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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/10/10

NATO: Global Military Bloc Finalizes 21st Century Strategic Doctrine

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NATO: Global Military Bloc Finalizes 21st Century Strategic Doctrine
Rick Rozoff

In Brussels in the first week of May NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen delivered his urbi et orbi (to the city and the world) monthly address, the bloc's Military Committee assembled the defense chiefs of 49 nations supplying troops for the war in Afghanistan and U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden visited the Alliance's headquarters.

As the world faces an almost two-year economic downturn epitomized by the national crisis in Greece and natural disasters like the devastating earthquake in Haiti and the fallout from volcanic eruptions in Iceland, the U.S.-led Western military bloc is preparing for interventions around the world.

For NATO, which however much it pretends to be something else or something more is a military bloc, all problems in the world require some variety of military action.

It exploited an ethnic conflict in Kosovo to launch its first war in Europe in 1999 and attacks on the American cities of New York and Washington two years later to begin its first war in Asia. Having fought a 78-day air war and now waging a nearly nine-year ground war, NATO is hardly a paper, and by no means a defensive, organization.

Its threat to intervene in as many as a score of different areas it has identified as part of its 21st century expeditionary mission is not to be taken lightly.

On May 5 its Secretary General Rasmussen delivered his monthly press briefing in Brussels and announced that he and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will hold a press conference on May 17 after NATO's Group of Experts presents its report on the Alliance's new Strategic Concept.

The new military doctrine will be the first in this century, the first since the completion of NATO's precedent-setting large-scale air war in 1999 and its transition to fighting a ground war and counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan.

It will be the 61-year-old bloc's first global warfighting doctrine based on the past eleven years' military interventions in the Balkans, South Asia and the Horn of Africa, naval and airlift operations in the Mediterranean Sea and Africa, and a training mission in Iraq.

Despite Rasmussen's assurance that all NATO member states "will examine the report carefully" as part of what has been portrayed as a collective, deliberative process, all the important elements of the Strategic Concept were decided upon years ago. In Washington, D.C.

They include a continuation and escalation of the war in South Asia, in both Afghanistan and Pakistan; placing all NATO member states under a joint U.S.-NATO interceptor missile shield; retaining American tactical nuclear weapons on air bases in European nations; expanding the bloc even further into the Balkans and nations of the former Soviet Union; extending ad infinitum naval surveillance and interdiction operations in the Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, encompassing many of the world's most vital and strategic shipping lanes and naval choke points; penetrating deeper into the Middle East and Africa through military partnerships and training and other assistance programs.

Global NATO's new strategy also emphasizes universally thematic as well as geographically specific pretexts for intervention around the world under its Article 5 collective military assistance and intervention clause.

In a conference on the new Strategic Concept in London last October 1 conducted jointly by NATO and Lloyd's of London, Rasmussen identified what he referred to as third-millennium concerns that NATO is preparing to confront. [1]

They include but are not limited to (as the list has already expanded in the interim and will do so further) piracy, cyber security, climate change and global warming, storms and flooding, rising sea levels, water shortages and drought, cross-border migration, diminished food production, natural disasters, humanitarian crises, dependence on "foreign sources of fuel energy" and supplies emanating from nations NATO desires to drive out of regional and world markets, carbon dioxide emissions, "factories or energy stations or transmission lines or ports" that require protection, the melting of the Arctic ice cap and, as ever, international terrorism.

The above terms are the exact ones Rasmussen used last year.

And alleged weapons of mass destruction. And missile threats from "rogue states." Nuclear proliferation real or potential or contrived. Territorial disputes, ethnic conflicts, "failed states," endangered individuals or groups covered under the rubric of the "responsibility to protect," competition over natural resources and an ever-evolving list of other justifications for intervention at any time at any spot on the earth for most any reason.

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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:
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