NATO Provides Pentagon Nuclear, Missile And Cyber Shields Over Europe
The Pentagon's number two official, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn, was in Brussels, Belgium on September 15 to address the North Atlantic Council - the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's top civilian body - and the private Security & Defence Agenda think tank.
His comments at the second event, hosted by the only defense-related institution of its type in the city that hosts NATO's and the European Union's headquarters, dealt extensively with what Lynn referred to as a "cyber shield" over all of Europe, which he described as a "critical element" for the 28-nation military bloc to address and endorse at its summit in Lisbon, Portugal on November 19-20.
Lynn added that "The alliance has a crucial role to play in extending a blanket of security over our networks," and placed the issue in stark perspective by stating "NATO has a nuclear shield, it is building a stronger and stronger defence shield, it needs a cyber shield as well," according to Agence France-Presse. 
The Security & Defence Agenda website states that it "regularly brings together senior representatives from the EU institutions and NATO, with national government officials, industry, the international and specialised media, think-tanks, academia and NGOs." 
It is, in short, one of dozens if not scores of trans-Atlantic elite planning bodies, quasi- and supra-governmental alike, on both sides of the ocean, ones which demand to be addressed by leaders of what style themselves model open and transparent societies. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations is another instance of the practice and the principle. 
In fact, Deputy Defense Secretary Lynn has an article in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, entitled "Defending a New Domain: The Pentagon's Cyber Strategy."
Pentagon, State Department and White House officials - and their European counterparts - enter and leave government service but maintain lifetime memberships in organizations like the Security & Defence Agenda and the Council on Foreign Relations.
The Brussels-based think tank lists among its partners, in addition to NATO and the Mission of the United States of America to NATO, American arms manufacturers Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and United Technologies as well as their European equivalents.
William Lynn came to his current Pentagon position from that of senior vice president of Government Operations and Strategy for the Raytheon Company.
Corporate leadership posts with weapons firms, membership in private trans-Atlantic planning bodies and top positions in national governments are all but interchangeable roles, held either successively or simultaneously.
Lynn's comments before the Security & Defence Agenda gathering also included the demand that NATO apply the concept of "collective defense" - which is to say its Article 5 military intervention provision - to the realm of information technology and computer networks, as seen above at the same level of seriousness and urgency as maintaining a nuclear arsenal and constructing a global interceptor missile network. In his words, "The Cold War concepts of shared warning apply in the 21st century to cyber security. Just as our air defences, our missile defences have been linked so too do our cyber defences need to be linked as well." 
As with stationing nuclear warheads in Europe, as far east and south as Turkey, and the "phased adaptive approach" multilayered missile shield in Eastern Europe from the Baltic to the Black Seas, building a cyber warfare system - for that in truth is what is being discussed - in all of Europe as part of an even broader - global - project depends upon the compliance and complicity of NATO's 26 members and 13 Partnership for Peace adjuncts in Europe.
U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in Belgium (20 bombs), Germany (20), Italy (50), the Netherlands (20) and Turkey (90) - the numbers are estimates, only the Pentagon knows the true figures and of course will not divulge them - were brought into and are kept in Europe under NATO arrangements. The affected countries have never conducted referendums to determine whether their citizens support the basing of American nuclear arms on their soil notwithstanding NATO's claim to be a "military alliance of democratic states in Europe and North America." No European population is clamoring to be saved - from whom? from what? - by the Pentagon's nuclear gravity bombs. Or its interceptor missiles. Or its cyber warfare operations.
No more than the citizens of 35 European nations that have supplied troops for NATO's war in Afghanistan were consulted on whether sending their sons and daughters to Asia to kill and die guarantees the security of their homelands.
"Speaking at his residence in a luxurious suburb of south Brussels, a day after returning from a meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington" earlier this month, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a major British newspaper that "If Iran eventually acquires a nuclear capability that will be very dangerous, and a direct threat to the allies. That is the reason why I am now proposing a new and effective Nato missile defence system."