2009
20) Pajhwok Afghan News, September 5, 2009
Following Afghan Election, NATO Intensifies Deployments, Carnage
Stop NATO, September 6, 2009
21) Deutsche Welle, April 4, 2010
22) Deutsche Welle, April 4, 2010
23) Sunday Telegraph, April 4, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

La década de los drones: asesinos aéreos de EE.UU

April 2, 2010

La década de los drones: asesinos aéreos de EE.UU
Rick Rozoff
Traducido del inglés por Germán Leyens

2010 es el décimo año de la primera década del nuevo siglo y del milenio y es el décimo año consecutivo de la guerra de EE.UU. en Afganistán y en el área de responsabilidad de 15 naciones abarcada bajo la Operación Libertad Duradera. A principios de marzo las muertes militares estadounidenses en el teatro de la Gran Guerra Afgana –Afganistán, Cuba (Guantánamo), Djibouti, Eritrea, Jordania, Kenia, Kirguistán, las Filipinas, Seychelles, Sudán, Tayikistán, Turquía, Uzbekistán y Yemen– sobrepasaron el límite de los 1.000. Este año es también el décimo año de la primera guerra terrestre y la primera guerra asiática librada por la OTAN, guerras realizadas desde, y no para proteger a, las naciones del Norte del Océano Atlántico.

2010 es el décimo y más letal año en el uso por Washington de vehículos aéreos sin tripulación (drones) para asesinatos selectivos y “daño colateral” sin objetivo.

Diseñados originalmente para la vigilancia del campo de batalla y reconocimiento, aunque a menudo para solicitar mortíferos ataques militares, los drones han sido empleados por EE.UU. desde 2001 para identificar y matar objetivos humanos.

El primer vehículo aéreo “cazador-asesino” sin tripulación, el Predator, fue utilizado por el Pentágono en Bosnia en 1995 y después en los 78 días de la guerra aérea contra Yugoslavia en 1999.

En 2001 los Predator fueron equipados con misiles Hellfire (fuego del infierno) y partieron desde Pakistán y Uzbekistán para lanzar ataques dentro de Afganistán. El año siguiente salieron de la base militar de EE.UU. en Camp Lemonnier en Djibouti con el mismo fin en Yemen.

El Predator y su sucesor, el Reaper, capaz de cargar quince veces más armamento y que vuela a tres veces su velocidad, han sido utilizados para ataques letales en Afganistán, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, y con un efecto particularmente asesino en Pakistán, desde el otoño de 2008. Están equipados de cámaras conectadas por satélite a bases en EE.UU.

En octubre el vicealmirante Robert Moeller, comandante adjunto del Comando África de EE.UU. anunció que Reaper, “capaces de transportar una docena de bombas y misiles guiados,” [1] fueron enviados a Seychelles frente a la costa oriental del continente africano para patrullar el Océano Índico.

Radio Australia transmitió una historia el 8 de marzo que decía que “el presidente de EE.UU., Barack Obama, puede haber tardado en decidir su política afgana, pero ahora también se ha convertido en un mayor entusiasta por los ataques con misiles con drones que su predecesor. [2] En Afganistán y Pakistán así como en Yemen.

Discutiendo un informe de la New America Foundation, la emisora documentó que los mortíferos ataques con misiles a ambos lados de la frontera entre Afganistán y Pakistán han aumentado en un 50% desde que el gobierno de Obama se hizo cargo de la Casa Blanca hace un año, el 20 de enero.

Citando al think tank arriba mencionado, el informe de Radio Australia dijo que ha habido 64 ataques de drones en el Sur de Asia en los últimos catorce meses, en comparación con 45 bajo el gobierno de George W. Bush entre la invasión de Afganistán en octubre de 2001 y enero de 2009.

Bill Roggio, editor de Long War Journal, fue entrevistado y dijo “hay un promedio de cinco a siete ataques por mes aunque en enero fueron 11.”

Además se le citó describiendo la escalada cualitativa así como cuantitativa de la guerra estadounidense de drones en Afganistán y Pakistán: “El principal drone es el Predator que porta el misil antitanque Hellfire.

