Archive for October, 2010

Pentagon Forges NATO Proxy Armies In Eastern Europe

October 30, 2010 3 comments

October 30, 2010

Pentagon Forges NATO Proxy Armies In Eastern Europe
Rick Rozoff

On November 19 and 20 the leaders of 28 North American and European nations, all the major Western military powers and their vassals, will gather in the capital of Portugal for this year’s summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Until recently held every other year, NATO summits are now annual events, with the last held in France and Germany in 2009 and the preceding one in Romania in 2008.

Prior to last year’s summit in Strasbourg and Kehl, the first held in two nations, four in a row had occurred in Eastern Europe: The Czech Republic in 2002, Turkey in 2004, Latvia in 2006 and Romania in 2008. None of those host countries, of course, are anywhere near the North Atlantic Ocean. Neither are any of the 12 nations incorporated into the Western military bloc in the past 11 years.

This year’s summit will endorse the Alliance’s first Strategic Concept for the 21st century, a draft of which was crafted by a so-called group of experts led by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and presented in a report entitled NATO 2020: Assured Security; Dynamic Engagement.

Despite NATO referring to itself as a “military alliance of democratic states in Europe and North America” and claiming that all its members’ opinions carry equal weight – as though Luxembourg and Iceland could block or override the U.S., the world’s sole military superpower as its current head of state proudly christened it last December – next month’s summit will be a rubber stamp affair.

Everything the Pentagon and White House demand will be granted, most notably:

The subordination of NATO’s theater interceptor missile initiative, the Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence Programme launched in 2005, and the U.S.-German-Italian Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) to a U.S. missile shield structure throughout all of Europe and into the Middle East.

Standard Missile-3 planned for Baltic and Black Sea deployments

The retention of at least 200 U.S. nuclear bombs on air bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.

A complementary cyber warfare “dome” over the European continent directed by the new U.S. Cyber Command. [1]

The qualitatively accelerated military integration of NATO and the European Union in the aftermath of the Lisbon Treaty entering into force last December 1. A Portuguese adviser to President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso recently affirmed “that the best solution for the enhancement of EU-U.S. relations would be that the European Union (EU) joins NATO.” [2]

The continuation of both components of what are frequently (and artificially) presented as being contradictory: NATO’s founding and core mission – the collective military defense of its member states – and its constantly expanding missions far outside the Euro-Atlantic region, with the war in Afghanistan the prototype and standard of the second.

The Lisbon summit will formalize and extend what has been underway in earnest since NATO’s first war in 1999: The projection of the U.S.-dominated military alliance into an international intervention and occupation force. One that is moving steadily to the east and south of the European continent, which has been unified under NATO and will soon be subsumed under American missile and cyber warfare systems.

Washington and Brussels pretend to protect all of Europe from threats that do not exist – not from Russia, not from Iran and certainly not Syria and North Korea – in exchange for the Pentagon being permitted to move its military personnel and infrastructure along Russia’s western flank from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea and recruiting the host countries’ youth for wars abroad. What in fact are NATO membership obligations.

Voice of Russia on October 27 stated that “Russia is pressing for a NATO ban on the deployment of substantial numbers of allied forces in the newly-admitted eastern member-nations,” and recounted that last December Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov handed NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen a proposal for a draft agreement on Russian-NATO relations which “sets a ceiling for the number of troops and weapons allowed for deployment” to the territory of the former Warsaw Pact and even the Soviet Union.

In doing so Lavrov resembled Afghan President Hamid Karzai periodically complaining of the U.S. and NATO killing his nation’s civilians and the Pakistani government publicly bemoaning deadly American drone strikes in its tribal areas. What he urged was correct and important, but he knew that nothing would come of it.

The Pentagon has ensconced itself permanently at bases in Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Kosovo and the hosts’ troops – except for the last-named, a U.S.-spawned stillborn pseudo-state still not a member of the United Nations 32 months after its unilateral declaration of independence – have been dispatched to fight and die in Afghanistan.

In 21st century Europe armed forces exist not for territorial defense but for NATO and European Union deployments overseas. Military bases, facilities and installations are for billeting foreign troops and housing other nations’ aircraft and military equipment, those of the U.S. in particular.

U.S. F-15 Eagle fighter jets are currently patrolling the airspace over the Baltic Sea in Russia’s neighborhood and are stationed at the Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania until the end of the year.

F-15C fighter jet

The first long-term deployment of American anti-ballistic missiles – a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 battery with approximately 100 troops manning it – occurred this year in northeastern Poland near its border with Russia.

Last year Washington launched the world’s first multinational strategic airlift operation at the Papa Air Base in Hungary.

The U.S. Army’s Task Force East operates out of Romania’s Mihail Kogalniceanu Airfield and Babadag Training Area and Bulgaria’s Novo Selo Training Range.

The U.S. continues to occupy the almost 1,000-acre Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo.

Shifting American nuclear bombs from NATO air bases in other parts of Europe to ones in the east like Lithuania’s Siauliai, Estonia’s Amari, Poland’s Swidwin, Romania’s Mihail Kogalniceanu and Bulgaria’s Graf Ignatievo and Bezmer would be the simplest matter in the world – assuming it hasn’t already been done. There would be less (which is to say no) publicity than that which accompanied CIA “black sites” in Lithuania, Poland, Romania and who knows where else on the territory of new NATO states.

A day never passes without U.S. warplanes flying over and warships visiting ports in Eastern Europe, without the Pentagon conducting military training and exercises including live-fire drills and full-scale war games in the region. [3]

Last month the U.S. participated in the Northern Coasts exercise in the Baltic Sea and the Jackal Stone 10 multinational military exercise in Lithuania and Poland, deploying USS Mount Whitney, flagship of the Mediterranean Sea-based Sixth Fleet, for the latter.

Throughout this month U.S. Special Operations Command is conducting training exercises in Hohenfels, Germany with troops from the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Poland “to seamlessly integrate on the battlefield” in Afghanistan.

“During the actual exercise, the Special Forces command element coordinated with conventional forces to provide Quick Reaction Force assistance.” [4]

On October 11 Polish Army Lieutenant General Mieczyslaw Bieniek, recently appointed Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation of the NATO command in Norfolk, Virginia, visited the NATO Joint Forces Training Centre in Bydgoszcz in his homeland to meet with Afghan generals and among other matters discuss “the situation in Afghanistan, current NATO-Afghan cooperation and its future challenges.” [5]

A week later the Polish government extended the deployment of its 2,600 troops in Afghanistan. “The current mission was supposed to end on 13 October but at the government’s request the president decided to prolong it until 13 April 2011.” [6]

As the U.S.-based Polish NATO commander was in Poland, Polish troops were training at the Marseilles National Guard Center, 65 miles from Chicago, with the Bilateral Imbedded Staff Team A7 which will deploy to Afghanistan in January and which “trains through the State Partnership Program with members of the Polish military both here and in Poland to build relationships with coalition members.” [7]

F-15C fighter jets of the sort currently deployed in the Baltic skies arrived at the Campia Turzii Air Base in Romania on October 21 for Operation Golden Lance, “a large-scale exercise involving more than 150 U.S. Air Force personnel, 10 fighter aircraft and dozens of pieces of support equipment.”

The commander of the 493rd Fighter Squadron in charge of the war games stated, “We’re excited to bring our F-15C capability to demonstrate our air superiority skills, train with a formidable NATO ally and integrate our services on offensive counter-aircraft training missions.”

A major objective of the air combat maneuvers is to provide the U.S. Air Force with yet more opportunities to face off against Russian MiG-21s.

The two nations’ air forces “already share a common link,” as Romanian air force units from the Campia Turzii Air Base “have performed the Baltic Air Police mission the 493rd FS is currently performing elsewhere in the world.” [8]

On October 27 the U.S. 86th Airlift Wing and 435th Air Ground Operations Wing completed two weeks of joint exercises in Bulgaria in the context of Thracian Fall 2010, during which American personnel “were able to train and lead more than 1,000 Bulgarian paratroopers to successful landings from U. S. Air Force in Europe’s newest tactical aircraft.”

As to the purpose of such exercises, an American officer present for them said, “We are hoping by them [Bulgarians] being able to observe how we conduct our operations they will use this to enhance their own ability, from paratrooper operations to flying and one day be able to conduct exercises and even assist in future conflicts.” [9]

The future conflicts mentioned – constantly emphasized – are tomorrow’s wars, ones for which the current nine-year-old armed conflict in Afghanistan is a preparation.

Russia’s foreign minister might want to take note of the fact.

1) NATO Provides Pentagon Nuclear, Missile And Cyber Shields Over Europe
Stop NATO, September 22, 2010
2) Diário de Notícias, 22 de outubro de 2010
3) Baltic States: Pentagon’s Training Grounds For Afghan and Future Wars
Stop NATO< September 30, 2010
U.S. Consolidates New Military Outposts In Eastern Europe
Stop NATO, September 23, 2010
4) U.S. European Command, October 26, 2010
5) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation
October 20, 2010
6) Polish Radio, October 18, 2010
7) LaSalle News Tribune, October 22, 2010
8) U.S. Air Forces in Europe, October 26, 2010
9) U.S. Air Forces in Europe, October 28, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

El Mar Arábigo, centro de la guerra de Occidente en el Siglo XXI

October 30, 2010 Leave a comment

30 de octubre 2010

El Mar Arábigo, centro de la guerra de Occidente en el Siglo XXI
Rick Rozoff

Traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Germán Leyens

“Occidente, EE.UU. y sus aliados de la OTAN, están incrementando las operaciones militares en toda el área, de Asia a África y Oriente Próximo. El teatro de operaciones se ha ampliado recientemente del Sur de Asia a la Península Arábiga con ataques de drones y helicópteros en Pakistán y de aviones y misiles crucero en Yemen… Una guerra que comenzó a principios del siglo está en su décimo año y todas las señales indican que será permanente…”

Uno de cada cuatro portaaviones nucleares del mundo estará pronto en el Mar Arábigo.

El súper portaaviones a propulsión nuclear de la clase Nimitz, USS Abraham Lincoln, llegó a la región el 17 de octubre para sumarse al Grupo de Ataque del portaaviones USS Harry S. Truman, que por su parte había llegado el 18 de junio como parte de una rotación regular.

El Charles de Gaulle, buque insignia de la armada francesa, el único portaaviones del país y el único portaaviones nuclear no estadounidense, se unirá pronto a sus dos equivalentes de EE.UU. Dicho país posee la mitad de los veintidós portaaviones del mundo, los once súper portaaviones (los que desplazan más de 70.000 toneladas) y once de doce portaaviones nucleares.

Respecto al despliegue no programado de un segundo portaaviones estadounidense a la región, una información de CBS News señaló:

“Los ataques aéreos en Afganistán han aumentado en un 50% y ahora el secretario de defensa Gates ha ordenado que un segundo portaaviones, el USS Lincoln, participe en los combates.

“Dos portaaviones que operan frente a la costa de Pakistán significan unos 120 aviones disponibles para misiones sobre Afganistán. Eso sin incluir las misiones de la Fuerza Aérea de EE.UU. que parten de Bagram y Kandahar.” [1]

Los países que bordean el Mar Arábigo son Somalia, Djibouti, Yemen, Omán, Irán, Pakistán, India y la nación isla de Maldivas.

El USS Lincoln y el USS Truman están asignados actualmente al área de responsabilidad de la Quinta Flota, que incluye el Océano Índico Norte y sus partes y vástagos: el Mar Arábigo, el Mar Rojo, el Golfo de Adén y la costa oriental del sur de África hasta Kenia, el Golfo de Omán y el Golfo Pérsico.

Las naciones del Mar Rojo y el Golfo Pérsico son, además de las mencionadas, Egipto, Eritrea, Israel, Jordania, Arabia Saudí y Sudán y Bahréin, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos, respectivamente.

La Quinta Flota es la primera flota establecida en el período posterior a la Guerra Fría, reactivada en 1995 después de haber sido desactivada en 1947. (De la misma manera, la Cuarta Flota, que es asignada al Mar Caribe, Centroamérica y Suramérica, fue reactivada hace dos años después de haber sido desactivada en 1950.)

Comparte un comandante y su cuartel general con el Comando Central de las Fuerzas Navales de EE.UU. (CENTCOM) en Manama, Bahrein, frente a Irán, en el Golfo Pérsico. El CENTCOM fue el último comando militar regional creado por el Pentágono durante la Guerra Fría (1983) y su área de responsabilidad se extiende a través de lo que se ha descrito como Oriente Próximo ampliado, desde Egipto al oeste a Kazajstán, bordeando China y Rusia, hacia el este.

La Quinta Flota y el Comando Central de las Fuerzas Navales en conjunto están a cargo de cinco fuerzas de tareas navales que operan dentro y en los alrededores del Mar Arábigo y patrullan varios de los cuellos de botella más estratégicos del planeta: el Canal de Suez que vincula el Mar Mediterráneo, donde prevalecen la Sexta Flota de EE.UU. y la Operación Esfuerzo Activo de la OTAN, al Mar Rojo; Bab Al Mandeb que conecta el Mar Rojo con el Golfo de Adén; el Estrecho de Ormuz entre el Golfo de Omán y el Golfo Pérsico.

La Fuerza Combinada de Tareas (CTF-150) es un grupo naval multinacional establecido en 2001 con instalaciones logísticas en la República de Djibouti en el Cuerno de África, y opera desde el Estrecho de Ormuz hasta el Golfo de Adén, pasando por Bab Al Mandeb al Mar Rojo y al sur hasta Seychelles en el Océano Índico. El año pasado el Pentágono consiguió una instalación militar en Seychelles, la segunda en una nación africana, donde ha desplegado vehículos aéreos sin tripulación Reaper (drones), aviones PC-3 Orion antisubmarinos y de vigilancia, y 112 personas de la armada. Otras naciones que actualmente contribuyen con barcos y personal a la CTF-150 son Gran Bretaña, Canadá, Dinamarca, Francia, Alemania, Pakistán, Corea del Sur y Tailandia. Entre los participantes recientes también están Australia, Italia, Holanda, Nueva Zelanda, Portugal, Singapur, España y Turquía.

La Fuerza Combinada de Tareas 151 (CTF-151) comenzó en enero de 2009, opera en el Golfo de Adén y en la Cuenca Somalí y cubre un área de 2,85 millones de kilómetros cuadrados. Se ha programado la participación de veinte naciones en la fuerza de tareas dirigida por EE.UU. y ya se han inscrito Gran Bretaña, Canadá, Dinamarca, Francia, Holanda, Pakistán, Singapur, Corea del Sur y Turquía. Sus comandantes hasta la fecha han sido de EE.UU., Gran Bretaña, Corea del Sur y Turquía.

La Fuerza Combinada de Tareas 152 (CTF-152) opera desde el Golfo Pérsico septentrional al Estrecho de Ormuz, entre las áreas de responsabilidad de CTF-150 y CTF-158, y forma parte de la Operación Libertad Iraquí.

La Fuerza Combinada de Tareas 158 (CTF-158) opera en el extremo norte del Golfo Pérsico, también forma parte de la Operación Libertad Iraquí, y está formada por barcos británicos y australianos así como estadounidenses. Sus principales tareas consisten de la supervisión de instalaciones petrolíferas iraquíes y de crear una armada iraquí bajo control del Pentágono.

EE.UU. ha divido el mundo en seis comandos militares regionales y seis flotas de la armada. El Mar Arábigo está cubierto por tres de los comandos militares del Pentágono en ultramar –el Comando Central, el Comando África y el Comando Pacífico– para dar una idea de la importancia que otorga a la región.

Aparte del cuartel general de la Quinta Flota y del Comando Central de las Fuerzas Navales en Bahrein, el Comando Central también mantiene bases e instalaciones de comando, despliegue avanzado, aéreas y de entrenamiento en Kuwait, Omán, Qatar y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos en el Golfo Pérsico, aparte de 56.000 soldados y bases aéreas, navales y de infantería en Iraq.

Varios meses antes de los ataques del 11 de septiembre de 2001 en Nueva York y el Pentágono, EE.UU. firmó un acuerdo con la pequeña República de Djibouti (con una población de 725.000 personas) para hacerse cargo de una antigua base francesa, Camp Lemonnier, que ahora es una Base Naval Expedicionaria de EE.UU. que alberga la Fuerza Combinada de Tareas-Cuerno de África, asignada al Comando África desde que este último fue activado hace dos años. El área de responsabilidad de la Fuerza Combinada de Tareas-Cuerno de África incluye Djibouti, Etiopía, Eritrea, Kenia, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudán, Tanzania, Uganda y Yemen, e incluye efectivamente las naciones del Océano Índico de la Unión de las Comores, Mauricio y Madagascar.

A principios de 2002 EE.UU. desplegó 800 soldados de operaciones especiales en Camp Lemonnier para realizar operaciones clandestinas en Yemen al otro lado del Golfo de Adén. Ahora hay cerca de 2.000 soldados estadounidenses en el país, y 3.000 soldados franceses, en lo que se ha descrito como la mayor base militar de Francia en ultramar. A comienzos de esta década, Alemania envió 1.200 soldados a Djibouti junto con fuerzas de España y Holanda. Gran Bretaña contribuyó con tropas en 2005.

En total hay en Djibouti entre 8.000 y 10.000 militares de las naciones de la OTAN. El Pentágono ha utilizado Camp Lemonnier, el puerto de Djibouti y el aeropuerto internacional del país para ataques en Yemen y Somalia, y los soldados franceses en el país ayudaron a Djibouti en su conflicto armado con la vecina Eritrea en 2008. Francia utiliza el país para entrenar a sus soldados para la guerra en Afganistán y el Pentágono lo utilizó para apoyar la invasión etíope de Somalia en 2006.

La Quinta Flota de EE.UU. tiene asignado normalmente un portaaviones, que sirve como núcleo de un grupo de ataque de portaaviones. Al sumarse este mes el USS Lincoln al USS Truman en el Mar Arábigo, ahora tiene dos. El USS Lincoln va acompañado por un destructor con misiles teleguiados y “contribuye con más de 60 aviones adicionales al teatro de operaciones en apoyo a la Operación Libertad Duradera” [2]

El grupo de ataque del USS Truman incluye cuatro destructores de la clase Aegis equipados para misiles antibalísticos Standard Missile-3, un crucero con misiles teleguiados y la fragata alemana FGS Hessen. El Ala 3 de Portaaviones adjunta al portaaviones incluye tres escuadrones de cazas de ataque, un escuadrón de cazas de los Marines, y escuadrones aéreos de advertencia oportuna (AEW), ataque electrónico y de helicópteros antisubmarinos.

Desde que pasó por el Canal de Suez el 28 de junio hasta fines del mes pasado, el Ala 3 de Portaaviones había “completado más de 3.300 salidas y registrado más de 10.200 horas de vuelo, de las que más de 7.200 fueron en apoyo a las fuerzas de la coalición en tierra en Afganistán.” [3] El grupo de ataques del portaaviones USS Truman incluye 7.000 marineros y marines.

Previamente, antes de entrar al Mar Mediterráneo en mayo, el USS Truman participó en ejercicios conjuntos de interoperabilidad en Marsella con el otro portaaviones francés, Charles de Gaulle. Aviones franceses aterrizaron en la cubierta del Truman y estadounidenses en el Charles de Gaulle.

El portaaviones francés volvió a puerto para ser reparado el día en que partió para “una misión de cuatro meses para apoyar los combates en Afganistán”, pero “recuperará el tiempo perdido en alta mar y no es probable que cambie su itinerario”.

Su nueva misión, la primera desde 2007, “lo llevará a unirse a la lucha contra la piratería frente a Somalia en el Océano Índico y a la misión de la OTAN en Afganistán.

“La nueva misión del barco es unirse a la lucha contra los piratas que tiene lugar frente a la costa de Somalia en el Océano Índico, [donde] tiene lugar una misión de la OTAN”. [4] Los portaaviones nucleares representan un extraño medio para enfrentar a piratas.

El despliegue en cuestión de la OTAN es la Operación Escudo del Océano inaugurada en agosto de 2009 y ampliada hasta finales de 2012. El Grupo Marítimo Permanente 1 de la OTAN y el Grupo Marítimo 2 de la OTAN, que también han visitado Bahrein, Kuwait, Qatar y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos y participaron en maniobras navales conjuntas con Pakistán en el extremo oriental del Mar Arábigo, rotan para la operación en el Golfo de Adén.

La Operación Libertad Duradera de EE.UU. incluye en total a dieciséis naciones –Afganistán, Pakistán, Uzbekistán, Cuba (Guantánamo), Djibouti, Eritrea, Etiopía, Jordania, Kenia, Kirguistán, las Filipinas, Seychelles, Sudán, Tayikistán, Turquía y Yemen– y los esfuerzos de la OTAN son paralelos a los del Pentágono y los refuerzan a todo lo ancho del Mar Arábigo desde el Cuerno de África a Asia del Sur y Central.

En su cumbre de Estambul, Turquía, en 2004, la OTAN lanzó la Iniciativa de Cooperación de Estambul para crear cooperaciones militares con los seis Estados miembro del Consejo de Cooperación del Golfo –Bahréin, Kuwait, Omán, Qatar, Arabia Saudí y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos– y ha realizado mientras tanto intercambios y cooperación militares con ellos. [5] Los Emiratos Árabes Unidos han suministrado tropas a la OTAN para la guerra de Afganistán y albergan una base aérea secreta para el tránsito de tropas y equipamiento a la zona de guerra.

En mayo de 2009, el presidente francés Nicolas Sarkozy abrió una base militar en los Emiratos Árabes Unidos, la primera base permanente francesa en el Golfo Pérsico y la primera base en ultramar en 50 años. Con una base de la armada y de la fuerza aérea y un campo de entrenamiento se percibió entonces como una demostración de fuerza contra Irán que disputa la isla Abu Musa en el Golfo Pérsico con los Emiratos.

Fuerzas de la OTAN también operan desde bases en Kirguistán, Tayikistán y Uzbekistán. La OTAN ha lanzado varios ataques con helicópteros artillados dentro de Pakistán desde finales del mes pasado y el 30 de septiembre mató a tres soldados paquistaníes.

Hay 120.000 soldados de casi 50 naciones que sirven bajo la Fuerza Internacional de Ayuda a la Seguridad [ISAF] de la OTAN en Afganistán.

Este año la OTAN aerotransportó soldados ugandeses a Somalia para el conflicto armado en ese país.

El portaaviones Charles de Gaulle, en camino al Mar Arábigo para apoyar la guerra en ese país así como para operaciones frente a la costa de Somalia, se botó en mayo de 2001. Siete meses después partió al Mar Arábigo para apoyar la Operación Libertad Duradera y la guerra en Afganistán. El 19 de diciembre de ese año jets de ataque Super Étendard y cazas Rafale Ms despegaron desde su cubierta para realizar misiones de bombardeo y reconocimiento, 140 en total.

En marzo del año siguiente aviones de guerra Super Étendard y Mirage, asignados al Charles de Gaulle, realizaron ataques aéreos antes y durante la Operación Anaconda dirigida por EE.UU.

Cuando el portaaviones francés llegue al Mar Arábigo este mes irá acompañado por dos fragatas, un submarino de ataque y un barco cisterna, 3.000 marineros y 27 aviones; diez cazas Rafale F3, 12 jets de ataque Super Étendard, dos aviones de advertencia oportuna Hawkeye y tres helicópteros.

Según el comandante del grupo, el contraalmirante Jean-Louis Kerignard, “la fuerza ayudará a armadas aliadas a combatir la piratería frente a la costa de Somalia y enviará jets para apoyar a la OTAN en los cielos sobre Afganistán.

“Los barcos también se entrenarán junto a aliados de Arabia Saudí, India, Italia, Grecia y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos y se detendrán dos veces en la base francesa en Djibouti antes de volver a Francia en febrero de 2011.” [6]

Junto al USS Lincoln y al grupo de ataque de portaaviones del USS Truman, habrá tres portaaviones, otros diez barcos, un submarino de ataque y hasta 150 aviones militares en el Mar Arábigo. Esto aparte de cinco barcos de guerra del Grupo Marítimo 1 de la OTAN, 14-15 barcos con CTF-150 y tal vez docenas más con CTF-151, CFT-152 y CTF-158. Una armada formidable que cubrirá el mar de un extremo al otro.

En el norte del Mar Arábigo, el Golfo de Omán y hacia el Golfo Pérsico, EE.UU. anunció el 31 de octubre una venta a Arabia Saudí de cazas jet de última tecnología, helicópteros, misiles y otras armas y equipos por 60.000 millones de dólares,” según una agencia noticiosa occidental “la mayor venta de armas de EE.UU. de todos los tiempos”. [7]

El Financial Times reveló el mes pasado que Washington planifica la venta de armas por 123.000 millones de dólares a Arabia Saudí, Kuwait, Omán y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos. En enero de este año aparecieron informes sobre planes de la Casa Blanca de vender baterías de misiles Patriot a Bahrein, Kuwait, Qatar y Arabia Saudí. La Armada de EE.UU. también patrulla el Golfo Pérsico con barcos de guerra equipados con misiles interceptores Standard Missile-3. [8]

En el extremo oriental del Mar Arábigo, la secretaria de Estado Hillary Clinton anunció el 23 de octubre un paquete de ayuda militar a Pakistán por 2.000 millones de dólares en cinco años, y se informa de que la visita programada del presidente Obama a India del próximo mes incluirá considerables negocios de armas que llevarán a que EE.UU. suplante a Rusia como el mayor proveedor de armas de India.

La monumental expansión de las ventas de armas y el refuerzo del poder naval y aéreo en la región del Mar Arábigo no tienen precedentes. También son extremadamente alarmantes.

