Archive for November, 2010

U.S. Recruits Russia As Junior Partner To Maintain Global Dominance

November 24, 2010 6 comments

November 24, 2010

U.S. Recruits Russia As Junior Partner To Maintain Global Dominance
Rick Rozoff

This past weekend the world witnessed an event that until recently would have seemed inconceivable: A Russian head of state attended a summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

President Dmitry Medvedev participated in the NATO-Russia Council meeting during the second day of the summit in Lisbon, Portugal on November 20 with the heads of state of NATO’s 28 member states.

The national leaders signed a Joint Review of 21st Century Common Security Challenges, agreed on resuming joint – NATO and Russian – theater missile defense cooperation and “reconfirmed a shared determination to assist in the stabilisation of Afghanistan and the whole region.” [1]

That is, Russia’s Medvedev endorsed NATO’s agenda without adding anything of substance to it and without asking anything by way of a quid pro quo.

The joint declaration states that “we have embarked on a new stage of cooperation towards a true strategic partnership” and “that the security of all states in the Euro-Atlantic community is indivisible, and that the security of NATO and Russia is intertwined.” [2] It also applauds Russia – referred to in the third person – for “facilitating railway transit of non-lethal ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] goods” through its territory for the war in Afghanistan and for “resuming its support to NATO’s operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean Sea.” The summit declaration referred to Operation Active Endeavor, now in its tenth year, as an Article 5 mission; that is, as part of the first and to date only activation of NATO’s collective military assistance provision.

On November 23 Russia signed a pact with NATO to allow “NATO to ship armored vehicles and other equipment from the region [the greater Afghan war theater] back to Europe using the same route via Central Asia and Russia.” [3]

The day before the NATO-Russia Council meeting, where Russia was outnumbered 28-1, U.S. President Obama met privately with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Russia’s Public Enemy No. 1 as military analyst Alexander Golts described him on the occasion.

Saakashvili, who was educated in the U.S. on a State Department fellowship and came to power through a U.S.-sponsored coup in 2003 which its perpetrators termed the Rose Revolution, ordered sniper and mortar attacks on South Ossetia on August 1, 2008, killing six people including a Russian peacekeeper. The day after the Immediate Response 2008 NATO war games led by 1,000 U.S. troops had ended and with American soldiers and military equipment still in Georgia.

Six days later, as the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games was underway in Beijing, Georgia launched an all-out assault on the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali.

By the time Russian reinforcements beat back the Georgian offensive and the war ended five days after it had begun, 64 Russian service members had been killed and 323 wounded. The U.S. provided military transport planes to bring 2,000 Georgian troops back from Iraq for the fighting.

Shortly afterward the U.S. rewarded Georgia with the signing of the United States-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership and NATO formed the NATO-Georgia Commission, out of which an individually tailored Annual National Program(me) was created to further Georgia’s integration into the North Atlantic Alliance.

The declaration issued by the recently concluded NATO summit in Portugal includes:

“At the 2008 Bucharest Summit we agreed that Georgia will become a member of NATO and we reaffirm all elements of that decision, as well as subsequent decisions. We will foster political dialogue and practical cooperation with Georgia, including through the NATO-Georgia Commission and the Annual National Programme. We strongly encourage and actively support Georgia’s continued implementation of all necessary reforms…in order to advance its Euro-Atlantic aspirations. We welcome the recent opening of the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia which will help in maximising our assistance and support for the country’s reform efforts. We welcome Georgia’s important contributions to NATO operations, in particular to ISAF. We reiterate our continued support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders….We continue to call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia as independent states.”

During the opening hours of the Georgian-Russian war of 2008 Mikheil Saakashvili was reported to have held “several phone talks including consultations with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.” [4]

That almost 400 Russian soldiers had been killed and wounded by Georgian military forces trained, equipped and supported by the U.S. and NATO before, during and since the war doesn’t appear to mean much to President Medvedev. That his 28 fellow heads of state in the NATO-Russia Council had unanimously supported the perpetrator of the 2008 war while demanding Russia humiliate itself by rescinding its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia – and withdrawing its troops, thereby leaving both states easy prey for Georgia’s next assault – also didn’t take the fixed smile off Medvedev’s face during his huddling with President Obama and 27 other NATO leaders this past Saturday.

The autumn session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Warsaw, Poland ending three days before the NATO summit began passed a resolution referring to Abkhazia and South Ossetia as “occupied territories.” Also in advance of the summit, interim president of Moldova Mihai Ghimpu, who came to his position on the back of the latest “color” uprising in a former Soviet republic – the so-called Twitter Revolution of last year – sent a telegram to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen calling on the U.S.-dominated military alliance for assistance in ousting 1,500 Russian peacekeepers from Transdniester (Pridnestrovie), which refused to join an independent Moldova (and be absorbed into Romania, now a NATO member) as the Soviet Union was dissolving in 1990.

But the legendary “reset” button has been pushed by the Obama administration and now Russia has a new “strategic partner.”

Medvedev had only been president of Russia for five months when the war with Georgia broke out and five months after it ended George W. Bush was no longer president of the United States.

Obama and Medvedev, it has been observed, are their respective nations’ first fully post-Cold War heads of state. Medvedev was 26 when the Soviet Union collapsed. Obama was 30.

However, Obama’s vice president, Joseph Biden, was the first American official to visit Georgia after the war in his then-position of chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, pledged to work with the George W. Bush administration to secure $1 billion in emergency aid for the Saakashvili government, and upon returning to Washington stated:

“I left the country convinced that Russia’s invasion of Georgia may be the one of the most significant event to occur in Europe since the end of communism….[T]he continuing presence of Russian forces in the country has severe implications for the broader region.”

Five days after leaving Georgia – on August 23 – Biden was announced as Barack Obama’s running mate in the 2008 presidential election.

Three weeks after taking up his current post as vice president on January 20, Biden spoke of plans to “press the reset button” with Russia without in any manner adjusting his position on the South Caucasus or any other issue: Russia had invaded Georgia. Georgia had not attacked South Ossetia. Russian actions were characterized as a belated confirmation of Cold War fears of Russian troops and tanks pouring over the territory of a defenseless nation whose only crime was to cherish freedom and democratic values…and so on.

When Obama and Biden moved into the White House in 2009 Obama had only served two-thirds of his first term in the U.S. Senate, where he had been catapulted from the Illinois state legislature in 2005. Biden had served six terms – 36 years – in the Senate and was the outgoing chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Obama was eleven years of age when Biden was first elected to the Senate.

Biden, not Obama and the equally foreign policy-challenged Hillary Clinton at the Department of State, is the current administration’s international relations veteran and grey eminence.

Though Obama and Clinton have learned to parrot Biden’s position on not only the South Caucasus but on relations with Russia as a whole.

Last month Clinton met with a delegation led by Georgian Prime Minister Nikoloz Gilauri at the second annual United States-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership meeting in Washington, D.C. and repeated the accusation that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are “occupied territories,” a charge she made in July while meeting with fellow former short-term New Yorker Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi.

On October 6 she stated: “We continue to call on Russia to end its occupation of Georgian territory, withdraw its forces and abide by its other commitments under the 2008 cease-fire agreements.”

More broadly, she added:

“The United States remains committed to Georgia’s aspirations for membership in NATO, as reflected in the Alliance’s decisions in Bucharest and Strasbourg-Kehl. We strongly support Georgia’s efforts related to its Annual National Program, which promotes defence reform and guides cooperation with NATO. And we continue to support Georgia’s efforts on defence reform and improving defence capabilities, including NATO interoperability and Georgia’s contributions to ISAF operations in Afghanistan.”

Her comments on assisting the upgrading of Georgia’s military capability led “some observers to surmise that Washington may consider selectively relaxing the undeclared embargo on equipping and training Georgia for defense of the homeland. In that case, interoperability might extend beyond counterinsurgency in expeditionary operations, and start encompassing national defense. The latter would not only answer to Georgia’s own requirements but also enhance its credentials for eventual NATO membership, in line with NATO’s core mission.” [5]

The government of Abkhazia responded by challenging Clinton to label Afghanistan and Iraq “American-occupied territories.”

Russian President Medvedev was silent on the subject.

As to the ultimate purpose of the U.S. training Georgia’s armed forces for deployment to Afghanistan, in September Saakashvili told cadets at a military base in Georgia that “someone may say: ‘we have so many problems, our territories are occupied and there is no time now for going somewhere else to fight.’ But because of these very same problems that we have, we need huge combat experience…and that [Afghan mission] is a unique combat and war school.” [6]

As noted earlier, Obama set aside time on the first day of last week’s NATO summit in Portugal to meet privately with his fellow Columbia University alumnus Saakashvili.

Between Clinton’s meeting with Georgia’s prime minister and Obama’s with its president, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley sided with military ally Japan on what Washington also considers to be “occupied territory,” Russia’s Kuril Islands. On November 2 he affirmed “We do back Japan regarding the Northern Territories,” the Japanese term for the islands.

Russia’s Medvedev has made an odd choice of partners. Washington has consistently supported Japan, with which it is bound by the 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan, and Georgia, which it is committed to under the terms of the 2009 United States-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership, against Russia in regards to territorial disputes and openly accuses Russia of occupying territory belonging to two of its major military allies.

There is no reciprocity in Russian-American relations.

Even in the transition from the former Bush administration’s interceptor missile plans for Eastern Europe, the new Phased Adaptive Approach of the current administration – described by Obama himself in September of 2009 as providing “stronger, smarter and swifter defenses of American forces and America’s allies” than his predecessor’s would have – will, as formalized by last week’s NATO summit declaration, be far broader than 10 ground-based midcourse missiles in Poland.

That NATO chief Rasmussen has repeatedly advocated – and since the Lisbon summit has secured – a U.S.-controlled interceptor missile system over all of Europe as the continent is allegedly threatened because “30 countries have or are aspiring to get missile technology” without ever listing which nations he’s speaking of or being pressed to do so by the news media is reprehensible. Four days before the summit began he told journalists in Brussels: “There is no reason to name specific countries, because there are already a lot of them.” That the Russian government allows such statements to go unchallenged is criminal.

This May the Pentagon moved the first interceptor missiles into Europe by installing a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 battery in Poland as close to Russia’s border – 35 miles – as possible. [7]

The day before the NATO summit in Lisbon, Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich revealed that the U.S. will start rotating F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighters and Hercules military transport planes to Poland in 2013. The U.S. provided Poland with 48 F-16s between 2006 and 2008, the first deployment of the planes to a former member of the Warsaw Pact and the largest arms purchase in Poland’s history. (Russia’s Black Sea neighbors Romania and Bulgaria were next in line to purchase F-16 warplanes until the current financial crisis hit Europe.)

On November 16 the U.S. delivered the third of five C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft to Poland. “The C-130 aircraft are Poland’s biggest transport planes. Polish crews used the planes to fly to Spain, Georgia, Iraq and Afghanistan.” [8]

U.S. F-15C Eagle aerial combat fighters are operating out of the Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania until the end of the year for the now six-year-old NATO Baltic Air Policing mission, and earlier this month they participated in a Baltic Region Training Event with NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft at the Siauliai Air Base.

Fellow Baltic state Estonia recently opened the newly expanded and modernized Amari Air Base for use by NATO and U.S. warplanes. [9]

The U.S. has gained access to and has been employing eight military bases, including three air bases, in Bulgaria and Romania over the past five years.

This February Romania and Bulgaria were prevailed upon by the U.S. to provide missile shield installations for the Pentagon’s – and now NATO’s – interceptor missile system, in the case of Romania a land-based adaptation of the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) as the 1936 Montreux Convention prohibits the transit of non-Black Sea nations’ warships over 45,000 tons through the Bosporus Straits and the Dardanelles into the sea and as such effectively excludes U.S. Aegis class destroyers and cruisers equipped with SM-3s. There are no comparable restrictions in the Baltic Sea region where the Pentagon is also going to station land-based SM-3s in Poland.

The U.S. and its NATO allies in Europe have yet to ratify the 1999 Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty – insisting, without legal foundation, on linkage with the demand for the withdrawal of Russian peacekeeping contingents in Transdniester, Abkhazia and South Ossetia – and the U.S. and NATO are in direct violation of it through establishing a permanent (in all but name) military presence in several Eastern European countries. [11]

The Pentagon and NATO resumed annual Sea Breeze exercises in Ukraine this July, presided over by commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe and Africa Admiral Mark Fitzgerald, after last year’s exercise was cancelled because of domestic opposition, particularly in the Crimea where the exercises are held near the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol.

In former Soviet Central Asia, the U.S. State Department signed a military transit agreement with Kazakhstan and the Defense Department a cooperation agreement with Uzbekistan in the past two weeks. The U.S. and NATO conduct ongoing operations out of bases in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and, though not publicly acknowledged, Turkmenistan. Earlier this year reports surfaced of plans for the Pentagon to construct new multi-million-dollar training bases in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

The U.S. and NATO are also expanding military exercises, deployments and facilities in the Arctic Ocean in concert against their only rival in the region, Russia. [12]

In return for the steadily advancing deployment of U.S. military personnel and infrastructure to Russia’s borders, the Medvedev administration is expanding its accommodation of Pentagon and NATO operations in Central and South Asia by providing ever-broader transit and overflight rights for U.S. and NATO troops and equipment headed to Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Last week the U.S. secured a port in Lithuania as the latest transit hub for NATO’s Northern Distribution Network to bring supplies and equipment by rail across Russia for the war in Afghanistan. Estonia and Latvia already supply docking facilities for goods coming to the Baltic Sea.

Two years ago Russia granted Germany permission to transit military equipment bound for the German military base in Termez, Uzbekistan and northern Afghanistan. Several years before Russian passengers were forced off a train to provide seats for German troops. German troops in Russia.

After assigning its first troops to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan recently, on November 12 Kazakhstan signed an agreement with the U.S. that allows American military aircraft to fly across the North Pole and over Kazakhstan to supply U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Kazakhstan is a member of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization and along with Russia and China a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It also shares borders with China and Russia. [13]

Last August U.S. and British troops led a NATO military exercise, Steppe Eagle 2010, in the country.

The new agreement permits the U.S. to send weapons over Kazakh airspace for the first time.

Between the Arctic Ocean and Kazakhstan lies Russia, which had to – and did – agree to the Pentagon flying military aircraft over its territory.

“The new arrangement will also substitute for a previous one under which U.S. military cargo planes flew combat troops and materiel to the Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where they refueled, and from there to air bases in Kuwait and other destinations in the Persian Gulf, circumventing Iran which forbids American military overflights, and then either directly into the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or to Pakistan.” [14] Or from Germany over Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus to the Caspian Sea and western Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan, where cargo was transshipped across Tajikistan to Afghanistan. The Northern Distribution Network also includes sea-land-sea shipments through the South Caucasus: Georgia and Azerbaijan on the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, respectively. Decidedly circuitous – and expensive – routes.

Flying over Russia and Kazakhstan allows U.S. military transport planes to go directly from Alaska to Afghanistan without refueling.

“The new route over the North Pole to Bagram Air Base, the military’s main air hub in Afghanistan, will allow troops to fly direct from the United States in a little more than 12 hours.” [15]

Last April Michael McFaul, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and senior director of Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the United States National Security Council, said the agreement would also “allow troops to fly directly from the United States over the North Pole to the region” in addition to supplies and equipment. “This will save money; it will save time in terms of moving our troops and supplies needed into the theater.” [16]

Additionally, “Chartered passenger jets could leave from Chicago and fly over the North Pole to deliver troops.” [17]

Presidents Obama and Medvedev prepared the way for the recent agreement in a verbal commitment on polar overflights in the summer of 2009. “The White House said at the time that the accord would set the stage for 4,500 polar-route flights a year over Russia and Kazakhstan, saving the U.S. government $133 million annually in fuel, maintenance and other transportation costs.” [18]

The Obama administration has approved a $708 billion defense budget for next year – the largest in constant dollars since 1946 and over $2,300 for every man, woman and child in the United States – and Russia is kind enough to save it $133 million on the war in Afghanistan. The Medvedev government is even more obliging considering that two of three armed groups the U.S. and NATO are laying waste to Afghanistan in the name of fighting are those of Jalaluddin Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who Washington – and its then-CIA deputy director, now defense secretary Robert Gates – funded and armed to kill young Russian and other Soviet conscripts in the 1980s.

Soon U.S. and NATO planes, troops and equipment will criss-cross Russia from the west, east and north. Russia has made a new friend, has found a new “strategic partner,” at the expense of its traditional allies, its national interests and its self-respect alike.

The Russian position on regional and international developments has changed radically since then-President Vladimir Putin addressed the Munich Security Conference in February of 2007 and said:

“What then is a unipolar world? However one might embellish this term, at the end of the day it describes a scenario in which there is one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making. It is a world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And this is pernicious, not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within. And this, certainly, has nothing in common with democracy. Because democracy is the power of the majority in the light of the interests and opinions of the minority.

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

Two years before, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held its fifth annual heads of state summit in Kazakhstan at which India, Pakistan and Iran (in addition to Mongolia) were welcomed as observer nations. Addressing the attendees of those nations and the six members of the SCO – Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – the host country’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev said they represented half of humanity. [19]

After the summit nations as diverse as Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Nepal and even NATO member Turkey expressed interest in joining or affiliating with the SCO.

In reference to the SCO and to the RIC (Russia, China, India) and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, China, India) formats, discussions of a new multipolar world order, of a just, rational and peaceful world, and of a new international security architecture were heard in Eurasia and throughout the world.

When in 2007 Putin warned against the unrestrained use of military force in the world, his comments came three years after the U.S. and its NATO allies had launched three wars in less than four years: In Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. His speech was condemned in the West, after which Putin was labeled a new czar, commissar and so forth, but was welcomed in most of the rest of the world, even being translated and posted on the website of the Turkish armed forces.

Russia is uniquely positioned to rally the world against the post-Cold War unipolar dominance of what current U.S. president Obama referred to as – without irony, though under ironic circumstances: while receiving the Nobel Peace Prize – the world’s sole military superpower. [20]

Because of Russia’s size and location. Because of its vast natural resources, including oil, natural gas and uranium; its military technology; its possession of the only nuclear deterrent and triad of delivery systems that matches those of the U.S. Because of its history: Its predecessor state the Soviet Union had supported independence and national liberation movements in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America for 70 years.

Calls from Russia for, not a revival of a bipolar, but the creation of a multipolar world had to be taken seriously.

After the financial crisis that began on Wall Street in 2008 and soon engulfed the world, Russia suffered several serious blows, affecting its two main export products: Energy and arms.

The price of oil and natural gas plummeted precipitately, which in turn led to a decrease in foreign arms orders from oil- and gas-producing nations and a substantial depletion of Russia’s previously formidable gold and foreign exchange reserves. NATO expansion into Eastern Europe has also led new member states and candidates to discontinue the acquisition of military equipment made, designed and licensed by Russia in favor of U.S. and Western European arms, and deals struck during President Obama’s recent visit to India have advanced the displacement of Russia as that Asian giant’s main weapons provider.

Nevertheless, the abrupt about-face in Russia’s foreign policy is not solely attributable to nor can it be excused by the above-cited developments.

In addition to unconscionably dragging out the completion of the nuclear power plant it has been building in Bushehr after draining Iran of substantial sums of money, in June of this year Russia joined China in voting for the harshest sanctions yet against Iran in the United Nations Security Council. The measures would have stronger, no doubt, without Russian and Chinese efforts to soften them, but both countries had the option of voting against and if need be vetoing them.

Claiming the very sanctions it had supported as the rationale, in September President Medvedev signed a decree which banned the delivery of S-300 air defense missiles to Iran – a $1 billion dollar package for which Iran had already paid $166.8 million – and other weapons including tanks, fighter jets, helicopters, ships and missile systems.

At several decisive points in the middle of this decade key Russian officials – including the country’s foreign and defense ministers and top military commanders – warned against military attacks against Iran. It is to be assumed that such public pronouncements as well as back channel communications may well have stayed the hand of the U.S., Israel and perhaps both.

However, with the Russian political leadership’s turn toward the U.S, and NATO, the prospects of an attack against Iran and all the catastrophic – perhaps cataclysmic – consequences it will unavoidably bring in its wake is heightened dramatically. To an extent that the conflagrations in Afghanistan and Iraq will seem mild in comparison.

In the past year and a half the only military-security formation Russia is a member of – the Collective Security Treaty Organization – has been weakened, perhaps fatally, with Belarus and Uzbekistan drawing back from commitments and joint exercises and the remaining members – Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – being courted and in varying degrees won over by the U.S. and NATO.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, once a model and a source of inspiration for the world, has degenerated into an ineffectual forum, with this year’s summit in Uzbekistan a non-event where Russia’s Medvedev stated that “Countries which have difficulties with their legal status cannot claim SCO membership.” An allusion to Iran and the sanctions Medvedev’s government had voted for two days before.

In February of this year Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hosted Madeleine Albright and her NATO Group of Experts at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations as part of a tour in preparation for presenting a report on the military bloc’s new Strategic Concept.

A leading Russian think tank, the Institute of Contemporary Development, issued a report whose contents, divulged in early September, detailed prospects for Russia collaborating more closely with NATO, even discussing the nation joining the Alliance. President Medvedev is the chairman of the institute’s supervisory board.

Two days after the NATO summit in Lisbon ended, Eduard Shevardnadze, former president of Georgia ousted by the “Rose Revolution” and the last foreign minister of the Soviet Union, told one of his nation’s newsweeklies that “Russia will become a NATO member soon.” [21]

In an analysis published three days before the Lisbon summit, Victor Kovalev, a corresponding member of Russia’s Military Science Academy, warned of what confronts Russia as it intensifies its collaboration with NATO:

“The NATO summit which will convene in Lisbon on November 19-20 will adopt the alliance’s new strategic concept switching NATO from regional defense to global-scale missions. In practice, the reform will institutionalize the West’s victory in the Cold World War III. The already visible results of the victory include the ongoing departure from the Yalta-Potsdam system and the downscaling of the role played by the UN – or at least by the UN Security Council – in international relations.”

“The new world order built as we watch on the ruins of the Yalta-Potsdam system automatically energizes a range of negative global processes and is prone with new wars or major regional conflicts. At the moment, the situation in the Far East already appears similar to that in Europe on the eve of World War II.” This week’s developments on the Korean peninsula bear out the contention.

“Under the circumstances, Russia’s priority should be to avoid being dragged into the epicenter of the coming collapse. Hoping to get rid of competitors in the post-capitalist world and to enforce a ‘final solution’ of the Russian problem, the West is luring Russia into this very epicenter.” [22]

The author also pointed out that by assisting the U.S. and NATO in their plans for Eurasia and much of the rest of the world Russia risks alienating the Muslim world. Approximately 20 percent of Russians are Muslims or of Muslim religious background and in 2005 Russia became a permanent observer at the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Russia will also “be neutralized during the planned attack against Iran,” though still be affected by whatever broader consequences such an action would entail.

It will expend material resources and political capital on the flagging and failing war in Afghanistan which has already contributed to an explosion in opium production that has led to 2.5 million heroin addicts and 30-40,000 annual overdoses in Russia according to the nation’s Federal Drug Control Service.

The Russian analyst also stated that increased cooperation with NATO would lead to Russia Moscow “see[ing] its promising dialog with Beijing suspended as China would end up fully encircled” by a U.S.-created Asian NATO.

Russia will also be expected to distance itself from historical allies in the Arab world like Syria and Libya and to abandon burgeoning relations with Latin American partners like Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Nicaragua and Venezuela have recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which none of Russia’s partners in the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization have yet to do. The U.S. and its NATO allies – President Medvedev’s new friends – are adamant in branding the two new nations Russian-occupied Georgian territories. Moscow will be punishing its real friends and rewarding its competitors and adversaries.

Africa, where during the Soviet period Russia was the continent’s main political and economic partner, will have to be acknowledged as the exclusive province of the Pentagon’s Africa Command.

The analyst also warned that Western preconditions for integrating into NATO include the resolution of territorial disputes and could lead to demands to cede the Kuril Islands and even Sakhalin to Japan. That Russia would have to abandon claims in the Arctic Ocean in favor of NATO members the U.S., Canada, Denmark (through Greenland) and Norway, and “as a minimal concession” would have “to renounce its claim to the Lomonosov Ridge.”

Russia might also be confronted with territorial claims by Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Georgia and Ukraine and be compelled to make concessions in the Caspian Sea. The Kaliningrad exclave is not free from potential claims by Poland, Lithuania and even Germany.
It has been a long time since words like multipolar world have been mouthed by Russian officials. Expressions like a just, rational and peaceful world are as rarely heard.

By aligning itself with the U.S. and NATO, Russia has nothing to gain and everything to lose.

1) North Atlantic Treaty Organization, November 20, 2010
2) NATO-Russia Council Joint Statement
North Atlantic Treaty Organization, November 20, 2010
3) Xinhua News Agency, November 23, 2010
4) Russia Today, December 31, 2008
5) Jamestown Foundation, October 8, 2010
6) Civil Georgia, September 13, 2010
7) Poland: U.S. Moves First Missiles, Troops Near Russian Border
Stop NATO, May 29, 2010
8) Xinhua News Agency, November 17, 2010
9) Baltic States: Pentagon’s Training Grounds For Afghan and Future Wars
Stop NATO, September 30, 2010
Pentagon Confronts Russia In The Baltic Sea
Stop NATO, January 28, 2010
10) U.S. And NATO Accelerate Military Build-Up In Black Sea Region
Stop NATO, May 20, 2010
Romania: U.S. Expands Missile Shield Into Black Sea
Stop NATO, February 6, 2010
11) Pentagon Forges NATO Proxy Armies In Eastern Europe
Stop NATO, October 30, 2010
U.S. Consolidates New Military Outposts In Eastern Europe
Stop NATO, September 23, 2010
12) Canada Opens Arctic To NATO, Plans Massive Weapons Buildup
Stop NATO, August 29, 2010
Loose Cannon And Nuclear Submarines: West Prepares For Arctic Warfare
Stop NATO, December 1, 2009
NATO’s, Pentagon’s New Strategic Battleground: The Arctic
Stop NATO, February 2, 2009
13) Kazakhstan: U.S., NATO Seek Military Outpost Between Russia And China
Stop NATO, April 14, 2010
14) Ibid
15) New York Times, April 12, 2010
16) Washington Post, April 12, 2010
17) Air Force Times, April 12, 2010
18) Central Asia Newswire, November 15, 2010
19) The Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Prospects For A Multipolar World
Stop NATO, May 21, 2009
20) Obama Doctrine: Eternal War For Imperfect Mankind
Stop NATO, December 10, 2009
21) Trend News Agency, November 22, 2010
22) Victor Kovalev, The Cost Russia Will Pay for NATO Rapprochement
Strategic Culture Foundation, November 16, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Lisbon Summit: NATO Proclaims Itself Global Military Force

November 22, 2010 3 comments

November 22, 2010

Lisbon Summit: NATO Proclaims Itself Global Military Force
Rick Rozoff

The recently concluded North Atlantic Treaty Organization Treaty summit in Portugal gave Washington everything it demanded from its 27 NATO allies, at least 20 NATO partners providing troops for the war in Afghanistan, the European Union and Russia.

The U.S.-controlled North Atlantic Alliance endorsed without reservations and even without deliberations American plans to include all of Europe in the Pentagon’s and its Missile Defense Agency’s worldwide interceptor missile system. The summit’s declaration states: “NATO will maintain an appropriate mix of conventional, nuclear, and missile defence forces. Missile defence will become an integral part of our overall defence posture.” [1]

In adopting its new Strategic Concept it also authorized an analogous continent-wide cyber warfare operation to work in conjunction with – and for all practical purposes under the direction of – the Pentagon’s new U.S. Cyber Command.

It reaffirmed the bloc’s Article 5 commitment to render collective military assistance to any member state under supposed attack and stretched the concept of attack to include non-military categories like computer, energy and terrorist threats. The Strategic Concept “reconfirms the bond between our nations to defend one another against attack, including against new threats to the safety of our citizens.” [2]

“NATO members will always assist each other against attack, in accordance with Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. That commitment remains firm and binding. NATO will deter and defend against any threat of aggression, and against emerging security challenges where they threaten the fundamental security of individual Allies or the Alliance as a whole.”

