NATO: Pentagon’s Gateway Into Former Warsaw Pact, Soviet Nations

Published on Global Research.ca, by Rick Rozoff, April 17, 2010.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (see the Homepage, and on wikipedia) NATO was founded in April of 1949 by a country not on the European continent, the United States, and eleven subordinates which had fought on both sides of the World War that had ended four years earlier: Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal. Greece and Turkey were added in 1952 after their service in the Korean War and West Germany joined in 1955 … //

… During the recently-concluded Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC where a number of decidedly unrelated agreements were reached including one with which the U.S. secured the right for military overflights from Kazakhstan [12], Czech Defense Minister Martin Bartak disclosed that his meetings in the American capital included one with Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Ellen Tauscher, the latter a long-time advocate for and organizer of U.S. missile shield projects in Eastern Europe. 

In addition to being pressured by his American interlocutors to provide more troops for the Afghan war, Bartak said the three talked about Washington’s interceptor missile system, specifically that “The Czech Republic may be a part of a new warning system against possible enemy missile attacks,” personally adding that “the Czech Republic is prepared to participate in the system.” To demonstrate that the deliberations were not of an abstract nature, the Czech defense chief also mentioned the “sharing of data from commanding and observing elements placed in two locations in the Czech Republic.” [13]

Both the missile shield command center and the surveillance sites would include, in fact would be run by, American military personnel.

As will the (presumably) Standard Missile-3 interceptor missile sites offered to the U.S. in February by the Romanian and Bulgarian governments.

In Hungary, the world’s first multi-national strategic airlift operation was activated last July at the Papa Air Base. Although established under the auspices of NATO and jointly operated by twelve NATO and all-but-acknowledged NATO members – the U.S., Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania and Slovenia and Finland and Sweden – it is not under NATO command. It is an American project for the expanding war in Afghanistan with, as one U.S. officer assigned to the command put it, a “24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week” operation which “recently moved 2.1 million pounds of equipment essential to surge operations supporting the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.” [14]

U.S. Air Force personnel are deployed there for the indefinite future, as their fellow service members are in Bulgaria and Romania and soon will be in Poland.

In former Soviet space, in addition to the participation of American warplanes over the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and the regular participation of troops in NATO Partnership for Peace and other war games in Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia, the Pentagon has established a permanent presence in Georgia since 2002, first with a Train and Equip Program and since then with U.S. Marines there on an ongoing basis and a steady parade of Marine commanders in and out of the capital of Tbilisi. Most recently Lieutenant General Richard F. Natonski, Commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command, and Brigadier General Paul W. Brier, Commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe (and of U.S. Marine Forces Africa) earlier this month. [14]

U.S. troops and equipment were in that nation during the five-day war with Russia in August of 2008 and are there now.

The U.S. guided missile frigate USS John L. Hall arrived at the Georgian Black Sea port of Poti on April 14 for a week of joint exercises.

In turbulent Kyrgyzstan the U.S. runs one of the largest transit operations for the war in Afghanistan. In March U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke stated that 35,000 American troops pass through the air base at Manas each month on their way to and from Afghanistan, and U.S. Central Command has acknowledged that the number reached 50,000 last month.

In neighboring Kazakhstan, the U.S. gained military flyover rights with the government on April 11 which include for the first time the transit of combat troops and lethal military equipment.

A Kyrgyz news source revealed that in discussions between Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, U.S. President Obama and his main Russian and Eurasian hand Michael McFaul, the last-named proposed the establishment of an American military base in Kazakhstan to either supplement or replace if need be the Transit Center at Manas in Kyrgyzstan. [15]

Retired Russian general Leonid Ivashov has stated that new U.S.-Kazakh military cooperation plans “threaten the interests of Russia and other countries, notably China and especially Iran against which the United States is preparing a military operation,” particularly if as seems increasingly likely the U.S. opens “a military base in Kazakhstan similar in size to the Kyrgyz facility.” [16]

In the post-Cold War period the Pentagon through bilateral agreements, but even more so through NATO partnerships, has ensconced itself in former Warsaw Pact and Soviet nations from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea to Central Asia. From the Balkans to the Chinese border.

Notes 1 to 17: … (full text).

(Global Research Articles by Rick Rozoff).

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