The US-NATO March to War and the 21st Century “Great Game”

Part II

The US-NATO March to War and the 21st Century "Great Game"

Part II The Conquest of Eurasia: The Multiple Fronts of the 21st Century “Great Game”

The Caucasus, the Balkans, the Middle East, East Africa, Central Asia

The following text is PART II of The “Great Game” and the Conquest of Eurasia. The first text gave an overview of the global counter-alliance forming against the U.S. and NATO. In this second portion, the various fronts of the global rivalry between these two sides will be examined.

The Multiple Fronts of the 21st Century “Great Game”

The globe is gripped with a series of arenas where the struggle between the U.S. and its allies against the triple entente of Eurasia — Russia, China, and Iran — and their other allies are taking place. The struggles in these fronts vary in shape and dimension, but are all inter-linked and aimed against incorporation into a central entity controlled by the U.S. and its allies. These fronts are the Caucasus, the Balkans, East Africa, the Middle East (including the Eastern Mediterranean), the Indian Ocean, Central Asia, South Asia or the Indian sub-continent, Southeast Asia, East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Arctic Circle.

Eastern Europe, the South China Sea, Korea, Central Asia, and the Middle East have been abuzz with military operations and war games by all sides. China, Russia, and Iran are all developing new weapons and asymmetrical war tactics, including expanded space projects and aircraft carriers. In occupied Iraq, NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan, and Israeli-occupied Palestine the non-state resistance movements continue their battles for national liberation with the support of the governments of Eurasia in some cases.

Russia’s strategic bombers have resumed their Cold War practice of flying long-distance missions to territories patrolled by the U.S. and NATO. [6] Russia and Belarus have armed their joint air defence systems in Eastern Europe in response to the missile threat from the U.S. and NATO in Europe. Both Belarus and Russia have also been making preparations, through military drills called “West 2009,” for a naval, land, and air assault against them by NATO that simulates a NATO invasion from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. [7]

Myanmar (Burma), China’s ally, is also constructing a port and naval facilities to allow Beijing to secure its energy lifeline in the Indian Ocean by circumventing the Straits of Malacca and the Straits of Taiwan, which are guarded by the naval forces of the U.S. and its allies. To further secure the Indian Ocean for the Eurasians, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) has also become an associate member of the SCO through becoming a dialogue partner. [8] It is in this framework that Russia, China, and Iran supported the Sri Lankan government against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), or simply Tamil Tigers, during the Sri Lankan Civil War

North Korea has been priming itself for a possible war with the U.S., South Korea, and Japan. Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Cuba have prepared themselves for what they call wars of resistance through political, economic, and armed preparations. Likewise, Syria and Lebanon with the support of Iran have prepared themselves for an anticipated conflict with Israel. Oil-rich Sudan has also been bracing itself for internal strife and for the possibility of a future conflict, led by the U.S. and based on the pretext of “humanitarian intervention.”

The Caucasus Front: Russo-Georgian Tensions and War Preparations

Caucasia or the Caucasus is the region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea that straddles the Caucasus Mountains. Like the Ural Mountains, the Caucasus forms the dividing borders of the politically defined continents of Europe and Asia. The Caucasus region itself, which can also be considered an extension of the Middle East, is divided into two sub-regions. These two sub-regions are the North Caucasus, which exclusively includes the Caucasian constituent republics of the Russian Federation, and the South Caucasus, which includes Georgia, Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azarbaijan). Northern Iran and the eastern portions of Turkey, which were annexed from Georgia and Armenia under the 1921 Treaty of Kars, can also be considered as being part of the South Caucasus and by extension the entire Caucasus region.

Caucasia has been the scene of an intensive struggle between the local republics, internal actors, and external forces. These conflicts are as follows;

(1) The conflict between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the breakaway state of Nagorno-Karabakh;
(2) The conflict between Georgia and the breakaway state of South Ossetia;
(3) The conflict between Georgia and the breakaway state of Abkhazia;
(4) The conflicts between the Russian Federation and the separatist movements of the North Caucasus, specifically in Chechnya and Dagestan;
(5) The conflict between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh;
(6) And the conflict between Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

For decades tensions have existed in this ethnically diverse region. Although steps have been taken by the Turks for strategic cooperation with Moscow and Tehran, a regional axis between Russia, Armenia, and Iran in the Caucasus has existed against Georgia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Turkey. The aim of the Moscow-Yerevan-Tehran Axis in the Caucasus is to prevent external forces, specifically the U.S. and its NATO allies, from moving into the Caucasus and the energy-rich Caspian Sea Basin.

The primal conflict in the region has turned out to be the one between Georgia and Russia, replacing the one between Russia and Chechnya. This conflict has seen both sides supporting one another’s separatist movements and covert operations. Tensions between Tbilisi and the Kremlin have resulted in a war that, unlike most the previous Caucasian wars, was of wide concern to outside powers. The conflict has also been played out in Ukraine, where both sides also supported rival political fractions.

Behind Georgia lies the support of the U.S. and NATO. This is part of a strategy that has seen indigenous players ally themselves with U.S. geo-strategic interests in Eurasia. In fact, the entire war between Russia and Georgia was premeditated and both sides were preparing for it well in advance. The Times (U.K.) inadvertently reported about this on September 5, 2008: “In the months leading up to the doomed [Georgian] military operation to seize control of the breakaway region of South Ossetia, Russian fighter jets had flown into Georgian airspace on several occasions.” [9] The Russian violation of Georgian airspace was conducted, because the Russians were aware that a war was coming and their forces were conducting reconnaissance missions.

In the months leading up to the Russian-Georgian War over South Ossetia the Georgian press was continuously talking about a coming war. [10] Rezonansi, one of Georgia’s top newspapers, had front-page headlines about the imminent dangers of a war: “Will war in Abkhazia begin tomorrow?” [11] In May 2008, only a month before the Russo-Georgian War, Moscow without notification deployed 500 Russian troops into the southern Tkvarchel region of Abkhazia under a peacekeeping mandate from the Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.), which raised its troop contingent to 2,542. [12] Before the deployment of additional Russian troops, on April 20, 2008, the Russians had shot down a Georgian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spying over Abkhazia. [13]

In a move that was one step short of official recognition, Moscow also ended its agreement to sanction Abkhazia and in a move towards bolstering the Abkhazian government began open communication with it at official levels. [14] These Russian and Georgian moves were made in preparation for the coming Caucasian war. The Kremlin even openly accused Georgia of mobilizing troops to attack Abkhazia, whereas the Georgians accused Russia of planning to annex Abkhazia and South Ossetia. [15]

On May 8, 2008 Mikheil Saakashvili, Georgia’s president, publicly stated: “I think that a few days ago, we were very close [to war] and this threat is still real.” [16] On May 7, 2010, a day before President Saakashvili’s statement, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution that condemned Russia for its “provocative and dangerous statements and actions” in Georgia, and the E.U. followed suit. [17] A day after the U.S. House of Representatives passed their resolution against Russia and on the same day as Saakashvili’s statements about war, the foreign minister of Abkhazia, Sergei Shamba, went on the record saying that Abkhazia wanted a military pact with Moscow. [18]

The Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWRP) clearly documented the Russian preparations for the coming war with Tbilisi. The IWPR report depicted the tense environment:

The situation on the ground in the conflict zone remains tense. The head of the de facto administration in Gali region in southern Abkhazia, Ruslan Kishmaria, said Tbilisi had resumed unmanned reconnaissance flights over Abkhazia. He added that the Abkhaz authorities had decided not to shoot the planes down. The Abkhaz say they have shot down several Georgian drones on previous occasions, while Tbilisi denied that most of the alleged incidents took place. In late May, a United Nations report concluded that a drone shot down over Abkhazia on April 20 was hit by a Russian fighter plane. [19]

What is very revealing about the IWPR report are the clear steps that Russia took in preparation for a Georgian attack. The report highlighted the secret deployment of Russian anti-tank missiles into Abkhazia: 

Georgian security forces have again had a confrontation with Russian peacekeepers on the border with Abkhazia, leading to a tense telephone conversation between the two presidents [of Georgia and Russia]. The detention of a Russian army truck by Georgian police appears to be part of a war of nerves over the disputed territory of Abkhazia. Tbilisi claims the Russians are engaged in annexing Abkhazia and insists their peacekeeping forces must be disbanded, while Moscow says the troops are operating under an international mandate and are providing vital security for the Abkhaz. Georgian television channels showed pictures of local police stopping a truck carrying Russian peacekeepers near the village of Rukhi on June 17. They reported that it was carrying weapons illegally through the conflict zone, close to the administrative border with Abkhazia. The four soldiers on board the vehicle were released after seven hours in detention. On June 19, the truck was handed back but the Georgians said they were holding onto 20 anti-tank missiles pending an investigation. The Georgians said that the Russians had not asked permission to transport the missiles as they were required to do under the terms that govern the peacekeeping presence. Colonel Vladimir Rogozin, commander of the southern zone of the peacekeeping operation – which comes under the mandate of the Commonwealth of Independent States, CIS, but is entirely manned by Russian troops – said he had simply failed to inform the Georgians about the arms shipment in time. “They were normal weapons permitted by our mandate, and I don’t understand why the Georgians detained our soldiers,” said Rogozin. [20]

The Russian military breached its peacekeeping mandate in Georgia. The anti-tank missiles were intended for use against Georgian tanks. The deployment of the anti-tank missiles were (deliberately) not announced as part of Moscow’s war preparations. In part, the Russian position in Abkhazia and South Ossetia has been intended to prevent Georgia from joining NATO, because NATO cannot accept new members unless all their internal disputes are settled and their boundaries fixed. In effect, Russian support of Abkhazia and South Ossetia has protected Russia from further NATO encroachment.

The war in 2008 has been described as a proxy war in which Georgia acted on behalf of the U.S. against Russia by Sergey A. Markov, a co-chair of the National Strategic Council of Russia. In this context, Russia was attacked by the U.S. and NATO. The Georgians could not have known about the deployment of Russian anti-tank missiles without intelligence reports from the U.S. and NATO. In 2008, NATO even made a revealing move about its intentions in the Caucasus. Despite the fact that Georgia was not a NATO member, NATO began to quickly integrate the Georgian air defences with NATO air defences. [21]

After the 2008 war, the U.S. and Tbilisi even revealed that they were making preparations to construct military bases in Georgia. [22] The U.S. military presence would not only have been used to aid the Georgian military against Russian interests, but could have sent a threatening message to Moscow about war with the U.S. if Russia confronted Georgia over South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The U.S. bases could also have been used to launch attacks against Russia’s strategic ally Iran. It was revealed that during the Russo-Georgian War the Russian military had attacked Georgian bases that were planned for use in future U.S. and NATO operations against Iran. [23]

Georgia is one of the fastest militarizing states. To counter Georgian militarization and NATO’s agenda for the Caucasus, the Kremlin has beefed up Russian units in the North Caucasus and expanded its military presence in Armenia. In August 2010, Russia and Armenia signed a bilateral military agreement that committed Russia to protecting Armenia and insuring Armenian security. [24] The new Russo-Armenian military agreement has formally allowed Russia to project its military power from Armenia towards Georgia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, whereas the old mandate of Russian troops in Armenia was to provide border security for the Armenian-Turkish and Armenian-Iranian borders. These strategic steps taken by Moscow and Yerevan are in preparation for further crises in the Caucasus.

 

The Balkans Front: Treachery against Yugoslavia and Moldova

The Balkans has been galvanized by two different forces, those aligned with the Eurasia Heartland and those aligned with the Periphery. This animosity is similar to those that are dividing Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Georgia, Latin America, and the Ukraine. The largest camp of opposition to the U.S. and NATO is in Serbia. This Serbian camp, along with its allies in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, wants either entry into the orbit of Russia and the Eurasians or cooperation with them. The opposing and dominate political camp wants Serbia and the Balkans to enter the orbit of the U.S., the E.U., and NATO. The Serbian Radical Party was formed originally as a member of the first group, while Boris Tadić and his Democratic Party represent the later group in Serbia and the Balkans.

The Balkans is a hub for military operations in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The position of the former Yugoslavia was very important in this context. The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was an independent geo-political player. Like the present role of Iran in the Middle East, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia could have prevented the U.S. and NATO from consolidating their control of the Balkans, which would have been a major setback to the implementation of the U.S. and NATO roadmap for control of Eurasia. This is why the U.S. and its Western European allies helped spark ethnic tension, specifically between the Serbs and Croats, in Yugoslavia.

Yugoslavia has fallen, but in the Balkans there is still a pending geo-strategic game. This “game of chess” is over the fate of the Serbian province of Kosovo, which is a self-declared republic supported by the E.U. and America, and for the fate of the Serbian Republic itself, as a whole. The people of Serbia have not forgotten the NATO bombardment of their country, whereas most the corrupt political elites in Belgrade have been cooperating with the U.S. and NATO.

The so-called Twitter Revolution in Moldova was also an extension of this struggle in the Balkans and tied to the events in the former Yugoslavia and the issue of Kosovo. Moldova could be used by Russia to reinforce the Russian position, and by extension the Eurasian position, in Serbia and Eastern Europe. Serbia has been flirting with both the E.U. and the U.S. on one side and Russia on another. Both sides want to bring Serbia fully into their orbits.

