The Globalization of Military Power: NATO Expansion

NATO and the broader network of US sponsored military alliances

The Globalization of Military Power: NATO Expansion

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) did not fundamentally change its mandate after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the wake of the Cold War, NATO continued to expand. In 1999, before the NATO war against Yugoslavia, NATO expanded into Eastern Europe.

NATO is determined to expand its membership circle and to expand its mandate. Ultimately NATO is slated to become a global military force.  Moreover, part of the objectives of NATO as a global military alliance is to ensure the “energy security” of its member states. What this signifies is the militarization of the world’s arteries, strategic pipeline routes, maritime traffic corridors used by oil tankers, and international waters. 

NATO’s “Mutual Defence Clause” Used to Control Energy Resources?

U.S. Senator Richard Lugar has called for NATO to come to the aid of any member of the military alliance, such as the United States, whose energy sources may be threatened. The justification of such an intervention would be under NATO’s Mutual Defence Clause (Article 5). Senator Lugar’s idea has received strong support from the Eastern European members of NATO and the E.U., which are dependent on the Russian Federation for their energy supplies.

Senator Lugar was quoted as saying that, “[NATO] should recognize that there is little ultimate difference between a member being forced to submit to coercion because of an energy cutoff and a member facing a military blockade or other military demonstration on its borders.” [1]

Article 5 is the raison d’être of NATO. It construes any attack on one member as an attack on all NATO members. Article 5 of NATO’s charter is the basis for the formation of NATO, “mutual defence.” Any interpretation of the clause in regards to energy security would mean that any NATO member whose energy sources are cut off would be able to rely on assistance from the rest of the military alliance. Article 5 could also be interpreted to insinuate that the cutting off of energy to any NATO member would be defined as an act of aggression or an act of war. It should be noted that almost all NATO members lack their own energy resources.

It is no surprise that Russia has been greatly angered and unnerved by this strengthening energy security notion within NATO. If such a doctrine were adopted by NATO, it could be used as a justification for the imposition of economic and political sanctions against Russia and other energy producing countries. The clause could also provide a mandate for attacking Russia or any other energy exporting country, including Iran, Turkmenistan, Libya, and Venezuela, with a view to commandeering the energy and natural resources of such countries.

The E.U. Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson has also released a statement saying “Both [Russia and the E.U.] believe the other is using the energy weapon as an instrument of politics.” The E.U. Trade Commissioner also added that relations between the E.U. and Russia were at their worst levels in the post-Cold War era and that “Europe wants security of [energy] supply…” [2]

For this reason, amongst several others, Russia and her allies perceive the U.S. and NATO’s global missile shield project as a means of commandeering Russian and global energy supplies and natural resources through the threat of force. Russia, like China and Iran, is also being encircled by a military frontier, which it sees as part of the efforts of NATO to surround it and its allies. 

 

The Global Expansion-Integration of NATO as a Worldwide Military Alliance

 

“…NATO has been transforming from its Cold War and then regional incarnation of the 1990s into a transatlantic institution with global missions, global reach, and global partners. This transformation is most evident in Afghanistan where NATO is at work, but the line we’ve crossed is that that ‘in area/out of area’ debate that cost so much time to debate in the 1990s is effectively over. There is no ‘in area/out of area.’ Everything is NATO’s area, potentially. That doesn’t mean it’s a global organization. It’s a transatlantic organization, but Article 5 now has global implications. NATO is in the process of developing the capabilities and the political horizons to deal with problems and contingencies around the world. That is a huge change.”

 

-Daniel Fried, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (April 17, 2007)

 

NATO is also contemplating a process of “global reach” which would transform it into a global military force with member states outside of North America and the European continent. Although not yet official, NATO has already initiated a transition towards the “globalization” of its military forces and operations. NATO is heavily involved in Afghanistan and is tangled in Central Asia; NATO bases exist in Afghanistan, on the immediate borders of China and Iran. NATO has also extended its presence in the Balkans (highlighted by its involvement in the former Yugoslavia). NATO has also envisioned large military operations in the Sudan and more generally in the African continent, under what is referred to by its opponents as the “masquerade of peace-keeping.” 

NATO is also involved on the ground in Lebanon, albeit informally. [3] A naval armada of NATO warships is also deployed in the waters of East Africa, the Red Sea, and the Arabian Sea. The naval forces of NATO countries such as Germany and Denmark are also present in the Eastern Mediterranean and can strike Syria in the event of war. [4]

Creeping towards Iran, NATO Expansion in the Persian Gulf: The “Gulf Security Initiative”

NATO has formally stepped into the Persian Gulf, even though in reality the forces of several NATO nations have been operating there since the Cold War. Kuwait’s Deputy Director of National Security Apparatus, Sheikh Thamer Ali Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, announced that Kuwait signed a security agreement with NATO during a GCC-NATO Conference that took place from December 11 to December 12, 2006. The GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) which has been renamed The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the U.A.E., Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. The GCC already has a military agreement amongst its members, the Gulf Shield Defence Force, and individual bilateral security agreements with the U.S. and Britain. NATO has been in dialogue with Qatar, Kuwait, and the other members of the GCC in pursuit of establishing a more formal NATO presence in the Persian Gulf and a new security arrangement against Iran.

This new regional balance in the Persian Gulf is part of a broader alliance in the Middle East that is linked to NATO. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, the United States, Britain, and NATO, besides the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) are all part of this coalition in the Middle East. [5] This militiary alliance or coalition essentially represents an eastern extension of NATO’s “Mediterranean Dialogue.” The Middle Eastern members of this coalition, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, are labeled the “Coalition of the Moderate,” whereas Iran and Syria are said to lead a “Coalition of Radicals/Extremists.” 

Aside from the implications of a confrontation with Iran, this cooperation between the GCC and NATO confirms that NATO is preparing to become a global institution and military force. The Middle East is an important geo-strategic and energy-rich area of NATO expansion. The vanguards of NATO in the region are Turkey and Israel.

The United States has also been building its missile arsenal in the Persian Gulf and transporting large amounts of military hardware and radar systems into the Persian Gulf. Originally, the justifications for the deployment of military hardware into the Persian Gulf was the “Global War on Terror,” then the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and now the new justification has become protecting America’s Persian Gulf allies, including the U.A.E., Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, against an Iranian ballistic missile threat.

The GCC-NATO Conference is mandated under the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative and was held under the theme of “Facing Common Challenges,” which directly denotes Iran as the target of military-security cooperation between the GCC and NATO. [6]

Furthermore, the GCC-NATO Conference took place after military games were held in the Persian Gulf by GCC members, the United States, Britain, France, and Australia— which also demonstrates that cooperation between the two branches of NATO, the Franco-German entente and the Anglo-American alliance, was initiated before the historical 2006 NATO Conference in Riga, Latvia. [7]

The GCC agreements with NATO are also significant because they mean that the Persian Gulf is potentially being shared and divided by the Franco-German entente and the Anglo-American alliance. 

Although Sheikh Thamer Ali Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah and Kuwaiti leaders have tried to play down the meaning of the cooperation between Kuwait and NATO, the cooperation between both sides gestures towards NATO expansion and likely confrontation with Iran. The Kuwaiti official also highlighted that the goal of the conference was to make use of NATO’s diverse experiences given its multinational composition.

With the Anglo-American military build-up and the extension of NATO into the Persian Gulf, the leaders of the GCC have been emboldened in their cooperation with the U.S. and British militaries. Recently the Defence Minister of Bahrain, Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, has said that the Arab Sheikdoms of the Persian Gulf have “the capability to respond to any attack from neighbouring Iran,” and would “respond with force” if Iran blocked the Straits of Hormuz as a result of any U.S. military strikes or attack on Iran. [8] It is also no coincidence that the leaders of Kuwait have also declared that they are ready for an American-led attack against Iran and the eruption of war in the Middle East. [9]

It should be noted that any attacks by Iran on the Arab Sheikdoms of the Persian Gulf would be in response to their cooperation with the U.S. and their approval of the use of their airspaces, waters, and territories against Iran by the U.S. military and its allies. The leaders of these nations also supported the U.S. and Britain in their war and invasion of Iraq and are the hosts of large U.S. ground, air, and naval bases.

NATO’s ultimate goal: Encircling Russia, China, and their allies

“The first and most important area where change must come is in further developing our ability to project stability to the East”

-NATO Secretary-General Manfred Wörner

The February 7, 2007 Congressional testimony of the U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates, who was presenting the Pentagon’s 2008 military budget, confirms that the United States, aside from Iran, still considers China and Russia as potential adversaries. Secretary Gates told the U.S. Senate that both Russia and China posed threats to the United States: “In addition to fighting the ‘Global War on Terror,’ we also face (…) the uncertain paths of China and Russia, which are both pursuing sophisticated military modernization programs.” [10]

The real question is: are the Russians and Chinese a threat to the United States or is it the reverse? Also, do China and Russia constitute an economic threat to the United States?

The Russian Foreign Ministry and government almost immediately demanded for an official explanation from the White House for the threatening remarks.

The reaction of the Russians has steadily become more and more apprehensive as they realize that they are being encircled. It has been for quite some time that Russia, China, and their allies have slowly been surrounded. China faces a militarized eastern border in Asia, while Iran has virtually been surrounded, and Russia’s western borders have been infiltrated by NATO.

NATO expansion continues despite the end of the Cold War and promises from the military alliance that it would not expand. Military bases and missile facilities are encircling China, Iran, and the Russian Federation.

On February 2007 at the Munich Conference on Security Policy in Germany, President Vladimir Putin stated that NATO was targeting the Russian Federation and also reminded NATO that it had pledged that the military bloc would not move eastward. [11] The late Boris Yeltsin also made similar statements about NATO expansion in regards to the entry of the Baltic States into the military bloc. President Vladimir Putin’s speech was the most significant Russian statement yet and is a sign that Russia is beginning to feel the threat on its immediate borders, from the Russian Far East to the border with Georgia and in Eastern Europe.

From a Russian perspective, NATO is no longer committed to “peaceful co-existence.” General Yuri Baluyevsky, Chief of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff and First Deputy Minister of Defence, warned Russians that they now face even greater military threats than during the Cold War. Both the Russian President and General Baluyevsky have called for a new Russian military doctrine to respond to the growing and emerging threats from the U.S. and NATO. [12]

The military projects being propelled by the
United States, several NATO allies in Europe (namely Britain, Poland, and the Czech Republic), and the Japanese for the establishment of two parallel missile shield projects, threatens both Russia and China. One missile shield will be located in Europe and the other missile shield in the Far East. These missile shields are being elevated under the pretext of hypothetical Iranian and North Korean threats to the United States, Europe, South Korea, and Japan.

“This [meaning the missile shields being planted on Russia’s borders] is a very urgent and politically important issue, and could drag us into a new arms race,” Colonel-General Yuri Solovyov, a commander of the Russian military has commented in regards to the facilities that are part of the missile shield project that are going to be set up near the Russian border in Eastern Europe. [13]

There is also discussion of another missile shield being erected in the Caucasus, or even possibly in the Ukraine. The Republic of Azerbaijan and Georgia are potential candidates for housing the missile shield project in the Caucasus.

“Our analysis shows that the placing of a radio locating station in the Czech Republic and anti-missile equipment in Poland is a real threat to us [Russia],” clarified Lieutenant-General Vladimir Popovkin, Commander of Russia’s Space Forces, and additionally explained, “It’s very doubtful that elements of the national U.S. Missile defence system in Eastern Europe were aimed at Iranian missiles, as has been stated [by U.S. officials].” [14]

The U.S. missile project in the Czech Republic is also opposed by the majority of the Czech population. [15] The wishes of the Czech people are being ignored, just as the wishes of the American, British, Italian, Canadian, and Japanese people are continuously being ignored by their respective governments. In other words, these so-called democratic governments are extremely undemocratic when it comes to military planning and foreign wars.

The borders of Russia and China are being militarized by NATO and the broader network of military alliances organized by the United States. Surprisingly, Turkey which is a Middle Eastern member of NATO, Iran’s direct neighbour and a logical choice for any missile shield facilities meant to protect against an alleged Iranian ballistic missile threat, has not been selected as a location for a missile defence shield. The fact that the missile shield project is being positioned in Poland and the Czech Republic rather than Turkey and the Balkans suggests that the project is not directed mainly against Iran, but against Russia.

