Backing Up Globalization
with Military Might
by Karen Talbot
CovertAction Quarterly, Fall / Winter 1999
The U. S. Senate recently labeled Serbia a "terrorist
state,'' in an act of obscene hypocrisy-yet another case of blaming
the victim for the crimes of the perpetrator What could be more
"terrorist" than the relentless blitzkrieg of 23,000
bombs and missiles rained upon Yugoslavia for 79 days by U.S.-led
NATO forces? Is it not terrorism to drop on civilians radioactive
depleted uranium weapons and outlawed cluster bombs designed to
rip human flesh to shreds, from the sanctuary of thousands of
feet in the air, or using terrain-hugging computer-guided missiles?
Is it not terrorism to target deliberately the entire infrastructure
of a small sovereign nation, including electrical and water filtration
systems critical to the survival of civilians? Is it not terrorism
to ferociously obliterate 200 factories and destroy the jobs of
millions of workers? What of the constant air assault-"fire
from the sky"-against cities, villages, schools, hospitals,
senior residences, TV towers and studios, oil refineries, chemical
plants, electrical power plants, transmission towers, gas stations,
homes, farms, schools, marketplaces, buses, trains, railroad lines,
bridges, roads, medieval monasteries, churches, historic monuments-destruction
amounting to more than $100 billion? What of eco-terrorism, biological
and chemical warfare, the incalculable result of the destruction
of the environment, including the deliberate bombardment of chemical
plants? Above all, is it not terrorism to kill, maim, traumatize,
impoverish, or render homeless tens of thousands of men, women,
Not only was NATO'S war a reprehensible act of inhumanity,
it was in contravention of all norms of international law, including
the Charter of the United Nations. This was an unprecedented war
by the most powerful military force in history involving the 19
wealthiest nations with 95% of the world's armaments against a
small sovereign nation that ultimately had little chance of countering
such an attack.
WHY THE BALKANS?
Yugoslavia is strategically located. The peoples of this region
have had the great misfortune of living on real estate coveted
by empire after empire, all of which employed classic divide and
conquer tactics by pitting one people against another. Not much
The determination by the U. S and NATO to occupy Kosovo and
virtually all of Yugoslavia is spurred on by the enticement of
abundant natural resources. Kosovo alone has the richest mineral
resources in all of Europe west of Russia. The New York Times
observed that "the sprawling state-owned Trepca mining complex,
the most valuable piece of real estate in the Balkans, is worth
at least $5 billion," producing gold, silver, lead, zinc,
and cadmium, as well as tens of millions of dollars in profits
annually. The New York Times also revealed that a "number
of unofficial partition plans have been drawn up for Kosovo all
raising the question of who would control an important northern
mining region." Trepca was also a glittering prize taken
over by Hitler to fuel the Nazi war machine during W.W.II. "Kosovo
also possesses 17 billion tons of coal reserves and Kosovo (like
Serbia and Albania) also has oil reserves."
Serbia as a whole is rich in minerals and oil including in
Vojvodina, the northern part of the Yugoslavia. That coveted area
of Vojvodina is also extremely fertile land-a major "breadbasket"
for Europe. Then there is the allure of enterprises to be privatized
at bargain prices, and the anticipation of exploiting very cheap
and highly skilled labor potentially available to work in sweatshop
Perhaps most significant is the fact that Yugoslavia has strong
elements of a socialist economy-the last in Europe, however tattered
it may have become by years of economic destabilization by the
West and financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank. Sixty-five
percent of all firms are either state-owned or self-managed cooperatives.
s Most heavy industry is state-owned. The factories bombed during
the 79 days of NATO attacks were exclusively state-owned. The
banking and financial system is also state-controlled. Only 20
percent of the workforce was in the private sector 6
The U.S. had joined Belgrade's other international creditors
in imposing a first round of macroeconomic reforms in 1980, shortly
before the death of Marshal Tito. "Successive IMF-sponsored
programs since then continued the disintegration of the industrial
sector and the piecemeal dismantling of the Yugoslav welfare state.