While there are no conventional military threats – and no nuclear ones as well – which is to say no military dangers at all confronting NATO’s North American and European members, other – contrived – concerns will serve as the basis for the activation of Article 5. They include attacks on or threats to computer networks:

“Cyber attacks…can reach a threshold that threatens national and Euro-Atlantic prosperity, security and stability,” NATO claims, so its members are obligated to “develop further [the] ability to prevent, detect, defend against and recover from cyber-attacks, including by using the NATO planning process to enhance and coordinate national cyber-defence capabilities, bringing all NATO bodies under centralized cyber protection….”

European “dependence” on Russian oil and natural gas and control of strategic sea routes and shipping lanes:

“Some NATO countries will become more dependent on foreign energy suppliers and in some cases, on foreign energy supply and distribution networks for their energy needs. As a larger share of world consumption is transported across the globe, energy supplies are increasingly exposed to disruption.”

And several other issues not even remotely related to military matters [3]:

“Key environmental and resource constraints, including health risks, climate change, water scarcity and increasing energy needs will further shape the future security environment in areas of concern to NATO and have the potential to significantly affect NATO planning and operations.”

NATO also reiterated its commitment to maintaining American tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, with the Strategic Concept stating, “as long as there are nuclear weapons in the world, NATO will remain a nuclear Alliance.”

And the Alliance went along with the White House and Pentagon shift from an earlier pledge to “draw down” U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan next year to what Washington has of late referred to as “provisional” and “aspirational” plans for a “transitional” strategy that could see Western military forces still in theater in the Asian nation 15 or more years after they first arrived. The Lisbon Summit Declaration states: “Transition will be conditions-based, not calendar-driven, and will not equate to withdrawal of ISAF-troops.”

There is no nation or group of nations offering NATO any serious challenge, none posing a threat to the world’s only military bloc, and hardly any even standing in the way of its global expansion. “However, no one should doubt NATO’s resolve if the security of any of its members were to be threatened….Deterrence, based on an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional capabilities, remains a core element of our overall strategy….As long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance.”

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

Formalizing the international deployments of the past eleven years – in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Arabian Sea – NATO’s new Strategic Concept compels all member states and scores of partners to “develop and maintain robust, mobile and deployable conventional forces to carry out both our Article 5 responsibilities and the Alliance’s expeditionary operations, including with the NATO Response Force,” and “ensure the broadest possible participation of Allies in collective defence planning on nuclear roles, in peacetime basing of nuclear forces.”

Invoking the little-noted catch phrase that since 1989 has been employed in anticipation and later fulfilment of plans to subordinate all of Europe under NATO’s military command [4], Alliance heads of state in Lisbon last week also endorsed the completion of expansion plans affecting the Balkans and the former Soviet Union:

“Our goal of a Europe whole and free, and sharing common values, would be best served by the eventual integration of all European countries that so desire into Euro-Atlantic structures.

“The door to NATO membership remains fully open to all European democracies which share the values of our Alliance, which are willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership, and whose inclusion can contribute to common security and stability.”

In particular, NATO will “continue and develop the partnerships with Ukraine and Georgia within the NATO-Ukraine and NATO-Georgia Commissions, based on the NATO decision at the Bucharest summit [in] 2008” and “facilitate the Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkans.” Specific mention was made of Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

The NATO-Georgia Commission was established in September of 2008, the month after the five-day war between Georgia and Russia, which itself was launched by the Mikheil Saakashvili government in Tbilisi a week after 1,000 U.S. troops completed the Immediate Response 2008 NATO Partnership for Peace war games and while American troops and equipment were still in Georgia.

The Bucharest summit decision on Georgia and Ukraine’s eventual full membership in NATO and the creation of the NATO-Georgia Commission gave rise to an Annual National Program to expedite Georgia’s NATO integration. The traditional route to accession, a Membership Action Plan (MAP), was not presented to Georgia in 2008 because of two NATO provisions: That member states cannot be involved in lingering territorial disputes (which is why, for example, Cyprus would not be given a MAP if it were to join the Partnership for Peace) and there cannot be foreign – which is to say non-NATO – military forces on a prospective member’s soil.

The Georgian government claims the now independent nations of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as its own and two years ago there were small contingents of Russian peacekeepers in both countries. The NATO-Georgia Commission and NATO’s Annual National Program – a unique vehicle to integrate Georgia (and Ukraine) into NATO through bypassing the above-mentioned constraints of a Membership Action Plan – is complemented by the United States-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership which was announced shortly after the 2008 war and signed on January 9, 2009. (The comparable United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership was signed between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko on December 19, 2008.)

It is the contention of several observers, including the present one, that the Georgian attack on South Ossetia on August 7, 2008 was, if successful, to be immediately followed by one on Abkhazia, thereby eliminating both the aforementioned obstacles to NATO’s full expansion into the South Caucasus.

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly autumn session in Poland on November 12-16 passed a resolution calling Abkhazia and South Ossetia “occupied territories,” which led the Abkhazian Foreign Ministry to respond:

“NATO is an organization that has been contributing to the intensive militarization of Georgia for many years, stirring up the revanchist mindset of the Georgian leadership, which led to the August 2008 bloodshed in South Ossetia.” [5]

President Barack Obama held a one-on-one meeting with Georgia’s Saakashvili on the sidelines on the Lisbon summit on November 19.

NATO’s plans for a further drive east and south of what most people understand to be Europe are not limited to the Caucasus.

The Lisbon summit, in approving the bloc’s new doctrine, also for the first time bluntly stated that NATO’s reach is as broad as the world itself:

“The promotion of Euro-Atlantic security is best assured through a wide network of partner relationships with countries and organisations around the globe.”

President Obama and the other 27 NATO heads of state endorsed the new Strategic Concept which also states:

“We are firmly committed to the development of friendly and cooperative relations with all countries of the Mediterranean, and we intend to further develop the Mediterranean Dialogue in the coming years. We attach great importance to peace and stability in the Gulf region, and we intend to strengthen our cooperation in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.”

The Mediterranean Dialogue consists of NATO and seven nations in Africa and the Middle East: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.

The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative of 2004 [6] aims at upgrading Mediterranean Dialogue partnerships to the level of those of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, which has prepared 12 nations in Eastern Europe for full membership since 1999: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

It also cultivates the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – as NATO military partners. Jordan and the United Arab Emirates are official Troop Contributing Nations (TCNs) for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, as are Partnership for Peace members Georgia and Ukraine in former Soviet space and Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro in the Balkans.

This past weekend NATO vowed to “deepen the cooperation with current members of the Mediterranean Dialogue and be open to the inclusion in the Mediterranean Dialogue of other countries of the region” and “develop a deeper security partnership with our Gulf partners and remain ready to welcome new partners in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.” That is, to incorporate all of the Middle East and northern Africa into its broader military nexus with an eye on nations like Iraq [7], Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Chad and even Kenya.

The summit declaration confirmed the continuation of Operation Active Endeavour, “our Article 5 maritime operation in the Mediterranean,” Operation Ocean Shield off the Horn of Africa, the airlifting of Ugandan troops to Somalia for the fighting there and support for the African Standby Force and NATO Training Mission-Iraq.

In addition to detailing expansion plans in Europe, Asia and Africa ad seriatim, NATO has announced that it is now an international military-political formation. The summit declaration expressed “profound gratitude for the professionalism, dedication and bravery of the more than 143,000 men and women from Allied and partner nations who are deployed on NATO’s operations and missions.”

Its new doctrine also states: “Unique in history, NATO is a security Alliance that fields military forces able to operate together in any environment; that can control operations anywhere through its integrated military command structure….”

The bloc’s NATO Response Force (NRF) “provides a mechanism to generate a high readiness and technologically advanced force package made up of land, air, sea and special force components that can be deployed quickly on operations wherever needed.” [8]

The NRF was proposed by then-U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in September of 2002 and formalized at NATO’s Prague summit in November of the same year. It conducted its first live-fire exercise, the large-scale Steadfast Jaguar 2006, in the West African island nation of Cape Verde. At the end of the year it was declared to be at full operational capability with up to 25,000 troops “made up of land, air, sea and special forces components…capable of performing missions worldwide across the whole spectrum of operations.” [9]

Alluding in part to the NRF, the new Strategic Concept states:

“Where conflict prevention proves unsuccessful, NATO will be prepared and capable to manage ongoing hostilities. NATO has unique conflict management capacities, including the unparalleled capability to deploy and sustain robust military forces in the field.”

It also commits its member nations to “further develop doctrine and military capabilities for expeditionary operations, including counterinsurgency, stabilization and reconstruction operations.”

In Lisbon, Obama and his fellow heads of state agreed that:

“We, the political leaders of NATO, are determined to continue renewal of our Alliance so that it is fit for purpose in addressing the 21st Century security challenges. We are firmly committed to preserve its effectiveness as the globe’s most successful political-military Alliance.”

The world’s only military bloc does not protect Europe from chimerical missile and nuclear threats or from concerns better addressed by its respective members’ judiciary, internal security forces and environmental, immigration, energy, public health and weather ministries and departments.

It rather employs the European continent as a base of operations for military deployments and campaigns most everywhere else.

That role has been solidified with the military integration of the U.S., NATO and the European Union [10]. On November 19 the president of the EU’s European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, addressed NATO leaders in Lisbon and said, “the ability of our two organisations to shape our future security environment would be enormous if they worked together. It is time to break down the remaining walls between them.” [11]

NATO’s new 21st century doctrine affirms:

“[T]he EU is a unique and essential partner for NATO. The two organisations share a majority of members, and all members of both organisations share common values. NATO recognizes the importance of a stronger and more capable European defence. We welcome the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, which provides a framework for strengthening the EU’s capacities to address common security challenges.

“Non-EU Allies make a significant contribution to these efforts. For the strategic partnership between NATO and the EU, their fullest involvement in these efforts is essential. NATO and the EU can and should play complementary and mutually reinforcing roles.”

NATO has also acquired a new partner in Eurasia, one with the world’s largest land mass, stretching from the Baltic and the Black Seas to the Pacific Ocean: Russia. The subject of another article.

1) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Lisbon Summit Declaration
2) Strategic Concept For the Defence and Security of The Members of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
3) Thousand Deadly Threats: Third Millennium NATO, Western Businesses
Collude On New Global Doctrine
Stop NATO, October 2, 2009
4) Berlin Wall: From Europe Whole And Free To New World Order
Stop NATO, November 9, 2009
5) Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 18, 2010
6) NATO In Persian Gulf: From Third World War To Istanbul
Stop NATO, February 6, 2009
7) Iraq: NATO Assists In Building New Middle East Proxy Army
Stop NATO, August 13, 2010
8) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
9) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
The NATO Response Force
10) EU, NATO, US: 21st Century Alliance For Global Domination
Stop NATO, February 19, 2009
11) EUobserver, November 21, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO: Afghan War Model For Future 21st Century Operations

November 19, 2010 11 comments

November 19, 2010

NATO: Afghan War Model For Future 21st Century Operations
Rick Rozoff

As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization unveils its first 21st century strategic doctrine in Lisbon this week, its first ground war and war outside Europe is in its tenth year with no end in sight.

The invasion of and subsequent nine years of combat operations in Afghanistan are logical – inevitable – results of the military alliance’s last Strategic Concept adopted at its fiftieth anniversary summit in Washington, D.C. in 1999. At the time NATO was waging its first full-scale war, the 78-day Operation Allied Force bombing assault against Yugoslavia, and had absorbed the first of what are now twelve members in Eastern Europe: The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

Launching an unprovoked war of aggression and operating outside the territory of NATO member states – and outside international law without a United Nations mandate – inaugurated the U.S.-controlled military alliance as a global warfighting organization. The war in Afghanistan beginning in the first year of the new century and millennium represented the further implementation of the 1999 Strategic Concept, itself the first since 1991, the year of the demise of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union.

As NATO described the last Strategic Concept: “At the Washington Summit meeting in April 1999, the NATO Allies approved a strategy to equip the Alliance for the security challenges and opportunities of the 21st century and to guide its future political and military development.” [1]

There are now 140,000 troops (the bulk of them American) from 50 nations serving with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, more than were assigned to the bloc’s previous out-of-area deployments – 60,000 in Bosnia in 1995 and 50,000 in Kosovo in 1999 – combined.

The Afghan conflict is also the first battleground on which NATO has suffered war dead. 825 of the 2,223 foreign troops killed in Afghanistan since 2001 (1,174 since last year) are from NATO member states other than the U.S. and from NATO partnership allies. Subtracting the dead from non-NATO countries – Australia (21), Georgia (5), Sweden (5), Finland (1), Jordan (1), New Zealand (1) and South Korea (1) – 2,188 of the foreign war dead are from NATO nations and 790 from Alliance states other than the U.S.

A recent report estimates the number of Afghans killed in the war at 100,000. Deaths caused by U.S. drone attacks and NATO helicopter gunship raids in Pakistan are also mounting, approaching the 2,000 mark.

A veritable chorus of recent comments from American, NATO and NATO ally officials has confirmed the war that will be in its eleventh calendar year on January 1 will continue to 2014, beyond 2014 and even for decades longer.

This week NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan Mark Sedwill said “that the transition process may run into 2015 and beyond, and that after foreign troops step down from combat roles the country could see ‘eye-watering levels of violence,'” whatever the last expression was intended to connote.

The use of the word transition instead of exit was a calculated choice. It echoes a comment made by the chief American civilian operative for the war, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, as reported by Pajhwok Afghan News on November 11. (Sedwill and Holbrooke divide up on the “diplomatic” side what General David Petraeus combines on the military one as chief commander of all 152,000 U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.)

On November 10 Holbrooke “asserted the US had ‘no exit strategy’ for Afghanistan, and instead a ‘transition strategy’ would be unveiled in the Portuguese capital” during the NATO summit.

“After 2014, the diplomat continued, the international community was not going to be leaving Afghanistan.” [2]

A British newspaper announced on November 15 that General Sir David Julian Richards, Chief of the Defence Staff, claimed “this week’s Nato summit will outline plans to keep British troops in Afghanistan for a generation,” and “Nato now needs to plan for a 30 or 40 year role to help the Afghan armed forces hold their country against the militants.” [3]

If it proves to be accurate, Richards’ projection could entail the U.S. and NATO spending half a century in Afghanistan.

Notwithstanding which, the day before the NATO summit began in Portugal the chief of the Alliance, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, was interviewed by Britain’s Daily Telegraph and again celebrated the war in Afghanistan as a prototype – a template according to the newspaper account – for future global operations envisioned in the new Strategic Concept.

While stating “If conditions are not met fully by the end of 2014, then we will have to continue the combat mission,” Rasmussen asserted:

“Our core function will remain territorial defence of our populations But we must realise that in the modern world we have to go beyond our borders to actually protect and defend our borders.”

In line with the report serving as the foundation of the new Strategic Concept – “NATO 2020: Assured Security: Dynamic Engagement,” prepared by a “group of experts” headed by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright – Rasmussen indicated NATO’s priorities not only beyond the bloc’s borders but transcending all borders: “The purpose of the new strategic concept is to prepare the alliance to address the new security challenges – missile attacks, cyber attacks, terrorist attacks.” [4]

Leading up to the summit, NATO conducted the Cyber Coalition 2010 exercise from November 16-18. “Military experts from all NATO countries” were invited to take part and the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia (established in 2008) participated in the cyber warfare exercise. [5]

Earlier in the week Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, spoke in language similar to that of Rasmussen, not echoing NATO’s positions but indicating whence they emanate.

His comments included:

“Some…declared the alliance dead at the end of the Cold War, when its job was to block Soviet tanks from rolling into West Germany. NATO demonstrated its value in the years that followed – transforming into a political engine for integrating the former Soviet states of Eastern Europe into the larger community of nations.”

“A key element centers on NATO’s commitment to invest roughly $280 million over 10 years to link its missile defense capabilities with new missile systems being developed by the United States. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former Danish prime minister who is now NATO’s secretary general, says the determination to press ahead with the missile shield is likely to calm skeptical publics that NATO can protect them. It should also provide a better bulwark against Iran.” [6]

U.S. permanent representative (ambassador) to NATO, Ivo Daalder, who while at the Brookings Institution wrote articles advocating the creation of a global NATO [7], said in a recent opinion piece published in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune that, regarding what will prove to be the most significant issue decided upon at the Lisbon summit in addition to that regarding the Afghan war – extending the American interceptor missile system to all of Europe:

“[T]he United States is on track to provide the lion’s share of this capability. Our contribution, called the Phased Adaptive Approach, will exploit advances in sensor and interceptor technologies to swiftly deploy a strong, smart missile defense system. At the core of the system is the SM-3 missile, a proven ship-borne system that will also be deployed on land at sites in Romania (by 2015) and subsequently in Poland (by 2018)….” [8]

Standard Missile-3 launch

Julia Gillard, the new prime minister of Australia – which has the most and has lost the most troops in Afghanistan of any non-NATO nation, 1,550 and 21 respectively – addressed the House of Representatives ahead of flying to the NATO summit in Lisbon, and defended “Australia’s likely involvement in the country for another decade.”

“In the future when we look back on the years since 2001 no-one will deny that attention turned heavily to [the Iraq war]. While it has taken too long, there is now a strategy to achieve transition [in Afghanistan].”

Transition, not withdrawal.

Earlier in the same day she told Radio National:

“Our eyes shouldn’t be on the calendar, they should be on the ground and working out whether the time to transition should be right.

“We shouldn’t transition out only to have to transition back in some time later.” [9]

From Washington to Brussels to Canberra – the Pentagon, NATO and a rapidly evolving Asian NATO – the strategy like the terminology is identical: Interminable military deployments and combat operations in South and Central Asia as the model for new wars.

With NATO already involved in airlifting Ugandan troops to Somalia, running naval operations in the Horn of Africa, arming and training Georgia and Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus (on November 16 the NATO Parliamentary Assembly referred to Abkhazia and South Ossetia as “occupied territories”), and pledging to “defend” the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania over which it has flown warplanes on continuous rotations since 2004, there will be no lack of opportunities to apply and expand the Afghanistan-Pakistan template.

1) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
The Strategic Concept of the Alliance
2) Lalit K. Jha, US has no Afghan exit strategy: Holbrooke
Pajhwok Afghan News, November 11, 2010
3) Tim Shipman, The West will never win war against Al Qaeda, warns armed forces chief as he reveals plans to keep troops in Afghanistan for ’30 or 40 years’
Daily Mail, November 15, 2010
4) Nato must continue operations “beyond our borders”
Daily Telegraph, November 18, 2010
5) NATO Countries Flex Cyber Defences
Global Herald, November 15, 2010
6) Senator John F. Kerry, Critics write obits, but NATO focuses on new threats
Politico, November 17, 2010]
7) West Plots To Supplant United Nations With Global NATO
Stop NATO, May 27, 2009
8) Ivo Daalder, The Case for a NATO Missile Defense
New York Times/International Herald Tribune, November 15, 2010
9) Gillard defends Afghan war role
Australian Broadcasting Company, November 18, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

After NATO Summit, U.S. To Intensify Military Drive Into Asia

November 17, 2010 3 comments

November 17, 2010

After NATO Summit, U.S. To Intensify Military Drive Into Asia
Rick Rozoff

Barack Obama, the latest rotating imperator of the first global empire, will arrive in Lisbon on November 19 to receive the plaudits of 27 North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies and secure their continued fealty on issues ranging from the war in Afghanistan to a continental interceptor missile system, extended deployment of American tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, participation in the Pentagon’s cyber warfare plans and expanded military missions in the planet’s south and east.

Perfunctory discussions of minor details notwithstanding, strictly pro forma to maintain the myth of NATO being a “military alliance of democratic states in Europe and North America,” the banners and pennants of 26 European nations, Canada and dozens of other countries contributing troops for the Afghan mission will be lowered in the presence of the leader of the world imperium.

No fewer than 38 European nations have supplied NATO troops for the Afghanistan-Pakistan war as well as providing training grounds and transport centers to support the war effort. As envisioned for at least a century, through peaceful means or otherwise, Europe has been united, not so much by the European Union as under the NATO flag and on the killing fields of Afghanistan. It is now relegated to the role of pre-deployment training area and forward operating base for military campaigns downrange: The Middle East, Africa and Asia.

So uncritically and unquestioningly compliant has Europe been in the above regards that Obama and the governing elite in the imperial metropolis as a whole have already looked beyond the continent for additional military partners. With the exception of fellow members of the NATO Quint – Britain, Germany, France and Italy (Britain more and Italy less than the others) – Alliance partners are accorded the same status and assigned the same functions as American territories like Puerto Rico, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands: Geopolitically convenient locations for live-fire military training and for troop, warplane and warship deployments.

Two millennia ago the Pax Romana of Augustus brought roads and ports, aqueducts and irrigation, amphitheaters and libraries, and Greek writers from Aristotle to Aeschylus to occupied territories. Bellum Americanum burdens its vassals and tributaries with military bases, interceptor missile batteries, McDonald’s and Lady Gaga.

In Lisbon Obama will chastise his NATO and NATO partnership auxiliaries and foederati, as is the prerogative and wont of the global suzerain and as his predecessor George W. Bush has done recently, for being chary of expending more blood and treasure for the war in Afghanistan. However, he will also display the magnanimity befitting his preeminent stature by patting his European satraps on their bowed heads and intoning, “Well done, good and faithful servants. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.”

With the European continent placed securely under the multi-circled Achilles shield of NATO, U.S. nuclear weapons, an interceptor missile system and a cyber warfare command, Washington is moving to realms as yet not completely subjugated.

Africa has been assigned to the three-year-old U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and perhaps only five of the continent’s 54 nations – Eritrea, Libya, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Sudan and Zimbabwe – have avoided becoming ensnared in bilateral military ties with the Pentagon and concomitant U.S-led military exercises and deployments.

The U.S. has also expanded its military presence in the Middle East: Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Yemen.

Two years ago Washington reactivated its Fourth Fleet for the Caribbean Sea and Central and South America and last year’s coup in Honduras and this September’s attempted coup in Ecuador are proof that the U.S. will not allow developments in Latin America to pursue their natural course unimpeded.

The U.S. has intensified efforts to forge and expand military alliances and deployments in the Asia-Pacific region, but there is still a small handful of countries there not willing to accept a subordinate role in American geostrategic designs. They are, to varying degrees and in differing manners, Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and Myanmar. Attempts to replicate the “color revolution” model used in former Soviet republics in Myanmar and Iran since 2007 have failed, “regime change” plans for North Korea are of another nature, and neither China nor Russia appears immediately susceptible to equivalents of the so-called Rose, Orange, Tulip and Twitter revolutions in Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova, respectively. The preferred technique being applied to Russia at the moment is cooption, though its success is not guaranteed as the U.S. and NATO military build-up around Russia’s borders continues unabated.

What’s left is the military expedient. In the first half of November the quadrivirate in charge of U.S. foreign policy – President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen – all toured the Asia-Pacific area. Collectively they visited ten nations there: India, Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.

Clinton and Gates were in Malaysia at separate times and both joined Mullen on November 8 for the annual Australia-United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) meeting in Melbourne, where the U.S. military chief called the 21st century the “Pacific century.” [1]

In India Obama secured what William Hartung, Director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation, estimated to be the sixth largest arms deal in U.S. history. [2]

In Australia, Gates and Mullen won a backroom arrangement to move U.S. military forces into several Australian bases.

While in New Zealand, Clinton in effect renewed the Australia, New Zealand, United States (ANZUS) Security Treaty as a full tripartite mutual defense pact after a 24-year hiatus in regard to her host country.

On November 13 Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan “thanked the United States…for supporting Tokyo in a series of recent disputes with Russia and China” [3], an allusion to a statement by Clinton on October 27 that the U.S. would honor its military assistance commitment to Tokyo over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dispute with China and her spokesman Philip Crowley’s affront to Russia five days afterward over the Kuril Islands, which he identified as Japanese territory. [4]

In a tete-a-tete ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Yokohama, the Japanese head of state “sought US President Barack Obama’s assurance on defence in the Asia-Pacific region,” as “Tokyo’s territorial disputes with China and Russia are becoming high priorities for Kan, who told Obama through a translator, ‘The US military presence is only becoming more important.'” [5]

Verbatim, Kan said:

“Japan and the United States, at this meeting of APEC, of pan-Pacific countries, we shall step up our cooperation. So we agreed on doing that. And in Japan’s relations with China and Russia, recently we’ve faced some problems, and the United States has supported Japan throughout, so I expressed my appreciation to him for that.

“For the peace and security of the countries in the region, the presence of the United States and the presence of the U.S. military I believe is becoming only increasingly important.” [6]

In return, Obama “voiced support for Japan to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and reaffirmed the U.S.-Japan security alliance.”

He also assured Kan that the U.S.-Japan alliance is “the cornerstone of American strategic engagement in the Asia Pacific” and “the commitment of the United States to the defense of Japan is unshakable.”

According to a U.S. armed forces publication, “While Obama’s support for the continuing security alliance is no surprise, it comes amid tension in Japan over China’s…claims on territory in the East China and South China seas.” [7]

In less than five months the Pentagon has made its military presence felt throughout the Asia-Pacific area:

The U.S. Marine Corps and Navy participated in Exercise Crocodile 10 in East Timor (Timor-Leste) from June 19-26, which included “weapons firing skills, amphibious assault serials, jungle training, flying operations, and a helicopter raid on an abandoned prison” and provided “an opportunity for multi-national forces to work together in the planning and conduct of a complex military exercise.” [8]

In October of 2009 2,500 U.S. and Australian troops engaged in maneuvers in the country, which marked the first U.S.-East Timor joint military exercise.

This July the U.S. led the multinational Angkor Sentinel 2010 command post and field exercises in Cambodia with American forces and troops from the host nation, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia and the Philippines.

For 40 days in late June and throughout July the U.S. led the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010 war games in the Pacific Ocean off Hawaii with 32 ships, five submarines, more than 170 planes and 20,000 troops from all four branches of the American armed forces and from Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Peru, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand.

Rim of the Pacific 2010

From July 25-28 the U.S. conducted joint war games with South Korea, codenamed Invincible Spirit, in the Sea of Japan/East Sea with the involvement of 20 warships including the nuclear-powered supercarrier USS George Washington, 200 warplanes including F-22 Raptor stealth fighters, and 8,000 troops.

Invincible Spirit

The next month U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Army Pacific presided over the Khaan Quest 2010 military exercise in Mongolia. In the same month American and British troops ran the Steppe Eagle 2010 NATO Partnership for Peace exercise in Kazakhstan.

USS George Washington and the USS John S. McCain destroyer led the first-ever joint U.S.-Vietnam military exercise, consisting of naval maneuvers in the South China Sea, in early August.

Less than a week later the U.S. and South Korea began this year’s Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercise in the latter country with 30,000 U.S. and 50,000 South Korean troops participating. [9]

In early September Washington and Seoul held an anti-submarine warfare exercise in the Yellow Sea.

At the end of the same month Indian troops joined U.S. marines and sailors in Exercise Habu Nag 2010, the fifth annual bilateral U.S.-India amphibious training exercise with that codename, in the East China Sea off the coast of Okinawa.

In October at least 3,000 U.S. troops participated in the nine-day Amphibious Landing Exercise 2011 in the Philippines. “The bilateral training exercise, conducted with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, is designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and continue to build professional relationships between the two countries.” [10]

At the beginning of the same month U.S. warships and troops joined 6,000 Australian soldiers and counterparts from New Zealand for Exercise Hamel in northeast Australia, described in the local press as “massive war games.” [11]

Also in October, South Korea for the first time hosted a multinational military exercise with 14 members of the U.S.-created Proliferation Security Initiative, which included ships and military personnel from the U.S., Canada, France, Australia and Japan.

U.S. marines “conducted urban training exercises” in Singapore on November 6. A Marine Corps lieutenant present “gave a short class on identifying danger areas in a combat environment” and “talked about isolating them by sight, or suppressive fire, and the importance of gaining footholds in enemy territories.” [12]

Opening ceremony of Yudh Abhyas 2010

On November 14 the U.S. and Indian armies completed the 14-day Yudh Abhyas 2010 military exercise in Alaska. Last year’s Yudh Abhyas featured the largest U.S.-India joint military maneuvers ever held.

100,000 American and another 50,000 NATO troops are fighting in the tenth year of their collective war in Afghanistan. The U.S. is escalating deadly drone missile strikes and NATO is increasing helicopter gunship raids in Pakistan.

The Pentagon has indeed marked this as its Asia-Pacific century.

1) U.S. Department of Defense, November 7, 2010
2) Business Insider, November 6, 2010
Obama, Gates And Clinton In Asia: U.S. Expands Military Build-Up In The East
Stop NATO, November 7, 2010
3) Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 13, 2010
4) U.S. Supports Japan, Confronts China And Russia Over Island Disputes
Stop NATO, November 4, 2010
5) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, November 13, 2010
6) The White House, November 13, 2010
Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Kan of Japan in
Statements to the Press in Yokohama, Japan
7) Stars and Stripes, November 14, 2010
8) Australian Government
Department of Defence
June 24, 2010
9) U.S.-China Crisis: Beyond Words To Confrontation
Stop NATO, August 17, 2010
10) U.S. Marine Corps, October 22, 2010
11) Australian Broadcasting Company, October 4, 2010
12) U.S. Marine Corps, November 9, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Estados Unidos y la OTAN dispuestos a emprender una guerra sin fin en Afganistán

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

17 de noviembre 2010

Estados Unidos y la OTAN dispuestos a emprender una guerra sin fin en Afganistán
Rick Rozoff

Traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Sinfo Fernández

Los medios de comunicación convencionales y las fuentes de información alternativa se han referido por igual a una reciente revelación –aunque apenas es tal- publicada por McClatchy Newspaper en el sentido siguiente: “La administración Obama ha decidido empezar a abandonar públicamente lo que una vez vendió como plazos límite en la guerra de Afganistán, en un esfuerzo por atenuar la promesa de Barack Obama de empezar a retirar las fuerzas estadounidenses en julio de 2011”. [1]

En un artículo de esta serie de hace un mes, “U.S. and NATO to Wage War 15-Year War in Afghanistan and Pakistan” [2], documentaba esa información y mucho más, y cualquier lector atento de noticias en Internet no habría sentido sorpresa alguna en las semanas precedentes ante el artículo de McClatchy.

El 25 de octubre, Edmund Whiteside, Secretario del Consejo de la Organización del Tratado del Atlántico Norte, habló en la Universidad de Concordia, en Montreal, Canadá, y, según la prensa local, manifestó lo siguiente: “Sepan que la guerra en Afganistán –el compromiso militar más largo tanto en la historia canadiense como estadounidense- va para ‘muy largo’”. Sus exactas palabras fueron: “Afganistán será una aventura militar muy larga”.

Su posición se verá confirmada en la cumbre de la OTAN que se celebrará la próxima semana en Lisboa, Portugal, y será el compromiso más importante, exigido por el nuevo Concepto Estratégico del bloque militar dominado por EEUU, que se adoptará en la reunión: La retención de armas nucleares en el arsenal de la OTAN y el continuado estacionamiento de las bombas nucleares estadounidenses en Europa. Whiteside sostuvo también: “Canadá dice que no necesita misiles balísticos. Pero Canadá es parte de una alianza de política nuclear. No hay que darle más vueltas…” [3]

El 8 de noviembre, un día antes de que apareciera el artículo de McClatchy, el portavoz de los 152.000 soldados y 50 naciones de la Fuerza de Asistencia para la Seguridad Internacional comandada por la OTAN, el General de Brigada alemán Josef Blotz, afirmó: “No hay ningún calendario para la retirada de las tropas de la coalición de Afganistán”.

Blotz reiteró: “Aún no hay calendario”.

Sobre la transferencia del control de la seguridad a las fuerzas afganas, dijo: “No vamos a proceder de acuerdo con un calendario fijo, se irá desarrollando teniendo en cuenta las condiciones que se vayan consiguiendo en los próximos dos años”. [4]

El 11 de noviembre, el Primer Ministro Stephen Harper de Canadá habló al margen de la cumbre del G20 en Seúl, Corea del Sur, y dijo que “Estaba decidido… a mantener las tropas en Afganistán con un papel de entrenamiento no combatiente una vez que la misión de combate canadiense termine su misión en 2011”.

Associated Press citó a un funcionario de alto nivel del gobierno canadiense verificando que su nación “mantendrá 750 instructores militares y 250 personas más como equipo de apoyo en Afganistán hasta 2014…” [5]

Una perspectiva igualmente sombría acerca de cualquier retirada –o sobre el comienzo de alguna- para el próximo año la ofreció el día anterior el comandante de las fuerzas británicas al sur de Afganistán, el Teniente General Nick Carter, quien “ofreció una valoración devastadora sobre los esfuerzos bélicos en Afganistán”.

Carter admitió que: “En mi período de servicio perdí 302 soldados. La mayoría estadounidenses. El coste en sangre y dinero ha sido enorme”. Añadió que la OTAN no sabría si estaba ganando –lo que quiera que esa palabra pueda significar en una guerra ya en su décimo año y escalando nuevas cotas cada día- hasta junio de 2011, “cuando empiece de nuevo la estación de los combates” y la Alianza Atlántica y el Pentágono puedan “comparar los ataques talibanes con los de este año”. [6]

EEUU y la OTAN –la distinción es meramente formal porque las estimaciones recientes informan que 140.000 de los 150.000 soldados extranjeros en Afganistán sirven ahora bajo el mando de la OTAN- han perdido 633 efectivos en la guerra en el año transcurrido hasta el 11 de noviembre. Esa cifra comparada con los 521 de todo el año pasado y los 295 de 2008. 1.184 muertes del total de 2.203 militares occidentales que han muerto en el país se han producido en los últimos 22 meses.

Citando estadísticas de la Fuerza Aérea de EEUU, un informe de ABC News del 10 de noviembre: “Number of Afghan Air Strikes Highest Ever” [La cifra de ataques aéreos en Afganistán es más alta que nunca], revelaba que la cantidad de ataques aéreos desencadenados en Afganistán en octubre –aproximadamente 1.000- era el total mensual más alto desde que empezó la guerra en 2001, y había subido desde los 700 del mes anterior, que ya por sí misma marcó un 172% de aumento comparado con septiembre de 2009.

El artículo detallaba también que la cantidad de salidas de combate estadounidenses y de la OTAN hasta ahora en lo que va de año es de 26.948, superando el record anterior de 26.474 de todo el pasado año. [7]

Cruzando la frontera con Pakistán, EEUU ha lanzado al menos 20 ataques de misiles con aviones no tripulados que han asesinado a más de 130 personas desde comienzos del pasado mes.

El 2 de noviembre, y por quinta vez desde que empezó el mes de septiembre, un helicóptero de combate de la OTAN violó el espacio aéreo pakistaní en las Áreas Tribales Federalmente Administradas, matando a tres soldados pakistaníes en el último día del mes pasado.

A principios de mes, los parlamentarios de la oposición en Pakistán “manifestaron sentir gran preocupación por la violación del espacio aéreo pakistaní por parte de las fuerzas de la OTAN” y “abandonaron una sesión del Senado en señal de protesta y enérgica condena de las violaciones del espacio aéreo perpetradas por las fuerzas de la OTAN”. [8]

Según un artículo publicado en la revista India’s Frontline: “El Presidente Obama ha incrementado sustancialmente los gastos de defensa y ha extendido la guerra en Afganistán” y “la administración Obama ha asumido sin reservas la política de la administración Bush de eliminar a presuntos terroristas utilizando aviones no tripulados dotados de alta tecnología”.

“En lugar de emplear la laboriosa técnica de capturar a los presuntos terroristas en sus refugios en ciudades muy pobladas y aldeas remotas, los aviones no tripulados bombardean la casa o el pueblo donde se supone que se han refugiado los sospechosos. Y en ese proceso provocan inmensos daños colaterales, asesinando inocentes civiles en cantidades que superan inmensamente las de quienes mueren combatiendo la ocupación”.

“Desde que asumió el poder hace dos años, Obama ha hecho de los aviones no tripulados un instrumento clave de su lucha contra los combatientes de Afganistán y Pakistán. Esos aviones se utilizan también con total generosidad contra los combatientes en Yemen y Somalia.” [9]

La guerra afgana, inmersa ya en su décimo año, se ha ampliado y devenido un conflicto mucho más amplio que crece tanto en alcance como en letalidad con cada semana que pasa y que seguirá incrementándose aún más antes de que empiece a reducirse, si es que alguna vez lo hace.

La promesa del Presidente Obama del pasado año de “reducir” las fuerzas de combate de EEUU y la OTAN en el Centro y Sur de Asia –también están estacionadas en Kirguizistán, Tayikistán y Uzbekistán- para el próximo año se revela ahora como la transparente manipulación política que era desde el principio.

En la página en Internet de la Radio Pública Nacional, el 11 de diciembre se publicó un artículo de Stephen M. Walt titulado “Foreign Policy: Bait and Switch en Afghanistan” [Política Exterior: Gato por liebre en Afganistán].

Walt es profesor de asuntos internacionales en la Escuela del Gobierno John F. Kennedy de la Universidad de Harvard, es miembro del consejo editorial de Foreign Policy, Security Studies and International Relations y del Journal of Cold War Studies, y es coautor, con John Mearsheimer, de “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”.

Walt se preguntaba por qué ese coro de sorpresa, auténtica o fingida, con que se había recibido el artículo de McClatchy, afirmando:

“No conozco a nadie que pensara que EEUU podría cambiar las cosas en dieciocho meses, y esa particular fecha límite era poco más que un trozo de prestidigitación política diseñada para que la escalada pareciera una etapa temporal. La gente razonable podía estar en desacuerdo acerca de si la decisión de Obama de incrementar la guerra en Afganistán era la correcta (yo creo que no lo era), pero la ambivalencia de Obama en esta cuestión es una razón por la que algunos de sus seguidores más entusiastas se sienten ahora desencantados”.

Ofreciendo una lista de precedentes históricos, y haciendo alusión al menos a la inveterada credulidad de la gente, Walt añadió: “Hay una larga tradición de presidentes diciéndole al pueblo estadounidense que determinadas nuevas misiones militares no van a durar mucho y no costarán mucho. Nixon nos dijo que tenía ‘un plan secreto’ para acabar con la Guerra de Vietnam (y no lo tenía) y Bill Clinton dijo que las tropas estadounidenses sólo estarían en Bosnia doce meses (y estuvieron más de nueve años). El Presidente George W. Bush y sus asesores dijeron que la ocupación de Iraq sería breve y que se pagaría por sí sola y aún estamos allí hoy en día. Y ahora Obama ha hecho básicamente lo mismo: vender un incremento comprometido sugiriendo que es algo temporal para replegarse después de su autoimpuesta fecha límite”. [10]

Puede predecirse, siguiendo el ciclo político estadounidense, que habrá nuevas promesas de desescalada del conflicto, no sólo de la guerra más larga en la historia estadounidense, como mencioné anteriormente, sino también en la de Afganistán, especialmente en el año de las elecciones presidenciales de 2012 y el presunto nuevo intento de reelección de Obama, pero se demostrará que son tan falsas como las del pasado año.

El Pentágono y lo que el 19 y 20 de noviembre se presentará oficialmente como OTAN global, han cosechado sustanciales beneficios de la guerra en Afganistán por lo que ambos se muestran reacios a renunciar. Han introducido sus ejércitos hasta el centro de Eurasia para un plazo largo. Y han construido una red internacional de instalaciones y alianzas militares al servicio de la guerra, desde la primera operación estratégica aérea multinacional del mundo en Hungría hasta una base de tránsito en Kirguizistán por la que pasan cada mes al menos 50.000 soldados hacia y desde Afganistán, y la subordinación de las fuerzas armadas de decenas de naciones de Europa y Asia.

Hace pocos días, por ejemplo, la guerra afgana ha proporcionado a EEUU y la OTAN oportunidades sin precedentes de ampliar su alcance militar mundial:

El Presidente Nursultan Nazarbayev de Kazajstán, que tiene las mayores reservas de petróleo y gas natural de la Cuenca del Mar Caspio y tiene fronteras con Rusia y China, visitó la sede de la OTAN en Bruselas para reunirse con su Secretario General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Rasmussen “le dio las gracias al Presidente Nazarbayev por el apoyo de su país a la Fuerza de Asistencia Internacional para la Seguridad (ISAF, por sus siglas en inglés), dirigida por la OTAN, en Afganistán” [11], y Nazarbayef anunció que “un grupo de soldados kazacos se iba a desplazar a los cuarteles de la coalición internacional en Afganistán”. [12]

El Almirante Giampaolo di Paola, Presidente del Comité Militar de la OTAN, visitó Georgia para reunirse con los ministros de defensa y exteriores del país y el jefe del estado mayor de las fuerzas armadas georgianas y para inspeccionar Centro de Entrenamiento Nacional Krtsanisi, sostenido por la OTAN, la recién establecida Oficina de Enlace de la OTAN en la capital de la nación y el “33º Batallón de la III Brigada de Infantería que reemplazará el contingente del 32º Batallón desplegado en Afganistán” [13]. Georgia emprendió una guerra de cinco días contra Rusia en agosto de 2008 y la OTAN está entrenando a sus fuerzas armadas para algo más que la guerra en Afganistán.

El Mando de Operaciones Especiales de EEUU concluyó recientemente ejercicios de entrenamiento en Alemania con las tropas de la República Checa, Lituania y Polonia. El Pentágono describió sus objetivos de la siguiente manera:

“La coordinación y sincronización entre fuerzas convencionales y de operaciones especiales (SOF, por sus siglas en inglés) es fundamental en el campo de batalla moderno, ya que ambas comparten roles integrales dentro de un área de responsabilidad que implica recogida de inteligencia u operaciones de combate… Las actividades de entrenamiento fueron parte de una misión anual de ejercicios de ensayo a nivel de brigada… para preparar unidades de fuerzas convencionales asignadas a la zona de operaciones para el despliegue a Afganistán del Mando de EEUU en Europa”. [14]

Lituania y Polonia tienen fronteras con Rusia y ambas albergan fuerzas de la OTAN, en una base aérea en el caso de la primera nación y en un centro de entrenamiento en la segunda. A primeros de mes, el parlamento checo aprobó el despliegue de más tropas, incluidas fuerzas especiales, a Afganistán el próximo año, elevando el contingente de la nación en la OTAN a 720 soldados.

También este mes, las tropas polacas entrenadas en la base de la Guardia Nacional del Ejército en Illinois, que se encuentra a una hora de coche de Chicago, y un oficial polaco implicado en el entrenamiento, afirmaron: “Nos entrenamos juntos porque combatimos juntos. Si nos entrenamos juntos combatiremos y trabajaremos mejor en Afganistán. Es buena idea entrenarnos juntos antes de desplegarnos. Somos buenos soldados y nuestra brigada se desplegó dos veces en Iraq y en Afganistán por eso trabajamos a alto nivel. Estamos preparados”. [15]

Philip H. Gordon, Secretario de Estado Adjunto para Asuntos Europeos y Eurasiáticos de EEUU, afirmó recientemente la conexión entre las naciones que suministran soldados para la guerra en Afganistán y el compromiso de EEUU de intervenir en su nombre en los conflictos con sus estados vecinos.

En una estratégica reunión celebrada en Polonia a finales del pasado mes, dijo: “Creo que hay un amplio apoyo entre aliados para equilibrar las misiones tradicionales de la OTAN recogidas en el artículo 5, que es el que se refiere a la defensa colectiva, y también la necesidad que la Alianza tiene de abordar los nuevos desafíos de seguridad por todo el mundo, y nosotros nos sentimos muy a gusto con ese equilibrio”. [16]

El parlamento sueco ha ampliado el despliegue de tropas a Afganistán, donde Suecia se ha comprometido en operaciones de combate y ha perdido tropas por vez primera en dos siglos, meses después de que el gobierno aboliera el último vestigio de reclutamiento para satisfacer las demandas de “profesionalización” de la OTAN y anunciara la obligación de despliegue obligatorio en el extranjero para todos los militares.

La pasada semana, el Ministro de Defensa alemán Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg visitó Mongolia, que limita también con China y Rusia, y se reunió con las “tropas del primer contingente de la misión mongola, que se habían desplegado por la zona de defensa alemana en Afganistán”. [17]

En el contexto de la visita del Presidente Obama a Mumbai y Nueva Delhi, aparecieron diversas informaciones de que la India podría pasar a engrosar la lista que quienes contribuyen con tropas a la ISAF de la OTAN en Afganistán. El analista de defensa indio Bharat Singh aseguró recientemente que “los casi 9.000 soldados indios desplegados en misiones de mantenimiento de la paz podría fácilmente volver a desplegarse en Afganistán”. [18]

En Bulgaria, donde el Pentágono ha adquirido cuatro nuevas bases militares –incluidas dos bases aéreas- desde 2006, Anyu Angelov, Ministro de Defensa, afirmó recientemente que el 7% del presupuesto de defensa de su nación –si es que puede denominarse así- se asignaría a la guerra en Afganistán, donde los efectivos subirán de 536 a más de 600. También dijo que Bulgaria “no iba a fijar ningún plazo para retirar sus tropas de Afganistán”. [19]

Sin embargo, James Warlick, el Embajador de EEUU en el país, dio una conferencia titulada: “Europa por Afganistán: del entendimiento al apoyo”, que se celebró en el Club Militar en la capital bulgara, diciendo “Bulgaria podría incrementar sus esfuerzos en Afganistán y hacer más”. [20]

La consolidación de un nexo militar de largo alcance dependiente de la guerra afgana no se limita a la Europa del Este. El pasado mes, “una pequeña esquina de Cornwall [se convirtió] en Afganistán”. En las instalaciones de St Mawgan de la Real Fuerza Aérea, mil soldados del Cuerpo de Reacción Rápida Aliada de la OTAN (ARRC, por sus siglas en inglés) participaron en “un importante ejercicio de entrenamiento de la OTAN, el primero de este tipo en el Reino Unido” [21], en preparación del despliegue del próximo enero hacia Afganistán.

“Los hombres del ARRC se encontraban en el condado preparando su entrenamiento final antes de desplegarse para el servicio operativo en Afganistán el próximo año.”

“El ejercicio ARRCade Apear II trata de ofrecer a los reclutas entrenamiento adecuado para su trabajo como parte de la ISAF de la OTAN.” [22]

Poco después, “328 soldados, incluidos 45 equipos a tiempo completo del ejército británico, equipos del ejército territorial del Reino Unido y participantes de ejércitos extranjeros” tomaron parte en el Ejercicio de Patrulla Cambrian en Gales, “en una de las pruebas de patrullaje más prestigiosas de la OTAN”. [23]

Desde Cornwall a Mongolia, de Kazajstán a Illinois, de Suecia a Gales, de Polonia a Georgia, de Lituania a la India y más allá, la OTAN y el Pentágono están reforzando las redes y alianzas militares alrededor de la guerra afgana. Ni Washington ni Bruselas sienten prisa alguna en abandonar un conflicto que les permite a ambos globalizar sus roles militares.

1) Nancy A. Youssef, “Obama officials moving away from 2011 Afghan date”, McClatchy Newspapers, 6 noviembre 2010:

2) “U.S. And NATO To Wage War 15-Year War In Afghanistan And Pakistan” Stop NATO, 6 octubre 2010:

3) The Link, 2 noviembre 2010:

4) Xinhua News Agency, 8 noviembre 2010.

5) Associated Press, 11 noviembre 2010.

6) Daily Mirror, 11 noviembre 2010.

7) Luis Martinez: “Number of Afghan Air Strikes Highest Ever” ABC News, 10 noviembre 2010

8) Daily Times, 4 noviembre 2010.

9) John Cherian: “Hellfire from the sky”, Frontline, 6-19 noviembre 2010:

10) Stephen M. Walt, “Foreign Policy: Bait And Switch In Afghanistan” National Public Radio, 11 noviembre 2010:

11) North Atlantic Treaty Organization, October 26, 2010 “Kazakhstan: U.S., NATO Seek Military Outpost Between Russia And China” Stop NATO, 14 abril 2010:

12) Central Asia Online, 27 octubre 2010

13) Ministerio de Defensa de Georgia, 29 octubre 2010.

14) U.S. European Command, 26 octubre 2010.

15) Belleville News Democrat, 1 noviembre 2010.

16) Polish Radio, 29 octubre 2010.

17) Ulaanbaatar Post, 5 noviembre 2010: “Mongolia: Pentagon Trojan Horse Wedged Between China And Russia@ Stop NATO, 31 marzo 2010>

18) Daily Times, 7 noviembre 2010.

19) Sofia News Agency, 26 octubre 2010.

20) Sofia News Agency, 26 octubre 2010.

21) Pirate FM, 14 octubre 2010.

22) This Is Cornwall, 14 octubre 2010. 23) The Star, 1 noviembre 2010.

Categories: Uncategorized

“Kanonnen worden niet gesmeed om ze tentoon te stellen in parken”

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

17 november 2010

Door Ludo De Brabander, Soetkin Van Muylem

“Kanonnen worden niet gesmeed om ze tentoon te stellen in parken”

Rick Rozoff is de bekendste Amerikaanse anti-NAVO-activist en tegelijkertijd een NAVO-expert. Ter voorbereiding van de aankomende NAVO-top in de Portugese hoofdstad Lissabon op 19 en 20 november zag de redactie van Vrede in hem de ideale gesprekspartner voor een uitgebreid interview.

Wat is er belangrijk aan de komende top in Lissabon?

Rick Rozoff: “De staatshoofden en regeringsleiders van de NAVO-lidstaten zullen er een nieuw strategisch concept goedkeuren, het eerste 21ste eeuwse strategisch concept van de NAVO. Het laatste werd goedgekeurd en aangenomen op de NAVO-top van Washington in 1999, toen de organisatie haar 50ste verjaardag vierde. Wat er precies in staat, zullen we maar met zekerheid weten op 19 en 20 november. Maar alles wijst erop dat de kern een duale missie is: het verbreden van het gebruik van ‘artikel 5’ uit de stichtingsdocumenten van de NAVO, gekoppeld aan een blijvende inzet voor overzeese missies.”

“Artikel 5 bepaalt dat elke aanval op een NAVO-land beschouwd wordt als een aanval tegen álle lidstaten en dat elk NAVO-lid verplicht is om te reageren, desnoods met gewapend geweld, om de aangevallen natie te verdedigen. We moeten ons daarbij realiseren dat de artikel 5-verplichting in Europa aanzienlijk is uitgebreid de laatste 11 jaar. Het NAVO-lidmaatschap is immers gegroeid met 75 procent, van 16 leden in 1990 naar 28 nu. De 12 nieuwe NAVO-leden komen allemaal uit Oost-Europa.”

De huidige oorlog in Afghanistan werd aangevat als een missie onder artikel 5, een defensieve missie dus, maar het liep anders?

“Op 12 september 2001 riep de NAVO voor de eerste (en tot op vandaag enige keer) haar artikel 5 in om de zogenaamde globale oorlog tegen het terrorisme te starten. De oorlog in Afghanistan is daar het bekendste resultaat van, maar de NAVO lanceerde bijvoorbeeld ook operatie ‘Active Endeavor’. Dat is de maritieme militaire bewaking van de hele Middellandse Zee om de mogelijke verplaatsing van terroristen en massavernietigingswapens te verhinderen. Deze operatie zit in haar tiende jaar en er is voorlopig geen enkele aanwijzing dat ze binnenkort zal worden beëindigd.”

“Ze is nochtans gebaseerd op een compleet arbitraire en unilaterale beslissing gemaakt door de NAVO, zonder enige consultatie van de Verenigde Naties, laat staan op basis van een VN-mandaat. De NAVO is eigenlijk een soort militaire organisatie die besloten heeft om zichzelf aan de wereld op te dringen als een globaal veiligheidsinstituut, alweer zonder enig overleg met de betrokken partijen.”

“De NAVO is een soort militaire organisatie die besloten heeft om zichzelf aan de wereld op te dringen als een globaal veiligheidsinstituut”

“In dit verband deed Anders Fogh Rasmussen, de secretaris-generaal van de NAVO, een aantal dagen geleden een verhelderende uitspraak: ‘Onze defensie begint niet langer in Europa. Dreigingen kunnen voortkomen uit Kandahar (in het zuiden van Afghanistan) of vanuit cyberspace’. Het ingrijpen tegen alles wat de NAVO maar als dreiging kan bedenken, wordt opgevat als een defensieve actie. De parameters en de definitie van wat onder ‘bedreiging voor de veiligheid’ valt, zijn ondertussen fors uitgebreid.”

“Laat me je ter illustratie een paar door de NAVO aangehaalde redenen voor bezorgdheid opsommen, waarvan we dus mogen aannemen dat ze ook de aanleiding vormen voor interventies: strategische energiebronnen, demografische veranderingen, immigratie, klimaatverandering, globale opwarming, watertekort. De NAVO eigent zich zomaar het recht toe om op één of andere wijze en eender waar in te grijpen, in elk van deze gevallen.”

“Een brede interpretatie van de term ‘dreiging’ garandeert een breed werkveld. Voormalig VS-ambassadeur bij de NAVO, Kurt Volker, pochte in 2006 met het feit dat de NAVO verwikkeld was in acht operaties op vier verschillende continenten tegelijk. Dat geeft je een idee van de reikwijdte van een mondiale NAVO. Ik gebruik de uitdrukking ‘mondiale NAVO’ niet zomaar. Deze uitdrukking is het laatste decennium tamelijk veelvuldig gebruikt, vooral door de Amerikaanse en de Europese pleitbezorgers ervan.”

Wat betekent deze mondiale NAVO voor de positie van de internationale veiligheidsomgeving en de Verenigde Naties?

“De intentie van de NAVO is de uitholling van de Verenigde Naties. De NAVO-top in Washington van elf jaar geleden, viel samen met twee andere evenementen: de formele introductie van de eerste nieuwe NAVO-leden sinds het einde van de Koude Oorlog (Tsjechië, Hongarije en Polen) en de eerste regelrechte NAVO-oorlog: een 78 dagen-durende bombardementencampagne tegen ex-Joegoslavië in de Kosovo-crisis.”

“De televisiebeelden van de top van Washington toonden de Amerikaanse president Bill Clinton en de Britse premier Tony Blair op een podium, geflankeerd door de leiders van ongeveer 50 NAVO-lidstaten en andere bondgenoten. Die achtergrond vol vlaggen gaf toen eigenlijk een prachtig beeld van het mondiale rijk dat aan het opkomen was. Een rijk dat zeer duidelijk een substituut moest bieden voor de Verenigde Naties en uiteindelijk de VN wil omverwerpen.”

“Alles wat na die top gebeurde, bevestigt deze stelling simpelweg. Trans-Atlantische voorstanders van een mondiale NAVO-strategie klaagden regelmatig – en vrij openlijk – aan dat de VN niet doeltreffend en impotent is. In één adem pleitten ze voor een organisatie, de NAVO, die alle democratieën in de wereld zou verenigen. Daarin zouden dan landen gaande van Israël, Colombia tot India vervat zitten.”

De beroemde Amerikaanse politieke adviseur Brzezinski zei ooit dat het controleren van de Euro-Aziatische regio de ultieme doelstelling is van het Amerikaanse buitenlands beleid. Gaat de VS daar via de NAVO actief naar op zoek?

“Zelf zou ik het adjectief ‘beroemd’ bij Brzezinski veranderen in ‘berucht’. Hij is een belangrijk architect van het Amerikaanse buitenlands beleid. In het begin van de jaren 1990, bijna onmiddellijk na het opbreken van het Warschaupact en de fragmentatie van de Sovjet-Unie, vierden de Amerikaanse strategen, van Paul Wolfowitz tot Zbigniew Brzezinski, dat de VS ‘s werelds ongecontesteerde en enige globale supermacht was. Om deze status nog een generatie langer te kunnen behouden, moest de VS voorkomen dat er ergens ter wereld een uitdager opstond.”

“Dit is iets waar beide zijden van het zeer smalle politieke spectrum in de VS het roerend over eens zijn: de mondiale Amerikaanse suprematie, de Amerikaanse uitzonderingspositie, Amerika’s messiaanse missie om de wereld te verbeteren en te domineren, enzovoort.”

“Het belangrijkste middel dat Amerika ter beschikking heeft om het behoud van de mondiale dominantie te realiseren, is een ongeëvenaarde militaire macht. Volgend jaar zal de VS 708 miljard dollar spenderen aan militair budget. Dat is het hoogste militair budget in reële termen sinds 1946 en staat dus gelijk aan de militaire uitgaven tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Nochtans wordt de VS momenteel niet op een dusdanige wijze bedreigd door een buitenlandse agressie.”

“Dankzij de opgebouwde partnerschappen en in eerste instantie door een NAVO te creëren van 28 landen, zijn er nog maar zes Europese landen (Cyprus, Malta, Wit-Rusland, Rusland, Servië en Moldavië) die nog geen troepen hebben gestuurd om onder NAVO-commando te opereren in Afghanistan. 39 Europese landen deden dit wel, vaak ondanks massale interne tegenkanting. Dat is toch een schokkend cijfer! Het geeft in essentie de consolidatie van het Europese continent aan als een blok binnen een militaire alliantie die gecontroleerd wordt vanuit de andere kant van de Atlantische Oceaan.”

“Het proces om Afrika militair te onderwerpen, is volop aan de gang. Met dit doel werd ruim twee jaar geleden het nieuwste Amerikaanse regionale militaire hoofdkwartier opgericht: het Africa Command (AFRICOM). Via bilaterale partnerschappen worden er ook regelmatig militaire oefeningen georganiseerd op het Afrikaanse continent.”

“Het Midden-Oosten is met uitzondering van Syrië en Iran tamelijk braaf, dus waar ga je dan naartoe als je op zoek bent naar de suprematie over de wereld? Je gaat naar dat deel dat nog niet volledig onder de duim zit en waar potentiële economisch-militaire tegenstanders zouden zitten. Azië is dat continent. In Afghanistan wordt volop gewerkt aan een ‘coalitie van de welwillenden’. De laatste vijf landen die zich aansloten bij de lijst van wat de NAVO officieel bestempeld als ‘troepenleverende’ landen, liggen in Azië. Het laatste land dat plechtig beloofde om 200 soldaten te sturen, is Tonga, een minuscuul eilandje in de Stille Oceaan.”

Ik kan me voorstellen dat landen zoals China en vooral Rusland niet echt tevreden zijn met een mondiale NAVO, en zeker niet met diens gerichtheid op Azië. Hoe reageren zij op deze ontwikkelingen?

“Het valt me op dat er een paar jaar geleden veel meer bezorgdheid en kritiek geuit werd dan nu. Ik weet eigenlijk niet zeker waarom dit het geval is. Nochtans delen Rusland en China dezelfde veiligheidsproblemen in verband met de mogelijke destabilisatie van Zuid-Azië en Afghanistan. Maar ook in Centraal-Azië, waar China problemen heeft met de autonome regio Xinjiang, en in de Kaukasus waar Rusland geconfronteerd wordt met rebellenbewegingen.”

“In dit verband mogen we de nasleep van de grootste geheime operatie in de geschiedenis van de CIA niet uit het oog verliezen. Via operatie ‘Cyclone’ vloeiden tijdens de Koude Oorlog miljoenen dollars naar de islamitische strijders (moedjahedien) die in de jaren 1980 tegen de Sovjet-troepen in Afghanistan vochten. De uitgebreide buitenlandse bewapening, training en financiering stelden de moedjahedien in staat om de Afghaanse hoofdstad Kaboel te veroveren in 1992, maar resulteerde ook in de verspreiding van extremistische groepen in andere delen van Centraal-Azië. De naschokken hiervan waren te voelen tot in Xinjiang, de Russische Noord-Kaukasus en mogelijk zelfs de Balkan.”

“De VS heeft nooit haar verantwoordelijkheid erkend hiervoor. De bedenker van operatie Cyclone was Brzezinski. In een interview werd hem ooit gevraagd of hij enige spijt heeft van de creatie van het internationaal terrorisme in zijn huidige vorm. Dat gebeurde onder meer via het samenbrengen van strijders uit tientallen landen in trainingskampen in Pakistan. Zijn antwoord was dat een paar opgejutte moslims toch niet opwegen tegen de bevrijding van Centraal-Europa en het einde van de Koude Oorlog.”

“Ik herinner me dat ik meneer Brzezinski zag op de televisie vlak na de aanvallen van 11 september in de Verenigde Staten en dat ik me afvroeg waarom deze man niet geboeid afgevoerd werd. Waarom werd hij niet in de gevangenis gestopt voor zijn aandeel in het het creëren van terrorisme? In plaats daarvan is hij een gelauwerd staatsman en strateeg met de hoogste achting. De wereld zou beledigd moeten zijn!”

“De voormalige bevelhebber van de NAVO-troepen in Afghanistan, generaal Stanley McCrystal, identificeerde afgelopen augustus drie gewapende groepen die de Amerikaanse vooruitgang in Afghanistan aanzienlijk bemoeilijken. Twee ervan, de Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin en het Haqqani-netwerk, zijn organisaties die werden opgericht en nog altijd gecontroleerd worden door de grootste ontvangers van CIA-steun in de jaren 1980, de militieleiders Hekmatyar en Jalaluddin Haqqani. Waarom zijn er niet meer journalisten, politieke analisten en historici die deze jammerlijke ironieën opmerken?”

“Maar om terug te komen op de reactie van Rusland: alles wijst erop dat Moskou zich neerlegt bij een mondiale NAVO. Er is Rusland zelfs een uitnodiging gestuurd om de top in Lissabon bij te wonen. Dat is nog nooit gebeurd. Rusland gelooft wel dat het er in geslaagd is om de NAVO-toetreding van landen zoals Oekraïne en Georgië te voorkomen. Robert Simmons, de speciale NAVO-vertegenwoordiger voor de Kaukasus en Centraal-Azië, verklaarde niet zo lang geleden nog dat Oekraïne de NAVO zeker zal vervoegen en dat het alleen een kwestie van tijd is. Rusland mag zichzelf wel wijsmaken dat het de NAVO-expansie naar het oosten heeft uitgesteld of zelfs gestopt, maar de realiteit is simpelweg anders.”

Twee jaar geleden met de oorlog in Georgië, leek het alsof Rusland wou tonen dat daar toch wel de limiet lag voor de NAVO-expansie. Het bleek bereid om militair geweld te gebruiken indien die limiet overschreden werd. Of bekijk ik dat verkeerd?

“Tja, dat is een interpretatie, maar we mogen niet vergeten dat er eerder dat jaar een NAVO-top was in de Roemeense hoofdstad Boekarest waar bewust geen ‘lidmaatschapactieplannen’ toegekend werden aan Oekraïne en Georgië. Een lidmaatschapactieplan (MAP – membership action plan) is de hoogste vorm van partnerschap voor een land volwaardig lid wordt van de NAVO. Beide landen kregen in Boekarest te horen dat ze nog moesten werken aan bepaalde zaken voor ze in aanmerking kwamen voor een MAP.”

“Ik herinner me dat ik in die tijd mensen waarschuwde dat dit eigenlijk helemaal geen tegenslag was voor de VS en voor het regime van de Georgische president Saakashvili. Het was net een soort aansporing om iets provocerend en gevaarlijk te doen. De twee belangrijkste redenen waarom een land niet ten volle kan integreren in de NAVO zijn namelijk de betrokkenheid van een kandidaat-lidstaat bij een gewapend conflict en onopgeloste interne territoriale problemen.”

“Georgië beantwoordt aan beide negatieve voorwaarden. Het is nog altijd betrokken bij gewapende conflicten met Zuid-Ossetië en Abchazië. Bovendien kampt het met onopgeloste territoriale conflicten, want het beschouwt deze twee voormalige deelrepublieken als Georgisch grondgebied. In plaats van Georgië te ontmoedigen door het niet toe te laten tot een MAP, leek dit wel een signaal dat het dringend orde op zaken moest stellen: het territoriale conflict oplossen door Zuid-Ossetië en Abchazië in te lijven bijvoorbeeld.”

“Ik ben er ten zeerste van overtuigd dat indien Georgië er in augustus 2008 in geslaagd was om door de Roki-tunnel te geraken en de Russische militaire assistentie aan Zuid-Ossetië te blokkeren, Saakashvili onmiddellijk daarna Abchazië had ingelijfd. Tot op welke hoogte was Georgië in staat om de boel te provoceren met als enig doel te kijken wat de Russische reactie zou zijn?”

“In Tbilisi, de hoofdstad van Georgië, stikte het op het moment dat de oorlog uitbrak, van het Amerikaans militair personeel en van NAVO-medewerkers. Zij waren de oorlog op het terrein aan het observeren. De VS leidde in Georgië vlak voor de oorlog een multinationale oorlogsoefening (‘Immediate Response 2008’). Er waren nog altijd Amerikaanse troepen en materiaal in het land toen de oorlog uitbrak. Dat de gebeurtenissen in de westerse pers werden voorgesteld als de ondoordachte actie van een instabiel leider, Mikheil Saakashvili, leek mij zeer ongeloofwaardig. Condoleezza Rice, de toenmalige Amerikaanse minister van Buitenlandse Zaken, had het land een paar weken voor de oorlog nog bezocht. Saakashvili zou niets ondernemen zonder de uitdrukkelijke toestemming van de VS.”

Zijn er binnen de NAVO onenigheden, die niet in de pers komen, maar die in de aanloop naar de NAVO-top in Lissabon wel relevant zijn? Denk bijvoorbeeld aan het antirakettenschild dat Rasmussen graag in NAVO-verband wil installeren.

“Rasmussen heeft al regelmatig gezegd en blijft herhalen dat hij een NAVO-rakettenschild wil. Europese medewerking is daarbij cruciaal. Weet je, ik woon niet eens in Europa, maar de graad van onverschilligheid hierover verontrust me. Ik vraag me echt af waarom er niet meer tegen geageerd wordt in Europa. Voor het eerst, sinds het einde van het Warschaupact zo’n 20 jaar geleden, zijn er weer vreemde troepen en raketten gestationeerd in Polen. Dit keer gaat het wel om Amerikaanse raketten.”

“In februari 2010 hebben de regeringen van Bulgarije en Roemenië toegegeven aan de VS-druk om geavanceerde antiballistische raketsystemen te stationeren op hun grondgebied. Er wordt ook gesproken over een rakettenschildradarstation in Tsjechië. De VS staat ondertussen te trappelen om een radarstation in Azerbeidzjan in handen te krijgen. En we staan nog maar aan het begin, vrees ik.”

“De Amerikaanse onderminister van Defensie, William Lynn, zei een paar weken geleden: ‘Nu Europa gedekt wordt door een nucleair schild en een rakettenschild, is het nodig om het te beschermen met een cyberschild’. Dit NAVO-initiatief zal zeker besproken worden op de Lissabon-top. We hebben het al gehad over het gebrek aan verontwaardiging en oppositie in Rusland en China, maar hetzelfde geldt voor Europa. Waarom tolereren de Europeanen dit soort plannen?”

Leggen de Europese NAVO-lidstaten zich echt gewoon neer bij wat er in Washington wordt beslist? Of zijn er toch discussies en meningsverschillen tussen Europa en de VS over de NAVO? Ik denk aan de uitbouw van een eigen militaire defensie en een Europees veiligheidsbeleid.

“Er zullen zeker wel meningsverschillen zijn, maar dat zijn allemaal kleinere technische kwesties en accentverschillen. Ik denk dat er over het algemeen een gemeenschappelijke verstandhouding is. Als het neerkomt op stemmingen of op het innemen van een gezamenlijk standpunt over Libanon, Iran, de Zuidelijke Kaukasus, Zuid-Azië enzovoort, zie ik geen verschil tussen de EU en de VS.”

“Als het binnen de NAVO neerkomt op stemmingen of op het innemen van een gezamenlijk standpunt, zie ik geen verschil tussen de EU en de VS”

“Vele EU-lidstaten zitten in de NAVO en de meerderheid van de NAVO-landen zijn lid van de EU. De militaire middelen van de NAVO worden hoe langer hoe meer gedeeld met de EU (zoals voorzien in de Berlijn Plus-Akkoorden). Ik denk dat we op vele manieren toch te maken hebben met een gezamenlijke entiteit. Je zou kunnen zeggen dat het Europees defensie- en veiligheidsbeleid de Europese pijler van de NAVO geworden is.”

“De EU voert momenteel een eerste maritieme operatie uit tegen de piraterij in de Hoorn van Afrika en in de Golf van Aden. Er wordt daarbij vlot samengewerkt met de NAVO die met operatie ‘Ocean Shield’ een gelijkaardige missie heeft. Je ziet dezelfde militairen de ene dag op de oorlogsschepen van een EU-contingent en de andere dag op die van de NAVO. Ik zie niet veel verschil, behalve dan een andere batch op de uniformen van de soldaten.”

“De laatste 20 jaar, in de post-Koude Oorlog-periode, is er een ernstige vernauwing van het politieke spectrum in de Europese landen opgetreden. Als buitenstaander stel ik de consolidatie van de euro-Atlantische krachten binnen de grote Europese politieke partijen vast. Ik denk dat er almaar minder echte politieke oppositie bestaat. Kijk naar wat er gebeurd is met de Labour-partij in Groot-Brittannië en met de sociaaldemocraten in Duitsland. Alle linkse krachten werden er in de jaren 1990 weggebonjourd.”

“De toenmalige Franse president De Gaulle trok zich in 1966 terug uit de militaire structuren van de NAVO, maar tijdens de regering van Nicolas Sarkozy is Frankrijk opnieuw geïntegreerd in de militaire structuren. In ruil daarvoor kreeg het land een aantal cruciale commandoposten. Alle beweringen dat er een hardnekkige Franse oppositie bestaat tegen het Atlantisme kunnen nu gerust opgeborgen worden.”

“In Duitsland heeft de Bundestag in februari een mandaat gegeven om het aantal Duitse soldaten in Afghanistan op te drijven tot meer dan 5.300. Dat is het hoogste aantal Duitse soldaten dat ooit werd ingezet sinds het einde van de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Ze bevinden zich bovendien in actieve gevechtssituaties.”

“Tijdens de Koude Oorlog waren bepaalde landen in Europa ‘neutraal’. Ik heb het hier over Oostenrijk, Finland, Zweden, Ierland en Zwitserland. Toch stuurde elk van deze vijf landen militairen naar Afghanistan. De Zwitsers trokken hun militairen in 2008 wel terug omdat ze van oordeel waren dat het hier geen peacekeeping-operatie betrof, zoals hen werd voorgehouden door de NAVO.”

“Het Zweedse leger is sinds 2010 geprofessionaliseerd, precies zoals de NAVO dat vereist van nieuwe lidstaten, hoewel Zweden niet eens ambities heeft om toe te treden tot de NAVO. Een systeem van nationale dienstplicht wordt immers geassocieerd met ouderwetse ideeën over patriottisme en het verdedigen van het eigen territorium. De beroepssoldaten moeten allemaal een papier ondertekenen waarin ze zich bereid verklaren om buitenlandse militaire missies uit te voeren. Het schijnt dat militairen die weigeren te tekenen, ontslagen kunnen worden.”

“Dit is een uitzuivering van elementen die niet loyaal genoeg zijn om de oorlogen van de NAVO over de hele wereld te gaan uitvechten. De officieel nog ‘neutrale’ landen Zweden en Finland controleren voor de NAVO vier provincies in het noorden van Afghanistan. Beide landen verloren al soldaten in het conflict. In het geval van Finland zijn dat de eerste gesneuvelden door oorlogsgeweld sinds de Tweede Wereldoorlog. In het geval van Zweden de eersten sinds 200 jaar! Dat is wat een mondiale NAVO betekent. Al 26 landen hebben soldaten verloren in Afghanistan. België is één van de weinige landen waar nog geen bodybags te betreuren vielen”.

Je hoort vaak dat de NAVO-operatie absoluut moet slagen in Afghanistan. Anders zouden haar toekomstige plannen in gevaar komen. Is dat zo?

“Ja, het is daarom dat Rasmussen en anderen zo vastbesloten zijn. Niet alleen moet de NAVO in Afghanistan slagen, het bondgenootschap moet ook in staat zijn om in de toekomst andere oorlogen te voeren van een gelijkaardig kaliber. Als de NAVO Afghanistan verslagen verlaat, zou de geloofwaardigheid van de organisatie op zijn minst ernstig aangetast zijn. Daar bestaat geen twijfel over.”

“We moeten ook begrijpen dat Afghanistan de basis is van waaruit de NAVO haar macht wil uitbreiden. In 2001 en 2002 trokken NAVO-troepen volop naar militaire bases in de Centraal-Aziatische landen. Er is nog altijd een Duitse basis in Pakistan en een Frans contingent in Tadzjikistan. Ondanks alle politieke chaos van het afgelopen jaar in Kirgizië zijn er nog altijd 50.000 VS-manschappen op de luchtmachtbasis daar. En dan is er nog het noordelijk distributienetwerk dat de NAVO geïnstalleerd heeft. Dat reikt tot de Baltische NAVO-staten, Estland, Letland, maar gaat zelfs door Rusland op een bepaald punt.”

“Er werd zelfs een akkoord gesloten waardoor de VS troepen en materieel, bedoeld voor de oorlog in Afghanistan, over de Noordelijke IJszee mag vliegen, naar een basis in Kazachstan. En Kazachstan grenst uiteraard zowel aan Rusland als China. Het gaat hier over een grote uitgebreide militaire aanwezigheid waarvan Afghanistan de kern is en tevens het voorwendsel om in dit deel van de wereld aanwezig te blijven.”

“Afghanistan is de kern van een uitgebreide militaire aanwezigheid in Azië en tevens het voorwendsel om in dit deel van de wereld te blijven”

“De NAVO en het Pentagon hebben de oude Sovjet-bases in Afghanistan gemoderniseerd, zoals deze van Shindand in het westen, die dicht bij de Iraanse grens ligt. Bagram, momenteel de belangrijkste basis in het land, en andere grote luchthavens, zouden gemakkelijk gebruikt kunnen worden bij regionale conflicten. Iran is daarbij het meest denkbare doelwit. De VS zal dit militaire netwerk in Azië niet zomaar opgeven.”

“De oorlog in Afghanistan wordt gebruikt om strategische posities te verwerven en te consolideren in de hele regio. Een humoristische, maar tegelijkertijd zeer serieuze Franse uitdrukking uit de jaren 1800 is één van mijn favoriete gezegden: ‘Kanonnen worden niet gesmeed om ze tentoon te stellen in openbare parken’.”

“Militaire allianties worden immers niet geconstrueerd om ze vervolgens niet te gebruiken. Als de VS Afghanistan niet had geviseerd, had ze wel een ander doelwit gevonden in de voetsporen van de NAVO-interventies in Bosnië, ex-Joegoslavië, Macedonië, enzovoort.”

“De VN moet dringend op tafel kloppen. Buiten deze organisatie kan niemand aanspraak maken op de rol van globale militaire veiligheidsorganisatie. De NAVO moet gewoon ontmanteld worden. Ik heb veel respect voor iedereen die hiervoor ijvert. Ik moedig ook iedereen aan deel te nemen aan de anti-NAVO-protesten in Lissabon in november. De NAVO gaat naar haar tweede maand van het tiende jaar van de eerste grondoorlog. Dat geeft de protesten toch een zekere urgentie.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Timetable Abandoned: U.S. And NATO To Wage Endless War In Afghanistan

November 12, 2010 1 comment

November 12, 2010

Timetable Abandoned: U.S. And NATO To Wage Endless War In Afghanistan
Rick Rozoff

The mainstream news media and alternative sources alike have seized on a recent revelation – though it is hardly such – published by McClatchy Newspapers that “The Obama administration has decided to begin publicly walking away from what it once touted as key deadlines in the war in Afghanistan in an effort to remove emphasis from Barack Obama’s pledge that he would begin withdrawing US forces in July 2011.” [1]

An article in this series of over a month earlier, U.S. And NATO To Wage War 15-Year War In Afghanistan And Pakistan [2], documented that much and more, and any attentive reader of news on the Internet during the preceding weeks would not have been surprised by the McClatchy feature.

On October 25 Edmund Whiteside, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Council Secretary, spoke at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, and according to the local press said, “Expect the war in Afghanistan — the longest military engagement in both Canadian and American history — to continue for a ‘very long’ time.” In his exact words, “Afghanistan will be a very long military venture.”

His position will be confirmed at the NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal next week, as will a major commitment demanded by the U.S.-dominated military bloc’s new Strategic Concept to be adopted at the meeting: The retention of nuclear arms in NATO’s arsenal and the continued stationing of American nuclear bombs in Europe. Whiteside also argued: “Canada says that it doesn’t need ballistic missiles. But Canada is part of a nuclear policy alliance. There’s no getting around that….” [3]

B61 nuclear gravity bombs of the sort stored at NATO bases in Europe

On November 8, the day before the McClatchy article appeared, the spokesman for the 152,000-troop, 50-nation, NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, German Brigadier-General Josef Blotz, stated that “no timetable has been set for withdrawal of coalition troops from Afghanistan.”

Blotz confirmed that “There has been no timetable yet.”

In regard to transferring security control to Afghan forces, he said, “We will not [proceed] according to a fixed timetable, it will be carried out based on conditions to be achieved over the next couple of years.” [4]

On November 11, Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada spoke on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Seoul, South Korea and said that “he’s decided…to keep troops in Afghanistan in a noncombat training role after Canada’s combat mission ends in 2011.”

Associated Press cited a senior Canadian government official verifying that his nation “will keep 750 military trainers and 250 support staff in Afghanistan until 2014….” [5]

Canadian troops in Afghanistan

A similarly bleak perspective on any withdrawal – or beginning of one – next year was offered on the preceding day by the commander of British forces in southern Afghanistan, Major General Nick Carter, who “gave a devastating assessment of the war effort in Afghanistan.”

Carter admitted that “In my tour I lost 302 soldiers. Most of them American. The cost in blood and treasure has been enormous.” He added that NATO wouldn’t know if it was winning – whatever that word signifies in a war already in its tenth year and escalating to new heights by the day – until June of 2011, “when the fighting season begins again” and the Atlantic Alliance and the Pentagon can “compare Taliban attacks with this year.” [6]

The U.S. and NATO – the distinction is merely formal as recent estimates are that 140,000 of the 150,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan now serve under NATO command – have lost 633 troops in the war as of November 11. That compares to 521 for all of last year and 295 in 2008. 1,184 of the total 2,203 Western military deaths in the country have occurred in the past 22 months.

Citing U.S. Air Force statistics, an ABC News report of November 10, “Number of Afghan Air Strikes Highest Ever,” disclosed that the amount of air strikes conducted in Afghanistan in October – approximately 1,000 – was the highest monthly total in the war that began in 2001, up from 700 the previous month, which itself marked a 172 per cent increase over September of 2009.

The article also detailed that the amount of American and NATO combat sorties so far this year, 26,948, exceeds the previous high of 26,474 from last year. [7]

Across the border in Pakistan, the U.S. has launched at least 20 drone missile attacks that have killed 130 or more people since the beginning of last month.

A violation of Pakistani airspace by a NATO helicopter gunship in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas occurred on November 2 for at least the fifth time since September, with one killing three Pakistani soldiers on the last day of the latter month.

Earlier this month opposition parliamentarians in Pakistan “expressed serious concern over the violation of Pakistani airspace by North Atlantic Territory Organisation (NATO) forces” and “staged a walkout from [a] Senate session in protest and strongly condemned the airspace violations by NATO forces.” [8]

According to a feature in India’s Frontline magazine, “President Obama has substantially increased defence spending and has expanded the war in Afghanistan,” and “the Obama administration has wholeheartedly endorsed the Bush administration’s policy of eliminating terror suspects using pilotless high-tech drone aircraft.

“Instead of using the laborious technique of capturing alleged terrorists from their hideouts in crowded cities and remote villages, the drones just bomb the house or village where the suspects are holed up. In the process, there has been huge collateral damage. Innocent civilians killed far outnumber those killed in the fight against the occupation.

“Ever since he took office two years ago, Obama has made the deadly drones a key instrument in his fight against the militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The drones are also being used liberally to target militants in Yemen and Somalia.” [9]

The Afghan war in its tenth year has expanded into a far broader conflict, one which grows in both scope and lethality with each passing week and will escalate yet further before it begins to wind down, if it ever does.

President Obama’s pledge last year to “draw down” U.S. and NATO combat forces from South and Central Asia – they are also stationed in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – next year is now revealed to be the transparent political manipulation it was from the start.

A piece by Stephen M. Walt was published on the website of National Public Radio on November 11, entitled “Foreign Policy: Bait And Switch In Afghanistan.”

Walt is a professor of international affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, serves on the editorial boards of Foreign Policy, Security Studies, International Relations, and the Journal of Cold War Studies, and is the co-author of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy with John Mearsheimer.

He wondered at the chorus of surprise, genuine or feigned, that has greeted the McClatchy article, stating:

“I don’t know anyone who thought the U.S. could turn things around in 18 months, and that particular deadline was little more than a piece of political sleight-of-hand designed to make escalation look like a temporary step. Reasonable people can disagree about whether Obama’s decision to escalate in Afghanistan was the right one (I think it wasn’t), but Obama’s straddle on this issue is one reason why some of his most enthusiastic supporters have become disenchanted.”

Listing historical precedents, and at least hinting at the public’s inveterate gullibility, Walt added, “there’s a long tradition of presidents telling the American people that some new military mission won’t take long and won’t cost that much. Nixon told us he has a ‘secret plan’ to end the Vietnam War (he didn’t) and Bill Clinton said U.S. troops would only be in Bosnia for 12 months (it was more like nine years). President George W. Bush and his advisors said that the occupation of Iraq would be brief and pay for itself yet we are still there today. And now Obama has done essentially same thing: selling an increase committed by suggesting that it is only temporary, and then backing away from his own self-imposed deadline.” [10]

Further vows to deescalate the conflict, not only the longest war in American history as was noted above but also in Afghanistan’s, will predictably follow the U.S. political cycle, especially the 2012 presidential election and Obama’s presumed reelection bid, but will prove as false as last year’s.

The Pentagon and what on November 19 and 20 will be officially unveiled as global NATO have reaped substantial benefits from the war in Afghanistan that both are reluctant to relinquish. They have insinuated their militaries into the center of Eurasia for the long haul. And they have built an international network of installations and military partnerships to service the war, from the world’s first multinational strategic airlift operation in Hungary to a transit base in Kyrgyzstan through which at least 50,000 troops pass each month in and out of Afghanistan and the subordination of the armed forces of scores of nations in Europe and Asia.

In recent days, for example, the Afghan war has provided the U.S. and NATO with unprecedented opportunities to expand their worldwide military reach:

President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, which has the largest oil and natural gas reserves in the Caspian Sea Basin and borders Russia and China, visited NATO Headquarters in Brussels to meet with Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Rasmussen “thanked President Nazarbayev for his country’s support for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan,” [11] and Nazarbayev announced that “Several Kazakhstani troops will serve at the headquarters of the international coalition in Afghanistan.” [12]

Admiral Giampaolo di Paola, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, visited Georgia to meet with the country’s defense and foreign ministers and the chief of the Joint Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces and to inspect the NATO-supported Krtsanisi National Training Center, the newly established NATO Liaison Office in the nation’s capital, and the “33rd Battalion of the III Infantry Brigade going to replace [the] contingent of the 32nd Battalion currently deployed in Afghanistan.” [13] Georgia fought a five-day war with Russia in August of 2008 and NATO is training its armed forces for more than just the war in Afghanistan.

