March 4, 2009
Mr. Simmons’ Mission:
The death of American sociologist C. Wright Mills at 45 years of age in 1962 was an irreparable loss not only to the United States but to the world, and not only to his generation but the three that have succeeded it and on into the indefinite future.
He was as at home quoting Rousseau, Balzac and Jacob Burckhardt, always to good purpose, as he was formulating such concepts and models as military metaphysics, mass society, the higher immorality and the cult of celebrity as early as 1955.
Mills did so in his mature, post-university writings with a simplicity of style and expression matching the profundity and perspicacity of his observations and conclusions.
In his work of the same name Mills defined the sociological imagination as the intersection of biography and history.
The same may be said of politics, particularly world politics, and if the word can still be used in the current ‘postmodern’ and ‘post-historical’ epoch, destiny. Indeed for Mills sociology was no dry discipline, no mere compendium of data and experimental results but living history, the historical dynamic captured in the moment, and perhaps the collective human exemplification of philosophical principles employed in a conscious manner.
History is replete with examples of an individual’s personal trajectory paralleling and illustrating the trends of a historical period and process, for better or worse, with benign or malignant effects. Sometimes with both.
A standard example is that of Talleyrand-Perigord (“Regimes may fall and fail, but I do not”), whose diplomatic career both reflected and affected for the 45 years from 1789-1834 the tumultuous developments in France from the fall of the ancien regime to the abrupt end of its restoration.
A person performing such a role, whether possessed of a more than usual degree of energy and ambition or of a steadily plodding nature, will be the equivalent of a tracer bullet or dye injected into the bloodstream for an angiogram. One can view in the person the intricacy of broader patterns and learn to spot the presence and trajectory of the second by that of the first.
A person matching the description offered, though not likely to be discussed centuries later like Talleyrand or even decades afterward like Mills, is Robert F. Simmons, Jr.
Biographical information on him is scant and basically reducible to the official sketch provided for him on the NATO International website dated December 14, 2007 at:
Dates aren’t often provided, but the NATO site mentions that Simmons was US State Department Deputy Director of the Office of Regional Political and Security Issues in the Bureau of European Affairs at some point presumably in the mid-1990s.
The entry in question mentions that in the above position “[H]e managed U.S. policy in connection with NATO, the OSCE, and European security architecture. The issues he covered included NATO enlargement; NATO adaptation, including the creation of EAPC and PfP; and the development of the role of the OSCE. Previously he was assigned as Deputy Political Advisor to the U.S. Mission to NATO and U.S. Representative to the NATO Political Committee.”
PfP is the Alliance’s Partnership for Peace transitional program to full membership and was inaugurated in 1994. In the intervening years it has absorbed all fifteen former Soviet republics, recently completed grabbing all six former Yugoslav federal republics and every once neutral state in Europe – Austria, Finland, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland and Malta – except for Cyprus, although the European Union has of late applied pressure on the island nation, now that it’s in the EU, to join the Partnership for Peace.
The EAPC is the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, which subsumes all current NATO members with all candidate and other PfP nations as well as assorted bilateral partnerships, conceivably as many as a third of the countries in the world.
The PfP and EAPC have prepared twelve (with Macedonia thirteen) states for full NATO integration and ten have already become members – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia over the past decade, with Albania and Croatia to join next month at the 60th anniversary summit in Strasbourg and Kehl.
In addition, as mentioned above, Simmons was instrumental in determining “the development of the role of the OSCE,” the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe, the world’s largest intergovernmental security organization with 56 members in Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and North America, which assumed its current dimensions and name in 1995.
Although in theory a multinational structure for cooperation in providing and maintaining security throughout greater Europe, the OSCE has evolved into yet another mechanism which the major Western powers employ to threaten other nations on the eastern periphery of NATO and the EU.
Simmons’ role in establishing and consolidating these four post-Cold War initiatives – an expanding NATO, the latter’s Partnership for Peace and Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and an Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe under the control of a power not even in Europe, the United States – alone would make him worthy of attention that his career to date has somehow not received.
