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NATO Acknowledges First Strike Interceptor Missile Plans


Steven Gaal
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NATO Acknowledges First Strike Interceptor Missile Plans :blink:

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GLOBAL RESEARCH link http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26854

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We bring to the attention of our readers excerpts from an article in Aviation Week, which acknowledges NATO's Plans to implement First Strike preemptive attacks as part of missile defense.

"[Welsh] outlines four “pillars” for missile defense: active defense (intercepting a missile); passive defense (warnings to populations and consequence management); offensive operations (including preventing a launch and/or striking a launch site); and command and control."

An actual flight test pitting a German Patriot terminal defense battery against a short-range missile target is scheduled for November. During the trial, which will take place in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a U.S. Aegis cruiser will provide target tracking.

"Many nations have capabilities that would allow us to go in and strike a missile site before it launches an attack, if NATO ever made that decision.”

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Guidance Needed For NATO Missile Defense Ops

By Amy Butler

NATO missile defense officials are awaiting approval of a plan to lay out guidance for unified alliance missile defense in advance of a key interim operational capability declaration for the system slated for May.

The North Atlantic Council is reviewing this plan, which includes weapons release authority, contingency response, rules of engagement and weapons control status guidelines, says U.S. Air Force Gen. Mark Welsh, who oversees American air forces in Europe. He says approval is needed by December to conduct proper testing in advance of the May milestone. Welsh is confident that with the North Atlantic Council’s approval, the interim operational capability goal is achievable.

This interim capability encompasses the exchange of data between the disparate command-and-control systems operated by NATO and the U.S.

“We have done data transfer of all types. We have worked email — which sounds minor but isn’t — [but] we have not done active voice testing yet across the system. That is the next set along with the [internet] chat,” Welsh tells Aviation Week. “We are very close to being able to transfer an air tasking order and an airspace coordination order for missile defense across this system.”

This coordination order provides guidance to forces on which systems and shooters operate in which airspace areas; it also outlines which terminal engagement systems are responsible for acting in the event of an attack.

Welsh acknowledges that the interim milestone planned for May is one of many steps needed to stand up a NATO missile defense in Europe. “We are at step zero right now trying to build this; the first step is connectivity...We still have to prove that,” Welsh says. “The next step is once we do have that, we will have a very small capability to actually intercept and destroy an incoming missile.”

Declaration of an initial operational capability was originally planned for 2014-15, with full operational capability to follow in 2018. The general acknowledges these dates are up for debate now at NATO. But “we are not far off” that plan, he says.

An actual flight test pitting a German Patriot terminal defense battery against a short-range missile target is scheduled for November. During the trial, which will take place in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a U.S. Aegis cruiser will provide target tracking.

...

[Welsh] outlines four “pillars” for missile defense: active defense (intercepting a missile); passive defense (warnings to populations and consequence management); offensive operations (including preventing a launch and/or striking a launch site); and command and control.

“There are lots of things they can do if they would look at things with a little bit broader scope than they have,” Welsh says. “Many of the nations can contribute in [various] ways, for example, in offensive operations. Many nations have capabilities that would allow us to go in and strike a missile site before it launches an attack, if NATO ever made that decision.”

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Interesting, Steven.

I think that for those interested in this a look at the history of NATO and the rules under which it operates is necessary. The populations of countries involved are locked into consequences.

Interesting that a US facility will provide targeting.

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"The extent to which the victory in Libya represents a replicable template for other conflicts is yet to be seen."

And celebrating the 2,000th Tomahawk thrown.

Libya Shows NATO A New Way Forward - OpEd By Kenneth R. Weinstein

http://www.eurasiare...y-forward-oped/

Even though Muammar Gaddafihas yet to be found, the battle over the legacy of the NATO intervention in Libyahas already begun. Numerous analysts have argued that the six-month intervention, which involved more than 19,000 sorties, showed critical alliance weakness. Michael Clarke, directorgeneral of Britain's Royal United Services Institute, called it a "curious victory," pointing outthat only nine of NATO's 28 members were operationally involved. "It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that NATO emerges from this successfuloperation weaker than it went into it. The military operation itself created animage of NATO's limitations rather than its power," he said.

To be certain, the uneven representation of NATO member states on the battlefield – and the absence of Germany,once a key cornerstone to all alliance activities – was jarring, but withsignificant Western help, Tripoli iseffectively in the hands of the rebels.

What we saw in Libya isthe emergence of something akin to warfare for the networked age: the full-fledged emergence of shifting coalitions of the willing based on participating nations'domestic political calculations and military readiness. We saw this in Iraq,of course, but in a diametrically opposed fashion.

This time, on the politicalside, leadership from Francewas critical to launching the operation. President Nicolas Sarkozy (along withBritish Prime Minister David Cameron) led the effort to overthrow Gaddafi.American leadership was nowhere to be found in the early weeks of the Libyanrebellion.

President Obama hesitated to intervene, joining the chorus after the Arab League itself called for regimechange – and only when the rebel stronghold of Benghazi,then holding out for allied support, became the site of reprisals by regimeforces who took advantage of Obama's indecision.

Despite an absence of American leadership at the outset, U.S.support and command and control operations were essential to victory.Washington Post columnist Jim Hoagland wrote that "We refer to NATO war planes playing a crucial role in the rebel campaign when we actually mean French warplanes." The French were critical to the Libya mission – and supplied the sole aircraft carrier used in the operation, the Charles de Gaulle (severely tested and in "mothballs" for the next year), but they were using American space-based surveillance, battlefield intelligence, drones, precision munitions and tank and bunker busters, which significantly aided their effort.

The Libyan rebels, who bravely seized their opportunity and transformed themselves from a disaffected mass to a force capable of seizing Tripoli, deserve much of the credit for victory. But NATO was critical: if the alliance hadn't eliminated the regime's crucial battlefield and air assets – using more than 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles – the rebels would not have made it significantly beyond Benghazi.The rebels also benefited from extensive covert operations, involving military advisers and special forces from Arab countries including Qatar and the United Arab Emirates who fought alongside NATO forces for the first time.

The extent to which the victory in Libya represents a replicable template for other conflicts is yet to be seen. This was a limited operation in the Mediterranean backyard of some key NATO members,not a major conflict with, say, China orRussia,where the alliance might be significantly divided. And we have yet to enter the stabilization phase of the operation, a phase to which NATO has yet to commit,and the part of the Iraq operation that proved most complicated.

However, the fundamental point is that European states successfully took on more responsibility through NATO, not the EU, in a conflict that few predicted until earlier this year. The NATO alliance has proven its resilience. This may lead to a redistribution of roles and responsibility in NATO, but this is no bad thing. American leadership will not always be missing as in the early days of this conflict but greater contributions from the Europeans are needed. If the will Europe summoned in Libya isto be repeated in the future a critical question is whether the increasing unwillingness of European populations to fund defense programs will bereversed.

If so – and under stronger American leadership – a new and revitalized NATO, one whose members are called on more equally to contribute militarily, could continue to be a major factorin the decades ahead.

Let us build on this success while we await the emergence of the new Libya.

Kenneth R. Weinstein is Presidentand Chief Executive Officer of Hudson Institute. This article appeared at RealClear World and is reprinted with permission.

