March 24, 2010 1 Comment
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March 5, 2010 Leave a comment
So far this year the United States has succeeded in inflaming tensions with China and indefinitely holding up a new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia through its relentless pursuit of global interceptor missile deployments.
On January 29 the White House confirmed the completion of a nearly $6.5 billion weapons transfer to Taiwan which includes 200 advanced Patriot anti-ballistic missiles. Earlier in the same month it was reported that Washington is also to provide Taiwan with eight frigates which Taipei intends to equip with the Aegis Combat System that includes the capacity for ship-based Standard Missile-3 interceptors.
The Aegis sea-based component of the expanding U.S. interceptor missile system already includes Japan, South Korea and Australia, and with Taiwan added China would be justified in being apprehensive.
On February 28 the U.S. House and Senate foreign affairs committees permitted the “sale to Taiwan of missiles, helicopters and ships valued at about $6.4 billion” despite weeks of protests from China. “The U.S. Defense Department wants to sell Taiwan the most advanced Patriot anti-missile system….The system, valued at $2.8 billion, would add to Taiwan’s network of 22 missile sites around the country….” 
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang recently stated “The responsibility for the current difficulties in China-U.S. relations [belongs] completely to the U.S. side” for failing to recognize and respect China’s “core interests.” 
If the proposed placement of U.S. missile shield components in Poland, the Czech Republic, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Alaska and elsewhere were explained by alleged missile threats emanating from Iran and North Korea, the transfer of U.S. Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles to Taiwan – and, as was revealed in January, 35 miles from Russian territory in Poland – represents the crossing of a new threshold. The Patriots in Taiwan and Poland and the land- and sea-based missiles that will follow them are intended not against putative “rogue states” but against two major nuclear powers, China and Russia.
The PAC-3, “one of the most comprehensive upgrade programs ever undertaken on an American weapon system,”  is in theory a strictly defensive anti-ballistic missile system, targeting cruise and tactical ballistic missiles. However, it has seven times the range of its PAC-2 predecessor and with plans for a yet further major upgrade, the Missile Segment Enhancement, its operational capability will be doubled again. With a future range of some 300 kilometers, the PAC-3 would be able to intercept and destroy missiles over Chinese and Russian territory.
The English-language government newspaper China Daily published an article on February 22 called “China circled by chain of US anti-missile systems,” which observed that “Quite a few military experts have noted that Washington’s latest proposed weapon deal with Taiwan is the key part of a US strategic encirclement of China in the East Asian region, and that the missiles could soon have a footprint that extends from Japan to the Republic of Korea and Taiwan.” 
The article cites a Chinese air force colonel and military strategist as contending that “China is in a crescent-shaped ring of encirclement. The ring begins in Japan, stretches through nations in the South China Sea to India, and ends in Afghanistan. Washington’s deployment of anti-missile systems around China’s periphery forms a crescent-shaped encirclement.”
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March 1, 2010 Leave a comment
SANTIAGO: A huge magnitude-8.8earthquake struck Chile early on Saturday, killing at least 122 people, knocking down homes and hospitals, and triggering a tsunami that rolled menacingly across the Pacific.
TV Chile reported that a 15-storey building collapsed in the hardest-hit city of Concepcion, where buildings caught fire, major highway bridges collapsed and cracks opened up in the streets.
Cars turned upside down lay scattered across one damaged bridge.
Residents huddled in streets full of rubble of masonry and glass from destroyed homes.
Many were terrified by powerful aftershocks and desperately trying to call friends and family.
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February 28, 2010 Leave a comment
With the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms expiring last December 5 and its successor held up almost three months in large part because of U.S. missile shield provocations in recent weeks, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is forging ahead with the formulation and implementation of a new Strategic Concept.
On February 5 Russia unveiled its new military doctrine, which identified further NATO expansion eastward to its frontier and American and NATO interceptor missile deployments on and near its borders as the “main external threats of war.” 
On February 23 NATO held its fourth seminar on the new – 21st century – Strategic Concept decided upon at the sixtieth anniversary summit in April of 2009 in Strasbourg, France and Kehl, Germany. After previous meetings in Luxembourg, Slovenia and Norway, the final – and far most important – meeting was held in Washington, DC. Entitled Strategic Concept Seminar on Transformation and Capabilities, it was conducted at the National Defense University in the nation’s capital.
The Strategic Concept endorses expansion of the bloc deeper into the Balkans and the former Soviet Union, broadening global partnerships outside the Euro-Atlantic zone and consolidating an interceptor missile system to cover all of Europe as a joint U.S. and NATO project.
Russian concerns and NATO designs are at complete loggerheads, which accounts for among other problems a new START agreement remaining in limbo. And for Russia’s new military doctrine.
The results of the four seminars, masked as deliberative proceedings and even public information forums when in fact all important matters were decided years in advance, will be presented to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on May 1 and formally adopted at the NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal this November.
The meetings that matter, those in the American capital where the White House and the Pentagon are situated, were presided over by former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell Jeroen van der Veer and their Group of Experts, alternatively Wise Men. The speakers at the Washington seminar included the U.S. foreign policy triumvirate of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Adviser James Jones, the last NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander from 2003-2006. Other talks were given by the same principals on the preceding evening.
The U.S. permanent representative to NATO, Ivo Daalder, and Alliance chief Rasmussen also gave presentations.
Gates demanded the world’s only true military bloc and certainly the sole one currently involved in a war “uphold the long legacy that has made NATO the most successful military alliance in history.” 
All the American speakers laid particular emphasis on NATO’s Article 5, in effect a mutual assistance provision for armed conflicts.
Robert Gates: “Few would have imagined that the first invocation of Article 5 in the alliance’s history would follow an attack on the United States homeland by a non-state entity based in a nation far beyond NATO’s traditional borders….”
“[T]he Strategic Concept must be clear that Article 5 means what it says: an attack on one is an attack on all. The concept also must go further to strengthen Article 5’s credibility with a firm commitment to enhance deterrence through appropriate contingency planning, military exercises, and force development.”
Hillary Clinton: “I want to reaffirm as strongly as I can the United States’ commitment to honor Article 5 of the NATO treaty. No Ally – or adversary – should ever question our determination on this point. It is the bedrock of the Alliance and an obligation that time will not erode.” 
Ivo Daalder: “Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which says that an attack against one is an attack against all, remains the bedrock of the alliance. And in order to have that Article 5 operate effectively in the world that we live in today, we need the deployability of forces, we need the ability for forces to move from different places across territory, we need to be prepared through exercising and planning to show and ensure that NATO is prepared to confront the threats that we face….” 
James Jones went even further in stating “NATO must be more lean, agile, and flexible to effectively address the security challenges before it. NATO must move beyond its doctrine of static defense of the 20th Century to become a more proactive Alliance for the modern era.”
“NATO must be prepared to address, deny, and deter the full spectrum of threats, whether emanating from within Europe, at NATO’s boundaries, or far beyond NATO’s borders.” 
NATO and American officials were equally unequivocal on the deployment of global interceptor missile facilities in Europe and beyond. NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said “Clearly, the development of a common Missile Defence capability will be more efficient and more cost effective if it is developed in common.” 
More specifically, he said that “missile defence has become a strategic imperative. To my mind, missile defence makes the most sense in an Alliance context. That way, you get forward-based sensors and infrastructure. Allied defence systems can fill the gaps in the US system’s coverage.” 
Daalder linked that project with NATO’s Article 5:
In his words, it is necessary “to make territorial missile defense a mission of this alliance, a mission to defend against a new kind of armed attack, that which arrives on ballistic missiles, whether these weapons come from Iran and hit Western Europe or North Korea and towards North America. In both instances, they would be a responsibility for Article 5 to be dealt with.”
Specifically mentioning the “120-some-thousand troops” from fifty nations serving under NATO command in Afghanistan and ongoing NATO naval operations in the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa, he added: “Those are the kinds of operations that we are engaged in, that we are likely to continue to engage in, some of which will follow under Article 5. A defense against ballistic missile attack – even those of ballistic missiles come from very far if they attack NATO territory – would be an Article 5 contingency.”
Daalder came to his current post as U.S. ambassador to NATO from being Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and before that director for European Affairs on the National Security Council from 1995-1996, where he was responsible for the Clinton administration’s Bosnia policy.
He was an avid supporter of and advocate for the wars against Yugoslavia in 1999 – co-authoring a 2000 book titled Winning Ugly: NATO’s War to Save Kosovo – against Iraq in 2003 and against Afghanistan from 2001 to the present.
In his years at Brookings he co-authored a number of articles with James Goldgeier, a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, including a 2006 piece called “For global security, expand the alliance” which stated “since the challenges NATO faces are global, its membership should be as well.”
The authors added “NATO must become larger and more global by admitting any democratic state that is willing and able to contribute to the fulfillment of the alliance’s new responsibilities.
“NATO’s ability to bring together countries with similar values and interests to combat global problems is constrained by the exclusively trans-Atlantic character of its membership. Other democratic countries share NATO’s values and many common interests – including Australia, Brazil, Japan, India, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea – and all of them can greatly contribute to NATO’s efforts by providing additional military forces or logistical support to respond to global threats and needs.” 
In the same year Daalder and Goldgeier wrote an article for Foreign Affairs, the publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, entitled “Global NATO.” In contents included the contention that “the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has gone global” and that its alleged “forward defense often requires a global military reach.” 
The new Strategic Concept, in addition to codifying a 21st century and expeditionary NATO (the terms are those of Alliance officials and advocates), will fully launch global NATO, the world’s first international military axis.
The project promoted by Daalder and his colleagues since the early 1990s is to be brought to fruition. He was given his post last year to assist in achieving that objective.
In the tendentious journalism he practiced in the pages of major U.S. dailies and journals while senior fellow at the Brookings Institution from 1998-2009 Daalder frequently criticised the ineffectuality of the United Nations, and his program for a global NATO – his exact term, recall – is meant not to supplement but to supplant the UN. 
Madeleine Albright, who delivered the opening and closing remarks at the February 23 Strategic Concept seminar, has similarly derogated the role of the UN; she who was U.S. ambassador to the organization from 1993 to 1997 when she led the successful effort to depose UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in 1997 after conspiring behind his back with Kofi Annan to obtain UN authorization for NATO’s bombing of Bosnian Serb positions in August and September of 1995. (The following month Annan was appointed UN special envoy to NATO.)
In speaking of “our vision for a revitalized Alliance for the 21st century,” Hillary Clinton celebrated Albright’s efforts throughout the post-Cold War period in her address in Washington on February 22: “She helped bring some of the countries represented here tonight into NATO in the late 1990s – an effort that many questioned at the time but which I believe has proven to be a major success. She played a central role in developing NATO’s last Strategic Concept eleven years ago.”
The vision of what NATO is to become in the new millennium was officially disclosed by Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on February 7 at the annual Munich Security Conference. He unabashedly called for a global NATO.
Ahead of the Strategic Concept meeting in Washington, he urged that “NATO can be the place where views, concerns and best practices on security are shared by NATO’s global partners. And where … we might work out how to tackle global challenges together.” 
His view was seconded by Madeleine Albright, who said “I think we are talking about how we can have some coordinating mechanism for all the various organizations that exist in the world.” Raising a rhetorical question as to “which organization can make the biggest difference,” she answered it with “While I am a great admirer of the United Nations, I know what it can and cannot do.” 
A Russian news source responded eleven days later by revealing “NATO’s new strategy authorizing the alliance to use force in any part of the globe arouses deep concern in Moscow.
“Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said this strategy contradicts the United Nations’ Charter.”
Russia’s Lavrov warned that with the Alliance’s new Strategic Concept “NATO’s sphere of interests may cover the entire world.” 
That is precisely what the new doctrine and policy is designed to effect and what Rasmussen, Albright, et al. bluntly state its intention to be. The United Nations and international law will take a back seat to global NATO.
NATO “is working on a new military strategy which will let the alliance…use force globally,” of which Russia Foreign Minister Lavrov said “It does not fully comply with the UN Charter, and, of course, raises our concerns.” 
Not only does the Western military bloc’s plans to undermine, supersede and ultimately scrap the entire post-World War II international diplomatic and security order “not fully comply with the UN Charter,” it is a direct attack on it.
The new concept also reiterates and intensifies the complete militarization of Europe, the retention of U.S. nuclear arms and the stationing of missile shield components there and the deployment of the continent’s troops to war zones abroad. 35 of 41 European nations have deployed troops to Afghanistan on NATO’s behest, for example. 