U.S. Special Operations Command recently concluded training exercises for troops from the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Poland in Germany. The Pentagon described their purpose as follows:

“Coordination and synchronization between conventional and special operations forces (SOF) is crucial on the modern battlefield since both share integral roles within an area of responsibility – whether it involves intelligence gathering or conducting combat operations….[T]he training event was part of an annual brigade-level mission rehearsal exercise…to prepare conventional force units assigned to the U.S. European Command area of operations for deployment to Afghanistan.” [14]

Lithuania and Poland have borders with Russia and both host NATO forces, at an air base in the first and a training center in the second nation. Earlier this month the Czech parliament approved the deployment of additional troops, including special forces, to Afghanistan next year, raising the nation’s NATO contingent to 720 soldiers.

Two F-15 Eagles and Lithuanian L-39 Albatross during exercise on November 11 conducted from Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania as part of NATO Baltic air policing mission

Also this month, Polish troops trained at an Illinois Army National Guard base an hour’s drive from Chicago, and a Polish officer involved in the training stated: “We train together because we fight together. If we train together we fight and work better in Afghanistan. It is good idea to train together before we deploy. We are good soldiers and our brigade was deployed in Iraq two times and in Afghanistan so we work at a high level. We are ready.” [15]

The connection between nations supplying troops for the war in Afghanistan and the U.S. committing to intervene on their behalf in conflicts with neighboring states was recently affirmed by Philip H. Gordon, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

At a strategy meeting in Poland late last month he said: “I think there is broad support among allies for the balance between NATO’s traditional missions of Article 5, which is collective defence, and also the need for the Alliance to deal with new security challenges around the world, and we are very comfortable with that balance.” [16]

The Swedish parliament has extended the deployment of troops to Afghanistan, where Sweden is engaged in combat operations and has lost troops for the first time in two centuries, months after the government abolished the last vestige of conscription to meet NATO “professionalization” demands and announced a mandatory foreign deployment obligation for all troops.

Last week German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg visited Mongolia, which also borders China and Russia, and met “with soldiers of the first Mongolian mission contingent, which had been deployed to the German defense area in Afghanistan.” [17]

Against the backdrop of President Obama’s visit to Mumbai and New Delhi, reports have surfaced that India could be enlisted to provide troops for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Indian defense analyst Bharat Singh recently asserted that “The almost 9,000 Indian troops deployed on UN peacekeeping missions could easily be re-deployed in Afghanistan.” [18]

In Bulgaria, where the Pentagon has acquired four new military bases – including two air bases – since 2006, Defense Minister Anyu Angelov recently stated that 7 percent of his nation’s defense – if it can be called that – budget is allotted for the war in Afghanistan, where troop strength will rise from 536 to over 600. He also said that Bulgaria “will be setting no deadline for withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan.” [19]

Nevertheless, James Warlick, U.S. ambassador to the country, spoke at a conference entitled Europe for Afghanistan: from Understanding to Support held at the Military Club in the Bulgarian capital, saying “Bulgaria could up its efforts in Afghanistan and do more.” [20]

The consolidation of a far-reaching military nexus for and dependent on the Afghan war is not limited to Europe’s east. Last month “A small corner of Cornwall [became] Afghanistan.” At the Royal Air Force St Mawgan facility 1,000 troops from NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) participated in “a major NATO training exercise, the first of its kind in the UK” [21] in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan in January.

“The ARRC servicemen were in the county preparing for their final training before being deployed for operational service in Afghanistan next year.

“Exercise ARRCade Spear II aims to offer recruits training ahead of their work as part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.” [22]

Shortly afterward, “328 soldiers, including 45 teams from the full-time British Army, UK Territorial Army teams and entrants from foreign armies” took part in Exercise Cambrian Patrol in Wales, “as one of the most prestigious patrolling tests within NATO.” [23]

From Cornwall to Mongolia, Kazakhstan to Illinois, Sweden to Wales, Poland to Georgia, Lithuania to India and beyond, NATO and the Pentagon are strengthening military partnerships and networks around the Afghan war. Neither Washington nor Brussels is in a hurry to abandon a conflict that has allowed both to globalize their military roles.

1) Nancy A. Youssef, Obama officials moving away from 2011 Afghan
McClatchy Newspapers, November 6, 2010
2) U.S. And NATO To Wage War 15-Year War In Afghanistan And
Stop NATO, October 6, 2010
3) The Link, November 2, 2010
4) Xinhua News Agency, November 8, 2010
5) Associated Press, November 11, 2010
6) Daily Mirror, November 11, 2010
7) Luis Martinez, Number of Afghan Air Strikes Highest Ever
ABC News, November 10, 2010
8) Daily Times, November 4, 2010
9) John Cherian, Hellfire from the sky
Frontline, November 6-19, 2010
10) Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy: Bait And Switch In Afghanistan
National Public Radio, November 11, 2010
11) North Atlantic Treaty Organization, October 26, 2010
Kazakhstan: U.S., NATO Seek Military Outpost Between Russia
And China
Stop NATO, April 14, 2010
12) Central Asia Online, October 27, 2010
13) Ministry of Defence of Georgia, October 29, 2010
14) U.S. European Command, October 26, 2010
15) Belleville News Democrat, November 1, 2010
16) Polish Radio, October 29, 2010
17) Ulaanbaatar Post, November 5, 2010
Mongolia: Pentagon Trojan Horse Wedged Between China And Russia
Stop NATO, March 31, 2010
18) Daily Times, November 7, 2010
19) Sofia News Agency, October 26, 2010
20) Sofia News Agency, October 26, 2010
21) Pirate FM, October 14, 2010
22) This Is Cornwall, October 14, 2010
23) The Star, November 1, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

El Pentágono fragua ejércitos al servicio de la OTAN en Europa Oriental

November 12, 2010 Leave a comment

11 de noviembre 2010

El Pentágono fragua ejércitos al servicio de la OTAN en Europa Oriental
Rick Rozoff

Traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Germán Leyens

Dirigentes de 28 naciones norteamericanas y europeas, todas las principales potencias militares occidentales y sus vasallos, se reunirán el 19 y 20 de noviembre en la capital de Portugal para la cumbre anual de la Organización del Tratado del Atlántico Norte (OTAN).
Las cumbres de la OTAN, que hasta hace poco tenían lugar cada dos años, son ahora eventos anuales, la última se celebró en Francia y Alemania en 2009 y la precedente en Rumania en 2008.

Antes de la cumbre del año pasado en Estrasburgo y Kehl, la primera celebrada en dos naciones, cuatro reuniones seguidas habían tenido lugar en Europa Oriental: la República Checa en 2002, Turquía en 2004, Letonia en 2006 y Rumania en 2007. Ninguno de esos países anfitriones, claro está, se encuentra en un sitio remotamente cercano al océano Noratlántico. Tampoco ha sido incorporada alguna de esas 12 naciones al bloque militar occidental en los últimos 11 años.

La cumbre de este año apoyará el primer Concepto Estratégico de la Alianza para el Siglo XXI. Un borrador fue redactado por un denominado grupo de expertos dirigido por la ex Secretaria de Estado de EE.UU., Madeleine Albright, y presentado en un informe intitulado “OTAN 2020: Seguridad garantizada; implicación dinámica”.

A pesar de que la OTAN se define a sí misma como una “alianza militar de Estados democráticos en Europa y Norteamérica” y afirma que las opiniones de todos sus miembros tienen el mismo peso –como si Luxemburgo e Islandia pudieran bloquear o pasar por encima de EE.UU. la única superpotencia militar del mundo, como la bautizó orgullosamente su actual jefe de Estado en diciembre pasado– la cumbre del próximo mes no tendrá otra tarea que refrendar sus políticas.

Todo lo que demandan el Pentágono y la Casa Blanca se otorgará, sobre todo:

La subordinación a una estructura de escudo de misiles de EE.UU. en toda Europa y hasta Oriente Próximo de la iniciativa de misiles interceptores del teatro de operaciones de la OTAN, el Programa de Defensa de Misiles Balísticos de Teatro lanzado en 2005, y el Sistema de Defensa Aérea Intermedia y Extendida (MEADS) estadounidense-alemán-italiano.
La retención de por lo menos 200 bombas nucleares estadounidenses en bases aéreas en Bélgica, Alemania, Italia, Holanda y Turquía.
Una “cúpula” complementaria de ciberguerra sobre el continente europeo dirigida por el nuevo Cibercomando de EE.UU. [1]

La integración militar cualitativamente acelerada de la OTAN y de la Unión Europea después de la entrada en vigor del Tratado de Lisboa el 1 de diciembre pasado. Un asesor portugués del presidente de la Comisión Europea, Jose Manuel Barroso, afirmó recientemente “que la mejor solución para el realce de las relaciones entre la UE y EE.UU. sería que la Unión Europea (UE) se uniera a la OTAN”. [UE]

La continuación de ambos componentes que son frecuente (y artificialmente) presentados como si fueran contradictorios: La misión fundacional y esencial de la OTAN –la defensa militar colectiva de sus Estados miembros– y sus misiones en constante expansión lejos de la región euro-atlántica, con la guerra en Afganistán como prototipo y estándar.

La cumbre de Lisboa formalizará y ampliará lo que ya se emprendió en serio desde la primera guerra de la OTAN en 1999: La proyección de la alianza militar dominada por EE.UU. hacia una fuerza internacional de intervención y ocupación. Una fuerza que se mueve continuamente hacia el este y el sur del continente europeo, que ha sido unificada bajo la OTAN y que pronto será incorporada bajo los sistemas de misiles y de ciberguerra estadounidenses.

Washington y Bruselas pretenden proteger toda Europa contra amenazas inexistentes –ni de Rusia, ni de Irán y ciertamente no de Siria y Corea del Norte– a cambio de que se permita al Pentágono que desplace su personal e infraestructura militar a lo largo del flanco occidental de Rusia desde el Mar Báltico al Mar Negro y reclute a la juventud de los países anfitriones para guerras en el extranjero. Lo que de hecho son obligaciones de los miembros de la OTAN.

Voice of Russia del 27 de octubre señaló que “Rusia presiona por una prohibición de la OTAN del despliegue de cantidades sustanciales de fuerzas aliadas en las naciones miembros orientales recientemente admitidas”, y mencionó que el ministro de exteriores Sergei Lavrov entregó en diciembre pasado al secretario general de la OTAN, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, una propuesta para un proyecto de acuerdo sobre las relaciones entre Rusia y la OTAN que “fija un límite a la cantidad de tropas y armas que pueden desplegarse” al territorio del antiguo Pacto de Varsovia e incluso de la Unión Soviética.

Al hacerlo, Lavrov se pareció al presidente afgano Hamid Karzai cuando éste se queja periódicamente de que EE.UU. y la OTAN están matando a civiles en su nación y al gobierno paquistaní que deplora públicamente los letales ataques de drones estadounidenses en sus áreas tribales. Lo que pidió era correcto e importante, pero sabía que no tendría efecto alguno.

El Pentágono se ha situado permanentemente en bases de Polonia, Lituania, Hungría, Bulgaria, Rumania y Kosovo y tropas de sus anfitriones –con la excepción del último, un pseudo Estado mortinato creado por EE.UU. que todavía no es miembro de las Naciones Unidas 32 meses después de su declaración unilateral de independencia– han sido enviadas a combatir y morir en Afganistán.

En el Siglo XXI las fuerzas armadas de Europa no existen para la defensa territorial sino para despliegues de la OTAN y de la Unión Europea en ultramar. Bases militares e instalaciones sirven para acantonar tropas extranjeras y albergar aviones y equipos militares de otras naciones, en particular de EE.UU.

Jets de caza F-15 Eagle de EE.UU. patrullan actualmente el espacio aéreo sobre el Mar Báltico cerca de Rusia y estarán estacionados en la Base Aérea Siauliai en Lituania hasta fin de año.

El primer despliegue a largo plazo de misiles antibalísticos estadounidenses –una batería Patriot de Capacidad Avanzada-3 con unos 100 soldados– ocurrió este año en el noreste de Polonia cerca de su frontera con Rusia.

El año pasado, Washington lanzó la primera operación de aerotransporte estratégico multinacional en la Base Aérea Papa en Hungría.

La Fuerza de Tareas Este del Ejército de EE.UU. opera desde el Aeropuerto Mihail Kogalniceanu y el Área de Entrenamiento Babadag de Rumania y desde el Campo de Entrenamiento Novo Selo de Bulgaria.

EE.UU. sigue ocupando el Campo Bondsteel de casi 400 hectáreas en Kosovo.

El desplazamiento de bombas nucleares estadounidenses desde bases aéreas de la OTAN a otras partes de Europa que se encuentran en el este como Siauliai de Lituania, Amari de Estonia, Swidwin de Polonia, Mihail Kogalniceanu de Rumania, y Graf Ignatievo y Bezmer de Bulgaria, sería lo más fácil de mundo –suponiendo que no se haya hecho todavía. Habría menos publicidad (o sea ninguna) que la que acompañó a los “sitios ocultos” de la CIA en Lituania, Polonia, Rumania, y quién sabe dónde más en el territorio de los nuevos Estados de la OTAN.

No pasa un día sin que aviones de guerra de EE.UU. sobrevuelen y barcos de guerra visiten los puertos de Europa Oriental; sin que el Pentágono realice entrenamientos y ejercicios militares que incluyen simulacros con munición de guerra y juegos de guerra a escala real en la región. [3]

El mes pasado EE.UU. participó en el ejercicio Costas Norteñas en el Mar Báltico y el ejercicio militar multinacional Jackal Stone 2010 en Lituania y Polonia, con el USS Mount Whitney, buque insignia de la Sexta Flota basada en el Mar Mediterráneo.

Durante todo este mes, el Comando de Operaciones Especiales de EE.UU. realiza ejercicios de entrenamiento en Hohenfels, Alemania, con tropas de la República Checa, Lituania y Polonia “para integrarse a la perfección en el campo de batalla” en Afganistán.

“Durante el ejercicio actual, el elemento del comando de Fuerzas Especiales se coordinó con fuerzas convencionales para suministrar ayuda de Fuerza de Reacción Rápida”. [4]

El 11 de octubre, el teniente general polaco, Mieczyslaw Bieniek, nombrado recientemente Comandante Aliado Supremo Adjunto de Transformación del comando de la OTAN en Norfolk, Virginia, visitó el Centro de Entrenamiento de Fuerzas Conjuntas de la OTAN en Bydgoszcz, su patria, para reunirse con generales afganos y discutir entre otras cosas “la situación en Afganistán, la actual cooperación entre la OTAN y Afganistán y sus futuros desafíos”. [5]

Una semana después el gobierno polaco extendió el despliegue de sus 2.600 soldados en Afganistán. “La actual misión debía terminar supuestamente el 13 de octubre, pero a pedido del gobierno el presidente decidió prolongarla hasta el 13 de abril de 2011”. [6]

Mientras el comandante polaco de la OTAN basado en EE.UU. se encontraba en Polonia, tropas polacas se entrenaban en el Centro Marseilles de la Guardia Nacional, a 100 kilómetros de Chicago, con el Equipo de Personal Bilateral Atraillado A7 que será desplegado en Afganistán en enero y que “es entrenado mediante el Programa de Cooperación Estatal con miembros de las fuerzas armadas polacas tanto aquí como en Polonia para generar relaciones con miembros de la coalición”. [7]

Jets de caza F-15C del tipo desplegado actualmente en los cielos del Báltico llegaron a la Base Aérea Campia Turzii en Rumania el 21 de octubre para la Operación Golden Lance, “un ejercicio en gran escala, con la participación de más de 150 personas de la Fuerza Aérea de EE.UU., 10 aviones de combate y docenas de piezas de equipamiento de apoyo”.

El comandante del 493 Escuadrón de Cazas a cargo de los juegos de guerra declaró: “Estamos entusiasmados por aportar nuestra capacidad de F-15C para demostrar nuestra pericia de superioridad aérea, entrenar con un formidable aliado de la OTAN e integrar nuestros servicios en misiones de entrenamiento en la ofensiva contra aviones”.

Un importante objetivo de las maniobras de combate aéreo es dar a la Fuerza Aérea de EE.UU. aún más oportunidades en una confrontación directa con MiG-21 rusos.

Las “fuerzas aéreas” de las dos naciones ya comparten un vínculo común”, ya que unidades de la fuerza aérea rumana de la Base Aérea Campia Turzii “han efectuado la misión de Policía Aérea del Báltico que el 493FS realiza actualmente en otras partes del mundo”. [8]

El 27 de octubre, el Ala 86 de Aerotransporte de EE.UU. y el Ala 435 de Operaciones Aire Tierra completaron dos semanas de ejercicios conjuntos en Bulgaria en el contexto de Thracian Fall 2010, en la que personal estadounidense “pudo entrenar y dirigir a más de 1.000 paracaidistas búlgaros en aterrizajes exitosos desde los más avanzados aviones tácticos de la Fuerza Aérea de EE.UU. en Europa”.

En cuanto al propósito de tales ejercicios, un oficial estadounidense presente dijo: “Esperamos que el que ellos [los búlgaros] puedan observar cómo conducimos nuestras operaciones y eso les permita realzar su propia capacidad, de operaciones de paracaidistas a vuelos, y que un día puedan conducir ejercicios e incluso asistir en futuros conflictos”. [9]

Los futuros conflictos mencionados –destacados constantemente– son las guerras de mañana, para las cuales el actual conflicto armado de nueve años de duración en Afganistán constituye un preparativo.

Ojalá el ministro de Exteriores de Rusia tome nota de ese hecho.

[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

Gli USA prevedovo di appropriarsi dell’arsenale nucleare del Pakistan

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment

11 novembre 2010

Gli USA prevedovo di appropriarsi dell’arsenale nucleare del Pakistan
Rick Rozoff

Tradotto e segnalato per Voci Dalla Strada da VANESA

Due notizie recenti provenienti dagli USA hanno cominciato a risuonare nel Pakistan e causano speculazioni sul fatto che l’aumento degli attacchi dei droni statunitensi e gli attacchi degli elicotteri della NATO in questo paese potrebbero essere il presagio di azioni molto più grandi: Niente meno che l’espansione della guerra dell’Occidente in Afghanistan verso il Pakistan con l’obiettivo finale di appropriarsi delle armi nucleari di questa nazione.

News International, il maggior giornale in lingua inglese del Pakistan, ha pubblicato un documento il 13 ottobre scorso basato su passaggi del recente libro pubblicato dal giornalista statunitense Bob Woodward, Obama’s War, i quali segnalano che durante un vertice trilaterale tra i presidenti di USA, Afghanistan e Pakistan il 6 maggio 2009, il capo di Stato pachistano, Asif Ali Zardari ha accusato Washington di essere dietro gli attacchi dei talebani all’interno del suo paese in modo che gli USA possano invadere e appropriarsi delle sue armi nucleari” [1]

Woodward ha descritto commenti scambiati ad una cena di Zadari e Zalmay con Khalilzad, nato in Afghanistan, ex ambasciatore degli USA alle Nazioni Unite (2007-2009) , in Iraq (2005-2009) e Afghanistan (2003-2005).

Khalilzad è stato anche uno stretto collaboratore del Consigliere Nazionale della Sicurezza di Jimmy Carter, Zbigniiew Brzezinski, architetto della strategia statunitense dal 1978 per sostenere gli attacchi armati da parte di militanti con base in Pakistan contro l’Afghanistan, quando si unì al polacco espatriato nell’Università della Columbia dal 1979 al 1989.

Il “testimone”, di ciò che è oggi il coinvolgimento di più di 30 anni di Washington in Afghanistan, fu passato da Brzezinski a Khalilzad negli anni ottanta quando quest’ultimo fu nominato come uno dei funzionari superiori del Dipartimento di Stato del Governo di Ronald Reagan per sostenere i combattenti mujaheddin che operano da Peshawar in Pakistan. Entrò nel Dipartimento di Stato nel 1984 con una sovvenzione del Consiglio delle Relazioni Estere e lavorò per Paul Wolfowitz, allora vice segretario di Stato per gli Affari dell’Asia Orientale e il Pacifico. I suoi sforzi furono aumentati dal VICE direttore della Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) di allora, Robert Gates, attualmente segretario degli USA. Due dei suoi principali clienti, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar e Jalaluddin Haqqani sono i fondatori e dirigenti dell’ Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin e la rete di Haqqani, contro i quali il Pentagono di Gates combatte attualmente su entrambi i lati della frontiera tra l’Afghanistan ed il Pakistan.

Secondo le informazioni Woodward circa le accuse di presidente pakistano a Khalilzad nel maggio dell’anno scorso, Zardari ha lasciato cadere la sua diplomazia. Suggerì che uno dei due paesi stava organizzando gli attacchi dei talebani pachistani nel loro paese: India o USA. Zardari non pensava che l’India potesse essere così abile, ma gli USA si. (Il presidente afgano Hamid Karzai gli aveva che gli USA erano dietro gli attentati, confermando le dichiarazioni dell’ISI pachistano (Intelligence Inter-Servizi) [2]

Si dice che Khalilzad, il cui curriculum comprende anche compiti nel Dipartimento della Difesa, il Consiglio della Sicurezza Nazionale, il Centro di Studi Strategici ed Internazionali, la National Endowment for Democracy (NED), la Rand Corporation (dove ha contribuito a stabilire il Centro di Studi del Medio Oriente) ed il Progetto per il Nuovo Secolo Americano, si è mostrato in disaccordo con l’affermazione di Zadari, dicendo che quanto questo aveva descritto era un “complotto per destabilizzare il Pakistan” tramato affinchè, secondo le parole di Woodward, “gli USA potessero invadere e appropriarsi delle armi nucleari (del Pakistan)”.

Il dossier ha segnalato che Zadari “non poteva spiegare in nessun altro modo la veloce espansione della violenza. E la CIA non aveva perseguito i leaders talebani pachistani, un gruppo conosciuto come Tehirk-e-Taliban-e-Paklistan o TTP che aveva attaccato il governo. TTP fu anche incolpato dell’uccisione della moglie di Zardari, Benazir Bhutto”. Nelle parole del presidente pakistano: “Ci sono obiettivi talebani che non perseguite. Perseguite altri settori. Siamo sconcertati”.

Quando Khalilzad ha detto che gli attacchi con droni nel Pakistan “hanno l’obiettivo primario di dare la caccia ai membri di Al-Qaida e ribelli afgani e non ai talebani pachistani”, Zardari ha risposto insistendo “Però il movimento talebano è legato ad Al-Qaeda…e quindi al non attaccando gli obiettivi raccomandati dal Pakistan, gli USA hanno dimostrato il loro appoggio al TTP. Ad un certo punto la CIA ha anche lavorato con il leader del gruppo, Baitullah Mehsud” [3] (tre mesi prima un attacco con droni guidato dalla CIA uccise a Mehsud, sua moglie e vari parenti politici e guardie del corpo).

Nel mese di agosto del 2009, mentre ancora comandava tutte le forze degli USA e della NATO in Afghanistan, l’allora generale Stanley McChrystal ha emesso la sua confidenziale Valutazione Iniziale del COMISAF (Comandante delle Forze Internazionali dell’Aiuto alla Sicurezza) in cui affermò che “I principali principali gruppi ribelli secondo l’importanza della loro minaccia per la missione sono: Quetta Shura Taliban (05T), la Rete Haqqani (HQN) e Hebz-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HiG)” [4]. Il primo è un gruppo talebano afgano che, come indica il suo nome, è situato nella capitale della provincia del Baluchistan del Pakistan.

Steve Coll, Alfred McCoy, e altre autorità in materia hanno documentato il coinvolgimento della CIA con Gulbuddin Hekmatyar e Jalaluddin Haqqani: Che erano condivisi con l’ Inter-Services Intelligence del Pakistan, trasferiti da questi alla CIA come risorse private. Coll ha affermato inoltre che Haqqani diede rifugio e sostegno a Osama Bin Laden dagli anni 80.

Nella riunione tra Obama, Zardari e Karzai a maggio del 2009, il presidente statunitense affrontò i suoi due omologhi per la presunta mancanza decisionale nel condurre la guerra su entrambi i lati della Linea Durand, nonostante il fatto che mentre parlava il Pakistan era coinvolto in un grande attacco militare nella Valle Swat che portò allo spostamento di 3 milioni di civili.

Quattro giorni dopo lo scambio di parole tra Zadari e Khalilzad, il presidente pachistano apparve nell’edizione del 10 maggio di Meet the Press della NBC, in un programma che includeva anche la partecipazione del presidente Karzai e a Steve Coll, adesso presidente e direttore esecutivo della New American Foundation e autore di Ghost War: The secret history of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the soviet invasion to september 10, 2001 (2004) e il The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Country (2008).

I commenti di Zardari di fronte alla platea statunitense inclusero l’affermazione che i talebani “formano parte del vostro passato e del nostro passato, e l’ISI e la CIA li crearono insieme. E posso trovare per voi 10 libri, e 10 filosofi e dieci saggi su questo….” [5].

Il fatto che i leaders degli altri gruppi armati identificati da McChrystal- Haqqani e Hekmatyar- si trovavano tra i tre dirigenti mujaheddin finanziati, armati e allenati dalla CIA (il difunto Ahmed Shah Massud fu il terzo), completa il quadro: Robert Gates, il segretario della difesa, muove guerra contro le forze che Robert Gates, il vice direttore della CIA, ha sostenuto attraverso uno dei programmi clandestini più lunghi e costosi dell’Agenzia, l’Operazione Ciclone.

Dopo di essersi ritirato dalla vita pubblica, George Kennan, il principale architetto della politica della Guerra Fredda degli USA, ha citato una frase che ha attribuito a Goethe per avvertire che in definitiva siamo tutti distrutti da mostri creati da noi stessi. Per correggere a Voltaire, la Casa Bianca al posto di Dio “è un commediante che agisce per una platea troppo spaventata per ridere”.

La versione di Woodward sui commenti dell’anno scorso del presidente del Pakistan e di Zalmay Khalilzad potrebbero essere disdegnati come semplici aneddoti se non fosse per un articolo apparso sul New York Post il 3 ottobre e gli eventi dello stesso Pakistan nelle ultime sei settimane.
Arthur Herman, un esperto visitatore del think tank conservatore dell’ American Enterprise Institure ha dichiarato in un articolo intitolato “Il nostro problema nel Pakistan: la visione di Obama sta fallendo”, che “l’ironia amara è che anche mentre Obama cerca di uscire dalla guerra in Afghanistan, potrebbe portarci verso un’altra in Pakistan”.

L’autore ha spiegato che mentre nel 2009 gli USA lanciarono 45 attacchi da veicoli aerei Predator (droni) nel Pakistan, ora aveva triplicato la cifra e che solo a settembre erano stati lanciati la metà della quantità di attacchi realizzati durante tutto l’anno scorso.

Herman ha avvertito, menzionando anche l’attacco dell’elicottero della NATO del 30 settembre presso l’Agenzia Kurram delle Aree Tribali sotto l’amministrazione federale del Pakistan, che uccise 3 membri del Corpo di Frontiera e che “incursioni della Squadra Controterrorista della CIA.- con i suoi 3000 soldati afgani- dentro il Pakistan stanno diventando una rutine”.

“Tutto questo riflette uno sforzo statunitense in Pakistan che ricorda di molto a quello iniziato nel Laos negli anni 60- uno dei trampolini di lancio che portarono al pantano del Vietnam”.

“Se la crescente pressione di Obama sul Pakistan destabilizza questo governo, l’unica cosa che potrebbero mantenere le armi di questo paese fuori dalle mani di Al-Qaida sarebbero gli truppe statunitensi. E’ un panorama bellico che farà desiderare ad Obama che il suo nome fsia Lyndon Baines Johnson” [6].

Herman attribuisce l’espansione della guerra afgana verso il Pakistan ad un livello qualitativamente più pericoloso delle macchinazioni dell’ex agente della CIA e attuale Socio Senior del Brookings Institution, Bruce Riedel e del comandante di 152.000 soldati degli USA e della NATO in Afghanistan, il generale David Petraeus.

Un documento del 13 ottobre mostra che da quando Petreaus si è fatto carico del comando dello sforzo bellico in Afghanistan a giugno c’è stato un aumento di un 172% negli attacchi aerei degli USA e della NATO, di 257 missioni di attacchi a settembre del 2009 a più di 700 lo scorso mese. Inoltre “i voli di controllo sono aumentati di quasi tre volte la quantità di settembre del 2009 ed i anche voli di fornitura sono aumentati….A volte sembra che Petraeus fosse più disposto a rischiare il cosiddetto “danno collaterale” di morti di civili….[7].

Gli attacchi di droni del mese scorso furono i più numerosi di qualsiasi altro mese da quando iniziarono le uccisioni selettive nel 2004 e la quantità di morti che hanno causato- più di 150- è il totale mensile più elevato fino a questa data.

Fino a metà di questo mese ci sono stati almeno 8 attacchi con droni e non meno di 66 persone morte.

Secondo la New American Foundation di Steve Coll, 1439 delle 1844 morti causate dagli attacchi dei droni nel Pakistan sono avvenute dal 2009 fino ad ora [8].

Allo stesso modo, le morti di 1111 sui 2160 soldati degli USA e della NATO in Afghanistan dal 2001 avvennero nello stesso periodo.

Diciassette soldati stranieri risultarono morti solo tra il 13 ed il 16 ottobre.

Il 13 ottobre, la stampa pachistana ha informato che elicotteri della NATO, che fino ad allora operavano solo nelle Aree Tribali sotto l’Amministrazione Federale (in 4 attacchi contro la rete Haqqani tra il 25 ed il 30 settembre) hanno violato lo spazio aereo della nazione sulla provincia del Baluchistan, portando a Islamabad a presentare una protesta formale alla NATO.

Dalle rivelazioni del nuovo libro di Bob Woodward e la pubblicazione dell’articolo di Arthur Herman, sono apparsi commenti sui giornali pachistani che indicano la serietà con la quale vengono considerati gli eventi recenti e presagi ancora più cupi.

Un articolo del 13 ottobre su The Nation ha segnalato che “la continua guerra contro il terrore in Afghanistan punta a portare le operazioni sul territorio pachistano…Il vero obiettivo è il potenziale nucleare del Pakistan, loro (USA e NATO) non si vedono di fronte una minaccia plausibile per la sicurezza dei mal equipaggiati talebani o estremisti in miseria”.

Commentando l’articolo del New York Post sopra citato, il giornalista pachistano A.R. Jerral ha affermato inoltre che quello che “Herman suggerisce nel suo testo è in realtà una direttiva politica per il governo degli USA. Implica che la politica di inviare droni e di attaccare nascondigli dei combattenti nel territorio pachistano non ha funzionato…L’obiettivo sono le bombe nucleari del Pakistan. E’ un modo tacito di dire ai responsabili politici a Washington di mantenere la pressione sul nostro paese, che indebolirebbe la posizione del governo pachistano, causando instabilità.

Questo fornirà il motivo per l’ingresso dell’esercito degli USA”.

Ha aggiunto: “Sappiamo degli attacchi dei droni perché s’informa al riguardo sui media, ma quello che non sappiamo e che i media non ci dicono è il fatto che le forze della NATO guidate dagli USA stanno facendo incursioni attraverso la frontiera verso il Pakistan…Per farlo, la CIA opera Squadre di Persecuzione Contraterrorista in Afghanistan.

• “Queste squadre organizzano regolarmente incursioni terrestri nel territorio pachistano”.

“In questo modo, le cose si aggravano per quanto riguarda la guerra contro il terrore. Il Pakistan tende a essere messo in primo piano in questa guerra. Bruce Riedel, un ex funzionario della CIA e del NSC (Consiglio Nazionale della Sicurezza) ha consigliato al signor Obama di trasferire il focolaio della guerra “dall’Afghanistan al Pakistan”, ed è quello a cui stiamo assistendo attraverso l’aumento dello sforzo bellico verso il territorio pachistano” [9].

Una nota pachistana del giorno precedente ha dichiarato: “Siamo stati….spinti a dare l’accesso al Baluschistan agli USA, da allora hanno cercato di destabilizzare il regime iraniano attraverso l’appoggio del gruppo terrorista Jundullah…Ancor più minaccioso è che, se non si cambia rotta adesso, avremo perso la battaglia per trattenere le nostre risorse nucleari perché in ultima analisi, è la strada della NATO e degli USA”.

“L’accesso incontrollato per gli agenti dei servizi segreti militari e contractors privati è un altro fattore destabilizzante che, apparentemente, non siamo in grado o non siamo disposti a controllare. E adesso abbiamo le incursioni della NATO verso il nostro territorio e i suoi attacchi, anche contro i nostri militari, il quale mostra lo Stato servile nel quale attualmente viviamo” [10].

“Mentre la guerra in Afghanistan, la maggiore e più lunga del mondo, continua con un numero record di vittime tra i civili e i combattenti su entrambe le frontiere afgano-pakistane, ci sono piani in atto per espandere ancora di più la guerra verso il Pakistan e minacciare anche l’Iran….Si fanno paragoni con la guerra di Washington in Indocina. Ma il Pakistan, con i suoi 180 milioni di abitanti e armi nucleari, non è la Cambogia, e l’Iran, con la sua popolazione di più di 70 milioni non è Laos”.

[1] Shaheen Sehbai, Zardari dice che Stati Uniti Talebani sono dietro gli attacchi in Pakistan, The News International, 13 ottobre 2010
[2] Ibíd.
[3] Ibíd.
[4] Washington Post, 21 settembre 2009
[5] Meet the Press, 10 maggio 2009
[6] Arthur Herman, Il nostro problema nel Pakistan: la visione di Obama sta fallendo, New York Post, 3 ottobre 2010
Il fallimento di Obama nel Pakistan, American Enterprise Institute, 3 ottobre 2010
[7] ABC News Radio, 13 ottobre 2010
[8] New America Foundation
[9] A R Jerral, Shifting war on terror to Pakistan, The Nation, 13 ottobre 2010
[10] Shireen M Mazari, Ending Collaboration with the US on the War on Pakistan, The Dawn, 12 ottobre 2010
[11] NATO Expands Afghan War Into Pakistan, Stop NATO, 28 settembre 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Lisbon Summit: NATO To Retain Nuclear Arms, Build Missile Shield In Europe

November 10, 2010 3 comments

November 10, 2010

Lisbon Summit: NATO To Retain Nuclear Arms, Build Missile Shield In Europe
Rick Rozoff

In little more than a week the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will convene a two-day summit in Lisbon, Portugal with the heads of state and government (presidents and prime ministers) of its 28 member states.

At the summit the world’s only military bloc will endorse its new Strategic Concept, the first since 1999 and as such the first for the 21st century, a doctrine which will formalize NATO’s role as an international military-security-political force and a rival to the United Nations in that regard.

The main items on NATO’s Lisbon agenda will be the war in Afghanistan, the Alliance’s first armed conflict outside Europe and the first ground combat operations in its history; the launching of a continent-wide interceptor missile system subsumed under U.S. global missile shield auspices; an analogous cyber warfare operation building upon initiatives like NATO’s cyber defense center in Estonia and subordinated to the Pentagon’s new Cyber Command; the retention of hundreds of American nuclear bombs on air bases in five European nations; a multiplication of new roles and missions from patrolling strategic sea lanes with warships to guarding NATO member states’ energy interests in any – in every – part of the world.

As an illustration of the ever-broadening scope of the U.S.-dominated military alliance, in regard to the Afghan war in particular, where there are currently 140,000 troops from the U.S. and almost 50 other nations assigned to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), leaders of various NATO partnership nations will also attend the Lisbon summit.

They could include participants from NATO’s Partnership for Peace program in Europe and Asia: Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The Mediterranean Dialogue in Africa and the Middle East: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.

NATO, Partnership for Peace and Mediterranean Dialogue members

The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative in the Persian Gulf: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Contact Country allies in East Asia and the South Pacific: Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

The NATO-Russia Council: President Dmitry Medvedev will be the first Russian head of state to attend a NATO summit.

The military commanders’ Tripartite Commission of NATO, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Meeting of the Tripartite Commission

Official Troop Contributing Nations (TNC) for NATO’s ISAF not in any of the above categories: Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore and Tonga. Colombia has also pledged troops for ISAF and nations like Bangladesh are being pressured to do the same.

The 28 NATO member states and the partners listed above total 75 nations. Almost 40 percent of the 192 members of the United Nations. This is 21st century NATO, history’s first global military alliance, one which has military forces – troops, equipment, warplanes and warships – deployed outside the territory of its member states in three continents: In Southeastern Europe, Central and South Asia, and Northeast Africa. Dozens if not scores of African nations are developing relations with NATO in tandem with the new U.S. Africa Command, which was created by U.S. European Command whose top military commander is also that of NATO in Europe.

On the eve of last year’s NATO summit in Strasbourg, France and Kehl, Germany, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that he was bringing his country back into NATO’s military command structure from which his predecessor Charles de Gaulle had withdrawn it in 1966.

France’s full reintegration is emblematic of NATO’s absorption of virtually all Europe states as full members and as candidates under progressively more advanced partnership agreements: The Partnership for Peace, Individual Partnership Action Plans, Membership Action Plans and nation-specific Annual National Programs.

Of the 44 European nations that are members of the United Nations, excluding microstates and including those in the South Caucasus, only one – Cyprus – is not a NATO member or partner, and the Cypriot government is under pressure from conservative opposition parties to join the Partnership for Peace. Only six of those 44 nations – Belarus, Cyprus, Malta, Moldova, Russia and Serbia – have not supplied NATO troops for the ISAF mission in Afghanistan.

Italian ISAF troops in Afghanistan

When France rejoined NATO’s integrated military command it was awarded two top military posts: Lieutenant General Philippe Stoltz was appointed commander of Allied Joint Force Command Lisbon, one of NATO’s three operational commands, and Air Force General Stéphane Abrial became chief of Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in Norfolk, Virginia, one of NATO’s two strategic commands, the other being Allied Command Operations at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Belgium. Abrial is the first non-American to command ACT in the seven years of its existence.

At the three-day Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada from November 5-7 General Abrial reiterated the NATO position on retaining American nuclear arms in Europe in language identical to recent comments by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The ACT commander stated, “As long as the world is nuclear, the (NATO) alliance has to keep nuclear weapons.” [1] Last month “Clinton came out against proposals to remove the alliance’s remaining 200 tactical nuclear weapons from Europe, saying that NATO must remain a nuclear alliance as long as nuclear weapons exist.” [2] At practically the same time Rasmussen said that “The anti-missile defence system is a complement to nuclear deterrence, and not a substitute.” [3]

Last month German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose nation had been presented as an advocate of removing U.S. nuclear warheads from Europe, including those in her own country, endorsed their retention in time for next month’s NATO summit, stating: “As long as there are nuclear weapons in the world, we need to have these capabilities, as NATO says.” [4]

On November 4 Rasmussen met with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London two days after a groundbreaking Anglo-French pact was signed “to create a joint military force and share nuclear testing facilities and an aircraft carrier.” [5]

No unimportant development, as “Britain and France together account for 50 percent of Europe’s operational military capability, 45 percent of its defense spending, and 70 percent of the research and development crucial to fight the wars of the future.” [6]

In an editorial published before the treaty was signed, British Defence Secretary Liam Fox wrote, “There are many reasons why this cooperation makes sense. We are Europe’s only two nuclear powers.”

In fact there is another nation in Europe with nuclear weapons, the only one that is not a member of NATO, the one against whom the nuclear weapons-missile shield dyad is aimed: Russia.

Fox continued by boasting that Britain and France “are the two biggest defence spenders in Europe and are the only two countries in Europe with real, large scale expeditionary military capability.”

“Since President Sarkozy came into office we have seen, with renewed vigour, an attempt to bring Europe and America closer together in partnership and cooperation, and real determination to bring France deeper into NATO where many of us believe she truly belongs….The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, including a British liaison officer already on-board, will soon be arriving in the Indian Ocean to provide greater air power for NATO in Afghanistan.” [7]

In Lisbon on November 19 and 20 NATO will maintain the position on U.S. nuclear weapons stationed at NATO air bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey that was confirmed in its last Strategic Concept adopted eleven years ago: “The supreme guarantee of the security of the Allies is provided by the strategic nuclear forces of the Alliance, particularly those of the United States; the independent nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and France, which have a deterrent role of their own, contribute to the overall deterrence and security of the Allies.”

There are between 200 and 350 U.S. nuclear gravity bombs in the five nations mentioned above, and as part of what is alternately called burden sharing and nuclear sharing they are, while technically owned by the U.S., assigned to the host countries to deliver them with their own bombers. That arrangement is an egregious violation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) which states: “Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly….” [8]

B61 nuclear bomb

In addition to the American nuclear weapons stored at NATO bases – in the case of Turkey in a country bordering Iran and Syria and only separated from Russia by either Georgia or Azerbaijan – France possesses an estimated 300 nuclear warheads and Britain 225. There may be as many as 900 nuclear weapons in Europe under the control of NATO powers.

The Lisbon summit will further commit to NATO training Afghan military and security forces to allegedly assume control of the war in their country in the next four or five years, even as U.S. and NATO troop strength is at a record high and yet more troops are arriving, but the most significant decision to be formalized in Portugal is that of subordinating all of Europe to a U.S. global interceptor missile system.

This May the Pentagon secured the first long-term deployment of anti-ballistic missiles in Europe, a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 battery in Morag, Poland, 35 miles from Russian territory. Romania and Bulgaria agreed in February to allow the U.S. to base missile shield components on their soil, a land-based adaptation of Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptors in Romania complemented by a missile radar site in Bulgaria. Poland has also agreed to host SM-3s, which are anti-satellite as well as anti-ballistic missiles. [9]

Patriot missile launch

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Ellen Tauscher is promoting a missile shield radar site in the Czech Republic and NATO chief Rasmussen, when asked on November 1 about incorporating a radar facility in the Ukrainian town of Mukachevo into NATO’s missile system, affirmed: “I think this invitation should be open to our Euro-Atlantic partners, so it is also an invitation to Ukraine if Ukraine so wishes.” [10]

Despite the drumbeat of panic-mongering concerning non-existent threats to Europe – all of Europe, even as far west as the British Isles – emanating from the Persian Gulf and the Korean Peninsula, U.S. and NATO interceptor missile designs are, except for minor subsidiary facilities in Britain, Norway and Greenland, focused on Eastern Europe. From the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, along Russia’s western flank.

Standard Missile-3 launch

But the preponderance of the latest discussions about, and controversy over, NATO cooperating with the European – and more than just European – component of U.S. worldwide interceptor missile plans affects Turkey.

Commentaries by sources within the nation and in neighboring countries have warned that the deployment of interceptor missile system elements in Turkey will have numerous negative, even dangerous, consequences.

The pressure brought to bear by the U.S. and NATO on Ankara, inevitably exerted in relation to NATO obligations, is designed to accomplish several geopolitical objectives that have nothing to do with alleged missile threats emanating from Iran, Syria or – even more absurdly – North Korea.

Turkey is being pressed to resume the role it played in the second half of the past century as the easternmost and southernmost outpost of NATO. As the West’s military spearhead against the Soviet Union, later Russia, to the north and the Middle East to the south and east, stationing U.S. and NATO warplanes and nuclear bombs for potential use in those three directions.

Turkey has in recent years improved state-to-state relations and even security ties with Iran, Russia and Syria. Joining Washington’s and Brussels’ missile shield program would endanger – is intended to sabotage – those emerging partnerships.

In addition to the proposed inauguration of interceptor missile sites in Romania and Bulgaria, Turkey’s neighbors on the Black Sea, two years ago the Pentagon opened an interceptor missile Forward-Based X-Band Radar base in Israel, accompanied by the first deployment of foreign troops – approximately 100 U.S. military personnel – in the nation’s history. [11]

Washington is also planning to expand its sale of anti-ballistic missiles to American and NATO partners in the Persian Gulf – Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – as part of unprecedented weapons packages worth $123 billion. Those five states have been equipped with or will receive American anti-ballistic missiles ranging from short-range Patriot Advanced Capability-3 to medium-range Standard Missile-3 to medium- and intermediate-range Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missiles. [12]

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile launch

The U.S. has also deployed ship-based SM-3s in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf and has plans to obtain and upgrade land-based facilities in the South Caucasus. [13]

Turkey is a key link in consolidating a potential first-strike missile interception system [14] from the Baltic Sea to the Caspian Sea, from the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf.

With complementary deployments in the east – Japan, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan and Alaska, both on the mainland and the Aleutian Islands – and in the Arctic Ocean, which the National Security Presidential Directive 66 of January 9, 2009 identified as an area targeted for missile defense purposes [15], as well as airborne laser and space-based missile shield elements, the U.S. plans to construct an impenetrable missile dome, coordinated with cyber warfare and Prompt Global Strike capabilities, that would make it invulnerable to retaliatory attacks. And to encircle the heart of Eurasia, not only North Korea but Russia, Iran and China, with a stratified system of interceptor missiles.

Sea-Based X-Band Radar en route to homeport in Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands

A recent commentary in the Russian press stated: “Should Turkey join the US and NATO missile defense plans, few will harbor doubts about Washington building a large-scale, far-reaching multi-echelon missile defense system. Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania have already voiced readiness to become part of it. Undoubtedly, a powerful ‘anti-missile umbrella’ of this kind is unwarranted for repulsing an imaginary threat from Iran. As it happens, Iran has not come into possession of any ballistic missiles yet.

“[M]any military and political experts in Russia have come to the conclusion that by building such a system the United States seeks to offset the missile potential of Russia by deploying missile defense bases along the entire length of Russian territory. Washington is aiming for a global missile defense shield, elements of which are already being built in the Far East, in the Indian Ocean and in the northern seas.” [16]

Former Joint Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Leonid Ivashov recently warned that the further expansion of the U.S. missile shield program in conjunction with NATO has as its aim to “neutralize Russia’s nuclear missile potential.”

“We do not have other powers, except for the nuclear missile potential, to
protect even a single part of our territories.” [17]


Later this month the leaders of 28 NATO nations will celebrate an agreement on the formation of a missile shield to cover the entire European continent, in so many words ostensibly to protect Luxembourg and Iceland from Iranian and North Korean missiles. What in fact they will be ratifying is the dangerous escalation of a global, 21st century Strategic Defense Initiative. Star Wars.

1) Agence France-Presse, November 7, 2010
2) Associated Press, October 14, 2010
3) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 15, 2010
Nuclear Weapons And Interceptor Missiles: Twin Pillars Of U.S.-NATO
Military Strategy In Europe
Stop NATO, April 23, 2010
4) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, October 22, 2010
Germany And NATO’s Nuclear Nexus
Stop NATO, July 18, 2009
5) Agence France-Presse, November 4, 2010
6) Agence France-Presse, November 1, 2010
7) Sunday Telegraph, October 31, 2010
8) NATO’s Sixty-Year Legacy: Threat Of Nuclear War In Europe
Stop NATO, March 31, 2009
NATO’s Secret Transatlantic Bond: Nuclear Weapons In Europe
Stop NATO, December 3, 2009
9) Rasmussen In Poland: Expeditionary NATO, Missile Shield And Nuclear Weapons
Stop NATO, March 14, 2010
10) Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 3, 2010
11) Israel: Forging NATO Missile Shield, Rehearsing War With Iran
Stop NATO, November 5, 2009
12) U.S. Extends Missile Buildup From Poland And Taiwan To Persian Gulf
Stop NATO, February 3, 2010
13) Black Sea, Caucasus: U.S. Moves Missile Shield South And East
Stop NATO, September 19, 2009
14) U.S. Accelerates First Strike Global Missile Shield System
Stop NATO, August 19, 2009
15) NATO’s, Pentagon’s New Strategic Battleground: The Arctic
Stop NATO, February 2, 2009
16) Victor Yenikeev, US and NATO missile defenses in Turkey get negative
Voice of Russia, November 9, 2010
17) Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 6, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

La mer d’Oman au centre de la guerre de l’Occident au 21e siècle

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

10 novembre 2010

La mer d’Oman au centre de la guerre de l’Occident au 21e siècle
Rick Rozoff

Traduit par Julie Lévesque pour

Bientôt, un quart des porte-avions nucléaires du monde seront dans la mer d’Oman.

Le super porte-avions à propulsion nucléaire de classe Nimitz, l’USS Abraham Lincoln, est arrivé dans la région le 17 octobre pour se joindre au groupe aéronaval de l’USS Harry S. Truman, lequel est arrivé sur les lieux le 18 juin dans le cadre d’une ronde régulière.

Le Charles de Gaulle, navire-amiral de la marine française, le seul porte-avions du pays et l’unique porte-avions nucléaire non étasunien, rejoindra prochainement ses deux semblables des États-Unis. Ces derniers possèdent la moitié des vingt-deux porte-avions du monde entier, les onze super porte-avions (pouvant transporter plus de 70 000 tonnes) et onze des douze porte-avions nucléaires.

En ce qui concerne le déploiement non planifié d’un second porte-avions étasunien dans la région, un reportage de CBS News signalait :

Les frappes aériennes en Afghanistan ont doublé et le secrétaire à la Défense Robert Gates a ordonné qu’un deuxième porte-avions, l’USS Lincoln, prenne part au combat.

La présence de deux porte-avions opérant au large de la côte du Pakistan signifie qu’environ cent vingt aéronefs sont disponibles pour des missions en Afghanistan, cela sans compter les missions des Forces aériennes étasuniennes provenant de Bagram et de Kandahar [1].

Les pays entourant la mer d’Oman sont la Somalie, Djibouti, le Yémen, Oman, l’Iran, le Pakistan, l’Inde et les îles Maldives.

L’USS Lincoln et l’USS Truman sont actuellement assignés à la zone de responsabilité de la 5e Flotte des États-Unis, laquelle englobe le nord de l’océan Indien et ses affluents : la mer d’Oman, la mer Rouge, le golfe d’Aden et la côte est de l’Afrique jusqu’au sud du Kenya, le golfe d’Oman et le golfe Persique.

En plus des pays mentionnés ci-dessus, les pays bordant la mer Rouge et le golfe Persique sont l’Égypte, l’Érythrée, Israël, la Jordanie, l’Arabie Saoudite, le Soudan, Bahreïn, l’Irak, le Koweït, le Qatar et les Émirats arabes unis.

La 5e Flotte est la première flotte créée après la guerre froide. Inactive depuis 1947, elle a été remise en service en 1995. (La 4e Flotte, assignée à la mer des Caraïbes, à l’Amérique centrale et du Sud, a aussi été remise en service il y a deux ans après avoir été désarmée en 1950.)

Cette flotte partage son commandant et son quartier général avec le Commandement central des forces navales des États-Unis (CENTCOM) à Manama à Bahreïn, situé face à l’Iran, de l’autre côté du golfe Persique. CENTCOM a été le dernier commandement fondé par le Pentagone durant la guerre froide (1983) et sa zone de responsabilité, appelée Grand Moyen-Orient, s’étend de l’Égypte à l’ouest au Kazakhstan à l’est, aux frontières de la Chine et de la Russie.

La 5e Flotte et le Commandement central des forces navales sont conjointement responsables de cinq forces opérationnelles à l’œuvre dans la mer d’Oman et les environs, lesquelles patrouillent plusieurs passages obligés de la planète : le canal de Suez liant la mer Rouge à la Méditerranée, où la 6e Flotte des États-Unis et l’opération Active Endeavor de l’Organisation du traité de l’Atlantique Nord (OTAN) ont une grande influence; Bab el-Mandeb, reliant la mer Rouge au golfe d’Aden; et le détroit d’Ormuz, entre le golfe d’Oman et le golfe Persique.

La force opérationnelle interalliée 150 (CTF-150) est un groupe naval multinational fondé en 2001, possédant des installations logistiques dans la corne de l’Afrique, à Djibouti. Elle mène des opérations du détroit d’Ormuz à la mer Rouge, en passant par le golfe d’Aden et Bab el-Mandeb, et au sud jusqu’aux Seychelles, pays de l’océan Indien. L’an dernier le Pentagone a fait l’acquisition d’une installation militaire dans ce pays, sa deuxième dans un pays africain, où des véhicules aériens sans pilotes Reaper (drones), des anti-sous-marins PC-3 Orion, des aéronefs de surveillance, ainsi que 112 personnels de la Marine ont été déployés. La Grande-Bretagne, le Canada, le Danemark, la France, l’Allemagne, le Pakistan, la Corée du Sud et la Thaïlande fournissent à l’heure actuelle des navires et du personnel à la CTF-150. D’autres participants se sont joints récemment, dont l’Australie, l’Italie, les Pays-Bas, la Nouvelle-Zélande, le Portugal, Singapour, l’Espagne et la Turquie.

La force opérationnelle interalliée 151 (CTF-151) a pour sa part été établie en janvier 2009. Elle mène des opérations dans le golfe d’Aden et le bassin Somalien, et couvre une zone de 1,1 million de mille carré. Il est prévu que vingt pays participeront à cette force opérationnelle menée par les États-Unis. La Grande-Bretagne, le Canada, le Danemark, la France, les Pays-Bas, le Pakistan, Singapour, la Corée du Sud et la Turquie se sont déjà engagés.

De son côté, la force opérationnelle interalliée 152 (CTF-152) est à l’œuvre du nord du golfe Persique au détroit d’Ormuz, entre les zones de responsabilité des CTF-150 et CTF-158, et fait partie de l’Opération libération de l’Irak.

Enfin, la force opérationnelle 158 (CTF-158) opère dans l’extrême nord du golfe Persique. Elle fait également partie de l’Opération libération de l’Irak et se compose de navires britanniques, australiens et étasuniens. Ses principales tâches comprennent la supervision des installations pétrolières de l’Irak et la création d’une marine irakienne contrôlée par le Pentagone.

Les États-Unis ont divisé le monde en six commandements militaires régionaux et en six flottes. La mer d’Oman est couverte par trois des commandements militaires du Pentagone : le Commandement central, le Commandement pour l’Afrique (USAFRICOM ou AFRICOM) et le Commandement du Pacifique. Cela indique l’importance attachée à la région.

En plus du quartier général de la 5e Flotte et du Commandement central des forces navales à Bahreïn, le Commandement central dirige des bases aériennes, de déploiement avancé et d’instruction dans le golfe Persique au Koweït, à Oman, au Qatar et aux Émirats arabes unis, s’ajoutant aux 56 000 troupes et aux bases aériennes, navales et de l’infanterie en Irak.

Plusieurs mois avant les attaques du 11 septembre 2001 à New York et au Pentagone, les États-Unis ont signé un accord avec un petit pays, Djibouti (avec une population de 725 000 d’habitants), pour l’acquisition d’une ancienne base navale française, Camp Lemonnier. Celle-ci est devenue une base expéditionnaire étasunienne hébergeant le groupe de forces interarmées multinationales pour la Corne de l’Afrique, affecté au Commandement pour l’Afrique, puisque ce dernier a été mis en service il y a deux ans. La zone de responsabilité du groupe de forces interarmées multinationales pour la Corne de l’Afrique comprend Djibouti, l’Éthiopie, l’Érythrée, le Kenya, les Seychelles, la Somalie, le Soudan, la Tanzanie, l’Ouganda, le Yémen, ainsi que ces pays de l’océan Indien : les Comores, Maurice et Madagascar.

Au début de 2002, les États-Unis ont déployé 800 troupes des opérations spéciales au Camp Lemonnier pour mener des opérations clandestines au Yémen, situé en face du Djibouti, de l’autre côté du golfe d’Aden. Il y a maintenant environ 2000 troupes étasuniennes dans le pays et 3000 troupes françaises sur cette base militaire décrite comme la plus grande de la France à l’étranger. Au début de la décennie, l’Allemagne a déployé 1200 troupes à Djibouti avec des forces espagnoles et néerlandaises. La Grande-Bretagne a ajouté des troupes en 2005.

En tout, il y a entre 8000 et 10 000 personnels militaires des pays membres de l’OTAN à Djibouti. Le Pentagone a utilisé le Camp Lemonnier, le port de Djibouti et l’aéroport international du pays pour lancer des attaques au Yémen et en Somalie, et les troupes françaises au pays ont assisté Djibouti dans son conflit armé avec sa voisine l’Érythrée en 2008. La France utilise le pays pour entraîner ses troupes pour la guerre en Afghanistan et le Pentagone s’en est servi pour soutenir l’invasion de la Somalie en 2006.

Habituellement, un porte-avions, au coeur d’un groupe aéronaval d’attaque, est affecté à la 5e Flotte des États-Unis. Avec l’arrivée de l’USS Lincoln se joignant à l’USS Truman ce mois-ci dans la mer d’Oman, deux porte-avions sont maintenant affectés à cette flotte. L’USS Lincoln est accompagné d’un destroyer lance-missiles et « amène plus de 60 aéronefs additionnels à ce théâtre en soutien à l’opération “Liberté immuable” [2] ».

Le groupe d’attaque de l’USS Truman comprend quatre destroyers équipés du système Aegis et pour des missiles antimissiles balistiques Standard Missile-3, d’un croiseur lance-missiles et de la frégate allemande FGS Hessen. Le Carrier Wing 3 rattaché au porte-avions comprend trois escadrons d’avions de combat, un escadron naval d’interception et d’attaque, ainsi que des escadrons de détection aérienne avancée, d’attaque électronique et d’hélicoptères anti-sous-marins.

Depuis qu’il est passé par le canal de Suez le 28 juin et jusqu’à la fin du mois dernier, le Carrier Wing 3 avait « complété plus de 3300 sorties aériennes et enregistré plus de 10 200 heures de vol, dont plus de 7200 en appui aux forces terrestres de la coalition en Afghanistan [3] ». Sept mille matelots et marines sont rattachés au groupe aéronaval d’attaque USS Truman.

Préalablement, peu après son entrée dans la mer Méditerranée en mai, l’USS Truman a engagé le combat avec son semblable, le porte-avions nucléaire français Charles de Gaulle, lors d’exercices d’interopérabilité interarmées à Marseille. Des avions de guerre français ont atterri sur le pont du Truman et des avions étasuniens sur celui du Charles de Gaulle.

Le porte-avions français a été renvoyé au port pour des réparations le jour où il prenait la mer pour « une mission de quatre mois visant à appuyer le combat en Afghanistan [mais] il reprendra le temps perdu en mer et son itinéraire ne changera probablement pas ».

Sa nouvelle mission, la première depuis 2007, « est de se joindre à la bataille contre la piraterie au large de la Somalie dans l’océan Indien et à la mission de l’OTAN en Afghanistan ».

« La nouvelle mission du navire est de se joindre au combat contre les pirates qui a lieu au large de la côte somalienne dans l’océan Indien, [où une] mission de l’OTAN est en cours [4]. » Des porte-avions nucléaires constituent un choix étrange pour faire face à la piraterie.

Le déploiement de l’OTAN en question est l’opération Ocean Shield, inaugurée en août 2009 et prolongée jusqu’à la fin de 2012. Les 1er et 2e Groupes de la Force navale permanente de réaction de l’OTAN, lesquels ont également visité Bahreïn, le Koweït, le Qatar, les Émirats arabes unis et participé à des manœuvres navales interarmées avec le Pakistan, à l’extrémité est de la mer d’Oman, effectuent des rotations pour l’opération dans le golfe d’Aden.

L’opération étasunienne « Liberté immuable » inclut 16 pays au total : l’Afghanistan, le Pakistan, l’Ouzbékistan, Cuba (baie de Guantánamo), Djibouti, l’Érythrée, l’Éthiopie, la Jordanie, le Kenya, le Kirghizistan, les Philippines, les Seychelles, le Soudan, le Tadjikistan, le Turquie et le Yémen. Les efforts de l’OTAN égalent et renforcent ceux du Pentagone sur toute la largeur de la mer d’Oman, de la Corne de l’Afrique à l’Asie centrale et du Sud.

Lors de son sommet à Istanbul en Turquie en 2004, l’OTAN a lancé l’Initiative de coopération d’Istanbul afin d’établir un partenariat militaire avec les six États membres du Conseil de coopération du Golfe, soit Bahreïn, le Koweït, Oman, le Qatar, l’Arabie Saoudite et les Émirats arabes unis, et, entre-temps, a fait de la coopération et des échanges militaires avec eux [5]. Les Émirats arabes unis ont fourni des troupes à l’OTAN pour la guerre en Afghanistan et hébergent une base aérienne secrète pour le transit des troupes et de l’équipement vers la zone de guerre.

En mai 2009, le président français Nicolas Sarkozy a ouvert une base militaire aux Émirats arabes unis, la première base française permanente dans le golfe Persique et la première à l’étranger depuis 50 ans. Avec ses bases navale et aérienne et son camp d’entraînement, l’ouverture de cette installation a donné l’impression d’une démonstration de force contre l’Iran, qui se dispute avec les Émirats arabes unis l’île d’Abu Moussa dans le golfe Persique.

Les forces de l’OTAN opèrent également à partir de bases au Kirghizistan, au Tadjikistan et en Ouzbékistan. L’Alliance de l’Atlantique Nord a lancé plusieurs attaques d’hélicoptères de combat au Pakistan depuis la fin du mois dernier et a tué trois soldats pakistanais le 30 septembre.

Cent vingt mille troupes provenant d’environ 50 pays servent sous l’égide de la Force internationale d’assistance à la sécurité de l’OTAN en Afghanistan.

Cette année, l’OTAN a transporté des troupes ougandaises par avion en Somalie pour qu’elles prennent part au conflit armé dans ce pays.

Le porte-avions Charles de Gaulle en route vers la mer d’Oman, également pour appuyer la guerre en Somalie ainsi que pour des opérations au large de la côte somalienne, a été commandé en 2001. Sept mois plus tard il est parti pour la mer d’Arabie pour appuyer l’opération « Liberté immuable » et la guerre en Afghanistan. Le 19 décembre cette année-là, des avions d’attaque Super Étendard et des chasseurs Rafale ont décollé de son pont pour effectuer des bombardements et des missions de reconnaissance, plus de 140 au total.

Les avions de guerre Super Étendard et Mirage affectés par la suite en mars au Charles de Gaulle on lancé des attaques aériennes avant et durant l’opération Anaconda dirigée par les États-Unis.

Lorsque le porte-avions français arrivera dans la mer d’Oman ce mois-ci, il sera accompagné de deux frégates, d’un sous-marin d’attaque, d’un navire-citerne ravitailleur, de 3000 matelots et de 27 aéronefs : 10 chasseurs Rafale F3, 12 avions d’attaque Super Étendard, 2 avions d’alerte lointaine Hawkeye et trois hélicoptères.

Selon le commandant du groupe, le contre-amiral Jean-Louis Kerignard « la force aiderait les marines alliées à combattre la piraterie au large de la côte somalienne et enverrait des jets pour appuyer l’OTAN dans le ciel afghan ».

Les navires s’entraîneront avec des alliés de l’Arabie Saoudite, de l’Inde, de l’Italie, de la Grèce et des Émirats arabes unis et feront deux escales à la base française de Djibouti avant de retourner en France en février 2011 [6].

En comptant le groupe aéronaval d’attaque composé de l’USS Lincoln et de l’USS Truman, il y aura trois porte-avions, dix autres navires, un sous-marin d’attaque et pas moins de 150 aéronefs militaires dans la mer d’Oman. Cela s’ajoute aux cinq navires de guerre du 1er Groupe de la Force navale permanente de réaction de l’OTAN déjà dans ce théâtre, aux 14 à 15 navires de la CTF 150 et probablement à une douzaine d’autres avec les CTF-151, CFT-152 et CTF-158. Une formidable armada couvrant la mer d’un bout à l’autre.

En ce qui a trait au nord de la mer d’Oman, du golfe d’Oman et du golfe Persique, le 21 octobre les États-Unis ont annoncé un contrat de vente d’armes de 60 milliards de dollars avec l’Arabie Saoudite pour des chasseurs perfectionnés, des hélicoptères, des missiles et d’autres armes et équipements, « le plus gros contrat de vente d’armes de l’histoire des États-Unis selon une agence de presse occidentale [7] ».

Le mois dernier le Financial Times a dévoilé que Washington prévoit vendre des armes à l’Arabie Saoudite, au Koweït, à Oman et aux Émirats arabes unis pour une valeur de 123 milliards de dollars. En janvier de cette année, des rapports ont fait surface concernant des plans de la Maison-Blanche pour la vente de batteries de missiles Patriot à Bahreïn, au Koweït, au Qatar et à l’Arabie Saoudite. Par ailleurs, la Marine des États-Unis patrouille dans le golfe Persique avec des navires de guerre équipés de missiles intercepteurs Standard Missile-3 [8].

Relativement à l’est de la mer d’Oman, la secrétaire d’État Hillary Clinton a annoncé le 23 octobre un plan d’aide militaire de cinq ans d’une valeur de 2 milliards de dollars au Pakistan. On rapporte également que la visite du président Obama en Inde prévue le mois prochain aura entre autres pour but une importante vente d’armes qui fera des États-Unis le principal fournisseur d’armes de l’Inde, évinçant ainsi la Russie.

La progression monumentale des ventes d’armes et le développement de la puissance navale et aérienne dans la région de la mer d’Oman sont sans précédent. Ces deux phénomènes sont également des plus alarmants.

L’Occident, les États-Unis et leurs alliés de l’OTAN intensifient les opérations militaires dans la région, de l’Asie à l’Afrique en passant par le Moyen-Orient. Le théâtre d’opérations s’est récemment élargi, allant de l’Asie du Sud à la péninsule d’Arabie, avec des attaques de drones et d’hélicoptères au Pakistan et des frappes de missiles de croisière au Yémen.

Une guerre qui a commencé au début du siècle en est à sa dixième année et tout porte à croire qu’elle sera permanente.


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

Das Pentagon baut in Osteuropa neue NATO-Hilfsarmeen auf

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

10. November 2010

Das Pentagon baut in Osteuropa neue NATO-Hilfsarmeen auf
Rick Rozoff

Übersetzt von Luftpost

Am 19. und 20. November werden sich die Chefs von 28 nordamerikanischen und europäischen Staaten – also die Regierungschefs aller führenden Militärmächte des Westens und ihrer Vasallenstaaten – in der Hauptstadt Portugals zum diesjährigen Gipfel der North Atlantic Treaty Organization / NATO versammeln.

Nachdem sie bis vor kurzem nur alle zwei Jahre abgehalten wurden, finden die NATOGipfel jetzt jährlich statt, zuletzt 2009 Frankreich und Deutschland und 2008 in Rumänien.

Vor dem letztjährigen Gipfel in Strasbourg und Kehl – übrigens dem ersten, der in zwei Ländern tagte – traf man sich viermal nacheinander in osteuropäischen Ländern: 2002 in
Tschechien, 2004 in der Türkei, 2006 in Lettland und 2008 in Rumänien. Keines dieser vier Gastländer liegt auch nur in der Nähe des Nordatlantiks, und keines gehört zu den zwölf Staaten, die in den ersten elf Jahren die NATO bildeten. (s. dazu auch http://de.wikipedia.
org/wiki/NATO )

In diesem Jahr wird der Gipfel das erste Strategische Konzept der Allianz für das 21. Jahrhundert verabschieden; es wurde von einer so genannten Expertengruppe unter
Leitung der ehemaligen US-Außenministerin Madeleine Albright erarbeitet und trägt den Titel “NATO 2020: Assured Security, Dynamic Engagement” (NATO 2020: Garantierte Sicherheit, Dynamischer Einsatz; eine von der NATO selbst vorab verbreitete
Zusammenfassung des Strategischen Konzepts kann aufgerufen werden unter http://www. ).

Obwohl sich die NATO selbst als “eine Militärallianz demokratischer Staaten in Europa und Nordamerika” bezeichnet und behauptet, die Meinungen aller Mitglieder hätten das gleiche Gewicht, als ob Luxemburg oder Island die USA blockieren oder überstimmen könnten – diese Macht, die ihr derzeitiges Staatsoberhaupt (bei der Verleihung des Friedensnobelpreises) im Dezember 2009 stolz als einzige verbliebene militärische Supermacht der Welt pries – wird der Gipfel im nächsten Monat das neue Strategische Konzept einfach nur abzunicken haben.

Alles, was das Pentagon und das Weiße Haus wollen, wird garantiert auch beschlossen werden: die Unterordnung der bisher von der NATO befürworteten Aufstellung von Mittelstrecken-
Abwehrraketen – also des 2005 beschlossenen Programmes Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (s.
und ) – und des von den USA, Deutschland und Italien gemeinsam entwickelten Medium Extended Air Defense System / MEADS (s. Friedenspolitische Mitteilungen aus der US-Militärregion Kaiserslautern/Ramstein LP 213/10 – 08.11.10 ) unter einen US-Raketenabwehrschild, der ganz Europa bis zum Mittleren Osten abdecken soll, die weitere Stationierung von mindestens 200 US-Atombomben auf Militärflugplätzen
in Belgien, Deutschland, Italien, den Niederlanden und der Türkei, einen ergänzenden Abwehrschirm über Europa, welcher zur elektronischen Kampfführung dienen und eine Beeinflussung des Internets verhindern soll und unter Aufsicht des U.S. Cyber Command (s.
Command ) stehen wird, [1] eine qualitativ beschleunigte militärische Integration der Europäischen Union in die NATO, wie sie der Vertrag von Lissabon vorsieht, der am 1. Dezember 2009 in Kraft getreten ist.

Ein portugiesischer Berater des Präsidenten der Europäischen Kommission José Manuel Barroso versicherte kürzlich, “die beste Möglichkeit zur Vertiefung der Beziehungen zwischen der Europäischen Union / EU und den USA wäre ein Eintritt der EU in die NATO”, [2] die Beibehaltung beider NATO-Zielsetzungen, die häufig, aber unberechtigt als widersprüchlich bezeichnet werden. Das sind (1.) die seit der Gründung der NATO als ihre Hauptaufgabe bezeichnete kollektive Verteidigung ihrer Mitgliedsstaaten und (2.) die ständig ausgeweiteten NATO-Aktivitäten weit außerhalb ihres nordatlantischen Bündnisgebietes, für die der Afghanistan-Krieg als Musterbeispiel dienen kann.

Der Lissaboner Gipfel wird formell alles billigen und beschließen, was sich seit dem ersten Krieg der NATO (gegen Serbien) im Jahr 1999 abgezeichnet hat: die Umwandlung der von den USA dominierten Militärallianz in eine internationale Interventions-
und Besatzungsstreitmacht, die sich auf dem europäischen Kontinent ständig weiter nach Osten und Süden ausdehnt; und diese erweiterte NATO wird vollständig in den Raketenabwehrschild und den Cyber-Schutzschirm der USA integriert sein.

Washington und Brüssel geben vor, ganz Europa vor Bedrohungen schützen zu müssen, die es überhaupt nicht gibt. Weder Russland noch der Iran, weder Syrien noch Nordkorea bedrohen Europa: Aber als Gegenleistung (für den Schutz vor einer nicht existierenden Bedrohung) wird dem Pentagon erlaubt, seine Soldaten und seine militärische Infrastruktur entlang der gesamten Westflanke Russlands zu positionieren – von der Ostsee bis zum Schwarzen Meer – und die Jugend der Gastländer für die US-Kriege im Ausland zu rekrutieren. Auch das bewirkt die NATO-Mitgliedschaft.

In der VOICE OF RUSSIA (s. ) war am 27. Oktober zu lesen: “Russland
fordert von der NATO einen Verzicht auf die Stationierung bedeutender Kontingente ihrer Streitkräfte in den neu beigetretenen osteuropäischen Mitgliedsstaaten”; außerdem
wurde auch berichtet, der russischen Außenminister Sergej Lawrow habe im Dezember 2009 NATO-Generalsekretär Anders Fogh Rasmussen einen Entwurf für einen Vertrag zwischen Russland und der NATO überreicht, der “eine Begrenzung der Anzahl von Soldaten
und Waffen vorsieht, welche die NATO in Staaten stationieren darf, die früher zum Warschauer Pakt oder sogar zur Sowjetunion gehörten.

Das Verhalten Lawrows erinnert an das des afghanischen Präsidenten Hamid Karzai, der sich regelmäßig darüber beklagt, dass die USA und NATO zu viele afghanische Zivilisten
umbringen, oder an das der pakistanischen Regierung, wenn sie die tödlichen US-Droh-nen-Angriffe in den Stammesgebieten an der afghanischen Grenze verurteilt. Was Lawrow tat, war richtig und wichtig, obwohl er wusste, dass nichts dabei herauskommen würde.

Das Pentagon hat sich in Polen, Litauen, Ungarn, Bulgarien, Rumänien und im Kosovo längst in eigenen Basen häuslich eingerichtet und die Soldaten der Gastgeberländer dazu verpflichtet, in Afghanistan zu kämpfen und zu sterben – mit Ausnahme der Soldaten des Kosovo, dieses von den USA geschaffenen, tot geborenen Pseudostaates, der auch 32 Monate nach seiner einseitigen Unabhängigkeitserklärung noch immer kein Mitglied der Vereinten Nationen ist.

Im 21. Jahrhundert werden die Streitkräfte der europäischen Staaten nicht mehr für die Landesverteidigung gebraucht, sondern für Interventionen der NATO und der Europäischen Union im Ausland. Ihre Militärbasen, logistischen Einrichtungen und Installationen dienen zur Einquartierung ausländischer Truppen und beherbergen die Flugzeuge und die militärische Ausrüstung anderer Nationen, vorwiegend die der USA.

US-Kampfjets vom Typ F-15 Eagle (Adler) patrouillieren gegenwärtig im Luftraum über der Ostsee entlang der russischen Grenze und sind noch bis zum Jahresende auf dem Flugplatz
Siauliai in Litauen stationiert. (Weitere Infos dazu sind aufzurufen unter http://www. und http://www.luftpostkl.
de/luftpost-archiv/LP_06/LP13606_081206.pdf .)

In diesem Jahr wurden erstmals US-amerikanische Luftabwehrraketen – eine Batterie mit Raketen des Typs Patriot Advanced Capability-3 und 100 Soldaten – längerfristig im Nord –
osten Polens in der Nähe der russischen Grenze stationiert. (s. http://www.luftpostkl.
de/luftpost-archiv/LP_10/LP16110_300710.pdf )

Im letzten Jahr startete Washington die erste multinationale strategische Luftbrücken-Operation der Welt auf der Pápa Air Base in Ungarn. (
LP_08/LP14208_210808.pdf ) Die Task Force East (die Sondereinsatzgruppe Ost) der US-Army operiert vom Flugplatz Mihail Kogalniceanu in Rumänien aus und trainiert auf dem rumänischen Truppenübungsplatz Babadag und auf dem bulgarischen Truppenübungsplatz Novo Selo. (s. )

Die Grafiken wurden aus dem Originalartikel übernommen.

Die Vereinigten Staaten betreiben auch weiterhin die fast 1.000 Acres (405 ha) große Militärbasis Camp Bondsteel im Kosovo. (Infos zum Camp Bondsteel unter http://www.luftpost- )
Die Verlagerung von US-Atombomben aus westlichen NATO-Ländern weiter nach Osten auf den litauischen Flugplatz Siauliai, den estländischen Flugplatz Amari, den polnischen Flugplatz Swidwin, den rumänischen Flugplatz Mihail Kogalniceanu oder
die bulgarischen Flugplätze Graf Ignatievo und Bezmer wäre die einfachste Sache der Welt – wenn es nicht bereits geschehen ist. Das würde genau so wenig Aufsehen erregen, wie die “Black Sites” (die geheimen Folterlager) der CIA in Litauen, Polen,
Rumänien oder anderen bisher nicht enttarnten neuen NATO-Staaten im Osten.

Es vergeht kaum ein Tag, an dem nicht Kampfjets oder Kriegsschiffe der USA auf Flugplätzen und in Häfen Osteuropas auftauchen oder das Pentagon Militärmanöver mit scharfer Munition und realistischen Kriegsszenarien in dieser Region durchführt. [3]

Im letzten Monat nahmen die USA an dem Manöver “Northern Coasts” (s. http://www.- ) in der Ostsee und an der internationalen Übung “Jackal Stone 10” (s. http://www.wojskaspecjalne.- ) in Litauen und Polen teil; an letzterer war
auch die “USS Mount Whitney”, das Flaggschiff der im Mittelmeer stationierten Sechsten US-Flotte, beteiligt.

Im Laufe dieses Monats führt das U.S. Special Operations Command / SOCEUR (das USKommando Spezialkräfte in den Patch Barracks in Stuttgart Vaihingen, s. http://de.wikipedia.
org/wiki/United_States_Special_Operations_Command_Europe ) auf dem Truppenübungsplatz Hohenfels in Deutschland eine gemeinsame Übung mit Truppen aus Tschechien, Litauen und Polen durch, “um sie auf dem Schlachtfeld Afghanistan nahtlos integrieren zu können”. (s.
opportunity-links-SOF-conventional )

“Während der gegenwärtigen Übung wird die Koordinierung von Spezialkräften mit konventionellen Truppen bei schnellen Reaktionseinsätzen erprobt.” [4]

Am 11. Oktober besuchte Mieczyslaw Bieniek, ein Generalleutnant der polnischen Armee, der kürzlich zum stellvertretenden Kommandeur des NATO-Kommandos Transformation
(Infos dazu sind aufzurufen und
archiv/LP_09/LP19709_150909.pdf ) in Norfolk, Virginia, ernannt worden war, in seinem Heimatland das gemeinsame NATO-Trainingszentrum in Bydgoszcz und traf sich dort mit afghanischen Generälen, um mit ihnen neben anderen Angelegenheiten auch “die
Situation in Afghanistan, die gegenwärtige Zusammenarbeit zwischen der NATO und Afghanistan
und die künftigen Herausforderungen zu besprechen”. [5]

Eine Woche später verlängerte die polnische Regierung den Aufenthalt ihrer 2.600 Soldaten in Afghanistan. “Die gegenwärtige Mission sollte am 13. Oktober enden, aber auf Bitten der Regierung entschied sich der Präsident dafür, sie bis zum 13. April 2011 zu verlängern.” [6]

Während der in den USA stationierte NATO-Kommandeur in Polen weilte, hielten sich polnische Soldaten im Marseilles National Guard Center auf, das 65 Meilen (104 km) von
Chicago entfernt ist, um sich für das Bilateral Imbedded Staff Team A7 (das eingebettete bilaterale Stabs-Team A7) ausbilden zu lassen, das im Januar nach Afghanistan gehen wird und vorher “im Rahmen des State Partnership Program (des zwischenstaatlichen
Partnerschaftsprogramms, s. ) unter Einbeziehung polnischer Militärs sowohl in den USA als auch in Polen trainiert, um die
Beziehungen zwischen den Koalitionsmitgliedern zu festigen.” [7]

Kampfjets vom gleichen Typ F-15C – wie sie gerade am Himmel über der Ostsee patrouillieren – trafen am 21.

Oktober auch auf dem rumänischen Flugplatz Campia Turzii ein, wo sie an der “Operation Golden Lance” (der Operation Goldene Lanze, s. http://www.ramstein. ), “einer groß angelegten Übung mit mehr als 150 Soldaten der US-Air Force, 10 Kampfflugzeugen und der dazugehörenden Ausrüstung
für das Bodenpersonal teilnehmen”.

Der Kommandeur der 493rd Fighter Squadron (der 493. Kampfstaffel aus Lakenheath in Großbritannien, s. ), der für das Manöver verantwortlich ist, erklärte: “Wir sind ganz wild darauf, die überlegenen Fähigkeiten unserer F-15C zu demonstrieren und im Training mit der Luftwaffe eines wichtigen NATO-Partner unsere Möglichkeiten zur Bekämpfung gegnerischer Flugzeuge
zu erproben.

Ein Hauptziel des Luftkampf-Manövers ist ein Kräftemessen der US-Kampfjets mit den aus russischer Produktion stammenden MiG-21 (der rumänischen Luftwaffe).

Die Luftwaffen beider Staaten “haben etwas gemeinsam, denn rumänische Luftwaffeneinheiten vom Flugplatz Campia Turzii haben auch schon einmal an der “Baltic Air Police Mission” (s. ) teilgenommen, an einer Überwachungsaktion, wie sie die 493rd Fighter Squadron bereits in anderen Weltgegenden durchführt hat”. [8]

Am 27. Oktober haben das 86th Airlift Wing (das auf der US-Air Base Ramstein stationierte 86. Lufttransportgeschwader, zusätzliche Infos dazu unter
archiv/LP_09/LP27209_071209.pdf ) und das (ebenfalls in Ramstein angesiedelte) 435th Air Ground Operations Wing (das 435. Geschwader zur Unterstützung von Luft-Boden-
Operationen, s. )
eine im Rahmen des Manövers “Thracian Fall 2010” (Herbstliches Thrazien 2010) angesetzte zweiwöchige gemeinsame Übung mit den Bulgaren beendet, in dem die US-Air Force in Europa mehr als 1.000 bulgarischen Fallschirmjägern erfolgreiche Absprünge aus ihrem
neuesten taktischen Flugzeug (der C-130J) ermöglichte.

Über die mit solchen Übungen verfolgten Absichten sagte ein beteiligter US-Offizier:

“Wir hoffen, dass die Bulgaren dabei lernen, wie wir unsere Operationen durchführen, damit sie mit weiteren eigenen Übungsflügen ihre Fallschirmjäger-Operationen
verbessern und uns bei zukünftigen Konflikten unterstützen können.” [9]

Mit den zukünftigen Konflikten, die ständig erwähnt werden, sind künftige Kriege gemeint, für die der bereits neun Jahre andauernde bewaffnete Konflikt in Afghanistan nur eine Vorbereitung ist.

Russlands Außenminister sollte diese Fakten endlich zur Kenntnis nehmen.

(Wir haben den Rick Rozoff-Artikel, der keines Kommentars bedarf, komplett übersetzt und mit Ergänzungen und Links in runden Klammern und Hervorhebungen versehen.

Nach den nicht übersetzten Anmerkungen drucken wir den Originaltext ab.)

Anmerkungen / Notes

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

World’s Sole Military Superpower Extends Its Reach: Radio Interview

November 9, 2010 1 comment

November 9, 2010

World’s Sole Military Superpower Extends Its Reach:
Radio interview with Rick Rozoff on the In Context show.
Click arrow on lower right hand of page.

Click to enlarge:

U.S. Unified Combatant Commands: Northern Command, Southern Command, European Command, Africa Command, Central Command and Pacific Command

Categories: Uncategorized

Obama, Gates And Clinton In Asia: U.S. Expands Military Build-Up In The East

November 7, 2010 4 comments

November 7, 2010

Obama, Gates And Clinton In Asia: U.S. Expands Military Build-Up In The East
Rick Rozoff

President Barack Obama arrived in Mumbai, India on November 6 and announced $10 billion in business deals with his host country which he claimed will contribute to creating 50,000 new American jobs. By some accounts half the transactions will be for India’s purchase of U.S. military equipment and half the new jobs will be created in the defense sector.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is completing a nearly two-week tour of the Asia-Pacific region which will culminate in meeting up with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen in Australia on November 8 to among other matters secure the use of the country’s military bases.

Gates will then visit Malaysia, “amid concern in the region over China’s growing economic and naval power” [1], to solidify military ties with the Southeast Asian nation as Obama moves to Indonesia, South Korea and Japan after his first visit to India on what will be his longest trip abroad since assuming the presidency.

Obama styles himself “America’s first Pacific president,” having been born in Hawaii and spending part of his childhood in Indonesia, and his administration has targeted Asia for the expansion of U.S. military influence and presence.

Several months ago a Chinese report warned that his visit to India was designed in large part to “secure $5 billion worth of arms sales,” a deal that “would make the US replace Russia as India’s biggest arms supplier” and “help India curb China’s rise.” [2]

What he has accomplished is “a $5 billion sale for 10 of Boeing’s C-17 cargo planes” which represents “the sixth biggest arms deal in U.S. history.”