After performing the functions listed, he, again according to the NATO biographical sketch, “served as Senior Advisor to the United States Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs on NATO. As Senior Advisor, Mr Simmons played a significant role in developing U.S. policy on the full range of NATO and European security issues.”
In 2003 he was transferred from the US State Department to NATO headquarters in Brussels, much as every few years American generals are shifted from the Pentagon to Brussels to assume the mantle of NATO Supreme Allied Commander (the first being General Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1951-1952) as well as the complementary position of chief commander of the United States European Command.
His transfer to the European branch office of the US Departments of State and Defense, as it were, was to take up new duties described on the same NATO page as “Deputy Assistant Secretary General of NATO for Security Cooperation and Partnership in September 2003. As Deputy Assistant Secretary General, he is responsible for NATO-Russia and NATO Ukraine relations, Euro-Atlantic Integration and Partnership, and relations with other organisations, including the European Union.”
His preceding decade in the State Department had prepared Simmons well for his new role and for that which would be added to it the following year, 2004.
It was within months of his move to Brussels that the string of so-called color revolutions commenced in Georgia in November of 2003.
Modeled after the joint CIA, National Endowment for Democracy effort to topple the government of Yugoslavia in September and October of 2000, Mikheil Saakashvili, who came to the US on a State Department grant in the early 1990s and received his law degree at Columbia University, seized power from standing president Eduard Shevardnadze, who was manhandled by young Kmara thugs trained by their Pora prototypes in Serbia, and introduced a new model of Western-financed putsches in the former Soviet Union. (1)
In the summer of 1999 a BBC story, ‘CIA ordered to topple Milosevic’: US report, detailed the genesis and gestation period of Washington’s new and refurbished coup design:
Replete with sledgehammer-wielding toughs, rent-a-mobs attacking the parliament building, ballots in the contested election being burned by Western-controlled ‘democracy advocates’ and suitcases of domestic and foreign currency provided by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright smuggled in from Hungary, the 2000 Belgrade coup was the fons et origo of all subsequent ‘regime change’ campaigns in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, replicated in Georgia in 2003.
The scenario would be repeated in most every particular a year later in Ukraine, which readers will recall was one of Simmons’ main bureaux at his new NATO post.
The third ‘color’ coup, the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, occurred shortly after Simmons in September of 2004 added to his NATO portfolio the title and function of the Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia.
The Kyrgyz coup in March of 2005 would emulate to a predictable and even tedious degree those of Georgia and Ukraine, sixteen and three months earlier, respectively.
In all three instances, as with the Yugoslav precedent, well-financed and -organized street demonstrations would accompany and follow national elections in which Western and Western-funded poll watchers, exit pollsters and media would cry foul when the incumbent appeared to have won and demands for unconstitutional – that is unprecedented and illegal – special elections were put forward as the price for domestic peace.
And in all cases the opposition was a triumvirate of party leaders, two men and a woman. In Georgia the trio consisted of Mikheil Saakashvili, Nina Burjanadze and Zurab Zhvania; with Ukraine Viktor Yuchshenko, Yulia Tymoshenko and Oleksandr Moroz; and in Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Roza Otunbayeva and Felix Kulov. Zhvania would die shortly after the so-called Rose Revolution’s first anniversary, with the government attributing his death to accidental causes and his family accusing Saakashvili of ordering his murder.
Such a well-crafted model could not have been created domestically.
Simmons’ former colleagues in the State Department no doubt led the charge, but he himself was no bit player in the new drama, having donned the mantle of NATO’s special envoy to the South Caucasus and Central Asia in the interval between the Georgian prototype and its replication in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.
His position was one of several initiatives unfolded at NATO’s summit in Istanbul, Turkey in June of 2004.
Indeed never in history had a military bloc at one time expanded so broadly both in terms of new members and partners and in the breadth of its geographical sweep.