Navy to mark 2,000th launch of Tomahawk cruisemissile

By CindyClayton

The Virginian-Pilot

© August 5, 2011

NORFOLK

Navyofficials are holding a ceremony today to mark the 2,000th Tomahawk cruisemissile combat launch.

Theceremony will be held at 10 a.m. aboard the guided-missile destroyer Barry.

Barry crew members will be recognized for their role in launching the missile on March 19against an air defense target during Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya, a Navy news release says.

TheTomahawk has been used for more than 30 years. The Navy uses different variantsof the missle system, including the Block IV which incorporates GPS navigation and a satellite data-link forlong-range fixed and moving targets in support of Special Forces. The missiles can fly at low altitudes and high sub-sonic speeds.

Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles have been used in every major U.S. combat operation since Operation Desert Storm.It can be launched from more than 140 Navy ships and submarines. It also isused by the U.K. Royal Navy.

Edited by William Kelly
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"The extent to which the victory in Libya represents a replicable template for other conflicts is yet to be seen."

And celebrating the 2,000th Tomahawk thrown.

Libya Shows NATO A New Way Forward - OpEd By Kenneth R. Weinstein

http://www.eurasiare...y-forward-oped/

Even though Muammar Gaddafihas yet to be found, the battle over the legacy of the NATO intervention in Libyahas already begun. Numerous analysts have argued that the six-month intervention, which involved more than 19,000 sorties, showed critical alliance weakness. Michael Clarke, directorgeneral of Britain's Royal United Services Institute, called it a "curious victory," pointing outthat only nine of NATO's 28 members were operationally involved. "It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that NATO emerges from this successfuloperation weaker than it went into it. The military operation itself created animage of NATO's limitations rather than its power," he said.

To be certain, the uneven representation of NATO member states on the battlefield – and the absence of Germany,once a key cornerstone to all alliance activities – was jarring, but withsignificant Western help, Tripoli iseffectively in the hands of the rebels.

What we saw in Libya isthe emergence of something akin to warfare for the networked age: the full-fledged emergence of shifting coalitions of the willing based on participating nations'domestic political calculations and military readiness. We saw this in Iraq,of course, but in a diametrically opposed fashion.

This time, on the politicalside, leadership from Francewas critical to launching the operation. President Nicolas Sarkozy (along withBritish Prime Minister David Cameron) led the effort to overthrow Gaddafi.American leadership was nowhere to be found in the early weeks of the Libyanrebellion.

President Obama hesitated to intervene, joining the chorus after the Arab League itself called for regimechange – and only when the rebel stronghold of Benghazi,then holding out for allied support, became the site of reprisals by regimeforces who took advantage of Obama's indecision.

Despite an absence of American leadership at the outset, U.S.support and command and control operations were essential to victory.Washington Post columnist Jim Hoagland wrote that "We refer to NATO war planes playing a crucial role in the rebel campaign when we actually mean French warplanes." The French were critical to the Libya mission – and supplied the sole aircraft carrier used in the operation, the Charles de Gaulle (severely tested and in "mothballs" for the next year), but they were using American space-based surveillance, battlefield intelligence, drones, precision munitions and tank and bunker busters, which significantly aided their effort.

The Libyan rebels, who bravely seized their opportunity and transformed themselves from a disaffected mass to a force capable of seizing Tripoli, deserve much of the credit for victory. But NATO was critical: if the alliance hadn't eliminated the regime's crucial battlefield and air assets – using more than 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles – the rebels would not have made it significantly beyond Benghazi.The rebels also benefited from extensive covert operations, involving military advisers and special forces from Arab countries including Qatar and the United Arab Emirates who fought alongside NATO forces for the first time.

The extent to which the victory in Libya represents a replicable template for other conflicts is yet to be seen. This was a limited operation in the Mediterranean backyard of some key NATO members,not a major conflict with, say, China orRussia,where the alliance might be significantly divided. And we have yet to enter the stabilization phase of the operation, a phase to which NATO has yet to commit,and the part of the Iraq operation that proved most complicated.

However, the fundamental point is that European states successfully took on more responsibility through NATO, not the EU, in a conflict that few predicted until earlier this year. The NATO alliance has proven its resilience. This may lead to a redistribution of roles and responsibility in NATO, but this is no bad thing. American leadership will not always be missing as in the early days of this conflict but greater contributions from the Europeans are needed. If the will Europe summoned in Libya isto be repeated in the future a critical question is whether the increasing unwillingness of European populations to fund defense programs will bereversed.

If so – and under stronger American leadership – a new and revitalized NATO, one whose members are called on more equally to contribute militarily, could continue to be a major factorin the decades ahead.

Let us build on this success while we await the emergence of the new Libya.

Kenneth R. Weinstein is Presidentand Chief Executive Officer of Hudson Institute. This article appeared at RealClear World and is reprinted with permission.

Navy to mark 2,000th launch of Tomahawk cruisemissile

By CindyClayton

The Virginian-Pilot

© August 5, 2011

NORFOLK

Navyofficials are holding a ceremony today to mark the 2,000th Tomahawk cruisemissile combat launch.

Theceremony will be held at 10 a.m. aboard the guided-missile destroyer Barry.

Barry crew members will be recognized for their role in launching the missile on March 19against an air defense target during Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya, a Navy news release says.

TheTomahawk has been used for more than 30 years. The Navy uses different variantsof the missle system, including the Block IV which incorporates GPS navigation and a satellite data-link forlong-range fixed and moving targets in support of Special Forces. The missiles can fly at low altitudes and high sub-sonic speeds.

Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles have been used in every major U.S. combat operation since Operation Desert Storm.It can be launched from more than 140 Navy ships and submarines. It also isused by the U.K. Royal Navy.

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Kelly shows his true colors,supports Hudson Institute,which is Max Holland's second home.

link http://www.hudson.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=publication_details&id=3870

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link http://www.antifascistencyclopedia.com/tag/max-holland

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This might be of more important to thread than Libya..

link http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21999

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Edited by Steven Gaal
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Kelly shows his truecolors,supports Hudson Institute,which is Max Holland's second home.

link http://www.hudson.or...details&id=3870

This might be of more important to thread than Libya..

link http://www.globalres...xt=va&aid=21999

I don't know how I could support the Hudson Institute or Max Holland, one of my chief nemesis.

The article you posted correctly dismisses Gus Russo and the German filmmakers for their blatant black propaganda,

disinformation program to blame the assassination of JFK on Castro, the original, rejected cover-story. It is years old,

though it does deserve closer analysis.

Max has not posted much on his blog recently and said he was going to go into hibernation to finish his book that

tries to paint the Warren Commission in a good light, and show how it was right all along.

Anyone who knows me or has read anything I have written on the subject knows where I stand, and nobody needs you to

tell them who and what I support.

As for your other link that you consider more important than Libya, it is a year old Global Research report on NATO,

and doesn't even mention Libya, doesn't foresee the role that NATO played in Libya and could play in the future

in regards to these types of regional revolutions, which were not anticipated, predicated, foreseen or prepared for by anyone.

Maybe both deserve more in-depth analysis, though all you would do is post London LaDouche's op-ed since he apparently tells you what to believe.

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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Global Research, November 18, 2010

BK: NOTE THE DATE ON THIS REPORT.

On November 19 and 20, NATO leaders meet in Lisbon for what is billed as a summit on “NATO’s Strategic Concept”. Among topics of discussion will be an array of scary “threats”, from cyberwar to climate change, as well as nice protective things like nuclear weapons and a high tech Maginot Line boondoggle supposed to stop enemy missiles in mid-air. The NATO leaders will be unable to avoid talking about the war in Afghanistan, that endless crusade that unites the civilized world against the elusive Old Man of the Mountain, Hassan i Sabah, eleventh century chief of the Assassins in his latest reincarnation as Osama bin Laden. There will no doubt be much talk of “our shared values”.

Most of what they will discuss is fiction with a price tag.

BK: WELL THAT BRINGS UP A VERY IMPORTANT POINT RIGHT AWAY - HASSAN I SABAH - THE CHIEF OF THE ASSASSINS - BUT THERE'S NO MENTION OF ANY TALK ABOUT LIBYA OR THE ARAB REVOLT.

The one thing missing from the Strategic Concept summit agenda is a serious discussion of strategy.

This is partly because NATO as such has no strategy, and cannot have its own strategy. NATO is in reality an instrument of United States strategy. Its only operative Strategic Concept is the one put into practice by the United States. But even that is an elusive phantom. American leaders seem to prefer striking postures, “showing resolve”, to defining strategies.

BK: INDEED, THIS DID BECOME A PROBLEM IN FEBRUARY 2011 WHEN THE US PRESIDENT HESITATED TO ACT AND FAILED TO ACT UNTIL THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF LIBYA WAS THREATENED BY THEIR MILITARY, BUT WHEN HE DID ACT, HE RADICALLY CHANGED NOT ONLY US POLICY BUT NATO - UK AND FRENCH POLICY AWAY FROM SUPPORT TO LONG TIME DICTATORS AND IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THAT NATIONS AREN'T OWNED BY FAMILIES WHO CAN PASS POWER ON FROM ONE GENERATION TO ANOTHER.

....At a NATO-sponsored conference of European parliamentarians last year,Jagland declared: “When we are not able to stop tyranny, war starts. This iswhy NATO is indispensable. NATO is the only multilateral military organizationrooted in international law. It is an organization that the U.N. can use whennecessary — to stop tyranny, like we did in the Balkans.” This is anastoundingly bold misstatement of fact, considering that NATO openly defiedinternational law and the United Nations to make war in the Balkans – where inreality there was ethnic conflict, but no “tyranny”.

SHE DOESN'T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED IN THE BALKANS WAS TYRANNY, AND PROBABLY BELIEVES THAT LIBYA UNDER GADHAFI WAS A SOVEREIGN STATE.

THEN OF COURSE HER WORLD VIEW IS THAT THE AMERICA'S GOAL IS MILITARY CONQUEST OF THE WORLD, WHICH I CAN ASSURE YOU IS NOT THE GOAL OF THE US MILITARY, WHO WILL REFUSE ANY PRESIDENT'S ORDER TO INVADE AND OCCUPY ANY COUNTRY ANYTIME SOON.

The implicit strategy of the United States, as perceived by itsactions, is a gradual military conquest to ensure world domination.

HERE'S THE REST OF HER FAILED ANALYSIS IF YOU WANT TO READ IT:

One who does presume to define strategy is Zbigniew Brzezinski, godfather of the Afghan Mujahidin back when they could be used to destroy the Soviet Union. Brzezinski was not shy about bluntly stating the strategic objective of U.S. policy in his 1993 book The Grand Chessboard: “American primacy”. As for NATO, he described it as one of the institutions serving to perpetuate American hegemony, “making the United States a key participant even in intra-European affairs.” In its “global web of specialized institutions”, which of course includes NATO, the United States exercises power through “continuous bargaining, dialogue, diffusion, and quest for formal consensus, even though that power originates ultimately from a single source, namely, Washington, D.C.”

The description perfectly fits the Lisbon “Strategic Concept” conference. Last week, NATO’s Danish secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, announced that “we are pretty close to a consensus”. And this consensus, according to the New York Times, “will probably follow President Barack Obama’s own formulation: to work toward a non-nuclear world while maintaining a nuclear deterrent”.

Wait a minute, does that make sense? No, but it is the stuff of NATO consensus. Peace through war, nuclear disarmament through nuclear armament, and above all, defense of member states by sending expeditionary forces to infuriate the natives of distant lands.

A strategy is not a consensus written by committees.

The American method of “continuous bargaining, dialogue, diffusion, and quest for formal consensus” wears down whatever resistance may occasionally appear. Thus Germany and France initially resisted Georgian membership in NATO, as well as the notorious “missile shield”, both seen as blatant provocations apt to set off a new arms race with Russia and damage fruitful German and French relations with Moscow, for no useful purpose. But the United States does not take no for an answer, and keeps repeating its imperatives until resistance fades. The one recent exception was the French refusal to join the invasion of Iraq, but the angry U.S. reaction scared the conservative French political class into supporting the pro-American Nicolas Sarkozy.

In search of “threats” and “challenges”

The very heart of what passes for a “strategic concept” was first declared and put into operation in the spring of 1999, when NATO defied international law, the United Nations and its own original charter by waging an aggressive war outside its defensive perimeter against Yugoslavia. That transformed NATO from a defensive to an offensive alliance. Ten years later, the godmother of that war, Madeleine Albright, was picked to chair the “group of experts” that spent several months holding seminars, consultations and meetings preparing the Lisbon agenda. Prominent in these gatherings were Lord Peter Levene, chairman of Lloyd’s of London, the insurance giant, and the former chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, Jeroen van der Veer. These ruling class figures are not exactly military strategists, but their participation should reassure the international business community that their worldwide interests are being taken into consideration.

Indeed, a catalogue of threats enumerated by Rasmussen in a speech last year seemed to suggest that NATO was working for the insurance industry. NATO, he said, was needed to deal with piracy, cyber security, climate change, extreme weather events such as catastrophic storms and flooding, rising sea levels, large-scale population movement into inhabited areas, sometimes across borders, water shortages, droughts, decreasing food production, global warming, CO2 emissions, the retreat of Arctic ice uncovering hitherto inaccessible resources, fuel efficiency and dependence on foreign sources, etc.

Most of the enumerated threats cannot even remotely be construed as calling for military solutions. Surely no "rogue states" or "outposts of tyranny" or "international terrorists" are responsible for climate change, yet Rasmussen presents them as challenges to NATO.

On the other hand, some of the results of these scenarios, such as population movements caused by rising sea levels or drought, can indeed be seen as potentially causing crises. The ominous aspect of the enumeration is precisely that all such problems are eagerly snatched up by NATO as requiring military solutions.

The main threat to NATO is its own obsolescence. And the search for a “strategic concept” is the search for pretexts to keep it going.

NATO’s Threat to the World

While it searches for threats, NATO itself is a growing threat to the world. The basic threat is its contribution to strengthening the U.S.-led tendency to abandon diplomacy and negotiations in favor of military force. This is seen clearly in Rasmussen’s inclusion of weather phenomena in his list of threats to NATO, when they should, instead, be problems for international diplomacy and negotiations. The growing danger is that Western diplomacy is dying. The United States has set the tone: we are virtuous, we have the power, the rest of the world must obey or else.

Diplomacy is despised as weakness. The State Department has long since ceased to be at the core of U.S. foreign policy. With its vast network of military bases the world over, as well as military attachés in embassies and countless missions to client countries, the Pentagon is incomparably more powerful and influential in the world than the State Department.

Recent Secretaries of State, far from seeking diplomatic alternatives to war, have actually played a leading role in advocating war instead of diplomacy, whether Madeleine Albright in the Balkans or Colin Powell waving fake test tubes in the United Nations Security Council. Policy is defined by the National Security Advisor, various privately-funded think tanks and the Pentagon, with interference from a Congress which itself is composed of politicians eager to obtain military contracts for their constituencies.

NATO is dragging Washington’s European allies down the same path. Just as the Pentagon has replaced the State Department, NATO itself is being used by the United States as a potential substitute for the United Nations. The 1999 “Kosovo war” was a first major step in that direction. Sarkozy’s France, after rejoining the NATO joint command, is gutting the traditionally skilled French foreign service, cutting back on civilian representation throughout the world. The European Union foreign service now being created by Lady Ashton will have no policy and no authority of its own.

Bureaucratic Inertia

Behind its appeals to “common values”, NATO is driven above all by bureaucratic inertia. The alliance itself is an excrescence of the U.S. military-industrial complex. For sixty years, military procurements and Pentagon contracts have been an essential source of industrial research, profits, jobs, Congressional careers, even university funding. The interplay of these varied interests converge to determine an implicit U.S. strategy of world conquest.

An ever-expanding global network of somewhere between 800 and a thousand military bases on foreign soil.

Bilateral military accords with client states which offer training while obliging them to purchase U.S.-made weapons and redesign their armed forces away from national defense toward internal security (i.e. repression) and possible integration into U.S.-led wars of aggression.

Use of these close relationships with local armed forces to influence the domestic politics of weaker states.

Perpetual military exercises with client states, which provide the Pentagon with perfect knowledge of the military potential of client states, integrate them into the U.S. military machine, and sustain a “ready for war” mentality.

Deployment of its network of bases, “allies” and military exercises so as to surround, isolate, intimidate and eventually provoke major nations perceived as potential rivals, notably Russia and China.

The implicit strategy of the United States, as perceived by its actions, is a gradual military conquest to ensure world domination. One original feature of this world conquest project is that, although extremely active, day after day, it is virtually ignored by the vast majority of the population of the conquering nation, as well as by its most closely dominated allies, i.e., the NATO states.

The endless propaganda about “terrorist threats” (the fleas on the elephant) and other diversions keep most Americans totally unaware of what is going on, all the more easily in that Americans are almost uniquely ignorant of the rest of the world and thus totally uninterested. The U.S. may bomb a country off the map before more than a small fraction of Americans know where to find it.

The main task of U.S. strategists, whose careers take them between think tanks, boards of directors, consultancy firms and the government, is to justify this giant mechanism much more than to steer it. To a large extent, it steers itself.

Since the collapse of the “Soviet threat”, policy-makers have settled for invisible or potential threats. U.S. military doctrine has as its aim to move preventively against any potential rival to U.S. world hegemony. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia retains the largest arsenal outside the United States, and China is a rapidly rising economic power. Neither one threatens the United States or Western Europe. On the contrary, both are ready and willing to concentrate on peaceful business.

However, they are increasingly alarmed by the military encirclement and provocative military exercises carried on by the United States on their very doorsteps. The implicit aggressive strategy may be obscure to most Americans, but leaders in the targeted countries are quite certain they understand what it is going on.

The Russia-Iran-Israel Triangle

Currently, the main explicit “enemy” is Iran.

Washington claims that the “missile shield” which it is forcing on its European allies is designed to defend the West from Iran. But the Russians see quite clearly that the missile shield is aimed at themselves. First of all, they understand quite clearly that Iran has no such missiles nor any possible motive for using them against the West. It is perfectly obvious to all informed analysts that even if Iran developed nuclear weapons and missiles, they would be conceived as a deterrent against Israel, the regional nuclear superpower which enjoys a free hand attacking neighboring countries. Israel does not want to lose that freedom to attack, and thus naturally opposes the Iranian deterrent.

Israeli propagandists scream loudly about the threat from Iran, and have worked incessantly to infect NATO with their paranoia.

Israel has even been described as “Global NATO’s 29th member”. Israeli officials have assiduously worked on a receptive Madeleine Albright to make sure that Israeli interests are included in the “Strategic Concept”. During the past five years, Israel and NATO have been taking part in joint naval exercises in the Red Sea and in the Mediterranean, as well as joint ground exercises from Brussels to Ukraine. On October 16, 2006, Israel became the first non-European country to reach a so-called “Individual Cooperation Program” agreement with NATO for cooperation in 27 different areas.

It is worth noting that Israel is the only country outside Europe which the U.S. includes in the area of responsibility of its European Command (rather than the Central Command that covers the rest of the Middle East).

At a NATO-Israel Relations seminar in Herzliya on October 24, 2006, the Israeli foreign minister at the time, Tzipi Livni, declared that "The alliance between NATO and Israel is only natural....Israel and NATO share a common strategic vision. In many ways, Israel is the front line defending our common way of life."

Not everybody in European countries would consider that Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine reflect “our common way of life”.

This is no doubt one reason why the deepening union between NATO and Israel has not taken the open form of NATO membership. Especially after the savage attack on Gaza, such a move would arouse objections in European countries. Nevertheless, Israel continues to invite itself into NATO, ardently supported, of course, by its faithful followers in the U.S. Congress.

The principal cause of this growing Israel-NATO symbiosis has been identified by Mearsheimer and Walt: the vigorous and powerful pro-Israel lobby in the United States.

Israeli lobbies are also strong in France, Britain and the UK. They have zealously developed the theme of Israel as the “front line” in the defense of “Western values” against militant Islam. The fact that militant Islam is largely a product of that “front line” creates a perfect vicious circle.

Israel’s aggressive stance toward its regional neighbors would be a serious liability for NATO, apt to be dragged into wars of Israel’s choosing which are by no means in the interest of Europe.

However, there is one subtle strategic advantage in the Israeli connection which the United States seems to be using… against Russia.

By subscribing to the hysterical “Iranian threat” theory, the United States can continue to claim with a straight face that the planned missile shield is directed against Iran, not Russia. This cannot be expected to convince the Russians. But it can be used to make their protests sound “paranoid” – at least to the ears of the Western faithful. Dear me, what can they be complaining about when we “reset” our relations with Moscow and invite the Russian president to our “Strategic Concept” happy gathering?

However, the Russians know quite well that:

The missile shield is to be constructed surrounding Russia, which does have missiles, which it keeps for deterrence.

By neutralizing Russian missiles, the United States would free its own hand to attack Russia, knowing that the Russia could not retaliate.

Therefore, whatever is said, the missile shield, if it worked, would serve to facilitate eventual aggression against Russia.