“Al Reaper, hermano mayor del Predator, lo adaptaron para que pueda cargar misiles Hellfire más grandes así como para que pueda llevar, también, las bombas guiadas de 227 kilos guiadas por GPS (sistema de posicionamiento global). De modo que están muy…, ya sabe, hay una especie de revolución en la guerra aérea.” [3]

El Reaper lleva 450 kilos de municiones y también está equipado para el misil aire-aire Sidewinder. Hay planes para agregar misiles aire-aire Stinger.

En términos del coste humano de la promesa electoral en 2008 sobre la campaña de la guerra afgana – “Si tenemos inteligencia que permita entrar en acción sobre objetivos de alto nivel de al-Qaida en la región fronteriza de Pakistán, debemos actuar si Pakistán no quiere o no puede hacerlo” –a comienzos de este año el influyente Dawn News de Pakistán publicó un informe sobre lo que esa política ha significado para los paquistaníes. En un artículo intitulado “Más de 700 muertos en 44 ataques con drones en 2009,” la fuente, citando estadísticas del gobierno paquistaní, escribió:

“De los 44 ataques de Predator realizados por drones de EE.UU. en áreas tribales de Pakistán durante los últimos 12 meses, sólo cinco han logrado alcanzar sus verdaderos objetivos, matando a cinco dirigentes clave de al-Qaida y de los talibanes, pero al coste de más de 700 civiles inocentes.”

Por cada presunto miembro de al-Qaida o de los talibanes muerto por misiles disparados desde drones de EE.UU. “también tuvieron que morir 140 inocentes paquistaníes. Más de un 90 por ciento de los muertos en los mortíferos ataques con misiles fueron civiles, afirman las autoridades… En promedio, 58 civiles muirieron cada mes en esos ataques, 12 personas cada semana y casi dos personas cada día.” [4]

Los muertos pueden haber estado armados o desarmados, hombres o mujeres, adultos o niños. Lo que tienen en común es que fueron atacados sobre la base de “inteligencia que permite entrar en acción” suministrada por alguien en el terreno, no necesariamente una parte desinteresada.

En octubre pasado, cuando la matanza había comenzado en serio, el Relator Especial de las Naciones Unidas para las Ejecuciones Extrajudiciales de las Naciones Unidas, Philip Alston señaló:

“Mi preocupación es que estos drones, estos Predator, están siendo operados en un marco que puede violar el derecho humanitario internacional y el derecho internacional de derechos humanos.

“El gobierno de EE.UU. es realmente responsable de revelar más sobre la forma en la que asegura que ejecuciones arbitrarias, ejecuciones extrajudiciales, no son en realidad realizadas mediante el uso de estas armas.” [5]

Impávido, EE.UU. intensificó sustancialmente los ataques.

En enero de este año la Agencia de Noticias Xinhua de China entrevistó al analista político paquistaní Farrukh Saleem, quien dijo que los ataques con misiles por drones estadounidenses en las Áreas Tribales bajo Administración Federal de Pakistán han aumentado de 17 en 2008 a 43 en 2009 y que se espera que 70 sean realizados este año.

Se citó la advertencia de Saleem de que “tales ataques siempre provocan violencia, ataques suicidas y víctimas en Pakistán. Por lo tanto, más ataques de drones significan más violencia en Pakistán.” [6]

Ese mismo día el senador John McCain estuvo en la capital paquistaní, Islamabad, y elogió los ataques de drones como “una parte efectiva de la estrategia de EE.UU.” [7]

El pasado 17 de diciembre se informó de que un ataque de un drone estadounidense había matado por lo menos 20 personas en la Agencia de Waziristán del Norte de Pakistán y el 27 que 13 personas más personas murieron en la misma región.

Desde comienzos del Nuevo Año los ataques letales sólo se han intensificado. Lo que sigue no es un intento de presentar un informe exhaustivo, pero ha sido reunido de diversos informes de la prensa.

El 1 de enero se informó de que cinco personas resultaron y varias heridas por dos ataques de drones estadounidenses al este de la capital de Waziristán del Norte. En cuanto a las identidades de las víctimas, Reuters citó a un funcionario local de seguridad quien dijo: “Los cuerpos estaban quemados hasta ser irreconocibles. Estamos tratando de determinar su identidad.” [8] Durante la noche anterior dos más resultaron muertos y varios heridos en otro ataque.

Los informes continuaron, detallando ataques con misiles y muertes en las áreas tribales de la nación.

3 de enero: Cinco personas más murieron en Waziristán del Norte en un ataque de un drone.