The Istanbul summit issued in
– The incorporation of all former Warsaw Pact members outside the ex-Soviet Union not already brought into NATO, adding Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, inducted in 1999, and eastern Germany which was brought into the Alliance in 1989 with the nation’s reunification
– The accession of the first former Yugoslav federal republic, Slovenia
– The hitherto unimaginable absorption of three former Soviet republics: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
– Under the rubric of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, the upgrading of NATO’s seven Mediterranean Dialogue members – Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia – to a heightened partnership status and the introduction of a formal military alliance with the six Persian Gulf Cooperation Council states, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Growing out of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative were Individual Cooperation Programmes with Egypt and Israel
With the three Baltic states and the Black Sea nations of Bulgaria and Romania joining NATO, only Georgia and Ukraine remained to complete a full military cordon along Russia’s entire Western flank. (As will be seen later, Simmons has had a role to play with those two countries’ NATO integration also.)
Simmons’ appointment would extend that presence along Russia’s complete southern one.
His purview includes eight of fifteen former Soviet federal republics and in 2004 two-thirds of the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States members: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia in the Caucasus; Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia.
The three Caucasus nations are all members of NATO’s Partnership for Peace; Azerbaijan and Georgia have both had troops gaining combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan and Armenia deployed troops to the first.
After Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were brought into the NATO fold and the eight nations assigned to Simmons to soften up are added to the column, only Belarus and Moldova remain of the Soviet Union outside of Russia itself.
Moldova sent troops to Iraq under Partnership for Peace obligations and both it and Belarus are now targeted by the European Union’s Eastern Partnership for further distancing from the Commonwealth of Independent States and Russia and to be corralled into the EU-NATO-US paddock.
Though the lion’s share of the task remains with Simmons.
His objective and the underlying geostrategic exigencies actuating it are clear.
“[T]he only alternative [to Kyrgyz] routes into Afghanistan are from the north, through the Central Asian countries…Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are pivotal.
“NATO’s greater strategic interest is in the South Caucasus East-West Corridor, which, some commentators have said for years, is much more than three energy pipelines.
“With NATO allies Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey on the western and southern shores of the Black Sea, Georgia, on the eastern shore, is the natural gateway to a corridor that connects Europe to Afghanistan.” (“From Peshawar to Batumi: Time to Realize the East-West Corridor,” Georgian Daily, December 29, 2008)
A Turkish analyst traces the intended trajectory as follows:
“The recent struggle around the Black Sea region has now reached Georgia, having moved from Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria and Romania, one by one.
“Poland and the Czech Republic could be added to this list, since the clash over the missile shield has led to the perception of an encirclement policy.
“The U.S. is gradually directing its resources away from Europe towards the Middle East, the Caucasus and its neighboring regions.” (“The new battle zone for global hegemony: the Caucasus,” Turkish Daily News, October 22, 2008)
In conjunction with the State Department’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried (2) and its Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (and previously Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy) Matthew Bryza (3) – who arrived at their current posts in May and June of 2005, respectively – reviewing Simmons’ travels and actions over the past year is the best manner in which to examine how his and his superiors’ plan is progressing.
He continues to hold two top NATO posts, that of Deputy Assistant Secretary General of NATO for Security Cooperation and Partnership as well as Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, and as such his range is broad though his projects are integrally related.
In January of last year, seven months before the Georgia-Russia Caucasus war and the near US/NATO-Russian showdown in the Black Sea, Simmons was paraphrased as advocating that “NATO is ready to contribute to resolution of conflicts in the Black Sea region.”
In his own words,“NATO can play a significant role in the establishment of stability in the region.” (PanArmenian.net, January 14, 2008)
Two days later he was in the capital of Moldova, one of the few post-Soviet nations he’s not directly tasked to draw into NATO, where “According to the Moldovan Foreign Ministry, Robert Simmons will have meetings with Moldovan officials to discuss the current relations between Moldova and NATO, the head of state’s initiatives aimed at solving the Transdniestrian dispute and the implementation of the NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan.” (Reporter.MD, January 16, 2008)
“Solving the Transdniestrian dispute” alludes to NATO intervening in one of the four so-called frozen conflicts in the ex-Soviet Union. He would attempt to intrude the Alliance into the other three after his trip to Chisinau.
In Azerbaijan in March of the same year, Simmons announced that “NATO is prepared to provide aid to South Caucasus and Central Asia countries to protect energy facilities.” (Trend News Agency, March 7, 2008)
The above report added “There are large energy facilities in Azerbaijan, including oil and gas terminals in Sangachal, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-Novorossiysk and Baku-Supsa and South-Caucasus gas pipelines.”
While in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku he also said that “NATO is ready to consider the membership of Azerbaijan,” as he oversaw the second part of the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) for the nation. (Interfax, March 8, 2008)
Azerbaijan had recently withdrawn its contingent of troops serving with NATO’s Kosovo Command because it feared that the Western-engineered secession of the Serbian province might serve as a precedent for Nagorno-Karabakh, which Baku still insists it will regain by military means.
But the position of the local government, president and parliament alike, meant nothing to Simmons, such is NATO’s contempt even for its partners, who averred “I think the situation on the withdrawal of Azerbaijan’s peacekeeping forces from Kosovo can change.”(Azeri Press Agency, March 8, 2008)
His main goal was achieved, though, as he had delivered the second phase of the Individual Partnership Action Plan.
“Simmons said that the key issues in the Plan are training of Azerbaijan’s army for participation in the joint operations with NATO forces, the holding of trainings, as well as military training and support by the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry.”(Trend News Agency, March 10, 2008)
A few days earlier Simmons had stirred up a controversy by claiming that Uzbekistan had agreed to turn the Khanabad base it had evicted US military forces from almost two years before back over to the Pentagon for the war in South Asia, which elicited this reaction from an Uzbek official: “Farkhad Murtazayev bristled at comments made earlier by NATO special envoy to Central Asia and the Caucasus Robert Simmons, who insisted that Uzbekistan was ready to give its go-ahead.”(Voice of Russia, March 7, 2008)
And this from the Russian Defense Ministry:
“The Defence Ministry of the Russian Federation has…reported that any notices from the military establishment of Uzbekistan about permitting the US to use the Uzbek airbase didn’t come to the Russian Defense Department.
“‘It, maybe, was ‘a trial balloon’, a sort of probe,’ said a spokesman of the Ministry, meaning the utterances of the representative of NATO.” (WarAndPeace.ru, March 7, 2008)
Later in March Simmons would repeat his plan for a NATO military buildup in the Caspian Sea, an Alliance complement to former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s proposed Caspian Guard:
“Establishing a military-marine fleet in the Caspian is part of our co-operation with Central Asia and the Caucasus.
“It mostly deals with the defence of infrastructure in the Caspian.
“We are holding talks with Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan with regards to the defence of energy facilities, and the issue of establishing a military-marine fleet remains open.”(Trend News Agency, March 21, 2008)
Another Azerbaijani press source added “He said secure transportation of hydrocarbon resources to Europe is what NATO is concerned about.” (AzerTag, March 27, 2008)
The following month Simmons reprised his intentions, saying “the issue of protecting energy infrastructure belonging both to NATO members and their partners was on the agenda.” (The Financial [Georgia] April 5, 2008)
Later in April he was in Kazakhstan promoting the accession of Ukraine and Georgia to NATO and taunting Russia with ““Russia protested against the admitting of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary into NATO as well and the enlargement of the Alliance into the Balkan Peninsula. But, these countries became NATO member states.” (Trend News Agency, April 12, 2008)
Not longer afterward in Georgia, Simmons met with the nation’s State Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili – the person who would help prepare the invasion of South Ossetia and a five-day war with Russia less than four months later – and in reference to a reported Russian overflight the minister said “If Georgia had been a member of the program, then NATO, not just Georgian radars would have registered the April 20 attack of the Russian fighter in Georgian air space and it’s departure to Russian territory.” (Interfax, April 25, 2008)
This is no record that Simmons did anything other than nod willing agreement to the comments, especially with his statement that “I think it’s fair to say that a number of allies believe that recent Russian actions, which we condemn, do call into question Russian neutrality as an arbitrator or facilitator of the [South Ossetian and Abkhazian peace] process.” (Associated Press, April 24, 2008)
While in the Georgian capital Simmons also consulted with the Georgian Defense Minister and the ambassadors of NATO member states in the nation and the “sides discussed the resources of NATO which can be used in the conflict zones to improve the peacekeeping process there.” (Rustavi 2, April 25, 2008)
That is to say, Commonwealth of Independent States-mandated peacekeepers must leave and be supplanted by NATO troops so that the US- and NATO-trained Georgian armed forces would have a free hand to invade Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania had finished three weeks earlier and Georgia’s full membership bid had been held up for two reasons: Unresolved conflicts on its soil and foreign (non-NATO) troops in its presumed territory, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Simmons, above, indicated NATO’s plans for eliminating those barriers to complete integration.
Understanding the message that Simmons was delivering, the president of Abkhazia, Sergei Bagapsh, responded as reported in a dispatch worth quoting in length:
“‘The replacement of Russian peacemakers will lead to a direct conflict. We will not let foreigners into Abkhazia and all of us will stand at the border.’
“Concerning the recent statements of NATO’s representative the in South Caucasus [Robert Simmons], who cast doubt on the role of Russian peacemakers in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone, Bagapsh said:
“‘This right is the right of the strong. This is the same right as the one not to take into consideration of the decision of the Security Council on Yugoslavia.
“‘Well, the Security Council hasn’t reached any decision, so let’s bomb Yugoslavia!’
“‘And once the Council didn’t [resolve] the question, they themselves have settled the question regarding Kosovo.
“‘This is, to our great regret, the right of the strong that now leads to the fact that such an important institute of the world community as the United Nations Organization loses its prestige and becomes pointless.'” (Interfax, April 25, 2008)
The Russian forces didn’t leave as Simmons demanded but war in South Ossetia ensued four months later anyway.
He revisited the issue after Georgia launched an invasion of South Ossetia on August 8 as will be seen further on.
In May of 2008, though, Simmons headed to Turkmenistan on the Caspian Sea.
With the sudden death of Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov, who had run an autarkic government since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the country was open to foreign penetration and NATO wasted no time in moving on it, both for military transit and trans-Eurasian energy projects; Simmons’ demand for NATO naval presence in the Caspian Sea two months before was documented earlier.
Meeting with President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Simmons pledged that “NATO is going to continue building up its relations with Turkmenistan” and “the interlocutors discussed issues related to cooperation within the format of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, as well as pressing problems related to strengthening stability in the region.” (Turkmenistan.ru, May 14, 2008)
Turkmenistan is rich, it’s not yet determined how rich, in natural gas, and lies off the southeast corner of the Caspian Sea with Iran to its south.
Securing NATO overflight, basing and surveillance rights in the nation – not to mention deployment of naval forces inside the Caspian – would be a direct threat to Iran and part of the general displacement of both Russia and China from the region and denial of its resources to both.
The succeeding month, June, Simmons returned to Azerbaijan on the eastern side of the Caspian directly across from Turkmenistan and Iran’s neighbor to the northwest. There he officiated over annual NATO week events.
During the seven days Simmons oversaw a NATO/Partnership for Peace Trust Fund seminar, “organized for the first time in a partner country” that brought together “NATO member and partner countries, as well as about seventy representatives from the Mediterranean Dialogue [Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia] countries….” (AzerTag, June 16, 2008)
Another illustration of NATO’s integration of European, Caucasus, Central Asian, Middle Eastern and North African nations into a rapidly evolving global military nexus.
Later in the same month, and with the countdown to war in the South Caucasus nearing, Simmons joined the State Department’s Matthew Bryza and Georgia’s Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili in Warsaw, Poland for a meeting of the New Group of Friends of Georgia, which included the participation of “Top officials from the foreign ministries of Lithuania, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Sweden, Latvia [and] Bulgaria.” (Civil Georgia, June 24, 2008)
That is, a month and a half before the Caucasus war commenced, top NATO and US officials orchestrated a meeting of Baltic, Black Sea and other nations to shore up support for the Saakashvili regime in its impending showdown with South Ossetia and Russia.
