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Submitted to Gazette ChicagoYour news feature of April 5 titled "NATO summit in May already stirring up emotions in Chicago" contains basic facts about the upcoming summit of the world's only military alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, that could benefit from more in-depth background information.The article dutifully passes on NATO press release statements like: "NATO serves as a unifying defense against outside threats for its 28 member countries in North America and Europe"NATO, founded in 1949, operates on the premise that an "attack on one is an attack on all' 28 members. It is classified as a "global security network.'"When the U.S.-dominated bloc was founded 63 years ago it consisted of 12 nations, all bordering the North Atlantic Ocean except for Italy. Of the 16 countries that have been brought into NATO in the interim only two, Germany and Spain, are in the Atlantic region. Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey are not.The name, then, like most everything else that the alliance says about itself, is false. Demonstrably so.The term "global security network" used in reference to an organization that has waged air and ground wars against small nations on three continents in the past 13 years is a candidate for the most ludicrous and cynical misuse of euphemism in recent memory.Treating the Chicago summit with anything other than the firm opposition it warrants -- by celebrating, accepting or ignoring it -- is to buy into NATO's agenda in ways that may not be immediately apparentWhat the May 20-21 meeting will endorse can be easily surmised from what NATO prioritized at its last summit in Lisbon, Portugal in November of 2010 at which it adopted its first Strategic Concept for the 21st century.In Chicago it will reaffirm and expand the commitments ratified there.At the last summit NATO, in addition to celebrating the endless war in Afghanistan as the prototype for future campaigns around the world, a policy put into practice four months later with the beginning of an over six-month naval blockade and air war against Libya, NATO leaders pledged to continue and upgrade efforts in the areas of maintaining an American nuclear presence in Europe, placing all of Europe under the U.S. interceptor missile system, complementing Pentagon cyber warfare initiatives and aggressively pursuing energy transit strategies to eliminate Russia and exclude Iran as oil and natural gas suppliers to Europe.The Strategic Concept adopted in Lisbon states: "[A]n appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional capabilities, remains a core element of our overall strategy"As long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance."The second sentence leaves itself open to two interpretations, one a literal and another the true one.The U.S. stations from 200-400 tactical nuclear bombs at air bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey under an agreement between the Pentagon and NATO referred to as nuclear sharing or burden sharing. The arrangement stipulates that the nuclear bombs are to be delivered by bombers from those five U.S. NATO allies to their intended destinations.Turkey borders Syria and Iran and is only separated from Russia by Georgia.NATO's half-century-long commitment to hosting U.S. nuclear weapons "as long as nuclear weapons exist" either means as long as they exist anywhere in the world -- Asia? North America? -- or, more to the point, as long as Russia possesses them. That is, if Russia preserves a nuclear deterrent on its own territory then NATO will provide the U.S. the opportunity to base nuclear bombs in Turkey. The new Strategic Concept elaborates on the topic:"The supreme guarantee of the security of the Allies is provided by the strategic nuclear forces of the Alliance, particularly those of the United States; the independent strategic nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and France, which have a deterrent role of their own, contribute to the overall deterrence and security of the Allies."It also vows to "ensure the broadest possible participation of Allies in collective defence planning on nuclear roles, in peacetime basing of nuclear forces."The Lisbon Summit Declaration stated:"NATO will maintain an appropriate mix of conventional, nuclear, and missile defence forces. Missile defence will become an integral part of our overall defence posture."With all four issues here discussed -- American nuclear weapons in Europe, the U.S.-NATO missile shield, cyber warfare capabilities on the continent and increasingly more assertive energy strategies -- it would be advised to mentally insert the word Russia in brackets or parentheses to understand their true purpose.The George W. Bush missile shield plan for Europe entailed ten Ground-Based Midcourse Defense missiles in Poland and a radar site in the Czech Republic. Both were to have been bilateral arrangements. The Barack Obama administration's successor, now also a NATO continent-wide program after the Lisbon summit, includes Patriot Advanced Capability-3 and Standard Missile-3 interceptors in Poland, Standard Missile-3s in Romania, a Forward-Deployed X-Band Radar facility in Turkey, the conversion of Dutch frigates for missile interception radar purposes and the basing of four U.S. Aegis class destroyers equipped with Standard Missile-3s at the Naval Station Rota in Spain, etc.The Lisbon summit was and the Chicago summit is also a mechanism for the Pentagon to extend its new U.S. Cyber Command, which achieved initial operational capability on May, 21 2010, into and throughout Europe in cooperation with NATO.The Strategic Concept endorsed at the Lisbon summit, less than six months after U.S. Cyber Command was launched, mandates that NATO "develop further [the] ability to prevent, detect, defend against and recover from cyber-attacks, including by using the NATO planning process to enhance and coordinate national cyber-defence capabilities, bringing all NATO bodies under centralized cyber protection""The North Atlantic bloc has openly identified "energy security" as one of its main strategic priorities since its 50th anniversary summit in Washington in 1999, at which the previous Strategic Concept was unveiled.The current one includes this plank:"Some NATO countries will become more dependent on foreign energy suppliers and in some cases, on foreign energy supply and distribution networks for their energy needs. As a larger share of world consumption is transported across the globe, energy supplies are increasingly exposed to disruption."For which read Russia.In furtherance of NATO's -- ultimately global -- energy policy, it has insinuated itself into the three parts of the world where the oil and natural gas supplies it covets are located: West Africa's Gulf of Guinea, the Caspian Sea Basin and the Persian Gulf.In the first case it has worked with U.S. European Command and its new offspring, U.S. Africa Command. The top commander of European Command is also simultaneously NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, thus an American.U.S. Africa Command, which ran the war against Libya last year from March 19-30 (Operation Odyssey Dawn) until turning it over to NATO (Operation Unified Protector) from March 31-October 31, was incubated by European Command and for the first year of its existence was still subordinated to the U.S. command.NATO has moved into the Caspian Sea through the war in Afghanistan and by granting the advanced Individual Partnership Action Plan to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, on both ends of the sea.It has moved directly into the Persian Gulf through the 2004 Istanbul Cooperation Initiative with the monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which has fostered visits by NATO naval groups and delegations to the Gulf states as well as conferences held in them.NATO may not be a global security network, but it is a global network indeed.Toward the end of your article you quote a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police warning that "NATO is a military alliance, and Chicago is obviously not an appropriate venue for this important organization."That statement should be reworked to read: NATO is a military alliance, and the Earth is obviously not an appropriate venue for this dangerous organization.
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: