Militarization of the African Continent

Add to Google Buzz

The US-NATO Conquest of Africa

by Rick Rozoff:

The world’s oldest extant military bloc (formed 61 years ago) and the largest in history (twenty eight full members and as many partners on five continents), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, counts among its major member states all of Africa’s former colonial powers: Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany and Belgium.

After World War II and the groundswell of anti-colonial sentiment throughout Africa and Asia, the European powers were forced to withdraw from most of the African continent, though Portugal retained its possessions until the 1970s.

Most every new African nation adopted some model of socialist-oriented economic and political development and the continent as a whole more closely aligned itself with the Soviet Union, which moreover had for decades supported the anti-colonial struggles in Africa, than with the West, both Western Europe and the United States.

With the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union nearly twenty years ago, the major Western powers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, united under the aegis of NATO, saw that as with the Balkans and the former republics of the Soviet Union itself, Africa was now wide open for penetration and domination.

NATO’s largest, most powerful and dominant member is of course the United States. On October 1, 2007 the Pentagon established United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) under the temporary wing of United States European Command, which at the time included in its area of responsibility all of Africa except for four island nations in the Indian Ocean and the Horn of Africa states and Egypt. (The first were in Pacific Command and the others in Central Command where Egypt, alone among Africa’s 53 nations, remains.)

A year to the day later AFRICOM was launched as the first new U.S. regional military command outside North America since Central Command was activated 25 years earlier in 1983. It takes in far more nations – 52 – than any other military command in history.

AFRICOM was conceived, carried, nurtured and delivered by the Pentagon’s European Command (EUCOM), based inStuttgart, Germany where AFRICOM headquarters are also based as no nation in Africa has yet volunteered to be the host.

The top commander of EUCOM is “dual-hatted” as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and has been from General Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1951 to Admiral James Stavridis today.

The three top EUCOM/NATO military commanders most instrumental in the creation of AFRICOM were General Joseph Ralston (2000-2003), General James Jones (2003-2006) and General Bantz John Craddock (2006-2009). Arguably Jones, former Marine Corps four-star general and current U.S. National Security Adviser, was the real father of Africa Command. [1]

The distinction between the Pentagon and NATO in relation to Europe and Africa – and increasingly the Caucasus, the Caspian Sea Basin, Central Asia, South Asia and the Indian Ocean – is blurred and more and more of a strictly formal nature.

NATO has now joined AFRICOM’s first war, in Somalia.
Read more of this post

Advertisements

Europe’s Five “Undeclared Nuclear Weapons States”

Are Turkey, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Italy Nuclear Powers?

The US has supplied some 480 B61 thermonuclear bombs to five non-nuclear NATO countries including Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. Casually disregarded by the Vienna based UN Nuclear Watch, the US has actively contributed to the proliferation of nuclear weapons in Western Europe.

by Michel Chossudovsky

According to a recent report, former NATO Secretary-General George Robertson confirmed that Turkey possesses 40-90 “Made in America” nuclear weapons at the Incirlik military base.(en.trend.az/)

Does this mean that Turkey is a nuclear power?

“Far from making Europe safer, and far from producing a less nuclear dependent Europe, [the policy] may well end up bringing more nuclear weapons into the European continent, and frustrating some of the attempts that are being made to get multilateral nuclear disarmament,” (George Robertson, quoted in Global Security, February 10, 2010)

“‘Is Italy capable of delivering a thermonuclear strike?…

Could the Belgians and the Dutch drop hydrogen bombs on enemy targets?…

Germany’s air force couldn’t possibly be training to deliver bombs 13 times more powerful than the one that destroyed Hiroshima, could it?…

Nuclear bombs are stored on air-force bases in Italy, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands — and planes from each of those countries are capable of delivering them.” (“What to Do About Europe’s Secret Nukes.” Time Magazine, December 2, 2009)

The “Official” Nuclear Weapons States

Five countries, the US, UK, France, China and Russia are considered to be “nuclear weapons states” (NWS), “an internationally recognized status conferred by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)”. Three other “Non NPT countries” (i.e. non-signatory states of the NPT) include India, Pakistan and North Korea, have recognized possessing nuclear weapons.

Israel: “Undeclared Nuclear State”

Israel is identified as an “undeclared nuclear state”. It produces and deploys nuclear warheads directed against military and civilian sites in the Middle East including Tehran.

Iran

There has been much hype, supported by scanty evidence, that Iran might at some future date become a nuclear weapons state. And, therefore, a pre-emptive defensive nuclear attack on Iran to annihilate its non-existent nuclear weapons program should be seriously contemplated “to make the World a safer place”. The mainstream media abounds with makeshift opinion on the Iran nuclear threat.

But what about the five European “undeclared nuclear states” including Belgium, Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands and Italy.

Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy and Turkey: “Undeclared Nuclear Weapons States”

While Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities are unconfirmed, the nuclear weapons capabilities of these five countries including delivery procedures are formally acknowledged.

The US has supplied some 480 B61 thermonuclear bombs to five non-nuclear NATO countries including Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. Casually disregarded by the Vienna based UN Nuclear Watch, the US has actively contributed to the proliferation of nuclear weapons in Western Europe.

As part of this European stockpiling, Turkey, which is a partner of the US-led coalition against Iran along with Israel, possesses some 90 thermonuclear B61 bunker buster bombs at the Incirlik nuclear air base. (National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe , February 2005)

By the recognised definition, these five countries are “undeclared nuclear weapons states”.

The stockpiling and deployment of tactical B61 in these five “non-nuclear states” are intended for targets in the Middle East. Moreover, in accordance with  “NATO strike plans”, these thermonuclear B61 bunker buster bombs (stockpiled by the “non-nuclear States”) could be launched  “against targets in Russia or countries in the Middle East such as Syria and Iran” ( quoted in National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe , February 2005)

Does this mean that Iran or Russia, which are potential targets of a nuclear attack originating from one or other of these five so-called non-nuclear states should contemplate defensive preemptive nuclear attacks against Germany, Italy Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey? The answer is no, by any stretch  of the imagination.

While these “non-nuclear states” casually accuse Tehran of developing nuclear weapons, without documentary evidence, they themselves have capabilities of delivering nuclear warheads, which are targeted at Iran.  To say that this is a clear case of “double standards” by the IAEA and the “international community” is a understatement.

Click to See Details and Map of Nuclear Facilities located in 5 European Non-Nuclear States

The stockpiled weapons are B61 thermonuclear bombs.  All the weapons are gravity bombs of the B61-3, -4, and -10 types.2 . Those estimates were based on private and public statements by a number of government sources and assumptions about the weapon storage capacity at each base

.(National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe , February 2005)

Germany: Nuclear Weapons Producer

Among the five “non-nuclear states”, “Germany remains the most heavily nuclearized country with three nuclear bases (two of which are fully operational) and may store as many as 150 [B61 bunker buster ] bombs” (Ibid). In accordance with “NATO strike plans” (mentioned above) these tactical nuclear weapons are also targeted at the Middle East.

While Germany is not categorized officially as a nuclear power, it produces nuclear warheads for the French Navy. It stockpiles nuclear warheads (made in America) and it has the capabilities of delivering nuclear weapons. Moreover,  The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company – EADS , a Franco-German-Spanish  joint venture, controlled by Deutsche Aerospace and the powerful Daimler Group is Europe’s second largest military producer, supplying .France’s M51 nuclear missile.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

NATO-Israel cooperation, will the Arabs react?

If Israel succeeds in joining NATO, its regional belligerency would be backed by the collective strength of the entire alliance. Before that happens, will the Arabs react?

Israel wants to be a member of NATO. It no longer looks down its nose at military alliances. It no longer wants to stay away from Western military arrangements. It wants in.

A majority of Israelis believe NATO membership would boost Israel’s security as well as NATO’s strategic power. Interestingly enough, there has been no Arab reaction to Israel’s desire to join NATO, no Arab attempt to block the move, and no preparations to deal with its consequences.

Israel and NATO have grown closer over the past decade or so. In 2000, NATO expanded its Mediterranean Dialogue through talks with seven countries from the Middle East and North Africa; namely, Egypt, Israel, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Mauritania. In 2004, NATO- Mediterranean talks were held under the name “Partnership for Peace”. Six new countries were included in the new dialogue: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Israel, in particular, was eager to use every opportunity the Partnership for Peace had to offer.

On 24 February 2005, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer became NATO’s first secretary-general to visit Israel. In the following month, NATO and Israel held their first joint military drills in the Red Sea. Within weeks, a flotilla of six NATO ships called on the Israeli port of Eilat. Israel (and Jordan) also took part for the first time in joint military drills held within the Partnership for Peace programme in Macedonia in the former Yugoslavia in February 2005.

According to the UK-based Jane’s military magazine, Israel’s “geopolitical position” provided NATO with a foreign base to defend the West, while NATO’s military and economic might enhanced the security and economic potential of the “host country”. Read more of this post

2010: U.S. To Wage War Throughout The World

by Rick Rozoff

January 1 will usher in the last year of the first decade of a new millennium and ten consecutive years of the United States conducting war in the Greater Middle East.

Beginning with the October 7, 2001 missile and bomb attacks on Afghanistan, American combat operations abroad have not ceased for a year, a month, a week or a day in the 21st century.

The Afghan war, the U.S.’s first air and ground conflict in Asia since the disastrous wars in Vietnam and Cambodia in the 1960s and early 1970s and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s first land war and Asian campaign, began during the end of the 2001 war in Macedonia launched from NATO-occupied Kosovo, one in which the role of U.S. military personnel is still to be properly exposed [1] and addressed and which led to the displacement of almost 10 percent of the nation’s population.

click on image to enlarge

In the first case Washington invaded a nation in the name of combating terrorism; in the second it abetted cross-border terrorism. Similarly, in 1991 the U.S. and its Western allies attacked Iraqi forces in Kuwait and launched devastating and deadly cruise missile attacks and bombing sorties inside Iraq in the name of preserving the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kuwait, and in 1999 waged a 78-day bombing assault against Yugoslavia to override and fatally undermine the principles of territorial integrity and national sovereignty in the name of the casus belli of the day, so-called humanitarian intervention.

Two years later humanitarian war, as abhorrent an oxymoron as the world has ever witnessed, gave way to the global war on terror(ism), with the U.S. and its NATO allies again reversing course but continuing to wage wars of aggression and “wars of opportunity” as they saw fit, contradictions and logic, precedents and international law notwithstanding.

Several never fully acknowledged counterinsurgency campaigns, some ongoing – Colombia – and some new – Yemen – later, the U.S. invaded Iraq in March of 2003 with a “coalition of the willing” comprised mainly of Eastern European NATO candidate nations (now almost all full members of the world’s only military bloc as a result of their service).

The Pentagon has also deployed special forces and other troops to the Philippines and launched naval, helicopter and missile attacks inside Somalia as well as assisting the Ethiopian invasion of that nation in 2006. Washington also arms, trains and supports the armed forces of Djibouti in their border war with Eritrea. In fact Djibouti hosts the U.S.’s only permanent military installation in Africa to date [2], Camp Lemonier, a United States Naval Expeditionary Base and home to the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), placed under the new U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) when it was launched on October 1, 2008. The area of responsibility of the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa takes in the nations of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Yemen and as “areas of interest” the Comoros, Mauritius and Madagascar.

That is, much of the western shores of the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, among the most geostrategically important parts of the world. [3]

U.S. troops, aerial drones, warships, planes and helicopters are active throughout that vast tract of land and water.

With senator and once almost vice president Joseph Lieberman’s threat on December 27 that “Yemen will be tomorrow’s war” [4] and former Southern Command chief and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Wesley Clark’s two days later that “Maybe we need to put some boots on the ground there,” [5] it is evident that America’s new war for the new year has already been identified. In fact in mid-December U.S. warplanes participated in the bombing of a village in northern Yemen that cost the lives of 120 civilians as well as wounding 44 more [6] and a week later “A US fighter jet…carried out multiple airstrikes on the home of a senior official in Yemen’s northern rugged province of Sa’ada….” [7]

The pretext for undertaking a war in Yemen in earnest is currently the serio-comic “attempted terrorist attack” by a young Nigerian national on a passenger airliner outside of Detroit on Christmas Day. The deadly U.S. bombing of the Yemeni village mentioned above occurred ten days earlier and moreover was in the north of the nation, although Washington claims al-Qaeda cells are operating in the other end of the country. [8]

Asia, Africa and the Middle East are not the only battlegrounds where the Pentagon is active. On October 30 of 2009 the U.S. signed an agreement with the government of Colombia to acquire the essentially unlimited and unrestricted use of seven new military bases in the South American nation, including sites within immediate striking distance of both Venezuela and Ecuador. [9] American intelligence, special forces and other personnel will be complicit in ongoing counterinsurgency operations against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in the nation’s south as well as in rendering assistance to Washington’s Colombian proxy for attacks inside Ecuador and Venezuela that will be portrayed as aimed at FARC forces in the two states.

Targeting two linchpins of and ultimately the entire Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), Washington is laying the groundwork for a potential military conflagration in South and Central America and the Caribbean. After the U.S.-supported coup in Honduras on June 28, that nation has announced it will be the first ALBA member state to ever withdraw from the Alliance and the Pentagon will retain, perhaps expand, its military presence at the Soto Cano Air Base there.

A few days ago “The Colombian government…announced it is building a new military base on its border with Venezuela and has activated six new airborne battalions” [10] and shortly afterward Dutch member of parliament Harry van Bommel “claimed that US spy planes are using an airbase on the Netherlands Antilles island of Curaçao” [11] off the Venezuelan coast.

In October a U.S. armed forces publication revealed that the Pentagon will spend $110 million to modernize and expand seven new military bases in Bulgaria and Romania, across the Black Sea from Russia, where it will station initial contingents of over 4,000 troops. [12]

In early December the U.S. signed a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with Poland, which borders the Russian Kaliningrad territory, that “allows for the United States military to station American troops and military equipment on Polish territory.” [13] The U.S. military forces will operate Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) and Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) batteries as part of the Pentagon’s global interceptor missile system.