The other missile shield project, in the Far East, aside from North Korea will be adjacent to China’s heavily populated eastern provinces and the resource-rich Russian Far East. This Asiatic missile shield will be roughly located in Japan, with the possibility of facilities in South Korea. Japan and the United States began a joint missile defense research project in 1999, coincidently the same year as NATO expansion and the NATO war against Yugoslavia. [16] Taiwan is also a vital link in the militarization of the frontier with China.

Once the formation of this international military network is completed, the genuine basis for the creation of the two parallel missile shield projects will be fully apparent.  These two military projects are not separate but interlinked with each other. They are part of the globalization of NATO and a broader military alliance that is in the process of encircling Russia, China, and their allies.

Alongside the development of this global military network, NATO and the U.S. have started an endeavour to control the world’s oceans. The high seas, international trade, and maritime traffic are also the focus of a solidifying control regime spearheaded by the U.S. government. 

Putting a Leash around China: The Importance of Strategic Maritime Oil Routes, Taiwan, and Singapore

The United States has strong military links with Taiwan because Taiwan provides a logistical hob for military engagement against China and Chinese energy security. Taiwan is geo-strategically important because the island is located between the South China Sea and the East China Sea. The U.S. puts the outmost importance on Taiwan’s position in regards to the critically important and strategic maritime shipping lanes that transport oil and other resources to China.

Much has been discussed about the important geo-strategic oil routes in Central Asia and about important land corridors, but attention should also be remunerated to the strategic maritime oil routes or international shipping lanes. Energy supplies are closely linked to Chinese national security, Chinese development, and Chinese military strength. Should China’s oil supplies be cut off in the event of a war or, more likely, delayed it would be vulnerable and could potentially be paralyzed and suffocated. A maritime cordon around China would serve such a purpose.  

The Straits of Taiwan and Malacca are geo-strategically vital to transporting oil and resources to China. Whoever controls both straits controls the flow of energy to China under the present status quo. It would be a harsh blow to China, should the straits be blocked and the stream of oil tankers stopped or delayed, just as it would be a blow to the U.S. and E.U. should the Straits of Hormuz be blocked by Iran. It so happens that the U.S. Navy dominates these shipping lanes. Until China has a secure source of inflowing energy from a route that is not controlled by the United States it will continue to be vulnerable to the U.S. Navy which continuously monitors both the Straits of Taiwan and Malacca.

Both Taiwan and Singapore are close allies of the U.S. because of these realities. Also, Singapore and Taiwan are heavily militarized with a view to exerting control over these two vital straits. Should there be a war between China and the United States, both Singapore and Taiwan, in alliance with the U.S. Navy, have contingency plans to block oil traffic from reaching China.

Although the Straights of Malacca lie within the sovereign maritime territory of Malaysia, the rapid militarization of Singapore is aimed at controlling and, if need be, halting the flow of oil tankers from the Straits of Malacca. This would cut the flow of energy to China in the event of a war between the U.S. and China. The naval facilities of Singapore are also highly specialized to service warships and submarines and are heavily used by the U.S. Navy.    

China knows that it is vulnerable to military invention against its energy supplies. This is why the Chinese have been developing their naval bases and pushing for oil terminals and energy corridors to be built over land routes directly from Central Asia and the Russian Federation to China. Chinese cooperation with Russia, Iran, and the republics of Central Asia serves the purpose of creating a trans-Asian energy corridor that would ensure a continuous flow of energy to China in the event of an American-led naval blockade of the high seas. Discussions are underway for developing a gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan, India, and China with the collaboration of Russia. [17]

The Chinese have also objected to the proposals and initiatives being put forward on global warming. China argues that the climate debate is a calculated challenge to the economic growth of China and the Developing World. The Chinese believe the purpose of the U.S. and E.U. climate change initiative is to pressure them to cut their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to such an extent that it would upset their industrial and economic drive. [18]