Serbia is a landlocked nation in terms of not having direct access to the open seas. Serbia, however, does have guaranteed access to the Black Sea through the Danube River. The Danube River is actually an international body of water that large merchant ships can sail. By international treaty right, Serbian ships can freely sail the Danube. Belgrade could always turn to the Danube if Serbia were to be embargoed through the denial of land or airspace usage by its neighbours under orders from the U.S. and the European Union. If international laws were followed the Danube River would give the Serbs a form of lifeline access to the Black Sea and Russia. To prevent this all the states that the Danube River flows through need to be controlled.

The only other nations that the Danube River goes through that are not within the orbit of the E.U. and the U.S. are Moldova, which itself is landlocked too in the same sense as Serbia, and Ukraine. Ukraine is a case in question, but the control of both Moldova and Ukraine could effectively cut off Russian aid to Serbia through the Black Sea and the Danube River in the future if Russia was denied the usage of the airspace around Serbia. It is both in this context and the context of forced integration into the E.U. that Moldova’s neutrality has been ostracized by the U.S. and NATO through Romania.

Yet, there is more to the efforts to isolate Serbia. The Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is where the Serbian coast on the Danube River is located and is home to Serbia’s ports. About one-third of the population in Vojvodina are non-Serbs with Hungarians (Magyars) being the largest of these non-Serb minorities. Tacitly efforts to divide Vojvodina from Serbia have also been underway. The Balkans is a front that has become quiet for now, but Kosovo and Vojvodina could easily light it up. 

The Middle East Front: The Resistance Bloc versus the Coalition of the Moderate

The Middle East is the energy centre of the global economy.  Along with Central Asia, it is one of the two most strategically important areas on the world map. It is through control of the Middle East that the U.S. and its NATO partners hope to contain China, the anchor of the global counter-alliance to the U.S. and NATO.  

In terms of regional power, Iran is the Yugoslavia of the Middle East. Tehran has worked with its regional allies to resist U.S., NATO, and Israeli control over the entire region. Thus, the Iranians and their regional allies have provided a layer of insulation for the Russians and the Chinese against U.S. and NATO encroachment into Eurasia through resistance in the Middle East. In other words, Iran and the Middle East are vital pillars of Russian and Chinese resistance to trans-continental encirclement.

William Arkin, one of America’s top security correspondents, stated in 2007 that the White House and Pentagon had started the process of creating a NATO-like military alliance in the Middle East against Iran and Syria. [25] According to Arkin this alliance was to be comprised of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council or GCC (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) and both Egypt and Jordan. [26] Following the 2006 Israeli blunder in Lebanon, the U.S. and its main NATO partners started sending, either directly or indirectly, massive arms shipments to their clients in the Middle East: Egypt, Jordon, Israel, the Palestinian collaborators Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank and Mohammed Dahlan in the Gaza Strip, Saudi Arabia, and the Arab petro-sheikhdoms.

The Lebanese militias belonging to the leaders of the March 14 Alliance in Lebanon also received secret weapons shipments to combat Hezbollah and the Lebanese National Opposition. [27] Despite their arms and U.S. support, the Arab collaborators in both the Gaza Strip and Lebanon lost in internal fighting that broke out respectively in June 2007 and May 2008. In Lebanon this resulted in the formation of a national unity government after the Doha Accord. It also caused Walid Jumblatt and the Progressive Socialist Party to realign themselves with Hezbollah and to leave the March 14 Alliance.

It was by the end of 2006 that Mahmoud Abbas, the March 14 Alliance, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Bahrain, Egypt, Jordon, and Kuwait began to be called the “Coalition of the Moderate” by U.S. and British officials. These countries have helped the U.S., NATO, and Israel in intelligence operations against fellow Arabs, against the Lebanese Resistance, and against the Palestinians.

The regime of Mohammed Husni (Hosni) Mubarak in Cairo has helped enforce the Israeli siege against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Cairo has also been in several vocal rows against the Palestinians, Hezbollah, members of the Iraqi Resistance, Syria, and Iran. Mubarak has tried to justify working against the Palestinians in Gaza by demonizing Hamas as an Iranian client and as a threat to Egypt. There is even talk about some form of Egyptian and Jordanian military intervention in Lebanon after the Special Tribunal for Lebanon releases its findings about the Hariri Assassination.

During the 2008 Israeli siege of Gaza, Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah of Hezbollah made a direct plea to the Egyptian people, asking them to demand that their government open the borders for relief to the Palestinian people. Nasrallah’s plea, which made it a point to say that it was not asking for a coup in Cairo, was met by anger from Egyptian officials who had tried every means to publicly justify Israeli actions against the Palestinians. Ahmed Abul Gheit, the foreign minister of Egypt, responded by telling reporters in Turkey that Nasrallah wanted chaos in Egypt like in Lebanon and that the Egyptian military could be used against Nasrallah and people like him.

Mustafa Al-Faqi, the head of the Egyptian parliamentary foreign relations committee, has been quoted as saying that Cairo will not accept an Islamic emirate on its border. [28] This language is part of the campaign to portray Hamas as a Taliban-like organization, when the leadership of Cario and the Arab World know fully that Hamas is nothing like the Taliban government of pre-invasion Afghanistan. In 2010, a high-ranking Egyptian intelligence officer was caught spying and collecting information in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas-led Palestinian government there. [29] The regime in Egypt has also allowed Israel to send its German-built submarines with nuclear cruise missiles across the Suez Canal to head into the Persian Gulf towards Iranian waters in an effort to militarily threaten Tehran through a permanent deployment. [30] 

The extent of Egyptian ties with Tel Aviv is best described by a news report quoting Amos Gilad, an Israeli military official:

Egypt-Israel relations are “a cornerstone in Israel’s national security,” said Amos Gilad, head of the Defense [sic.] Ministry’s Security-Diplomatic Bureau, at a ceremony marking 30 years to Israel’s peace agreement with Egypt on Thursday. “We have very profound dialogue with them. It’s important for Israel to know how to preserve these relations and deepen them,” he said, while mentioning Egypt’s “tolerant stance during [Israel’s] recent [2008] military offensive in Gaza.” [31]

Saudi Arabia too has been very actively involved in assisting the U.S., Britain, and Israel in their operations in the Middle East. The mega-sized weapons sales the U.S. has made to Saudi Arabia, without any objections from Tel Aviv and its lobbyists, is directed against Iran, Syria, and any revolts and democracy movements in the Arabian Peninsula, such as the Houthis in Yemen. The Saudi arms deals that the U.S. has made are a vital part of its strategic aims to control the energy resources of the Middle East. [32]

Saudi-owned media consistently spews sectarian hatred and propaganda against any forces resisting the U.S., Israel, NATO, and their local clients and allies in the Middle East and the Arab World. This has reached a point where most rational adults do not take Saudi-owned media, like Asharq Al-Aswat and its editor-in-chief, seriously. For example Asharq Al-Aswat has systematically and falsely accused Hezbollah of torturing Sunni Muslims in Lebanon and of occupying Beirut and has continuously targeted Iran at every chance, claiming that the Iranians are an imminent danger to the Arab World, while downplaying the actions of the U.S. and Israel against Arab countries.