It also advocates the right of the North Atlantic military bloc to intervene anywhere in the world and is increasingly reviving discussion of activating its Article 5 provision for confrontation with Russia in Europe and the South Caucasus.
Earlier this month Belgian Prime Minister Belgian Yves Leterme stated that his nation and Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway would issue a joint declaration urging consideration of the removal of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe. Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands are among five NATO countries housing the warheads, the others being Italy and Turkey. 
Nevertheless NATO’s position is to support the continued basing of American nuclear weapons, and the bloc will defer to Washington’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, scheduled to be submitted to Congress last December but delayed for several months.
NATO is the Pentagon’s nuclear Trojan horse in Europe.
After the founding of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in April of 1949 – four months before the Soviet Union successfully tested its first atomic bomb – the U.S. began to station nuclear weapons in Europe, as many as 7,300 by the early 1970s. 
The Pentagon retains as many as 350 nuclear weapons in the five nations mentioned above, a full twenty years after the end of the Cold War.
At the Strategic Concept seminar on February 23 in Washington Ivo Daalder repeated the sixty-year NATO position on nuclear weapons in stating, “We need to continue to rely on a deterrence based on a mix of conventional and nuclear forces.”
He also linked three integral components of NATO’s now global strategy – the threat to employ nuclear weapons, a worldwide interceptor missile system and the bloc’s Article 5 war clause – in asserting that “we need, in the new environment, to make territorial missile defense a mission of this alliance, a mission to defend against a new kind of armed attack, that which arrives on ballistic missiles, whether these weapons come from Iran and hit Western Europe or North Korea and towards North America. In both instances, they would be a responsibility for Article 5 to be dealt with.”
To underscore the point – that NATO would marshal the combined military might of its 28 member states in Europe and North America in alleged defense of any member requesting it – he added, “A defense against ballistic missile attack – even those of ballistic missiles come from very far if they attack NATO territory – would be an Article 5 contingency.”
“We would like the alliance to embrace the notion that the territorial defense of our – of – that territorial missile defense is a mission of NATO and therefore ought to be a fundamental part of what NATO does on a day-to-day basis. Whether that’s in the Strategic Concept or is a separate decision at the Lisbon summit is less important. Article 5 is going to be in the Strategic Concept. Ballistic missiles that are directed at the territory of a NATO state would be an armed attack and therefore fall under the definition of Article 5.
“We believe NATO should be in the business of missile defense. The United States has offered its new approach to missile defense as its U.S.-funded contribution to a NATO system. And we hope that by Lisbon [the NATO summit in November], the entire alliance will embrace this as a mission and we move forward together in defending against the threats that are out there in the 21st century.”
Defense Secretary Gates spoke in the same vein: “The threat from rogue nations is real – in particular Iran, which is focusing its efforts on short-and-medium-range missiles that could strike most of Europe. Last year, the Obama administration announced a new plan for missile defense in Europe – a phased, adaptive approach that will give us real capabilities in a shorter period of time than the previous plan. We consider this a U.S.-funded contribution to NATO missile defense, which is critical to the collective-defense mission….”
Collective defense, sometimes deemed collective self-defense, are the NATO codewords for activating Article 5 and ordering all members to respond militarily to a threat – real or fancied – to one or more members.
Clinton followed suit in stating “Missile defense, we believe, will make us safer because, clearly, we see a threat. We see a threat that is emanating from the Middle East and we see a threat that can only be addressed in the spirit of collective defense.”
Targeting the same countries earlier identified by Daalder (two of the three so-called axis of evil nations identified as such by former president George W. Bush), she said, “nuclear proliferation and the development of more sophisticated missiles in countries such as North Korea and Iran are reviving the specter of an interstate nuclear attack. So how do we in NATO do our part to ensure that such weapons never are unleashed on the world?”
In no manner does Iran raise the “specter of an interstate nuclear attack” and Clinton knew that. But it is the pretext required by the U.S. and NATO to base interceptor missile sites along Russia’s western borders from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.
The excuse needed to support Clinton’s demand that, more than twenty years since the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, NATO members still “need to invest in deterrence, nuclear deterrence as well as missile defense….”
The U.S. nuclear shield, linked with NATO’s Article 5, is being extended from Europe to Asia, the Middle East and ultimately the entire world. Global nuclear NATO.