Naval build-up in the Indian Ocean and the Chinese Eastern Flank

There has been a gradual naval build-up around China. This includes an increase in the submarine squadrons of the Asia-Pacific region.  An Australian report published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) has warned that an Asiatic arms race is underway. The report writes; “In an arc extending from Pakistan and India through Southeast Asia and up to Japan there is a striking modernization and [military] expansion underway.” [19]

China has also been reported by Bill Gertz of The Washington Times to be “building up military forces and setting up bases along sea lanes from the Middle East to project its power overseas and protect its oil shipments, according to a previously undisclosed internal report prepared for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.” [20]

China has engaged in a proactive naval policy aimed at securing the East China Sea, the South China Sea, and the Indian Ocean. These bodies of water all correspond to the international energy maritime route(s) that transport African and Middle Eastern oil to China. The Chinese aim is to protect the Chinese energy lifeline from the U.S. Navy and its allies. The Pentagon refers to these naval bases as the “the string of pearls,” because of their geo-strategic importance to the balance of naval power in the Indian Ocean. [21]

Chinese naval facilities are being constructed all along this vital maritime corridor. The naval port of Gwadar in Pakistan, on the shore of the Arabian Sea, has been designed and constructed by the Chinese. An agreement has also been signed with Sri Lanka (Ceylon) that will give China access to the port of Hambatota on the southern edge of the island. [22]

China has also planned the construction of a naval port in Myanmar (Burma), a geo-strategically important Chinese ally. The creation of a port in Myanmar would terminate any need or threats from both the straits of Taiwan and Malacca. China borders Myanmar directly and a railroad network and transport route exists from the coast of Myanmar to Southern China. [23]

The United States has also been trying to obstruct any possible means of allowing oil to directly reach China through any trans-Asian oil cooperation aside from the traditional and vulnerable sea route(s), which are under the watchful eye of the U.S. Navy. Any trans-Asian energy arrangement, such as the Iran-Pakistan-India Pipeline, is detrimental to the Anglo-American and NATO agenda for controlling Eurasia.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet is also placing greater strategic importance on the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean as the U.S. deepens its collaboration with Australia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Japan to militarily encircle China further. [24] The subject of North Korean ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons is presently being used as an ideal basis for further encircling China in the Far East. The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) started by the Bush Jr. Administration in 2003, just after the invasion of Iraq, is also a means of controlling the movement(s) of international traffic and cutting energy supplies to China should a juncture of aggression against the Chinese arrive.

Control of Strategic Waterways, the Naval Cordon of the Seas, and a “Global Navy”

Controlling the high seas and trade is an additional line of attack being set up to envelop the Eurasian giants, China and Russia. This is precisely what the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), and the establishment of a “global naval force,” under the command of the U.S., has the objectives of accomplishing. China is in deeper danger from an ocean-based threat than Russia in this regard.

The naval network that is being created by NATO and NATO allies is beginning to emerge. Over 40 countries have been participating in naval movements in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. [25] This is a threat to Chinese energy supplies and international trade going through the Indian Ocean between Africa and Eurasia.

Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chief of U.S. Naval Operations, has stated that the U.S. seeks to craft and establish “a thousand-ship navy” to take charge of international waters. [26] This strategy outlined is the eventual amalgamation of NATO and allied navies in what has been termed by the U.S. Navy as a “global maritime partnership” which “unites navies, coast guards, maritime forces, port operators, commercial shippers and many other government and non-government agencies to address maritime concerns.” [27]

The initial areas where this new strategy is coming to play are the Persian Gulf, the waters of East Africa, and the Arabian Sea. Admiral Mullen also cited the existence of a predominately NATO group of 45 warships deployed in the Persian Gulf and around the waters of the Middle East as part of this global naval force. [28] The operations in the waters of the Middle East and in the Arabian Sea include Combined Task Forces (CTFs) 150 and 152. Combined Task Forces (CTF) 150 operates in the waters of the Gulf of Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, and the North Arabian Sea, where several French warships are positioned. Combined Task Force (CTF) 152, which includes Italian, French, and German warships operates in the Persian Gulf and has its operational headquarters in Bahrain.

