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Central Asia: U.S. Military Buildup On Chinese, Iranian And Russian Borders

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« on: August 12, 2010, 12:59:16 pm »

Central Asia: U.S. Military Buildup On Chinese, Iranian And Russian Borders
Global Research, August 12, 2010
by Rick Rozoff

On August 4 the chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Italian Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, concluded an official visit to Australia during which he met with the nation's acting Chief of Defence and officials from the Department of Defence. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, despite its name, has strayed far from its point of origin 61 years ago, extending its grasp from North America and Western Europe to Asia and the South Pacific.

Di Paola's deliberations with his Australian counterparts centered on "the need for NATO to work together with strategic partners like Australia, given that Euro-Atlantic security is more and more interconnected to Euro-Asian and Asian-Pacific regions."

Australia is the largest troop contributor among non-NATO states to the Alliance's war effort in South Asia, providing 1,550 troops for NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

In an address he delivered at the Australian National University in Canberra, the head of NATO's top military body (whose first head was General Omar Bradley) spoke on the bloc's "New Strategic Concept and the relationship with Global Partners":

"In this new context, because of the vulnerabilities created by globalization and the rapid pace at which it occurred, it is all the more essential for us to maintain global connectivity if we are to successfully tackle 21st Century challenges and trends." [1]

NATO, the world's only and history's first international military bloc, now counts among its members and global partners at least 70 nations on five continents, and has troops from seven Asia-Pacific nations (Australia, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Tonga) serving under its command in Afghanistan.

It has expanded from the northern Atlantic Ocean region over the equator to the Antipodes and the reach of its operations extends from the Arctic Ocean to the Antarctic, from Africa's Gulf of Guinea to the Gulf of Mexico, the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden.

As Admiral Di Paola maintains, securing the safety of Washington and Brussels requires the expansion of a U.S.-dominated military alliance into "the Euro-Asian and Asian-Pacific regions." Having subdued and subordinated almost all of Europe through membership and partnership expansion over the last eleven years, at its Lisbon summit this November NATO will formalize its 21st century Strategic Concept in respect to placing the European continent under a U.S.-controlled interceptor missile system and expanding military partnerships into those corners of the planet so far left unincorporated into the network of the global, expeditionary military formation among other initiatives.

NATO troop deployments, utilization and upgrading of bases, armed combat operations, air patrols, naval surveillance and interdiction, armed forces training programs and regular military exercises now occur on the borders and off the coasts of China (Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Tajikistan), Iran (Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Iraq, Pakistan, Qatar, Turkmenistan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates) and Russia (Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine). There are no longer buffer states between the Western military alliance and major non-NATO nations in Eurasia.

At the same time the Pentagon is escalating at an unparalleled pace military provocations near China - the recently concluded Invincible Spirit war games in the Sea of Japan with the nuclear-powered supercarrier USS George Washington, the same aircraft carrier docking in central Vietnam along with the guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain on August 8 for unprecedented naval exercises in the South China Sea, the Pentagon announcing that the George Washington will soon enter the Yellow Sea near China's coastline - and leading the largest-ever Khaan Quest military exercises in Mongolia with the participation of, for the first time, troops from fellow NATO nations Germany and Canada along with France, as well as four Asian NATO candidates that were included in Khaan Quest 2009: India, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. Mongolia shares borders with China and Russia.

Russia, China and Iran are the only major nations outside Latin America that serve as serious barriers to American worldwide military expansion and dominance. By driving into former Soviet territory in the Caspian Sea basin and Central Asia, the Pentagon and NATO are completing their military advance on all three nations. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are situated in a compact zone between China, Iran and Russia, and all but Uzbekistan border one or more of the three nations.

Notwithstanding the deadly upheavals in Kyrgyzstan this April and June, the U.S. and NATO have substantially increased the deployment of troops - at least 50,000 a month - and equipment through the nation for the West's 150,000-troop, nine-year war in Afghanistan. Washington and Brussels have activated the Northern Distribution Network to transport supplies to the Afghan war front from ports on the Baltic, Black and Caspian Seas through the Caucasus and Central Asia, pulling Azerbaijan and the five Central Asian states deeper into the Western military phalanx.

This year leading Pentagon, State Department and NATO officials have paid visits to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, including the first trip by a U.S. secretary of defense in five years and a secretary of state in eighteen years to the first-named state. In April President Obama secured military overflight and transit rights from his Kazakh opposite number, President Nursultan Nazarbayev, in a nation adjoining China and Russia.

U.S. ambassador-designate to Azerbaijan, preeminent post-Soviet space hand Matthew Bryza, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 20 that his future host country, "located at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia, and bordering Iran," immediately after September 11, 2001 "offered us unlimited overflights...for our military aircraft."

He added: "Today, Azerbaijan continues to provide valuable overflight, refueling, and landing rights for U.S. and coalition aircraft bound for Afghanistan.

"Azerbaijan has also contributed troops to U.S. and coalition military
operations in Afghanistan, as well as Kosovo and Iraq....Azerbaijan has also remained a steadfast supporter of Israel." [2]

At the same hearing the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar, connected the war in Afghanistan and beyond with America's trans-Eurasian energy campaign against Russia and Iran: Troops and military equipment go to the east and oil and natural gas to the west by the same route.

"I am concerned that the continuing absence of a Senate-confirmed US representative there [Azerbaijan] could impede progress toward several US national security goals. Our Committee has worked closely with our Envoy for Eurasian Energy, Ambassador Richard Morningstar, to promote the expansion of the Nabucco pipeline, the key element of a southern energy corridor that would stretch from the Caspian region to Europe.

"Progress on this measure will allow our allies to diversify energy supplies, while providing nations in the region with a focus for closer cooperation. The Nabucco pipeline's commercial and political viability will depend on both Azerbaijan's commitment of its indigenous resources and its willingness to serve as a transport hub for Central Asian energy across the Caspian from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and possibly other countries.

"A close partnership with Azerbaijan and other nations in the South Caucasus will also be essential to ensure the transit of supplies to our troops in the Middle East and to resolve complex disputes concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave." [3]

Reinhard Mitschek, managing director of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH in charge of the Western natural gas project from Kazakhstan to Europe, underscored Lugar's point this June in stating "Europe is interested in the purchasing of natural gas from Azerbaijan, Egypt, Iraq and Turkmenistan via the Nabucco pipeline. We came into agreement. Iran's participation in this project is not a point at issue." [4]

In the same month Agence France-Presse quoted the U.S. ambassador to Tajikistan, Ken Gross, confirming that the Pentagon plans to construct a new military facility in the Central Asian nation: "The plan [includes] almost $10 million to build [a] national training center for the Tajik armed forces." The new base is to be called the Karatag National Training Center and, according to Gross, could house U.S. military personnel. [5]

The August 7 edition of the Washington Post substantiated earlier reports that the U.S. plans to establish a comparable base in Kyrgyzstan, which like Tajikistan borders China.

The article revealed that "The United States is planning to move ahead with construction of a $10 million military training base in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, the site of a bloody uprising in June....Called the Osh Polygon, the base was first proposed under former Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev as a facility to train Kyrgyz troops for counterterrorism operations. After the ouster of Bakiyev...discussions continued under the new Kyrgyz president, Roza Otunbayeva, with whose government Washington is trying to broaden relationships...Osh Polygon will consist of a secure garrison compound with officers' quarters and barracks for enlisted personnel, plus range facilities, firing pistols, rifles, crew-served weapons and explosive ordnance...." [6]

Earlier this month the EurasiaNet website posted a feature titled "Is the U.S. Violating Turkmenistan's Neutrality with the NDN?" Quoting a Russian source, the piece describes the role of the U.S. and NATO Northern Distribution Network (NDN) in the Turkmen capital: "U.S. freight transited through Ashgabat is in fact military in nature and even constitutes criminal contraband. Airport employees claim they saw armored vehicles, combat helicopters and crates of ammunition. These reports challenge both the notion of Turkmen neutrality and the supposed nature of the bilateral agreement between Turkmenistan and the U.S."

Turkmenistan is a member of the NATO Partnership for Peace program, but its government doesn't acknowledge supporting U.S. war efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention those being prepared against Iran, its neighbor to the north.
However, "The U.S. has gained access to use almost all the military airfields of Turkmenistan, including the airport in Nebit-Dag near the Iranian border, which was reconstructed at American expense. In September 2004, at the Mary-2 airfield, U.S. military experts appeared and began reconstructing the facility with the help of Arab construction companies, which provoked the protest of Moscow....An American military contingent is located in Ashgabat to oversee the operations related to refueling of military airplanes. NATO is also trying to open up a land corridor to bring freight by road and rail...." [7]

With regards to Uzbekistan, where German NATO troops remain at the Termez airbase although the U.S. military was ousted in 2005, Leonid Gusev of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations was cited last month maintaining that "The U.S. is interested in close cooperation with Uzbekistan, as the Central Asian country is strategically important for the U.S." and that "Uzbek authorities have recently strengthened cooperation with the U.S. and other Western countries."

Gusev added: "Now non-military goods are delivered through Uzbekistan to Afghanistan for NATO troops.

"There is a free industrial and economic zone, 'Navoi,' in Uzbekistan on the border with Afghanistan. It is the main transit point for shipments of goods to Afghanistan.