“This and the pending $60 billion deal with Saudi Arabia will certainly help to jump-start the economy, as they [arms sales] have for the past fifty years.” [3]

Job creation in the U.S. is an abysmal failure except in the military sector.

“Boeing said the C-17 deal with India will support 650 suppliers in 44 U.S. states and support the company’s own C-17 production facility in Long Beach, California, for an entire year.” [4]

Other deals included an $822 million contract for General Electric to provide 107 F414 engines for the Tejas lightweight multirole jet fighter being developed by India.

Rahul Bedi, Indian-based correspondent for Jane’s Defence Weekly, recently revealed that since U.S. sanctions enforced after India’s 1998 nuclear tests were lifted in 2001 “India has concluded and signed arms contract worth $12 billion. This includes maritime reconnaissance aircraft (Boeing P-81), missiles, artillery guns, radars and transport aircraft.

“India is also buying heavy lift transport for the air force (C-17s). An artillery radar contract was the first of its kind worth $142 million. Over the next years, India is going to go for repeat orders of C-17s [Globemaster IIIs], C-130J Super Hercules [military transport aircraft], etc.” and “these contracts are worth another 7 to 8 billion dollars.” [5]

The projected purchase of 126 multirole combat aircraft will account for another $10 billion and other contracts for assorted military helicopters are also being pursued by Washington. What is in question is $15 billion in weapons deals.

With already concluded and potential contracts, “we are talking about very, very big business. We are talking about the shifting of Indian military hardware, completely.

“Shifting from Russian components to American ones is a big shift. In the mid-90s, the Pentagon had assessed that by 2015 [it] would like India to source it’s 25 per cent of hardware. They seem to be well on their way in meeting their target.

“The profile of Indian military hardware is becoming US-oriented. This will bring definitive change in Indian military doctrine because it’s dependent on [imported] equipment.”

The U.S. is also pressuring the Indian government to sign several military-related agreements, including a Logistics Support Agreement which could prove “dangerous because the use of US ports by Indians will be zero while the US can or may use Indian bases frequently because of their presence in the region. So, technically speaking, if the US should have problem[s] with Iran or Pakistan they, under the agreement, may use our bases. Indian soil can become a lunching pad for refuelling or servicing.” [6]

Addressing the U.S.-India Business Council in Mumbai on November 6, Obama said: “There is no reason why India cannot be our top trading partner (from 12th position now)….I’m absolutely sure that the relationship between India and the US is going to be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.” [7] That is, one of the decisive political-military alliances of the century.

In the words of Nicholas Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, “The simple truth is that India’s rise, and its strength and progress on the global stage, is deeply in the strategic interest of the United States.” [8]

Obama will leave India on November 8, when Clinton, Gates and Mullen gather in Australia, and head to Indonesia where he will exploit his childhood history and then to the G-20 meeting in South Korea and the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in Japan.

Indian troops are currently participating with U.S. airborne forces in this year’s annual Yudh Abhyas joint military exercises “involving airborne specialist operations in sub-zero temperatures in Alaska” of a sort that could be put to use along India’s Himalayan border with China in the event of an armed conflict like that which occurred in 1962.

“The exercise will test the mettle of the Indian Army men in performing operations in extreme cold conditions in Alaska where the temperature hovers around minus 20 degree Celsius.

“The exercise is designed to promote cooperation between the two militaries to promote interoperability through the combined military decision-making process, through battle tracking and manoeuvring forces, and exchange of tactics, techniques and procedures.” [9] Last year’s Yudh Abhyas, held in India, was the largest U.S.-Indian military exercise to date. [10]

From September 29-October 4 personnel from the Indian army, air force and navy trained with the U.S.’s 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit at the latter’s base in Okinawa in the East China Sea during the Habu Nag 2010 “bilateral amphibious training exercise between India and the United States, designed to increase interoperability during amphibious operations,” the first time “the Indian military had the chance to work alongside Marines in this situation.” [11]

“Okinawa is located close to China and has a significant US presence where several military bases are concentrated.” [12]


Clinton began her six-nation tour of the Asia-Pacific region on October 27 by visiting a military base in Hawaii, meeting with the head of U.S. Pacific Command and assuring the foreign minister of Japan that the U.S. is prepared to honor its military commitments under terms of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in the event of further clashes between Japan and China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea. [13]

The next day U.S. and Japanese warships participated in an advanced ballistic missile interception test off the coast of Hawaii and on November 2 the U.S. launched the two-week Orient Shield 11 (XI) military exercise with 400 U.S. National Guard and 200 Japanese troops in the latter’s nation.

“Since World War II concluded, the United States has worked to build a better relationship with Japan. In 1960, the U.S. and Japan signed the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, a binding agreement for both countries to support each other from enemy attack.” As such, “United States Army Japan facilitates a two-week Orient Shield exercise in Japan each fall….”

In the words of the commander of the Japanese forces involved this year, “Our main goal is to enhance the interoperability between the U.S. and Japan.” [14]

Since Hillary Clinton spoke this July of U.S. intentions to intervene in territorial disputes in the South China Sea between China and its neighbors, the Pentagon has conducted three joint military exercises with South Korea, including in the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan/East Sea, and one with Vietnam in the South China Sea.

Last month the U.S. led a 14-nation Proliferation Security Initiative [15] naval exercise off the southern port city of Busan, “marking the first time for South Korea to host such a drill.” [16] In addition to the U.S. guided missile destroyer USS Lassen and two South Korean destroyers, a Japanese ship and personnel from Australia, Canada and France participated.

In late September China’s Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo warned that “A series of military drills initiated by the US and China’s neighboring countries showed that the US wants to increase its military presence in Asia.”

“The purpose of these military drills launched by the US is to target multiple countries including China, Russia and North Korea and to build up strategic ties with its allied countries like Japan and South Korea.” [17]

Secretary of State Clinton arrived in New Zealand on November 4. Like South Korea, Australia, Malaysia and now Japan (which has announced plans to deploy Self-Defense Forces medical personnel), New Zealand has troops serving in Afghanistan.

“New Zealand has participated in the U.S.-led campaign in Afghanistan, with 140 personnel carrying out reconstruction work in Bamiyan and 70 special forces troops in the country believed to be operating in Kabul.”

Her visit revived and expanded military ties between the U.S and New Zealand that had been dormant since 1986, “mark[ing] the end of a row over nuclear weapons dating back almost 25 years,” according to Prime Minister John Key.

“U.S. and New Zealand troops could train together” again, the press reported, and two days before Clinton’s arrival the New Zealand government published a 100-page defense white paper, the first in 13 years, detailing “closer military relations with the United States, Australia, Britain and Canada, as well as enhanced front-line capabilities.

“On the ground the army will get more front-line soldiers and Special Air Service elite troops, while on the seas the Anzac frigates will be upgraded….Hillary Clinton arrived in New Zealand for a three-day visit, prompting one newspaper to suggest it was a perfect gift for her.” [18]

Though not of the same scope, the New Zealand white paper follows one by Australia last year that calls for a post-World War Two record $72 billion arms build-up. [19]

Clinton’s next stop was Australia, where Pentagon chief Gates had also arrived to “reinforce the U.S. commitment to the region with a longstanding U.S. ally and an increasingly close partner,” according to Defense Department Press Secretary Geoff Morrell.

Clinton, Gates and U.S. military chief Admiral Mullen will meet with Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and Defense Minister John Faulkner on November 8 for the 25th anniversary Australia-United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) meeting.

The Pentagon spokesman added that “This year’s talks will cover a broad range of foreign policy, defense and strategic issues, including ongoing military operations in Afghanistan,” noting that “Australia is the largest non-NATO contributor to the International Security Assistance Force” in Afghanistan. [20]

Morrell emphasized the meeting would strengthen the U.S.’s alliance with Australia and would contribute to increased collaboration with regional partners to ensure “maritime security” in Asia. As a news source put it, “US officials often employ the phrase ‘maritime security’ to refer to concerns about China’s assertive stance over territorial rights in the Pacific, particularly in the South China Sea.” [21]

A local news report recently divulged that “Australia has agreed to a major escalation of military co-operation with the US,” including “more visits by American ships, aircraft and troops and their forces exercising here regularly….”

“Access to Australian Defence Force facilities will allow the US to step up its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region…as concern grows about China’s military expansion.”

Three “big announcements” on military cooperation will be made after the Australia-United States Ministerial consultations and “Increased numbers of US personnel in Australian facilities are expected within months, and the tempo of military exercises will be stepped up as that happens.” [22]

The military installations that the Pentagon will gain access to are expected to include army and air force bases at Townsville, the new Coonawarra naval base in Darwin, the Stirling naval base on Garden Island and the Bradshaw Field Training Area.

“The Australian development is part of a new US strategy to step up its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region after reviews of strategic policy concluded that the Bush government’s attempts to project power from North America were not working.” [23]

When Clinton arrived in Melbourne on November 6 she “signalled increased military cooperation with Australia.”

“Easier use of Australian bases, more joint training programmes and more visits by ships, planes and troops are proposed. There could also be stockpiling of US military equipment and supplies at local bases, and a joint space tracking facility that would monitor missiles, satellites and space junk.”

In her own words: “I think it’s going to be an issue of discussion at AUSMIN (Australia-US ministerial level talks Monday) about the cooperation on a range of matters, including space, cyber-security and so much else.”

New Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard confirmed that her administration would “welcome the United States making greater use of our ports and our training facilities, our test-firing ranges.” [24]


The focus of U.S. military strategy has shifted from Europe, subjugated through NATO expansion, and Africa, subordinated under U.S. Africa Command, to Asia. An Asia-Pacific analogue of NATO and AFRICOM is being expanded by the day.

1) Radio Netherlands, November 4, 2010
2) Global Times, July 13, 2010
3) Anika Anand, The Real Reason For Obama’s Trip To India: The Sixth Biggest
Arms Deal In U.S. History
Business Insider, November 6, 2010
4) CNN, November 6, 2010
5) Sheela Bhatt, As Obama arrives, US bids for heavy arms business
Rediff News, November 5, 2010
6) Ibid
7) Press Trust of India, November 6, 2010
8) CNN, November 6, 2010
9) Press Trust of India, November 4, 2010
10) India: U.S. Completes Global Military Structure
Stop NATO, September 10, 2010
11) United States Marine Corps, October 5, 2010
12) Indian Express, September 22, 2010
13) U.S. Supports Japan, Confronts China And Russia Over Island Disputes
Stop NATO, November 4, 2010
14) U.S. Army Japan, November 2, 2010
15) Proliferation Security Initiative And U.S. 1,000-Ship Navy: Control Of
World’s Oceans, Prelude To War
Stop NATO, January 29, 2009
16) Korea Herald, October 13, 2010
17) Global Times, September 26, 2010
18) United Press International, November 4, 2010
19) Australian Military Buildup And The Rise Of Asian NATO
Stop NATO, May 6, 2009
20) U.S. Department of Defense, November 4, 2010
21) Radio Netherlands, November 4, 2010
22) Australian Associated Press, November 6, 2010
23) Ibid
U.S. Marshals Military Might To Challenge Asian Century
Stop NATO, August 21, 2010
24) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, November 6, 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Supports Japan, Confronts China And Russia Over Island Disputes

November 4, 2010 6 comments

November 4, 2010

U.S. Supports Japan, Confronts China And Russia Over Island Disputes
Rick Rozoff

In a six-day span the U.S. State Department has bluntly affirmed unequivocal backing for Japanese territorial claims against both Russia and China, even invoking a defense treaty provision that could lead to direct military intervention and war with the world’s most populous nation.

Beginning a 13-day, seven-nation tour of the Asia-Pacific region on October 27 in Hawaii, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and met with Admiral Robert Willard, head of U.S. Pacific Command – the largest overseas regional military command in the world – and held a joint press conference with new Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara in Honolulu.

Clinton’s comments on the occasion underlined Washington’s increasingly assertive – and intrusive – role in East Asia and the western Pacific Ocean. They included:

“This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our alliance, which was forged at the height of the Cold War. At the time, President Eisenhower described the indestructible partnership between our two countries, and time has proven him right. The world’s geopolitical landscape has shifted many times since then, but the partnership between the United States and Japan has endured….This alliance is the cornerstone of American strategic engagement in the Asia Pacific….. I’m grateful that we are the two largest contributors to reconstruction in Afghanistan.” [1]

Responding to a question from the press corps on an East China Sea island chain contested by Japan and China – the Senkaku Islands in the Japanese designation and the Diaoyu Islands in the Chinese – near which a Chinese trawler collided with two Japanese coast guard ships on September 7, almost leading to an international incident, Clinton added that for the government she represents “the Senkakus fall within the scope of Article 5 of the 1960 U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. This is part of the larger commitment that the United States has made to Japan’s security. We consider the Japanese-U.S. alliance one of the most important alliance partnerships we have anywhere in the world and we are committed to our obligations to protect the Japanese.” [2]

Clinton’s raising Article 5 of the 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan, which states that “Each Party recognizes that an armed attack against either Party in the territories under the administration of Japan would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common danger,” paralleled and followed by three months a similar attempt to intervene against China in the South China Sea.

On July 23 Clinton spoke at the 17th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum in Hanoi, Vietnam, and alluding to disputes in the South China Sea between China and ASEAN member states Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei over the Spratly Islands and between China and Vietnam over the Paracel Islands, she maintained that “The United States, like every nation, 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….We oppose the use or threat of force by any claimant.” [3] Clinton had the temerity to evoke the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which the U.S. has not ratified.

Her allusion to the prospect of force being used is – could only be – a reference to China in the current context. In an indisputable attempt to take up cudgels in alleged defense of the ten members of ASEAN – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma) the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – against what is being promoted by Washington as a common threat, China, Clinton delivered the opening salvo in what has since been an intensifying campaign to introduce the U.S. as not so much a mediator as a power broker and military guarantor in the Asia-Pacific region.

An outside player whose main “negotiation” tools are U.S. Pacific Command and the world’s largest expeditionary naval force, the U.S. Seventh Fleet, with 50–60 warships, 350 aircraft and as many as 60,000 sailors and marines attached to it at any given time.

In her comments in the Vietnamese capital on July 23 Clinton foreshadowed the renewed American emphasis on East Asia, in particular on isolating and confronting “outposts of tyranny” (her predecessor Condoleezza Rice’s term) Myanmar and North Korea and revivifying and expanding military alliances in the area. [4]

“The day before, I was in Seoul, my third visit to Korea as Secretary. Together, Secretary Gates and I have sent the strong message that 60 years after the outbreak of the Korean War the U.S.-Korea alliance is strong….I’ve just completed two days of intensive consultations with my ASEAN colleagues and with the other partners who have come here to pursue a common endeavor: strengthening security, prosperity, and opportunity across Asia….[T]he Obama Administration is committed to broad, deep, and sustained engagement in Asia.” [5]

The Pentagon demonstrated what America’s sustained engagement in Asia means starting two days after Clinton’s statements in Vietnam and every month since: With the Invincible Spirit military exercise in the Sea of Japan/East Sea starting on July 25. The first joint U.S.-Vietnamese military exercise – naval drills in the South China Sea – and the Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercises in South Korea in August. Anti-submarine warfare maneuvers in the Yellow Sea near where China claims an exclusive economic zone in September. Confirmation late last month that naval exercises will be held in the near future in the Yellow Sea with the participation of the almost 100,000-ton nuclear-powered supercarrier USS George Washington, based in Yokosuka, Japan, which was deployed for the earlier Sea of Japan/East Sea and South China Sea exercises.

During the same period, from late July until the present, U.S. Pacific Command and Central Command led multinational military exercises in the two countries aside from North Korea that border both Russia and China – Kazakhstan (Steppe Eagle 2010) and Mongolia (Khaan Quest 2010) [6] – and in Cambodia (Angkor Sentinel) and the Philippines (Amphibious Landing Exercise 2011). [7] The U.S. also conducted this year’s Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC 2010) naval warfare exercises, the world’s largest, off Hawaii from June 23 to July 30.

For all of Hillary Clinton’s talk of the use “soft power” to advance U.S. foreign policy objectives, Washington overwhelmingly depends on its (decidedly) hard power: Nuclear aircraft supercarrier strike groups, six regional navy fleets, advanced bombers and jet fighters, nuclear attack submarines and cruise missiles. When Clinton and other American officials pledge to support Japan in future conflicts with China – or Russia – they do not intend to limit themselves to the use of diplomatic niceties.

The U.S.’s top diplomat will end her current Asia-Pacific trip, which includes stopovers in Hawaii, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia, on November 8 and in the interim will have strengthened her country’s position in the Asia-Pacific region on the civilian side, with her foreign policy partner Defense Secretary Robert Gates supplementing her efforts on the military one. Though on October 27 it was Clinton and not Gates who assured Japan that in the event of a repetition of last month’s Chinese-Japanese clash over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands Washington would honor its military commitment to intervene.

That is how Japanese Foreign Minister Maehara understood her statement at the time when he responded by saying:

“There was a question about the Senkaku Islands and rare earth minerals [the shipment of which were stopped by China]. As I have been saying, Senkaku Islands, in terms of history and international law, are inherent territory of Japan and have – we have had (inaudible) control over the islands and will continue to do so. Today, Secretary Clinton repeated that the Senkaku Islands would fall within the scope of the application of Article 5 of the bilateral security treaty. That was very encouraging.” [8]

Clinton had made the same pledge, to abide by Article 5 of the two nations’ military assistance treaty, to Maehara on September 23, and on October 11 U.S. Defense Secretary Gates and Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa agree “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….” [9]

In March of last year Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso twice referred to the Senkaku/Diaoyu island group as Japanese territory, saying it was protected under the Japan-U.S. defense treaty. He made this statement during his trip to the United States as well as in the Parliament, the first time a Japanese head of state had issued such a claim.

At their recent Hawaiian press conference Clinton and Maehara also confirmed a common position against Iran and North Korea.

As with the disputes over the Spratly and Paracel island chains in late July, Clinton also attempted to intrude the U.S. as a third party in the China-Japan conflict over the eight Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Hanoi on October 30, insisting the U.S. was “more than willing to host a trilateral meeting where we would bring Japan and China and their foreign ministers together to discuss a range of issues.” [10]

Three days later Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ma Zhaoxu responded by stating: “I’d like to stress that this is only the thinking of the U.S. side….The Diaoyu Islands and their adjacent islets are an inalienable part of China’s territory and the territorial dispute over the islands is an issue between China and Japan.

“It is absolutely wrong for the United States to repeatedly claim the Diaoyu Islands fall within the scope of the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. What the United States should do is to immediately correct its wrong position.” [11]

Next month Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) are to conduct “island-reclaiming drills” in the East China Sea in which “the U.S. military and the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet will provide support” as part of a “newly compiled defense program for the Nansei Islands.” The latter, also known as the Ryukyu Islands, form a 700-mile-long archipelago which includes Okinawa and at its southwest extreme gives way to the Senkaku Islands. In the words of a senior Japanese Ministry of Defense official, “It must be demonstrated to China…that the SDF and the U.S. military form a watertight defense array.” [12]

Antagonizing China with the threat of military intervention on behalf of Japan – or rather using Japan as the bait to provoke a military showdown with China – does not exhaust American plans in the Far East.

On November 1 President Dmitry Medvedev became the first Russian head of state to visit the Kuril Islands. The four islands were transferred from Japan to Russia after World War Two under terms of the 1945 Yalta agreement to which President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a party. Sixty-five years later there is still no peace treaty between Russia, as successor state to the Soviet Union, and Japan because of the dispute over the Kurils.

Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara immediately summoned the Russian ambassador to Japan to lodge a protest over Medvedev’s trip, and after Russia returned the favor Japan recalled its own ambassador from Moscow.

Washington lost no time in entering the fray. Hillary Clinton’s spokesman, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip Crowley, stated on November 1 that “We do back Japan regarding the Northern Territories,” [13) employing the Japanese government’s name for the islands.

In the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty the U.S., while not recognizing Soviet rights to the Kurils, did accede to Japan losing any rights to them as well as to Russia’s Sakhalin island to their northwest. In fact the treaty, to which Washington was a signatory, explicitly states that “Japan renounces all right, title and claim to the Kuril islands, and to that portion of Sakhalin and the islands adjacent to it over which Japan acquired sovereignty as a consequence of the Treaty of Portsmouth of 5 September 1905,” signed after the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese War. [14] Sakhalin is rich in oil, natural gas and coal. Japanese designs on the Kurils may not be limited to those islands but include the entire Sakhalin Oblast to which they belong.

The State Department now openly expresses its support for Japan’s claims on Russian territory while it repeatedly confirms its willingness to honor a bilateral military agreement to back Japan in an armed conflict with China over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands.

According to China’s Global Times, “The Russia-Japan row over the islands coincides with a dispute between Japan and China over the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea following Japan’s detention of a Chinese boat captain in September….[T]he strong message by Medvedev’s visit to the island, to some extent, echoes China’s firm stance on its dispute with Japan.” [15]

U.S. backing for Japanese claims on the Kurils has now progressed from tacit to explicit commitment, part of a policy of World War Two revisionism also evident in Washington’s actions in Eastern Europe from the Baltic Sea to the Balkans which aim at undoing the results of the Yalta and Potsdam conferences and the entire post-war system of international relations.

After the break-up of the Soviet Union and during Russia’s debilitated state under the Boris Yeltsin presidency in the 1990s, the first moves were made to do to Russia what had been done to the Soviet Union: Fragment it. From the Kuril Islands to the North Caucasus, from the Arctic to Kaliningrad and the Republic of Karelia, parts of post-Soviet Russia were coveted by neighboring states or otherwise targeted to be wrested from the country.

Japanese claims, though, have been even more brazen in recent years. In July of 2008 the Japanese government published new textbook guidelines directing teachers to instruct students that Japan has sovereignty over the Kuril Islands. A Russian commentary at the time remarked that in “maps published in…regions of the country even the whole territory of the Kuril Islands is marked as Japanese.

“Such kinds of territorial disputes had long been dubbed as ‘cartographic aggression.’

“For example, if Japan does not want to settle an old dispute with China over the Diaoytai Islands, also known as the Senkaku Islands in Japanese, it may mark the territory as Japanese.” [16]

In November of 2009 the Japanese government reiterated the accusation that “the Russian Federation is illegally occupying four northern islands.” [17]

The Russian Foreign Ministry responded by labelling as “unacceptable” a document issued by Tokyo identifying the alleged “illegal occupation by Russia” of the Kuril Islands, stating:

“We consider it necessary to stress that the Southern Kuril Islands are an inseparable part of the Russian Federation territory on legal grounds based on the WW2 results in accordance with the legally binding agreements and treaties between the ally states, as well as the UN Charter that was ratified by Japan.” [18]

Last month then-Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada spoke of the Kurils being “illegally occupied by Russia.”

When similar statements were made by Okada’s successor, Seiji Maehara, chairman of the international affairs committee in the Russian State Duma Konstantin Kosachev remarked:

“Such an inappropriate and tough statement by the Japanese foreign minister is regrettable.

“Like the parliament of that country did earlier, Tokyo is consistently toughening its stance, pointing out the debatable status of the Kuril islands. That may only drive the situation into a deadlock.” [19]

It is this intensified policy of Japanese recalcitrance and revanchism that Washington has now squarely endorsed. Although State Department spokesman Philip Crowley qualified his comments of November 1 by saying the Article 5 military component of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan would not be invoked as long as Japan did not administer the Kurils, the door was left open for the activation of the article should Japan succeed, peacefully or otherwise, in gaining possession of the islands and the transition be recognized by Washington.

But the Kuril, as well as the Senkaku/Diaoyu, Spratly and Paracel, islands are minor chess pieces in a far broader stratagem. The U.S. intends to accelerate its return to and domination over the Asia-Pacific region and China and Russia are the main obstacles to its doing so.

The day after Hillary Clinton met with Japan’s foreign minister in Hawaii, weeks after the Chinese-Japanese confrontation in the East China Sea and days before the Japanese-Russian contretemps began, the Japanese destroyer JS Kirishima launched a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA interceptor missile 100 miles into the sky above the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands on the Hawaiian island of Kauai and destroyed a multi-stage target missile. The missile intercept was the fourth jointly conducted by Japan and the U.S. Although North Korea will be evoked as the probable target of the bilateral tests, that country’s neighbors to the north – China and Russia – have also been put on notice.

The USS Lake Erie guided missile cruiser and USS Russell Arleigh Burke class destroyer, both part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency, simultaneously carried out a mock interception of the target missile. USS Lake Erie shot down a space satellite with a Standard Missile-3 133 miles over the Pacific Ocean on February 20, 2008, with USS Russell part of the task force assigned to the mission.

In September the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) awarded Raytheon Company, the world’s largest missile manufacturer, a $175 million contract to “work with partners in Japan on the cooperative engineering and development efforts for the SM-3 Block IIA missile through the preliminary design process.”

“Raytheon and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, under contract to the MDA and Japan’s Ministry of Defense, are developing the next-generation SM-3 Block IIA missile, scheduled to begin flight testing in 2014. The company says the new missile will include larger second- and third-stage rocket motors and a larger kinetic warhead to provide a greater area of defense against sophisticated threats.” [20]

Last month it was disclosed that “Japan is likely to decide by year-end whether to order Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawk surveillance aircraft that could later be upgraded to reinforce the country’s ballistic missile defenses.” [21] The transaction is expected to be authorized in the National Defense Program Guideline to be published later this year.

Global Hawk

A Kyodo News report revealed that Japan would pay $150 million for three Global Hawk unmanned high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft to “deal with China’s military rise” and to “defend remote Japanese islands.”

The same news agency divulged in a separate report that “Japan and the US are planning to hold a joint military exercise in December focused on defending the disputed [Senkaku/Diaoyu] islands….said to have vast oil and gas reserves.” [22]

An analysis in the Japan Times last month indicated the broader parameters of enhanced U.S.-Japanese military collaboration. It stated that “the scope of the Japan-U.S. military treaty has been extended far beyond ‘the Far East,’ roughly defined as areas north of the Philippines. The U.S. bases here support global engagements, including in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Indian Ocean.

USS George Washington and USS Blue Ridge are based in Yokosuka. The second is the flagship of the Seventh Fleet whose “area of responsibility ranges from the Kuril Islands in the north to the Antarctic, and from the international date line to the 68th meridian east at the India-Pakistan border.

“The area includes 35 maritime countries and the world’s five largest armed forces outside the U.S. — China, Russia, India, and North and South Korea. Five of the seven U.S. Mutual Defense Treaties are with countries in the area — the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, South Korea, Japan and Thailand, according to the 7th Fleet’s official website.

“The U.S. currently deploys 11 ships and units to Yokosuka, including the USS George Washington, the world’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier.

“The III Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa is tasked with covering the Asia-Pacific to the Middle East.” [23]

The U.S. is acting in the 21st century much as it did during the most dangerous days of the Cold War half a century ago, for all the world appearing to prepare for a replication of the Taiwan Strait Crises of the 1950s, though now in an Asia with several nuclear powers.

1) U.S. Department of State, October 27, 2010
2) Ibid
3) U.S. Department of State, July 23, 2010
4) Asia: Pentagon Revives And Expands Cold War Military Blocs
Stop NATO, September 14, 2010
5) U.S. Department of State, October 27, 2010
6) Kazakhstan: U.S., NATO Seek Military Outpost Between Russia And China
Stop NATO, April 14, 2010
Mongolia: Pentagon Trojan Horse Wedged Between China And Russia
Stop NATO, March 31, 2010
7) 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
8) U.S. Department of State, October 27, 2010
9) Kyodo News, October 11, 2010
10) Radio Netherlands, November 2, 2010
11) Xinhua News Agency, November 2, 2010
12) Yomiuri Shimbun, August 20, 2010
13) Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 2, 2010
14) Treaty of Peace with Japan
15) Global Times, November 2, 2010
16) Voice of Russia, July 1, 2008
17) Russian Information Agency Novosti, November 24, 2009
18) Itar-Tass, November 25, 2009
19) Interfax, September 29, 2010
20) Associated Press, September 27, 2010
21) Aviation Week, October 11, 2010
22) Kyodo News, October 3, 2010
23) Japan Times, October 14, 2010

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