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Mr. Simmons' Mission: NATO Bases From Balkans To Chinese Border

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Simmons' role in the integration of the five former Yugoslav republics not already in NATO extends and complements that of expanding the bloc into the Black Sea region, the Caucasus, the Caspian Sea Basin, Central Asia and, as the next paragraph shows, South Asia.

The always mobile Simmons was back in Azerbaijan in late June ordering more Azeri troops for NATO's Afghan war, in fact doubling them.
(Today.AZ, June 28, 2008)

After the August 8-12 Georgian-Russian war, one which was fraught with potential for a one-on-one showdown between the world's two major nuclear powers as Georgia's army is a US proxy creation and US warships were deployed within kilometers of their Russian opposite numbers in the Black Sea, Robert Simmons was in the Georgian capital to aid in rebuilding the nation's military capabilities for a new round of hostilities.

He was quoted in Tbilisi stating, "NATO will help Georgia in seven ways. First of all this means air defense and the restoration of defensive infrastructure."
(Russian Information Agency Novosti, August 21, 2008)

Meeting with Simmons and NATO Supreme Allied Commander US General John Craddock, Georgian Defense Minister David Kezerashvili said that "NATO's 26 member-countries will form a special group, which will study the Georgian defence system" and that "the group will study the country’s need in the defence sphere and the size of aid the alliance can render to Georgia."
(Trend News Agency, August 22, 2008)

During the same visit and apparently to reward Georgia for triggering the Caucasus war of only two weeks prior, Simmons asserted, “I can say that Georgia’s movement towards the action plan for its membership in NATO is operative and I can confirm that Georgia will become a NATO member for sure.”
(Focus News Agency, August 22, 2008)

In October of last year Simmons was back in neighboring Azerbaijan to attend the inauguration of the country's reelected president, Ilham Aliev, an unconventional role for a special envoy for NATO's Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, in the midst of general consultations on Alliance integration.

In January of 2009 after the government of Kyrgyzstan began the process of closing the US and NATO airbase in Manas that had been employed for the war in Afghanistan over several years, Simmons was dispatched to that nation to preserve the base.

Before his departure it was announced that "during the visit a new contact officer for NATO in Central Asia will be introduced."
(Trend News Agency, January 30, 2009)

An Azerbaijani news source reported on his visit.

"Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev said at a news conference in
Moscow that the Manas air base would be shut down.
"NATO Special Representative for the South Caucasus [and Central Asia] Robert Simmons said during his visit to Kyrgyzstan several days ago that the organization would like to see the continuation of this agreement...."
(Trend News Agency, February 4, 2009)

Leaving Kyrgyzstan, Simmons led a NATO delegation to the capital of Turkmenistan.

Within a few days he headed a delegation of NATO experts to Ukraine to craft the Ukraine-NATO national program for 2009. Note how seamlessly Simmons shifts between his two NATO posts and roles while always advancing a common geostrategic agenda, the campaign to gain control of post-Soviet space and Eurasia as a whole.

Within a few brief months he worked at integrating the former Soviet republics of Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan into NATO; accelerating the integration of ex-Yugoslav nations onto the Alliance's conveyor belt to imminent membership; demanding that Russian peacekeepers leave Abkhazia and South Ossetia, leaving both open to an onslaught by the Georgian army, trained and armed and advised by the Pentagon and NATO; failing that, rushing to Georgia after the August war to provide assistance in upgrading its military including its air defense system; visiting the Central Asian nations of Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan just as the new US presidential administration assumed power and began to implement the intensification of the war in South Asia.

If Simmon's work in the South Caucasus, Ukraine and the Balkans is read in Russia as completing the process of its encirclement and if his frequent visits to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the Caspian Sea are seen by Iran as efforts to isolate and besiege it, then his efforts to more tightly bind Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the Alliance and its escalating war in Afghanistan (and into Pakistan) will be viewed with serious concern by China, which has borders with the three aforementioned Central Asian nations.

China and Russia have even more reason for apprehension. Roberts Simmons post as NATO envoy for the Caucasus and Central Asia pits him and the bloc directly against the post-Soviet Collective Security Treaty Organization (Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan).

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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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