The very next day, June 25, Simmons was in the world’s new nation, Montenegro, which of course is neither in the Caucasus or Central Asia but the Balkans, where he met with deputy ministers of the ministries of defense and foreign affairs and initiated “A first round of consultations at staff level [which] opened the Intensified Dialogue between NATO and Montenegro on 24 June 2008.” (NATO International, June 25, 2008)
Three months later Simmons would host Bosnia’s Deputy Minister of Defence at NATO Headquarters in Brussels in the first staff level meeting to plan the nation’s Intensified Dialogue with the Alliance. Bosnia and Montenegro have recently been pulled into the Adriatic Charter, a mechanism devised by the US State Department to initially transition Albania, Croatia and Macedonia into full NATO Membership.
Simmons’ role in the integration of the five former Yugoslav republics not already in NATO extends and complements that of expanding the bloc into the Black Sea region, the Caucasus, the Caspian Sea Basin, Central Asia and, as the next paragraph shows, South Asia.
The always mobile Simmons was back in Azerbaijan in late June ordering more Azeri troops for NATO’s Afghan war, in fact doubling them.(Today.AZ, June 28, 2008)
After the August 8-12 Georgian-Russian war, one which was fraught with potential for a one-on-one showdown between the world’s two major nuclear powers as Georgia’s army is a US proxy creation and US warships were deployed within kilometers of their Russian opposite numbers in the Black Sea, Robert Simmons was in the Georgian capital to aid in rebuilding the nation’s military capabilities for a new round of hostilities.
He was quoted in Tbilisi stating, “NATO will help Georgia in seven ways. First of all this means air defense and the restoration of defensive infrastructure.” (Russian Information Agency Novosti, August 21, 2008)
Meeting with Simmons and NATO Supreme Allied Commander US General John Craddock, Georgian Defense Minister David Kezerashvili said that “NATO’s 26 member-countries will form a special group, which will study the Georgian defence system” and that “the group will study the country’s need in the defence sphere and the size of aid the alliance can render to Georgia.” (Trend News Agency, August 22, 2008)
During the same visit and apparently to reward Georgia for triggering the Caucasus war of only two weeks prior, Simmons asserted, “I can say that Georgia’s movement towards the action plan for its membership in NATO is operative and I can confirm that Georgia will become a NATO member for sure.” (Focus News Agency, August 22, 2008)
In October of last year Simmons was back in neighboring Azerbaijan to attend the inauguration of the country’s reelected president, Ilham Aliev, an unconventional role for a special envoy for NATO’s Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, in the midst of general consultations on Alliance integration.
In January of 2009 after the government of Kyrgyzstan began the process of closing the US and NATO airbase in Manas that had been employed for the war in Afghanistan over several years, Simmons was dispatched to that nation to preserve the base.
Before his departure it was announced that “during the visit a new contact officer for NATO in Central Asia will be introduced.” (Trend News Agency, January 30, 2009)
An Azerbaijani news source reported on his visit.
“Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev said at a news conference in Moscow that the Manas air base would be shut down.
“NATO Special Representative for the South Caucasus [and Central Asia] Robert Simmons said during his visit to Kyrgyzstan several days ago that the organization would like to see the continuation of this agreement….” (Trend News Agency, February 4, 2009)
Leaving Kyrgyzstan, Simmons led a NATO delegation to the capital of Turkmenistan.
Within a few days he headed a delegation of NATO experts to Ukraine to craft the Ukraine-NATO national program for 2009. Note how seamlessly Simmons shifts between his two NATO posts and roles while always advancing a common geostrategic agenda, the campaign to gain control of post-Soviet space and Eurasia as a whole.
Within a few brief months he worked at integrating the former Soviet republics of Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan into NATO; accelerating the integration of ex-Yugoslav nations onto the Alliance’s conveyor belt to imminent membership; demanding that Russian peacekeepers leave Abkhazia and South Ossetia, leaving both open to an onslaught by the Georgian army, trained and armed and advised by the Pentagon and NATO; failing that, rushing to Georgia after the August war to provide assistance in upgrading its military including its air defense system; visiting the Central Asian nations of Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan just as the new US presidential administration assumed power and began to implement the intensification of the war in South Asia.