Encircling Russia

The encirclement of Russia continues in the Black Sea, the Baltic and the Arctic circle.

United States officials continue to claim that Ukraine must join NATO.

Just this week, in a New York Times column, Zbigniew’s son Ian J. Brzezinski advised Obama against abandoning the “vision” of a “whole, free and secure” Europe including “eventual Georgian and Ukrainian membership in NATO and the European Union.” The fact that the vast majority of the people of Ukraine are against NATO membership is of no account.

For the current scion of the noble Brzezinski dynasty it is the minority that counts. Abandoning the vision “undercuts those in Georgia and Ukraine who see their future in Europe. It reinforces Kremlin aspirations for a sphere of influence…”

The notion that “the Kremlin” aspires to a “sphere of influence” in Ukraine is absurd considering the extremely close historic links between Russia and Ukraine, whose capital Kiev was the cradle of the Russian state. But the Brzezinski family hailed from Galicia, the part of Western Ukraine which once belonged to Poland, and which is the center of the anti-Russian minority. U.S. foreign policy is all too frequently influenced by such foreign rivalries of which the vast majority of Americans are totally ignorant.

Relentless U.S. insistence on absorbing Ukraine continues despite the fact that it would imply expelling the Russian Black Sea fleet from its base in the Crimean peninsula, where the local population is overwhelmingly Russian-speaking and pro-Russian. This is a recipe for war with Russia if ever there was one.

And meanwhile, U.S. officials continue to declare their support for Georgia, whose American-trained president openly hopes to bring NATO support into his next war against Russia.

Aside from provocative naval maneuvers in the Black Sea, the United States, NATO and (as yet) non-NATO members Sweden and Finland regularly carry out major military exercises in the Baltic Sea, virtually in sight of the Russia cities of Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad. These exercises involve thousands of ground troops, hundreds of aircraft including F-15 jet fighters, AWACS, as well as naval forces including the U.S. Carrier Strike Group 12, landing craft and warships from a dozen countries.

Perhaps most ominous of all, in the Arctic region, the United States has been persistently engaging Canada and the Scandinavian states (including Denmark via Greenland) in a military deployment openly directed against Russia. The point of these Arctic deployment was stated by Fogh Rasmussen when he mentioned, among “threats” to be met by NATO, the fact that “Arctic ice is retreating, for resources that had, until now, been covered under ice.”

Now, one might consider that this uncovering of resources would be an opportunity for cooperation in exploiting them. But that is not the official U.S. mindset.

Last October, US Admiral James G Stavridis, supreme Nato commander for Europe, said global warming and a race for resources could lead to a conflict in the Arctic. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Christopher C. Colvin, in charge of Alaska’s coastline, said Russian shipping activity in the Arctic Ocean was “of particular concern” for the US and called for more military facilities in the region.

The US Geological Service believes that the Arctic contains up to a quarter of the world’s unexplored deposits of oil and gas. Under the 1982 United Nations Law of the Sea Convention, a coastal state is entitled to a 200-nautical mile EEZ and can claim a further 150 miles if it proves that the seabed is a continuation of its continental shelf.

Russia is applying to make this claim.

After pushing for the rest of the world to adopt the Convention, the United States Senate has still not ratified the Treaty.

In January 2009, NATO declared the “High North” to be “of strategic interest to the Alliance,” and since then, NATO has held several major war games clearly preparing for eventual conflict with Russia over Arctic resources.

Russia largely dismantled its defenses in the Arctic after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and has called for negotiating compromises over resource control.

Last September, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for joint efforts to protect the fragile ecosystem, attract foreign investment, promote environmentally friendly technologies and work to resolve disputes through international law.

But the United States, as usual, prefers to settle the issue by throwing its weight around. This could lead to a new arms race in the Arctic, and even to armed clashes.

Despite all these provocative moves, it is most unlikely that the United States actually seeks war with Russia, although skirmishes and incidents here and there cannot be ruled out. The U.S. policy appears to be to encircle and intimidate Russia to such an extent that it accepts a semi-satellite status that neutralizes it in the anticipated future conflict with China.

Target China

The only reason to target China is like the proverbial reason to climb the mountain: it is there. It is big. And the US must be on top of everything.

The strategy for dominating China is the same as for Russia. It is classic warfare: encirclement, siege, more or less clandestine support for internal disorder. As examples of this strategy:

The United States is provocatively strengthening its military presence along the Pacific shores of China, offering “protection against China” to East Asian countries.

During the Cold War, when India got its armaments from the Soviet Union and struck a non-aligned posture, the United States armed Pakistan as its main regional ally. Now the U.S. is shifting its favors to India, in order to keep India out of the orbit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and to build it as a counterweight to China.

The United States and its allies support any internal dissidence that might weaken China, whether it is the Dalai Lama, the Uighurs, or Liu Xiaobo, the jailed dissident.

The Nobel Peace Prize was bestowed on Liu Xiaobo by a committee of Norwegian legislators headed by Thorbjorn Jagland, Norway’s echo of Tony Blair, who has served as Norway’s prime minister and foreign minister, and has been one of his country’s main cheerleaders for NATO.

At a NATO-sponsored conference of European parliamentarians last year, Jagland declared: “When we are not able to stop tyranny, war starts. This is why NATO is indispensable. NATO is the only multilateral military organization rooted in international law. It is an organization that the U.N. can use when necessary — to stop tyranny, like we did in the Balkans.” This is an astoundingly bold misstatement of fact, considering that NATO openly defied international law and the United Nations to make war in the Balkans – where in reality there was ethnic conflict, but no “tyranny”.

In announcing the choice of Liu, the Norwegian Nobel committee, headed by Jagland, declared that it “has long believed that there is a close connection between human rights and peace." The “close connection”, to follow the logic of Jagland’s own statements, is that if a foreign state fails to respect human rights according to Western interpretations, it may be bombed, as NATO bombed Yugoslavia. Indeed, the very powers that make the most noise about “human rights”, notably the United States and Britain, are the ones making the most wars all over the world. The Norwegian’s statements make it clear that granting the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu (who in his youth spent time in Norway) amounted in reality to an endorsement of NATO.

“Democracies” to replace the United Nations

The European members of NATO add relatively little to the military power of the United States. Their contribution is above all political. Their presence maintains the illusion of an “International Community”. The world conquest being pursued by the bureaucratic inertia of the Pentagon can be presented as the crusade by the world’s “democracies” to spread their enlightened political order to the rest of a recalcitrant world.

The Euro-Atlantic governments proclaim their “democracy” as proof of their absolute right to intervene in the affairs of the rest of the world. On the basis of the fallacy that “human rights are necessary for peace”, they proclaim their right to make war.

A crucial question is whether “Western democracy” still has the strength to dismantle this war machine before it is too late.

Note: Grateful thanks to Rick Rozoff for his constant flow of important information.

Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions:

http://www.amazon.com/Fools-Crusade-Yugoslavia-Western-Delusions/dp/158367084X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1287635627&sr=8-1

She can be reached at diana.josto@yahoo.fr

Diana Johnstone is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Diana Johnstone

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Global Research, November 18, 2010

BK: NOTE THE DATE ON THIS REPORT.