7 de febrero: Por lo menos trece muertos y ocho heridos por dos ataques consecutivos con misiles. “Según Geo News de Pakistán, un presunto drone disparó dos misiles contra una casa en la región Datta Khel, matando a siete personas.

“Otro ataque ocurrió mientras gente del lugar comenzaba a recuperar cuerpos de los escombros de la casa, matando a cinco personas. No se conocía las identidades de los muertos en los ataques.” [9]

8 de enero: Cinco resultaron muertos en una aldea en Waziristán del Norte.

9 de enero: Un drone estadounidense disparó dos misiles contra una aldea, Ismail Khan, en Waziristán del Norte matando a cuatro personas.

13 de enero: Trece personas muerieron en la aldea de Tappi en la misma agencia. “Un alto responsable de la seguridad confirmó la cifra de muertos, y dijo que cuatro misiles fueron disparados desde aviones no tripulados en esa remota área.” [10]

15 de enero: Quince personas murieron en la aldea de Zannini en Waziristán del Norte. Seis fueron muertos en la aldea de Bichi.

17 de enero: Por lo menos veinte resultaron muertos en el área Shaktoi de Waziristán del Sur.

19 de enero: Seis personas murieron en la aldea de Booya en Waziristán del Norte según funcionarios de inteligencia paquistaníes.

24 de enero: Insurgentes paquistaníes afirmaron haber derribado un drone estadounidense en Waziristán del Norte, uno de ocho drones vistos volando sobre el área.

29 de enero: Entre seis y quince personas murieron en la ciudad de Muhammad Khel de Waziristán del Norte en un supuesto ataque contra la Red Haqqani por tres misiles estadounidenses.

2 de febrero: EE.UU. disparó hasta ocho misiles contra cuatro aldeas en Waziristán del Norte, matando a veintinueve personas.

14 de febrero: Cinco personas perecieron en un ataque de drones en la misma agencia. Por lo menos otras tres fueron heridas.

15 de febrero: Un ataque de drone supuestamente mató a un dirigente separatista uigur chino en el mismo distrito.

17 de febrero: Un ataque de misiles de EE.UU. mató a tres e hirió a dos víctimas en Waziristán del Norte.

18 de febrero: Cuatro personas resultaron muertas en un ataque con misiles contra un vehículo en la misma agencia.

24 de febrero: Por lo menos trece supuestos combatientes murieron en un ataque de drones de EE.UU. en el área de Dargah Mandi de Waziristán del Norte.

8 de marzo: Un drone estadounidense disparó cinco misiles contra una casa cerca de

Miranshah, capital de Waziristán del Norte, matando a por lo menos cinco personas e hiriendo a cuatro.

Este año han muerto aproximadamente 160 personas en ataques con misiles de drones en Pakistán en poco más de dos meses. Si se mantiene ese ritmo, 2010 será mucho más mortífero que el año antes: 960 en lugar de 700. Si, como parece más probable, la cantidad de ataques aumenta, la cantidad de muertes será aún superior que el aumento de casi 140% con el que amenaza la extrapolación mencionada.

Los ataques con misiles de drones se están convirtiendo cada vez más en el arma preferida de la CIA (como en Pakistán, Afganistán e Iraq), el Comando de Operaciones Especiales Conjuntas (Yemen) y la Fuerza Aérea, que el año pasado tenían 195 Predator y 28 Reaper.

Todo indica que pronto tendrán más.

Este año el gobierno de Obama ha pedido al Congreso 33.000 millones de dólares más para las guerras en Afganistán e Iraq “adicionalmente a una solicitud récord de 708.000 millones de dólares para el Departamento de Defensa el próximo año.” [11]

Según el nuevo Examen Cuatrienal de Defensa: “los drones sin piloto utilizados para misiones de vigilancia y de ataque en Afganistán y Pakistán son una prioridad, con el objetivo de acelerar la compra de nuevos drones Reaper y la expansión de los vuelos de drones Predator y Reaper hasta 2013.” [12]

Un artículo del 1 de febrero llamado “China, Irán impulsan plan de batalla aire-mar de EE.UU. en examen de estrategia,” reveló que correspondiendo al nuevo Examen Cuatrienal de Defensa un “plan conjunto de la Fuerza Aérea y de la Armada combinaría las fuerzas de ambos servicios para realizar ataques de largo alcance que podrían utilizar una nueva generación de bombarderos, un nuevo misil crucero y drones lanzados desde portaaviones.” [13]

