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Israel: Global NATO's 29th Member

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Israel: Global NATO's 29th Member
Rick Rozoff

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Extending Article 5 protection, hitherto limited to full member states, to Israel was being advocated with the inescapable implication that a coalition of most of the world's most powerful military nations, led by the self-designated world's sole military superpower, would retaliate against Iran if it responded to an Israeli first strike attack. As the U.S. stations hundreds of nuclear warheads at NATO bases in Europe, including in Iran's neighbor Turkey, invoking NATO's war clause could provoke a nuclear conflagration.

"Washington has no plans to restrict the expansion only by admitting Israel. The alliance desires to attract India, Japan, Australia and Singapore....The continuation of NATO expansion is undoubtedly an alarming and dangerous idea that could split the world into groups of countries that oppose each other....According to the NATO Charter, an attack on a member state is considered as an aggression against all the members of the alliance [and] any conflict of Israel with its neighbours could become a source of a large-scale regional conflict that could turn into a global war."
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As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is pressuring its 28 member states and dozens of partnership affiliates on five continents to contribute more troops for the war in Afghanistan, the Jerusalem Post reported on January 13 that "Israel is launching a diplomatic initiative in an effort to influence the outcome of NATO's new Strategic Concept which is currently under review by a team of experts led by former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright." [1]

NATO is crafting its updated Strategic Concept to replace that last formulated in 1999, the year of the military bloc's expansion into Eastern Europe and its first full-fledged war, the 78-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.

Madeleine Albright, arguably the individual most publicly identified with orchestrating both NATO's absorption of three former Warsaw Pact members, including her native Czech Republic, and in launching Operation Allied Force, co-chairs NATO's Group of Experts with Jeroen van der Veer, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell until June of 2009.

In addition, "To ensure close coordination between the Group of Experts and NATO Headquarters, the Secretary General has designated a small NATO team lead by Dr. Jamie Shea, head of Policy Planning Unit, to function as a secretariat and staff support." [2] Shea was NATO spokesman in 1999 and is now Director of Policy Planning in the Private Office of the Secretary General at NATO Headquarters.

Last October 1 NATO and Lloyd's of London ("the world's leading insurance market" in its own words) co-organized a conference in London to unveil and promote the new Strategic Concept. Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen of NATO and Lloyd's chairman Lord Peter Levene delivered the major addresses.

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Host Levene conjured up "a myriad of determined and deadly threats" that required NATO intervention worldwide and Rasmussen itemized no fewer than eighteen of those - none remotely resembling a military attack on or challenge to a single member state. [3]

Recently Madeleine Albright has been traveling to several European capitals to preside over a series of seminars on the updated Strategic Concept and the latest of those, in Oslo, Norway on January 13, was attended by officials from the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

In preparation for the above meeting "Several weeks ago, a former senior Israeli diplomat met privately with Albright to discuss Israeli interests in the concept that is under review." [4]

The same source added the following background information:

"Israeli-NATO ties have increased dramatically in recent years. Chairman of the Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola visited Israel in November, and the Israeli Navy has announced plans to deploy a missile ship with Active Endeavour, a NATO mission to patrol the Mediterranean Sea....

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"Israel is also seeking to receive an upgraded status following the conclusion of the Strategic Concept review that will enable Israeli officials to participate in top NATO forums....Israel is a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue, which was created in 1994 to foster ties with Middle Eastern countries like Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco." [5]

By 2000 NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue had expanded to include seven nations in the Middle East and Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.

1994 was the same year that the North Atlantic bloc launched the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. Both partnerships were inaugurated only three years after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the breakup of the Soviet Union left not only Eastern Europe but the Middle East, Africa and Asia open to Western military penetration and expansion.

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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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