SENZA CENSURA N.16
march - june 2005
The great nosh-up of USA imperialism?
NATO is going on towards its enlargement. An enlargement, like past years, that is in dialectic with EU 's enlargement, in first place pushed by American imperialist policy of economic hegemony.
An enlargement which seems to use the present moment although the Afghan and Iraqi wars are not again solved and which still shows traces of the effects caused by the international war to "terrorism". Then, an enlargement which is becoming an absorption by USA of those areas product of the progressive break-up of URSS before and of Russian interest after. An enlargement process which makes the axis Turkey - Israel- USA the main plug of USA's rule in the construction of the Great Middle East, and of its total military supremacy towards its friend/enemy Europe, a strength element for the definition of imperialist hierarchy inside NATO.
The discussion about USA-EU relationship inside NATO has been important during last months, in particular after the position taken by some countries about the war in Iraq. Even during last weeks the polemic has gone on: in particular by the USA Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld towards some statements made by single countries about NATO's operations and decisions, in particular as regards the participation or not to military operations, which is competence of "NATO's hierarchies".
The over national organs (unlike what said by the opportunist no-global part) are not identified as superior entities but build and made by states, and they represent a compensation among imperialist bourgeoisies; this confirms the importance to struggle against the State and its important role, not defeated but reinforced, in the present situation, by strong necessities on a counter- revolutionary level. Very far, so, form that ideology which affirmed the end of the State and its role in front of a new power represented by WTO, IMF, etc... Those structures, of which NATO is the main, have the aim to define hierarchic levels in defence of the interest of various parts of imp. bourgeoisie.
Rumsfeld's statements confirm that NATO represents, inside USA bourgeoisie's choices, the instrument inside which, given its military supremacy, determine the leadership on the other imperialist countries.
On the contrary, during NATO's conference about Security in Monaco, Shroeder talked about the necessity to revise the present Atlantic decisional organization. Shroeder states that NATO isn't the only place, and cannot be the main, where coordinate and take decisions inside the transatlantic cooperation, hypothesizing to shift the confrontation on a possible new level of consultancy between USA and EU. It's clear the German intention, in a moment of international expansion, to search a greater role in the imperialist hierarchy. Schroeder is asking that USA and EU create a consultancy of experts to face the problem of a changing into the present decisional and consulting levels. Rumsfeld answered that the future wars like the intervention in Iraq, will have to be led by coalitions like NATO.
If now disagreements prevent a full displacement of NATO in Iraq, the military training is still going on. In November some Iraqi officials, together with others coming from Partners for Peace countries, took part to a multidisciplinary training at the NATO School in Oberammergaum (Germany). Germany' s decision, like France, hard core of the creation of a Strong and Armed Europe, is to train Iraqi forces, but outside the same Iraq.
In December, in Norway, the NATO's Joint Warfare Centre of Stavanger gave hospitality to the first course for twenty officials belonging to the Iraqi Minister of Defence and Interiors. At the same time, NATO's Foreign Ministers gathered in Bruxelles decided to send 300 soldiers to be trained in Iraq, starting so the NATO Training Mission - Iraq. Among these, a great part will be the military and logistic support, whit the aim to create a training school near Baghdad, the "Training, Education and Doctrine Centre". Since now they give support to this project with their soldiers, those countries which best represent the USA influence inside NATO like Hungary, Bulgaria, and Poland; which, as we often said, represent a contradiction for the same Europe and its imperialist independence. At the present moment in Iraq they are near 100 soldiers under Iraq.
A NATO official source admitted transporting weapons, fighting equipment and munitioning towards Iraq, as part of the program of training and equipping security forces. Romania offered 6.000 light machineguns AK-47, 500 machineguns, 300 precision guns and 100 trench mortars, while Estonia offered 2.400 AK-47 and Denmark 104 handguns. From Hungary they will be transported 77 fighting tanks T-72. This is part of the help coordination program approved last year by NATO and for its greatest part it comes from countries which became part of the Alliance last year.