If Simmon’s work in the South Caucasus, Ukraine and the Balkans is read in Russia as completing the process of its encirclement and if his frequent visits to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the Caspian Sea are seen by Iran as efforts to isolate and besiege it, then his efforts to more tightly bind Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the Alliance and its escalating war in Afghanistan (and into Pakistan) will be viewed with serious concern by China, which has borders with the three aforementioned Central Asian nations.
China and Russia have even more reason for apprehension. Roberts Simmons post as NATO envoy for the Caucasus and Central Asia pits him and the bloc directly against the post-Soviet Collective Security Treaty Organization (Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan).
Armenia is part of Simmons’ Caucasus assignment and to the degree he succeeds in strengthening NATO’s grip on Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, China and Russia both will lose the only collective security partnerships they have in their own neighborhoods in favor of a Western military bloc, effectively depriving them of influence even in neighboring nations.
Simmons is his dual capacity at NATO is the main agent in driving the Alliance from the Balkans and the Black Sea through the Caucasus and into Central and South Asia, isolating and separating Russia, China and Iran.
Should that scenario develop, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization would cease to exist and with them the only effective challenges to Pentagon and NATO international military superiority and impunity in Eurasia and in the world as a whole.
In his 1956 volume The Power Elite in the chapter called The Military Ascendancy, C. Wright Mills warned that “war has become seemingly total and seemingly permanent” and that “diplomacy becomes merely a prelude to war or an interlude between wars” in service to “what can only be called a military definition of reality.”
1. The State Department web page on Daniel Fried says this about him:
Daniel Fried took the oath of office as Assistant Secretary of State on May 5, 2005. Before taking the helm of the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Ambassador Fried served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council since January 22, 2001.
Ambassador Fried was Principal Deputy Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for the New Independent States from May 2000 until January 2001. He was Ambassador to Poland from November 1997 until May 2000.
Daniel Fried, of Washington, DC, began his career with the Foreign Service in 1977. He served in the Economic Bureau of the State Department from 1977 to 1979; at the U.S. Consulate General in then-Leningrad from 1980 to 1981; as Political Officer in the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade from 1982 to 1985; and in the Office of Soviet Affairs at the State Department from 1985 to 1987. Ambassador Fried was Polish Desk Officer at the State Department from 1987 to 1989 as democracy returned to Poland and Central Europe. He served as Political Counselor in the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw from 1990 to 1993.
Ambassador Fried served on the staff of the National Security Council from 1993 until 1997, first as a Director and then as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Central and Eastern Europe. At the White House, he was active in designing U.S. policy on Euroatlantic security, including NATO enlargement and the Russia-NATO relationship.
2 The State Department page on Matthew Bryza
Matthew J. Bryza assumed his duties as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in June 2005. In this capacity, he is responsible for policy oversight and management of relations with countries in the Caucasus and Southern Europe.
He also leads U.S. efforts to advance peaceful settlements of the separatist conflicts of Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Additionally, Mr. Bryza coordinates U.S. energy policy in the regions surrounding the Black and Caspian Seas…..
In April 2001, Mr. Bryza joined the National Security Council as Director for Europe and Eurasia, with responsibility for coordinating U.S. policy on Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Caspian energy.
Mr. Bryza served as the deputy to the Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy from July 1998 to March 2001. In this capacity, Mr. Bryza coordinated the U.S. Government’s inter-agency effort to develop a network of oil and gas pipelines in the Caspian region.
During 1997-1998, Mr. Bryza was special advisor to Ambassador Richard Morningstar, coordinating U.S. Government assistance programs on economic reform in the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Mr. Bryza served at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow during 1995-1997, first as special assistant to Ambassador Thomas Pickering, then as a political officer covering the Russian Duma, the Communist Party, and the Republic of Dagestan in the North Caucasus.
He worked on European and Russian affairs at the State Department during 1991-1995.
Mr. Bryza served in Poland in 1989-1991 at the U.S. Consulate in Poznan and the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, where he covered the “Solidarity” movement, reform of Poland’s security services, and regional politics.
He joined the United States Foreign Service in August, 1988.
Mr. Bryza graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in international relations. He received his master’s degree in the same field from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He is fluent in Russian and Polish, and also speaks German and Spanish.