In opposition, the Coalition of the Moderate is commonly described and thought of as nothing more than as Arab collaborators or traitors. Its leaders, from the U.A.E. to Egypt, say one thing in public and decide something entirely different behind closed doors. The Coalition of the Moderate is a catch phrase designed by those who coined the terms “Shia Crescent” and “Sunni Triangle” to demonize the forces of resistance in the Middle East. [33] These terms serve the war, balkanization, and finlandization agendas in the Middle East.

On the other side of the chasm stand Iran and all the forces opposed to foreign intervention in the Middle East; these forces have been called the “Radicals” by the White House. In reality, Iran and these independent and indigenous forces form the “Resistance Bloc” in the Middle East. The Resistance Bloc is not a formal alliance nor is it organized as a genuine bloc, but its members all share a common interest against foreign control of their societies. The members of the Resistance Bloc are as follows;

(1) The democratically-elected Hamas-led Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip and all the Palestinians groups, including Hamas, the Popular Palestinian Struggle Front, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Marxist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, that are opposed to Israel, the U.S., and Mahmoud Abbas;
(2) Lebanon, more or less as a state, as well as Hezbollah, the Free Patriotic Movement, the Amal Movement, the El Marada Movement, the Lebanese Communist Party, the Lebanese Democratic Party, the Lebanese Islamic Front, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Tashnaq), the Syrian Social Nationalist Party of Lebanon, and their political allies in Lebanon;
(3) The multitude of various political and combative Iraqi groups that form the Iraqi Resistance;
(4) Sudan;
(5) Syria;
(6) The rebel groups in Yemen, which are Shiite Muslims in the north and west and include Sunni Muslims in the south and east; 
(7) And Iran.

Qatar and Oman closely coordinate with the Resistance Bloc. Oman is also considered an Iranian ally in Tehran. Both Qatari and Omani leaders exercise flexible foreign policies and realize that it would be against their national interests to contain themselves in any regional alliance against Iran and the Resistance Bloc or, by the same token, even against the U.S. and its regional clients. This is why Qatar and Oman are used as intermediaries between Iran and the Resistance Bloc on one side and the U.S. and the Coalition of the Moderate on the other side.

Since 2009 and 2010, the position of Turkey is not clear. Ankara has begun to publicly criticize its Israeli ally and is beginning to be touted by Iran and Syria as a member of their Resistance Bloc. Turkey has also entered into agreements with Syria, Iran, Lebanon, and Russia that look like the seeds for the creation of a common market and political bloc in the Middle East that would mirror the European Union.

U.S. influence in the Middle East is said to be ending. It appears that many American allies and clients in the Middle East are also looking at switching camps to protect their interests. This could be the case within the March 14 Alliance in Lebanon and in regards to Ankara.

In the Middle East, the frontlines for Eurasia are the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, occupied Iraq, and Yemen. Yemen, situated on the southernmost tip of the Arabian Peninsula, is the newest of these frontlines in the Middle East and is geo-strategically located on an important point on the map. The maritime corridor running past Yemen is internationally the most important in terms of shipping. The Red Sea connects to the Indian Ocean through the Gate of Tears (Bab al-Mandeb) that runs through the Gulf of Aden.

The danger of a catastrophic global war igniting from the Middle East exists. The front in the Middle East is central to the U.S. strategy in Eurasia. Since 2001, this front has been fluctuating between cold and hot wars that are now aimed at containing Iran and its allies. The region is both a powder keg and geo-political volcano.
 

The Central Asian Front: A War for Control of the Heartland of Eurasia

Central Asia is the heart of Eurasia and at the centre of the Eurasian Heartland. The U.S. and NATO push into Eurasia is aimed at control of this region in its entirety. The region is a major geo-strategic hub that conveniently flanks Iran, China, Russia, the Caspian Sea, and the Indian sub-continent. From a military and spatial standpoint, Central Asia is an ideal place to create a wedge between the major Eurasian powers and to establish a military presence for future operations in Eurasia.

Central Asia, as the bulk of an area called the “Eurasian Balkans” (the other portions include Georgia, Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Caucasian constituent republics of the South Federal District and the North Caucasian Federal District of the Russian Federation, Iran, and Turkey to a limited extent), can also be used to destabilize the areas it flanks and Eurasia. The NATO occupation of Afghanistan is tied to this objective. Atollah Loudin, an Afghan official who is the chair of the Justice and Judiciary Committee of Afghanistan, has gone on the record to say that the U.S. is using Afghanistan as a military and intelligence base to infiltrate and pursue its strategic objectives in Pakistan, Central Asia, Russia, Iran, and China. [34]

Central Asia also has vast oil, natural gas, and mineral resources. The energy resources of the region rival those of the Middle East. In the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski: “As an overlay to all this, Central Asia now witnesses a very complicated inter-play among the regional states and Russia, the United States (especially since September 11, 2001), and China.” [35] The 2001 invasion of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan was initiated with the objective of establishing a foothold in Central Asia and a base of operations to isolate Iran, divide the Eurasians from one another, to prevent the construction of pipelines going through Iran, to distance the Central Asian countries from Moscow, to take control of the flow of Central Asian energy, and to strategically strangle the Chinese.

Most importantly, control over Central Asia would disrupt the “New Silk Road” being formed from East Asia to the Middle East and Eastern Europe. It is this “New Silk Road” that will make China the next global superpower. Thus, the U.S. strategy in Central Asia is meant to ultimately prevent the emergence of China as a global superpower by preventing the Chinese from having access to the vital energy resources they need. The U.S. and E.U. rivalry with Russia over energy transit routes has to be judged alongside preventing the construction of a trans-Eurasian energy corridor from reaching China from the Caspian Sea Basin and from the Persian Gulf.

Central Asia has been the scene of war and colour revolutions. An active war still rages in Afghanistan, which has spread into Pakistan. The instability in Kyrgyzstan could spill over into becoming a civil war. Any future conflict against Iran, Syria, and Lebanon also threatens to engulf Central Asia.

The South Asia and Indian Ocean Fronts: Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and the Waves

South Asia or the Indian sub-continent is comprised of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and the island states of Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Afghanistan is sometimes considered a part of South Asia. Similar to Central Asia, the northern portion of South Asia, which is Pakistan and the northern states of the Republic of India, serves as a transit land route between the Middle East and East Asia. This northern area also straddles Central Asia. The southern portions of South Asia is also centrally located in regards to the Indian Ocean and both the southern portion of South Asia, which is the southern tip of India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives, and the Indian Ocean littoral serve as a transit maritime route from the Middle East and Africa to East Asia

In South Asia, the aims of the U.S and NATO are to prevent the creation of a secure energy route to China and to control the flow of energy resources and the territories they would go through. India also shares an interest in this. Indian cooperation with the U.S. and NATO, however, comes at the expense of Indian national security. The instability in Kashmir is an example. 

The instability in Pakistan is a direct result of the goal of preventing the creation of a secure energy route to China. The U.S. and NATO do not want a strong, stable, and independent Pakistan. They would rather see a divided and feeble Pakistan that can easily be controlled and would not take orders from Beijing or ally itself within the Eurasian camp. The instability in Pakistan and the terrorist attacks against Iran that have been originating from the Pakistani border are meant to prevent the establishment of a secure energy route to China.

Moreover, U.S and NATO objectives in South Asia also include using India as a counter-weight against China. This is the same strategy that Britain applied on the European continent between various European powers and the same strategy the U.S. used in the Middle East in regards to Iran and Iraq during the Iraq-Iran War. In this context, after the 2010 NATO Summit in Lisbon, NATO has asked for military ands security dialogue with New Delhi. [36]

The rivalries between the U.S., China, and India have had a direct bearing on the militarization of the Indian Ocean. A naval arms race has been underway in the Indian Ocean. Both India and China are racing to procure and build as many naval ports as possible while they expand their navies.

The maritime shipping route that passes the territorial waters of Sri Lanka is vital to Chinese energy security. In this context, geo-politics also has had a direct impact on the nature of the Sri Lankan Civil War. In 2009, the Chinese and their allies supported the Sri Lankan government in the hope of seeing a stable political environment on the island state so as to secure the Chinese naval presence and the cooperation of Sri Lanka. After the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War, Colombo joined the SCO as a “dialogue partner” like Belarus.

The militarization of the Indian Ocean has not stopped and is merely underway. Internal tensions in Pakistan and India, the regional tensions in South Asia between its states, and the tensions between New Delhi and Beijing all are threats to Eurasian cohesion and security.

The East Africa Front: Somalia, Ethiopia, and Sudan

In East Africa the U.S. and NATO strategy is to block China from access to regional energy resources and to setup a choke point to control international shipping. Like Central Asia, U.S. aims in East Africa, as well as the entire African continent, are to hinder China from superpower status. Military control over East Africa and its geo-strategically important waters has been intensifying since the 1990s. A large NATO naval armada permanently sails in the waves off the Horn of Africa and off the coast of East Africa ready to cordon the seas. The involvement of the U.S. military in Yemen is directly tied to the U.S. geo-strategy in East Africa and plans to control the maritime waterways there, as well as East African energy and the movement of international shipping. The piracy problem off the coast of Somalia and the demonization of Sudan are consequences of these strategic objectives.

Looking at Somalia, the conditions that have led to the piracy problem were nurtured to give the U.S. and NATO a pretext for militarizing the strategic waterways of the region. The U.S. and NATO have wanted anything except for stability in the Horn of Africa. In December 2006 the Ethiopian military invaded Somalia and overthrew the Islamic Courts Union (I.C.U.) government of Somalia. The Ethiopian invasion took place at a point in Somalia when the I.C.U. government had relatively stabilized Somalia and was close to bringing a state of lasting peace and order to the entire African country.

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) coordinated the 2006 invasion of Somalia. The Ethiopian land invasion was synchronized with the U.S. military and saw the joint intervention of the U.S. military alongside the Ethiopians through U.S. Special Forces and U.S. aerial attacks. [37] General John Abizaid, the commander of CENTCOM, went to Ethiopia and held a low-profile meeting with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on December 4, 2006 to plan the attack on Somalia. Approximately three weeks later the U.S. and Ethiopia both attacked and invaded Somalia. [38]

The Somali I.C.U. government was defeated and removed from power and in its place the Somalian Transitional Government (STG), an unpopular government subservient to U.S. and E.U. edicts, was brought to power under the Ethiopian and U.S. military intervention. Marshall law was also imposed in Somalia by the Ethiopian military. At the international level, the I.C.U. government was demonized and the invasion was justified by the U.S., Britain, Ethiopia, NATO, and the Somalian Transitional Government as a part of the “Global War on Terror” and a war against sympathisers and allies of Al-Qaeda.

The Somalian Transitional Government and its leaders were immediately accused of collaborating in the dismantling of Somalia and being clients of the U.S. and other foreign powers by Somali parliamentarians and citizens. [39] The Speaker of the Transitional Somali Parliament, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, accused Ethiopia of deliberately sabotaging “any chance of peace in Somalia.” [40] The Somali Speaker and other Somali parliamentarians who were taking refuge in Kenya were immediately ordered to leave Kenya by the Kenyan government for opposing the Ethiopian invasion of their country. [41] Their expulsion was ordered at the behest of the U.S. government.

The extent of U.S. influence over Ethiopia and Kenya and of the U.S. role in directing the invasion of Somalia can also be understood by the testimony of Saifa Benaouda:

At the Kenyan border, she was detained by soldiers, including three Americans, who had American flag patches on their uniforms, she said. She was then, by turns, imprisoned in Kenya, secretly deported back to Mogadishu, then spirited to Ethiopia, where she was fingerprinted and had her DNA taken by a man who said he was American. She was interrogated by a group of men and women, who she determined by their accents to be Americans and Europeans, she said. [42]

Ethiopia deliberately sabotaged the peace talks in next-door Somalia under American orders. The country is now divided and in the north, Puntland and Somaliland are virtually independent states. Instead of the stability and peace that the I.C.U. government was bringing, bands of pirates, militias, and a group called Harakat Al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen or simply Al-Shabaab have been allowed to take control of Somalia. Al-Shabaab is the equivalent of the pre-2001 Taliban in Afghanistan. [43]

The instability brought about by Ethiopia and the U.S. has helped justify the militarization of East Africa by the military forces of the U.S. and NATO. The Russian, Chinese, and Iranian navies have also deployed their warships into the region on anti-piracy and maritime security missions. [44] These naval deployments, however, are also strategically symmetric counter-moves to the U.S. and NATO naval build-up in the waters of East Africa, from the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.

Sudanese oil goes to China and the trade relations of Khartoum are tied to Beijing. This is why Russia and China oppose U.S., British, and French efforts to internationalize the domestic problems of Sudan at the U.N. Security Council. Moreover, it is due to Sudan’s business ties to China that Sudanese leaders have been targeted by the U.S. and E.U. as human rights violators, while the human right records of the dictators that are their clients and allies are ignored.

Although the Republic of Sudan is not traditionally considered to be in the Middle East, Khartoum has been engaged as a member of the Resistance Bloc. Iran, Syria, and Sudan have been strengthening their ties and cooperation since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Israeli war against the Lebanese and the subsequent deployment of international military forces, predominately from NATO countries, onto Lebanese soil and water did not go unnoticed in Sudan either. In is in context of this resistance that Sudan has also been deepening its military ties with Tehran and Damascus.

Sudanese leaders have sworn to resist the entrance of NATO or any international forces into their country. Sudan has made it clear that they will see these forces as invaders who want to plunder the national resources of Sudan. Second Vice-President Ali Osman Taha of Sudan has vowed that the Sudanese government would maintain its opposition to any foreign intervention under the pretext of peacekeeping forces for Darfur (Darfour) and has hailed Hezbollah as a model of resistance for Sudan. [45] In a show of solidarity for Sudanese resistance, Dr. Ali Larijani on behalf of Iran has also led an international parliamentary delegation to Khartoum, in March 2009, when a politically-motivated arrest warrant was issued by the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) for Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Basher, the Sudanese president.

Khartoum has been under intense U.S. and E.U. pressure. While there is a humanitarian crisis in Darfur, the underlying causes of the conflict have been manipulated and distorted.  The underlying causes are intimately related to economic and strategic interests and not ethnic cleansing. Both America and its E.U. partners are the main authors behind the fighting and instability in Darfur and Southern Sudan. The U.S., the E.U., and Israel have assisted in the training, financing, and arming of the militias and forces opposed to the Sudanese government in these regions. They lay blame squarely on Khartoum’s shoulders for any violence while they themselves fuel conflict in order to move in and control the energy resources of Sudan.

Tel Aviv has boasted about militarily intervening in Sudan to upset weapons transactions between Hamas and Iran going through Sudan and Egypt, but Israeli activities have really been limited to sending weapons to opposition groups and separatist movements in Sudan. Israeli arms have entered Sudan from Ethiopia for years until Eritrea became independent from Ethiopia, which made Ethiopia lose its Red Sea coast, and bad relations developed between the Ethiopians and Eritreans. Since then Israeli weapons have been entering Southern Sudan from Kenya. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Southern Sudan has also been helping arm the militias in Darfur. The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), a U.S. client, has also been sending arms to both the militias in Darfur and the SPLM.

The extent of Israeli influence with Sudanese opposition groups is significant. The Sudan Tribune reported on March 5, 2008 that separatist groups in Darfur and Southern Sudan had offices in Israel:

[Sudan People’s Liberation Movement] supporters in Israel announced establishment of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement office in Israel, a press release said today.

“After consultation with the leadership of SPLM in Juba, the supporters of SPLM in Israel have decided to establish the office of SPLM in Israel.” Said [sic.] a statement received by email from Tel Aviv signed by the SLMP secretariat in Israel.

The statement said that SPLM office would promote the policies and the vision of the SPLM in the region. It further added that in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement the SPLM has the right to open in any country including Israel. It also indicated that there are around 400 SPLM supporters in Israel. Darfur rebel leader Abdel Wahid al-Nur said last week he opened an office in Tel Aviv. [46]

There is a power sharing arrangement between Omar Al-Basher and the SPLM, which has a strong grip over Southern Sudan. The leader of the SPLM, Salva Kiir Mayardit, is the First Vice-President of Sudan and the President of Southern Sudan. The SPLM has strong ties with Israel and its members and supporters regularly visit Israel and Sudan’s other enemies. It is due to this that Khartoum removed the Sudanese passport restriction on visiting Israel in late-2009 to satisfy the SPLM. [47] Salva Kiir Mayardit has also said that Southern Sudan will recognize Israel when it separates from Sudan.

The events in Sudan and Somalia are linked to the international thirst and rivalry for oil and energy, but are also part of the aligning of a geo-strategic chessboard revolving around control for Eurasia. The militarization of East Africa is part of the preparations for a confrontation with China and its allies. East Africa is an important front that will heat up in the coming years.

The East Asia Front: The Shadow War against China

In this current century, all roads lead to East Asia and China. This will become more and more so as this century progresses. In East Asia a shadow war is being waged against the Chinese. If the globe were a chessboard and the rivals and opponents of the U.S. and NATO were chess pieces, China would be the king piece, while Russia would be the queen piece. The U.S. and NATO march to war will ultimately lead to East Asia and the borders of the Chinese. From the eyes of America, in the words of Brzezinski, “China is unfinished business.” [48]

In East Asia, the U.S. and its allies support the breakaway republic of Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, and use it as a strategic base against mainland China. Taiwan also administers some of the small islands in the South China Sea, which along with Taiwan Island or Formosa, overlook the strategic shipping lanes to China. A missile shield project, similar to the one in Europe directed against Russia and its CSTO allies, has also been in the works in East Asia for years that includes the use of Taiwan.

The U.S. and its allies are also interested in North Korea and Myanmar as a means of encircling the Chinese. Both North Korea, in Northeast Asia, and Myanmar, in Southeast Asia, are close Chinese allies. The pretext of a threat from North Korea is being used to justify the elements of the missile shield project being built in Northeast Asia. Of special importance in Southeast Asia is the port and naval facilities that Myanmar is constructing to give the Chinese a far more secure energy lifeline in the Indian Ocean that circumvents Malacca and Taiwan.

There have also been internal operations underway against Beijing. In Chinese Turkistan, where Xinjiang Autonomous Region is located, the U.S. and its allies have been supporting Uyghur separatism based on a matrix of Uyghur ethnic nationalism, pan-Turkism, and Islam to weaken China. In Tibet the aims are the same as in Xinjiang, but the U.S. and its allies have been involved in far more intensified intelligence operations there.

Breaking Xinjiang and Tibet from China would heavily obstruct its rise as a superpower. The estrangement of both Xinijang and Tibet would take vast resources in these territories away from China and the Chinese economy. It would also deny China direct access to the ex-Soviet Republics of Central Asia. This would effectively disrupt the land route in Eurasia and complicate the creation of an energy corridor to China.

Any future governments in an independent Xinjiang or an independent Tibet could act like Ukraine under the Orangists in regards to disrupting Russian gas supplies to the European Union over political differences and transit prices. Beijing as an energy consumer could be held hostage like European countries were during the Ukrainian-Russian gas disputes. This is precisely one of the objectives of the U.S. in regards to stunting the Chinese.

The Latin America and Caribbean Fronts: America versus the Bolivarian Bloc

The struggle in Latin America has spanned from South America to the Caribbean and Central America or Mesoamerica. It has been a struggle between the local or regional countries allied under the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas or ALBA (Alternativa Bolivariana para las Américas). ALBA has pushed for political and economic self-determination in an area that the leaders of the U.S. have seen as their own “backyard” since 1823 under the Monroe Doctrine. In their struggle for independence, these regional countries in Latin America and the Carribean have become allied with the Eurasians against America and its allies.