"This zone may soon be transformed into a transcontinental forwarding air point, which will link the Far East, South-East Asia, South Asia and Europe....[T]he U.S. plans to build a new military base near the Uzbek border to turn Uzbekistan into an important transit point for access to Afghanistan....It is planned to build an operational center,
living accommodation, [a] tactical operations center, warehouses, [a] training complex, logistics center...etc. within this project." [8]

Last week Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hosted Afghan and Tajik presidents Hamid Karzai and Emomali Rahmon in Tehran and, according to a Reuters report, "Iran's president told the leaders of Afghanistan and Tajikistan...that the three neighbors could provide a counterweight to NATO in Asia once foreign troops quit the region." Advice that China and Russia would also be wise to heed.

Ahmadinejad was quoted during a meeting with his counterparts stating "The Europeans and NATO are not interested in the progress of our three countries. Those who put pressure from abroad are unwanted guests [and] should leave, sooner or later." [9]

With the announcement of new U.S. military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in addition to the indefinite maintenance of those in the latter country, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and with American and NATO military strength in Afghanistan at a record 150,000 troops, there is no indication that the Pentagon and the North Atlantic military bloc intend to leave the strategic arc that begins in the South Caucasus and ends at the Chinese border. [10]


1) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
   Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
   August 5, 2010
2) Azeri Press Agency, July 22, 2010
3) Ibid
4) Azeri Press Agency, June 23, 2010
5) Agence France-Presse, June 26, 2010
6) Walter Pincus, U.S. base in Kyrgyzstan remains on track despite tensions
   Washington Post, August 7, 2010
7) EurasiaNet, August 1, 2010
Cool Trend News Agency, July 15, 2010
9) Reuters, August 5, 2010
10) NATO Pulls Pakistan Into Its Global Network
    Afghan War: Petraeus Expands U.S. Military Presence Throughout Eurasia
    Pentagon Chief In Azerbaijan: Afghan War Arc Stretches To Caspian And
    Kazakhstan: U.S., NATO Seek Military Outpost Between Russia And China
    Kyrgyzstan And The Battle For Central Asia
    Mongolia: Pentagon Trojan Horse Wedged Between China And Russia
    NATO’s Role In The Military Encirclement Of Iran
    Broader Strategy: West’s Afghan War Targets Russia, China, Iran
    West’s Afghan War And Drive Into Caspian Sea Basin
    Azerbaijan And The Caspian: NATO’s War For The World’s Heartland
    Mr. Simmons’ Mission: NATO Bases From Balkans To Chinese Border
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2010, 01:07:08 pm »

Global Military Agenda: U.S. Expands Asian NATO To Contain And Confront China
Global Research, August 7, 2010
by Rick Rozoff

The U.S. ended the four-day Invincible Spirit joint military exercise with South Korea on July 28, which consisted of 20 warships and submarines, 200 aircraft and 8,000 troops "in the sea, shore and the skies" [1] of South Korea and in the Sea of Japan near the coasts of North Korea and Russia.

On the same day the Taiwan News ran a feature entitled "China reports: the US means to set up another NATO in Asia," which cited Chinese news media, scholars and analysts warning that "The US is establishing another 'NATO' in Asia to contain China as evidenced in the ongoing high-profile naval exercise with South Korea and a perceived intrusion in South China Sea affairs. [T]hese moves including explicit intervention in Asian affairs underline the US's schemes to challenge China over its growing presence in this area...."

Chinese scholar Shih Yongming is paraphrased as asserting that "The US is capitalizing on the contradictions among East Asian countries to form a front against China," in reference to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proposing "to include the controversy over the issues of South China Sea into the mechanism of international laws and [speaking] explicitly about US stakes in the disputed sea's areas," [2] an allusion to her comments at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum in Hanoi on July 23.

Clinton's signal that Washington would rally Southeast Asian nations engaged in disputes with China over claims to the Paracel and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea occurred at the end of a six-day tour of Asia - Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Korea and Vietnam - which followed by two weeks visits to Ukraine, Poland, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia on Russia's western and southern flanks.

During her trips last month to nine nations from the Baltic Sea to the South China Sea, especially during her stays in Georgia and Vietnam, Clinton reiterated in no equivocal terms that the U.S. recognizes no "spheres of influence" by any other nation anywhere in the world, including ones by Russia and China on their borders and in their immediate neighborhoods [3], and that Washington reserves the exclusive right to intervene in regional conflicts around the world and to "internationalize" them when and how it sees fit.

Two days after Clinton left Vietnam the nearly 100,000-ton USS George Washington nuclear-powered supercarrier moved into the Sea of Japan for large-scale war games which also included the first deployment of U.S. F-22 Raptor fifth generation stealth warplanes to Korea. According to a local news source, "Two F-22s known as the best fighter aircraft in the world were shown combat-ready at Osan Air Base in Gyeonggi Province on [July 26].

"Saying the Raptor is the most lethal fighter, the US Air Force pointed out the jet's stealth design which prevents it from being detected by enemy radars.

