Towards the Conquest of the Middle East and North Africa: The U.S., the E.U. and Israel join hands

NATO’s Role in Conquering the Middle East and North Africa

The Mediterranean Union: NATO’s Role in Conquering the Middle East and North Africa

In the first portion of this text, the longstanding plans for creating a Mediterranean Union, which predate Nicolas Sarkozy by many years, were revealed as were U.S. and E.U. efforts to turn the Middle East and North Africa into free trade zones and economic territories. The implementation of this project was planned through the 1995 Barcelona Process and the U.S. Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA).  

Franco-German plans for extending the borders of the European Union in synchronization with the “Global War on Terror” were also discussed. The case of Libya was also discussed to expose the hypocrisy behind the economic agendas of the E.U. and U.S. that hide behind humanitarian causes and human rights. Finally the earlier portion of this text also confirmed the roles of Germany and the European Union as a whole in establishing the Mediterranean Union.

NATO Expansion in the Mediterranean: Paving the Way for E.U. Enlargement

France and Germany are partners in the Anglo-American wars and the Project for the “New Middle East.” This is not a recent development, this is the resumption of the strategic understanding that existed between the Franco-German and Anglo-American sides before the Bush Jr. Administration seemed to have diverged from Anglo-American geo-strategy. The global military deployments of Germany, France, Spain, and Italy coincide with statements of expanding the European Union’s security borders, which can in turn be equated to expanding the European Union’s sphere of influence.

In 2004 and 2007 E.U. expansion followed the NATO expansion of the 1990s eastward in the European continent. This pattern sets a methodological precedent that should be acknowledged with some value. This same NATO-E.U. template of expansion is also being applied in the Middle East and North Africa. This modus operandi of military-political expansion is also noted by Bzezinski: “In July [1997] Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary were officially invited to join NATO. Invitations to the Baltic [Republics; Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia], Romania, and Bulgaria soon followed. This expansion made Europe’s own expansion logical and unavoidable. With the former European Community having redefined itself as the European Union, Europeans themselves decided that it made no sense to exclude their newly democratic [neighbours] — already tied through NATO to both the United States and the European Union — from actual [European Union] membership.” [1] 

However Brzezinski’s casual rationalization of NATO and E.U. expansion and his bumbling effort to casually link them as if it all was an unplanned accident that presented a sensible response is false. If this was true then why has, hereto in 2008, Turkey been denied E.U. membership since the creation of the European Union? The answer is that NATO and E.U. expansion were pre-planned objectives in Eastern Europe.

The Franco-German and Anglo-American agenda in the Mediterranean explains several other international developments and realities. Firstly, the objective of forming a bloc in the Mediterranean explain the earlier expansion of NATO in the area through what NATO terms the “Mediterranean Dialogue.” This so-called Mediterranean Dialogue is part of NATO’s “Mediterranean Initiative.” The framework of this relationship creates a de facto extension of NATO, which includes Israel as an informal member. Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Tunisia, Egypt, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and Israel are all members of NATO’s Mediterranean Initiative. The only Arab nations in the Mediterranean littoral that are excluded are Libya, Syria, and Lebanon. Through this mechanism the Mediterranean Sea has virtually become a NATO lake, almost surrounded entirely by NATO members or de facto NATO members. Albania and the coastline of the former Yugoslavia off the shore of the Adriatic Sea are also controlled by NATO.

Secondly, the German naval and French land commands over NATO troops on Lebanese soil and off the Lebanese shore are explained by the categorizing of the Mediterranean as an area under Franco-German management. It should also be noted that it was in 2001 that the E.U., particularly the French, started talking about sending troops under the banner of NATO into the Eastern Mediterranean, in particular Palestine.

Israel to join the E.U. and NATO 

The exclusion of Syria and Lebanon from NATO’s Mediterranean network can be used to explain the next point. Syria is the last Arab state in the Middle East that is independent in its policy making.  Both Syria and Lebanon are slated to fall under the authority of Franco-German interests and the political sphere of the European Union. This is what the Israeli war against Lebanon in 2006 sought to partially accomplish.

The post-mortem facts of the 2006 Israeli aerial siege against Lebanon show that Syria was also an intended Israeli target. However, Israel was unable to attack Syria and hesitated because of its failures in Lebanon and Iranian threats to intervene militarily if Israel attacked Syria.

Strategic planners within the U.S., Israel, the E.U., and NATO have also formulated several contingency plans to partition Syria and Lebanon under several alternative arrangments and maps. This is part of the broader objective to control the coastline of the Eastern Mediterranean as well as both the Middle East and North Africa.

As NATO solidifies, its military presence in the western outer periphery of the “Arc of Instability,” the governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and other E.U. members have also started close security dialogues with Tel Aviv over Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Iran. [2] Israel not only has a relationship within a multilateral framework with NATO, it also has strong bilateral ties with Brussels that were deepened in 2004. 

It is not by chance that Israel is a partner in Operation Active Endeavour, the force that has spawned the NATO naval armada off the coasts of Syria and Lebanon. [3] Nor is it coincidental that Israel announced it would fully participated in NATO naval exercises in May of 2006, right before attacking Lebanon. [4] This was under the pretext of a so-called  “Iranian threat.”