In keeping with the conference held on NATO’s new Strategic Concept in London last October 1, hosted by Lloyd’s of London, in which the bloc’s Secretary General Rasmussen identified no less than seventeen nominal threats – all of them non-military in nature and all of them without geographical limitations – that NATO was prepared to respond to,  the Washington conference also highlighted the boundless and timeless mandate that NATO was arrogating to itself.
Rasmussen’s speech on February 23 included these observations:
“We must face new challenges. Terrorism, proliferation, cyber security or even climate change will oblige us to seek new ways of operating.
“As we deploy in operations with over 40 participating countries – Allies as well as partners – we have to move beyond a multinational force to become a truly unified force – a force where information and capabilities are shared among all to the benefit of all, and to get the job done.
“I have decided to establish a new division at NATO Headquarters to deal with new threats and challenges. Naturally Allied Command Transformation will be a key partner for this new division, which will become operational after the summer.” 
The previous evening Rasmussen spoke at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and elaborated on the Alliance’s Article 5 in practice rather than just in theory:
“The problems of the 21st century can only be solved multilaterally. And there is no stronger, more effective framework for that cooperation than NATO. But did you know that, on September 12th, all of America’s Allies in NATO declared that they considered this attack on America as an attack on them as well? Did you know that NATO sent aircraft to patrol the skies here in the United States? Did you know that all NATO countries put their ports and airfields at US disposal for the operation into Afghanistan? Or that most of them sent Special Forces, alongside US soldiers, in the initial military response?
“44 countries have soldiers in Afghanistan, under NATO command. Sharing the risks, the costs and the burdens with the United States. The non-US members make up 40% of the total number of forces. They also take 40% of the casualties.” 
He also indicated which nation NATO may next invoke its collective military assistance clause against: Russia. Unnamed but not needing to be in the context he was discussing.
“Our NATO Ally Estonia suffered a few years ago from a sustained, directed cyber attack that shut down a lot of essential services.
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February 13, 2010 Leave a comment
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Dr Terry Lacey
In 1950 the population of the six BENPIT countries (Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia and Turkey) was 242 millions, rising to 886 million by 2009 and an estimated 1,361 million by 2050.
These and associated demographic trends render current Western strategy towards the Muslim world obsolete. Between 2010 and 2050 the population growth of the six BENPIT countries will be 475 million, while the population growth of the six most populated developed countries together will total 44 million. Worldwide 28 out of the 48 fastest growing countries in terms of population are majority Muslim, or with Muslim minorities comprising more than 33 percent of the population. For example the population of Afghanistan is now 28 million, rising to 45 million by 2025 and 75 million by 2050. Professor Jack A Goldstone writing in the journal Foreign Affairs (February 2010) on “The New Population Bomb” concludes that the West has to improve its relations with the Muslim world, that Turkey with a population of 100 million by 2050 must join the EU, and that the Muslim population of major EU countries now varies from 3 to 10 percent, and will double by 2050. These figures have major implications for the foreign and military policies of the West and for immigration into Western countries, with younger migrants needed to help sustain economies and social provision for aging populations.
The populations of the EU, US, Canada, Japan, South Korea and China are aging at an unprecedented rate. By 2050, 30 percent of all Americans, Europeans, Canadians and Chinese will be over 60. For example in South Korea the workforce will be about the same size as the people over 60 by 2050, and one third of the population must support the other two thirds. By contrast populations of Muslim countries and Muslim populations within industrialized countries have a quite different age structure with many more younger people and higher population growth, whereas the total population of some Western countries will be in net decline without more immigration. Read more of this post
February 9, 2010 Leave a comment
Eric S. Margolis
President Barack Obama calls the $3.8 trillion budget he just sent to Congress a major step in restoring America’s economic health. In fact, it’s like giving a drug addict another potent dose of the narcotic to which he is addicted.
The drug is debt. More empires have fallen because of reckless finances than invasion. The latest example was the Soviet Union, which spent itself to ruin buying tanks. Washington’s deficit (the difference between spending and income from taxes) will reach a staggering $1.6 trillion this year. The huge sum will be borrowed, mostly from China and Japan, which the US already owes $1.5 trillion. Debt service will cost $250 billion. By 2015 it will consume a third of total federal spending. To spend $1 trillion, one would have had to start spending $1 million daily soon after Rome was founded and continue for 2,738 years until today.