Occidente, EE.UU. y sus aliados de la OTAN, están incrementando sus operaciones militares en toda el área, desde Asia a África, hasta Oriente Próximo. El teatro de operaciones ha sido ampliado recientemente del Sur de Asia a la Península Arábiga con ataques de drones y helicópteros en Pakistán y ataques aéreos y de misiles crucero en Yemen.

Una guerra que comenzó a principios del siglo llega a su décimo año y todas las señales indican que será permanente.


[1]. CBS News, 18 de octubre de 2010

[2]. Navy NewsStand, 17 de octubre de 2010

[3]. Navy NewsStand, 26 de septiembre de 2010

[4]. Associated Press, 14 de octubre de 2010

[5]. NATO In Persian Gulf: From Third World War To Istanbul, Stop NATO, 6 de febrero de 2009

[6]. Expatica, 13 de octubre de 2010

[7]. Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 21 de octubre de 2010

[8]. U.S. Extends Missile Buildup From Poland And Taiwan To Persian Gulf, Stop NATO, 3 de febrero de 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Der Westen beendet die Pläne für die asiatische NATO

October 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Stop NATO  
30. Oktober 2010

Rick Rozoff

Übersetzt von Einar Schlereth

Der Westen beendet die Pläne für die asiatische NATO

In Übereinstimmung mit dem globalen Trend, der sich auch in anderen strategisch wichtigen Gebieten der Welt zeigt, verstärken die Vereinigten Staaten und ihre Alliierten in der North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – ein Zusammenschluß aller größeren westlichen Militär-und Nuklear- und ehemaligen Kolonialmächte – ihre militärische Präsenz in Südostasien mit besonderem Gewicht auf die geopolitisch kritische Straße von Malakka.
Straße von Malakka

Diese ist eine der wichtigsten Schiffahrtswege und Engpässe. In einer Stellungnahme der Times of London, die George Robertson und Paddy Ashdown im Juni 2008 gewährt wurde – ersterer ein ehemaliger NATO-Generalsekretär und jetzt Baron Robertson of Port Ellen und letzterer ein ehemaliger Geheimdienstoffizier und Vizekönig des Westens in Bosnien zu Beginn des Jahrzehnts, der nahezu dieselbe Rolle in Afghanistan vor zwei Jahren innehatte – bedauerte man zum Teil die Tatsache, dass „Wir zum ersten Mal in mehr als 200 Jahren in eine Welt vordringen, die nicht völlig vom Westen beherrscht wird“.1

Tatsächlich sind die Gründungsmitglieder der NATO in Europa und Amerika zum ersten Mal in einem halben Jahrtausend mit einem Planeten konfrontiert, den sie nicht großenteils oder vollständig unter ihrer Kontrolle haben.

Mit der Ausschaltung der UdSSR und deren Netz von Alliierten in der Welt vor einer Generation war die Aussicht des Westens, eine unbestrittene weltweite Herrschaft erneut zu errichten, aussichtsreicher denn jemals zuvor seit dem Ersten Weltkrieg.

So wie das Britische Imperium es früher tat, nämlich seine Marine und militärischen Stützpunkte dort zu platzieren, wo sie wichtige maritime Punkte überblicken und wichtige Schiffahrtswege kontrollieren und den Transit von gegnerischem Personal und Material blockieren konnten, versucht der Westen jetzt kollektiv, verlorene Positionen zurück- und neue in Gebieten zu gewinnen, die zuvor für ihr militärisches Eindringen unzugänglich waren.

Südostasien ist solch ein Fall. In der Kolonialära aufgeteilt zwischen England, Frankreich, Holland, Portugal und Spanien (das in den Phillipinen 1898 durch die USA ersetzt wurde) hat es zusammen eine Bevölkerung von beinahe 600 Millionen, zwei Drittel der westlichen Hemisphäre und beinahe drei Viertel Europas.

Die Straße von Malakka verläuft fast 1000 km zwischen Thailand, Malaysia und Singapore auf der Ostseite und der indonesischen Insel Sumatra im Westen. Laut der Internationalen Seeschifffahrts-Organisation durchfahren mindestens 50 000 Schiffe jährlich die Straße, die 30 % der Welthandelsgüter einschließlich des Öls vom Persischen Golf zu den großen ostasiatischen Nationen wie China, Japan und Südkorea transportieren. Bis zu 20 Millionen Barrels Öl (1 Barrel = 117.4 l) täglich passieren die Straße von Malakka, eine Menge, die mit der weiteren Entwicklung der asiatischen Länder noch wachsen wird.

Als die USA 1991 den Krieg gegen Irak begannen, abgesehen von Behauptungen betreffs Kuweits territorialer Integrität und den fingierten Anklagen, dass Babies aus den Brutkästen in Kuweit gerissen wurden, war eines der größeren Ziele, einer neuen unipolaren Welt zu zeigen, dass Washington seine Hand am globalen Ölhahn hatte. Dass es den Ölfluss aus dem Persischen Golf nach dem Norden und Westen Europas und nach Ostasien kontrollierte, insbesondere zu den vier Ländern, die das meiste Öl nach den Vereinigten Staaten importieren: Japan, China, Südkorea und Indien. Die ersten drei erhalten ihr Öl aus dem Persischen Golf hauptsächlich durch Tanker, die durch die Straße von Malakka laufen.

Straße von Hormus

Das US- Energieministerium hat für das Pentagon einen umfangreichen, aber präzisen Plan enworfen:

„Engpässe sind enge Kanäle, die stark als globale Seefahrtswege benutzt werden. Sie sind wichtig für die globale Energiesicherheit wegen des hohen Ölvolumens, das durch sie transportiert wird. Die Straße von Hormus, die aus dem Persischen Golf führt und die Straße von Malakka, die den Indischen und den Pazifischen Ozean miteinander verbindet, sind die strategischsten Engpässe. Weitere wichtige Passagen sind Bab al-Mandab, die das Arabische Meer mit dem Roten Meer verbindet; der Panama-Kanal und die Panama-Pipeline, die den Pazifik mit dem Atlantik verbindet; der Sueskanal sowie die Sumedpipeline, die das Rote Meer mit dem Mittelmeer verbinden sowie der Bosperus, der das Schwarze und Kaspische Meer mit dem Mittelmeer verbindet.“2

Bab el-Mandab

Die USA haben ihr Militär in das Schwarze Meer und nach Zentralasien und in den Persischen Golf vorgeschoben, und vor zwei Jahren hat das Pentagon den US Africa Command eingeweiht, vor allem um die Öllieferungen aus Afrikas Golf von Guinea und dem Horn von Afrika zu sichern.

Sues Kanal und Sumed Pipeline (rechts)

Die Straße von Malakka ist der Hauptweg, der den Indischen mit dem Pazifischen Ozean verbindet. An ihrem südöstlichen Ende geht sie in das Südchinesische Meer über, wo die an Naturressourcen reichen Paracel- und Spratly- Inselgruppen zwischen Kina einerseits und mehreren Mitgliedern der ASEAN (Verbund südostasiatischer Länder) und anderen umstritten sind. Die Spratly-Inseln werden teilweise von den ASEAN-Mitgliedstaaten Brunei, Malaysia, den Philippinen und Vietnam und Taiwan beansprucht. Die Paracel-Inseln wurden 1974 in einem Seegefecht von Kina erobert.

Die USA haben im August ihren atomgetriebenen Flugzeugträger USS George Washington und den Zerstörer USS John S. McCain in das Südchinesische Meer geschickt zu den ersten gemeinsamen Militärübungen der USA und (des vereinigten) Vietnam, drei Wochen, nachdem Außenministerin Hillary Clinton sagte, als sie am ASEAN-Außenministertreffen in der vietnamesischen Hauptstadt teilnahm, dass „die Vereinigten Staaten … ein nationales Interesse an freier Schifffahrt, freiem Zugang zu Asiens maritimen ‘commons’ [die Meeresteile, die außerhalb der Hoheitsgewässer liegen. D.Ü.] und Respekt vor Internationalem Recht im Südchinesischen Meer haben“ und sie fügte hinzu: „Die Vereinigten Staaten sind eine Pazifische Nation und wir sind verpflichtet, ein aktiver Partner von ASEAN zu sein.“

Panama Kanal

Clintons Trip nach Hanoi gingen Besuche in den Hauptstädten Pakistans, Afghanistans und Südkoreas voraus, die alle drei fest unter dem US-militärischen Einfluß stehen. Im letzten Land reiste sie zu der demilitarisierten Zone, die Süd- von Nordkorea trennt, zusammen mit dem Pentagon-Boss Robert Gates im ersten gemeinsamen Besuch von US-Außen- und Verteidigungsministern, um des 60. Jahrestags des Beginns des Koreakrieges zu gedenken (der innerhalb von drei Wochen zum Krieg mit China führte).

Vier Tage, nachdem Clinton Söul verlassen hatte, begannen die USA die gemeinsame Militärübung Invincible Spirit im Japanischen Meer zusammen mit Südkorea, im folgenden Monat die jährliche Ulchi Freedom Guardian- Militärübungen mit 30 000 und 56 000 südkoreanischen Truppen und im September die anti-U-Boot-Übungen im Gelben Meer.3

In Bezug auf Clintons Erklärung auf dem ASEAN-Gipfel im Juli hat der malaysische Journalist und Analytiker Kazi Mahmoud geschrieben:

„Washington benutzt die regionale Gruppe der ASEAN für einen größeren militärischen Zweck und diese Strategie wird klar für alle Beobachter, die den US-Drang nach größerem Einfluß in Asien verfolgen.

Indem sie Länder wie Vietnam, Laos und sogar Myanmar (Burma) neuerdings


einbeziehen – die ASEAN besteht jetzt aus Indonesien, Malaysia, , den Philipppinen, Singapur, Thailand, Brunei, Kambodscha, Laos, Myanmar und Vietnam – „führen die USA eine langfristige Strategie durch, um Kina und Rußland von Südostasien fernzuhalten … Vor dem afghanischen Krieg konnten die Amerikaner auf Thailand, Singapur, Malaysia und Indonesien sowie Brunei zählen. Heute haben die USA auch Vietnam und Kambodscha auf ihrer Seite.“ (Im Juli hat der US Pacific Command und die US Army Pacific die multinationalen Manöver Anglor Sentinel in Kambodscha durchgeführt.)

Außerdem wird Washingtons Rekrutierung der ASEAN-Länder, ursprünglich wegen territorialen Streits mit China gegründet, dazu führen, „die ASEAN in ein … militärisches Instrument zum Kampf für amerikanische Interessen in Irak, Afghanistan, Jemen und sicher auch Georgien und Nord-Korea verwandeln … Wenn die USA dieses Ziel erreicht haben werden, werden sie die Straße von Malakka und die Seewege der Region kontrollieren“.4

Taiwan, das Nicht-Mitglied in der ASEAN, das mit den USA einen Waffendeal über 6.4 Mrd.$ in diesem Jahr abgeschlossen hat5, liegt im Streit mit Kina wegen der Spratly-Inseln, und Japan ist im Streit mit Kina um die Senkaku Inseln, wie Japan sie nennt, oder die Diaoyu Inseln im Ostchinesischen Meer, wie sie von Kina genannt werden.

Am 11. Oktober hat der US Verteidigungsminister Gates sich in Hanoi mit Toshimi Kitazawa, dem japanischen Verteidigungsminister, auf der ASEAN Konferenz getroffen, und die „Verteidigungsminister waren bei ihren Gesprächen einer Meinung … dass ihre Länder gemeinsam antworten werden entsprechend dem bilateralen Sicherheitspakt für Stabilität in den Gebieten des Ostchinesischen Meeres, die auch die Senkaku Inseln umfassen, die wegen des Streits zwischen Japan und Kina in die Schlagzeilen gerieten …“6

Der fragliche Pakt ist der Vertrag gegenseitiger Kooperation und Sicherheit, der 1960 zwischen Japan und den USA unterzeichnet wurde, ähnlich den gegenseitigen militärischen Beistandsabkommen, die das Pentagon mit Australien, den Philippinen, Singapur, Südkorea und Thailand in der Pazifik Region Asiens hat. „Es entwickelt auch eine feste strategische Beziehung mit Vietnam – ausgerechnet.. Es arbeitet auch stark mit Indonesien und Malaysia zusammen, die beide angedeutet haben, dass sie Washington näher kommen wollen.“7

Bei dem Shangri-La Dialog in Singapur der Verteidigungsminister sagte Gates im Juni d.J.: „Die überragende Verpflichtung meines Landes gegenüber seinen Alliierten, Partnern und der Region ist es, Amerikas Sicherheitsengagement zu bestätigen.“8

Singapur und seit Juli auch Malaysia sind offiziell Truppen-beitragende Länder für NATOs Krieg in Afghanistan. Im Juni beteiligten sich Malaysia und Thailand an der diesjährigen Version der jährlichen US-Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Seemanövern, den größten der Welt (mit 20 000 Truppen, 34 Schiffen, fünf U-Booten und über 100 Flugzeugen in diesem Jahr), die von der US Pacific Fleet in Hawai ausgetragen werden. RIMPAC 2010 bedeuteten die erstmalige Teilnahme der beiden südostasiatischen Länder an den Manövern. Weitere Länder außer den USA waren Australien, Kanada, Chile, Kolumbien, Frankreich, Indonesien, Japan, Holland, Peru, Singapur und Südkorea.

Außer der Besetzung Afghanistans mit 152 000 US- und NATO-Soldaten, dem Aufbau einer afghanischen Armee und Luftwaffe unter dem Kommando des Westen und der Integration Pakistans bei gemeinsamen Aufgaben mit der USA und der NATO9 konsolidiert Washington auch die strategische Militärpartnerschaft mit Indien. Im vergangenen Oktober nahm die US-Armee auch an den jüngsten und größten Yudh Abhyas (Übung für den Krieg) Manövern seit 2004 mit dem indischen Partner teil. An diesen Übungen waren 1000 Soldaten beteiligt, das US-Javelin Anti-Panzer-Raketensystem und der erste Einsatz der American Stryker (gepanzerte Kampffahrzeuge) außerhalb des afghanischen und irakischen Kriegsschauplatzes.10

Die USA haben auch mit der Welt zweitgrößtem bevölkerungsreichsten Land jährlich Übungen namens Malabar duchgeführt und diesen in den vergangenen vier Jahren ein multinationales Format unter Beteiligung von Kanada, Australien, Japan und Singapur gegeben. Malabar 2007 wurde im Golf von Bengalen, direkt nördlich der Straße von Malakka gehalten und umfasste 25 Kriegsschiffe aus fünf Landern.

Am 28. September hielten Indien und Japan ihre ersten gemeinsamen Militärgespräche in Neu Delhi ab, die „bezweckten, den gegenwärtigen Stand des Engagements, der militärischen Kooperation und militärischer Sicherheitsfragen zu überprüfen …“ Japan wude somit das neunte Land, mit dem die Armee Indiens bilaterale Gespräche geführt hat, nach den USA, England, Frankreich, Australien, Bangladesch, Israel, Malaysia und Singapur. Zur gleichen Zeit war Indiens Generalstabschef, Generaloberst der Luftwaffe Pradeep Naik auf einem „dreitägigen Goodwill Besuch“ in Japan, um seinen japanischen Kollegen, Generalstabschef der Luftwaffen-Selbstverteidigungsstreitkräfte Kenichiro Hokazono zu treffen. 11

Am 14. Oktober startete das Pentagon die jüngste bilaterale Amphibien-Landeübung (PHIBLEX) und das Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) in den Philippinen mit über 3000 US-Soldaten sowie sechs Kriegsschiffen und Flugzeugen.

Wenn es zu einer Wiederholung der Schlacht um die Paracel Inseln von 1974 oder dem chinesisch- vietnamesischen Zusammenstoß wegen der Spratly Inseln zwischen Kina und anderen Anliegern kommen sollte, sind die USA bereit zu intervenieren.

Am 13. Oktober war Südkorea zum ersten Mal Gastgeber einer Übung der von den USA gebildeten Poliferation Security Initiative (PSI) – einer Operation zur Meeresabriegelung – die von George W. Bush 2003 begonnen wurde mit der anfänglichen Betonung auf Asien, die unterdessen aber globale Ausmaße angenommen hat.12

Am 22. Oktober waren am Ende 14 Länder beteiligt – u.a. die USA, Kanada, Frankreich, Australien, Japan – mit einem Lenkwaffenzerstörer, See-Patrouillen-Flugzeugen und anti-U-Boot Helikoptern.

Vor sechs Jahren hat Admiral Thomas Fargo, damals Chef des U.S. Pacific Command eine Regional Maritime Security Initiative gefördert, von der man sagte, dass sie „aus der Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) entstanden sei“ und konzipiert, um „US- Marinesoldaten mit Hochgeschwindigkeits- Booten zum Schutz der Malakka Straße einzusetzen“13 Sowohl Indonesien als auch Malaysia lehnten Pläne ab, amerikanische Streitkräfte vor ihren Küsten zu stationieren.

Im Januar 2009 kündigte die NATO Pläne an für die Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1), Teil der NATO Response Force von bis zu 25 000 Mann für globale Missionen, „für eine sechs-monatige Entsendung in das Arabische Meer, den Indischen Ozean und den Pazifik“ und „durch Gebiete wie die Straße von Malakka, Java und das Südchinesische Meer, eine Weltgegend, die nicht von NATO-Flotten besucht wird“ zu fahren.14

Der Indische Ozean, der vom Pentagon zwischen dem Central Command, dem Africa Command und dem Pacific Comman aufgeteilt ist, wird jetzt auch von NATO Kriegsschiffen patrouilliert.15

Die SNMG1, der erste NATO Konvoy, der vor zwei Jahren den afrikanischen Kontinent umfuhr, wurde in den Golf von Aden umgeleitet für die NATO Operation Allied Provider, die im April 2009 begonnen wurde, und erfolgreich die immer noch aktive Operation Ocean Shield abschloß. Und im vergangenen April hat die NATO-Gruppe zusammen mit Kriegsschiffen von Kanada, Holland, Portugal und Spanien Karachi in Pakistan erreicht, um „mit der Kriegsmarine von Pakistan gemeinsam eine zweitägige Marineoperation im Norden des Arabischen Meers durchzuführen“ auf dem Weg nach Singapur.16 Nach Angaben der Allianz „demonstriert die Entsendung nach Südostasien den hohen Wert, den die NATO ihren Beziehungen mit anderen Partnern weltweit beimißt …“17

Genauso wie die USA die Militärallianzen im asiatisch-pazifischen Raum im ersten Jahrzehnt dieses Jahrhunderts aus dem Kalten Krieg reaktiviert haben, so taten es auch die Hauptalliierten der NATO.

Kurz nachdem Washington den US-atomgetriebenen Flugzeugträger „mit F/A-18C Hornet, F/A-18E/F super Hornet, C-2A Greyhound, MH-60R Seahawk und MH-60S Seahawk Helikoptern und anderen Kampfflugzeugen“19 nach Port Klang Cruise Centre in Malaysia in diesem Monat entsandt haben, haben sich die Verteidigungsminister des vom United Kingdom initiierten Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) Kollektivs – dessen Mitglieder England, Australien, Malaysia, Neuseeland und Singapur sind – in der Hauptstadt Singapur zur 13. FPDA-Konferenz zusammengesetzt.

„Die Verteitigungschefs … gaben während der Konferenz eine FPDA-Manöver-Konzeptdirektive heraus.

Diese Direktive zielt darauf ab, die Entwicklung der künftigen FPDA Manöver und Aktivitäten anzuleiten und die Interoperabilität und die Interaktionen der bewaffneten Kräfte der fünf Mitgliederländer zu stärken.

Sie bezweckt auch die künftige Verbesserung der Fähigkeit der PDA, konventionelle und unkonventionelle Operationen durchzuführen …“20 Die fünf Verteidigungschefs verließen dann Singapur, um der Eröffnungszeremonie des Manövers Bersama Padu 2010 auf der Butterworth Luftwaffenbasis im malaysischen Staat Penang am 15. Oktober beizuwohnen.

Das Militärmanöver geht bis zum 29. Oktober und umfasst „13 Schiffe und 63 Flugzeuge aus den fünf Mitgliedsstaaten der FPDA Länder, die in einer Multi-Bedrohungs-Umgebung zusammenarbeiten.“21

Die FPDA wurde 1971 gegründet auf dem Höhepunkt des Kalten Krieges zusammen mit ähnlichen Militärgruppen – vor allem der NATO – und hat sich in der Nach-Kalten-Kriegs-Periode kontiuierlich vergrößert.

Nach Angaben des australischen Verteidigungsministeriums ist Bersamu Padu 2010 „eine dreiwöchige Übung [am 11. Oktober begonnen] zur Verbesserung der regionalen Sicherheit in der Region.

Die Manöver, die Teil des Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA) sind, werden an verschiedenen Orten auf der ganzen malaysischen Halbinsel und im Südchinesischen Meer stattfinden.“ Sie umfassen vier australische Kriegsschiffe und acht F/A-18 Multiaufgaben Kampfflugzeuge. Der australische Generalleutnant Mark Evans, Chef der gemeinsamen Operationen, sagte, „die FPDA Länder teilen ein gemeinsames Interesse an der Sicherheit und Stabilität der Region, und die Manöver werden die Interoperabilität der gemeinsamen Luft-, Boden- und Seestreitkräfte der Mitgliedsländer verbessern.“22

Alle fünf FPDA Mitglieder sind in NATOs Krieg in Afghanistan engagiert als Teil einer historisch nie dagewesenen Kriegsführung mit insgesamt 45 Nationen. England hat das zweitgrößte Kontingent an Truppen abgestellt für NATOs International Security Assistance Force, geschätzte 9500 Mann, und Australien die meisten von allen nicht-NATO Mitgliedern, nämlich 1550.23

Afghanistan ist der Übungsplatz für eine globale NATO Expedionsstreitmacht. Und für eine rapide sich entwickelnde Asien NATO, die vorbereitet wird, um Kina im Südchinesischen Meer und sonstwo gegenüberzutreten.


1) The Times, June 12, 2008

2) U.S. Energy Information Administration

3) U.S.-China Conflict: From War Of Words To Talk Of War, Part I

Stop NATO, August 15, 2010

Part II: U.S.-China Crisis: Beyond Words To Confrontation

Stop NATO, August 17, 2010

4) Kazi Mahmood, U.S. Using ASEAN To Weaken China

World Future Online, August 13, 2010

5) U.S.-China Military Tensions Grow

Stop NATO, January 19, 2010

6) Kyodo News, October 11, 2010

7) The Australian, August 19, 2010

8) Ibid

9) NATO Pulls Pakistan Into Its Global Network

Stop NATO, July 23, 2010

10) India: U.S. Completes Global Military Structure

Stop NATO, September 10, 2010

11) The Hindu, September 29, 2010

12) Proliferation Security Initiative And U.S. 1,000-Ship Navy: Control Of World’s Oceans, Prelude To War

Stop NATO, January 29, 2009

13) Financial Times, April 5, 2004

14) Victoria News, January 30, 2009

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

Stop NATO, January 8, 2010

16) The News International, April 27, 2009

17) Indo-Asian News Service, March 26, 2009

18) Asia: Pentagon Revives And Expands Cold War Military Blocs

Stop NATO, September 14, 2010

U.S. Marshals Military Might To Challenge Asian Century

Stop NATO, August 21, 2010

19) Bernama, October 8, 2010

20) Government of Singapore, October 14, 2010

21) Ibid

22) Australian Government

Department of Defence

October 11, 2010

23) Afghan War: NATO Builds History’s First Global Army

Categories: Uncategorized

Pentagono e NATO Alleati per la Guerra Cyber-Spaziale Globale

October 30, 2010 Leave a comment

30 Ottobre 2010

Pentagono e NATO Alleati per la Guerra Cyber-Spaziale Globale
di Rick Rozoff

Tradotto e segnalato per Voci Dalla Strada da VANESA

Un comunicato dell’agenzia Reuters afferma che gli USA hanno previsto per questo mese l’attivazione del loro Cybercomando con capacità operativa totale e “preparato per affrontare qualsiasi scontro nel cyberspazio”.
In vista dell’implementazione di un sistema di guerra cyber-spaziale, il lancio del primo comando militare multiplo del mondo – che include le divisioni delle forze dell’esercito nord americano, cioè, l’aviazione, la fanteria, i marines e l’armata- è coordinato con un’iniziativa complementare dell’Organizzazione del Trattato Atlantico del Nord (NATO) in Europa.

Lo scorso mese di settembre, dopo un decennio di esistenza, il comando della Squadra Operativa Congiunta della Rete Globale delle Operazioni del Dipartimento della Difesa degli USA fu dissolto ufficialmente per integrarsi al nuovo Cybercomando degli USA (CYBERCOM).

Nell’annunciare la transizione, il servizio stampa del Pentagono ha segnalato che la squadra operativa aveva perfezionato “il miglior modo di operare nel campo di battaglia del cyberspazio” con “la doppia missione di guidare cyber operazioni offensive e di difesa” che nel 2003 erano state assegnate al Comando Strategico nordamericano (STRATCOM), sotto il cui controllo ci sarà ora anche il CYBERCOM. Un anno dopo, nel 2004, la Squadra Operativa Congiunta della Rete Globale delle Operazioni fu riconfigurata affinchè “assumesse il ruolo offensivo” delle attività di diesa e di attacco prima menzionate.

Il generale della forza aerea, Kevin Chilton, comandante del Comando Strategico, il 7 settembre ha presenziato la cerimonia di transizione. Il tenente generale della fanteria, Carroll Pollett, direttore della Squadra Operativa della Rete Globale delle Operazioni dal 2008, si occuperà ora soltanto dell’Agenzia di Sistemi dell’Informazione della Difesa, in Arlington (Virginia) dove ha avuto luogo la cerimonia, sebbene l’Agenzia dei Sistemi d’Informazione della Difesa del Pentagono conta di spostare la CYBERCOM a Fort Meade (Maryland).
Queste sono alcune delle dichiarazioni del generale Pollett durante la cerimonia:

•“(L’informazione) è un imperativo fondamentale al momento di fornire ai nostri soldati e ai nostri dirigenti nazionali i mezzi necessari per la guerra,
•“Il Cyber Spazio si è trasformato in un nuovo campo di battaglia”
•“Il Cyber Spazio ha acquistato un’importanza simile a quella che hanno terra, mare e aria. E’ chiaro che dobbiamo difenderlo e farlo ritornare operativo” (1)
La sua definizione del cyber spazio come il “quinto spazio militare” forma parte della retorica abituale dei funzionari del Pentagono, che lo denominano anche “quinto campo della battaglia spaziale” (2). Quando i capi degli eserciti più potenti della storia parlano di aggiungere una nuova dimensione alle tradizionali- fanteria, aviazione, marina di guerra, marines e operazioni di missili e satelliti- non solo pretendono di ampliare i preparativi della guerra in un nuovo ambito, ma questo in buona parte domina gli altri.

Il 21 maggio, due settimane dopo essere diventato il primo comandante del CYBERCOM e del lancio di questo, il generale Keith Alexander ha detto che il Pentagono “dipende dalle sue reti per il comando ed il controllo, le comunicazioni, l’intelligence, le operazione e la logistica” che la missione del suo comando consiste nel prevenire, individuare e difendere la nostra nazione delle minacce che sorgono nel cyber spazio”.
Il generale, che è anche direttore dell’Agenzia della Sicurezza Nazionale del Dipartimento della Difesa, ha aggiunto che è necessario definire “regole chiare di confronto” per la cyber guerra, che “servano sia in tempi di pace come di guerra” (3).

In quanto all’uso che di solito Washington dà alla parola difesa, vale la pena di ricordare che quando nel 1949 gli USA cambiarono il nome del Dipartimento della Guerra in quello di Dipartimento della Difesa fu solo una questione di semantica, dato che un anno dopo il Dipartimento della Difesa si dedicò alla guerra della Corea.

L’esercito nordamericano non ha difeso il suo territorio continentale dal 1812, quando gli USA provocarono una guerra contro la Gran Bretagna invadendo il Canada. Non ha neanche difeso i suoi territori dalle loro mediocri prestazioni a Pearl Harbour nel 1941 (le Hawai sono passate ad essere uno stato 18 anni dopo) e nei successivi combattimenti e possedimenti anche più remoti: Le Filippine, Guam, l’Isola di Wake e l’atollo di Midway.
Durante la Prima Guerra Mondiale in Europa, inizialmente in Francia e dopo nella Russia sovietica dal 1917 al 1919, Washington definì le sue forze armate ciò che erano in realtà: forze di spedizione.

Nella guerra lanciata dagli USA e dalla NATO contro la Iugoslavia nel 1999 e nell’invasione in Iraq quattro anni dopo, l’obiettivo prioritario fu la distruzione delle reti elettriche e le telecomunicazioni di tutte e due i paesi. Nel caso della Jugoslavia furono usate bombe di grafite per paralizzare la fornitura elettrica nella nazione.
Le recenti voci circa l’uso del virus informatico Stuxnet per attaccare la centrale nucleare civile dell’Iran a Bushehr sono un esempio di come stanno sviluppando il CYBERCOM per funzioni offensive in tempi di guerra. In un mondo che dipende sempre di più dalla tecnologia dell’informazione, i ciberattacchi hanno sostituito le navi da guerra e le bombe di grafite.

Inoltre, con il progetto Attacco Globale Immediato (Prompt Global Strike) del Pentagono (5) per lanciare missili balistici e ipersonici intercontinentali da navi da guerra a qualsiasi luogo del mondo ad un intervallo di risposta di 60 minuti- che in futuro si ridurrà fino ad essere praticamente istantaneo- e con lo sviluppo di bombardieri supersilenziosi a lungo raggio, capaci di evitare i radar e le difese anti aeree e di penetrare all’interno del paese nel quale si dirigono, l’ostentazione del potere globale per dichiarare una cyber guerra lascerebbe il mondo indifeso di fronte al ricatto economico e gli attacchi degli statunitensi. Gli equivalenti esteri del Comando del Pentagono, il controllo, le comunicazioni, i pc, i servizi dell’intelligence, sorveglianza e sistemi di ricognizione (C4ISR) rimarrebbero neutralizzati.

Non solo l’Iran sarebbe vulnerabile ma anche la Russia e la Cina.
L’edizione di ottobre-settembre di Foreign Affairs, la rivista del Consiglio delle Relazioni Estere, include un articolo di William Lynn, segretario aggiunto della Difesa, intitolato “Defending a New Domain: The Pentagono’s Cyberstrategy” (Come difendere un nuovo dominio: la ciberstrategia del Pentagono), nel quale si afferma che “Il Pentagono ha costruito potenti difese a più livelli intorno alle reti militari ed ha inaugurato il nuovo Cybercomando per integrare le operazioni della ciberdifesa in tutti gli eserciti”(6).
In questo articolo sono elencati cinque componenti della strategia del Pentagono per la Ciberguerra:
•-Il Cyberspazio dovrebbe essere equiparato alla terra, al mare e all’aria per quanto riguarda la guerra
•-Qualsiasi posizione difensiva deve andare al di là del mero mantenimento del cyber spazio “pulito da nemici” per includere operazioni sofisticate e precise che permettano una reazione immediata.
•-Le cyber difese non devono limitarsi al mondo informatico, ma estendersi alle reti commerciali, controllate dal dipartimento della Sicurezza Territoriale (Homelad Security)
•-Al fine di attuare un efficace sistema di “allerta precoce condivisa” di fronte alle minacce si deve rendere possibile stabilire cyber difese con alleati internazionali e
•-Il Dipartimento della Difesa deve contribuire a mantenere e aumentare il dominio tecnologico statunitense e il migliorare del processo di approvvigionamento per tenere il passo con la velocità e l’agilità di evoluzione del settore della tecnologia e informazione (IT). [7]
Di fronte al summit della NATO, che avrà luogo in Portogallo i giorni 19 e 20 novembre, il Dipartimento della Difesa ha previsto di pubblicare quest’autunno un documento di cyber strategia, la cui apparizione sarà sincronizzata con l’inizio delle funzioni del CYBERCOM a pieno regime.
Il 28 agosto, il Washington Post ha pubblicato un articolo intitolato :”Il Pentagono considera gli attacchi preventivi come parte della strategia della cyber difesa” , dove si dettagliava quanto segue:
•Il Dipartimento della Difesa sta usando una “visione aggressiva” delle cyber operazioni, nella quale “s’includono azioni preventive tali come la distruzione della rete dei pc di un avversario oltremare”.
Da quanto si deduce dai documenti della finanziaria destinata al Pentagono, questo sta sviluppando tutta una serie di armi potenziali che gli permetteranno di “attaccare e sfruttare i sistemi d’informazione del nemico attraverso l’inganno, la negazione, il danneggiamento e la distruzione di tali sistemi”.
Il dispiegamento del software e dell’ hardware per tali piani è “il seguente passo logico della cyber strategia generale che William J.Lynn III segretario aggiunto della Difesa, ha presentato la settimana scorsa”, vale a dire, una “difesa attiva”(8).

Ad agosto, il generale Keith Alexander, direttore del CYBERCOM, è intervenuto nella conferenza LandWarNet 2010 a Tampa (Florida), il cui argomento era “Come raggiungere il cyber dominio mondiale dei comandi congiunti”. Ha reiterato durante questa conferenza che “il cyber spazio è adesso uno scenario da considerare come quello via mare, aria e terra” (9). Con un tono molto più inquietante ha aggiunto: “Dobbiamo possedere la potenzialità offensiva di distruggere in tempo reale chi cerchi di attaccarci” (10).

Per “difesa attiva” deve intendersi la capacità di iniziare gli attacchi preventivi non solo contro i pirati informatici individuali ma anche contro intere reti di pc nazionali.
Il Washington Post ha citato le parole di un alto funzionario non identificato del Pentagono, che ha sostenuto la stessa posizione: “Credo che ci è chiaro che per assicurare l’integrità delle nostre reti militari dobbiamo arrivare fino dove sia possibile- una volta che sappiamo da dove arriva la minaccia- per cercare di eliminare questa minaccia lì dove possiamo”, anche se “nell’attaccare il pc di un utente malintenzionato in un altro paese infrangiamo la sua sovranità” (11).

Un giornalista dello stesso giornale ha avvertito che “Il Pentagono ha regole vigenti di confronto per la difesa della rete, tali come il diritto alla difesa propria, ma potrebbe non essere facile stabilire il confine tra autodifesa di azione offensiva” (12).
Le reazioni a tali dichiarazioni e ad altre simili non si sono fatte aspettare dalla Russia e dalla Cina, anche se non da fonti ufficiali. Lo scorso mese, un sito web russo ha pubblicato un’ analisi con il titolo di “Gli USA sono preparati a far cadere internet in tutto il mondo”, nel quale si diceva che “dal 1 ottobre (la data originale in cui si sarebbe messo in moto il CYBERCOM come comando indipendente), migliaia di pirati informatici militari e di spie nordamericane inizieranno le loro attività di cyber guerra (13).

L’autore ha ricordato ai suoi lettori che ad aprile di quest’anno, Leon Panetta, direttore della CIA, ha pubblicato il progetto di questa agenzia per i prossimi cinque anni, CIA 2015, il cui secondo “pilastro” include “l’investimento in tecnologia affinchè l’agenzia aumenti la sua capacità analitica e operativa e sia più efficiente. Il personale dell’agenzia deve poter operare con efficacia e sicurezza in un entourage d’informazione mondiale che cambia velocemente. Il piano aumenta il potenziale della CIA per la ricompilazione tecnica da parte del suo personale e fornisce strumenti avanzati di software….” (14).

A maggio, lo stesso mese in cui il CYBERCOM ha iniziato le sue attività, la Casa Bianca ha approvato la Valutazione della politica cyber-spaziale (Cyberspace Policy Review) di quest’anno.
La fonte russa segnala inoltre che “numerose pubblicazioni nei mass media nordamericani fanno capire che la riforma delle Cyber-forze della Difesa Nazionale, così come l’introduzione della dottrina attraverso il controllo d’internet è stata la strategia dominante degli USA”, e “La strategia della sicurezza dell’informazione nazionale di questo paese è stata sviluppata dalla prevenzione fino all’attacco preventivo”.

“L’obiettivo finale degli USA consiste nell’ (essere capaci di) aprire e chiudere parti d’internet a volontà”.
L’articolo afferma che nel 2004, gli USA hanno eliminato il nome del dominio “ly” ed hanno inabilitato tutti i servizi internet in Libia e che a “maggio del 2009 la Microsoft ha annunciato sul suo sito web che avrebbe cancellato il servizio di Windows Live Messenger per Cuba, Siria, Iran, Sudan e Corea del Nord, in conformità alla legislazione USA” (16).
L’articolo del Washington Post citato sopra aggiungeva che la chiusura di una pagina web saudita nel 2006 “ha colpito in modo collaterale e involontariamente più di 300 server internet in Arabia Saudita, Germania e Texas” (17).
L’autore cinese ha affermato inoltre che “Gli USA monopolizzano le cinque aree essenziali delle infrastrutture d’internet”.
•-Le grandi aziende di tecnologia dell’informazione (IT) che costruiscono pc ad alto rendimento, sistemi operativi, tecnologia di data base, tecnologie di reti della commutazione e biblioteche di risorse dell’informazione.
•-In tutto il mondo, circa il 92,3% dei pc personali e l’80,4% dei super pc usano chip Intel, mentre il 91,8% dei pc personali usano sistemi operativi di Microsoft e il 98% della tecnologia di base dei server è in mano all’ IBM e Hewlett-Packard.
•-Dall’altra parte, l’89,7% dei software di data base li controlla Oracle e Microsoft e il 93,5% della tecnologia brevettata essenziale delle reti di commutazione è in mano a compagnie nordamericane.
•-Una volta che hanno controllato l’infrastruttura di internet e i sistemi hardware e software, gli USA passano a controllare il contenuto d’internet.
Il governo nordamericano ha adottato il macrocontrollo e si è concentrato nel finanziamento per utilizzare in modo attivo le grandi aziende della tecnologia dell’informazione con la finalità di creare un’ infrastruttura globale d’internet che possa manipolare (18).

Inoltre ha menzionato che il senatore Jospeh Lieberman, presidente del comitato senatoriale della Sicurezza Interna e Affari governativi, ha presentato, di recente, ai suoi colleghi del Senato una proposta di legge sulla Protezione del CyberSpazio come un valore nazionale che permetterà al presidente di “poter ordinare a Google, Yahoo e ad altri motori di ricerca che si sospendano i servizi d’internet”.
•E inoltre, altri server di internet in USA potrebbero passare sotto il controllo del presidente quando si produca “una situazione d’urgenza” in internet”.
•“Se questo succede, il presidente degli USA, avrà ufficialmente il potere di aprire o di chiudere internet” (19).
I timori degli esperti cinesi sono stati confermati dopo le dichiarazioni del generale della forza aerea Micheal Hayden- direttore dell’Agenzia della Sicurezza Nazionale dal 1999 al 2005- vice direttore dell’Intelligence Nazionale dal 2005 al 2006 e direttore della CIA dal 2006 al 2009- che il mese scorso ha affermato, con parole diffuse poi da Reuters, che
•“il cyber spazio suppone una minaccia di tale calibro che il presidente degli USA dovrebbe avere l’autorità di chiudere internet in caso di attacco”. Esattamente ha detto quanto segue: “La mia opinione è che probabilmente bisogna legiferare qualche tipo di podestà affinchè il presidente prenda misure urgenti…quando consideri che debba prenderle” (20).
Il Pentagono e la Casa Bianca non pretendono di agire solo nella messa a punto di una struttura internazionale di guerra cibernetica.
A maggio, poco dopo l’inaugurazione del CYBERCOM, gli esperti nordamericani in sicurezza della cyber guerra si sono riuniti durante un simposio di due giorni sul controllo strategico del cyberspazio tenutosi a Omaha (Nebraska); tra di essi c’erano “cyber comandanti di vari comandi nordamericani di combattimento, della NATO, del Giappone, e del Regno Unito” (21).

Nello stesso mese di maggio, il gruppo di esperti della NATO, guidati dall’ex segretaria di Stato Madeleine Albright, ha pubblicato il dossier NATO 2010, nel quale si afferma che “la NATO dovrebbe pianificare l’organizzazione di un pacchetto di misure sulla cyber difesa che includa elementi passivi e attivi” (22) .

Tre settimane dopo, un articolo del Sunday Times di Londra, ha rivelato che “in un dossier del gruppo di Albright si afferma che un cyber attacco contro l’infrastruttura essenziale di un paese della NATO potrebbe equivalere ad un attacco armato, che giustificherebbe una risposta”.
“Un attacco su grande scala contro i sistemi di comando e di controllo della NATO o contro le reti di fornitura d’energia potrebbe possibilmente portare a misure difensive collettive, secondo quanto specifica l’articolo 5, hanno affermato gli esperti”-

L’articolo citava inoltre un esperto giuridico del Centro Cooperativo della Qualità della Cyberdifesa della NATO, stabilito in Estonia nel 2008, che afferma che “la causa dell’effetto di un cyber attacco potrebbe equivalere a quello di un attacco armato, non c’è bisogno di tornare a riscrivere i trattati che sono in vigore”. Si stava riferendo agli articoli 4 e 5 dell’Alleanza: il 4 è servito per giustificare il trasporto di missili antibalistici Patriot alla Turchia durante i preparativi della guerra contro l’Iran nel 2004 ed il 5 per giustificare la partecipazione della NATO nella guerra in Afghanistan; tutti e due potrebbero essere invocati e attivarsi in caso di un cyber attacco.
L’articolo del Sunday Times aggiunge:
•“La NATO si prende molto sul serio gli avvertimenti dei servizi dell’intelligence di tutta l’Europa che i cyber attacchi lanciati dalla Russia e dalla Cina sono una minaccia sempre maggiore”.
•“La NATO sta valutando l’uso della forza militare contro nemici che lancino cyber attacchi contro gli Stati membri”.
•“Questo cambiamento si deve ad una serie di attacchi russi di pirateria informatica contro i membri della NATO e gli avvertimenti dei servizi dell’intelligence sulla crescente minaccia proveniente dalla Cina” (23).
Lo scorso mese è stato tenuto a Tallinn, la capitale dell’Estonia, il 13° Corso di Cyberdifesa. Nel discorso che il ministro della Difesa, Jaak Aaviksoo, ha pronunciato di fronte agli assistenti ha affermato: “i potenti sistemi della cyber sicurezza nazionale degli alleati costruiranno blocchi di cyberdifesa della NATO di una struttura forte” (24).

A giugno, nel centro della NATO in Estonia, paese limitrofo con la Russia, si è tenuta una conferenza di 4 giorni dal titolo di “Come affrontare i conflitti cibernetici”. Melissa Hathaway, direttrice della cyber sicurezza del Consiglio Nazionale della Sicurezza degli USA, ha pronunciato un discorso che ha stabilito il tono della conferenza.

Gloria Graig, direttrice della Politica Internazionale della Sicurezza del Ministero della Difesa del Regno Unito, ha insistito sull’urgenza d’ ingrandire la capacità di difesa di fronte ai cyber attacchi affermando che “in questo momento la NATO non è preparata ad un cyber attacco globale” (25)

Anche a giugno, circa “cento partecipanti delle principali aziende globali della tecnologia dell’informazione, del settore bancario, della comunità dell’intelligence, della NATO, l’UE e altre istituzioni” hanno assistito in Romania alla conferenza “La cyber difesa nel contesto della nuova strategia della NATO”, nella quale si rese pubblica una dichiarazione nella quale si manifesta che
•“La NATO deve aumentare i suoi sforzi per rispondere al pericolo dei cyber attacchi attraverso la protezione delle sue proprie comunicazioni e sistemi di comando, aiutando gli alleati a migliorare la loro capacità per evitare attacchi e riprendersi da essi, e a sviluppare un pacchetto di misure della cyber difesa….” (26)
Ad agosto, la NATO ha rivelato che aveva creato una Divisione delle Minacce Emergenti contro la Sicurezza “con lo scopo di occuparsi del crescente spettro di minacce e rischi in abituali”, che include le cyber operazioni. “La Divisione delle Minacce Emergenti contro la Sicurezza unifica vari rami della conoscenza già esistenti, ma fino ad ora separate, nei quartieri generali della NATO. L’unificazione di questo lavoro in un’unica Divisione ci darà una maggiore concentrazione e visibilità” (27).

Questo mese, l’ Ufficio di consultazione, Comando e Controllo (NC3Q) ha organizzato una conferenza nella Repubblica Ceca e l’Advanced Technology Acquisition Alliance USA dell’Alleanza ha annunciato che “la NATO sta valutando l’investimento di circa 930 milioni di euro (1,3 mila milioni di dollari) nel 2011 e 2012 in progetti di vari anni per affrontare le sfide essenziali sulla sicurezza, tali come la cyber difesa, l’appoggio della NATO in Afghanistan e la sicurezza marittima” (28).

Un recente rapporto ha rivelato che, in un’intervista con il Suddeutsche Zeitung, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, segretario generale della NATO, ha dichiarato di voler “ampliare la definizione di attacchi che causano l’attivazione della Alleanza per includere attacchi informatici” (30) come parte del nuovo concetto strategico al quale aderire durante il summit del mese prossimo.

A metà settembre, William J.Lynn, secondo la linea di comando del Pentagono, si trovava a Bruxelles per illustrare di fronte al Consiglio dell’Atlantico Nord, il principale organo di governo della NATO e di un comitato di esperti in sicurezza (29).

Per mobilitare i militari alleati di Washington in vista del summit di novembre, ha affermato: “La NATO ha uno scudo nucleare, sta costruendo uno scudo di difesa (con missili) sempre più potente, ha anche bisogno di un cyber scudo….Gli allarmi condivisi della guerra fredda devono applicarsi alla cyber sicurezza nel XXI secolo. Allo stesso modo che le nostre difese aeree e i nostri missili difensivi sono vincolati così lo deve essere la nostra cyber difesa” (31).

Quando Lynn è arrivato a Bruxelles, i comandi degli USA e dell’Europa stavano finendo i 15 giorni di manovre congiunte del 2010- “i sistemi militari delle comunicazioni e informazione più importanti del mondo”- nel Centro congiunto delle simulazioni multinazionali dell’area di addestramento di Grafenwoehr (Germania). In totale c’erano 1400 partecipanti di 40 paesi: Germania, Austria, Afghanistan, Armenia, Albania, Azerbayan, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Canada, Croazia, Danimarca, Slovacchia, Slovenia, Estonia, Spagna, Francia, Finlandia, Georgia, Ungheria,Italia, Iraq, Irlanda, Kazajistan, Lettonia, Macedonia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Norvegia, Paesi Bassi, Polonia, Portogallo, Regno Unito, Repubblica Ceca, Romania, Serbia, Svezia, Turchia, Ucraina e USA.

Un portavoce del comando USA e dell’Europa ha dichiarato quanto segue a proposito di questo avvenimento: “Adesso abbiamo un’’operazione’ nel Pacifico, l’Operazione Pacifico. Un’altra negli USA, che utilizza il Sud America e il Canada per interconnettere la sua rete di sistemi di comunicazione. Queste manovre che stiamo realizzando qui, a Grafenwoehr, hanno ramificazioni in tutto il mondo e i principali comandi stanno mettendo a punto la loro propria versione” (32)

Dal 2006, gli USA hanno diretto anche le manovre militari dell’Operazione Africa in questo continente, le “maggiori manovre di inter-operabilità nelle comunicazioni dell’Africa” (33), prima sotto il comando congiunto degli USA e dell’ Europa, e, in date recenti, sotto il nuovo comando degli USA in Africa. Le manovre dell’ Operazione Africa 2010 sono state realizzate ad agosto nel Ghana con la partecipazione di 36 nazioni africane.

La parola adeguata per descrivere la rete militare che il Pentagono ha costruito negli ultimi anni è “globale” (worldwide), come evidenziano le nazioni partecipanti sotto il comando nordamericano nell’Operazione Combinata del 2010 e nell’Operazione Africa 2010: 75 paesi, inclusi l’Afghanistan e l’Iraq.
Le manovre di addestramento multinazionale dirette dagli USA e le simulazioni di guerra si tengono in forma regolarmente e sulla stessa scala in tutta Europa. In questo momento si celebra il secondo anno delle manovre Combattenti Uniti (Joint Warriors)- la maggiore simulazione di guerra in Europa- a poca distanza dalla costa e sotto il cielo della Scozia, con 30 paesi, 10.000 soldati, 30 navi da guerra, tre sottomarini e 21 unità aeree e elicotteri. Manovre militari simili sono state realizzate in estate nella zona dell’Asia-Pacifico, quando gli USA guidarono le simulazioni di guerra delle 14 nazioni del Pacifico, le più grandi manovre marittime multinazionali del mondo, con la partecipazione di 22.000 soldati, 34 navi, 5 sottomarini e più di 100 aerei (34)

Le manovre dell’operazione congiunta che hanno avuto luogo dal 3 al 15 settembre in Germania, hanno incluso per la prima volta un componente della cyber difesa. Partecipanti di 26 paesi e due organizzazioni, la NATO ed il Centro Cooperativo della Qualità della Cyberdifesa, con sede in Estonia, hanno partecipato alla pianificazione delle cyber operazioni nel Centro Congiunto di Simulazioni Multinazionali, a Grafenwoehr.

Dalla fine della guerra fredda, e in particolare nell’ultimo decennio, il Pentagono ha esteso le sue attività in tutto il mondo: bombardamenti, guerre, invasioni, manovre multinazionali e simulazioni di guerra, costruzione di basi e colpi di stato militari, dispiegamento di missili scudi, programmi di formazione e creazione di reti per il trasporto militare.

Grazie all’espansione verso Est, la NATO è oggi l’unico blocco militare del mondo e, con l’implementazione di due anni fa del comando degli USA in l’Africa, gli USA hanno raggiunto il controllo militare dei due interi continenti.
Hanno alleati praticamente in tutte le nazioni d’Europa, Africa, Medio Oriente e Asia ed hanno collocato nuove basi e altre installazioni militari nell’est dell’Europa, Africa e Medio Oriente, Asia, Pacifico del Sud e Sud America: Kosovo, Bulgaria, Romania, Ungheria, Polonia, Djibuoti, Seychelles, Iraq, Israele, Kuwait,Afghanistan, Kirguistan, Australia e Colombia.

Washington ha aumentato la sua presenza militare in vari continenti per raggiungere i suoi obiettivi geopolitici del XXI secolo. Con lo scopo di controllare l’accesso ed il trasporto degli idrocarburi, il Pentagono ha esteso la sua presenza nel Golfo del Persico, nel Golfo di Guinea, nel Mar Nero e nelle nazioni vicine al Mare Caspio. Con la riattivazione nel 2008 della sua IV Flotta, gli USA si sono posizionati per il dominio dei Caraibi, inclusa la Colombia, Venezuela e Panama nella zona sud.

Gli USA stanno preparando un sistema globale di intercettazione missili attraverso il dispiegamento- direttamente e con i suoi alleati- dei sistemi Patriot Advanced Capability-3, Standard Missile-3, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense e altri componenti di missili-scudo in Polonia, Israele, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Emirati Arabi, Giappone, Corea del Sud e Australia, con il Mar Nero, il Mediterraneo, il mar Baltico e il Caucaso Sud come futuri luoghi previsti.

Il Pentagono non si darà pace finchè non riesce a dominare completamente il mondo e quello che c’è al di sopra del mondo. Alla sua superiorità militare nelle aree di terra, mare e aria adesso sta aggiungendo il controllo del quinto campo di battaglia: il cyber spazio.

[1] American Forces Press Service, September 8, 2010
[2] U.S. Cyber Command: Waging War In World’s Fifth Battlespace Stop NATO, 26 maggio 2010
[3] Agence France-Presse, 4 giugno 2010
[4] Stars and Stripes, 2 giugno 2010 [5] Prompt Global Strike: World Military Superiority Without Nuclear Weapons Stop NATO, 10 aprile 2010.
[6] William J. Lynn III, Defending a New Domain:The Pentagon’s Cyberstrategy Foreign Affairs, Settembre/Ottobre 2010
[7] U.S. Department of Defense, 25 2010.
[8] Ellen Nakashima, Pentagon considers preemptive strikes as part of cyber-defense strategy. Washington Post, 28 agosto 2010
[9] United States Army, 4 agosto 2010
[10] Army News Service, 3 agosto 2010
[11] Washington Post, 28 agosto 2010
[12] Ibid
[13] Leonid Savin, US gets ready to knock the world offline Strategic Culture Foundation, 6 settembre 2010
[14] Central Intelligence Agency, 26 aprile2010
[15] Strategic Culture Foundation, 6 settembre 2010
[16] Chen Baoguo, US controls threaten Internet freedom Global Times, 24 agosto 2010
[17] Washington Post, 28 agosto 2010
[18] Global Times, 24 agosto 2010
[19] Ibid
[20] Reuters, 26 settembre 2010
[21] Stars and Stripes, 2 giugno 2010
[22] North Atlantic Treaty Organization
[23] Sunday Times, 6 giugno 2010
[24] North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 3 giugno 2010
[25] Agence France-Presse, 9 giugno2010
[26] North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 7 giugno 2010
[27] Defence Professionals (Germany), 4 agosto 2010
[28] Reuters, 7 ottobre 2010
[29] NATO Provides Pentagon Nuclear, Missile And Cyber Shields Over Europe. Stop NATO, 22 settembre 2010
[30] The H Security, 1 ottobre 2010
[31] Agence France-Presse, 15 settembre 2010
[32] United States European Command, 8 settembre 2010 [33] U.S. Africa Command, 12 gennaio 2010 [34] Asia: Pentagon Revives And Expands Cold War Military Blocs. Stop NATO, 14 settembre 2010


Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. And NATO Drag Asia Into Afghan Quagmire

October 29, 2010 1 comment

October 29, 2010

U.S. And NATO Drag Asia Into Afghan Quagmire
Rick Rozoff

On October 7 the American and North Atlantic Treaty Organization war in Afghanistan entered its tenth year and in slightly over two months will be in its eleventh calendar year.

There are currently more than 150,000 foreign troops in the nation and the number is steadily rising.

As examples, this February Germany raised its troop numbers in Afghanistan from 4,500 to a post-World War Two overseas high of 5,350.

Italian Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa recently pledged 1,200 more troops for the war, bringing the nation’s total to 4,000, during a meeting with commander of all U.S. and NATO forces General David Petraeus. This month Italy also announced it was sending three new military helicopters to the war theater and La Russa stated that he was considering authorizing bombings by Italian fighter jets in Afghanistan.

Newer NATO members in Eastern Europe have authorized comparable increases in troop deployments, with the senate of the Czech Republic voting on October 27 to boost its nation’s contingent to 720 troops and Bulgaria confirming it will raise its figure to 600 by the end of the year. Moreover, the Czech Republic will redeploy special forces to Afghanistan and Bulgaria will shift from security duties to combat operations.

Not only are NATO member states continuing to enlarge the amount of troops for a war without a foreseeable end, but Washington and Brussels are intensifying joint efforts to recruit troops from nations that have until now avoided being pulled into the Afghan imbroglio.

Earlier this year Armenia, Montenegro, Mongolia, South Korea and Malaysia became the 43rd-47th official Troop Contributing Countries for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. On October 8 the diminutive South Pacific nation of Tonga was recruited by Britain as the 48th and will deploy “more than two hundred troops to Afghanistan” as – to believe British and NATO accounts of the agreement – Tonga “wants to show its support to the alliance.” [1]

A few days before, the U.S.’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke pressured the foreign minister of Bangladesh to supply combat troops to serve under NATO in Afghanistan. Four days later, on September 30, the charge d’affaires of the US mission in Dhaka, Nicholas Dean, stated, “The United States has intensified its discussion on Bangladesh’s engagement in Afghanistan….” [2]

In the past week new disclosures indicate that the U.S. and NATO are broadening their Afghan war recruitment campaign throughout Asia.

A Kyodo News report of two weeks ago revealed that Japan is to deploy ten or more Self-Defense Forces medical officers and nurses to Afghanistan by the end of the year, according to sources in the nation’s Ministry of Defense and military. The medical personnel would be the first members of the Self-Defense Forces stationed in the Afghan war zone, the second violation of the nation’s constitutional prohibition against stationing troops in a war theater, the first being in Iraq in 2006.

According to the Japanese press, with the new mission “Japan intends to demonstrate its personnel contributions to Afghanistan through the planned dispatch when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is expected to decide on fresh support measures in November,” at the military bloc’s summit in Portugal.

“The United States, which is engaged in fighting the Taliban, has called for its allies to provide more physical support and Tokyo has determined ‘it is necessary to meet such expectations,'” according to the sources. [3]

However, to indicate that Japan has been no stranger to NATO’s operations in Afghanistan, earlier in the month an explosive device was set off at a NATO Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) camp in the capital of Ghor province. “The majority of the personnel in the [contingent] have been deployed to multinational missions in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan previously. Representatives of Denmark, Georgia, Japan, the USA, Poland, Finland and Ukraine serve together with Lithuanian military and civilian personnel in the Ghor PRT camp in Chaghcharan.” [4]

On October 25 President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, who had earlier provided troops for the Polish-led and NATO-supported Multinational Division Central-South in Iraq, met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Brussels, after which the Kazakh head of state announced that “Several Kazakhstani troops will serve at the headquarters of the international coalition in Afghanistan,” and the NATO chief “called Kazakhstan a ‘leading partner’ of the coalition.” [5]

Since shortly after Washington launched Operation Enduring Freedom, NATO forces have been based in other Central Asian nations: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Including the Middle East and the South Caucasus, NATO’s Asia-Pacific roster in the Afghanistan-Pakistan war theater consists of (and soon may) a growing number of nations: Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Georgia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Tonga and the United Arab Emirates, in addition to Afghanistan (and Pakistan).

With all 28 NATO members and nine European members of the Alliance’s Partnership for Peace program already having supplied troops – and only six European states to date not having done so (Belarus, Cyprus, Malta, Moldova, Serbia and Russia) – the U.S. and NATO necessarily have to look beyond the Euro-Atlantic region for more troops. In doing so the war in Afghanistan has become an Asian war in two senses: The first prolonged war in the continent the U.S. has waged since that in Vietnam and the first Asian war in NATO’s history, and a conflict that is pulling more and more Asia-Pacific countries into its bloody grip.

[Mongolian troops at the Transit Center in Manas, Kyrgyzstan en route to Afghanistan.]

As of October 28 the U.S., its NATO allies and partnership countries had lost 605 soldiers this year, compared to 521 for 2009, itself the highest annual total until now. The combined death count for 2009-2010 – 1,126 – is over half of all foreign soldiers killed since the war began on October 7, 2001, which is 2,175. Seventeen NATO soldiers were killed in three days, October 13-15, alone.

Afghan civilians have fared even worse. Last month, two months after General David Petraeus took over command of all U.S. and NATO forces from Stanley McChrystal [6], American and NATO air strikes in Afghanistan had increased to 700 from 257 in September of 2009 according to U.S. Air Force statistics. [7]

Although nominally targeting insurgents, the bombings and missile strikes have left scores of Afghan civilians dead. Recent reports include:

Early this month a NATO air strike killed at least 18 people in an attack on a residence in Helmand province.

A week later, October 11, at least 20 civilians were killed by a Western rocket attack in the same province. [8]

A U.S.-NATO air strike in Baghlan province killed at least 18 people and wounded several others on October 17, with “eyewitnesses and local sources [saying] all those killed in the attack were civilians.” [9]

On October 23 Afghan government officials accused NATO troops of firing indiscriminately at civilians in Wardak province, causing the deaths of two schoolchildren. “The attack prompted a brief demonstration by angry villagers, demanding an explanation from NATO forces over the killing.” [10] The following day it was reported that four Afghan civilians, including a child, were killed by a U.S.-NATO air strike in the same province.

Regarding the overall, cumulative effect of the Western war and occupation in Afghanistan, on October 10 – the United Nations-supported World Mental Health Day – Afghanistan’s Dr. Suraya Dalil, Deputy Minister for Policy and Planning and Acting Minister of the Ministry of Public Health, stated that “More than 60 percent of Afghans are suffering from stress disorders and mental problems,” a figure substantiated by the World Health Organization. [11]

Seventeen days afterward Saleem Kunduzi, Acting Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, told a gathering marking World Food Day that “Two years ago, five million people in Afghanistan lived in extreme poverty, but now the number has increased to nine million,” [12] almost a third of the population.

In the nine years since the U.S. and NATO invaded Afghanistan, opium cultivation has expanded by 40,000 percent and now accounts for over 90 percent of the world’s supply.

On June 9-10 of this year an international forum called Drug Production in Afghanistan: A Challenge to the International Community was held in Moscow and was addressed by among others President Dmitry Medvedev and Viktor Ivanov, Director of the Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation. The second had stated earlier at a similar conference in Berlin that “Revenues derived from smuggling the ‘white death’ to Europe, Asia and America are estimated to score billions of dollars. In fact, the production and illegal trafficking of Afghan drugs should be classified as a threat to international peace and security.” [13]

The U.S. and NATO have also escalated attacks inside Pakistan. Last month witnessed the largest amount of unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) missile strikes inside the country since their inception in 2004, with at least 20 attacks – many involving the firing of several missiles – causing the deaths of at least 140 people.

NATO also launched four helicopter gunship attacks inside Pakistan in September and killed three Pakistani soldiers in the last, on the 30th.

A minimum of 14 drone strikes by the 28th of this month have killed close to 90 people.

[Predator drone with Hellfire missiles.]

On October 12 two NATO helicopters violated Pakistani airspace in the province of Balochistan and a week later “NATO warplanes and helicopter gunships entered up to 15 kilometers inside Pakistani airspace” in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. [14]

A South Asian news source recently wrote that “US officials may [be planning] raids into Balochistan….Indeed the attacks would be even more controversial than the previous ones, as the earlier helicopter attacks were in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), while military officials are now seeking raids into Pakistan proper, into the Balochistan province….” [15]

A full-scale incursion by U.S. and NATO troops into Pakistan appears to be only a matter of time.

The U.S. led its allies into three wars in less than four years – from March 24, 1999 to March 20, 2003 – in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Along the way the Pentagon has acquired dozens of new military bases in the Balkans, the Middle East, and Central and South Asia, including future strategic air bases in Bulgaria, Romania, Iraq and Afghanistan.

It has also recruited a permanent “coalition of the willing” to wage wars and conduct military occupations in campaigns that have moved inexorably to the east, from Southeastern Europe to the Persian Gulf to the Afghan-Chinese border.

Almost all the 48 nations contributing troops for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan also provided troops for NATO’s Kosovo Force from 1999 to the present and the Multi-National Force – Iraq from 2004-2008. The vast majority have supplied forces for all three missions. In Iraq twenty graduate and current members of NATO’s Partnership for Peace transitional program sent troops: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. All 12 countries absorbed into NATO since the war cycle began in 1999 have deployed troops to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Nine out of 15 former Soviet republics had troops in Iraq.

Non-European and non-former Soviet nations that currently have troops in or headed to Afghanistan also had troops in Iraq: Australia, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Tonga. Others that have troops in Afghanistan also assigned troops to NATO’s Kosovo Force: Malaysia, Mongolia and the United Arab Emirates.

In 2002 U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld “put forward a proposal to create a NATO rapid reaction force,” which was endorsed at the 2002 Alliance summit in the Czech Republic and launched at the 2004 summit in Turkey to conduct “Any mission, anywhere in the world.” [16]

With partners on every populated continent – Colombia has been tapped for troops to be deployed to Afghanistan and Egypt, a NATO Mediterranean Dialogue partner, has security personnel there – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has proven an effective vehicle for the U.S. to establish, train, deploy and integrate a global expeditionary military force which has been used in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, with increasing emphasis on the last.

1) BNO News, October 8, 2010
2) Indo-Asian News Service, October 1, 2010
3) Kyodo News, October 15, 2010
4) Baltic Course, October 11, 2010
5) Central Asia Online, October 27, 2010
6) Afghan War: Petraeus Expands U.S. Military Presence Throughout Eurasia
Stop NATO, July 4, 2010
West’s Afghan Debacle: Commander Dismissed As War Deaths Reach Record Level
Stop NATO, June 25, 2010
7) ABC News Radio, October 13, 2010
8) Press TV/Afghan Islamic Press, October 12, 2010
9) Press TV, October 18, 2010
10) Reuters, October 23, 2010
11) Agence France-Presse, October 10, 2010
12) Pajhwok Afghan News, October 27, 2010
13) Russian Information Agency Novosti, June 6, 2010
14) Asian News International, October 19, 2010
15) The Nation/Asian News International, October 15, 2010
16) North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Categories: Uncategorized

Arabian Sea: Center Of West’s 21st Century War

October 25, 2010 Leave a comment

October 25, 2010

Arabian Sea: Center Of West’s 21st Century War
Rick Rozoff

A quarter of the world’s nuclear aircraft carriers will soon be in the Arabian Sea.

The Nimitz class nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Abraham Lincoln arrived in the region on October 17 to join the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, which in turn had arrived there on June 18 as part of a regular rotation.

USS Abraham Lincoln

The Charles de Gaulle, flagship of the French navy, the country’s only aircraft carrier and the sole non-American nuclear carrier, will soon join its two U.S. counterparts. The U.S. possesses half the world’s twenty-two aircraft carriers, all eleven supercarriers (those displacing over 70,000 tons) and eleven of twelve nuclear carriers.

Regarding the unscheduled deployment of a second American aircraft carrier to the region, a CBS News report stated:

“Air strikes in Afghanistan are up 50 per cent and now Defense Secretary Gates has ordered a second aircraft carrier, the USS Lincoln, into the fight.

“Two carriers operating off the coast of Pakistan means about 120 aircraft available for missions over Afghanistan. And that’s not counting U.S. Air Force missions flown out of Bagram and Kandahar.” [1]

The countries bordering the Arabian Sea are Somalia, Djibouti, Yemen, Oman, Iran, Pakistan, India and the island nation of Maldives.

USS Lincoln and USS Truman are currently assigned to the Fifth Fleet’s area of responsibility, which encompasses the Northern Indian Ocean and its branches and offshoots: The Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the eastern coast of Africa south to Kenya, the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf.

The nations on the Red Sea and Persian Gulf are, in addition to those mentioned above, Egypt, Eritrea, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan and Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, respectively.

The Fifth is the first fleet established in the post-Cold War period, recommissioned in 1995 after being deactivated in 1947. (Similarly, the Fourth Fleet, which is assigned to the Caribbean Sea and Central and South America, was reactivated two years ago after being decommissioned in 1950.)

It shares a commander and headquarters with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (CENTCOM) at Manama, Bahrain, across the Persian Gulf from Iran. CENTCOM was the last regional military command launched by the Pentagon during the Cold War (1983) and its area of responsibility stretches across what has been referred to as the Broader Middle East from Egypt in the west to Kazakhstan, bordering China and Russia, to the east.

The Fifth Fleet and Naval Forces Central Command are jointly in charge of five naval task forces operating in and near the Arabian Sea which patrol several of the most strategic chokepoints on the planet: The Suez Canal linking the Mediterranean Sea, where the U.S. Sixth Fleet and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Operation Active Endeavor hold sway, to the Red Sea. The Bab Al Mandeb connecting the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden. The Strait of Hormuz between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf.

Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) is a multinational naval group established in 2001 with logistics facilities in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti and operates from the Strait of Hormuz to the Gulf of Aden and past the Bab Al Mandeb to the Red Sea and south to the Indian Ocean nation of Seychelles. Last year the Pentagon secured a military facility in Seychelles, its second in an African nation, where it has deployed Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), PC-3 Orion anti-submarine and surveillance aircraft, and 112 Navy personnel. Other nations currently contributing ships and personnel to CTF-150 are Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Pakistan, South Korea and Thailand. Recent participants also include Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Spain and Turkey.

Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) was launched in January of 2009, operates in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin and covers an area of 1.1 million square miles. Twenty nations are scheduled to participate in the U.S.-led task force and Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea and Turkey have already enlisted. Its commanders to date have been from the U.S., Britain, South Korea and Turkey.

Combined Task Force 152 (CTF-152) operates from the northern Persian Gulf to the Strait of Hormuz, between the areas of responsibility of CTF-150 and CTF-158, and is part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Combined Task Force 158 (CTF-158) operates in the northern-most part of the Persian Gulf, is also part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and consists of British and Australian as well as U.S. ships. Its main tasks are to oversee Iraqi oil installations and to create an Iraqi navy under the Pentagon’s control.

The U.S. has divided the world between six regional military commands and six navy fleets. The Arabian Sea is covered by three of the Pentagon’s overseas military commands – Central Command, Africa Command and Pacific Command – to provide an indication of the importance attached to the region.

In addition to the Fifth Fleet’s and Naval Forces Central Command’s headquarters in Bahrain, Central Command also maintains command, forward deployment, air and training bases and facilities in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf in addition to 56,000 troops and air, naval and infantry bases in Iraq.

Several months before the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City and on the Pentagon, the U.S. signed an agreement with the small nation of Djibouti (with a population of 725,000) to take over a former French base, Camp Lemonnier, which is now a United States Naval Expeditionary Base hosting the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, assigned to Africa Command since the latter was activated two years ago. The Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa’s area of responsibility takes in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Yemen, with the Indian Ocean nations of Comoros, Mauritius and Madagascar effectively included.

Camp Lemonnier

In early 2002 the U.S. deployed 800 special operations troops to Camp Lemonnier to conduct covert operations in Yemen across the Gulf of Aden from Djibouti. There are now in the neighborhood of 2,000 U.S. troops in the country and 3,000 French troops there in what has been described as France’s largest overseas military base. In the beginning of this decade Germany deployed 1,200 troops to Djibouti along with forces from Spain and the Netherlands. Britain added troops in 2005.

In total, there are as many as 8-10,000 military personnel from NATO nations in Djibouti. The Pentagon has used Camp Lemonnier, the port of Djibouti and the country’s international airport for attacks in Yemen and Somalia, and French troops in the country assisted Djibouti in its armed conflict with neighboring Eritrea in 2008. France uses the country to train its troops for the war in Afghanistan and the Pentagon used it to support the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia in 2006.

The U.S. Fifth Fleet ordinarily has one aircraft carrier, serving as the nucleus of a carrier strike group, assigned to it. With USS Lincoln joining USS Truman in the Arabian Sea this month it now has two. USS Lincoln is accompanied by a guided missile destroyer and “brings more than 60 additional aircraft to the theater in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.” [2]

USS Harry S. Truman

USS Truman’s strike group includes four Aegis class destroyers equipped for Standard Missile-3 anti-ballistic missiles, a guided missile cruiser and the German frigate FGS Hessen. Carrier Wing 3 attached to the aircraft carrier includes three strike fighter squadrons, a Marine fighter attack squadron, and airborne early warning, electronic attack and helicopter anti-submarine squadrons.

Since passing though the Suez Canal on June 28 until late last month Carrier Wing 3 had “completed more than 3,300 aircraft sorties and logged more than 10,200 flight hours, with more than 7,200 of those hours in support of coalition ground forces in Afghanistan.” [3] There are 7,000 sailors and marines attached to the USS Truman carrier strike group.

Beforehand, shortly after entering the Mediterranean Sea in May, USS Truman engaged in joint interoperability exercises in Marseille with its French fellow nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. French warplanes landed on the Truman’s deck and American ones on Charles de Gaulle’s.

The French carrier was returned to port for repairs on the day it set sail for “a four-month mission to support the fight in Afghanistan,” but “will recover lost time at sea and its itinerary is not likely to change.”

Its new mission, the first since 2007, “is to take it to join the fight against piracy off Somalia in the Indian Ocean and the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

Charles de Gaulle nuclear aircraft carrier

“The new mission of the ship is to join the fight against pirates that is taking place off the coast of Somalia in the Indian Ocean [where a] NATO mission is ongoing.” [4] Nuclear aircraft carriers are a curious choice for contending with piracy.

The NATO deployment in question is Operation Ocean Shield, inaugurated in August of 2009 and extended to the end of 2012. Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 and Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, which have also visited Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates and participated in joint naval maneuvers with Pakistan on the eastern end of the Arabian Sea, rotate for the operation in the Gulf of Aden.

The U.S.’s Operation Enduring Freedom encompasses sixteen nations in all – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Cuba (Guantanamo Bay), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Yemen – and NATO’s efforts parallel and reinforce the Pentagon’s across the width of the Arabian Sea from the Horn of Africa to South and Central Asia.

At its summit in Istanbul, Turkey in 2004, NATO launched the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative to build military partnerships with the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – and has conducted military exchanges and cooperation with them in the interim. [5] The United Arab Emirates has supplied NATO with troops for the war in Afghanistan and hosts a secret air base for the transit of troops and equipment to the war zone.

In May of 2009 French President Nicolas Sarkozy opened a military base in the United Arab Emirates, the first permanent French base in the Persian Gulf and the first overseas base in 50 years. Including a navy and air force base and a training camp, it was seen at the time as a show of force against Iran which contests the Abu Musa island in the Persian Gulf with the Emirates.

NATO forces also operate out of bases in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The North Atlantic Alliance has launched several helicopter gunship attacks inside Pakistan since late last month and on September 30 killed three Pakistani soldiers.

There are 120,000 troops from almost 50 nations serving under NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

This year NATO has airlifted Ugandan troops to Somalia for the armed conflict there.

NATO airlifts Ugandan troops to Somalia in March of 2010

The Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier en route to the Arabian Sea to support the war in that country as well for operations off the coast of Somalia was commissioned in May of 2001. Seven months later it sailed to the Arabian Sea to support Operation Enduring Freedom and the war in Afghanistan. On December 19 of that year Super Étendard attack jets and Rafale Ms fighters took off from its deck to conduct bombing and reconnaissance missions, in all over 140.

The following March Super Étendard and Mirage warplanes assigned to Charles de Gaulle carried out air strikes before and during the U.S.-led Operation Anaconda.

When the French carrier arrives in the Arabian Sea this month it will be accompanied by two frigates, an attack submarine and a refuelling tanker, 3,000 sailors and 27 aircraft: Ten Rafale F3 fighters, 12 Super Étendard attack jets, two Hawkeye early warning planes and three helicopters.

According to the commander of the group, Rear Admiral Jean-Louis Kerignard, “the force would help allied navies fight piracy off the coast of Somalia and send jets to support NATO in the skies above Afghanistan.

“The ships will also train alongside allies from Saudi Arabia, India, Italy, Greece and the United Arab Emirates and make two stopovers at the French base in Djibouti before returning to France in February 2011.” [6]

With USS Lincoln and the USS Truman carrier strike group, there will be three carriers, ten other ships, an attack submarine and as many as 150 military aircraft in the Arabian Sea. That is in addition to the five warships of the NATO Maritime Group 1 in theater, 14-15 ships with CTF-150 and perhaps dozens more with CTF-151, CFT-152 and CTF-158. A formidable armada covering the sea from one end to the other.

In the north of the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman and into the Persian Gulf, on October 21 the U.S. announced a $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia for advanced fighter jets, helicopters, missiles and other weaponry and equipment, according to a Western news agency “the largest US arms deal ever.” [7]

Last month the Financial Times disclosed that Washington plans to sell $123 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. This January reports surfaced of White House plans to sell Patriot missile batteries to Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. Navy also patrols the Persian Gulf with Standard Missile-3 interceptor missile-equipped warships. [8]

On the eastern end of the Arabian Sea, on October 22 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a $2 billion, five-year military aid package for Pakistan, and President Obama’s scheduled visit to India next month is reported to include massive arms deals that will effect the U.S. supplanting Russia as India’s main weapons supplier.

The monumental expansion of arms sales and the buildup of naval and air power in the Arabian Sea region are unprecedented. They are also alarming to the highest degree.

The West, America and its NATO allies, are escalating military operations across the area, from Asia to Africa to the Middle East. The theater of operations has recently broadened from South Asia to the Arabian Peninsula with drone and helicopter attacks in Pakistan and air and cruise missile strikes in Yemen.

A war that started at the beginning of the century is in its tenth year and gives every indication of being permanent.

1) CBS News, October 18, 2010
2) Navy NewsStand, October 17, 2010
3) Navy NewsStand, September 26, 2010
4) Associated Press, October 14, 2010
5) NATO In Persian Gulf: From Third World War To Istanbul
Stop NATO, February 6, 2009
6) Expatica, October 13, 2010
7) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 21, 2010
8) U.S. Extends Missile Buildup From Poland And Taiwan To Persian Gulf
Stop NATO, February 3, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Southeast Asia: West Completes Plans For Asian NATO

October 21, 2010 1 comment

October 21, 2010

Southeast Asia: West Completes Plans For Asian NATO
Rick Rozoff

In keeping with the global trend manifested in other strategically vital areas of the world, the United States and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – a consortium of all major Western military (including nuclear) powers and former colonial empires – are increasing their military presence in Southeast Asia with special emphasis on the geopolitically critical Strait of Malacca.

The latter is one of the world’s most important shipping lanes and major strategic chokepoints.

In an opinion piece The Times of London granted to George Robertson and Paddy Ashdown – the first a former NATO secretary general and current Baron Robertson of Port Ellen, the other a past intelligence officer and the West’s viceroy in Bosnia at the beginning of the decade who nearly reprised the role in Afghanistan two years ago – in June of 2008 which in part rued the fact that “For the first time in more than 200 years we are moving into a world not wholly dominated by the West.” [1]

In fact for the first time in half a millennium the founding members of NATO in Europe and North America are confronted with a planet not largely or entirely under their control.

With the elimination of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and its network of allies around the world a generation ago, the prospect of the West reestablishing uncontested worldwide domination appeared a more viable option than it had at any time since the First World War.

Much as the British Empire had done earlier in positioning its navy and its military outposts overlooking maritime access points to monitor and control vital shipping lanes and to block adversaries’ transit of military personnel and materiel, the West now collectively envisions regaining lost advantages and gaining new ones in areas of the world previously inaccessible to its military penetration.

Southeast Asia is one such case. Divided during the colonial epoch between Britain, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain (with the U.S. supplanting the last-named in the Philippines in 1898), it has a combined population of approximately 600 million, two-thirds that of the Western Hemisphere and almost three-quarters that of Europe.

The Strait of Malacca runs for 600 miles between Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore to the east and the Indonesian island of Sumatra to the west. According to the United Nations International Maritime Organization, at least 50,000 ships pass through the strait annually, transporting 30 percent of the goods traded in the world including oil from the Persian Gulf to major East Asian nations like China, Japan and South Korea. As many as 20 million barrels of oil a day pass through the Strait of Malacca, an amount that will only increase with the further advance of the Asian Century.

When the U.S. went to war against Iraq in 1991, notwithstanding claims concerning Kuwait’s territorial integrity and fictitious accusations of infants being torn from incubators in the country’s capital, one of the major objectives was to demonstrate to a new unipolar world that Washington had its hand on the global oil spigot. That it controlled the flow of Persian Gulf oil north and west to Europe and east to Asia, especially to the four nations that import the most oil next to the United States: Japan, China, South Korea and India. The first three receive Persian Gulf oil primarily by tankers passing through the Strait of Malacca.

The U.S. Department of Energy has provided a comprehensive yet concise blueprint for the Pentagon to act on:

“Chokepoints are narrow channels along widely used global sea routes. They are a critical part of global energy security due to the high volume of oil traded through their narrow straits. The Strait of Hormuz leading out of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Malacca linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans are two of the world’s most strategic chokepoints. Other important passages include: Bab el-Mandab which connects the Arabian Sea with the Red Sea; the Panama Canal and the Panama Pipeline connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans; the Suez Canal and the Sumed Pipeline linking the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea; and the Turkish/Bosporus Straits joining the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea region to the Mediterranean Sea.” [2]

The U.S. has moved its military into the Black Sea and Central Asia as well as into the Persian Gulf, and two years ago the Pentagon inaugurated U.S. Africa Command primarily to secure oil supplies and transport in Africa’s Gulf of Guinea and in the Horn of Africa.

The Strait of Malacca is the main channel connecting the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. On its southeastern end it flows into the South China Sea where the natural resource-rich Paracel and Spratly island groups are contested between China on the one hand and several members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the other. The Spratly Islands are claimed in part by ASEAN member states Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam as well as Taiwan. The Paracel Islands were seized by China in a naval battle with South Vietnam in 1974.

The U.S. deployed the USS George Washington nuclear-powered supercarrier and the USS John S. McCain destroyer to the South China Sea in August for the first joint military exercise ever conducted by the U.S. and (unified) Vietnam, three weeks after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said while attending the ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting in the Vietnamese capital that “The United States…has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons, and respect for international law in the South China Sea,” adding “The United States is a Pacific nation, and we are committed to being an active partner with ASEAN.”

USS George Washington

Clinton’s trip to Hanoi was preceded by visits to the capitals of Pakistan, Afghanistan and South Korea, all three Asian nations solidly in the U.S. military orbit. While in the last country she traveled to the Demilitarized Zone separating South from North Korea with Pentagon chief Robert Gates, in the first such joint visit by U.S. Secretaries of State and Defense, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War (which led to war with China within three months).

Four days after Clinton left Seoul the U.S. launched the Invincible Spirit joint war games in the East Sea/Sea of Japan with South Korea, the following month the latest of annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercises with 30,000 American and 56,000 South Korean troops, and in September anti-submarine drills in the Yellow Sea. [3]

Reflecting on Clinton’s statements at July’s ASEAN summit, Malaysian-based journalist and analyst Kazi Mahmoud wrote:

“Washington is using the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional group for a bigger military purpose and this strategy is becoming clear to observers due to the U.S. push for greater influence in Asia.

By reaching out to nations like Vietnam, Laos and even Myanmar (Burma) as it has lately – ASEAN consists of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam – “The United States is fomenting a long-term strategy to contain both China and Russia in Southeast Asia….Before the Afghan war, the Americans could count on Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia along with Brunei in the region. Today the U.S. has Vietnam and Cambodia on its side.” (In July U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Army Pacific led the Angkor Sentinel 2010 multinational exercises in Cambodia.)

Furthermore, Washington’s recruitment of ASEAN nations, initially over territorial disputes with China, will lead to “turn[ing] ASEAN into a…military corps to fight for American causes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and surely Georgia and North Korea….Once the U.S. has achieved such goals, it will control the Malacca Straits and the seaways of the region.” [4]

Non-ASEAN nations Taiwan, with which the U.S. formalized a $6.4 billion arms deal earlier this year [5], is involved in a Spratly Islands territorial dispute with China and Japan is at loggerheads with China over what it calls the Senkaku Islands and China the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.

On October 11 U.S. Defense Secretary Gates met with Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa at the ASEAN defense ministers’ meeting in Hanoi, and the “defense chiefs agreed in their talks…that their countries will jointly respond in line with a bilateral security pact toward stability in areas in the East China Sea covering the Senkaku Islands that came into the spotlight in disputes between Japan and China….” [6]

The pact in question is the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States signed in 1960, comparable to mutual military assistance arrangements the Pentagon has with Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand in the Asia-Pacific region. “It is also developing a strong strategic relationship with Vietnam, of all places. It is also working hard on Indonesia and Malaysia, both of which have indicated they want to get closer to Washington.” [7]

During the Shangri-La Dialogue defense ministers’ meeting in Singapore this June Gates stated: “My government’s overriding obligation to allies, partners and the region is to reaffirm America’s security commitments in the region.” [8]

Singapore and, since July, Malaysia are official Troop Contributing Countries for NATO’s war in Afghanistan. In June Malaysia and Thailand joined this year’s version of the annual U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercises, the largest in the world (with 20,000 troops, 34 ships, five submarines and over 100 aircraft this year), hosted by the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Hawaii. RIMPAC 2010 marked the two Southeast Asian nations’ first participation in the war games. Other nations involved were the U.S., Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, the Netherlands, Peru, Singapore and South Korea.


In addition to occupying Afghanistan with 152,000 U.S. and NATO troops, building an Afghan army and air force under the West’s command, and integrating Pakistan in joint commissions with the U.S. and NATO [9], Washington is also consolidating a strategic military partnership with India. Last October the U.S. Army participated in the latest and largest of Yudh Abhyas (training for war) war games held since 2004 with its Indian counterpart. Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2009 featured 1,000 troops, the U.S.’s Javelin anti-tank missile system and the first deployment of American Stryker armored combat vehicles outside the Afghan and Iraqi war theaters. [10]

Yudh Abhyas 2009

The U.S. has also been holding annual naval exercises codenamed Malabar with the world’s second most populous country and in the past four years has broadened them into a multinational format with the inclusion of Canada, Australia, Japan and Singapore.

Malabar 2007 was conducted in the Bay of Bengal, immediately north of the Strait of Malacca, and included 25 warships from five nations: The U.S., India, Australia, Japan and Singapore.

This September 28 India and Japan held their first army-to-army talks in New Delhi which “aimed at reviewing the present status of engagements, military cooperation and military security issues….” Japan thus became the ninth country with which the Indian Army has a bilateral dialogue, joining the U.S., Britain, France, Australia, Bangladesh, Israel, Malaysia and Singapore. At the same time the Indian Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Naik, was on a “three-day goodwill visit” to Japan to meet with his Japanese counterpart, Air Self-Defense Force chief of staff General Kenichiro Hokazono. [11]

On October 14 the Pentagon launched the latest bilateral Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) and Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) in the Philippines, with over 3,000 U.S. troops and six ships and aircraft involved.

If a recurrence of the 1974 Battle of the Paracel Islands or the 1988 Chinese-Vietnamese clash over the Spratly Islands erupts between China and other claimants, the U.S. is poised to intervene.

On October 13 South Korea for the first time hosted an exercise of the U.S.-formed Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) naval interdiction operation, launched by President George W. Bush in 2003 with initial emphasis on Asia but which in the interim has assumed a global scope. [12]

To end on October 22, it involves the participation of 14 nations including the U.S., Canada, France, Australia and Japan, which are contributing a guided missile destroyer, maritime patrol planes and anti-submarine helicopters.

Six years ago Admiral Thomas Fargo, at the time head of U.S. Pacific Command, promoted a Regional Maritime Security Initiative which was described as “grow[ing] out of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)” and designed to “deploy US marines with high-speed boats to guard the Malacca Straits….” [13] Both Indonesia and Malaysia objected to the plan to station American military forces off their coasts.

In January of 2009 NATO announced plans for the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1), part of the NATO Response Force of up to 25,000 troops designed for global missions, to engage in “a six-month deployment to the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean” and to travel “through areas such as the Strait of Malacca, Java and the South China sea, an area of the world that is not frequented by NATO fleets.” [14] The Indian Ocean, which the Pentagon divides between its Central Command, Africa Command and Pacific Command, is now also being patrolled by NATO warships. [15]

The SNMG1, which was the first NATO naval group to circumnavigate the African continent two years before, was diverted to the Gulf of Aden for NATO’s Operation Allied Provider begun in April of 2009 and succeeded in August with the still active Operation Ocean Shield. Also last April, the NATO naval group, with warships from Canada, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, arrived in Karachi, Pakistan “to conduct a two-day joint naval exercise with the Pakistan Navy in the North Arabian Sea” [16] en route to Singapore. According to the Alliance, “The deployment of warships in South East Asia demonstrates the high value NATO places on its relationship with other partners across the globe….” [17]

Just as the U.S. has reactivated Cold War-era military alliances in the Asia-Pacific region in the first decade of this century, [18] so have its main NATO allies.

Shortly after Washington deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln nuclear-powered supercarrier with “F/A-18C Hornet, F/A-18E/F super Hornet, C-2A Greyhound, MH-60R Seahawk and MH-60S Seahawk helicopters and other fighter jets” [19] to the Port Klang Cruise Centre in Malaysia this month, the defense ministers of the United Kingdom-initiated Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) collective – whose members are Britain, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore – met in the capital of Singapore for the 13th FPDA Defence Chiefs’ Conference.

“The Defence Chiefs…issued the FPDA Exercise Concept Directive during the conference.

“The directive aims to guide the development of future FPDA exercises and activities to strengthen interoperability and interactions between the armed forces of the five member countries.

“It also aims to further enhance the FPDA’s capacity in conducting conventional and non-conventional operations….” [20] The five defense chiefs then left Singapore to attend the opening ceremony of Exercise Bersama Padu 2010 at the Butterworth Airbase in the Malaysian state of Penang on October 15.

The military exercise continues to October 29 and includes “13 ships and 63 aircraft from the five FPDA countries working together in a multi-threat environment.” [21]

The FPDA was set up in 1971, at the height of the Cold War, and along with similar military groups – NATO most prominently – has not only continued but expanded in the post-Cold War period.

According to the Australian Department of Defence, Bersama Padu 2010, “is a three-week exercise [commenced on October 11] designed to enhance regional security in the area.

“The exercise, which is part of the Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA), will take place at various locations across the Malaysian Peninsula as well as the South China Sea.” It includes four Australian warships and eight F/A-18 multirole fighter jets. Australian Lieutenant General Mark Evans, Chief of Joint Operations, said “the FPDA countries shared a common interest in the security and stability of the region, and the exercise would enhance the interoperability of the combined air, ground and naval forces of member nations.” [22]

All five FPDA members are engaged in NATO’s war in Afghanistan as part of a historically unprecedented exercise in warfighting interoperability with some 45 other nations. Britain has the second largest amount of troops assigned to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, an estimated 9,500, and Australia the most of any non-NATO member state, 1,550. [23]

Afghanistan is the training ground for a global expeditionary NATO. And for a rapidly emerging Asian NATO, one which is being prepared to confront China in the South China Sea and elsewhere.

1) The Times, June 12, 2008
2) U.S. Energy Information Administration
3) U.S.-China Conflict: From War Of Words To Talk Of War, Part I
Stop NATO, August 15, 2010
Part II: U.S.-China Crisis: Beyond Words To Confrontation
Stop NATO, August 17, 2010
4) Kazi Mahmood, U.S. Using ASEAN To Weaken China
World Future Online, August 13, 2010
5) U.S.-China Military Tensions Grow
Stop NATO, January 19, 2010
6) Kyodo News, October 11, 2010
7) The Australian, August 19, 2010
8) Ibid
9) NATO Pulls Pakistan Into Its Global Network
Stop NATO, July 23, 2010
10) India: U.S. Completes Global Military Structure
Stop NATO, September 10, 2010
11) The Hindu, September 29, 2010
12) Proliferation Security Initiative And U.S. 1,000-Ship Navy: Control Of
World’s Oceans, Prelude To War

Stop NATO, January 29, 2009
13) Financial Times, April 5, 2004
14) Victoria News, January 30, 2009
15) U.S., NATO Expand Afghan War To Horn Of Africa And Indian Ocean
Stop NATO, January 8, 2010
16) The News International, April 27, 2009
17) Indo-Asian News Service, March 26, 2009
18) Asia: Pentagon Revives And Expands Cold War Military Blocs
Stop NATO, September 14, 2010
U.S. Marshals Military Might To Challenge Asian Century
Stop NATO, August 21, 2010
19) Bernama, October 8, 2010
20) Government of Singapore, October 14, 2010
21) Ibid
22) Australian Government
Department of Defence
October 11, 2010
23) Afghan War: NATO Builds History’s First Global Army
Stop NATO, August 9, 2009

Categories: Uncategorized

New War Rumors: U.S. Plans To Seize Pakistan’s Nuclear Arsenal

October 15, 2010 2 comments

October 15, 2010

New War Rumors: U.S. Plans To Seize Pakistan’s Nuclear Arsenal
Rick Rozoff

Two recent news items emanating from the United States have begun to reverberate in Pakistan and give rise to speculation that growing American drone strikes and NATO helicopter attacks in that country may be the harbingers of far broader actions: Nothing less than the expansion of the West’s war in Afghanistan into Pakistan with the ultimate goal of seizing the nation’s nuclear weapons.

The News International, Pakistan’s largest English-language newspaper, published a report on October 13 based on excerpts from American journalist Bob Woodward’s recently released volume “Obama’s Wars” which stated that during a trilateral summit between the presidents of the U.S., Afghanistan and Pakistan on May 6 of 2009 Pakistani head of state Asif Ali Zardari accused Washington of being behind Taliban attacks inside his country with the intent to use them so “the US could invade and seize its nuclear weapons.” [1]

Woodward recounted comments exchanged at a dinner with Zardari and Afghan-born Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (2007-2009), to Iraq (2005-2007) and Afghanistan (2003-2005). Khalilzad was also a close associate of Jimmy Carter administration National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, architect of the U.S. strategy to support attacks by armed extremists based in Pakistan against Afghanistan starting in 1978, when he joined the Polish expatriate at Columbia University from 1979-1989.

The baton for what is now Washington’s over 30-year involvement in Afghanistan was passed from Brzezinski to Khalilzad in the 1980s when the latter was appointed one of the Ronald Reagan administration’s senior State Department officials in charge of supporting Mujahedin fighters operating out of Peshawar in Pakistan. He joined the State Department in 1984 on a Council on Foreign Relations fellowship and worked for Paul Wolfowitz, then-Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, at Foggy Bottom. His efforts were augmented by the Central Intelligence Agency’s deputy director at the time, Robert Gates, now U.S. defense secretary. Two of their three chief clients, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Jalaluddin Haqqani, are founders and leaders of Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin and the Haqqani network, against whom Gates’ Pentagon is currently waging war on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

According to Woodward’s account of the Pakistani president’s accusations to Khalilzad in May of last year, “Zardari dropped his diplomatic guard. He suggested that one of…two countries was arranging the attacks by the Pakistani Taliban inside his country: India or the US. Zardari didn’t think India could be that clever, but the US could. [Afghan President Hamid] Karzai had told him the US was behind the attacks, confirming the claims made by the Pakistani ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence].” [2]

Khalilzad, whose résumé also includes stints at the Defense Department, the National Security Council, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the National Endowment for Democracy, the RAND Corporation (where he assisted in establishing the Middle East Studies Center) and the Project for the New American Century, reportedly took issue with Zardari’s contention, which led to the latter responding that what he had described “was a plot to destabilize Pakistan,” hatched in order that, according to Woodward’s version of his words, “the US could invade and seize [Pakistan’s] nuclear weapons.”

The account stated Zardari “could not explain the rapid expansion in violence otherwise. And the CIA had not pursued the leaders of the Pakistani Taliban, a group known as Tehrik-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan or TTP that had attacked the government. TTP was also blamed for the assassination of Zardari’s wife, Benazir Bhutto.”

In the Pakistani president’s words: “We give you targets of Taliban people you don’t go after. You go after other areas. We’re puzzled.”

When Khalilzad mentioned that U.S. drone attacks inside Pakistan “were primarily meant to hunt down members of al Qaeda and Afghan insurgents, not the Pakistan Taliban,” Zardari responded by insisting “But the Taliban movement is tied to al Qaeda…so by not attacking the targets recommended by Pakistan the US had revealed its support of the TTP. The CIA at one time had even worked with the group’s leader, Baitullah Mehsud,” Zardari asserted. [3] (Three months later a CIA-directed drone strike killed Mehsud, his wife and several in-laws and bodyguards.)

In August of 2009, while still commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, then-General Stanley McChrystal issued his classified COMISAF (Commander of International Security Assistance Force) Initial Assessment which asserted the “major insurgent groups in order of their threat to the mission are: the Quetta Shura Taliban (05T), the Haqqani Network (HQN), and the Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HiG).” [4] The first is an Afghan Taliban group which as its name indicates is based in the capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province.

Steve Coll, Alfred McCoy and other authorities on the subject have documented the CIA’s involvement with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Jalaluddin Haqqani: That they were shared with if not transferred by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence to the CIA as private assets. Coll has additionally claimed that Haqqani sheltered and supported Osama bin Laden starting in the 1980s.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar

Jalaluddin Haqqani

At the meeting between Obama, Zardari and Karzai in May of 2009, the American president slighted his two counterparts for alleged lack of resolve in prosecuting the war on both sides of the Durand Line, although even as he spoke Pakistan was engaged in a major military assault in the Swat Valley which led to the displacement of 3 million civilians.

Four days after the dinner exchange between Zardari and Khalilzad, the Pakistani president appeared on the May 10 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press on a program which also included Afghan President Karzai and Steve Coll, now president and CEO of the New America Foundation and author of Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (2004) and The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century (2008).

Zardari’s comments to his American audience included the claim that the Taliban “was part of your past and our past, and the ISI and the CIA created them together. And I can find you 10 books and 10 philosophers and 10 write-ups on that….” [5]

That the leaders of the other two armed groups identified by McChrystal – Haqqani and Hekmatyar – were among the three Mujahedin leaders financed, armed and trained by the CIA (the late Ahmed Shah Massoud being the third), makes the pattern complete: Robert Gates the defense secretary is leading a war against forces that Robert Gates the deputy director of the CIA earlier supported through one of the Agency’s longest and most expensive covert programs, Operation Cyclone.

After retiring from public life, George Kennan, the main architect of U.S. Cold War policy, cited a line he ascribed to Goethe to warn that in the end we are all destroyed by monsters of our own creation. To emend Voltaire, the White House rather than God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.

Woodward’s account of last year’s comments by Pakistan’s president and Zalmay Khalilzad could be dismissed as merely anecdotal if not for an article that appeared in the New York Post on October 3 and developments in Pakistan itself over the past six weeks.

Arthur Herman, a visiting scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute think tank, stated in an article entitled “Our Pakistan problem: Obama’s approach is failing” that “The bitter irony is that even as Obama is trying to get out of the war in Afghanistan, he may be heading us into one in Pakistan.”

The author detailed that whereas in 2009 the U.S. launched 45 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) attacks inside Pakistan, it had tripled that number by the time his article appeared, and that half as many as last year’s total strikes had been launched this September alone.

Also mentioning the NATO helicopter attack in the Kurram Agency of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas on September 30 which killed three members of the Frontier Corps and that “Raids by the CIA’s Counterterrorism Pursuit Team – with its 3,000 Afghan troops – into Pakistan are also becoming routine,” Herman warned:

“All this adds up to a US effort in Pakistan highly reminiscent of the one we undertook in Laos in the 1960s – one of the springboards into the Vietnam quagmire.

“If Obama’s growing pressure on Pakistan destabilizes that government, the only thing keeping that country’s nukes out of the hands of al Qaeda may have to be US troops. That’s a shooting-war scenario that will make Obama wish his name was Lyndon Baines Johnson.” [6]

Herman attributes the expansion of the Afghan war into Pakistan at a qualitatively more dangerous level to the machinations of former CIA officer and current Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution Bruce Riedel and the commander of 152,000 U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan General David Petraeus.

A report of October 13 documented that since Petraeus took command of the war effort in Afghanistan in June there has been a 172 percent increase in U.S. and NATO air strikes, from 257 assault missions in September of 2009 to over 700 last month. In addition, “Surveillance flights increased to nearly three times the number from September 2009 and supply flights are up as well….Petraeus is sometimes seen as more willing to risk the so-called ‘collateral damage’ of civilian deaths….[7]

Last month’s drone attacks were the most in any month since the targeted assasinations were started in 2004 and the amount of deaths they caused – over 150 – the highest monthly total to date.

By the middle of this month there have been at least eight drone attacks and no fewer than 66 people killed.

According to Steve Coll’s New America Foundation, 1,439 of the 1,844 deaths caused by drone attacks in Pakistan since 2004 have occurred in 2009 and so far this year. [8]

Similarly, the deaths of 1,111 of 2,160 U.S. and NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2001 occurred in the same period. Seventeen foreign soldiers were killed between October 13 and 16 alone.

On October 13 the Pakistani press reported that NATO helicopters, until then operating solely in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (in four attacks between September 25-30 against the Haqqani network), violated the nation’s airspace over the province of Balochistan, leading Islamabad to lodge a formal protest with NATO.

Since the revelations from Bob Woodward’s new book and the publication of Arthur Herman’s article, commentaries in Pakistani newspapers have appeared which indicate the seriousness with which recent developments and even more ominous portents are being viewed.

An October 13 feature in The Nation stated that “the ongoing war on terror in Afghanistan is aimed to take the operations into Pakistani territory….The real target is Pakistan’s nuclear potential; they [the U.S. and NATO] have no plausible security threat from the ill-equipped Taliban or ragtag extremists.”

Commenting on the New York Post feature cited earlier, Pakistani commentator A R Jerral further claimed that what “Herman suggests in his write-up is in fact a policy direction to the US administration. He implies that the policy of sending drones and attacking militant hideouts in the Pakistan territory has not worked….[T]he thrust is Pakistan’s nukes. It is a tacit way to tell the policymakers in Washington to keep the pressure on our country, which will weaken the Pakistani government’s standing, causing instability. That will provide the reason for the US troops to move in.”

He added: “We know about the drone attacks as these are reported in the media, but what we do not know and our media does not report is the fact that US-led NATO forces are launching crossborder raids into Pakistan….For this, CIA is operating Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams in Afghanistan.

“These teams are regularly mounting ground raids into Pakistani territory.”

“In this way, things are getting hot as far as the war on terror is concerned. Pakistan is moving to become centre stage in this war. Bruce Riedel, a former CIA and NSC [National Security Council] official, has advised Mr Obama to shift the focus of war ‘from Afghanistan to Pakistan’; this is what we are witnessing in the shape of heightened war effort into the Pakistan territory.” [9]

A Pakistani commentary of the preceding day stated: “[W]e have…been dragged into giving the US access to Balochistan from where it has been attempting to destabilise the Iranian regime through support for the terrorist group Jundullah….Even more threatening, unless we change course now, we will have lost the battle to retain our nuclear assets because that is where the NATO-US trail is eventually leading to.”

“The free-wheeling access to US covert military and intelligence operatives, both officials and private contractors, is another destabilising factor that we seem to be unable or unwilling to check. And now there are the NATO incursions into our territory and targeting of even our military personnel, which shows how servile a state we are living in at present. [10]

As the war in Afghanistan, the largest and longest in the world, proceeds with record casualties among civilians and combatants alike on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border, plans are afoot to further expand the war into Pakistan and to threaten Iran as well.

Comparisons to Washington’s war in Indochina have been mentioned. [11] But Pakistan with its 180 million people and nuclear weapons is not Cambodia and Iran with its population of over 70 million is not Laos.

1) Shaheen Sehbai, Zardari says US behind Taliban attacks in Pakistan
The News International, October 13, 2010
2) Ibid
3) Ibid
4) Washington Post, September 21, 2009
5) Meet the Press, May 10, 2009
6) Arthur Herman, Our Pakistan problem: Obama’s approach is failing
New York Post, October 3, 2010
Obama’s Pakistan Failure
American Enterprise Institute, October 3, 2010
7) ABC News Radio, October 13, 2010
8) New America Foundation
9) A R Jerral, Shifting war on terror to Pakistan
The Nation, October 13, 2010
10) Shireen M Mazari, Ending Collaboration with the US on the War on

The Dawn, October 12, 2010
11) NATO Expands Afghan War Into Pakistan
Stop NATO, September 28, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

El Pentágono se asocia con la OTAN para crear un sistema de guerra ciberespacial global

October 15, 2010 1 comment

15 de octubre 2010

El Pentágono se asocia con la OTAN para crear un sistema de guerra ciberespacial global
Rick Rozoff

Traducido por Manuel Talens (Tlaxcala) y Paloma Valverde (IraqSolidaridad)

Un comunicado de la agencia Reuters afirma que USA tiene prevista este mes la activación de su Cibermando con capacidad operativa total y “preparado para enfrentarse a cualquier confrontación en el ciberespacio”.

Con vistas a la implantación de un sistema planetario de guerra ciberespacial, el lanzamiento del primer mando militar múltiple del mundo -que incluye a las principales divisiones de las fuerzas del ejército usamericano, es decir, la aviación, la infantería, los marines y la armada- está coordinado con una iniciativa complementaria de la Organización del Tratado del Atlántico Norte (OTAN) en Europa.

El pasado mes de septiembre, tras una década de existencia, el mando del Equipo Operativo Conjunto de la Red Global de Operaciones del Departamento de Defensa de USA fue disuelto oficialmente para pasar a integrarse en el nuevo Cibermando de USA (en inglés, CYBERCOM).

Al anunciar dicha transición, el servicio de prensa del Pentágono señaló que el equipo operativo había estado perfeccionando “la mejor manera de operar en el campo de batalla del ciberespacio” con “la doble misión de dirigir ciberoperaciones ofensivas y defensivas” que en 2003 se le habían asignado al Mando Estratégico usamericano (en inglés, STRATCOM), bajo cuyo control estará ahora también el CYBERCOM. Un año después, en 2004, el Equipo Operativo Conjunto de la Red Global de Operaciones fue reconfigurado para que “asumiese el cometido ofensivo” de las actividades de defensa y ataque aquí arriba mencionadas.

El general de las fuerzas aéreas Kevin Chilton, comandante del Mando Estratégico, presidió el 7 de septiembre la ceremonia de transición. El teniente general de infantería Carroll Pollett, director del Equipo Operativo de la Red Global de Operaciones desde 2008, pasará a ocuparse ahora únicamente de la Agencia de Sistemas de Información de la Defensa, en cuyas dependencias de Arlington (Virginia) tuvo lugar la ceremonia, si bien la Agencia de Sistemas de Información de la Defensa del Pentágono tiene previsto el traslado del CYBERCOM a Fort Meade (Maryland).

Éstas son algunas de las declaraciones del general Pollett durante la celebración:

“[La información] es un imperativo fundamental a la hora de proporcionar a nuestros soldados y a nuestros dirigentes nacionales los medios necesarios para la guerra.

“El ciberespacio se ha convertido en un nuevo campo de batalla.

“El ciberespacio ha adquirido una importancia similar a la que tienen tierra, mar y aire. Está claro que debemos defenderlo y volverlo operativo.” [1]

Su definición del ciberespacio como el “quinto espacio militar” forma parte de la retórica habitual de los funcionarios del Pentágono, quienes también lo denominan “quinto campo de batalla espacial”. [2] Cuando los jefes de los ejércitos más poderosos de la historia hablan de añadir una nueva dimensión a las tradicionales -infantería, aviación, marina de guerra, marines y operaciones con satélites y misiles-, no sólo pretenden ampliar los preparativos de la guerra a un nuevo ámbito, sino que éste en buena parte domina a los demás.

El 21 de mayo, dos semanas después de haberse convertido en el primer comandante del CYBERCOM y del lanzamiento de éste, el general Keith Alexander dijo que el Pentágono “depende de sus redes para el mando y el control, las comunicaciones, la inteligencia, las operaciones y la logística” y que la misión de su mando consiste en “impedir, detectar y defender a nuestra nación de las amenazas que surjan en el ciberespacio”.

El general, que asimismo es director de la Agencia de la Seguridad Nacional del Departamento de Defensa, añadió que es necesario definir “reglas claras de confrontación” para la ciberguerra, que “sirvan tanto para tiempos de paz como de guerra”. [3]

En sus primeras declaraciones públicas desde que asumió el mando, Alexander se refirió a sus funciones en un contexto de guerra.

Unos días antes, Kevin Chilton -director del Mando Estratégico- y William J. Lynn -secretario adjunto de Defensa- también habían declarado que la siguiente prioridad del CYBERCOM sería “desarrollar las reglas de confrontación de la ciberguerra”. [4]

En las raras ocasiones en que los medios de comunicación aluden a la creación por parte del Pentágono de un mando militar para ciberoperaciones sin precedente alguno, la palabra preferida con la que definen sus objetivos es “defensa”. En cambio, cuando los militares y el personal del Departamento de Defensa hablan entre sí, utilizan términos más directos: guerra, combate, tiempos de guerra, reglas de confrontación, campo de batalla, cibercampo de batalla.

En cuanto al uso que suele darle Washington a la palabra defensa, vale la pena recordar que cuando en 1949 USA cambió el nombre del Departamento de la Guerra por el de Departamento de Defensa fue sólo una cuestión de semántica, ya que un año después el Departamento de Defensa se enzarzó en la guerra de Corea.

El ejércitos usamericano no ha defendido su territorio continental desde 1812, cuando USA provocó una guerra contra Gran Bretaña al invadir Canadá. Tampoco ha defendido territorios usamericanos desde su mediocre actuación en Pearl Harbour en 1941 (Hawai pasó a ser un estado 18 años después) y en los combates posteriores en posesiones incluso más remotas: las Filipinas, Guam, la Isla de Wake y el atolón de Midway.

Durante la Primera Guerra Mundial en Europa, inicialmente en Francia y después en la Rusia soviética desde 1917 a 1919, Washington llamó a sus fuerzas armadas lo que eran en realidad: tropas expedicionarias.

En la guerra lanzada por USA y la OTAN contra Yugoslavia en 1999 y en la invasión de Iraq cuatro años después, el objetivo prioritario fue la destrucción de las redes eléctricas y las telecomunicaciones de ambos países. En el caso de Yugoslavia se utilizaron bombas de grafito para inutilizar el suministro eléctrico en la nación.

Los recientes rumores sobre el uso del virus informático Stuxnet para atacar la central nuclear civil de Irán en Bushehr son un ejemplo de cómo están desarrollando el CYBERCOM para funciones ofensivas en tiempos de guerra. En un mundo que depende cada vez más de la tecnología de la información, los ciberataques han sustituido a los misiles de crucero y a las bombas de grafito.

Además, con el proyecto Ataque Global Inmediato (Prompt Global Strike) del Pentágono [5] para lanzar misiles balísticos e hipersónicos intercontinentales de crucero a cualquier lugar del mundo en un intervalo de respuesta de 60 minutos -que en el futuro se reducirá hasta ser prácticamente instantáneo- y con el desarrollo de bombarderos supersilenciosos a gran distancia, capaces de evitar los radares y las defensas antiaéreas y de penetrar en el interior del país al que se dirigen, la ostentación del poder global para declarar una ciberguerra dejaría al mundo indefenso ante el chantaje económico y los ataques de los yanquis. Los equivalentes extranjeros del Mando del Pentágono, el control, las comunicaciones, los ordenadores, los servicios de inteligencia, la vigilancia y el sistema de reconocimiento (C4ISR) quedarían neutralizados.

No sólo Irán sería vulnerable, también Rusia y China.

La edición de octubre-septiembre de Foreign Affairs, la revista del Consejo de Relaciones Exteriores, incluye un artículo de William Lynn, secretario adjunto de Defensa, titulado “Defending a New Domain: The Pentagon’s Cyberstrategy” [Cómo defender un nuevo dominio: la ciberestrategia del Pentágono], en el que se afirma que “El Pentágono ha construido poderosas defensas por capas en torno a redes militares y ha inaugurado el nuevo Cibermando para integrar las operaciones de ciberdefensa en todos los ejércitos“. [6] En dicho artículo se enumeran los cinco componentes de la estrategia del Pentágono para la ciberguerra:

El ciberespacio debe equipararse a la tierra, el mar y el aire en lo que respecta a la guerra;

Cualquier posición defensiva debe ir más allá del mero mantenimiento del ciberespacio “limpio de enemigos” para incluir operaciones sofisticadas y precisas que permitan una reacción inmediata;

Las ciberdefensas no deben limitarse al mundo informático, sino extenderse a las redes comerciales, controladas por el departamento de Seguridad Territorial [Homeland Security];

Con vistas a implantar un sistema eficaz de “alerta compartida” ante las amenazas se ha de posibilitar el establecimiento de ciberdefensas con aliados internacionales y El Departamento de Defensa debe prestar su ayuda para mantener e incrementar el dominio tecnológico usamericano y mejorar el proceso de adquisiciones para no quedarse rezagados ante la celeridad y la agilidad con que evoluciona la industria de la tecnología de la información (IT). [7]

Antes de la cumbre de la OTAN, que tendrá lugar en Portugal los días 19 y 20 de noviembre, el Departamento de Defensa tiene previsto publicar este otoño un documento de ciberestrategia, cuya aparición estará sincronizada con la puesta en funciones del CYBERCOM a pleno rendimiento.

El 28 de agosto, el Washington Post publicó un artículo titulado “El Pentágono considera los ataques preventivos como parte de la estrategia de ciberdefensa”, que detallaba lo siguiente:

El Departamento de Defensa está utilizando un “enfoque agresivo” de las ciberoperaciones, en el que “se incluyen acciones preventivas tales como la destrucción de la red de ordenadores de un adversario en ultramar”.

Según se deduce de los documentos del presupuesto destinado al Pentágono, éste está desarrollando toda una serie de potenciales armamentísticos que le permitirán “atacar y explotar los sistemas de información del enemigo mediante el engaño, la negación, la afectación, la perturbación y la destrucción de tales sistemas”.

El despliegue del software y del hardware para tales planes es “el siguiente paso lógico de la ciberestrategia general que William J. Lynn III, secretario adjunto de Defensa, presentó la semana pasada”, a saber, una “defensa activa”. [8]

En agosto, el general Keith Alexander, director del CYBERCOM, intervino en la conferencia LandWarNet 2010 en Tampa (Florida), cuyo tema era “Cómo alcanzar el ciberdominio mundial de los mandos conjuntos”. Reiteró en ella el argumento de que “el ciberespacio es ahora un escenario a considerar junto a los de tierra, mar y aire”. [9] Con un tono mucho más inquietante, añadió: “Hemos de poseer potencialidad ofensiva para destruir en tiempo real a quien trate de atacarnos”. [10]

Por “defensa activa” debe entenderse la capacidad de iniciar los ataques preventivos no sólo contra piratas informáticos individuales, sino también contra redes enteras de ordenadores nacionales.

El Washington Post citó las palabras de un alto funcionario no identificado del Pentágono, el cual sostuvo la misma posición: “Creo que tenemos claro que para asegurar la integridad de nuestras redes militares hemos de llegar hasta donde sea posible -una vez que sepamos de dónde viene la amenaza- para tratar de eliminar dicha amenaza allá donde podamos”, incluso si “al atacar el ordenador de un atacante en otro país infringimos su soberanía”. [11]

Un periodista del mismo diario advirtió que “el Pentágono tiene reglas vigentes de confrontación para la defensa de la red, tales como el derecho de defensa propia, pero puede que no sea tarea fácil establecer la línea que separa la defensa propia de la acción ofensiva”. [12]

Las reacciones a tales declaraciones y a otras parecidas no se han hecho esperar desde Rusia y China, aunque no de fuentes oficiales. El mes pasado, un sitio web ruso publicó un análisis bajo el título de “USA está preparado para tumbar la red de Internet en todo el mundo”, en el que se decía que “a partir del 1 de octubre [la fecha original en que se iba a poner en marcha el CYBERCOM como mando independiente], miles de piratas informáticos militares y de espías usamericanos iniciarán sus actividades de ciberguerra”. [13]

El autor recordó a sus lectores que en abril de este año Leon Panetta, director de la CIA, dio a conocer el proyecto de esta agencia para los próximos cinco años, CIA 2015, cuyo “segundo pilar” incluye “la inversión en tecnología para que la agencia incremente su alcance analítico y operacional y sea más eficiente. El personal de la agencia debe poder operar con eficacia y seguridad en un entorno de información mundial que cambia con suma celeridad. El plan incrementa el potencial de la CIA para la recopilación técnica por parte de su personal y proporciona herramientas avanzadas de software…” [14]

En mayo, el mismo mes en el que el CYBERCOM inició sus actividades, la Casa Blanca aprobó la Evaluación de la política ciberespacial [Cyberspace Policy Review] de este año.

La fuente rusa señala también que “numerosas publicaciones en los medios usamericanos dan a entender que la reforma de las Ciberfuerzas de Defensa Nacional, así como la introducción de la doctrina y de la estrategia de la ciberguerra están a punto de completarse. En cuanto a la ciberestrategia, podemos suponer que sigue la línea habitual del concepto de liderazgo mundial que tiene USA” [15]

Hace unas semanas, el Global Times publicó un artículo de un investigador del Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo del Consejo de Estado de China en el que se leía lo siguiente: “Controlar el mundo mediante el control de Internet ha sido la estrategia dominante de USA” y “la estrategia de seguridad de información nacional de ese país ha evolucionado desde la prevención hasta la del ataque preventivo”.

“El objetivo final de USA consiste en [ser capaz de] abrir y cerrar partes de Internet a voluntad”.

El artículo afirma que en 2004 USA eliminó el nombre del dominio “ly” e inhabilitó todos los servicios de Internet en Libia y que “en mayo de 2009 Microsoft anunció en su sitio web que cancelaría el servicio de Windows Live Messenger para Cuba, Siria, Irán, Sudán y Corea del Norte, de conformidad con la legislación de USA”. [16]

El artículo del Washington Post citado más arriba añadía que el cierre de una página web saudí en 2006 “afectó colateral e involuntariamente a más de 300 servidores de Internet en Arabia Saudí, Alemania y Texas”. [17]

El autor chino afirmó, además, que “USA monopoliza las cinco áreas esenciales de la infraestructura de Internet“:

Las grandes empresas de tecnología de la información (IT), que fabrican ordenadores de alto rendimiento, sistemas operativos, tecnologías de bases de datos, tecnologías de redes de la conmutación y bibliotecas de recursos de la información.

En todo el mundo, alrededor del 92,3% de los ordenadores personales y el 80,4% de los superordenadores utilizan chips de Intel, mientras que el 91,8% de los ordenadores personales utilizan sistemas operativos de Microsoft y el 98% de la tecnología básica de los servidores está en manos de IBM y Hewlett-Packard.

Por otro lado, el 89,7% del software de bases de datos lo controla Oracle y Microsoft y el 93,5% de la tecnología patentada esencial de las redes de conmutación está en manos de compañías usamericanas.

Una vez que ha controlado la infraestructura de Internet y los sistemas de hardware y software, USA pasa ahora a controlar el contenido de Internet.
El gobierno usamericano ha adoptado el macrocontrol y se ha centrado en la financiación para utilizar de forma activa a las grandes empresas de tecnología de la información con la finalidad de crear una infraestructura global de Internet que pueda manipular. [18]

Además, mencionó que el senador Joseph Lieberman, presidente del comité senatorial de Seguridad Interna y Asuntos Gubernamentales, presentó recientemente a sus colegas del Senado una propuesta de ley de Protección del Ciberespacio como un valor nacional que permitiría que el presidente “pudiese ordenar a Google, Yahoo y a otros motores de búsqueda que suspendiesen los servicios de Internet.

“Y, además, otros proveedores de Internet en USA podrían pasar bajo el control del presidente cuando se produzca ‘una situación de urgencia’ en Internet.

“Si esto ocurre, el presidente de USA tendría oficialmente el poder de abrir o cerrar Internet.” [19]

Los temores de los expertos chinos se confirmaron tras las declaraciones del general de la fuerza aérea Michael Hayden -director de la Agencia de Seguridad Nacional desde 1999 a 2005, subdirector de la Inteligencia Nacional desde 2005 a 2006 y director de la CIA de 2006 a 2009-, quien el mes pasado afirmó, con palabras que luego difundió Reuters, que “el ciberterrorismo supone una amenaza de tal calibre que el presidente de USA debería tener autoridad para cerrar Internet en caso de ataque”. Exactamente dijo lo que sigue: “Mi opinión es que probablemente haya que legislar algún tipo de potestad para que el presidente tome medidas urgentes… cuando considere que deba tomarlas”. [20]

El Pentágono y la Casa Blanca no pretenden actuar solos en la puesta a punto de una estructura internacional de guerra cibernética.

En mayo, poco después de la inauguración del CYBERCOM, los expertos usamericanos en seguridad de la ciberguerra se reunieron durante un simposio de dos días sobre control estratégico del ciberespacio celebrado en Omaha (Nebraska); entre ellos había “cibercomandantes de varios mandos usamericanos de combate, de la OTAN, de Japón y de Reino Unido”. [21]

En el mismo mes de mayo, el grupo de expertos de la OTAN, dirigido por la ex secretaria de Estado Madeleine Albright, publicó su informe OTAN 2010, en el cual se afirma que “la OTAN debería planificar la organización de un paquete de medidas de ciberdefensa que incluya elementos pasivos y activos”. [22]

Tres semanas después, un artículo del Sunday Times de Londres reveló que “en un informe del grupo de Albright se afirma que un ciberataque contra la infraestructura esencial de un país de la OTAN podría equivaler a un ataque armado, lo cual justificaría una respuesta.

“‘Un ataque a gran escala contra los sistemas de mando y control de la OTAN o contra las redes de suministro de energía podría posiblemente llevar a medidas de defensa colectiva, según especifica el artículo 5′, afirmaron los expertos.”

El artículo citaba además a un experto jurídico del Centro Cooperativo de Calidad de la Ciberdefensa de la OTAN, establecido en Estonia en 2008, el cual afirma que “debido a que el efecto de un ciberataque podría equivaler al de un ataque armado, no hay por qué volver a redactar los tratados que están en vigor”. Se estaba refiriendo a los artículos 4 y 5 de la Alianza: el 4 sirvió para justificar el transporte de misiles antibalísticos Patriot a Turquía durante los preparativos de la guerra contra Iraq en 2004 y el 5 para justificar la participación de la OTAN en la guerra de Afganistán; ambos podrían invocarse y activarse en caso de ciberataque.

El artículo del Sunday Times añade:

“La OTAN se toma muy en serio las advertencias de los servicios de inteligencia de toda Europa de que los ciberataques lanzados desde Rusia y China son una amenaza cada vez mayor.

“La OTAN está sopesando el uso de la fuerza militar contra enemigos que lancen ciberataques contra los Estados miembros.

“Este cambio se debe a una serie de ataques rusos de piratería informática contra miembros de la OTAN y a las advertencias de los servicios de inteligencia sobre la creciente amenaza en proveniencia de China.” [23]

El mes pasado se celebró en Tallín, la capital de Estonia, el 13º Taller de Ciberdefensa. En el discurso que pronunció ante los asistentes, el ministro de Defensa, Jaak Aaviksoo, afirmó: “Los potentes sistemas de ciberseguridad nacional de los aliados construirán bloques de ciberdefensa de la OTAN de una estructura contundente”. [24]

En junio, en el centro de la OTAN en Estonia, país fronterizo con Rusia, se celebró una conferencia de cuatro días de duración bajo el título de “Cómo abordar los conflictos cibernéticos”. Melissa Hathaway, directora de ciberseguridad del Consejo Nacional de Seguridad de USA, pronunció un discurso que estableció la tónica de la conferencia.

Gloria Craig, directora de Política Internacional de Seguridad del Ministerio de Defensa de Reino Unido, insistió en la urgencia de ampliar la capacidad de defensa frente a los ciberataques al afirmar que “en estos momentos, la OTAN no está preparada para un ciberataque global”. [25]

También en junio, unos “cien participantes de las principales empresas globales de tecnología de la información, del sector bancario, de la comunidad de la inteligencia, de la OTAN, la UE y otras instituciones” asistieron en Rumania a la conferencia “La ciberdefensa en el contexto de la nueva estrategia de la OTAN”, de la cual se hizo pública una declaración en la que se manifiesta que “la OTAN debe incrementar sus esfuerzos para responder al peligro de los ciberataques mediante la protección de sus propias comunicaciones y sistemas de mando, ayudando a los aliados a mejorar su capacidad para evitar ataques y recuperarse de ellos y a desarrollar un paquete de medidas de ciberdefensa…”. [26]

En agosto, la OTAN reveló que ha creado una División de Amenazas Emergentes contra la Seguridad “con el fin de ocuparse del creciente espectro de amenazas y riesgos inhabituales”, lo cual incluye las ciberoperaciones. “La División de Amenazas Emergentes contra la Seguridad unifica varias ramas del conocimiento ya existentes, pero hasta ahora separadas, en los cuarteles generales de la OTAN. La unificación de esta labor en una única División nos aportará mayor concentración y visibilidad.” [27]

Este mes, la Agencia de Consulta, Mando y Control (NC3Q) organizó una conferencia en la República Checa y la Agencia de Adquisición de Tecnologías Avanzadas de la Alianza anunció que “la OTAN está evaluando la inversión de hasta 930 millones de euros (1,3 mil millones de dólares) en 2011 y 2012 en proyectos de varios años para enfrentarse a los retos esenciales de la seguridad, tales como la ciberdefensa, el apoyo a la OTAN en Afganistán y a la seguridad marítima”. [28]

Un informe reciente divulgó que, en una entrevista con el Suddeutsche Zeitung, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretario general de la OTAN, afirmó que quería que la Alianza “ampliara la definición de los ataques que provocan la activación de la Alianza para que incluya los ciberataques” [30] como parte del nuevo concepto estratégico al que adherirse en su cumbre del mes próximo.

A mediados de septiembre William J. Lynn, segundo en la línea de mando del Pentágono, se encontraba en Bruselas para disertar ante el Consejo del Atlántico Norte, el principal órgano de gobierno de la OTAN, y de un comité de expertos en seguridad. [29]

Para movilizar a los militares aliados de Washington con vistas a la cumbre de noviembre, afirmó: “La OTAN tiene un escudo nuclear, está construyendo un escudo de defensa [con misiles] cada vez más poderoso, necesita un ciberescudo también… Las alertas compartidas de la guerra fría deben aplicarse a la ciberseguridad en el siglo XXI. Del mismo modo que nuestras defensas aéreas y nuestros misiles defensivos están vinculados, también debe estarlo nuestra ciberdefensa.” [31]

Cuando Lynn llegó a Bruselas, los mandos de USA y Europa estaban terminando los quince días de maniobras conjuntas de 2010 -”los sistemas militares de comunicaciones e información más importantes del mundo”- en el Centro conjunto de simulaciones multinacionales del área de entrenamiento de Grafenwoehr (Alemania). En total había 1400 participantes de 40 países: Alemania, Austria, Afganistán, Armenia, Albania, Azerbayán, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Canadá, Croacia, Dinamarca, Eslovaquia, Eslovenia, Estonia, España, Francia, Finlandia, Georgia, Hungría, Italia, Iraq, Irlanda, Kazajistán, Lituania, Macedonia, Moldava, Montenegro, Noruega, Países Bajos, Polonia, Portugal, Reino Unido, República Checa, Rumania, Serbia, Suecia, Turquía, Ucrania y USA.

Un portavoz de los mandos de USA y Europa declaró lo siguiente a propósito de dicho evento: “Ahora tenemos una ‘operación’ en el Pacífico, la Operación Pacífico. Otra en USA, que utiliza a Sudamérica y Canadá para interconectar su red de sistemas de comunicación. Estas maniobras que estamos realizando aquí, en Grafenwoehr, tienen ramificaciones por todo el mundo y los principales mandos están poniendo a punto su propia versión.” [32]

Desde 2006, USA también ha dirigido las maniobras militares de la Operación África en ese continente, las “mayores maniobras de interoperabilidad en las comunicaciones de África” [33], primero bajo el mando conjunto de USA y Europa y, en fechas recientes, bajo el nuevo mando de USA y África. Las maniobras de la Operación África 2010 se realizaron en agosto en Ghana con la participación de 36 naciones africanas.

La palabra adecuada para describir la red militar que el Pentágono ha construido en los últimos años es “global” (Worldwide), como lo evidencian las naciones participantes bajo el mando usamericano en la Operación Combinada de 2010 y en la Operación África 2010: 75 países, incluidos Afganistán e Iraq.

Las maniobras de entrenamiento multinacional dirigidas por USA y las simulaciones de guerra se celebran de forma habitual y a igual escala en toda Europa. En este momento se celebra el segundo año de las maniobras Combatientes Unidos (Joint Warriors) -la mayor simulación de guerra de Europa- a poca distancia de la costa y bajo el cielo de Escocia, con 30 países, 10.000 soldados, 30 barcos de guerra, tres submarinos y 21 unidades aéreas y helicópteros. Maniobras militares de tamaño comparable se realizaron durante el verano en la zona de Asia-Pacífico, cuando USA dirigió las simulaciones de guerra de las 14 naciones del Pacífico, las mayores maniobras marítimas multinacionales del mundo, con la participación de 22.000 soldados, 34 barcos, cinco submarinos y más de 100 aviones. [34]

Las maniobras de la Operación Conjunta, que tuvieron lugar del 3 al 15 de septiembre en Alemania, incluyeron por primera vez un componente de ciberdefensa. Participantes de 26 países y dos organizaciones, la OTAN, y el Centro Cooperativo de Calidad de la Ciberdefensa, con sede en Estonia, participaron en la planificación de las ciberoperaciones en el Centro Conjunto de Simulaciones Multinacionales, en Grafenwoehr.

