- In 1991, after the Soviet Union dissolved, everything
changed but stayed the same. As a result, today's stakes are far greater,
presenting much larger threats to world peace.
- In America, neocons are still dominant. Obama is more
belligerent than Bush, waging four wars and various proxy ones. The Israeli
Lobby, Christian Right, and other extremist elements drive them. Conflict
is preferred over diplomacy.
- Congressional majorities support Washington's imperial
agenda, including global militarization against potential challengers and
America's main rivals - China and Russia, encircling them belligerently
with bases and strategic weapons. It's a policy fraught with danger.
- NATO has 28 member states, including 10 former Soviet
Republics and Warsaw Pact countries. Prospective new candidates include
Georgia, Ukraine, and potentially others later to more tightly encircle
Russia and China.
- At the same time, the Middle East and parts of Eurasia
have been increasingly militarized with a network of US bases from Qatar
to Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond - a clear breach of GHW Bush's promise
to Mikhail Gorbachev that paved the way for unifying Germany in 1990 and
dissolving the Soviet Union.
- Washington's promises, of course, aren't worth the paper
they're written on, a hard lesson many nations later learn painfully.
- Moreover, the Pentagon has an expanding network of 1,000
or more global bases, including secret and shared ones for greater control.
In fact, at a time no nation threatens America, trillions of dollars are
spent anyway for what military planners call "full spectrum dominance"
over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic
spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to fight
and win global wars against any adversary, including with nuclear weapons
- Encroaching Belligerently Near Russia's Borders
- In late summer 2009, Obama suspended Bush administration
plans for interceptor missiles in Poland and advanced tracking radar in
the Czech Republic, both NATO members. Purportedly targeting Iran and other
"rogue states," they, in fact, very much aimed at Russia, what
new ones will do when installed.
- At issue is assuring first strike capability, preventing
or diminishing retaliation if America attacks Russia or China, a potentially
catastrophic possibility under any scenario, but especially if nuclear
- For now, according to Obama, Washington will pursue "stronger,
smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America's allies,"
including Poland and the Czech Republic. Tactics alone may change, not
hardline imperial policies.
- Last September, Defense Secretary Gates explained a four-phase
missile shield plan, including deploying Aegis class warships in the Eastern
Mediterranean equipped with SM-3 anti-ballistic missiles and anti-satellite
interceptors, followed by upgraded land and sea versions when available.
- Moreover, stationing SM-3s in Bulgaria, Romania, and
Poland were announced. Last summer, in fact, Patriot Advanced Capability-3
(PAC-3) interceptors and about 100 US troops were sent to eastern Poland,
close to Russia's Kaliningrad region, 200 miles from its border.
- This same capability was installed in the Persian Gulf,
including supplying regional allies with longer range Terminal High Altitude
Area Defense (THAAD) missile systems, the strategy being to have in place
impenetrable interceptors from the Baltic to the Arabian, Black and Red
- In addition, a warning system is planned for the Czech
Republic and other countries as well as centrally controlled missile interceptors
- from Southern and Eastern Europe through the Middle East to close to
Russia's borders, too close perhaps for comfort.
- Instead of abandoning Bush's scheme, Obama's plans a
far more extensive, sophisticated, flexible, mobile system to be developed
through 2020. Included is nearly doubling the number of Aegis class warships
to 38 by 2015, equipped with state-of-the-art missile interceptors.
- As a result, America's front line capability will shift
from Eastern Germany through the Middle East to the Black Sea and other
strategic waterways to the Caucasus and Russia proper, encroaching on Moscow
with new Eastern European bases in Bulgaria, Romania and Poland.
- It represents the most significant US presence there
since WW II. Currently, only limited troop numbers are involved up to 150
or so permanently, but expect an expanded presence ahead.
- Last March, in fact, Secretary of State Clinton said
Washington will deploy missile interceptor elements and F-16s in Poland.
Russia expressed concern, Dmitry Rogozin, its permanent NATO representative,
saying US plans complicate dialogue regarding creating a joint European
anti-ballistic missile system, adding:
- "Mrs. Clinton's statement contradicts the foundational
relationship (between the) Russian Federation and NATO signed in 1997,
(stipulating) that NATO must not strengthen the military structure close
to the borders of Russia."
- A Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement also
expressed concern, saying:
- "We have known about plans regarding (an) anti-ballistic
missiles system long ago and we plan to (react in response) in the network
of the EuroABM project. As for the idea of (US) Air Force base deployment,
it requires an additional explanation."
- In late April, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
reacted as well, saying:
- "The expansion of NATO infrastructure towards our
borders is causing us concern. NATO is not simply a political bloc. It
is a military bloc. No one cancelled the agreements on how the bloc reacts
to external threats. It is a defense structure," but it's acting aggressively.
- In a post-G-8 Summit press conference, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev said:
- "I am not satisfied with the American side's reaction
to my proposals and with NATO's reaction in general. Why? Because we are
wasting time. Even though I spoke about the year 2020 yesterday as a deadline,
(the) year when the construction of a four-stage system of the so-called
adaptive approach ends. After 2020, if we do not come to terms, a real
arms race will begin."
- Perhaps much sooner as he's gotten no assurances that
Russia isn't being targeted. As a result, he added:
- "When we ask for the name of the countries that
the shield is aimed at, we get silence. When we ask if the country has
missiles (able to strike Europe), the answer is no."
- So "who has those type of missiles" interceptors
wish to deter? "We do. So we can only think that this system is being
aimed against us."
- He and other Russian officials worry about it expanding
to Ukraine and Georgia with missile interceptors, attack aircraft, and
US troops on its borders, threatening its security.
- Obama in Poland
- On May 28, Obama met with Polish President Bronislaw
Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk, discussing, among other issues,
reaffirming a US military presence with "American boots on the ground,"
including a permanent aerial detachment of F-16s and C-130 transport planes.
- White House national security official Liz Sherwood-Randall
- "What we will be doing is rotating trainers and
aircraft to Poland so they can become more inter-operable with NATO. It
will be a small permanent presence on the ground and then a rotational
presence that will be more substantial."
- On May 28, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski
- "To the east of the Oder River (dividing Germany
and Poland), American forces will appear, and this at a time when America
is reducing its overall military presence in Europe."
- In fact, redeployment with interceptor missiles, other
offensive weapons, and boots on the ground close to Russia's borders, not
reduction, is planned, what clearly has Moscow officials alarmed.
- On May 29, however, Obama disingenuously downplayed those
concerns, reaffirming mutual defense and inviting Russia to participate
in European missile defense plans, saying:
- "I am very proud of (America's) reset process (with
Russia). We believe missile defense is something where we can cooperate
with Russia....This will not be a threat to the strategic balance."
- Concerned Russian officials very much disagree, Vladimir
Putin's earlier sentiment likely again being discussed.
- In February 2007, in response to US planned missile defense
then, he said:
- "NATO has put its frontline forces on our borders.
(It) does not have any relation with the modernisation of the Alliance
itself or with ensuring security in Europe. On the contrary, it represent
a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust. And we have
a right to ask: against whom is this expansion intended? And what happened
to the assurances our western partners made after the dissolution of the
- At the time, his comments drew a storm of US media Russia
bashing, as well as an article by this writer titled, "Reinventing
the Evil Empire," saying:
- Russia is back, proud and re-assertive, not about to
roll over for America, especially in Eurasia. For Washington, it's back
to the future with a new Cold War, but this time for greater stakes and
much larger threats to world peace.
- It's especially true during economic hard times, especially
with austerity policies addressing them when social stimulus is needed,
provoking spreading discontent for change.
- As a result, Western powers may invent threats to distract
people, waging greater war for imperial dominance, Russia and China perhaps
directly threatened this time.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
email@example.com. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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