Mientras EE.UU. expande masivamente su expansión militar en la isla Guam en el Pacífico: “El Ejército establece un sistema de defensa de misiles en la isla y la Fuerza Aérea agrega más drones.” [14]

A mediados de enero el destacado senador estadounidense Carl Lein instó a que “se usen drones para lanzar ataques aéreos” en Yemen, agregando la demanda de “todo desde acciones físicas que puedan ser realizadas en términos que van desde el uso de drones o ataques aéreos” a “acciones clandestinas.” [15]

Respecto al fortalecimiento de vínculos militares entre EE.UU. y Yemen, una fuente rusa de noticias reveló que “bajo un nuevo acuerdo confidencial de cooperación, EE.UU. podría hacer volar misiles cruceros, aviones de caza o drones armados no tripulados contra objetivos en el país, pero guardaría silencio en público sobre su papel en los ataques aéreos.” [16]

A fines de enero Wall Street Journal informó:

“La participación de los militares de EE.UU. en Yemen ya ha comenzado a aumentar… EE.UU. ha aumentado la cantidad de drones de vigilancia que vuelan sobre Yemen, así como la cantidad de aeronaves sin tripulación equipadas de misiles capaces de atacar objetivos en el terreno, según un alto funcionario de EE.UU. con conocimiento directo de las misiones.

“La mayoría de los drones que operan fuera de Iraq y Afganistán son controlados por la CIA, pero el funcionario dijo que los que operan sobre Yemen pertenecen al secreto Comando de Operaciones Especiales Conjuntas de las fuerzas armadas.” [17]

El comandante del Comando de Operaciones Especiales Conjuntas hasta 2008 fue el actual general Stanley McChrystal, principal comandante de lo que pronto serán 150.000 soldados de EE.UU. y de la OTAN en Afganistán.

Los asesinatos por misiles de drones y la matanza indiscriminada de civiles que frecuentemente los acompañan son un componente integral de la estrategia de contrainsurgencia en Asia del Sur. La escalada cualitativa de los ataques de drones en Pakistán y Afganistán comenzó cuando McChrystal reemplazó a David McKiernan en junio pasado como máximo comandante de la Fuerza Internacional de Ayuda en la Seguridad (ISAF) en Afganistán dirigida por EE.UU. y la OTAN.

En otras partes del mundo, el Pentágono contribuirá drones militares a las maniobras en las Costas del Norte en Finlandia en septiembre de este año, “el mayor ejercicio militar naval que haya sido visto en aguas territoriales finlandesas.” [Mientras Stanley McChrystal era comandante del Comando Conjunto de Operaciones Especiales EE.UU. realizó once letales ataques de Predator en Iraq en abril de 2008. El secretario de defensa de aquel entonces “Robert Gates instó a la Fuerza Aérea a que hiciera más para enviar drones a la zona de guerra.”

Un periódico estadounidense informó entonces que “se espera que los comandantes se basen más en sistemas no tripulados cuando los 30.000 soldados enviados el año pasado se retiren. Las fuerzas armadas tienen docenas de Predator en Iraq y Afganistán. En total operan 5.000 drones, 25 veces más de los que tenía en 2001.” [19]

En diciembre pasado el gobierno de Venezuela llamó a la comunidad mundial a condenar incursiones en su espacio aéreo de drones militares estadounidenses que operaban desde Aruba y Curaçao en las Antillas Holandesas. El tipo de drones que voló durante varios días sobre territorio venezolano no fue identificado, pero bajo obligaciones militares tanto bilaterales como de la OTAN Holanda no rehusaría a EE.UU. el derecho a estacionar drones Predator y Reaper en bases en sus colonias en las islas del Caribe.

EE.UU. no sólo ha aumentado su arsenal de vehículos aéreos no tripulados en 25 veces durante la última década, también ha aumentado masivamente el alcance y la letalidad de sus drones cazadores-asesinos. Un reciente informe reveló que desde 2008 el Laboratorio de Investigación de la Fuerza Aérea comenzó a “construir el extremo robot asesino,” descrito como “un pequeño drone armado a ser utilizado por las fuerzas especiales de EE.UU. en la liquidación de ‘objetivos de alto valor.’” [20]

Antes se utilizaba equipos de las fuerzas de las fuerzas especiales o se disparaba misiles crucero para asesinar a las víctimas elegidas. En el caso de los segundos y frecuentemente de los primeros el riesgo era que no se podían utilizar más de una vez.

Los drones Predator y Reaper vuelven después de sus misiones y se recargan con misiles Hellfire para más ataques mortíferos.

Se han convertido en las armas preferidas de Washington en el Siglo XXI para perpetrar asesinatos internacionales.

[1] Associated Press, October 25, 2009

[2] Radio Australia, March 8, 2010

[3] Ibid

[4] Dawn News, January 2, 2010

[5] BBC News, October 28, 2009

[6] Xinhua News Agency, January 8, 201

[7] Ibid

[8] Reuters, January 1, 2010

[9] ADN Kronos International, January 6, 2010

[10] Agence France-Presse, January 14, 2010

[11] Associated Press, January 12, 2010

[12] Ibid

[13] Bloomberg News, February 1, 2010

[14] Voice of America News, January 19, 2010

[15] Press TV, January 13, 2010

[16] Russian Information Agency Novosti, December 30, 2009

[17] Wall Street Journal, January 27, 2010

[18] Helsingin Sanomat, January 28, 2010]

Una resolución publicada por los Luchadores por la Paz finlandeses en Laponia el pasado mes mencionó “un programa en la televisión finlandesa sobre pruebas de Vehículos Aéreos sin Tripulación en el aeropuerto Kemijarvi. Esta área real de entrenamiento se extiende hasta la frontera rusa y sigue durante decenas de kilómetros esa frontera.

“La estrategia para la Guerra de las Galaxias que está desarrollando EE.UU., significa que el avión sin piloto es dirigido desde un centro de comando en Nevada, y sigue el terreno y los movimientos en un monitor a miles de kilómetros de distancia y maniobra los drones. Estos drones han sido utilizados en Afganistán y han muerto a numerosos civiles.” Resolution Of Finnish Peacefighters In Lapland, Stop NATO, February 14, 2010.

[19] USA Today, April 29, 2008

[20] Wired, January 5, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Jižní Atlantik: Británie může vyprovokovat nový konflikt s Argentinou

April 2, 2010

Jižní Atlantik: Británie může vyprovokovat nový konflikt s Argentinou
Rick Rozoff
Překlad L. Janda

22. února došlo v Amerikách jižně od Rio Grande ke dvěma významným událostem. Dvoudennímu setkání skupiny Rio v Mexiku a k započetí s ropnými vrty Velkou Británií 60 mil severně od Falklandských ostrovů, známých v Argentině jako Las Malvinas. Setkání v Mexiku bylo označeno za Summit jednoty, kdy se poprvé k 24 členům skupiny Rio (bez nepozvaného Hondurasu, kvůli nelegitimnosti jeho popřevratového režimu) – Argentině, Belize, Bolívii, Brazílii, Chile, Kolumbii, Kostarice, Kubě, Dominikánské republice, Ekvádoru, El Salvadoru, Guatemale, Guyaně, Haiti, Jamajce, Mexiku, Nikaragui, Panamě, Paraguaji, Peru, Surinamu, Uruguaji a Venezuele – připojilo patnáct členů Karibského společenství (CARICOM): Antigua a Barbuda, Bahamy, Barbados, Belize, Dominikánská republika, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamajka, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts a Nevis, St. Vincent a Grenadiny, Surinam, Trinidad a Tobago. (Haiti, Jamajka a Surinam jsou členy obou organizací).

Před touto schůzkou Financial Times napsaly: „Mexikem vedená iniciativa, jasné znamení rostoucího sebevědomí latinské Ameriky jako regionu, vyloučí jak USA tak Kanadu. Někteří pozorovatelé věří, že by mohla nakonec představovat rivala 35-členné Organizace amerických států (OAS), do které USA a Kanada patří a která byla základním fórem pro otázky polokoule během minulého půlstoletí.“ (1)

V podstatě první den této schůzky bolivijský prezident Evo Morales volal po „nové OAS bez USA“ (2) a zdůraznil staletí dlouhou historii Washingtonu v provádění vojenských pučů, vydírání, vykrádání přírodních zdrojů, a během minulé generace jeho bič neoliberalismu v Amerikách.

