SENZA CENSURA n.9
Italy, october 2002
NATO TOWARDS PRAGUE
Nato's expansion and restructuring process is going on towards Prague
The present Nato's expansion towards east is part of the attempt by USA to have changeable alliances on the grounds of its strategy of "preventive war". In reality this term means what USA have ever done through low intensity war before, and then, after URSS breakdown, through their policy.
A probable war against Iraq by USA and Great Britain, and the conditions with which USA decide for the war front, make difficult the situation for ten countries candidate to become Nato's members. This problem should be solved by Prague's summit. In July, during a meeting among the candidate countries, it have been expressed a certain optimism to accelerate their integration, which risks having difficulty in Prague's summit, if there will be a present war. The war could be the main argument , together with all its discrepancies. At the same time we could see an internal clash between USA and GB on one side, and on the other the European Union, which is creating yet many problems, into which both of them ask the ten candidates to draw up as to conduct decisions bound by "common principles". A different opinion points out the problem relative to power relationships inside the Alliance, and to an imperialistic level.
Into official papers it seems that now there is the condition to admit 7 ex soviet countries: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
Beyond internal problems, some official English sources say that, two months before Prague's meeting ,there is not an official regulation granting the moods to enlarge NATO. It seems that Macedonia and Albania are not ready again, while Slovenia is favourite. The three Baltic republics have only one problem: a limited Russian presence. Bulgaria and Romania are not even sure because of the slowdown of political and economic reforms, but their strategic position is propitious.
Many think that candidate countries are held in high esteem by USA thanks to their full support to war to terrorism, and to war operations towards logistic and intelligence support, opening their aerial and land space. Bulgaria and Romania sent their soldiers in Afghanistan to support the ISAF.
Romania has declared to USA its availability to attack Iraq, through its bases and aerial passages refuelling aircrafts, and also giving the troops a logistic support. The Rumanian minister of Defence believes that this kind of support will show the Rumanian logistic and military system's quality, giving this country a chance to become a NATO's member country.
Slovakia sent its soldiers in Afghanistan under USA command, in particular to build new military structures. The most political experts think that this can accelerate their integration in the European Union, especially during Prague's summit, when they are going to be taken important decisions about this matter.
Lithuania has prepared some soldiers for intelligence operations in Afghanistan.
Baltic republics are modernizing their own military force, conforming themselves to what has been fixed by the Member Action Plan. Russia shows to have no hostility towards the three Baltic republics' integration, though reducing conventional weapons, that in Europe is a last heritage of the Cold War.
In the last period the candidate Baltic republics are working on a common radar system, telecommunication and integrated control, to cooperate with NATO's standards. They have bought from Lockeed Martin's some radar systems (TPS 117) which will be used within December 2003. The radar system will be part of the BALTNET, under NATO's control.
Estonia's soldiers are yet present in Kirgistan; this fact is clearly denied by the local government. Between 2002 and 2007 Estonia will buy anti-aircraft short range systems, missiles and high tech systems for night war.
In Washington the Estonian ambassador said that his country is going to develop its radar and communication system in way that it can be used by other countries inside NATO.
During this June's Weapons Exhibition in Lithuania, Military industrial sources have declared that Lithuania and Estonia are buying antitank missiles (Javelin); and the same source admits the necessity to continue the equalization to NATO's communication and interception system. Lithuania is equalizing its defense and attack system investing about 2% of its GDP (gross Domestic Product), that is about 270 millions of Dollars.
Slovenia has got less problems to conform its military system to NATO's standards, because its apparatus has been acquired totally after the exit from Yugoslavia. This year its budget for military expenses is about 500 millions of dollars. The priority for Slovenia is to acquire equipments to develop a fast intervention force, provided with light antitank and missile arms. Some light vehicles are produced in Slovenia directly. Slovenia has got mechanized troops in Bosnia, which are completely integrated with NATO's structure.
Bulgaria has realized a plan to acquire weapons from Great Britain and radar systems from Lockheed Martin's. It is also transforming its present air force , providing it with NATO identification and communication systems. Bulgaria is investing in weapons more than the other candidate countries: about the 3% of its GDP, that is around 400 millions of dollars. Bulgaria has ever had a good relationship with western ruling countries, as we can deduce from the fact that the most of its command military staff has been drilled in USA and in Europe. This country is also working on the ASOC system (Air Sovereignty Operations Center), to carry out a full air cooperation.
In October 2002 some American experts have met with the Rumanian ones to consider what to change into the internal security system, in the perspective of a probable adhesion to NATO.
The Rumanian government has reported the possibility to produce itself the radar systems bought by all the candidate countries from the Lockheed Martin's. Romania has directed great economic sources towards defense (5% of the GDP in 2001), to be called immediately to become a NATO's member. Romania is an important link between NATO's north and south, beyond having a basic role for energy passages coming from the Caspian Sea.
Slovakia has presented a project to invest 2% of the GDP in modern systems, during 2002, as provided by the MAP. The Slovakian ambassador has stated that the priority for his country is to have an adequate radar system, and to increase its military power, providing for a rapid intervention force. Slovakia is developing a multi-brigade system together with Poland and Czech Republic to take part to NATO operations.
NATO's summit in Prague (21 and 22 of November) is going to fix last passages for a complete introduction of eastern countries; at the same time, it will have to put substantial matters regarding a new definition of NATO's operative moods, in the present situation of war against terrorism, that is imperialist expansion of USA and Great Britain bourgeoisie.
During an informal summit held in Warsaw on 24th September among NATO's defence ministers, the USA minister Rumsfeld has proposed to create NATO rapid reaction corps, then to be discussed in Prague. This force should not compete with the ARCC (Ace Rapid Reaction Corps), but it should operate in short time operations (from 7 to 30 days). This kind of proposal make more difficult to direct USA decisions in particular inside USA deciding supremacy , so it induces the candidate countries to support ruling bourgeoisie faction.
This force should have about 20,000 soldiers. Rumsfeld admits that this decision comes from the necessity to face the difficulty to make common operations out of NATO's area.
He has also said that this force will not be ready in a short period, so it will be not used in Iraq.
During an interview Rumsfeld has declared that NATO's countries disagreements should be an irresponsibility able to damage the Alliance force. The reaction force will be clearly also used for preventive attacks
Official sources show how there are many doubts in the E.U. about this proposal.
This proposal's details are still vague and they are thought to be faced during Prague's summit.