Obama’s total military budget is nearly $1 trillion. This includes Pentagon spending of $ 880 billion. Add $75b (nearly 2.5 times France’s total defense budget) for 16 intelligence agencies with 200,000 employees. The Afghanistan and Iraq wars ($1 trillion so far), will cost $200-250 billion more this year, including hidden and indirect expenses. Obama’s Afghan ‘surge’ of 30,000 new troops will cost an additional $33 billion — more than Germany’s total defense budget. No wonder US defence stocks rose after Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama’s ‘austerity’ budget.
Military and intelligence spending relentlessly increase as unemployment hovers at 9.7 per cent. Critics claim the real figure is closer to 20 per cent. America has become the Sick Man of the Western hemisphere, an economic cripple like the defunct Ottoman Empire that used to be called the Sick Man of Asia. The Pentagon now accounts for half of total world military spending. Add America’s rich NATO allies and Japan, and the figure reaches 75 per cent.
China and Russia combined spend only a paltry 10 per cent of what the US spends on defence. There are 750 US military bases in 50 nations and 255,000 US military personnel stationed abroad, 116,000 in Europe, nearly 100,000 in Japan and South Korea. Read more of this post
February 5, 2010 Leave a comment
Bruce Gagnon :
The latest news is that Romania will be hosting the U.S. Army’s ground-based “missile defense” systems. Russia is not pleased with these developments.
These same Army Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) systems are going to be deployed in Taiwan as the U.S. continues its military encirclement of China. U.S. PAC-3 systems have already been deployed in Japan and South Korea.
The Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), already in the Persian Gulf and soon to be permanently based on Navy Aegis destroyers in the Baltic, South China, Mediterranean and Black Seas, has a range of 500 kilometers but can be enhanced for longer distances. The missile was used by the U.S. Navy to destroy a satellite 130 miles above the Pacific Ocean in February of 2008 in a test viewed by Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. “The satellite was unlike any target the system was designed to go after….The satellite was in orbit rather than on a ballistic trajectory. Also, the satellite was traveling at incredible speeds,” Mullen said.
Translation: the SM-3 also has “anti-satellite” (ASAT) weapons capability. That means the Pentagon can use the Aegis-based missile to knock out Russian or Chinese satellites as part of a first-strike attack.
News that the U.S. is about to deploy a PAC-3 missile battery in Poland led Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, to recently state: “Do they really think that we will calmly watch the location of a rocket system, at a distance of 60 km from Kaliningrad?”
The deployment of SM-3, with several times the reach of the Patriot, on land and sea in the same neighborhood will only makes matters more dangerous.
The official authorization of Patriot transfers to Taiwan – the missiles are produced by Raytheon Company headquartered in Massachusetts, whose former vice president of Government Operations and Strategy William Lynn is now Obama’s Deputy Secretary of Defense – resulted in China’s vice foreign minister, He Yafei, saying “We believe this move endangers China’s national security.” Luo Yuan, senior researcher with the Chinese Academy of Military Science, added “The U.S. action gives China a justified cause to increase its national defense expenditure, to enhance the development and purchase of weapons, and to accelerate its modernization process in national defense….China did nothing to threaten the U.S., why should the US challenge our core strategic interests?”
William Lynn delivered a speech in Washington, DC on January 21, where he demanded that Congress “put the Defense Department on a permanent footing to fight both low-intensity conflicts to maintaining air dominance and the ability to strike any target on Earth at any time….The next air warfare priority for the Pentagon is developing a next-generation, deep-penetrating strike capability that can overcome advanced air defenses.”
The new Prompt Global Strike system is designed to accomplish just those objectives.
So the strategy is clear. Surround Russia and China with mobile “missile defense” systems whose job is to take out their retaliatory capability after a U.S. first-strike against their nuclear weapons. Russia and China then build counter-measures to the U.S. missile defense systems and then the Pentagon in return counters with the new “global strike” systems that are today under development.
All this means one thing – an extended arms race with Russia and China which will mean huge profits for the weapons industry and the very likely reality that no effective arms control treaties will be negotiated during this administration. Why would Russia and China negotiate to seriously reduce their nuclear arsenals when the U.S. is surrounding them with missile defense and building new global strike systems?
The U.S. war state (supported and funded by Democrats and Republicans) has become a pariah on this planet. You can dress it up nice with a smiling Obama but in the end one has to judge the U.S. by its deeds.
January 30, 2010 Leave a comment
Two and a half weeks later the nation’s new vice president, Joseph Biden, spoke at the annual Munich Security Conference and said “it’s time to press the reset button and to revisit the many areas where we can and should be working together with Russia.”
Incongruously to any who expected a change in tact if not substance regarding strained U.S.-Russian relations, in the same speech Biden emphasized that, using the “New World Order” shibboleth of the past generation at the end, “Two months from now, the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will gather to celebrate the 60th year of this Alliance. This Alliance has been the cornerstone of our common security since the end of World War II. It has anchored the United States in Europe and helped forge a Europe whole and free.” 
Six months before, while Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he rushed to the nation of Georgia five days after the end of the country’s five-day war with Russia as an emissary for the George W. Bush administration, and pledged $1 billion in assistance to the beleaguered regime of former U.S. resident Mikheil Saakashvili.
To demonstrate how serious Biden and the government he represented were about rhetorical gimmicks like reset buttons, four months after his Munich address Biden visited Ukraine and Georgia to shore up their “color revolution”-bred heads of state (outgoing Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is married to a Chicagoan and former Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush official) in their anti-Russian and pro-NATO stances.
While back in Georgia he insisted “We understand that Georgia aspires to join NATO. We fully support that aspiration.”
In Ukraine he said “As we reset the relationship with Russia, we reaffirm our commitment to an independent Ukraine, and we recognize no sphere of influence or no ability of any other nation to veto the choices an independent nation makes,”  also in reference to joining the U.S.-dominated military bloc. Biden’s grammar may have been murky, but his message was unmistakeably clear.
Upon his return home Biden gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal, the contents of which were indicated by the title the newspaper gave its account of them – “Biden Says Weakened Russia Will Bend to U.S.” – and which were characterized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies as “the most critical statements from a senior administration official to date vis-a-vis Russia.” 
It took the Barack Obama government eight months to make its first friendly gesture to Russia. In September of last year the American president and Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that they were abandoning the Bush administration’s plan to station ten ground-based midcourse interceptor missiles in Poland in favor of a “stronger, smarter, and swifter” alternative.
The new system would rely on the deployment of Aegis class warships equipped with SM-3 (Standard Missile-3) missiles – with a range of at least 500 kilometers (310 miles) – which “provide the flexibility to move interceptors from one region to another if needed,”  in Gates’ words.
The first location for their deployment will be the Baltic Sea according to all indications.
The proximity of Russia’s two largest cities, St. Petersburg and Moscow, especially the first, to the Baltic coast makes the basing of American warships with interceptor missiles in that sea the equivalent of Russia stationing comparable vessels with the same capability in the Atlantic Ocean near Delaware Bay, within easy striking distance of New York City and Washington, D.C.
Although Washington canceled the earlier interceptor missile plans for Poland, on January 20 the defense ministry of that country announced that not only would the Pentagon go ahead with the deployment of a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 anti-ballistic missile battery in the country, but that it would be based on the Baltic Sea coast 35 miles from Russia’s Kaliningrad district. 
The previous month Viktor Zavarzin, the head of the Defense Committee of the Russian State Duma (the lower house of parliament), said “Russia is concerned with how rapidly new NATO members are upgrading their military infrastructure” and “that Russia was especially concerned with the reconstruction of air bases in the Baltic countries for NATO’s purposes which include signal and air intelligence radio of Russian territory.” 
As it should be.
Since the Baltic Sea nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were ushered into NATO as full members in 2004, warplanes from Alliance member states have shared four-month rotations in patrolling the region, with two U.S. deployments to date.
Shortly before the patrols began almost six years ago the Russian media reported that “Relations between Russia and Estonia have been tense ever since NATO built a radar station on the Russian-Estonian border last year. On March 23, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko warned Russia would retaliate ‘if NATO planes fly over Russian borders after the Baltic nations join the alliance.'”  Read more of this post
January 27, 2010 Leave a comment
Rick Rozoff | 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 and the Caucasus 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.  Read more of this post