It is significant to note that Combined Task Force (CTF) 152, which is part of the group of 45 warships cited by Admiral Mullen as being part of the global naval force, is under the command of the U.S. Navy and CENTCOM. This includes the naval operations in the Persian Gulf and around the Middle East. Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Persian Gulf and Operation Enduring Freedom off the Horn of Africa are just two of the operations that these predominately NATO warships are actively operating under.

The growing naval armada is comprised of three primary coalition Combined Task Forces (CTFs) and seven supporting naval forces. Amongst the 45 ships that constitute the force of warships are those of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands (Holland), Canada, Australia, Pakistan, and other NATO partners, aside from U.S. Navy and British warships.

The global naval force is mandated under the combined auspicious of NATO and the naval operations wing of CENTCOM. The formation of this large, and relatively unheard of, armada of warships is only possible with the consent of the Franco-German entente within the framework of NATO. These warships have gathered under the pretext of fighting the “Global War on Terror.”

Controlling International Waters, Movement, and Global Trade: The “Proliferation Security Initiative”

Aside from the global naval force being created by the U.S. and NATO, a strategy has been devised to control international trade, international movement, and international waters. The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), under the mask of stopping the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) components or technology and the systems for their delivery (missile technology or components), sets out to control the flow of resources and to control international trade. The policy was drafted by John Bolton, while serving in the U.S. State Department as U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

The strategy was initiated on May 31, 2003, by the White House and outlined authorizing an open violation of international law. Under international law the U.S. Navy or NATO warships are not allowed to board and search foreign merchant ships that they encounter in international waters. Under Part VII (7) of the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea the U.S. operations are internationally illegal, unless authorized by the home country the merchant ship originates from. Warships can only board and search or detain ships that are from the same country, unless a bilateral agreement has been signed with another nation granting the right to search merchant ships carrying their flag.

In international waters foreign ships can only be searched if polluting near the waters of a naval force’s home country or on the reasonable suspicion of piracy. Additionally, in international waters ships owned by a national government have immunity from stops, inspections, and seizures from the vessels of other countries. Under these international guidelines it would be illegal for the U.S. Navy to stop a vessel belonging to the government of North Korea or Syria or China in international waters. With the new international waters regime proposed and presently being exercised on North Korea by the U.S. government all this has started to change, especially in the waters of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The governments of several Asian nations have openly criticized and doubted the legality of the new operations, including the Malaysian government. [29]

China naturally was suspicious of the U.S. initiative for international waters and has refused to participate in the 2003 scheme. The Chinese see this as a way for the U.S. and its allies to further control international waters and international trade. Russia on the other hand joined the scheme because Moscow is not in a position, like China, where its lifeline is based on maritime traffic and international waters. Furthermore, the Russia Navy under the scheme can reciprocally halt and board U.S. merchant vessels.   

It is no coincidence that Singapore, Japan, and the South China Sea, all in close proximity to China, have been picked as the main vicinities of the many naval exercises under the banner of this new scheme. The U.S., Britain, Japan, Australia, Canada, Singapore, France, Italy, and Germany, along with Russia all have taken part in the naval exercises under the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).

Many North Korean vessels have been illegally halted and badgered since the initiation of the naval initiative, but China, like other countries, is also under threat too from the internationally illegal naval operations that are reminiscent of the internationally illegal “no-fly zones” forced over pre-invasion Iraq by the U.S., British, and French governments. The precedent has been set for one day stopping Chinese ships and maritime traffic going to China.  

 

NATO Expansion and the March to Global Conflict 

The global military standpoint and the geo-political ambitions of NATO increasingly underline and give a glimpse of NATO operations and military directives. The system of military alliances is tightening and its main targets seem to be the Eurasian giants; Russia, China, and possibly India. NATO expansion is not just limited to Europe and the former Soviet Union, but is in pursuit of a global characteristic. In Asia an Asiatic parallel sister-alliance to NATO is being formed from the network of existing military alliances in the Asia-Pacific Rim. [30] China, Russia, and Iran now are in the forefront of a reluctant Eurasian alliance that is taking shaping to oppose NATO and the United States. Ultimately it may be in the Middle East that the pace for NATO expansion will be established. If the Middle East falls under the total control of the Anglo-American alliance and NATO the stage will be set for a new phase of the “long war” that will lead all the way into the heart of Eurasia.

