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Twenty Years After End Of The Cold War: Pentagon's Buildup In Latin America

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Elections in Central and South America over the past eleven years - Venezuela in 1998 and since, Argentina in 2003, Uruguay in 2004, Bolivia in 2005, Ecuador and Nicaragua in 2006, Paraguay in 2008, El Salvador in 2009 and for while in Panama after 2004 and Honduras after 2006 - have severely limited the scope of the Pentagon's plans to renew and expand its presence in Latin America. To compensate for these unprecedented losses, long-time military clients in Colombia and Peru are being tapped for greater commitments and concentrated efforts are being exerted to recruit Brazil and Chile into the fold. [21]

Three years ago retired Brazilian scholar Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira provided an outline of American armed forces plans for South America:

"They occupy an area extending from Guiana into Colombia....Most of them are not uniformed soldiers, but employees of what are known as private sector military companies. The Pentagon has been outsourcing war operations since the 1990s. These private military contractors have been playing an important role in military operations exactly because they are outside restrictions imposed by the US Congress." [22]

Twenty years after the end of the Cold War and ten after NATO declared itself a global organization rivaling and ultimately supplanting the United Nations, the Western Hemisphere south of the United States is not being spared in plans for a Western-dominated international military bloc. In August the Colombian regime announced that it would "send 84 soldiers to join NATO forces in Afghanistan in yet another nod to US wishes," [23] joining troops from four other continents.

In 1989 no one could have foreseen that a decade later Western military expansion would begin a process that led to American bases in parts of the world where their presence was hitherto unimaginable: Kosovo, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, Australia, Bulgaria and Romania. And the first permanent U.S. base in Africa, Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, with a new regional military command, AFRICOM, covering the entire continent. [24]

That Washington would gain strategic air bases on the Black Sea and in Central Asia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Would conduct military exercises in Cambodia, East Timor, Gabon, Georgia, India, Mali, Mongolia, Senegal, Uganda and Ukraine. Would redeploy its military to the Philippines and permanently assign troops to Israel and Poland to staff missile radar and interceptor missile bases. Would stake out the Arctic Circle for military and missile shield deployments.

The Cold War ended a generation ago. Wars did not. Neither did the militarization of the world, which has instead intensified, reaching even into space.


1) Reuters, March 6, 2009
2) Reuters, March 5, 2009
3) Associated Press, May 1, 2009
4) Wikipedia
5) Colombia: U.S. Escalates War Plans In Latin America
Stop NATO, July 22, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/colombia-u-s-escalates-war-plans-in-latin-america
6) Agence France-Presse, October 30, 2009
7) CNN, October 30, 2009
8) Russian Information Agency Novosti, September 27, 2009
9) Xinhua News Agency, September 12, 2009
10) Prensa Latina, June 23, 2007
11) Prensa Latina, December 27, 2007
12) Air Forces Southern Command, May 29, 2009
13) Stabroek News, October 29, 2009
14) Stabroek News, October 29, 2009
15) El Universal, October 8, 2007
16) Canadian Press, October 7, 2007
17) New York Times, December 1, 2008
18) Ibid
19) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, August 12, 2006
20) Press TV, September 18, 2009
21) NATO Of The South: Chile, South Africa, Australia, Antarctica
Stop NATO, May 30, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/nato-of-the-south-chile-south-africa-australia-antarctica
22) Agencia Brasil, January 19, 2006
23) Press TV, August 8, 2009
24) AFRICOM: Pentagon Prepares Direct Military Intervention In Africa
Stop NATO, August 24, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/africom-pentagons-prepares-direct-military-intervention-in-africa/

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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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