Desde el fin de la guerra fría, y especialmente en la pasada década, el Pentágono ha expandido sus actividades por todo el mundo: bombardeos, guerras, invasiones, maniobras multinacionales y simulaciones de guerra, construcción de bases y golpes militares, despliegue de misiles y escudos, programas de entrenamiento y establecimiento de redes de transporte militar.

Gracias a la expansión hacia el Este, la OTAN es hoy día el único bloque militar del mundo y, con la implantación hace dos años del mando de USA y África, USA ha alcanzado el control militar de dos continentes enteros.

Tiene aliados en prácticamente todas las naciones de Europa, África, Oriente Próximo y Asia y ha ubicado nuevas bases y otras instalaciones militares en el este de Europa, África, Oriente Próximo, Asia, el Pacífico sur, Sudamérica: Kosovo, Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungría, Polonia, Djibouti, Seychelles, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Afganistán, Kirguistán, Australia y Colombia.

Washington ha incrementado su presencia militar en varios continentes para alcanzar sus objetivos geopolíticos del siglo XXI. Con el fin de controlar el acceso y el transporte de los hidrocarburos, el Pentágono ha expandido su presencia en el Golfo Pérsico, en el Golfo de Guinea, en el Mar Negro y en las naciones cercanas al Mar Caspio. Con la reactivación en 2008 de su Cuarta Flota, USA se ha posicionado para dominar el Caribe, incluidos Colombia, Venezuela y Panamá en su orilla sur.

USA está preparando un sistema global para interceptar misiles mediante el despliegue -directamente y con sus aliados- de los sistemas Patriot Advanced Capability-3, Standard Missile-3, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense y otros componentes de misiles-escudo en Polonia, Israel, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Emiratos Árabes Unidos, Japón, Corea del Sur y Australia, con el Mar Negro, el Mar Mediterráneo, el Mar Báltico y el Cáucaso Sur como futuros lugares previstos.

El Pentágono no va a descansar hasta que logre dominar por completo el mundo y lo que hay por encima del mundo. A su superioridad militar en los ámbitos de tierra, mar y aire ahora está añadiendo el control del quinto campo de batalla: el ciberespacio.


[1] American Forces Press Service, September 8, 2010 [2] U.S. Cyber Command: Waging War In World’s Fifth Battlespace Stop NATO, 26 de mayo de 2010

[3] Agence France-Presse, 4 de junio de 2010

[4] Stars and Stripes, 2 de junio de 2010

[5] Prompt Global Strike: World Military Superiority Without Nuclear Weapons Stop NATO, 10 de abril de 2010.

[6] William J. Lynn III, Defending a New Domain:The Pentagon’s Cyberstrategy Foreign Affairs, Septiembre/Octubre de 2010

[7] U.S. Department of Defense, 25 de agosto de 2010.

[8] Ellen Nakashima, Pentagon considers preemptive strikes as part of cyber-defense strategy. Washington Post, 28 de agosto de 2010

[9] United States Army, 4 de agosto de 2010

[10] Army News Service, 3 de agosto de 2010

[11] Washington Post, 28 de agosto de 2010

[12] Ibid

[13] Leonid Savin, US gets ready to knock the world offline Strategic Culture Foundation, 6 de septiembre de 2010

[14] Central Intelligence Agency, 26 de abril de 2010

[15] Strategic Culture Foundation, 6 de septiembre de 2010

[16] Chen Baoguo, US controls threaten Internet freedom Global Times, 24 de agosto de 2010

[17] Washington Post, 28 de agosto de 2010

[18] Global Times, 24 de agosto de 2010

[19] Ibid

[20] Reuters, 26 de septiembre de 2010

[21] Stars and Stripes, 2 de junio de 2010

[22] North Atlantic Treaty Organization

[23] Sunday Times, 6 de junio de 2010

[24] North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 3 de junio de 2010

[25] Agence France-Presse, 9 de junio de 2010

[26] North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 7 de junio de 2010

[27] Defence Professionals (Germany), 4 de agosto de 2010

[28] Reuters, 7 de octubre de 2010

[29] NATO Provides Pentagon Nuclear, Missile And Cyber Shields Over Europe. Stop NATO, 22 de septiembre de 2010

[30] The H Security, 1 de octubre de 2010

[31] Agence France-Presse, 15 de septiembre de 2010

[32] United States European Command, 8 de septiembre de 2010

[33] U.S. Africa Command, 12 de enero de 2010

[34] Asia: Pentagon Revives And Expands Cold War Military Blocs. Stop NATO, 14 de septiembre de 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Afghanistan: Global NATO’s First Ground War In Its Tenth Year

October 10, 2010 3 comments

October 10, 2010

Afghanistan: Global NATO’s First Ground War In Its Tenth Year
Rick Rozoff

The military alliance that 61 years ago identified its core mission as to “promote stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area” is now embroiled in the tenth year of a war in Afghanistan launched by its dominant member, the United States.

South Asia is as far removed from the North Atlantic Ocean as possible while remaining in the Northern Hemisphere.

After “promoting stability and well-being” in the Balkans in the last decade by conducting a three-week bombing campaign against the Bosnian Serb Republic (Republika Srpska) in 1995 and a 78-day air war against Yugoslavia four years later, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization intervened in Macedonia in 2001 and shortly thereafter invoked its founding treaty’s Article 5 – “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and…each of them…will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith…such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force” – on September 12, 2001.

In doing so NATO signed on for participation in Washington’s so-called Global War on Terror, last year renamed Overseas Contingency Operations and perhaps to be called something else tomorrow as pretexts change.

As a consequence and demand alike of doing so, the North Atlantic Alliance deployed military forces to the first major military base the Pentagon has secured in Africa, Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, and on October 4, 2001 launched Operation Active Endeavour to patrol the entire Mediterranean Sea from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Suez Canal and the Dardanelles Strait, ostensibly to – in NATO’s own words – “help detect, deter and protect against terrorist activity” and especially to “combat…the proliferation and smuggling of weapons of mass destruction.” The terrorism-weapons of mass destruction link was an obedient reflection of Washington’s rhetoric at the time, though the second half of the combination has been shifted away from Iraq toward Iran as the 2003 invasion of the first failed to locate any weapons of mass destruction as well as connections to al-Qaeda.

No vessel enters or leaves the Mediterranean except under NATO surveillance. The Alliance’s ships have hailed over 100,000 commercial vessels and boarded an admitted 155 or more. “Since April 2003, NATO has been systematically boarding suspect ships….[M]erchant ships passing through the Eastern Mediterranean are hailed by patrolling NATO naval units and asked to identify themselves and their activity. This information is then reported to both NATO’s Allied Maritime Component Commander in Naples, Italy, and the NATO Shipping Centre in Northwood, England.” [1]

Without a mandate from the United Nations or attempt to obtain one and no justification under international law, the U.S.-dominated military bloc arrogates to itself the right to stop, board (peaceably or otherwise) and search any ship in the Mediterranean and in theory to seize its cargo and detain its crew, even to impound the ship itself. What is tantamount to a blockade of the entire sea if not what if perpetrated by a non-state actor would be condemned as piracy on the high seas.

NATO’s Active Endeavour is now in its tenth year and there is no indication that it will ever end, even though not a single terrorist has been apprehended or a weapon of mass destruction confiscated. When an Israeli German-made Dolphin submarine, assumed to carry missiles with nuclear warheads – the ultimate weapon of mass destruction – crossed from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea in June of 2009, NATO made no attempt to interdict it.

The Mediterranean Sea has become NATO’s mare nostrum.

A similar situation exists in the Horn of Africa where NATO nations have deployed troops to Djibouti since the beginning of the century to join 2,000 American and 3,000 French troops based in the small nation. Germany, Britain, Spain and the Netherlands are or have been among the troop contributors. By no later than the beginning of 2002 Germany had more than 1,200 soldiers, several warships and spy planes based there, with the second component at the time representing “Germany’s biggest naval deployment since World War Two.” [2] It also based surveillance aircraft in Kenya in early 2002, where NATO warships have docked since.

In March of 2009 NATO began rotating the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) off the Horn of Africa, first with Operation Allied Provider until August of 2009 and since with Operation Ocean Shield, which has been extended for over three years more. As with Operation Active Endeavor in the Mediterranean, NATO warships in the Gulf of Aden will never leave voluntarily.

This March NATO began airlifting Ugandan troops into war-torn Somalia where they are belligerents in the armed conflict and not peacekeepers. 1,700 were flown in and 850 out.

But it is in Afghanistan, and of late Pakistan, that NATO has emerged as a global combat force. With the recent transfer of tens of thousands of U.S. troops from Operation Enduring Freedom to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the Alliance now has the most troops under its command in a foreign mission in its history: 120,000 in Afghanistan compared to 60,000 in Bosnia in 1995, 50,000 in Kosovo in 1999, several thousand in Djibouti since 2001 and a smaller force in Macedonia starting in the same year.

Afghanistan is also the theater furthest from its European territory NATO has even deployed troops to and the war there is the bloc’s first military conflict in Asia and its first ground war.

The Afghan war is also the battleground on which NATO has lost its first soldiers in combat operations.

As of October 10, the U.S. and its NATO allies have lost 2,144 troops, almost 1,100 since last year. So far this year 574 foreign troops have been killed, 27 percent of the total in the over nine-year-long war, compared to 55 in Iraq, a more than ten-to-one ratio. And whereas all those killed in Iraq this year were American servicemen, almost 35 per cent of all occupation forces slain in Afghanistan were non-American. 4,475 of 4,743 foreign troops killed in Iraq since 2003 – 94.3 percent – were from the U.S. while 820 of the 2,144 killed in Afghanistan since 2001 – 38.3 percent – were not.

Nations that have not been engaged in a war since World War Two and in some instances longer or never at all are now providing NATO troops for Afghanistan: Germany, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, the Czech Republic/Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia, Austria and Mongolia. (Many of the above, especially new NATO members, also supplied troops for deployment to Iraq after 2003, which have since been withdrawn and redeployed to Afghanistan.)

Even Switzerland, a NATO Partnership for Peace member, assigned a nominal contingent from 2004-2008, withdrawing it because “The peacekeeping support mission in South Afghanistan has gradually turned into an operation to combat insurgents,” according to a Swiss source. [3]

Other nations have troops in Afghanistan that had not sent military forces to a foreign combat zone since the Korean War – Belgium, Canada, Greece and Turkey – and the Vietnam War: Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. [4]

In the last week of September NATO helicopter gunships launched four deadly raids into Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas and on September 30 an attack by two NATO helicopters killed three Pakistani soldiers in the Kurram Agency there.

This month the Czech Republic announced that it was increasing its NATO contingent by 30 percent, from 530 to 730 troops, and was redeploying its special forces to Afghanistan. Many of the troops are being transferred from NATO’s Kosovo Force to its International Security Assistance Force, as with those of other NATO members and much as occurred from December of 2008 onward when all Eastern European nations’ troops were reassigned from Iraq to Afghanistan.

Meeting with Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg in Washington on October 6, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “said she had been happy at the Czech step.” [5]

The day before, Clinton met with Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov and the two “discussed the situation in Afghanistan,” [6] where Bulgaria announced this summer it was deploying a “700-strong combat unit to boost its troops…as of 2013 at the latest,” [7] notwithstanding talks of a drawdown of foreign troops next July.

At a joint press conference with Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri in Washington before the second meeting of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission within the framework of the U.S.-Georgia Charter on Strategic Cooperation on October 6, Clinton applauded the South Caucasus nation for increasing its troop strength in Afghanistan to almost 1,000, condoled it on the recent loss of four soldiers there, supported its NATO aspirations and in effect demanded Russia remove its troops from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The governments of the latter two nations reacted to Clinton’s characterization of them as “occupied Georgian territories,” and Abkhazia “challenged Mrs Clinton to label countries like Iraq and Afghanistan American-occupied territories.” [8]

A U.S. armed forces publication recently disclosed that U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) is training joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs) from fellow NATO nations at an American Air Force school in Germany to order bombing runs in Afghanistan. “[T]he Air Force has ramped up efforts to train more [controllers] from allied nations, many of whom could deploy to Afghanistan to call in NATO airstrikes….USAFE Commander Gen. Roger Brady has directed the Europe-based school to double its training capacity, from 72 to 144 graduates a year….At least 50 percent of those students are expected to come from countries other than the United States.” [9] In a five-week initial qualification class this month, U.S. Air Force personnel were joined by counterparts from Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Romania and Slovenia, all but two of which are new NATO members inducted since 1999.

Canada, which has more than once announced plans to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan without doing so, reactivated the 1st Canadian Division Headquarters in Kingston, Ontario on October 8 under the command of Major-General David Fraser, who commanded NATO troops in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan in 2006. Fraser said “putting the organization back in place means that the Forces will be more nimble and can respond to future missions – be it combat such as Afghanistan or humanitarian assistance in Haiti – faster and smoother.” He added that the multi-service (army, air force and navy) rapid deployment headquarters “incorporates a lot of what we learned in Afghanistan.” [10]

On October 6 an Afghan soldier fired a rocket-propelled grenade at an outpost manned by French troops in the northeastern province of Kapisa.

Three NATO soldiers were killed in attacks in southern and eastern Afghanistan and NATO lost a drone in Paktika province near the Pakistani border on October 7. The next day three more ISAF soldiers were killed in the south of the country while NATO forces killed what were described as six pro-government militiamen in the southeastern province of Khost. “Local villagers took the bodies to the governor’s office in the provincial capital, also called Khost, to protest the killing,” an Afghan police official reported. [11]

Also on October 7, a German soldier was killed and six others wounded – two seriously, one critically – in northern Afghanistan in a suicide bomb attack, bringing Germany’s death toll to 44. A German news agency reported that “The Germans came under mortar and rifle fire after the detonation and the skirmish apparently lasted for several hours.” [12] The same source stated that there are 5,350 German soldiers now stationed in the north, up from the 4,500 maximum allowed for by the Bundestag until this February. The number is substantially higher than any previous amount of German troops stationed abroad – and moreover for war – since World War Two.

On October 9 four Italian soldiers were killed and another injured in an attack in western Afghanistan, bringing Italy’s death count to 34. “The victims were killed when a bomb exploded near their armoured car, part of a column of 70 Italian military vehicles.” [13]

On the same day a member of Australia’s Special Operations Task Group was wounded in a roadside bomb attack. Australia is the largest NATO partnership nation (one of four Contact Countries along with Japan, New Zealand and South Korea) contributor to the war, with 1,550 troops in theater. According to the country’s Ministry of Defence, 21 Australian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan and 150 wounded, 50 of the latter this year.

With the war in Afghanistan and its expansion into Pakistan, NATO is not only waging an armed conflict in Asia, it is also consolidating military partnerships with nations in the Asia-Pacific area and creating the nucleus of an Asian NATO. [14]

On October 8 Britain’s Chief of Joint Operations, Air Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, signed a Memorandum of Understanding at his nation’s Permanent Joint Headquarters with the minuscule Pacific island nation of Tonga (which has a population of 104,000) to supply over 200 troops for NATO’s ISAF in Afghanistan. The deployment is to occur over the next two years, beginning with a contingent of 55 soldiers to be trained by the British Royal Air Force next month for stationing in Helmand province. Although a news report attributes the move to Tonga’s alleged desire to “show its support to the alliance,” it also revealed that “the Tongan service members will receive an operational allowance in British pounds in addition to their standard salary for the duration of their deployment.” [15]

Tonga has now become the 48th Troop Contributing Nation for NATO’s war effort, with reports that Bangladesh, with a population far larger than the island state (160,000,000), is being recruited to be the next by U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke. [16]

If the latter materializes, the latest five nations offering troops for NATO in Afghanistan will all be from the Asia-Pacific region: Mongolia, South Korea, Malaysia, Tonga and Bangladesh. Australia, New Zealand and Singapore also have troops serving under NATO as do – assuming the broader definition of Asia – Jordan and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East and Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia in the South Caucasus. Thirteen Asia-Pacific nations in all would be contributing forces for NATO’s first Asian war. [17]

The recruitment of new national contingents and the expansion of ones already in place give the lie to Washington’s claim that a transition to Afghan government control of security operations in the nation will begin next July.

Not only is NATO intensifying its involvement in Afghanistan as well as extending its combat operations into Pakistan, but it is preparing more missions of the nature and scope of that in South Asia as part of its 21st Strategic Concept to be adopted next month at its summit in Portugal.

On October 7 Reuters reported in a story called “NATO says must stay capable of Afghan-size missions,” that NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has emphasized “the need for NATO to retain the ability to mount major missions around the world.”

In a speech ahead of NATO foreign and defense ministers’ informal meetings in Brussels on October 14, he said:

“No other organization can marshal, deploy and sustain NATO’s military power. I am totally unconvinced by the media suggestions that after Afghanistan, NATO might never take on another big mission.

“First and foremost, because I have no doubt that we will succeed in Afghanistan. And second, because there will be other missions in future for which only NATO can fit the bill. We will have to be ready.” [18]

A war in its tenth year in which NATO’s casualties mount by the day is not sufficient for an increasingly ambitious and expansionist, indeed global, NATO. While attacks on its forces increase steadily and its troop strength reaches record levels – and with at least 170 of its oil tankers destroyed in Pakistan since the killing of Pakistani troops on September 30 – the military bloc is planning new wars on the scale of the one in Afghanistan.

As to where those future operations will be conducted, Rasmussen recently stated in a video post on his blog: “We should reach out to new and important partners, including China and India. We should encourage consultations between interested allies and partners on security issues of common concern, with NATO as a hub for those discussions.” Not with the United Nations, not with regional organizations on an equal footing, but with NATO as the initiator of and chief force conducting operations in Asia.

While reasserting that “the ‘pillars’ upon which NATO was founded in 1949 – including the principle of collective defence, a powerful military capability and strong transatlantic relations – were ‘still fundamental,'” the NATO chief advocated that “the alliance also needed to look beyond its borders, as it had done in Afghanistan, where its military mission is supported by 19 non-NATO countries, in addition to the alliance’s 28 members.”

In Rasmussen’s own words: “Defence of our territory and our citizens no longer begin[s] at our borders. Threats can originate from Kandahar or from cyberspace….As a consequence, NATO must build more partnerships and engage more with the wider world.” [19]

The American-led military alliance is no longer a strictly North Atlantic one. It is rather only residually based in and controlled from that region of the world. It is no longer confined to the alleged defense of its member states, even the twelve new ones far to the east of NATO’s original area of operations.

It is instead the world’s first international military formation, one which even aspires to render nations like the BRIC states (Brazil, Russia, India and China) junior partners in an international military-security structure. [20]

The war in Afghanistan has provided NATO the opportunity to initiate new and candidate members into its 21st century network under combat conditions and to recruit and integrate the armed forces of nations in six continents for the same purpose.

When leaders from NATO’s 28 member states and from scores of partnership allies gather in Lisbon next month as the Afghan-Pakistani war continues to escalate to even more dangerous dimensions, the formal institutionalization of NATO as a Western-initiated, U.S.-directed global organization will be unveiled to the world.

1) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Operation Active Enveavor
2) BBC News, March 13, 2002
3) Current Concerns, No 3/4, 2008
4) NATO In Afghanistan: World War In One Country
Stop NATO, May 13, 2010
End Of The Year: U.S. Recruits Worldwide For Afghan War
Stop NATO, December 23, 2009
Afghan War: NATO Builds History’s First Global Army
Stop NATO, August 9, 2009
5) Czech News Agency, October 6, 2010
6) Standart News, October 6, 2010
7) Sofia News Agency, July 30, 2010
8) Voice of Russia, October 8, 2010
9) Stars and Stripes, October 4, 2010
10) Canadian Press, October 7, 2010
11) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 8, 2010
12) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 7, 2010
13) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 9, 2010
14) U.S. Expands Asian NATO To Contain And Confront China
Stop NATO, August 7, 2010
Australian Military Buildup And The Rise Of Asian NATO
Stop NATO, May 6, 2009
15) BNO News, October 8, 2010
16) Bangladesh: U.S. And NATO Forge New Military Partnership In South Asia
Stop NATO, September 29, 2010
17) Afghan War: Petraeus Expands U.S. Military Presence Throughout Eurasia
Stop NATO, July 4, 2010
U.S. Consolidates Military Network In Asia-Pacific Region
Stop NATO, April 28, 2010
18) Reuters, October 7, 2010
19) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 7, 2010
20) Global NATO Raises Alarms From Arctic To Brazil
Stop NATO, September 17, 2010
India: U.S. Completes Global Military Structure
Stop NATO, September 10, 2010
Part II: U.S.-China Crisis: Beyond Words To Confrontation
Stop NATO, August 17, 2010
U.S.-China Conflict: From War Of Words To Talk Of War, Part I
Stop NATO, August 15, 2010
U.S. And NATO Strengthen Positions Along Russia’s Southern Flank
Stop NATO, September 16, 2010
U.S., NATO Intensify War Games Around Russia’s Perimeter
Stop NATO, March 6, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Pentagon Partners With NATO To Create Global Cyber Warfare System

October 8, 2010 1 comment

October 8, 2010

Pentagon Partners With NATO To Create Global Cyber Warfare System
Rick Rozoff

U.S. Cyber Command is scheduled to be activated this month, in the words of a Reuters dispatch “ready to go to war in cyberspace” with full operational capability.

The launching of the world’s first multi-service – with the involvement of all major branches of the U.S. armed forces: Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy – military command is being coordinated with a complementary initiative by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Europe, the joint effort striving toward a worldwide cyber warfare system.

Last month the U.S. Defense Department’s Joint Task Force Global Network Operations command was deactivated and absorbed into U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) after a decade-long existence.

In describing the transition, the Pentagon’s press service recounted that the task force had worked on “the best ways to operate on the cyber battlefield” with “a dual mission to conduct offensive and defensive cyber operations.” In 2003 it was assigned to U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), under whose sponsorship CYBERCOM is also being inaugurated. The next year Joint Task Force Global Network Operations was reconfigured “to assume the offensive role” of the above-mentioned shield-and-sword function.

Air Force General Kevin Chilton, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, presided over the September 7 turnover ceremony. Army Lieutenant General Carroll Pollett, head of the Task Force Global Network Operations since 2008, is now reduced to remaining director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, at whose Arlington, Virginia site the ceremony was held, though the Pentagon’s Defense Information Systems Agency is slated to follow CYBERCOM to Fort Meade, Maryland.

General Pollett’s comments at the event included: “(Information) has become an operational imperative in our ability to deliver decisive capabilities to warfighters and our national leaders.

“Cyberspace has evolved into a new warfighter domain.

“Cyberspace has proven equal and just as important as air, sea, land and space as a domain. It’s clear that it must be defended and operationalized.” [1]

His characterization of cyber space as the fifth military domain is consistent with the standard use of that trope by Pentagon officials, a variant of which is fifth battlespace. [2] When the leaders of the mightiest military in the history of the world discuss adding a new dimension to the traditional ones of infantry, air force, navy, marine, and satellite and missile operations, they are planning not only for an extension of warfare preparations to a new realm but into one which is related to and in many ways dominates the others.

The first commander of CYBERCOM, General Keith Alexander, said two weeks after his appointment and CYBERCOM’s launching on May 21 that the Pentagon “depends on its networks for command and control, communications, intelligence, operations and logistics” and that the mission of his command is to “deter, detect and defend against emerging threats against our nation in cyberspace.”

The general, who is simultaneously head of the Defense Department’s National Security Agency, also said that “clear rules of engagement” need to be defined for cyber warfare and that “We have to look at it in two different venues – what we’re doing in peacetime and in wartime.” [3]

In his first public comments since assuming his new command, Alexander was already speaking of its role within a war context.

A few days before, Strategic Command chief Chilton and Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn also asserted that CYBERCOM’s next priority is “to develop the rules of engagement of cyber warfare.” [4]

On the rare occasions when the Pentagon’s establishing an unprecedented military command for cyber operations is mentioned in the news media at all, the preferred word in defining its purpose is defense. When military and Defense Department personnel speak among themselves more direct terms are employed: Warfare, warfighting, wartime, rules of engagement, battlefield, battlespace.

Regarding Washington’s use of the word defense in general, when the U.S. changed the name of the Department of War to the Department of Defense in 1949 it achieved one thing: The name was changed. A year later the Defense Department was embroiled in the Korean War.

The American military has not been used to defend the U.S. mainland since 1812, when the United States instigated a war with Britain by invading Canada. It has not been used even to defend American territories since the less-than-effective defense of Pearl Harbor in 1941 (Hawaii did not become a state until 18 years later) and ensuing fighting in even more remote island possessions: The Philippines, Guam, Wake Island and the Midway Atoll.

During the U.S.’s first war in Europe, initially in France and later in Soviet Russia from 1917-1919, Washington called its armed forces what they were. Expeditionary.

In the war waged by the U.S. and NATO against Yugoslavia in 1999 and in the invasion of Iraq four years later the two countries’ power, broadcasting and telecommunications networks were targeted for disabling and destruction. In the case of Yugoslavia graphite bombs were used to shut down the nation’s electrical power grid.

Recent rumors that the Stuxnet computer virus was used to attack Iran’s civilian nuclear power plant at Bushehr provide an example of how the capabilities CYBERCOM is developing for its offensive, its wartime, contingencies could be employed. In a world increasingly dependent on information technology, cruise missiles and graphite bombs have been superseded by cyber attacks.

In addition to the Pentagon’s Prompt Global Strike project [5] for launching intercontinental ballistic and hypersonic cruise missile strikes anywhere in the world within 60 minutes, with the interval to shrink to a fraction of that time in the future, and with the development of super stealthy strategic bombers able to evade radar and air defenses and penetrate deep into the interior of targeted countries, a global cyber warfare capability would render the world defenseless in the face of American blackmail. And attacks. The foreign equivalents of the Pentagon’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) system could be neutralized.

Not only would Iran be vulnerable, but Russia and China as well.

The September-October edition of Foreign Affairs, the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, contains an article by Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn called “Defending a New Domain: The Pentagon’s Cyberstrategy” in which he announced that “the Pentagon has built layered and robust defenses around military networks and inaugurated the new U.S. Cyber Command to integrate cyberdefense operations across the military,” [6] and where he spelled out the five components of the Pentagon’s cyber warfare strategy:

– Cyber must be recognized as a warfare domain equal to land, sea, and air;

– Any defensive posture must go beyond “good hygiene” to include sophisticated and accurate operations that allow rapid response;

– Cyber defenses must reach beyond the department’s dot-mil world into commercial networks, as governed by Homeland Security;

– Cyber defenses must be pursued with international allies for an effective “shared warning” of threats; and

– The Defense Department must help to maintain and leverage U.S. technological dominance and improve the acquisitions process to keep up with the speed and agility of the information technology industry. [7]

The Defense Department is due to release a cyber strategy document this autumn, synchronized with the full operationalization of CYBERCOM and ahead of the NATO summit in Portugal on November 19-20.

On August 28 the Washington Post ran a feature entitled “Pentagon considers preemptive strikes as part of cyber-defense strategy” which detailed the following:

The Defense Department is working on “an aggressive approach” to cyber operations which “includes preemptive actions such as knocking out parts of an adversary’s computer network overseas.”

According to Pentagon budget documents, it is developing a full range of weapons capabilities to permit “attack and exploitation of adversary information systems” that will “deceive, deny, disrupt, degrade and destroy” information and information systems.

The deployment of software and hardware tools for the above purposes is “the next logical step in a cyber strategy outlined last week by Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III,” one of so-called “active defense.” [8]

In August CYBERCOM chief General Keith Alexander spoke at the LandWarNet 2010 conference in Tampa, Florida whose theme was Providing Global Cyber Dominance to Joint/Combined Commanders. He reiterated the contention that “cyberspace is now a domain alongside air, land, sea, and space.” [9] More ominously, he added: “We have to have offensive capabilities, to, in real time, shut down somebody trying to attack us.” [10]

For “active defense” read the capacity to launch preemptive attacks not only on individual hackers but on entire national computer networks.

The Washington Post cited an unnamed senior Pentagon official arguing the same point: “I think we understand that in order for us to ensure integrity within the military networks, we’ve got to be able to reach out as far as we can – once we know where the threat is coming from – and try to eliminate that threat where we can.” Even though “taking action against an attacker’s computer in another country may well violate a country’s sovereignty.” [11]

A reporter from the newspaper warned that “The Pentagon has standing rules of engagement for network defense, such as the right of self-defense. But the line between self-defense and offensive action can be difficult to discern.” [12]

Reactions to the above statements and others like them have emanated from Russia and China, if not from official sources. A Russian website posted an analysis last month under the title “US gets ready to knock the world offline” which stated that “After October 1 [the original date for activating CYBERCOM as an independent command] thousands of US military hackers and spies will get down to their cyber war activities.” [13]

The author reminded his readers that in April of this year Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta unveiled the CIA 2015 blueprint for the next five years, the “second pillar” of which includes “investing in technology to extend the CIA’s operational and analytic reach and becom[ing] more efficient. Agency personnel must be able to operate effectively and securely in a rapidly changing global information environment. The plan boosts the CIA’s potential for human-enabled technical collection and provides advanced software tools….” [14]

In May, the same month CYBERCOM was activated, the White House approved this year’s Cyberspace Policy Review.

The Russian source also said that “Numerous publications in the US mass media show that the reform of the national cyber defense forces as well as the introduction of the doctrine and strategy of cyber war are soon to be completed. As for the US cyber strategy, we can assume that it is in line with the general concept of US global leadership.” [15]

A few weeks ago an article appeared in the Global Times by a researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council of China who wrote, “To control the world by controlling the Internet has been a dominant strategy of the US” and “the national information security strategy of the US has evolved from a preventative strategy to a preemptive one.”

“The ultimate goal is for the US to [have] the ability to open and shut parts of the Internet at will.”

The article claims that in 2004 the U.S. shut down the “ly” domain name and cut off all Internet services in Libya and “In May 2009, Microsoft announced on its website that they would turn off the Windows Live Messenger service for Cuba, Syria, Iran, Sudan and North Korea, in accordance with US legislation.” [16]

The Washington Post story quoted from earlier added that the Pentagon’s disabling of a Saudi website in 2008 “also inadvertently disrupted more than 300 servers in Saudi Arabia, Germany and Texas.” [17]

The Chinese author further asserted that “the five core areas of Internet infrastructure are monopolized by US”:

– IT giants, including high-performance computers, operating systems, database technologies, network switching technologies and information resource libraries.

– Across the world, around 92.3 percent of personal computers and 80.4 percent of super computers use Intel chips, while 91.8 percent of personal computers use Microsoft operating systems, and 98 percent of core server technology lies in the hands of IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

– Meanwhile, 89.7 percent of database software is controlled by Oracle and Microsoft, and 93.5 percent of core patented network switching technology is held by US companies.

– After the control of Internet infrastructure and hardware and software systems, the US is now turning to Internet content.

– The US government has adopted macro-control and focus-funding to actively use IT giants to create a global Internet infrastructure which could be manipulated by the US. [18]

He also mentioned that Senator Joseph Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, recently presented to his colleagues in the Senate a bill called Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset which provides for the president to “order Google, Yahoo and other search engine operators to suspend Internet services.

“And other US-based Internet service providers could also be under the control of the president when ‘Internet security emergencies’ occur.

“If so, the US president would officially have the power to open or close the Internet.” [19]

The Chinese expert’s apprehensions were confirmed by retired Air Force general Michael Hayden – director of the National Security Agency from 1999-2005, principal deputy director of National Intelligence from 2005–2006 and director of the CIA from 2006-2009 – who last month stated, as paraphrased by Reuters, that “Cyberterrorism is such a threat that the U.S. president should have the authority to shut down the Internet in the event of an attack.” In his own words: “My personal view is that it is probably wise to legislate some authority to the President, to take emergency measures…when he feels as if he has to take these measures” [20]

The Pentagon and the White do not intend to act alone in developing an international cyber warfare structure.

U.S. cyber warfare security experts met in Omaha, Nebraska shortly after CYBERCOM was inaugurated in May for a two-day Strategic Command Cyberspace Symposium which included “cyber commanders from several U.S. combatant commands, NATO, Japan and the U.K.” [21]

In the same month, May, the NATO Group of Experts headed by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright released its report, NATO 2010, which stated “NATO should plan to mount a fully adequate array of cyber defence capabilities, including passive and active elements.” [22]

A feature three weeks later in the Sunday Times of London disclosed that “A report by Albright’s group said that a cyber attack on the critical infrastructure of a Nato country could equate to an armed attack, justifying retaliation.

“‘A large-scale attack on Nato’s command and control systems or energy grids could possibly lead to collective defence measures under article 5,’ the experts said.”

The article also cited a legal expert at NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence established in Estonia in 2008 affirming that “because the effect of a cyber attack can be similar to an armed assault, there is no need to redraft existing treaties.” That is, the Alliance’s Article 4 – used to move Patriot anti-ballistic missiles into Turkey on the eve of the war against Iraq in 2003 – and its Article 5 – used for NATO’s participation in the war in Afghanistan – can be evoked and activated in the event of a cyber attack.

The Sunday Times piece added:

“[NATO] concerns follow warnings from intelligence services across Europe that computer-launched attacks from Russia and China are a mounting threat.

“NATO is considering the use of military force against enemies who launch cyber attacks on its member states.

“The move follows a series of Russian-linked hacking against Nato members and warnings from intelligence services of the growing threat from China.” [23]

The preceding month the 13th NATO Cyber Defence Workshop was held in the Estonian capital of Tallinn. Speaking to the attendees, Defence Minister Jaak Aaviksoo said, “The robust national cyber security systems of Allies will be building blocks of a convincing NATO cyber defence capability.” [24]

In June a four-day international conference “tackling the issue of cyber conflicts” was held at the NATO center in Estonia, which borders Russia. A keynote address was delivered by Melissa Hathaway, Cybersecurity Chief at the U.S. National Security Council.

Gloria Craig, Director for International Security Policy at Britain’s Ministry of Defence, insisted on the urgency of expanded cyber warfare capacities, stating “As of now NATO is not prepared for a global cyberattack.” [25]

Also in June, over “100 participants from leading global IT companies, the banking sector, the intelligence community, NATO, the EU and other institutions” attended the Cyber Defence in the Context of the New NATO Strategic Concept conference in Romania, which issued a report advocating that “NATO must accelerate efforts to respond to the danger of cyber attacks by protecting its own communications and command systems, helping Allies to improve their ability to prevent and recover from attacks, and developing an array of cyber defence capabilities….” [26]

In August NATO revealed that it has created a new Emerging Security Challenges Division “in order to deal with a growing range of non-traditional risks and challenges,” including cyber operations. “The Emerging Security Challenges Division brings together various strands of expertise already existent in different parts of NATO Headquarters. Merging this work into one Division will give it greater focus and visibility.” [27]

This month NATO’s Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) organized a conference in the Czech Republic, and the Alliance’s advanced technologies procurement agency announced that “NATO is looking at beginning to invest up to 930 million euros ($1.3 billion) in 2011 and 2012 in multi-year projects to address key security challenges, such as cyber defence, support to NATO’s Afghanistan effort and maritime security.” [28]

A recent report divulged that in an interview with the Suddeutsche Zeitung NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he wants the Alliance to “extend the definition of attacks which trigger activation of the alliance to include cyber attacks” [30] as part of the new Strategic Concept to be endorsed at its summit next month.

In mid-September the Pentagon’s second-in-command, William Lynn, was in Brussels to address the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s highest governing body, as well as a defense-related think tank. [29]

Rallying Washington’s military allies ahead of the summit in November, he said: “NATO has a nuclear shield, it is building a stronger and stronger [missile] defence shield, it needs a cyber shield as well….The Cold War concepts of shared warning apply in the 21st century to cyber security. Just as our air defences, our missile defences have been linked so too do our cyber defences need to be linked as well.” [31]

As Lynn arrived in Brussels U.S. European Command was finishing the 15-day Combined Endeavor 2010 exercise, “the world’s largest military communications and information systems exercise,” at the Joint Multinational Simulations Center at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany, Altogether there were 1,400 participants from 40 countries:

The U.S., Germany, Austria, Afghanistan, Armenia, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Britain, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Iraq, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.

A U.S. European Command spokesman said of the event: “There’s an ‘endeavor’ now in the Pacific, Pacific Endeavor. There is one in North America that uses South America and Canada to interconnect their network communication systems. This exercise that we do here in Grafenwoehr has branched-out world-wide, and every major command is launching their version of it.” [32]

Since 2006 the U.S. has also led Africa Endeavor military exercises on the continent, “Africa’s largest communications interoperability exercise,” [33] first under U.S. European Command and recently under the new U.S. Africa Command. Africa Endeavor 2010 was held in Ghana in August with the participation of 36 African nations.

Worldwide is the correct word for the military network the Pentagon has built in recent years, as is evidenced by the nations participating under U.S. command in Combined Endeavor 2010 and Africa Endeavor 2010: 75 countries with Afghanistan and Iraq among them.

American-led multinational training exercises and war games on the same scale are routinely held throughout Europe, at the moment this year’s second Joint Warrior exercise – Europe’s largest war games – in, off the coast and over the skies of Scotland with 30 countries, 10,000 troops, 30 warships, three submarines and 21 air and helicopter units. Military maneuvers of comparable size occurred during the summer in the Asia-Pacific region when the U.S. led this year’s 14-nation Rim of the Pacific war games, the world’s largest multinational maritime exercise, with an estimated 22,000 troops, 34 ships, five submarines and over 100 aircraft involved. [34]

Last month’s Combined Endeavor exercise in Germany included a cyber defense component for the first time. Participants from 26 countries and two organizations, NATO and the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence based in Estonia, engaged in planning for cyber operations at the Joint Multinational Simulations Center in Grafenwoehr from September 3-15.

Since the end of the Cold War, and especially in the past decade, the Pentagon has expanded its activities – bombing campaigns, wars, invasions, multinational maneuvers and war games, base building and takeovers, troop and missile shield deployments, training programs, establishing military transport networks – throughout the world.

Through the eastward expansion of NATO, the world’s only military bloc, and the launching of U.S. Africa Command two years ago, the U.S. has gained military dominance over two entire continents.

It has military partnerships with almost every nation in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and has acquired new bases and other military facilities in Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the South Pacific and South America: Kosovo, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Djibouti, Seychelles, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Australia and Colombia.

Washington has increased its military presence in several continents to achieve its 21st century geopolitical objectives. To control access to and the transport of hydrocarbon resources, the Pentagon has expanded its role in the Persian Gulf, Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, the Black Sea and in nations near the Caspian Sea Basin. With the reactivation of the U.S. Fourth Fleet in 2008, the U.S. is positioned to dominate the Caribbean Basin, including Colombia, Venezuela and Panama on its southern shores.

The U.S. is putting the pieces in place for a global interceptor missile system with the deployment, directly and with partners, of Patriot Advanced Capability-3, Standard Missile-3, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, X-Band Radar and other missile shield components to Poland, Israel, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, South Korea and Australia, with the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea and South Caucasus as planned future sites.

The Pentagon will be satisfied with nothing less than full spectrum dominance throughout the world – and above the world. It is now adding to its military superiority in the realms of land, air, sea and space control of the fifth battleground: Cyberspace.

1) American Forces Press Service, September 8, 2010
2) U.S. Cyber Command: Waging War In World’s Fifth Battlespace
Stop NATO, May 26, 2010
3) Agence France-Presse, June 4, 2010
4) Stars and Stripes, June 2, 2010
5) Prompt Global Strike: World Military Superiority Without Nuclear Weapons
Stop NATO, April 10, 2010
6) William J. Lynn III, Defending a New Domain:The Pentagon’s Cyberstrategy
Foreign Affairs, September/October 2010
7) U.S. Department of Defense, August 25, 2010
8) Ellen Nakashima, Pentagon considers preemptive strikes as part of cyber-
defense strategy
Washington Post, August 28, 2010
9) United States Army, August 4, 2010
10) Army News Service, August 3, 2010
11) Washington Post, August 28, 2010
12) Ibid
13) Leonid Savin, US gets ready to knock the world offline
Strategic Culture Foundation, September 6, 2010
14) Central Intelligence Agency, April 26, 2010
15) Strategic Culture Foundation, September 6, 2010
16) Chen Baoguo, US controls threaten Internet freedom
Global Times, August 24, 2010
17) Washington Post, August 28, 2010
18) Global Times, August 24, 2010
19) Ibid
20) Reuters, September 26, 2010
21) Stars and Stripes, June 2, 2010
22) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
23) Sunday Times, June 6, 2010
24) North Atlantic Treaty Organization, June 3, 2010
25) Agence France-Presse, June 9, 2010
26) North Atlantic Treaty Organization, June 7, 2010
27) Defence Professionals (Germany), August 4, 2010
28) Reuters, October 7, 2010
29) NATO Provides Pentagon Nuclear, Missile And Cyber Shields Over Europe
Stop NATO, September 22, 2010
30) The H Security, October 1, 2010
31) Agence France-Presse, September 15, 2010
32) United States European Command, September 8, 2010
33) U.S. Africa Command, January 12, 2010
34) Asia: Pentagon Revives And Expands Cold War Military Blocs
Stop NATO, September 14, 2010

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U.S. And NATO To Wage War 15-Year War In Afghanistan And Pakistan

October 6, 2010 5 comments

October 6, 2010

U.S. And NATO To Wage War 15-Year War In Afghanistan And Pakistan
Rick Rozoff

On October 4 President Barack Obama and what the press characterized as his war council conducted a 30-minute video conference with Obama’s Afghan opposite number, President Hamid Karzai, to discuss “a number of topics, including the strategic vision for long term US-Afghan relations, the recent Afghan parliamentary elections, and regional relations.”

A statement issued by the White House later in the day added that “The two leaders agreed that they should continue routine engagements to refine a common vision and to align our efforts to support President Karzai’s goal of completing transition to Afghan lead security responsibility by 2014.” [1]

The conference also included Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington and commander of all U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces in Afghanistan General David Petraeus and American ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry from Kabul.

October 7 will mark the advent of the tenth year of the war waged by Washington in South Asia, the longest continuous combat operations in U.S. history. By invoking its Article 5 collective military assistance clause on September 12, 2001, NATO also joined the war effort and officially took over the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in August of 2003.

There are now at least 152,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, 120,000 under NATO command, and according to several recent statements by American and NATO officials most if not all them of them will remain there beyond the 2011 withdrawal date announced by the American administration last year.

If troops from all the major Western military powers in theater remain beyond New Year’s Eve of 2014, they will be engaged in the fifteenth calendar year of the Pentagon’s and NATO’s war in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. The conflict has also allowed the expansion of American and Alliance military bases into Central Asia – Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – and the elaboration of networks for the transit of troops, military equipment and supplies and for combat training and bombing runs from Estonia and Latvia on the Baltic Sea to Georgia on the Black Sea and Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the Caspian Sea as well as in several other nations from Eastern Europe to the so-called Broader Middle East including Pakistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Diego Garcia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Kazakhstan.

The fruitless pursuit of the ever more elusive Osama bin Laden and Mullah Mohammed Omar – as such remains the official rationale of the U.S. and the 50 military partners under NATO’s umbrella in the Afghan war zone – has not registered any progress in nine years, though thousands of Afghans and Pakistanis who had no contact with either of the evasive fugitives have been killed in overnight raids, checkpoint shootings, bombing runs and drone missile strikes. Cluster bomb fragments and depleted uranium residue will guarantee more deaths into the indefinite future.

Also on October 4, President Obama handed over his administration’s latest classified report on the war in Afghanistan to Congress, in which he wrote: “We are continuing to implement the policy as described in December and do not believe further adjustments are required at this time.” [2] He was referring to the decision to deploy an additional 30,000 U.S. troops, which has been accompanied by a dramatic escalation of lethal drone attacks inside Pakistan.

U.S. and NATO troop strength in Afghanistan has recently passed the 150,000 mark. Two years ago there were an estimated 34,000 U.S. troops and approximately 28,000 from other NATO nations in the country. The increase since 2008 is almost 250 percent. Recently the number of nations supplying troops for NATO’s ISAF mission has also grown, with commitments secured from nations like Armenia, Georgia, Colombia, Mongolia, Malaysia, South Korea (a second time), Montenegro and Tonga. General Roger Brady, outgoing commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, recently stated that 39 European nations have troops assigned to NATO in Afghanistan. The amount of countries supplying military contingents for and those that have lost troops in one nation are unprecedented.

Two major milestones were reached in the last full month of the ninth year of the war on both sides of the Durand Line that separates Afghanistan and Pakistan. With 59 NATO soldiers killed in September, the combined U.S. and NATO death toll this year in Afghanistan exceeded the previous annual high of 2009, 521. As of October 4, 561 U.S. and NATO soldiers have died this year. The three months before last were the deadliest for foreign forces in the nine-year war: 103 in June, 88 in July and 79 in August.

U.S. and NATO deaths for 2009 and so far this year account for over half of the total of 2,129 killed since the beginning of the war: 1,082. The war dead include troops from 27 nations: 20 of 28 NATO member states and seven partner nations – Australia, Finland, Georgia, Jordan, New Zealand, South Korea and Sweden.

On the other side of the Khyber Pass, last month the U.S. launched the most deadly drone missile attacks inside Pakistan since they began in 2004. At least 22 unmanned aerial vehicle strikes in the nation’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas caused a record amount of deaths, of alleged insurgents and civilians alike.

In May U.S. Marine Corps Brigadier General Glenn Walters announced that military drones were being diverted from Africa Command, Pacific Command and Southern Command for Central Command, which covers the Middle East, Central Asia and Afghanistan and Pakistan. Walters also said that the Pentagon’s drone fleet had grown from 200 in 2001 to 6,500 at the beginning of this year and will expand to 8,000 by 2012, an increase of twenty times in slightly over a decade.

This March legal advisor to the State Department Harold Koh justified the use of missile-wielding drones for killing human targets in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen as being “consistent with [the nation’s] inherent right to self-defense under…international law.”

The Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review of earlier this year confirmed that “The pilotless drones used for surveillance and attack missions in Afghanistan and Pakistan are a priority, with a goal of speeding up the purchase of new Reaper drones and expansion of Predator and Reaper drone flights through 2013.”

In May of 2009 Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta told a think tank audience in Los Angeles that deadly drones strikes were “the only game in town in terms of confronting or trying to disrupt the al Qaeda leadership,” although the overwhelming majority of attacks have not been directed against al-Qaeda targets, leaders or otherwise.

In the midst of the ongoing carnage in Pakistan, on September 29 Panetta was in the country and said “the CIA was achieving 100 percent results through the drone attacks.”

Articles in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and Britain’s Sunday Telegraph last weekend documented that the Pentagon has transferred Predator and Reaper drones used in Afghanistan to the CIA to mount escalating attacks in Pakistan. As the Washington Post described the policy, “The CIA is using an arsenal of armed drones and other equipment provided by the U.S. military to secretly escalate its operations in Pakistan,” adding that the White House is in full support of the practice and that Defense Secretary Gates and CIA Director Panetta had “worked closely together to expand the effort.”

In the words of a Brookings Institution analyst, “It’s moving from using [drones] as a counterterrorism platform to an almost counterinsurgency platform,” in line with the general policy implemented by former and current U.S. and NATO top commanders Generals Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus.

The Washington Post also disclosed that massive intensification of drone warfare “represents a significant evolution of an already controversial targeted killing program run by the CIA” which “in the past month…has been delivering what amounts to a cross-border bombing campaign in coordination with conventional military operations a few miles away.” The newspaper also pointed out that the “CIA operations come at a time when the U.S. military has opened a major phase of operations in and around Kandahar.” [3]

Regarding the last subject, what had been touted as the decisive battle for Afghanistan, an all-out assault by U.S., NATO and Afghan National Army forces against Kandahar in August, never materialized. Instead, American and NATO special forces are conducting counterinsurgency operations in the province and on the periphery of its capital. As many as 8,000 Afghan civilians have fled NATO operations in the countryside to the capital in recent days.

The integrated strategy the U.S. and NATO are pursuing is threefold: Counterinsurgency operations, including targeted assassinations, in Afghanistan’s eastern and southern provinces bordering Pakistan; an unprecedented escalation of drone missile strikes in northwestern Pakistan; and attacks by helicopter gunships in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in combination with drone strikes.

NATO helicopter gunships launched deadly back-to-back attacks in Pakistan on September 25, 26 and 27. On September 30 NATO helicopters again crossed the border into Pakistan and killed three soldiers of the Frontier Corps in the Kurram Agency of FATA. A Pakistani security official stated that the soldiers had fired warning shots to alert the NATO helicopters that they had crossed into Pakistani territory, but that NATO forces fired two missiles at their post and shelled the area for 25 minutes.

The same government official said: “It was an unprovoked attack….NATO helicopters entered our airspace and targeted a paramilitary checkpost, killing three soldiers and wounding three others,” and that security forces had taken “suitable measures to respond to such acts of aggression, which will be known to people very soon.” [4]

Attacks continued into the new month, with three U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan on October 2 killing 18 people and wounding what the local press reported as scores. Two days later another missile strike killed four and wounded several others in the same agency. “Officials say the house [destroyed in the attack] belonged to a local resident. The death toll is expected to rise as some of the injured are reportedly in critical condition.” [5]

By the same day NATO had lost 12 soldiers in fighting this month.

The reaction in Pakistan was immediate and demonstrative. Even before NATO killed three Pakistani soldiers the provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly the North-West Frontier Province) unanimously condemned NATO attacks and U.S. drone strikes inside Pakistan, with ruling and opposition parties uniting to table a joint resolution which was “read out by all the leaders one by one” and which “criticised attacks of the NATO forces, terming the US drone attacks direct attacks on Pakistan’s sovereignty, and demanded of the Federal Government to take solid steps to stop such attacks in future.” [6]

On September 29 a general strike was staged in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with the province’s governor warning that the increasing incursions by U.S. and NATO forces represent “an attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty.” [7]

The next day the Pakistani government halted NATO supply trucks and oil tankers from entering Afghanistan, which policy remains in force with 160 vehicles stopped near the border on October 5.

On October 1 at least 27 NATO oil tankers were attacked and destroyed in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh, which is on the Arabian Sea and doesn’t border Afghanistan. Later in the day another attack was staged in the province of Balochistan in which two NATO supply trucks were targeted by rocket fire and two people were killed.

Two days later 28 NATO oil tankers were attacked and 12 people killed in Rawalpindi in Punjab province near the nation’s capital.

An estimated 70 percent of NATO supplies for the war in Afghanistan, including 40 percent of its fuel, are shipped overland through Pakistan.

Reports are currently circulating in the Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (where a Pakistani military offensive displaced over 3 million civilians last year) that the U.S. and NATO plan to move into the Saidu Sharif Airport on the pretext of building a warehouse to store relief goods for victims of this summer’s floods. In the words of a local official, “We have strong reservations over the role of the US as its policies have brought instability in the region and triggered violence.” [8]

Not only are American and NATO military forces not leaving Afghanistan in the foreseeable future, they are expanding their nine-year-old war into Pakistan.

1) Agence France-Presse, October 4, 2010
2) Ibid
3) Washington Post, October 3, 2010
4) Daily Times, October 1, 2010
5) Press TV, October 4, 2010
6) The Nation, September 29, 2010
7) Xinhua News Agency, October 1, 2010
8) Asian News International, October 5, 2010

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