On the Iraqi front NATO is still suffering from those contradictions in the present imperialist scene; in Afghanistan it is going to increase its presence.
At the present moment they are between 7000 and 9000 soldiers coming from all NATO's countries. Other countries not belonging to the Alliance are contributing with 400 soldiers. NATO has got 5 Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan. A German team at Konduz and Feyzabad, one English at Mazar-e-sharif and Maimana and one Holland in the district of Baghlan.
NATO's project is to sum at least three in the western side of the country. The German-French command of Eurocorps took the direction of the mission in August 2004. Eurocorps is formed by Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg and Spain; countries which are also members of NATO. Bulgaria gave its willingness to send its own soldiers and to provide weapons for 40 tons. Along 4 months it will be responsible for security operations at the Kabul airport. Turkey took the command of the mission at the half of February and it will manage the mission expansion. Italy, Spain and Lithuania will take the command of 4 PRTs and an operative advanced base near Heart.
NATO's presence in Afghanistan caused an acceleration of the debate about the necessity to create a Rapid Force for Stabilization and Reconstruction (SRF). This should represent a complementary of the Rapid Reaction Force, but differently organized. It has to be a flexible land force formed by many nations, with the task to combine the competences of Stabilization and Reconstruction. The combination of a Rapid Reaction Force, a Force for high intensity conflicts, and a SRF, should represent the best answer to future developments of crisis all over the world.
According to some documents as to this subject, the creation of a force with these features could represent the instrument to reduce the gap between Partner for peace countries and NATO countries about Stabilization and Reconstruction (SR).
The SRF should be responsible for the elimination violence in those crisis situations, to prevent the opposition's elimination, to grant a new security on the territory. Civil operations should concern the restoration of energy and transports, which are basic for the same occupation. The SRF must can depend on the Unity of Heavy and Support Fighting (CS/CSS), on unities for security operations with the possibility to accumulate strength, if necessary. According to some evaluations it doesn't still exist a real capacity by NATO military forces to represent the complexity of the necessary competences for the SR operations; at the present moment, for this aim, it is possible to hypothesize the use of a 2-3% of NATO's forces.
From official documents it emerges the conviction that the necessity of this kind of operations will go on, and how yet stated, the tendency surely is towards a development, just like imperialist aggressiveness on both its two fronts, external and internal.
Europe could chose to form a SRF following the American example to use the present military capacity, implementing it with the competences relative to the SR operations. USA, before the invasion of Iraq, believed in the creation of a force able to be spread on a war ground enough "pacified". The present reality instead has shown, given the Iraqi resistance ability to make military opposition, the necessity to think again about that project, and has convinced political and military tops that is necessary a greater offensive capacity.
According to the Nation Defence University, Italy represents a leader in the preparation of SR missions. In the future, among the Italian armed forces, there will be the creation of 10 brigades divided into 3 heavy, 4 medium and 3 light, to accomplish the aforesaid tasks. Germany will give about 70.000 men to stability operations and 180.000 CS/CSS, while Poland doesn't have forces for the SR operations. Great Britain has got unities prepared to technological war and needs to prepare unties for stability operations. France wants to become leader in SR operations. While Holland cannot give a great contribute and Canada probably is able to manage electoral processes, their security, control, military police and magistracy. Spain, thanks to the recent position taken towards the Iraqi war, can have the possibility for a greater investment in this field. Spain has got 92.000 soldiers equally organized in CS/CSS unities, but it will need NATO's experience to develop competences of Stability and Reconstruction (SR).
It's clear the exigency to create a kind of second line, a force able to take possession of the area, to determine its own political choices, organize farce elections with political men puppets of imperialism, to take the military and intelligence control.
The compliments to Italy as regard the ability to manage SR operations cannot set aside from the role it had in the "light occupation" of Albania, like in the "heavy" intervention in Yugoslavia.