"U.S. officials were also eager to remind North Korea of the supersonic jet's presence as it can launch precise strikes at strategic targets." [4]

The F-22s were not only within easy striking distance of Pyongyang but of Vladivostok, Russia's largest port city on the Pacific Ocean. And not North Korea and Russia alone.

A research scholar with the Academy of Military Science of the People's Liberation Army, Luo Yuan, wrote of the Invincible Spirit war games that the Pentagon deployed not only "a nuclear-powered super-carrier, but also its military aircraft, warships, [a] nuclear-powered submarine and [an] Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer for the joint drill."

The naval, submarine and air exercises were conducted "only 500 km from Beijing. Considering that the nuclear-powered super-carrier USS George Washington's radius of action is up to 600 km, and the aircraft it carries can reach a speed of 1,000 km an hour, the joint drill was dangerously close to China's security threshold."

The author asked a question that Russian authorities should also have posed, mutatis mutandis: "China has to be alarmed when other powers display their military might near its territory. Will the US allow China to conduct military drills with neighboring countries in the Gulf of Mexico?"

He added these concluding remarks: "[T]he military exercise was aimed at, it was a threat to China.

"The US has bandied about the 'China threat theory' for some time now. But this joint military exercise proves once and for all that the US, and not China, is a threat to the world." [5]

South Korean new media have reported that the U.S. is to participate in monthly naval drills off the Korean Peninsula, in the Yellow Sea off China's coast, next month. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell announced on August 6 that  USS George Washington will participate in a joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise in the Yellow Sea "in the near future."

Before the military drills began, the influential China Daily contained an editorial that connected the expansion of a U.S.-led equivalent of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to a hostile policy toward China, stating, "the US has seemingly become less restrained in its move to push forward an Asian version of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization with its allies in the region.

"In so doing, Washington has harbored the obvious strategic intention of
containing China - whose economic and strategic influence has kept increasing in the international arena - in a bid to preempt possible troubles that the fast-growing nation may cause to the US." [6]

Recent articles by a U.S. geopolitical strategist and by a retired military official have renewed the demand for an Asian NATO [7], in the second case insisting that "The Asian 'NATO' must stand-up a credible, united effort against China’s intimidation and hegemonic actions much as NATO formed the backbone of our defense against the former Soviet Union." [8]

Over six years ago Liu Xuecheng, a researcher with the China Institute of International Studies, sounded the following alarm:

"Almost as early as from the end of the Cold War, the United States began to promote a military mechanism in Asia similar to NATO.

"During the eight years of former US President Bill Clinton's term, the United States confirmed Japan and Australia as its core allies in the Asia-Pacific region and respectively regarded the two countries as the northern and southern anchors of its East Asian security strategy.

"Through various military exercises and construction of a missile defence system, Washington subsequently succeeded in networking its bilateral military relations with Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore.

"Following the Kosovo War, the perception that Europe's security situation had [come] under [the] control of NATO while Asia-Pacific security was being threatened by more uncertain and unpredictable factors prompted the United States to begin to shift its military strategy eastward." [9]

After September 11, 2001 that geostrategic transition was intensified, the author continued, and "the Bush administration...put its priority on countering terrorism and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Under those two banners, the United States has strengthened its strategic control of the V-shaped belt stretching from Northeast to Central Asia, to which China, India, Japan and Russia are closely adjacent.

"The US traditional energy transportation passage and nations Bush branded as part of the so-called 'axis of evil' also overlap this long arc.

"While strengthening its strategic control of the outstretched chain, the United States has also actively worked to extend the network of Asia-Pacific security alliances under its domination to the Indian Ocean and even to the Persian Gulf to join the southward-extending NATO.

"To expedite implementation of this strategy, Washington has promoted active participation of its traditional allies in the anti-terror war, and prompted them to co-ordinate its anti-proliferation moves and support its ambitious missile defence system."

The preceding year an unsigned item appeared in China Daily which stated "The United States is designing a NATO-like multilateral military mechanism for Asia to better serve its own strategic interests....Washington's basic purpose for closer ties with India and an Asian version of NATO is to extend its status as the world's sole superpower." [10]

When the seventh of what had become annual U.S.-India Malabar naval war games expanded to include Australia, Japan and Singapore in 2007, Indian journalist Praful Bidwai wrote: "The naval exercises...are the largest and the most complex that India has ever participated in and feature as many as 25 ships from India, United States, Australia, Japan and Singapore....China...sees India’s military collaboration with staunchly pro-U.S. states like Australia and Japan and Singapore, and above all, with the U.S. itself, as an attempt to set up what it calls 'an Asian NATO', and eventually, to encircle it."  [11]

What in fact the U.S. is doing to complete its status as history's first sole world military superpower, as its commander-in-chief Barack Obama referred to it in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, is to not only drag almost all Asia-Pacific nations into a military bloc analogous to NATO, but to integrate the East into a global military alliance with NATO as the foundation. [12]

As was remarked above, since the end of the Cold War the U.S. has incorporated almost all of Europe into the North Atlantic military bloc it controls. Every European nation (excluding microstates) except for Cyprus (for the moment, though it is also under pressure to join the Partnership for Peace) is now a member of NATO or part of the Partnership for Peace and even more advanced programs. 38 European nations have provided the bloc with troop contingents of varying size for the war in Afghanistan.