On November 19 and 20, NATO leaders meet in Lisbon for what is billed as a summit on “NATO’s Strategic Concept”. Among topics of discussion will be an array of scary “threats”, from cyberwar to climate change, as well as nice protective things like nuclear weapons and a high tech Maginot Line boondoggle supposed to stop enemy missiles in mid-air. The NATO leaders will be unable to avoid talking about the war in Afghanistan, that endless crusade that unites the civilized world against the elusive Old Man of the Mountain, Hassan i Sabah, eleventh century chief of the Assassins in his latest reincarnation as Osama bin Laden. There will no doubt be much talk of “our shared values”.

Most of what they will discuss is fiction with a price tag.

BK: WELL THAT BRINGS UP A VERY IMPORTANT POINT RIGHT AWAY - HASSAN I SABAH - THE CHIEF OF THE ASSASSINS - BUT THERE'S NO MENTION OF ANY TALK ABOUT LIBYA OR THE ARAB REVOLT.

The one thing missing from the Strategic Concept summit agenda is a serious discussion of strategy.

This is partly because NATO as such has no strategy, and cannot have its own strategy. NATO is in reality an instrument of United States strategy. Its only operative Strategic Concept is the one put into practice by the United States. But even that is an elusive phantom. American leaders seem to prefer striking postures, “showing resolve”, to defining strategies.

BK: INDEED, THIS DID BECOME A PROBLEM IN FEBRUARY 2011 WHEN THE US PRESIDENT HESITATED TO ACT AND FAILED TO ACT UNTIL THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF LIBYA WAS THREATENED BY THEIR MILITARY, BUT WHEN HE DID ACT, HE RADICALLY CHANGED NOT ONLY US POLICY BUT NATO - UK AND FRENCH POLICY AWAY FROM SUPPORT TO LONG TIME DICTATORS AND IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THAT NATIONS AREN'T OWNED BY FAMILIES WHO CAN PASS POWER ON FROM ONE GENERATION TO ANOTHER.

....At a NATO-sponsored conference of European parliamentarians last year,Jagland declared: “When we are not able to stop tyranny, war starts. This iswhy NATO is indispensable. NATO is the only multilateral military organizationrooted in international law. It is an organization that the U.N. can use whennecessary — to stop tyranny, like we did in the Balkans.” This is anastoundingly bold misstatement of fact, considering that NATO openly defiedinternational law and the United Nations to make war in the Balkans – where inreality there was ethnic conflict, but no “tyranny”.

SHE DOESN'T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED IN THE BALKANS WAS TYRANNY, AND PROBABLY BELIEVES THAT LIBYA UNDER GADHAFI WAS A SOVEREIGN STATE.

THEN OF COURSE HER WORLD VIEW IS THAT THE AMERICA'S GOAL IS MILITARY CONQUEST OF THE WORLD, WHICH I CAN ASSURE YOU IS NOT THE GOAL OF THE US MILITARY, WHO WILL REFUSE ANY PRESIDENT'S ORDER TO INVADE AND OCCUPY ANY COUNTRY ANYTIME SOON.

The implicit strategy of the United States, as perceived by itsactions, is a gradual military conquest to ensure world domination.

HERE'S THE REST OF HER FAILED ANALYSIS IF YOU WANT TO READ IT:

One who does presume to define strategy is Zbigniew Brzezinski, godfather of the Afghan Mujahidin back when they could be used to destroy the Soviet Union. Brzezinski was not shy about bluntly stating the strategic objective of U.S. policy in his 1993 book The Grand Chessboard: “American primacy”. As for NATO, he described it as one of the institutions serving to perpetuate American hegemony, “making the United States a key participant even in intra-European affairs.” In its “global web of specialized institutions”, which of course includes NATO, the United States exercises power through “continuous bargaining, dialogue, diffusion, and quest for formal consensus, even though that power originates ultimately from a single source, namely, Washington, D.C.”

The description perfectly fits the Lisbon “Strategic Concept” conference. Last week, NATO’s Danish secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, announced that “we are pretty close to a consensus”. And this consensus, according to the New York Times, “will probably follow President Barack Obama’s own formulation: to work toward a non-nuclear world while maintaining a nuclear deterrent”.

Wait a minute, does that make sense? No, but it is the stuff of NATO consensus. Peace through war, nuclear disarmament through nuclear armament, and above all, defense of member states by sending expeditionary forces to infuriate the natives of distant lands.

A strategy is not a consensus written by committees.

The American method of “continuous bargaining, dialogue, diffusion, and quest for formal consensus” wears down whatever resistance may occasionally appear. Thus Germany and France initially resisted Georgian membership in NATO, as well as the notorious “missile shield”, both seen as blatant provocations apt to set off a new arms race with Russia and damage fruitful German and French relations with Moscow, for no useful purpose. But the United States does not take no for an answer, and keeps repeating its imperatives until resistance fades. The one recent exception was the French refusal to join the invasion of Iraq, but the angry U.S. reaction scared the conservative French political class into supporting the pro-American Nicolas Sarkozy.

In search of “threats” and “challenges”

The very heart of what passes for a “strategic concept” was first declared and put into operation in the spring of 1999, when NATO defied international law, the United Nations and its own original charter by waging an aggressive war outside its defensive perimeter against Yugoslavia. That transformed NATO from a defensive to an offensive alliance. Ten years later, the godmother of that war, Madeleine Albright, was picked to chair the “group of experts” that spent several months holding seminars, consultations and meetings preparing the Lisbon agenda. Prominent in these gatherings were Lord Peter Levene, chairman of Lloyd’s of London, the insurance giant, and the former chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, Jeroen van der Veer. These ruling class figures are not exactly military strategists, but their participation should reassure the international business community that their worldwide interests are being taken into consideration.

Indeed, a catalogue of threats enumerated by Rasmussen in a speech last year seemed to suggest that NATO was working for the insurance industry. NATO, he said, was needed to deal with piracy, cyber security, climate change, extreme weather events such as catastrophic storms and flooding, rising sea levels, large-scale population movement into inhabited areas, sometimes across borders, water shortages, droughts, decreasing food production, global warming, CO2 emissions, the retreat of Arctic ice uncovering hitherto inaccessible resources, fuel efficiency and dependence on foreign sources, etc.

Most of the enumerated threats cannot even remotely be construed as calling for military solutions. Surely no "rogue states" or "outposts of tyranny" or "international terrorists" are responsible for climate change, yet Rasmussen presents them as challenges to NATO.

On the other hand, some of the results of these scenarios, such as population movements caused by rising sea levels or drought, can indeed be seen as potentially causing crises. The ominous aspect of the enumeration is precisely that all such problems are eagerly snatched up by NATO as requiring military solutions.

The main threat to NATO is its own obsolescence. And the search for a “strategic concept” is the search for pretexts to keep it going.

NATO’s Threat to the World

While it searches for threats, NATO itself is a growing threat to the world. The basic threat is its contribution to strengthening the U.S.-led tendency to abandon diplomacy and negotiations in favor of military force. This is seen clearly in Rasmussen’s inclusion of weather phenomena in his list of threats to NATO, when they should, instead, be problems for international diplomacy and negotiations. The growing danger is that Western diplomacy is dying. The United States has set the tone: we are virtuous, we have the power, the rest of the world must obey or else.

Diplomacy is despised as weakness. The State Department has long since ceased to be at the core of U.S. foreign policy. With its vast network of military bases the world over, as well as military attachés in embassies and countless missions to client countries, the Pentagon is incomparably more powerful and influential in the world than the State Department.

Recent Secretaries of State, far from seeking diplomatic alternatives to war, have actually played a leading role in advocating war instead of diplomacy, whether Madeleine Albright in the Balkans or Colin Powell waving fake test tubes in the United Nations Security Council. Policy is defined by the National Security Advisor, various privately-funded think tanks and the Pentagon, with interference from a Congress which itself is composed of politicians eager to obtain military contracts for their constituencies.

NATO is dragging Washington’s European allies down the same path. Just as the Pentagon has replaced the State Department, NATO itself is being used by the United States as a potential substitute for the United Nations. The 1999 “Kosovo war” was a first major step in that direction. Sarkozy’s France, after rejoining the NATO joint command, is gutting the traditionally skilled French foreign service, cutting back on civilian representation throughout the world. The European Union foreign service now being created by Lady Ashton will have no policy and no authority of its own.

Bureaucratic Inertia

Behind its appeals to “common values”, NATO is driven above all by bureaucratic inertia. The alliance itself is an excrescence of the U.S. military-industrial complex. For sixty years, military procurements and Pentagon contracts have been an essential source of industrial research, profits, jobs, Congressional careers, even university funding. The interplay of these varied interests converge to determine an implicit U.S. strategy of world conquest.

An ever-expanding global network of somewhere between 800 and a thousand military bases on foreign soil.

Bilateral military accords with client states which offer training while obliging them to purchase U.S.-made weapons and redesign their armed forces away from national defense toward internal security (i.e. repression) and possible integration into U.S.-led wars of aggression.

Use of these close relationships with local armed forces to influence the domestic politics of weaker states.

Perpetual military exercises with client states, which provide the Pentagon with perfect knowledge of the military potential of client states, integrate them into the U.S. military machine, and sustain a “ready for war” mentality.

Deployment of its network of bases, “allies” and military exercises so as to surround, isolate, intimidate and eventually provoke major nations perceived as potential rivals, notably Russia and China.

The implicit strategy of the United States, as perceived by its actions, is a gradual military conquest to ensure world domination. One original feature of this world conquest project is that, although extremely active, day after day, it is virtually ignored by the vast majority of the population of the conquering nation, as well as by its most closely dominated allies, i.e., the NATO states.

The endless propaganda about “terrorist threats” (the fleas on the elephant) and other diversions keep most Americans totally unaware of what is going on, all the more easily in that Americans are almost uniquely ignorant of the rest of the world and thus totally uninterested. The U.S. may bomb a country off the map before more than a small fraction of Americans know where to find it.

The main task of U.S. strategists, whose careers take them between think tanks, boards of directors, consultancy firms and the government, is to justify this giant mechanism much more than to steer it. To a large extent, it steers itself.

Since the collapse of the “Soviet threat”, policy-makers have settled for invisible or potential threats. U.S. military doctrine has as its aim to move preventively against any potential rival to U.S. world hegemony. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia retains the largest arsenal outside the United States, and China is a rapidly rising economic power. Neither one threatens the United States or Western Europe. On the contrary, both are ready and willing to concentrate on peaceful business.

However, they are increasingly alarmed by the military encirclement and provocative military exercises carried on by the United States on their very doorsteps. The implicit aggressive strategy may be obscure to most Americans, but leaders in the targeted countries are quite certain they understand what it is going on.

The Russia-Iran-Israel Triangle

Currently, the main explicit “enemy” is Iran.

Washington claims that the “missile shield” which it is forcing on its European allies is designed to defend the West from Iran. But the Russians see quite clearly that the missile shield is aimed at themselves. First of all, they understand quite clearly that Iran has no such missiles nor any possible motive for using them against the West. It is perfectly obvious to all informed analysts that even if Iran developed nuclear weapons and missiles, they would be conceived as a deterrent against Israel, the regional nuclear superpower which enjoys a free hand attacking neighboring countries. Israel does not want to lose that freedom to attack, and thus naturally opposes the Iranian deterrent.

Israeli propagandists scream loudly about the threat from Iran, and have worked incessantly to infect NATO with their paranoia.

Israel has even been described as “Global NATO’s 29th member”. Israeli officials have assiduously worked on a receptive Madeleine Albright to make sure that Israeli interests are included in the “Strategic Concept”. During the past five years, Israel and NATO have been taking part in joint naval exercises in the Red Sea and in the Mediterranean, as well as joint ground exercises from Brussels to Ukraine. On October 16, 2006, Israel became the first non-European country to reach a so-called “Individual Cooperation Program” agreement with NATO for cooperation in 27 different areas.

It is worth noting that Israel is the only country outside Europe which the U.S. includes in the area of responsibility of its European Command (rather than the Central Command that covers the rest of the Middle East).

At a NATO-Israel Relations seminar in Herzliya on October 24, 2006, the Israeli foreign minister at the time, Tzipi Livni, declared that "The alliance between NATO and Israel is only natural....Israel and NATO share a common strategic vision. In many ways, Israel is the front line defending our common way of life."

Not everybody in European countries would consider that Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine reflect “our common way of life”.

This is no doubt one reason why the deepening union between NATO and Israel has not taken the open form of NATO membership. Especially after the savage attack on Gaza, such a move would arouse objections in European countries. Nevertheless, Israel continues to invite itself into NATO, ardently supported, of course, by its faithful followers in the U.S. Congress.

The principal cause of this growing Israel-NATO symbiosis has been identified by Mearsheimer and Walt: the vigorous and powerful pro-Israel lobby in the United States.

Israeli lobbies are also strong in France, Britain and the UK. They have zealously developed the theme of Israel as the “front line” in the defense of “Western values” against militant Islam. The fact that militant Islam is largely a product of that “front line” creates a perfect vicious circle.

Israel’s aggressive stance toward its regional neighbors would be a serious liability for NATO, apt to be dragged into wars of Israel’s choosing which are by no means in the interest of Europe.

However, there is one subtle strategic advantage in the Israeli connection which the United States seems to be using… against Russia.

By subscribing to the hysterical “Iranian threat” theory, the United States can continue to claim with a straight face that the planned missile shield is directed against Iran, not Russia. This cannot be expected to convince the Russians. But it can be used to make their protests sound “paranoid” – at least to the ears of the Western faithful. Dear me, what can they be complaining about when we “reset” our relations with Moscow and invite the Russian president to our “Strategic Concept” happy gathering?

However, the Russians know quite well that:

The missile shield is to be constructed surrounding Russia, which does have missiles, which it keeps for deterrence.

By neutralizing Russian missiles, the United States would free its own hand to attack Russia, knowing that the Russia could not retaliate.

Therefore, whatever is said, the missile shield, if it worked, would serve to facilitate eventual aggression against Russia.

Encircling Russia

The encirclement of Russia continues in the Black Sea, the Baltic and the Arctic circle.

United States officials continue to claim that Ukraine must join NATO.

Just this week, in a New York Times column, Zbigniew’s son Ian J. Brzezinski advised Obama against abandoning the “vision” of a “whole, free and secure” Europe including “eventual Georgian and Ukrainian membership in NATO and the European Union.” The fact that the vast majority of the people of Ukraine are against NATO membership is of no account.

For the current scion of the noble Brzezinski dynasty it is the minority that counts. Abandoning the vision “undercuts those in Georgia and Ukraine who see their future in Europe. It reinforces Kremlin aspirations for a sphere of influence…”

The notion that “the Kremlin” aspires to a “sphere of influence” in Ukraine is absurd considering the extremely close historic links between Russia and Ukraine, whose capital Kiev was the cradle of the Russian state. But the Brzezinski family hailed from Galicia, the part of Western Ukraine which once belonged to Poland, and which is the center of the anti-Russian minority. U.S. foreign policy is all too frequently influenced by such foreign rivalries of which the vast majority of Americans are totally ignorant.

Relentless U.S. insistence on absorbing Ukraine continues despite the fact that it would imply expelling the Russian Black Sea fleet from its base in the Crimean peninsula, where the local population is overwhelmingly Russian-speaking and pro-Russian. This is a recipe for war with Russia if ever there was one.

And meanwhile, U.S. officials continue to declare their support for Georgia, whose American-trained president openly hopes to bring NATO support into his next war against Russia.

Aside from provocative naval maneuvers in the Black Sea, the United States, NATO and (as yet) non-NATO members Sweden and Finland regularly carry out major military exercises in the Baltic Sea, virtually in sight of the Russia cities of Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad. These exercises involve thousands of ground troops, hundreds of aircraft including F-15 jet fighters, AWACS, as well as naval forces including the U.S. Carrier Strike Group 12, landing craft and warships from a dozen countries.

Perhaps most ominous of all, in the Arctic region, the United States has been persistently engaging Canada and the Scandinavian states (including Denmark via Greenland) in a military deployment openly directed against Russia. The point of these Arctic deployment was stated by Fogh Rasmussen when he mentioned, among “threats” to be met by NATO, the fact that “Arctic ice is retreating, for resources that had, until now, been covered under ice.”

Now, one might consider that this uncovering of resources would be an opportunity for cooperation in exploiting them. But that is not the official U.S. mindset.

Last October, US Admiral James G Stavridis, supreme Nato commander for Europe, said global warming and a race for resources could lead to a conflict in the Arctic. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Christopher C. Colvin, in charge of Alaska’s coastline, said Russian shipping activity in the Arctic Ocean was “of particular concern” for the US and called for more military facilities in the region.

The US Geological Service believes that the Arctic contains up to a quarter of the world’s unexplored deposits of oil and gas. Under the 1982 United Nations Law of the Sea Convention, a coastal state is entitled to a 200-nautical mile EEZ and can claim a further 150 miles if it proves that the seabed is a continuation of its continental shelf.

Russia is applying to make this claim.

After pushing for the rest of the world to adopt the Convention, the United States Senate has still not ratified the Treaty.

In January 2009, NATO declared the “High North” to be “of strategic interest to the Alliance,” and since then, NATO has held several major war games clearly preparing for eventual conflict with Russia over Arctic resources.

Russia largely dismantled its defenses in the Arctic after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and has called for negotiating compromises over resource control.

Last September, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for joint efforts to protect the fragile ecosystem, attract foreign investment, promote environmentally friendly technologies and work to resolve disputes through international law.

But the United States, as usual, prefers to settle the issue by throwing its weight around. This could lead to a new arms race in the Arctic, and even to armed clashes.

Despite all these provocative moves, it is most unlikely that the United States actually seeks war with Russia, although skirmishes and incidents here and there cannot be ruled out. The U.S. policy appears to be to encircle and intimidate Russia to such an extent that it accepts a semi-satellite status that neutralizes it in the anticipated future conflict with China.

Target China

The only reason to target China is like the proverbial reason to climb the mountain: it is there. It is big. And the US must be on top of everything.

The strategy for dominating China is the same as for Russia. It is classic warfare: encirclement, siege, more or less clandestine support for internal disorder. As examples of this strategy:

The United States is provocatively strengthening its military presence along the Pacific shores of China, offering “protection against China” to East Asian countries.

During the Cold War, when India got its armaments from the Soviet Union and struck a non-aligned posture, the United States armed Pakistan as its main regional ally. Now the U.S. is shifting its favors to India, in order to keep India out of the orbit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and to build it as a counterweight to China.

The United States and its allies support any internal dissidence that might weaken China, whether it is the Dalai Lama, the Uighurs, or Liu Xiaobo, the jailed dissident.

The Nobel Peace Prize was bestowed on Liu Xiaobo by a committee of Norwegian legislators headed by Thorbjorn Jagland, Norway’s echo of Tony Blair, who has served as Norway’s prime minister and foreign minister, and has been one of his country’s main cheerleaders for NATO.

At a NATO-sponsored conference of European parliamentarians last year, Jagland declared: “When we are not able to stop tyranny, war starts. This is why NATO is indispensable. NATO is the only multilateral military organization rooted in international law. It is an organization that the U.N. can use when necessary — to stop tyranny, like we did in the Balkans.” This is an astoundingly bold misstatement of fact, considering that NATO openly defied international law and the United Nations to make war in the Balkans – where in reality there was ethnic conflict, but no “tyranny”.

In announcing the choice of Liu, the Norwegian Nobel committee, headed by Jagland, declared that it “has long believed that there is a close connection between human rights and peace." The “close connection”, to follow the logic of Jagland’s own statements, is that if a foreign state fails to respect human rights according to Western interpretations, it may be bombed, as NATO bombed Yugoslavia. Indeed, the very powers that make the most noise about “human rights”, notably the United States and Britain, are the ones making the most wars all over the world. The Norwegian’s statements make it clear that granting the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu (who in his youth spent time in Norway) amounted in reality to an endorsement of NATO.

“Democracies” to replace the United Nations

The European members of NATO add relatively little to the military power of the United States. Their contribution is above all political. Their presence maintains the illusion of an “International Community”. The world conquest being pursued by the bureaucratic inertia of the Pentagon can be presented as the crusade by the world’s “democracies” to spread their enlightened political order to the rest of a recalcitrant world.

The Euro-Atlantic governments proclaim their “democracy” as proof of their absolute right to intervene in the affairs of the rest of the world. On the basis of the fallacy that “human rights are necessary for peace”, they proclaim their right to make war.

A crucial question is whether “Western democracy” still has the strength to dismantle this war machine before it is too late.

Note: Grateful thanks to Rick Rozoff for his constant flow of important information.

Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions:

http://www.amazon.com/Fools-Crusade-Yugoslavia-Western-Delusions/dp/158367084X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1287635627&sr=8-1

She can be reached at diana.josto@yahoo.fr

Diana Johnstone is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Diana Johnstone

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I thought that a 'first strike' capability would be obvious. Sure, when you were talking about using a nuke then a 'no first strike' policy made good sense, but if we are talking about stopping a rogue nation / group that poses an active threat and preventing them having the ability to launch a strike, then yes, I want that option.

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