In December Europe has had to take its responsibility for the "mission" in Ex-Yugoslavia. Yet in the past, given a different ability by USA in military intervention in comparison with the European one during high conflict moments, we have explained the USA's choice to "leave" the peacekeeping to Europeans, as the will not to limit their own strengths to police and public order tasks; a choice dependent from the present greater attention towards other areas, without renouncing to the political-military hegemony granted inside NATO, in particular with a steady presence of its soldiers and with the integration of the countries in the Alliance.
It's undeniable, even by USA, the belonging of the area to that of natural expansion of EU and the (imperialist) legitimacy to call Europe to be interested in its own areas.
Europe will take the responsibility for peace-keeping and antiterrorism operations and fro research of those they think to be responsible of "war crimes", while a NATO command will stay in Sarajevo to grant security and support to "reforms". The 7.000 Eurofor soldiers will be supported by NATO's structures realizing the agreement "Berlin plus", which will provide to define a closer cooperation NATO-EU.
Besides, USA will keep their presence into the base Camp Eagle in Tuzla.
Many official documents confirm the duality of the present integration process of Balkan countries. Many are convinced that "economical and social perspectives" inexorably will depend on the development of cooperation and integration both inside NATO and Europe.
With the EU-initiated Stability Pact for South-eastern Europe, EU has the aim to intervene actively to create a long-term instrument to prevent conflicts and for a rapid intervention in case of crisis. Currently funds are used for the "reconstruction" of economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The treaty indicates the guide-lines of European foreign policy towards South-eastern European areas: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, Croatia and Republic of Yugoslavia.
A joined study by the CENTRE FOR EUROPEAN POLICY STUDIES and the INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES, states that the contradiction produced by NATO's intervention in Kosovo is one of principal reasons of worry for stability in the area, and for the consequent putting on discussion of European expansion aims. A stability threatened by Kosovo secessionist aims which could give support to the project for a "Great Albania" giving instability to the whole ex-Yugoslavian republics.
The integration of ex-Yugoslavian republics and Albania into NATO has been accelerated during last months. By an official report of the South East Europe Security Cooperation Steering Group (SEEGROUP), at which participate Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro not even members of Partners for Peace, we know that there have been many and many actions to create a Regional Network for Security, with a particular attention on borders security and on military and political intervention in crisis situations.
Many of ex-Yugoslavian republics are operating reforms in way to become members of NATO.
During a visit in February, the general NATO secretary stated that Bosnia still has got to make efforts to follow European military and security standards.
Instead Croatia, even if has raised good results in the equalization light weapons to Atlantic standards, still has got to make efforts about aerial forces. Slovenia seems to sponsor the acceleration of Croatia's integration, giving a positive evaluation to the opening of negotiations for its admission in the EU.
In December in Macedonia it was formally declared the full NATO operability of the Camp Able Sentry (CAS) in Skopie, used since August 2004 by USA troops and destined to be used to grant security to the reforms process in the area, and for military interventions in the Balkans.
At the end of December it was presented a reform program for military structures to create a professional army to be completed within 2007. Macedonia believes also to have the possibility to reach the economical and political standards to join the Alliance.
In January Macedonia, with other 8 countries (Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Finland, Ireland, Croatia, Sweden and Swiss), took part to the NATO Crisis Management Exercise (CMX 2005), with the aim to simulate the intervention in a crisis situation out of area, included the risk of asymmetrical interventions like terrorist attacks against NATO's troops and cooperating nations.
Macedonia, on the same wavelength as USA, is having an important role towards the creation of a greater political-military relationship among neighbouring countries, USA and NATO itself. Macedonian government wants aims to reach full reforms to become member of NATO within 2006, and to reach the conditions for a full adhesion to the Shengen treaty.
In January, through its president voice, Montenegro declared to be ready to make the necessary reforms to reach PFP standards, and to start an official path of contact with NATO to decide the action plan for its own adhesion.