Having subjugated Europe, Washington moved onto Asia, Oceania, Africa and the Middle East with the Caribbean and Latin America slated to follow. In short, the entire planet.

The five former Soviet Central Asian republics - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - are Partnership for Peace members, all except Tajikistan joining in the early 1990s and it in 2002. Since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 NATO troops and warplanes have operated out of bases in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The Pentagon has recently announced plans to open training centers in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in addition to the Transit Center at Manas in the second country through which 50,000 U.S. and NATO troops pass each month to and from Afghanistan.

This week Semyon Bagdasarov, member of the Russian State Duma's International Affairs Committee, commented on NATO's expanded plans for the region: "[T]here are plans to send 52 OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] policemen to Kyrgyzstan who are supposed to do something there. But what can 52 unarmed men do? Kyrgyzstan is not Kosovo. If anything happens to these OSCE policemen, orders will be given to bring in armed units to Kyrgyzstan. Who is going to send military units there? Of course, it’s NATO. There’s a US military base in Manas, a French air base in Dushanbe, a 154,000 NATO military contingent in Afghanistan. What’s the problem? If that happens, we will witness a very interesting situation that will resemble the one in Kosovo." [13]

In recent years NATO developed a new category of military cooperation, what are termed Contact Countries, all of which are in the Asia-Pacific region: Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

Last week NATO announced that Malaysia had become the 47th nation to officially contribute troops for the bloc's war in Afghanistan, joining other new Asian contributors Singapore, Mongolia and South Korea. Australia has 1,550 troops in Afghanistan and New Zealand over 200, with more to be deployed in September. Australia wants yet more New Zealand forces to serve under an  Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) command in the South Asian war zone. [14] The first soldier from the nation was killed in Afghanistan on August 3.

Last week it was announced that Britain will underwrite expenses for 275 marines from the South Pacific kingdom of Tonga to be deployed to Afghanistan.

Asian NATO is not a metaphor.

From July 19-23 the U.S. Air Force and the government of Singapore sponsored the 2010 Pacific Rim Airpower Symposium in the Southeast Asian country to which delegations from Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga and Vietnam were also invited to participate.

The U.S. Air Force's Lieutenant General Hawk Carlisle said of the gathering, "The U.S. Air Force looks forward to these events every year, and our 2010 editions are no exception." [15]

On August 1 the U.S. completed month-long biennial Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) war games in Hawaii, the world's largest naval maneuvers, which included 36 warships, five submarines, 170 aircraft and 20,000 troops from 14 nations: Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Peru, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the U.S. India and New Zealand were observer countries.

Vice Admiral Richard Hunt, commander of the U.S. Third Fleet and combined task force commander for the exercises, said, "This is the largest RIMPAC that we've had." [16]

"Diesel electric submarines from Japan and South Korea stalked the U.S. aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan in the final phase - simulating a growing undersea worry as nonallied nations build up their stock of quiet subs in the Pacific." [17]

Participants for the first time were one of NATO's three nuclear powers, France; Colombia, which is the first Latin American nation to provide NATO troops for the war in Afghanistan; and Singapore and Thailand, prominent members of the U.S. Asian NATO project.

On July 26 and 27 senior Indian air force leaders visited the Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico "to learn how the U.S. Air Force operators use simulators for different aircraft and how to do distributed mission operations....The visiting [Indian Air Force] leaders are interested in taking part in future Virtual Flag exercises....Virtual Flag exercises link geographically separated live, virtual and constructive weapons assets in a shared joint synthetic theater environment." [18]

Japan sent several officers from the Maritime Self-Defense Force to the recently concluded U.S.-South Korean war games in the Sea of Japan. A government panel recently issued a recommendation stating "existing defense guidelines, made in the Cold War era, are now seen as 'unsuitable,' and that it is necessary to respond proactively to limited, small-scale invasions and contingencies on the Korean Peninsula and in the Taiwan Strait," and proposed "lifting outright bans on development and possession of nuclear weapons and their transportation to Japan...." [19]

Regarding U.S. plans to recruit Asia-Pacific nations into its global interceptor missile system, United Press International announced on August 5 that "Japan may export the ship-launched Standard Missile-3 system, a change from the country's current ban on selling arms and weapons."

"The apparent move comes after a request last October by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Japan's Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa....The United States is expecting an answer by the end of the year....