With the election of Hugo Chávez in 1998 and the start of his presidency in 1999, Venezuela became the force that would establish the seeds of the Bolivarian Bloc, which is named after Simón José Bolívar, the man who led Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, and Panama to independence in their struggle against Spain. The Bolivarian government in Caracas would go to the aid of Cuba and end the American attempts to isolate Havana by openly declaring solidarity with Cuba and expanding ties. The bilateral agreements signed by Cuba and Venezuela would form the nucleus of the Bolivarian Bloc and the model of the expanded format of the alliance under ALBA.

In 2006, the alliance between Havana and Caracas began to take in new members. In 2006, Evo Morales would become the new president of Bolivia and Bolivia would become allied with both Venezuela and Cuba. In 2007, one year later, Rafael Correa would become the president of Ecuador and Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista leader, would become the president of Nicaragua. Both Ecuador and Nicaragua instantly joined the alliance between Bolivia, Cuba, and Venezuela. In 2008, Honduras under President Manuel Zelaya, who was elected in 2006, would also enter ALBA. In all these countries the Bolivarian leaders would work for economic and constitutional reform to remove the local oligarchies allied with U.S. interests in Latin America.

To reduce their dependency on the U.S., the Bolivarian Bloc has also introduced its own unified regional monetary compensation framework, called the SUCRE (Sistema Único de Compensación Regional). [49] The implementation of the SUCRE follows the same steps as the euro, being used initially on a virtual basis for trade and eventually as a hard currency. This is part of a joint move away from the U.S. dollar by the Bolivarians and the Eurasians. 

The White House, the Pentagon, the U.S. State Department, and the U.S. Congress have viciously attacked the Bolivarian Bloc and its leaders in language that exposes so-called U.S. democratic values as being false pretexts for invasions and international aggression. This U.S. rhetoric has also been in tune with a U.S. program for regime change and covert operations in Latin America. During the course of all these events the U.S. embassies and American diplomats in these Latin American countries would be implicated in supporting violence against the Bolivarian governments.

In 2002, the U.S. supported a failed coup against Chávez by elements of the Venezuelan military. In Bolivia, since 2006, the leadership of the energy-rich eastern departments of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando, and Tarija started pushing for autonomy with the help of U.S. funding from the Office of Transition Initiatives of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In 2008, civil strife began when the leaders of the eastern departments started to seize local government buildings, energy facilities, and infrastructure as part of an attempt to separate from Bolivia. The American-supported failed attempts to divide Bolivia were part of the attempt by the U.S. government to retain control over Bolivian natural gas.

In Honduras, the weakest link in the Bolivarian Bloc, a military coup d’état supported by the U.S., under the cloud of a constitutional crisis, would replace Manuel Zelaya in 2008. The outcry and clamour against the military coup in Honduras would be so strong that the U.S. government would publicly act as if it were opposed to the American-engineered coup in Honduras. A United Nations General Assembly meeting under the presidency of Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, a Christian priest of the Roman Catholic Church, would unanimously condemn the coup in Honduras.  In 2010, the U.S. would also support an attempted coup in Ecuador by police units against Rafael Correa and his government.

The U.S. has been militarizing the Caribbean and Latin America to regain its control of the Americas. The Pentagon has been arming Columbia and deepening its military ties with Columbia to counter Venezuela and its allies. On October 30, 2009 the Columbian and U.S. governments would also sign an agreement that would allow the U.S to use Columbian military bases.

American-garrisoned Haiti also serves the broader hemispheric agenda of the U.S. to challenge the Bolivarian Bloc using the westernmost ridge of the island of Hispaniola. Haiti is located just south of Cuba. Geographically it is situated in the best position to simultaneously assault Cuba, Venezuela, and the states of Central America, like Nicaragua. The catastrophic 2010 earthquakes and the instability that the U.S. has created in Haiti through multiple invasions of Haiti make the project to subvert the Caribbean and Latin America far less conspicuous. Looking at the map and the militarization of Haiti it is unambiguous that the U.S. plans to use Haiti, like Columbia and Curaçao, as a hub for military and intelligence operations. Haiti would also prove as an invaluable base in the scenario of a broader conflict waged by the U.S. and its proxies against Caracas and its regional allies.

It is clear that U.S. is loosing its grip in the Americas. Not only does the U.S. government want to prevent this, but it also wants to ensure that it does not lose the energy reserves of countries like Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia to the energy-hungry Chinese. Under fair global competition there is no way that the U.S. will be able to match what Beijing is willing to offer the nations of Latin American and the Caribbean for their energy exports and resources. Ultimately, the U.S. is still planning on resorting to aggression in order to control Latin America and the Caribbean. This is why the Bolivarians have allied themselves with Russia, Iran, China, and their Eurasian entente.

The Arctic Front: Controlling Future Energy Reserves

Tense rivalry involving the U.S., Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the Russian Federation has emerged in the Arctic Circle for the North Pole’s vast resources. Aside from Russia, all the nations involved are members of NATO. Russia has the greatest claim to the area due to its territorial expanse in the region.

Under the backdrop of this rivalry for natural resources, the Arctic Circle is being militarized by NATO and Russia. In Orwellian terms, these NATO countries claim that they are working for peace and stability through military means and the improvement of their combat capabilities in an area of the globe that does not need a large military presence. Logically this is nothing other than double-speak. Why the need for better combat readiness and capabilities in the Arctic? In this context, the U.S., Canada, Denmark, and Norway have been working together against the Russian Federation.

Canada and the U.S. have also been streamlining their Arctic policies, because Canada is the strongest challenger in terms of territorial size to Russia. The U.S. is working through Canada to tap the energy resources of the Arctic. Both Ottawa and Moscow have claimed the Lomonosov Ridge as an extension of their continental shelves.

Prime Minister Steven Harper and the Canadian government have demanded that the underwater boundaries of the region be settled and have diplomatically warned Moscow to stand-down in regards to the Russian claim to the Arctic: “Canada will maintain control of our Arctic lands and waters and will respond when others take actions that affect our national interests.” [50] Ottawa’s three Arctic priorities are:

(1) Demarcating the Arctic;
(2) Receiving international recognition of Canadian control over the Lomonosov Ridge as an extension of the continental shelf extending from Canadian territory;
(3) An Arctic security regime under the platform of Arctic governance and emergency measures. [51]

The NATO agenda in the Arctic starts as early as 2006, when Norway invited all NATO and its associates for its Cold Response drills. Canada too has continuously held Arctic exercises to demonstrate its sovereignty in the Arctic, but starting in 2010 U.S. and Danish troops were involved in Operation Nanook 10. [52] This is a sign of NATO cooperation against Russia. According to a Canadian military press release the military drills were intended “to strengthen preparedness, increase interoperability and exercise a collective response to emerging challenges in the Arctic.” [53] Aside from a Russian claim to the Lomonosov Ridge, there is no other situation that could be seen as an emerging challenge that warrants a collective military response by Canada, the U.S., and Denmark.