Starting in August, 2007 Israeli ships have joined NATO warships in the Eastern Mediterranean, Red Sea, and Black Sea in full naval cooperation. [5] This has been marked by joint Israeli-NATO exercises that have taken place in the Red Sea and the Black Sea.

It should be noted that minesweepers have participated in the inaugural Israeli-NATO naval exercises. This alludes to possible action against Iran in the Persian Gulf. Many establishment figures in Germany, including those from the German Green Party, have also called for the inclusion of Israel into NATO as a full member. [6]

According to Avigdor Lieberman, an important figure in Israeli politics, “Israel’s diplomatic and security goal…must be clear: joining NATO and entering the European Union.” This is considered as the strategic path that Israel must take. [7]

Israel is expected to eventually join the European Union. The E.U.’s enlargement is tied into the process of NATO expansion. Israel and the E.U. will both manage, from an economic and political standpoint, the western outer periphery of the “Arc of Instability” under the framework of a Mediterranean Union.

Western Energy Security, NATO, Israel, and the Bigger Picture 

The Mediterranean Union is tied to “energy security.” It is a process towards the economic domination of the Mediterranean by the European Union. 

The balkanization of Lebanon and Syria serve the interests of Western energy corporations, amongst a host of other interests. The envisioned redrawn borders for the Middle East that are tied to the Mediterranean Union and the Project for the “New Middle East” are designed to secure energy corridors, “pacify” the region’s population, and ultimately set the stage for the economic colonization of the new weaker states. 

Israeli security concerns through the Yinon Plan would be integrated into the equation, but only because of the regional security role Tel Aviv serves for the U.S. and the European Union. 

This process of dividing and economically absorbing is similar to the pattern imposed in the former Yugoslavia by the Franco-German entente and the Anglo-American alliance through the E.U. and NATO.

Aside from neutralizing Iran and its allies in the Middle East, the main themes of the Herzliya Conference of 2008 in Israel were Israeli-NATO and Israeli-E.U. relations and integration. The latent role of Tel Aviv acting as a guarantor of energy security for the European Union and NATO was also an object of important discussions. 

The February 2008 issue of Commentary Magazine, the official periodical of the American Jewish Committee, has also proposed in an article by Norman Podhoretz that Israel could launch a devastating pre-emptive nuclear attack against Iran and Israel’s Arab neighbours (including the countries of Arab regimes allied to Israel and NATO like Egypt) and militarily occupy the oil fields, refineries, and naval ports of the Persian Gulf countries to establish energy security. [8]

The pieces of the grand strategy unfolding over the strategic map are becoming clearer. Podhoretz asserts that Israel could liquidate large populations in the Middle East (“tens of millions”) and that Israel could virtually annex energy-rich areas in the Persian Gulf. The substance of these diabolical statements emanate from an American think-tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which is closely linked to the formulation of the U.S. foreign policy and military agenda in the Middle East.

These statements and notions from Norman Podhoretz and the Center for Strategic and International Studies act as a window of insight into the thoughts of the Anglo-American establishment and its European and Israeli partners. There is also a link between the concept that Israel could militarily occupy the oil fields of the Persian Gulf and the 2008 Herzliya Conference’s discussions about Israel acting as an agent of E.U. and NATO energy security.

The 2006 Riga Summit illustrates the full scope of the strategic objectives of NATO in securing energy resources in the Middle East, North Africa, and the former Soviet Union. In 2006, during NATO’s Riga Summit in Latvia, which included Israel, energy security was also a major theme; energy security was discussed to the point where it was pushed forward as an Article 5 (Mutual Defence Clause) issue. [9] If the case of Iraq were not enough, it is clear that a real and dangerous intent exists within the U.S., the E.U., and Israel to take control of the energy resources of other nations through force.

The Divided Political-Military Relations that exist in Europe are Replicated in the Mediterranean 

NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, which began in 1994, and the 1995 Barcelona Declaration are the mechanisms for creating a Mediterranean Union.

The  Barcelona Declaration pertains to the economic aspects of this proposed regional body and NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue represents the underlying military framework. It was in 2007 under Nicolas Sarkozy that the political framework was unveiled. It is obvious that this has been a calculated endevour that has been thought through in advance many years earlier without the knowlegde of the general public.

While NATO has already started the military integration of Israel, followed by the nations of North Africa and Jordon, a relationship with the E.U. serves to integrate these nations gradually through political association. It should also be noted that military ties are easier to implement between autocratic and supposedly democratic countries than political harmonization. E.U. and American principles on human rights are often used to challenge countries that do not conform to the economic tenets of the New World Order. The hidden face of globalization is exposed through the military-political brinkmanship, which invariably support an economic objective.

In the Mediterranean, there exists a divided, but inter-linked, military and political relationship. What is taking place is the replication of the same military-political relationship that allowed America through NATO to exert its influence in Europe. 

Just like in the E.U., NATO’s framework in the Mediterranean region ensures that France and Germany do not monopolize the Mediterranean Union. [10]

Israel and Israeli influence will be projected into the Mediterranean to exert additional leverage on behalf of America and Britain. The inclusion of Israel is to guarantee Anglo-American influence. The joint Anglo-American and Franco-German roles and interests in the Mediterranean also explains the Anglo-American and Franco-German deals with Libya, which is an illustration of their shared economic interests. On top of all this, the placement of an American military base in Vicenzaa, Italy is tied to securing Anglo-American interests within the projected framework of a Mediterranean Union.

NATO and the Persian Gulf: Rivalry with the Eurasian Heartland?

The divided European military-political relationship, which is being replicated in the Mediterranean, can also be observed in the Persian Gulf where NATO and NATO members have military and security agreements with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. Moreover, the GCC is creating a common market with a similar structure to the proposed bloc in the Mediterranean. The GCC common market is also slated for gradual amalgamate with the E.U. and the Mediterranean Union. 

The E.U. has had a formal relationship with the GCC since 1988 and NATO initiated ties starting with the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative in 2004.

However, the process that has been underway in the Mediterranean is being fast-forwarded in the Persian Gulf. This could be because of a possible threat from the rising strength of the players in the Eurasian Heartland. Iran, Russia, and China are now engaging the GCC in economic as well military affairs. 

During a conference in Bahrain, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov called for the creation of a new collective security arrangment in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, which would include Iran and could include Russia. [11] According to Chinese reports, Saudi Arabia and China have also had discussions on establishing military ties. [12]

The members of the GCC, which are all members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) aside from Oman, are clearly being tempted to switch camps. Both Washington, D.C. and Brussels are concerned by the overtures made to the GCC and the Arab World by Iran, Russia, and China. The U.S. National Director of Intelligence, Michael McConnell has even warned the U.S. Congress in an annual assessment that Russia, China, and all of the members of OPEC, which includes Iran and Venezuela, all represent growing financial threats to American supremacy. [13]

Plans for establishing a petro-rubble system for energy payments have also been the subject of numerous exchanges between Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). This project, if realized, would challenge the financial centres of the U.S. and the European Union. 

NATO, E.U., and U.S. military forces are deployed over a vast area: from West Africa, Central and East Africa to the Balkans, the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and a large portion of the Indian Ocean.

Brute force is being used as the muscle behind neo-liberal economic policies. NATO is playing a major role in enforcing the establishment of the Mediterranean Union and the creation of the “New Middle East.” 

These objectives are part of the reality behind NATO’s document Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World. The NATO document also puts a concept into the limelight that is being discussed by E.U. and U.S. officials: the amalgamation of the military assets of the U.S., the E.U., and NATO into one streamlined military body. [14] It is clear that the primary function of the military has been to aid economic objectives and the case is no different in regards to NATO’s role in the conquest of the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond.

PART III The Mediterranean Union: The Emergence of a New Order and the Battle for the Mediterranean

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya specializes in Middle Eastern affairs. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

[1] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower (NYC, New York: Basic Books, 2007), pp.106-107. 

[2] Yossi Verter and Assaf Uni, Lebanon, Iran top Olmert’s agenda on visit to Germany, Italy, Haaretz, December 11, 2006.

[3] Yakkov Katz, Israel moves closer to NATO mission, The Jerusalem Post, June 25, 2007.

[4] Israel tightens NATO ties amid Iran nuke jitters, Reuters, May 29, 2006.

[5] Yakkov Katz, Israel, NATO conduct Red Sea naval exercise, The Jerusalem PostAugust 16, 2007.

[6] Ralf Fücks, Israel in die NATO! Der Spiegel, July 20, 2006.
[7] Tim Butcher, Minister calls on Israel to join Nato, The Telegraph (U.K.), January 30, 2007.

[8] Norman Podhoretz, Stopping Iran: Why the Case for Military Action Still Stands, Commentary Magazine, vol. 125, no. 2, (February, 2008): pp.11-19; the exact page of citation is p.18.

[9] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya,The Globalization of Military Power: NATO Expansion, Centre for Research on Globalization, May 17, 2007.

[10] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Europe and America: Sharing the Spoils of War, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), July 26, 2007.

[11] Russia wants creation of organization for Persian Gulf, Interfax, January 29, 2008.

[12] Jiang Yuxia, Chinese DM meets Saudi crown prince on improving military ties, Xinhua News AgencyJanuary 23, 2007.

[13] Randall Mikkelsen, U.S. sees Russia, China and OPEC financial threat, Reuters, February 5, 2008.

[14] Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World is a NATO document authored by five former NATO generals that calls for the use of nuclear weapons against rival states and blocs, for the global expansion of NATO, and for the amalgamation of the U.S., the E.U., and NATO.


[1] NATO HQ.

[2] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

Related articles from the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG):
The Mediterranean Union: Dividing the Middle East and North Africa
 NATO and Israel: Instruments of America’s Wars in the Middle East
America’s “Divide and Rule” Strategies in the Middle East
The “Great Game:” Eurasia and the History of War
The “Great Game” Enters the Mediterranean: Gas, Oil, War, and Geo-Politics
The Sino-Russian Alliance: Challenging America’s Ambitions in Eurasia
Europe and America: Sharing the Spoils of War

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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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