Notes
 

      [1] Judy Dempsey, U.S. senator urges use of NATO defense clause for energy, International Herald Tribune, November 28, 2006.

 

      [2] Mu Xuequan, Mandelson: Mistrust between Russia, EU worst since Cold War ends, Xinhua News Agency, April 21, 2007.

      [3] Pr. Michel Chossudovsky, Debating “War and Peace” behind Closed Doors: NATO’s Riga Security Conference, Centre for Research on Globalization, November 26, 2007.

Riga, the Latvian capital, was the place of a historical NATO conference which involved all the major decision makers, parties, corporations, and individuals within the NATO alliance. The Belarusian Opposition was also invited.

Debating “War and Peace” behind Closed Doors: NATO’s Riga Security Conference, by Pr. Michel Chossudovsky, outlines the NATO program being discussed behind closed doors and provides a comprehensive list of attendants and participants of the Trans-Atlantic summit in Latvia.

      [4] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, The March to War: Naval build-up in the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), October 1, 2006. 

 

    [5] Kuwait to sign NATO security agreement during Gulf conference next week, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), December 6, 2006.

 

      [6] Kuwait to sign NATO agreement, Op. cit.

      [7] Pr. Michel Chossudovsky, “Weapons of Mass Destruction:” Building a Pretext for Waging War on Iran?, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), November 1, 2006.

 

      [8] Gulf states ‘can respond to attack,’ Gulf Daily News, Vol. XXIX (29), No. 364, March 19, 2007.

    [9] B. Izzak, Kuwait prepared for any US-Iran war, Kuwait Times, May 10, 2007.

 

      [10] Robert M. Gates, Posture Statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee (Testimony, Senate Armed Services Committee, Washington, District of Columbia, February 06, 2007).

 

      [11] Vladimir Putin, Speech and the Following Discussion at the Munich Conference on Security Policy (Address, Munich Conference on Security Policy, Munich, Bavaria, February 10, 2007).

    [12] U.S. Anti-Missile Systems in Europe Threatens Russia — General, MoscNews, February 9, 2007.

 

      [13] U.S. Anti-missile Shield in Europe May Cause Arms Race — Russian General, MoscNews, 16 March, 2007.

 

      [14] U.S. anti-missile shield threatens Russia-general, Reuters, January 22, 2007.

 

      [15] Mark John, U.S. missile plan triggers NATO tensions, Reuters, March 5, 2007.

 

      [16] Sarah Suk, U.S. admiral confident of missile shield effectiveness, Kyodo News, May 1, 2007.

     

      [17] Atul Aneja, “Pipeline should extend to China,” The Hindu, May 7, 2007.

 

      [18] Chinese object to climate draft, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), May 1, 2007.

 

      [19] Andrew Davies, The enemy down below: Anti-submarine warfare in the ADF, (Barton, Australian Capital Territory: Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), February, 2007), p.1.

 

      [20] Bill Gertz, China builds up strategic sea lanes, The Washington Times, January 18, 2005. 

“China is building strategic relationships along the sea lanes from the Middle East to the South China Sea in ways that suggest defensive and offensive positioning to protect China’s energy interests, but also to serve broad security objectives,” said the report sponsored by the director, Net Assessment, who heads Mr. Rumsfeld’s office on future-oriented strategies.

 

      [21] Pallavi Aiyar, India to conduct naval exercises with China, The Hindu, April 12, 2007.

 

      [22] Ibid.

 

      [23] Ibid.

 

      [24] Luan Shanglin, U.S. to stage large-scale war games near Guam, Xinhua News Agency, April 11, 2007.

 

      [25] Naval chief: U.S. has no plan to attack Iran, Xinhua News Agency, April 17, 2007.

 

      [26] Thom Shanker, U.S. and Britain to Add Ships to Persian Gulf in Signal to Iran, The New York Times, December 21, 2006.

 

      [27] Ibid.

 

      [28] Ibid.

      [29] Malaysia in no hurry to join U.S.-led security pact, Reuters, April 17, 2007.


      [30] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Military Alliance: Encircling Russia and China, Centre for Research on Globalization, May 10, 2007.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization


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.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Center of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author's copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected]

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]