‘NATO is in phase 3 of its global expansion’ – Rozoff
Hello, this is John Robles, I’m speaking with Mr. Rick Rozoff, he’s the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list.
Robles: Could we do a quick review of the events that have been taking place with NATO and where do you think they’re going?
Rozoff: It’s been another year of the expansion of the U.S. dominated military block. That was highlighted, I suppose, by the summit that was held here, in Chicago, in May of this year, where amongst other things, NATO announced the fact that it retains its status as a nuclear alliance, meaning it maintains offensive nuclear weapons in Europe, for use in the European theater and perhaps in the Middle East.
NATO had also announced in May at the summit that it had achieved initial operational capability of the so-called European Phased Adaptive Approach Interceptor Missile System, with the now permanent deployment of interceptor missile warships in the Mediterranean and a command-and-control center in Germany. And that’s preparatory, of course, to placing 48 or more land-based interceptor missiles in Poland and Romania in the upcoming years.
What we see most alarmingly this year, and it’s a theme that needs to be dwelled on somewhat, is the active expansion of NATO military hardware into, what, the Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen repeatedly refers to as “the alliance’s southeastern border”, meaning Turkey, and southeastern Turkey at that: where Turkey meets with not only Syria, but with Iran and Iraq.
At the beginning of this year the U.S. under NATO auspices moved in an X-Band transportable interceptor missile radar facility to Turkey, and after the placement of the interceptor missile radar, the U.S. and NATO consolidated two; what are called Allied Land Command Centers, in Europe, and had moved them into Turkey into one command.
And, as we know, that within the next week or so, we’re to see the deployment of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Interceptor Missile Batteries in southeastern Turkey along with several hundred U.S., Dutch and German troops to accompany those.
So what we’re seeing is that NATO is shifting its emphasis towards the southern-most and eastern-most member of the alliance: Turkey, and is making a bid to expand its influence and perhaps to engage in active military operations in the Middle East. So that I think is the most significant aspect of NATO’s expansion so far this year.
That, in addition to, another development that occurred immediately prior to and then was officially enshrined during the summit in May, which was the creation of new non-geographically specific partnership format called “Partners Across the Globe”, this is the official designation that NATO knows it by, and it initially consists of 8 countries, all in the broader Asia-Pacific region, the Middle-East – East Asia: they are Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and Japan, so we’re seeing the open manifestation of NATO now as an international military force.
Robles: What about the expansion into Central and Eastern Asia?
Rozoff: That, of course, as you know has been under way since 2001 with the invasion of Afghanistan and currently the United States and NATO still maintain military facilities, not only in Afghanistan, but in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The talk is for the U.S. and its NATO allies to eventually withdraw, of course, from those nations, but I wouldn’t expect to see that happen in the imminent future and I think their long-term plans are to maintain Pentagon and NATO military capacities in Central and South Asia, with Afghanistan being the hub of those operations but, as mentioned with NATO Partnership for Peace Allies, like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, maintaining some sort of U.S. and NATO presence in the countries. However there was an intriguing article in China’s People’s Daily that suggested that what we’re seeing right now with the U.S. pivot or shift to the Asia-Pacific region is basically Phase 3 of the U.S. global military expansion in the post-Cold War Era.
The first phase was, of course, the expansion of NATO into Central and Eastern Europe, where it has now absorbed as “full members”, every single former Warsaw Pact country outside of the Soviet Union, in addition to, of course, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and two former Yugoslav Republics and Albania. That was the first phase.
The second phase, what was referred to from 2001 onwards as being the “greater” or the “broader” Middle East Project: that is where the U.S. in conjunction with its NATO Allies expanded influence from Northern Africa all the way to the Chinese border, in nations like Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
And the third phase then being the only part of the world that hasn’t come under the boot of the Pentagon: the Asia-Pacific Region, and I think that’s a pretty astute analysis and I think that three-phase model is a very accurate one.
Robles: So, Rick in “your” opinion, what were the main events of NATO during the past year?
Rozoff: As mentioned: the fact that they announced that they have initial capability for their European and Mediterranean based interceptor missile systems, which is really the opening salvo in creating a global missile shield. Initially, it will be in Eastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, but it’s expanding already throughout most of the world. That’s probably the most single significant fact with NATO expansion; is they’re on a new ‘plane of battle’ if you will.
It’s no longer simply positioning themselves: ground forces or even air forces. Now they’ve quite openly proclaimed that they’re setting up what is potentially a first strike: son of ‘Star Wars’ as it is colloquially known, an interceptor missile system that could potentially impede the ability of a nation, that has been either targeted or attacked, to launch effective retaliation because of a series of sea-based and land-based interceptor missiles. That would have to be the most significant and most dangerous initiative by NATO this past year.
Robles: What about the summit in Chicago and all the events related to that?
Rozoff: By holding a NATO Summit for only the second time in the United States, the only preceding one was in 1999 in Washington D.C., which marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of NATO, but to have held that only for the second time in the United States and then in the very heartland of the country, in Chicago, rather than in the administrative capital of the country, Washington: drew a lot of attention to an alliance that many Americans had either neglected to inform themselves about or had downplayed the significance of, but when it came to Chicago it forced a lot of people to take notice of it, and as a result there was a coalescence of peace forces and other anti-war and anti-intervention forces that gathered in a series of actions in Chicago, but culminating in, by some accounts 15-20 thousand people, the large anti-NATO protest on the second day of the summit in Chicago, so it has brought to people’s attention both within the United States and I think globally, the scope and the potential danger of the world’s only military alliance.
End of Part 1