"The 21-foot SM-3 missile, designated RIM-161A in the United States, is a major part of the U.S. Navy's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System and is a compliment to the Patriot missile." [20]

On July 31 the two-week U.S.-led Angkor Sentinel 2010 military exercises in Cambodia ended. The drills which formally are for training peacekeepers for worldwide deployments included military forces from the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Japan, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Mongolia as well as the host nation. Like the latest RIMPAC war games, a combination of major NATO and Asian NATO participants.

The U.S. has just launched Khaan Quest 2010, reputed to be the largest of the annual military exercises it leads in Mongolia, and South Korean troops are to participate for the first time. [22]

On August 5 a Nepalese news sources disclosed that eight U.S. Army troops had arrived in the nation for a joint two-week military exercise.

Australia, which last year announced the largest military buildup since World War Two [21], has begun Exercise Pitch Black, a "three-week air combat exercise in Darwin, in northern Australia. The Royal Australian Air Force is being joined by military personnel from New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand."

"Security analysts say the annual war games over Darwin and the Northern Territory are designed to boost Australia's military ties with its strategic partners. In the past, Indonesian forces also have taken part." [23]

A major Philippine newspaper recently reported that "The United States has pledged to provide the Philippines with $18.4-million worth of precision-guided missiles this year to use in its fight against Islamist militants in the south...." [24]

On August 5 Agence France-Press revealed that the Pentagon will supply Taiwan with two more Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates. "Taiwan's navy already operates a fleet of eight such frigates, but it has launched a five-year buildup beginning from 2008," said a Taiwanese naval spokesman.

"Taiwanese media have said the planned buildup includes eight conventional submarines, as well as an undisclosed number of frigates and guided-missile patrol boats." [25]

An article that appeared in the International Herald Tribune this week, "Washington Shores Up Its Strategic Assets in Asia," included these observations:

"The United States has been gravely weakened by its Iraq and Afghan wars and consequent neglect of the strategic importance of East Asia. But two recent moves by Washington — the joint naval exercises with South Korea and a spirited diplomatic defense of the freedom of the South China Sea — have shown a renewed concern with America’s security interests in Northeast and Southeast Asia."

"America’s military maneuvers with South Korea last week reminded China of the overwhelming naval superiority that the U.S. and its allies still enjoy in the region. Meanwhile, at the meeting last month in Hanoi of the Asean regional forum, which brought foreign ministers from the 10 Southeast Asian nations together with U.S., Chinese and other officials, Vietnam successfully conspired with the United States to get the South China Sea issue back on the table for discussion at international meetings."

"The United States, by declaring in Hanoi that it has an interest in freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and the settlement of disputed claims by international law, has put itself firmly in the camp of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and other nations with stakes in the outcome...." [26]

Last week a bipartisan, congressionally mandated defense panel headed by former White House National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and former Defense Secretary William Perry "challenged the Pentagon to broaden its focus beyond counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and Iraq and expand the Navy to deal with threats from rising powers in Asia." The panel's report called for the U.S. Navy to expand its current 282 ships to 346 ships to "beef up U.S. maritime power in Asia."

The report stipulated confronting "an accelerating global competition for resources" and "the rise of new global great powers in Asia." [27]

The allusion, those phrased in the plural, was to China.

The perspective of a looming conflict is shared on the Chinese side, albeit in regards to developments in China's own region and not thousands of miles away. Wang Jisi, director of Peking University's Center for International and Strategic Studies, wrote on August 5 that "In early 2010, conflicts between China and the US came thick and fast, leading to the most serious political disturbance between the two countries since the plane collision in 2001....The gap between the two sides' perceptions on major international issues is getting bigger. US strategists are still trying to take advantage of China's weak spots in domestic and foreign affairs. n the future the strategic cooperation space between the two will be squeezed, and major competition is inevitable." [28]

The tone of commentary in the Chinese press is increasingly grave and even ominous, as is indicated by these samples from Global Times:

"The Chinese government has not sent a clear signal, though there is heated debate among the public as how to respond to the aggressive US policy. Ideas range from military action to leveraging China's financial holdings of US assets, to more diplomatic communication. Admittedly, China has fewer means to counter the US than the US can use against China.

"China won't follow a path to war like Japan did in World War II, but that does not mean that China will surrender to US strategic containment....Taking on China as a competitor may serve as an incentive to the US. If the US takes China as an enemy, the result would be disastrous.

"Plenty of water has passed under the bridge for China and the US since President Obama took office. What started out warmly soon turned chilly, and many feel the Sino-US relationship is heading toward a dangerously uncertain era." [29]

China's first direct experience with NATO occurred on May 7, 1999 when five of the Alliance's bombs hit its embassy in Yugoslavia in a strike approved by President Bill Clinton. Three Chinese citizens were killed and over 20 wounded in what the Chinese government branded a "crime of war" and a "barbarian act."

In the intervening years NATO has moved to China's borders - in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - and China's neighbors are being recruited into an Eastern extension of the world first global military bloc.


