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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Central
And South Asia

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

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

The Black
Sea

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

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

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

During the
same month Bogdan Aurescu, State Secretary for Strategic Affairs
in the Romanian Foreign Ministry, stated that “The new variant
of the US anti-missile shield could cover Romania.” A local
newspaper at the time commented on Washington’s new “stronger,
smarter, and swifter” missile shield plans that “A strong
and modern surveillance system located in Romania, Bulgaria and
Turkey could monitor three hot areas at once: the Black Sea, the
Caucasus and the Caspian and relevant zones in the Middle East.”

Also last November
a Russian news source wrote that “Anonymous sources in the
Russian intelligence community say that the United States plans
to supply weapons, including a Patriot-3 air defense system and
shoulder-launched Stinger missiles, worth a total of $100 million,
to Georgia.” In October the U.S. led the two-week Immediate
Response 2009 war games to prepare the first of an estimated 1,000
Georgian troops for counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan,
prompting neighboring Abkhazia – which knew who the military
training was also aimed against – to stage its own exercises
at the same time.

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

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

Middle East

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

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

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

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

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

Read
the rest of the article

Rick
Rozoff [send him mail] runs
the Stop NATO Yahoo
group
. Visit his
blog
.

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