V r. 1986 se skupina Rio rozrostla o čtyřčlennou skupinu Contradora, sestávající z Kolumbie, Mexika, Panamy a Venezuely, která byla vytvořena v reakci na kampaně Washingtonu s Contra a eskadrami smrti v Nikaragui, El Salvadoru a Guatemale v 80. letech. Součást dědictví, na které bolivijský prezident Morales poukázal.

Ve stejný den, ne-li hodinu, kdy tato schůzka začínala, společnost British Desire Petroleum začala s výzkumnými vrty hledajícími ropu a plyn u Falkland/Malvín, které byly ukradeny Argentině Británií v r. 1833 a o které tyto země bojovaly v 74 denní válce v r. 1982. „Sousední Argentina, která si na ostrovy činí nároky, se proti vrtům urputně staví. Na počátku tohoto měsíce argentinská vláda podala formální protest u britské vlády.“ (3)

Británie ztratila v konfliktu 255 vojáků, největší počet válečných obětí, které utrpěla od korejské války a konfliktu v Malajsii. V současné době tento počet překonal počet mrtvých Britů v Afghánistánu.

Hrabivá energetická ruka Londýna v jižním Atlantiku neprošla bez povšimnutí v Mexiku, kde k účastníkům Summitu jednoty patřilo 26 prezidentů a premiérů. Argentinská prezidentka Cristina Fernandez britské činy odsoudila jako „jednostranné a nelegální“ (4) a jako porušení suverenity její země.

Dále uvedla: „Neustále dochází k systematickému porušování mezinárodního práva, které by mělo být respektováno všemi zeměmi… Ve jménu naší vlády a ve jménu mého lidu jsem vděčná… za podporu, kterou toto setkání poskytlo našim požadavkům.“ (5)

Fernandez charakterizovala jednohlasnou podporu poskytnutou na této schůzce jako „projev sebeobrany všech“ (6) a odsoudila země se stálým místem v Bezpečnostní radě OSN – kdy nepochybně měla na mysli Británii, Spojené státy a Francii – za „pokračování používání této jejich pozice pro ignorování mezinárodního práva“. (7)

Její venezuelský kolega prezident Hugo Chavez, poukazujíc na nebezpečný rozměr nového Brity vyprovokovaného sváru s Argentinou, ve který to může vyeskalovat, řekl: „Angličané stále Argentině vyhrožují. Věci se změnily. Již nejsme v r. 1982. Pokud konflikt vypukne, buďte si jisti, že Argentina nezůstane sama, jak tomu bylo tehdy.“ (8)

Před začátkem schůzky řekl: „Podporujeme argentinskou vládu a argentinský lid v jejich stížnostech bezvýhradně, toto moře a tato země patří Argentině a latinské Americe.“ (9)

Opětovně zdůraznil tento postoj během svého projevu 22. února. Když poukazoval na vojenskou hrozbu představovanou Británií u pobřeží Argentiny, zmínil se o britské ponorkové základně na Falklandech/Malvínách a řekl: „Požadujeme nejen, aby byla tato ponorková platforma odstraněna, ale také, aby britská vláda dodržovala rezoluce OSN a vrátila toto území Argentincům.“ (10)

Nikaragujský prezident Daniel Ortega, rovněž účastník summitu, uvedl: „Podpoříme rezoluci požadující, aby Anglie vrátila Las Malvinas jejich právoplatným majitelům, aby vrátila tyto ostrovy Argentině.“ (11)

Londýnské Times citovaly Marco Aurelio Garciu, zahraničněpolitického poradce brazilského prezidenta Lula da Silvy, který dodal: „Las Malvinas musí být znovu zaintegrovány do argentinské suverenity. Na rozdíl od minulosti dnes existuje v latinské Americe ohledně nároků Argentiny konsensus.“ (12)

Komentáře venezuelského prezidenta, poukazující na novou vojenskou konfrontaci mezi Británií a Argentinou, jsou ve světle současných akcí Londýna a výroků hlavy státu hodné prozkoumání.

Koncem prosince Británie provedla dvoudenní vojenské operace u pobřeží Falkland/Las Malvinas, kdy byly rovněž použity víceúčelové letouny Typhoon a válečné lodě. Toto cvičení, pod kódovým označením Cape Bayonet, „bylo provedeno během výpravy britských sil k Falklandům před započetím s vrty v tomto bazénu v únoru 2010“ a „simulovalo nepřátelskou invazi…“. (13)

Novinová zpráva v té době dodala: „Británie od války (1982) svoji vojenskou přítomnost na Falklandech posílila a má velkou operační základnu na Mount Pleasant, 35 mil od hlavního města Stanley.“

„Vyhlídky, že se ostrovy přemění na hlavní zdroj ropných příjmů Británie, vyvolaly požadavek armády na další finance, aby mohla zesílit jednotky na jihu Atlantiku.“ (14)

Čtyři dny předtím, než se s vrty u ostrovů započalo, premiér Gordon Brown uvedl: „Učinili jsme veškeré přípravy, které jsou nezbytné pro zajištění, aby ostrované na Falklandech byli řádně chráněni,“ (15) ačkoliv představitelé Argentiny možnost vojenské odpovědi na britské pronikání a provokace na jihu Atlantického oceánu opakovaně odmítli.

Stejný den, 18. února, argentinský náměstek ministra zahraničí Victorio Taccetti obvinil Británii z „jednostranného aktu agrese a dobyvačnosti“ (16) ve snaze zmocnit se ropy a plynu ve sporné oblasti. Buenos Aires zakázalo připlouvání a odplouvání lodí na a z Falkland/Las Malvinas přes argentinské vody.

V sázce je zde, podle odhadů British Geological Survey, až 60 miliard barelů ropy, nacházejících se pod vodami u Falkland/Las Malvinas.

Koncem ledna ruský vojenský analytik vysvětlil, že dokonce ani tato kolosální energetická bonanza není vše, po čem Británie poblíž Falkland/Las Malvinas a dále na jih baží.

Ilja Kramnik napsal, že: „Spolu se sousedními ostrovy kontrolovanými UK jsou Falklandy de facto vstupní branou do Antarktidy, což vysvětluje houževnatost Londýna udržet si nad nimi a nad South Georgia a South Sandwich Islands suverenitu, jakož i teritoriální nároky týkající se Jižních Shetland a South Orkney Islands podle Antarktické smlouvy.“

Co se týká samotné Antarktidy: „Pod ledem, pod kontinentálním šelfem, se nachází enormní množství přírodních zdrojů, a okolní moře jsou plná biologických zdrojů. Navíc ledovce Antarktidy obsahují 90% známých světových zásob sladké vody, jejíž nedostatek se stává s růstem světové populace čím dál akutnější.“ (17)

O více než dva roky starší čínská analýza popsala to, proč Británie částečně do války v r. 1982 šla, a proč tak může učinit opět: získání kontroly nad velkými částmi Antarktidy.

„Rozsáhlost zdánlivě pusté, ledem pokryté země je odhalována a vyjevována vnějšímu světu, a byl odhalen „bazén pokladů“ s neskutečně bohatými depozity minerálů a energetických rezerv… Na pevnině existuje vrstva uhlí z období Permu a obsahuje 500 miliard tun známých rezerv.“

„Tlustý ledový dóm nad pevninou je místem největšího světového rezervoáru sladké vody; obsahuje přibližně 29,3 milionů kilometrů krychlových ledu; a tvoří 75% pozemských zásob sladké vody.“

„Je možné říct, že jižní pól by mohl celému světu poskytnout hojné množství potravy (ryb) a sladké vody… Hodnota jižního pólu se neomezuje pouze na ekonomickou oblast; spočívá také v jeho strategické pozici.“

„Americká pobřežní stráž má v této oblasti posádky již dlouho a americké letectvo je v této oblasti vzdušnou mocností číslo jedna.“ (18)

Popis, ze kterého předešlé výňatky pochází, končil varováním: „Smlouva o jižním pólu (Antarktidě) poukazuje na to, že jižní pól může být zkoumán a rozvíjen pouze pro mírové účely; a nesmí být bojištěm. Jinak by se ledově chladný jižní pól mohl stát divoce žhavým bojištěm.“ (19)

Dva dny před koncem lhůty, 13. května 2009, kdy „státy mohly vznést své nároky na to, co někteří experti popsali jako poslední velké volné námořní teritorium v historii,“ (20) Británie předložila komisi OSN nárok na vymezení kontinentálního šelfu o velikosti milionu kilometrů čtverečních v jižním Atlantiku, sahajícího do Antarktického oceánu.

Článek tohoto seriálu napsaný pět dní poté popsal, že Británií a Austrálií byla započata nová rvačka o Antarktidu, kdy druhé uvedené zemi bylo v dubnu 2008 přiděleno dalších 2,5 milionu kilometrů čtverečních v Antarktickém oceánu. (21)

Noviny ve Velké Británii již předtím o ambicích Londýna v jižním Atlantiku a Antarktidě napsaly: „Od zlatého věku impéria nevznesla Británie nároky na tak rozsáhlou oblast území na světové scéně. A zatímco Britské impérium může být minulostí, Antarktida se vynořila jako poslední bojiště, kde se konkurující si velmoci perou na několika frontách o zajištění cenného na ropu bohatého území… Nárok na Falklandy má největší potenciál politických dopadů, vzhledem k tomu, že Británie a Argentina kvůli těmto ostrovům před 25 bojovaly, a hodnota ropy nacházející se v moři této oblasti je považována za obrovskou. Seizmické testy naznačují, že pod dnem oceánu by se tam mohlo nacházet až 60 miliard barelů ropy.“ (22)

Loňského podzimu ruský zpravodajský zdroj varoval před přesně stejnou iniciativou letošního 22. února a uvedl: „Mnozí věří, že válka mezi Británií a Argentinou v r. 1982, kdy bylo při střetech zabito téměř 1000 vojáků, byla kvůli ropným a plynovým polím v jižním Atlantiku. V tomto smyslu by si jistě Desire Petroleum mělo dvakrát rozmyslet, než začne využitkovávat to, co bylo předmětem krvavé lázně v r. 1982…“

Co se týká teritoriálních nároků předložených Británií vloni v květnu (stále probíraných v komisi OSN pro vymezení kontinentálního šelfu) zpráva poukázala na „lačnost Londýna rozšířit svůj kontinentální šelf u Falklandských ostrovů z 200 na 350 námořních mil, což by umožnilo Británii rozvinout nová ropná pole v South Georgia a South Sandwich Islands,“ a končila pochmurným varováním:

„Vzhledem k neochotě Londýna pokusit se dosáhnout politického řešení s Buenos Aires, zvláštní komisi OSN, co se týká jejího rozhodnutí o kontinentálním šelfu, čekají zcela jistě těžké časy. A lze pouze doufat, že Británie bude dostatečně moudrá, aby nepřeměnila Falklandské ostrovy na další regionální ohnisko sporů.“ (23)

Na rozdíl od první války v jižním Atlantiku v r. 1982, kdy režim generála Leopoldo Galtieri nezískal od dalších latinskoamerických zemí žádnou podporu, budoucí spory nebo ozbrojený konflikt mezi Argentinou a Británií kvůli Falklandům/Las Malvinas bude svědkem solidárního jednání latinskoamerických a karibských států s Argentinou.

Pokud Velká Británie uspěje ve vyprovokování nové války, obrátí se na své spojence z NATO kvůli logistice, průzkumu a jiným formám pomoci, včetně přímé vojenské intervence, bude-li požadována. Mimo USA a Kanady patří ke spojencům Británie z NATO na západní polokouli Francie a Holandsko, se svými zařízeními a vojenskými základnami v Karibiku a jižní Americe.

Británie si zahrává s ohněm, a pokud zažehne nový konflikt, mohl by se rychle rozšířit daleko mimo vody u jižního výběžku jižní Ameriky.

1.Financial Times, February 19, 2010
2.Prensa Latina, February 22, 2010
3.Radio Netherlands, February 22, 2010
4.Associated Press, February 22, 2010
5.Reuters, February 22, 2010
6.Deutsche Presse-Agentur, February 22, 2010
8.The Times (London), February 23, 2010
9.Reuters, February 22, 2010
10.Xinhua News Agency, February 23, 2010
11.The Times, February 23, 2010
13.United Press International, December 28, 2009
15.Reuters, February 18, 2010
16.Xinhua News Agency, February 19, 2010
17.Russian Information Agency Novosti, January 28, 2010
18.People’s Daily, December 4, 2007
20.Reuters, October 7, 2007
21.Scramble For World Resources: Battle For Antarctica
Stop NATO, May 16, 2009
22.The Scotsman, October 23, 2007
23.Voice of Russia, September 16, 2009

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