At approximately the same time President Obama pressured Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to base missile shield components in his country. “We discussed the continuing role that we can play as NATO allies in strengthening Turkey’s profile within NATO and coordinating more effectively on critical issues like missile defense,” [14] in the American leader’s words.

“Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has hinted his government does not view Tehran [Iran] as a potential missile threat for Turkey at this point. But analysts say if a joint NATO missile shield is developed, such a move could force Ankara to join the mechanism.” [15]

2010 will see the first foreign troops deployed to Poland since the breakup of the Warsaw Pact in 1991 and the installation of the U.S’s “stronger, swifter and smarter” (also Obama’s words) interceptor missiles and radar facilities in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the South Caucasus. [16]

U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan, site of the longest and most wide-scale war in the world, will top 100,000 early in 2010 and with another 50,000 plus troops from other NATO nations and assorted “vassals and tributaries” (Zbigniew Brzezinski) will represent the largest military deployment in any war zone in the world.

American and NATO drone missile and helicopter gunship attacks in Pakistan will also increase, as will U.S. counterinsurgency operations in the Philippines and Somalia along with those in Yemen where CIA and Army special forces are already involved.

U.S. military websites recently announced that there have been 3.3 million deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001 with 2 million U.S. service members sent to the two war zones. [17]

In this still young millennium American soldiers have also deployed in the hundreds of thousands to new bases and conflict and post-conflict zones in Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Colombia, Djibouti, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Mali, the Philippines, Romania, Uganda and Uzbekistan.

In 2010 they will be sent abroad in even larger numbers to man airbases and missile sites, supervise and participate in counterinsurgency operations throughout the world against disparate rebel groups, many of them secular, and wage combat operations in South Asia and elsewhere. They will be stationed on warships and submarines equipped with cruise and long-range nuclear missiles and with aircraft carrier strike groups prowling the world’s seas and oceans.

They will construct and expand bases from Europe to Central and South Asia, Africa to South America, the Middle East to Oceania. With the exception of Guam and Vicenza in Italy, where the Pentagon is massively expanding existing installations, all the facilities in question are in nations and even regions of the world where the U.S. military has never before ensconced itself. Practically all the new encampments will be forward bases used for operations “down range,” generally to the east and south of NATO-dominated Europe.

U.S. military personnel will be assigned to the new Global Strike Command and for expanded patrols and war games in the Arctic Circle. They will serve under the Missile Defense Agency to consolidate a worldwide interceptor missile network that will facilitate a nuclear first strike capability and will extend that system into space, the final frontier in the drive to achieve military full spectrum dominance.

American troops will continue to fan out to most all parts of the world. Everywhere, that is, except to their own nation’s borders.

Notes

1) Scott Taylor, Macedonia’s Civil War: ‘Made in the USA’
Antiwar.com, August 20, 2001
http://www.antiwar.com/orig/taylor1.html
2) AFRICOM Year Two: Seizing The Helm Of The Entire World
Stop NATO, October 22, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/africom-year-two-taking-the-helm-of-the-entire-world
3) Cold War Origins Of The Somalia Crisis And Control Of The Indian Ocean
Stop NATO, May 3, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/28/cold-war-origins-of-the-somalia-crisis-and-control-of-the-indian-ocean
4) Fox News, December 27, 2009
5) Fox News, December 29, 2009
6) Press TV, December 16, 2009
7) Press TV, December 27, 2009
8) Yemen: Pentagon’s War On The Arabian Peninsula
Stop NATO, December 15, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/yemen-pentagons-war-on-the-arabian-peninsula
9) Rumors Of Coups And War: U.S., NATO Target Latin America
Stop NATO, November 18, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/rumors-of-coups-and-war-u-s-nato-target-latin-america
10) BBC News, December 20, 2009
11) Radio Netherlands, December 22, 2009
12) Bulgaria, Romania: U.S., NATO Bases For War In The East
Stop NATO, October 24, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/10/25/bulgaria-romania-u-s-nato-bases-for-war-in-the-east
13) Polish Radio, December 11, 2009
14) Hurriyet Daily News, December 30, 2009
15) Ibid
16) Black Sea, Caucasus: U.S. Moves Missile Shield South And East
Stop NATO, September 19, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/19/283
U.S. Expands Global Missile Shield Into Middle East, Balkans
Stop NATO, September 11, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/u-s-expands-global-missile-shield-into-middle-east-balkans
17) World’s Sole Military Superpower’s 2 Million-Troop, $1 Trillion Wars
Stop NATO, December 21, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/12/21/worlds-sole-military-superpowers-2-million-troop-1-trillion-wa

%d bloggers like this: