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U.S. And NATO Allies Escalate Military Buildup Against Iran

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opednews.com Headlined to H3 12/6/10

Her comments included:

"Amongst other things, we seek to strengthen the Gulf security dialogue, which represents our primary security coordination mechanism with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The dialogue is designed to bolster the capabilities of GCC partners to deter and defend against conventional and unconventional threats and improve interoperability with the United States and with each other. We all know that efforts to deepen cooperation, coordination and transparency among this region's militaries would yield broad benefits that extend to the whole range of modern threats." [20]

The Gulf Security Dialogue is, in the State Department's own words, "the U.S. Government's principal security coordination mechanism with the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The Dialogue supports our enduring interest in the region, focusing on a wide range of political-military issues, including shared strategic challenges in the wider region and enhancing partnerships in the areas of security cooperation, counterterrorism, border security, nonproliferation and maritime security." [21]

Bahrain lies directly across the Persian Gulf from Iran, hosts the headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, is an active member of NATO's Istanbul Cooperation Initiative and has security personnel assigned to NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

The United Arab Emirates, the only Persian Gulf state that is an official Troop Contributing Nation for NATO in Afghanistan, has just hosted a two-day Middle East Missile and Air Defense Symposium in Abu Dhabi. On the first day, Deputy Chief of Staff of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces Major General Ali Mohammed Subaih Al Kaà 'bi said that "an integrated missile defence Center of Excellence along with CENTCOM [U.S. Central Command] is now a reality."

Central Command chief Marine General James Mattis gave the second keynote address on December 5 and said "CENTCOM is eager to engage in countering ballistic and cruise missiles and providing a robust missile defence...." [22]

The conference's first plenary session was chaired by Lieutenant General (Retired) Stanley Green, the Vice President of International Business Development, Air and Missile Defense at Lockheed Martin (and formerly with Raytheon Company), and Major General Richard Shook, Mobilization Assistant to Commander of the US Air Forces Central Command, gave a presentation on "Regional Integrated Air and Missile Defense - The Operational Picture."

Brigadier General David Mann, commander of the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, delivered a presentation entitled "A Regional Approach to Missile Defense - The Integrated Air and Missile Defense Center (IAMDC)."

The second plenary session heard from - as they are described by the sponsors of the event - Clayton Holt, Middle East Division Chief, Directorate of International Affairs at the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, on the subject of "Ballistic Missile Defense Overview," from Captain Herve Boy, chief of the Program Expertise Office at the French Navy Headquarters, on "Maritime Assets and Interoperability in the AMD System," and from Major General (Retired) John Urias, Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (and Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems vice president for Force Applications Programs), on "Integrated Air & Missile Defense - A Theater Imperative."

The December 6 sessions were addressed by Major General (Retired) John Brooks, Vice President, International Business Development, President, Northrop Grumman International, Inc.; David Des Roches, Director, Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, International Security Affairs; the Pentagon's Colonel Ole Knudson; and Colonel Marc Miglior, Project Officer in Charge, Air Defense and Ballistic Missile Defense, French Air Force Headquarters. [23]

Last year French President Nicolas Sarkozy opened a military complex - with a navy base, air base, and training camp - in the United Arab Emirates, his country's first permanent base in the Persian Gulf. In doing so Paris joined the U.S., Britain, Canada, the Netherlands. Australia and New Zealand in maintaining a military presence in the country.

The U.S. is consolidating a global interceptor missile system not only in all of Europe as was formalized at last month's NATO summit, but throughout the Black Sea region and into the Middle East. Two years ago the U.S. deployed an anti-missile Forward-Based X-Band Radar with a 2,900-mile range in Israel which it staffs with approximately 120 service members, and will station 24 Standard Missile-3 interceptors in Romania.

The U.S. and NATO have also been pressuring Turkey to host missile shield facilities. According to one report, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan "is concerned that Turkey's participation might later give Israel protection from an Iranian counter-strike." [24]

Earlier this year Washington announced the sale of land-based interceptor missiles to Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. It has supplied both Patriot Advanced Capability-3 and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile systems to Gulf Cooperation Council states - Patriot missiles to Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and a THAAD missile shield system to the United Arab Emirates - and has deployed sea-based Standard Missile-3 interceptors in the Gulf on Aegis class warships. [25] There are currently three Aegis class guided missile destroyers in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea: USS Halsey, Momsen and Shoup.

On October 21 the U.S. announced a $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia for advanced fighter jets, helicopters, missiles and other weaponry and equipment in what has been calculated to be the largest weapons deal in American history. The month before, the Financial Times estimated that Washington plans to sell $123 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. [26]

Britain recently concluded two weeks of joint military training with the air force and navy of the United Arab Emirates at the Al Dhafra Air Base. The war games, under the codename Operation Air Khanjar, included aerial combat exercises with Royal Air Force [RAF] Typhoon jet fighters and airborne surveillance aircraft and Emirati F-16s and Mirages.

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Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/

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