Global Military Alliance: Encircling Russia and China

US sponsored military partnership in the Far East and the Pacific Rim

Global Military Alliance: Encircling Russia and China

Although Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Japan are not formally members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), they are linked through military partnerships, affiliated government agreements, a network of partnerships, and bilateral military agreements with the United States and Britain.

The creation of a parallel NATO-like organization in the Far East and the Pacific Rim is part of the international brinkmanship of creating a unified global military alliance.  Ellen Bork, deputy executive director of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and Gary Schmitt, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, have advocated the creation of a military network in Asia similar to NATO in a paper on South Korea written in December of 2006. [1]  The PNAC is a U.S. think-tank whose members include Dick Cheney, George W. Bush Jr., Richard Perle, Lewis Libby, Karl Rove, Zalmay Khalilzhad, Richard Armitage, and Paul Wolfowitz.

 

The Militarization of Japan

Japan and the NATO allies are facing the same threats.”  (Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO Secretary-General)

Japan has gradually been amalgamating and harmonizing its military policies with those of the U.S. and NATO. Japan is deeply linked bilaterally and multilaterally to the U.S. military. Japan was controlled by the U.S. military for several years after the Second World War. In 1951 the Japanese government signed the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. This arrangement was expanded on January 19, 1960 with another bilateral treaty between Japan and the U.S. government.

Japan and South Korea are also both part of a grand U.S. military project involving the global stationing of missile systems and rapid military forces, as envisioned during the Reagan Administration. The global military project has been endorsed in Asia as a means to counter the alleged threat of a North Korean missile attack. China has also been identified as a justification for the development of a broad military alliance, involving an integrated military network in the Far East, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim.

The Japanese government has also signed its second ever bilateral security treaty with Australia to deepen security and military links. [2] Australia, under the Howard Government, is also heavily involved in military projects in the Asia-Pacific region and more specifically, in the context of a policy of encirclement, in the militarization of China’s eastern borders.

In January 2007, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a visit to NATO Headquarters in Brussels, and made subsequent visits, meeting with the leaders of Germany and Britain. In essence, this was a visit to NATO as a whole and to the two separate and defining core branches of NATO, the Franco-German entente largely represented by Germany and the Anglo-American alliance, represented by Britain and the US.  During the first trip by a Japanese leader to NATO Headquarters, the Japanese Prime Minister also pledged that Japan would work closely with NATO in Afghanistan. The continuation of an E.U. weapons embargo against China was also discussed. [3] Additionally, Japan already has military cooperation agreements with NATO.

In 1999, at a time of NATO enlargement and at the onslaught of NATO’s war against Yugoslavia, Japan and the U.S. launched the joint missile defense research program. [4] The Japanese government has also upgraded its Defence Agency into a full-fledged ministry constituting another breach of the Japanese Constitution. The Japanese government is also funding the deployment of the Patriot PAC-3 and the Aegis Standard Missile-3 (SM-3). Japan also allowed its territory to host U.S. military radar facilities linked to the global missile shield project. [5]

Japanese officials also want to revise the Japanese Constitution to allow Japan to formally join military alliances, such as NATO. The U.S., Australia, and NATO have been widely supportive of the Tokyo government’s resolve to militarize Japan. 

The Japanese government is candidly in violation of Article 9 of the country’s Constitution, which stipulates that Japan cannot have a military force. In this regard, the Japanese government has initiated a process to amend the Japanese Constitution, which would pave the way for the formal formation of a military force in Japan. Japan has already started developing its military capabilities and armed forces. These legislative moves are designed merely as a step to legalize the underlying initiative. 

The Japanese government has pushed forward its militarization agenda despite the fact that the majority of Japanese citizens are opposed to the militarization of their country. Legislation is now being passed through the Japanese Parliament that will allow the Japanese government to rewrite the Japanese Constitution. According to the Japanese Prime Minister this will allow Japan to “remove its limits on collective self-defence and on helping allies under attack.” [6]

Australia and the tightening of the Military Alliance in the Asia-Pacific Perimeter 

Australia and Japan have established close military cooperation ties since the Cold War. Australian troops have integrated military operations and missions in Anglo-American occupied Iraq, together with Japanese troops, categorized as “non-combatant personnel.”

Australia and its government, led by Prime Minister John Howard, are members of the Anglo-American alliance and full party to their global military project. From the beginning, the Australian government has been in step with the Anglo-American alliance in the military roadmap unfolding under the banner of the “Global War on Terror.” Australian troops are deployed in the Balkans, Anglo-American occupied Iraq, and NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.

The military forces of Singapore train in Australia. Australian special forces also actively operate in Southeast Asia and the Australian Navy has ships positioned from the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea and Pacific Ocean. Since December 2003, Australia has been a participant in the occupation of Iraq, is a partner in the international U.S. missile shield project, and has been a military research partner of the United States. [7]

Australia also has a role to play in crafting a military challenge to China. Australia has finalized a pact with Japan that is stronger than any of Japan’s defence ties with any country, aside from the United States. At the same time, Australia has entrenched itself further into the Anglo-American camp with the building of a new U.S. military base in Geraldton. Geraldton is in Western Australia, located underneath Indonesia and Malaysia, and faces East Africa and the Middle East from a distance. The new facility in Geraldton is on the Australian shores of the Indian Ocean. This military base follows three years of secret negotiations between the U.S. government and the Australian government. The military base is reported to provide an important link for a new network of international military satellites that will be used by the United States and its allies to fight wars in the Middle East and Asia. [8]

“I think the agreement is really looking at a realignment of security in East Asia, particularly with the ever-present rise of China,” said the head of the Asia security programme at the Royal United Services Institute in London. [9] The Indian Ocean is going to become militarized because of Chinese attempts to ensure the continuous flow and security of African and Middle Eastern energy supplies to China.

North Korea, China, and Russia are being demonized to justify the deepening military integration of Australia, Japan and several other Asia-Pacific nations with the United States and NATO. Isabel Reynolds an international correspondent in Japan reveals in an article for Reuters that the tightening security and military atmosphere in Japan and Australia is aimed at China and Russia;

“Whether or not there is an overt threat, Japan and the so-called ‘littoral allies’ [meaning countries such as the Philippines, Taiwan, and Singapore] in the region have got to address that,” he [military analyst Alex Neil] added.

North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests last year are a source of worry, and China’s shooting down of one of its own satellites with a ballistic missile in January [2007] aroused concern in many capitals.

“We are no longer in an age when either Japan or Australia can rely solely on the United States as an ally,” said military analyst Tetsuya Ozeki, who says both China and Russia are set to become equally influential in the region.” [10]

Australian Prime Minister John Howard, dismissed concerns that the depending alliance between Australia and Japan would harm ties with China. [11]

There are aggressive steps being undertaken by NATO and the U.S. to encircle Russia and China. What the agreement between Australia and Japan (along with the move by the Tokyo government to amend the Japanese Constitution) amounts to, is the formation of an Eastern flank against Russia and China and a parallel sister-alliance to NATO.

 

NOTES

      [1] Ellen Bork & Gary Schmitt, A NATO for Asia: Helping South Korea despite itself, The Weekly Standard, December 11, 2006.

http://www.newamericancentury.org/asia-20061211.htm

      [2] Australia in Japan security deal, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), March 13, 2007.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6444207.stm

      [3] Judy Dempsey, Japanese signal new era in ties with NATO: Abe tells alliance it seeks security role, International Herald Tribune, January 12, 2007.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/01/12/news/nato.php

      [4] Japan’s Cabinet approves joint missile project with US, Xinhua News Agency, December 24,, 2005.

http://english.people.com.cn/200512/24/eng20051224_230550.html

      [5] John C. Rood, International Missile Defence: Challenges for Europe (Remarks to the 8th Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Missile Defense Conference, London, U.K., February 27, 2007).

http://www.state.gov/t/isn/rls/rm/81242.htm

      [6] Japan moves to loosen army’s role, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), April 13, 2007.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6553231.stm

      [7] Rood, Remarks to the 8th RUSI, Op cit.

http://www.state.gov/t/isn/rls/rm/81242.htm

      [8] Brendan Nicholson, US gets military base in Western Australia, The Age, February 15, 2007.

      [9] Isabel Reynolds, Defence pact in focus as Australian PM visits Japan, Reuters, March 10, 2007.

      [10] Ibid.

      [11] Howard backs Japan security deal, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), March 10, 2007.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6437169.stm

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization specializing in geopolitical and strategic issues.


About the author:

An award-winning author and geopolitical analyst, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is the author of The Globalization of NATO (Clarity Press) and a forthcoming book The War on Libya and the Re-Colonization of Africa. He has also contributed to several other books ranging from cultural critique to international relations. He is a Sociologist and Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), a contributor at the Strategic Culture Foundation (SCF), Moscow, and a member of the Scientific Committee of Geopolitica, Italy.

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