1) Navy NewsStand, July 28, 2010
2) Taiwan News, July 28, 2010
3) Clinton Renews U.S. Claims On Former Soviet Space
   Stop NATO, July 7, 2010
4) Arirang News, July 28, 2010
5) Luo Yuan, Big Brother flexes muscles
   Xinhua News Agency, July 31, 2010
6) China Daily, July 12, 2010
7) Max Boot, Building an East Asian NATO
   Atlantic Council, May 12, 2010

   Robert Maginnis, Winning the New Cold War
   Human Events, August 6, 2010
Cool Human Events, August 6, 2010
9) People's Daily, June 3, 2004
10) China Daily, July 18, 2003
11) Inter Press Service, September 7, 2007
12) Global Military Bloc: NATO’s Drive Into Asia
    Stop NATO, January 24, 2009
    U.S. Expands Asian NATO Against China, Russia
    Stop NATO, October 16, 2009
    U.S. Consolidates Military Network In Asia-Pacific Region
    Stop NATO, April 28, 2010
13) Russia Today, August 3, 2010
14) New Zealand Press Association, July 29, 2010
15) Pacific Air Forces, July 15, 2010
16) Navy Times, July 6, 2010
17) Honolulu Star-Advertiser, July 31, 2010
18) U.S. Air Forces in Europe
    American Forces Press Service
    July 30, 2010
19) Agence France-Presse, July 27, 2010
20) United Press International, August 5, 2010
21) Australian Military Buildup And The Rise Of Asian NATO
    Stop NATO, May 6, 2009
22) Mongolia: Pentagon Trojan Horse Wedged Between China And Russia
    Stop NATO, March 31, 2010
23) Voice of America News, August 4, 2010
24) Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 31, 2010
25) Agence France-Presse, August 5, 2010
26) International Herald Tribune, August 2, 2010
27) Washington Times, July 29, 2010
28) Global Times, August 5, 2010
28) Global Times, August 5, 2010


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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2010, 01:12:33 pm »

Insidious, Risky Strategy: U.S. Builds Asian NATO Against China
Global Research, August 12, 2010
by Li Hongmei

Just as it appeared that long-standing spats between Beijing and Washington over such issues as trade imbalances, the valuation of China's currency, and sanctions against Iran and North Korea might be fading, a new set of squabbles arises immediately afterwards, with tensions building and mounting in recent weeks over events in the Yellow Sea and the South China Sea, and with the signs that the US is trying to meddle and dominate issues involving China.

What irritates China more is, in addition to Hillary Clinton's aggressive diplomacy at an ASEAN Regional Forum meeting in Hanoi, where she blatantly asserted US has "national interest" in the South China Sea, that Pentagon said Friday the USS Washington is heading for the Yellow Sea for the United States and South Korean naval and air units joint military exercises. To this, the Chinese public responds angrily, accusing Washington of needlessly escalating tensions in the region, although the government is still edging its way in the diplomatic barbs being exchanged between the two powers.

Obama administration, however, is experimenting a new, more insidious but very risky diplomatic strategy in the region, where it has for long played hegemonic power, to contain an emerging great power--- Drifting from confrontation to confrontation with a rising China, as Washington is now doing. This will bring about the doomed fallout. In a not very long American history, perhaps, the only bitter lesson to the super war machine is taught by China----which has never rewarded it with a single chance to declare a complete victory on whatever occasions.

The U.S. decision to include an aircraft carrier in the exercise is considered especially provocative, and some Chinese suspect that Washington is sending a "strong message" about American power to China as well as North Korea. And that the US carrier maneuvered to its former foe Vietnam arouses wild speculations about whether the US is bent on building up a NATO in Asian version.

Indeed, the physically existent NATO may be unlikely to come into being, but psychologically, the US is coaxing and coercing China's neighbors to join in its galaxy. It is understandable that some SE Asian countries cannot be fully disarmed at the sight of the rise of a giant neighbor, and it is also reasonable that they take shelter from a mighty ally, in that the American preeminence in the region is not only seen by its densely scattered military bases, but its close-knit economic ties with these countries.

However, the US is by no means all-mighty. Being parasitic to or heavily reliant on the super power would inevitably deal a disastrous blow to the national interests of the involved Asian countries. On the other hand, China and its Asian neighbors, albeit intriguing against each other at times, have their respective interests overlapping and hence would go through thick and thin together. And geopolitically, China's neighboring countries cannot afford the side effects resulted from face-off with China.

Relations between China and the United States have become decidedly testy in recent days and the US is anxious to find its proxies in the region by inciting their discontent with China and pulling them to the American side.

Like a contemptible wretch making trouble, these mean and petty actions taken by the so-called super power would fail to help it get the desired fruit---to effectively counterbalance China in Asia. What China needs to do is just to beef up its confidence in handling the frictions with its neighbors, and through this, to elevate its political credibility and authority in the region.

And to prove China offers to cooperate rather than confront.
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2010, 01:18:47 pm »

US Ensures Military Presence on Russia’s “Belly” in Central Asia. Confronts China and Iran
Global Research, August 12, 2010
by Alexander Shustov

This story by Alexander Shustov, political scientist and expert on Central Asia,  Strategic Culture Foundation was published in International Affairs magazine

-Both check points are of geo-strategical importance - first in case of a war between the US and Iran....In addition to Central Asia, the US plans to deploy its forces in the Southern Caucasus - in particular early warning radars in Georgia. It is expected that besides the radars, the Pentagon may locate a land military base and a naval base in Georgia with 25,000 servicemen.

-Even a brief look at the deployment of US military objects shows that it almost fully repeats the geography of “the Eurasian Balkans” of Zbigniew Brzezinski, who gave this geopolitical region a decisive role in fighting Russia on “the Grand Chessboard”.

By locating its special forces troops, surveillance equipment and other forces in Central Asia and in the Caucasus after the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan in 2011, the US will ensure its military presence right on Russia’s “belly” near the northern border of Iran and the western border of China. Here the Americans plan to deploy an intelligence network which will ensure control over the situation in the most important points of Eurasia.

The US plans to build military training centers in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. First, these plans were announced last year and they received a wide response because earlier it had been announced that a Russian military base would be built in the south of Kyrgyzstan. Now the Pentagon is not going to confine itself to Kyrgyzstan, and plans to build military facilities on the territory of five states of the region. It implies the redeployment of part of the military infrastructure of the US from Afghanistan to former Soviet Central Asia and Kazakhstan and also the construction of NATO facilities there.

According to “EurasiaNet”, US Central Command’s counter-narcotics fund was to allocate more than $40 million for the construction of military training centers in the cities of Osh (Kyrgyzstan) and Karatoga (Tajikistan), a canine center and helicopter hangar near the city of Alma-Ata [Almaty] (Kazakhstan) as well as for the strengthening of border check points in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The Pentagon estimates the construction of each border check point at $5-10 million. The location of the US border check point in Uzbekistan is not disclosed out but the location of the check points in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan is quite remarkable. The Serahs check point (Turkmenistan) is on the border with Iran and the Kyrgyz check point (where the modernization of the electricity supply and water supply and sewage system is planned) – near Batken. Both check points are of geo-strategical importance - first in case of a war between the US and Iran and second - in case of destabilization of the political situation in this part of the Fergana Valley like it was in 1999-2000 during the invasion by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

In Kazakhstan the US plans to build a new helicopter hangar near the city of Alma-Ata, a canine center and a center for inspection of transport vehicles, with the total construction costs amounting to $10 million.

In Tajikistan the Americans plan to build a military training center in Karatoga (not far from the capital of Dushanbe) for Tajik servicemen. There they plan to practice combat actions in urban conditions of a city and to train sharpshooters/spotters. The construction costs are estimated at $10 million. A similar center worth $ 5.5 million for practicing different kinds of combat actions in the course of border and counterterrorist operations is to be built in the Kyrgyz city of Batken.

It has been known about the US plans to strengthen its military presence in Central Asia since last autumn when the Northern supply route through Russia began to function alongside with the transport route from Pakistan. It is known that Pentagon is working on the plan to deploy elite units of its special troops in Central Asia, namely four battalions of the 3rd Special Forces (airborne) group which has a long experience of fighting in Afghanistan.

In addition to Central Asia, the US plans to deploy its forces in the Southern Caucasus - in particular early warning radars in Georgia. It is expected that besides the radars, the Pentagon may locate a land military base and a naval base in Georgia with 25,000 servicemen.

Finally, the Pentagon is to build a special operations complex in Afghanistan near the Uzbek border worth $100 million.

The complex with an area of 6 hectares will be located in Mazar-i-Sharif, 275 km north-west from Kabul and 56 km south from the Uzbek city of Termez.

In 18 months the Americans are to build a united operational center, residential blocks, a communication hub, a center for tactical operations, storage facilities, a training center, a medical center, repair facilities a center for logistics, a canteen, recreation facilities and a canine center.

They plan to put the complex into operation in late 2012-early 2012. In the longer perspective of 2012-2016 US Central Command plans to allocate another $3.8 billion for the construction of military facilities in the countries of the Middle East and Central Asia.

Even a brief look at the deployment of US military objects shows that it almost fully repeats the geography of “the Eurasian Balkans” of Zbigniew Brzezinski, who gave this geopolitical region a decisive role in fighting Russia on “the Grand Chessboard”.

By locating its special forces troops, surveillance equipment and other forces in Central Asia and in the Caucasus after the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan in 2011, the US will ensure its military presence right on Russia’s “belly” near the northern border of Iran and the western border of China. Here the Americans plan to deploy an intelligence network which will ensure control over the situation in the most important points of Eurasia.
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