Albania has a picture of security and cooperation linked to NATO's presence and to the other countries' adhesion. During the meeting of NATO's Foreign Ministers in December, the Albanian Minister stated that the adhesion to the integration process by an increasing number of countries has created a greater stability and security in the area, and that 2005 surely represents an important year for a great changing in this sense. The judge about the present situation is that the area is becoming prosper and safe, going towards a consolidation of cooperation both regional and sub-regional.
With the partial disengagement of USA military forces in ex-Yugoslavia, military bases and forces find a new placement for a new strategic set up and above all for North American imperialist aims.
In fact in January the Command of USA forces in Europe visited Romania and some sites in Bulgaria, where could find place the new intervention unities more flexible than those currently present in Europe. The sites in Bulgaria could be the aerial base of Bezmer, the training area of Novo Selo and the harbour of Burgas, on the Black Sea, without excluding the airports of Graf Ignatievo and Sarafovo, the naval base of Aitiya on the Black Sea and some structures for the placement of equipments and materials.
At the same time the North American and the European imperialism is going on towards the integration of those countries produced by the dissolution of URSS. A process yet in progress, but which has created new interest in particular after what happened in Georgia and the elections in Ukraine. A process regarding the whole area from Balkans to Caucasus.
Since time USA started various bilateral agreements with Ukraine in terms of security and cooperation, beyond sponsoring its participation to the PFP-NATO program.
Ukraine is among those countries which gave full support to the antiterrorism campaign, taking part to the war in Iraq, with its teams for chemical war protecting Kuwait, and spreading its troops on the borders between Iraq and Iran.
In accordance with many analysts Ukraine, like Turkey, although doesn't have the same political weight, represents an important crux for the world supremacy, both for its dimension and its geographical placement.
Ukraine represents for USA an important country because of its military capability imported from its soviet history, beyond its political events which can become a key for its supremacy on the same Russia, putting on crisis the CIS cooperation process - Byelorussia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Armenia - in particular after the acknowledgement by these countries of the candidate sponsored by the Kremlin.
NATO, for its part, through a joined communicate about the situation in Ukraine by the Foreign Ministers of the Nato-Russia Council, confirmed its support to the present Ukrainian leadership, its full will to continue a political dialogue with Russia and to develop more the cooperation, in terms of security and antiterrorism with its participation to trainings, and through its support to the Hungary-Russia Initiative, to create a joined intervention system about civil defence and emergencies.
But there are possible contradictions not only in the different interests between USA and Russia, but also between Europe and USA. At the end of January, the President of the European Parliament criticized the support given by Poland and Lithuania to the Ukrainian electoral process, because this depended on an "order" given by USA. Even the Georgian President had its role of interference.
Besides, the concern is given also by the data regarding the USA intervention for Ukraine and the 58 million dollars spent for the "development of democracy" in the country.
EU's concerned is expressed by the words of the General Secretary Solana, about a possible destabilization of Europe's enlargement, a crisis in the relationship with Russia, and a further crisis in the relationship with USA in such a ticklish moment.
But USA and NATO interests go beyond, clashing with those countries (like Byelorussia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Armenia) which still stay inside the Russian political and military influence and Chinese at the same time.
This is an attention that we saw increase inside the "war to terrorism", becoming an active participation with a greater military cooperation with many countries of Central Asia and South Caucasus.
Since time USA have invested in different manners in many countries of Central Asia, side by side with their integration in NATO's cadre, depending on every state's features.
Many American energetic companies made agreements with Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and for the reconstruction of Tajikistan. In accordance with the Washington Post the American administration will try to make long-term agreements with Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to use their bases in case of training or rapid interventions. NATO's secretary Sheffer praised the participation of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to the coalition Enduring Freedom and confirmed the agreement with Tajikistan to use its territory for operations in Afghanistan.
The Partners for Peace program (PfP) is still considered the main instrument to allow the full reform of military and economic structures to lead those countries towards a full integration with NATO's standards. A study by the Central Asia - Caucasus Institute makes some recommendations about NATO's strategy in the area. The study asserts that it has to be established a Nato's Dialogue like done with Russia and Ukraine, which face every specific aspect of the integration; to create a Regional Defence College in South Caucasus able to transfer the competences and to build the requirements for an adequate approach to the Alliance; to individuate a hierarchy and to nominate political-military experts which help the General Secretary as counsellors for the area; to create a "Security Working Group" which face the development of forces assigned to security and rapid intervention.
Besides, should be countries like Romania, which in the past were under soviet influence, to support and to show enthusiasm for this project.
The decision taken by Azerbaijan and Georgia to support the mission in Iraq, the increase of Georgian troops to 850 unities and the promise done by USA to give assistance and funding to its military forces, create requirements to hypothesize a further turning point in the area's equilibrium.
Georgia, like Azerbaijan, in spite of a first disinterestedness, many times have asked for their adhesion to NATO.
Georgia represents the second country in the area as regards the financial support given by USA and has the feature to be among those countries which more border on Russian military bases.
In November the NATO Secretary went to Georgia and formalized the adoption of the Georgia's Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), with the aim to lead the country to join the Alliance. That process should end within 2007, though creating since now a NATO Representing Office in Tiblisi.
An Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) was realized for the admission of Azerbaijan. Since time the country is Partner for Peace, in spite of it was protagonist of an friction with NATO because of the deny of visa to three Armenian officials, with the consequent cancellation of the training Cooperative Best Effort 2004 which had to be place on its territory, forcing the Atlantic Alliance to stop the mission. On the ground the Azeri-Armenian conflict of Nagorno Karabakh in 1991-1994.
NATO's reasons to have as partner these two countries can be simply traced to the warranty of security and control of energetic sources, and to the possibility to have an outpost in the area.
Azerbaijan is among the countries participating to the project of the oil pipeline Baku - Tiblisi - Ceyhan, which will bring oil from the Caspian to the Mediterranean Sea, through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The project, sponsored by USA and opposed by Russia, has got many implications. It will weaken the northern passage, which from the Caspian brings oil to the Black Sea for the turnover through Russian harbours. Besides, it will strengthen an horizontal axis for the total benefit of Turkey. In a very significant way, the BTC avoids Armenia.
Some think that Azerbaijan can have a strategic importance in case of crisis with Iran, given their closeness. But the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister , in front of the publication by some local newspapers of the installation of foreign bases on its territory, denied and stated that the country will not be used to attack others.
but the problem given by the expansion project of NATO in the area cannot set apart from expecting an homogeneous integration level with Armenia to prevent a form of destabilization, created by a situation in which neighbouring countries would be placed on different fronts (Nato/Russia). At the same time it's necessary to strengthen the cooperation with the same Russia, at least on the paper and with specific aims, which should represent a winning tactic not forgetting that Russia keeps three military bases in Georgia and a great one in Armenia, beyond having funded for 1 million dollars the modernization of its armaments and decided with this last bilateral agreements on security.
In accordance with some studies by NATO, the expansion in that area has to consider some factors. The presence of historical conflicts allow Russia a steady military presence to grant its own interests, opposing the expansion itself. Those conflicts create problems to the acceleration of integration, because it's improbable the possibility to develop cooperation among countries which have territorial disputes among themselves. The cooperation inside NATO by the countries in the area can solve these conflicts and give by this way the conditions for an autonomous management and prevention inside the same cooperation, out of the Russian support.
If what we see doesn't deceive us, though partial, maybe it's arrived the moment to give a new support to the constant initiative against NATO's presence on our territories. A struggle which creates interest in parts of the movement in the debates on the war and occupation in Iraq. A NATO which is not exhausting its role but replaces itself inside the double contradiction level among parts of imperialist bourgeoisie, and between this and the whole metropolitan proletariat. But around NATO's political and military apparatus, there's a civil and non-governmental structure which works in agreement with this and grants a management of contradictions by it developed; which has to be unmasked and which has to be prevented from continuing its role.