The battle over the Arctic is well underway. By virtue of its territory, Russia has the largest territorial claim. Yet, the U.S., Canada, and Denmark refuse to recognized this. A crisis between NATO and Russia, which will be supported by China, over claims about Arctic resources will emerge at a future point.

Part III of this Text

The third and final part of this text will discuss the risk of a new global war. 

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

NOTES

[6] Anne Penketh, “Russian bombers play war games with US”, The Independent (U.K.), August 10, 2007.
[7]  Lucian Kim, “Russian Paratroopers Stage War Games Simulating NATO Attack”, Bloomberg, September 27, 2009; Yuras Karmanau, “Russia, Belarus hold joint military exercise”, Associated Press (AP), September 29, 2009.
[8] D. Muralidhar Reddy, “SCO dialogue status for Sri Lanka”, The Hindu, June 18, 2009.
[9] Michael Evans, “Georgia linked to Nato early warning system”, The Times (U.K.), September 5, 2008.
[10] Dmitry Avaliani, “Georgia: Fears of War with Russia”, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), May 16, 2008.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Ibid.; Inal Khasing, “Abkhazia Cleaves Closer to Russia”, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), Caucasus Reporting Service (CRS) Issue 443, May 8, 2008.
[13] Avaliani, “Georgia: Fears of War”, Op. cit.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Ibid.
[16] Ibid.
[17] Ibid.
[18] Khasing, “Abkhazia”, Op. cit.; The article also clarified that Izvestia, the Russian newspaper, had misquoted Sergei Shamba over asking Moscow for a Russian military administration to be established in Abkhazia.
[19] “Georgia, Russia in New Abkhazia Standoff”, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), July 2, 2010.
[20] Ibid.
[21] Michael Evans, “Georgia linked to Nato early warning system”, The Times (U.K.), September 5, 2008.
[22] “USA to Deploy Army Bases in Georgia To Rearm Nation’s Army”, Pravda, September 24, 2009.
[23] Arnaud de Borchgrave, “Commentary: Israel of the Caucasus”, United Press International (UPI), September 2, 2008.
[24] Mariam Harutunian, “Russia extends military presence in Armenia”, Agence France-Presse (AFP), August 20, 2010.
[25] William M. Arkin, “A New Mideast Military Alliance?” The Washington Post, July 31, 2007; William M. Arkin, “Middle East Alliance 2.0.”, The Washington Post, August 1, 2007
[26] Ibid.
[27] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, “Pro-US Lebanese Government getting ready to use force to stay  in power”, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), December 7, 2006.
[28] Zvi Bar’el, “Looking out for number one”, Haaretz, December 21, 2008.
[29] Hisham Abu Taha, “Hamas security forces arrest high-ranking Egyptian officer”, Arab News, May 25, 2010.
[30] Uzi Mahnaimi, “Israel stations nuclear missile subs off Iran”, The Sunday Times, May 30, 2010.
[31] Yael Levy, “Amos Gilad: Egypt our ally against Iran, Hamas”, Yedioth Ahronoth, March 26, 2009.
[32] Anthony H. Cordesman, The Saudi Arms Sale: Reinforcing a Strategic Partnership in the Gulf (Washington, D.C.: Center for Strategic and International Studies Press, November 3, 2010): <http://csis.org/files/publication/101103_SaudiArmssale.pdf>.
[33] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, “America’s ‘Divide and Rule’ Strategies in the Middle East”, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), January 17, 2008.
[34] “MP: US Base in Afghanistan Established to Collect Intelligence on Iran”, Fars News Agency (FNA), November 4, 2009.
[35] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Forward to China’s New Journey to the West: China’s Emergence in Central Asia and Implications for U.S. Interests, Bates Gill and Matthew Oresman (Washington, D.C.: Center for Strategic and International Studies Press, August 2003) , p.v.
[36] Pallavi Aiyar, “Nato asks for dialogue with India”, Business Standard, November 24, 2010.
[37] Suzanne Goldenberg and Xan Rice, “How the US forged an alliance with Ethiopia over invasion”, The Guardian (U.K), January 13, 2007.
[38] Ibid.
[39] “Ethiopia destroyed Somalia Peace Talks: Speaker”, Garowe News, January 13, 2007.
[40] Ibid.
[41] Ibid.
[42] Raymond Bonner,  “Lark to Africa descends into Somali nightmare”, The New York Times, April 15, 2007.
[43] The reason that this Somali group is being likened to the pre-2001 Taliban is because most the groups in post-invasion Afghanistan are not the same as the Taliban or even really Taliban. The objectives of the post-2001 Taliban are also different from the pre-2001 Taliban, which was brought to power through U.S., Pakistani, and Saudi support.
[44] Atul Aneja, “Iran, China will begin counter-piracy patrols”, The Hindu, December 22, 2008; “Russia, China conduct anti-piracy exercises in the Gulf of Aden”, Russian News and Information Agency (RIA Novosti), September 18, 2009.
[45] Mohammed Ali Saeed, “Sudan VP vows resistance to UN peacekeepers”, Agence France-Presse (AFP), September 1, 2006.
[46] “Sudan’s SPLM reportedly opens an office in Israel – statement”, Sudan Tribune, March 5, 2008: <http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?page=imprimable&id_article=26251>.
[47] “Sudan removes Israel travel ban from new passport, Sudan Tribune, October 3, 2009: <http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?iframe&page=imprimable&id_article=32776>.
[48] Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Geostrategic Triad: Living with China, Europe, and Russia (Washington, D.C.: Center for Strategic and International Studies Press, November 3, 2000), p.5.
[49] “ALBA Countries To Establish Common Currency Named Sucre”, Cuban News Agency/ Agencia Cubana de Noticas (ACN), November 29, 2008; Michael Fox, “ALBA Summit Ratifies Regional Currency, Prepares for Trinidad”, Venezuela Analysis, April 17, 2009; Steven Matter, “Venezuela Pays for First ALBA Trade with Ecuador in New Regional Currency”, Venezuela Analysis, July 7, 2010.
[50] Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), Statement on Canada’s Arctic Foreign Policy (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 2010), p.2.
[51] Ibid., p.3.
[52]  “Minister of National Defence visits Operation Nanook”, Department of National Defence (DND), August 23, 2010: <http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/v2/nr-sp/index-eng.asp?id=10905>.
[53] Ibid.


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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