Debt restructuring agreements increased foreign debt and mandated
currency devaluation also hit hard at Yugoslavia's standard of
living.... [The] IMF prescribed further doses of its bitter economic
medicine periodically... Industrial production declined to a negative
10 percent growth rate in 1990- with all its predictable social
ABOVE ALL IT'S ABOUT OIL
Perhaps above all, this U.S.-led onslaught is about oil. It
is related to the drive to extend and protect the investments
of the transnational corporations in the Caspian Sea region, especially
the oil corporations.
The Balkans are strategic for the transshipment of oil and
gas to Europe and beyond. They are critical in the competition
between Europe and the U.S. over these riches. Time is of the
essence. The first tanker shipment from the port of Supsa in Georgia
on the eastern Black Sea coast- the terminus of a pipeline from
the Caspian Sea oil fields-took place recently Another pipeline
passing through Russia, in particular Chechnya, and also ending
at the eastern shore of the Black Sea at Novorossiysk, will add
to the tanker traffic.
The predicament is how to get that oil beyond the Black Sea.
The Bosporus straits, at Istanbul, are narrow and pose considerable
hazards, especially for the tremendously heavy tanker traffic
expected. And so far plans to build a pipeline through Turkey
(Kurdistan) are thwarted by the struggles of the Kurds and by
competing interests Hopes for a pipeline through Iran are also
on hold. Though preferred for several reasons, those routes would
not provide the best access to Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
The oil can be shipped by tanker up the Danube River, a waterway
crossing Europe from the Black Sea where a short canal connects
it to the port of Constanza in Romania. The Danube runs through
Belgrade and Novi Sad in Yugoslavia. The recent completion of
a grand canal-about the time the turmoil started in the former
Yugoslavia-between the Danube and Rhine Rivers now makes it possible
to ply those waters through a great inland system of canals and
waterways to the industrial Ruhr Valley and clear to the North
Sea. Undoubtedly this route is favored by the Europeans in the
competition over the Caspian Sea treasure chest.
PIPELINES ACROSS THE BALKANS
There are also plans to build pipelines across the Balkans.
One from Romania- which has considerable oil wealth itself- would
extend from Constanza to Trieste on the Adriatic Sea. At Trieste,
the oil would be piped northward or shipped westward out of Europe
by tanker. A pipeline through Bulgaria from the port of Bourgas
on the Black Sea to the Vlore port on the Adriatic in Albania
is a project of the U.S.-owned Albanian, Macedonian, and Bulgarian
Oil Corporation (AMBO).
These would be part of a multiple pipeline system in the Balkans,
some connecting with existing "Soviet-era" pipelines
from Russia that would need upgrading. But these oil and gas pipelines
extending through Serbia from Russia to Central Europe, are extremely
valuable. In the competition with European-based companies, the
U.S. backs the Caspian Pipeline consortium led by Mobil.
As noted, Serbia also has oil reserves. And the port of Bar
on the Montenegrin coast is the most valuable, cost-efficient,
deep water port in the entire eastern Mediterranean Sea-the cheapest
route for the flow of goods in and out of Eastern Europe and beyond.
Also, Kosovo is in a corridor used for centuries, even by
the Crusaders, as a route between Europe and the Middle East.
The route follows river valleys connecting with the Danube River
Valley near Belgrade. The southern arm of the trans-Balkan railway
runs along these valleys. Control of this overland passageway
was critical to the German fascist war machine in World War II,
and to other conquerors. It remains vital to getting the oil riches
into Europe from the Middle East and for other two-way commerce.
Neighboring Albania, whose economy has been completely transformed
to the "free-market," with domination by western transnational
corporations and banks, has vast untapped mineral resources including
oil reserves. These are already being gobbled up by transnationals
including the major oil companies.
The application of strong structural adjustment policies imposed
by the World Bank and IMF "had contributed to wrecking Albania's
banking system and precipitating the collapse of the Albanian
economy The resulting chaos enabled American and European transnationals
to position themselves carefully Several western oil companies,
including Occidental, Shell, and British Petroleum, had their
eyes riveted on Albania's abundant and unexplored oil deposits.
Western investors were also gawking at Albania's extensive reserves
of chrome, copper, gold, nickel, and platinum. The Adenauer Foundation
had been lobbying in the background on behalf of German mining
So this entire region is bubbling with activities over the
profits to be had, particularly from oil.
STOKING CONFLICT IN THE CAUCASUS / CASPIAN SEA REGION
There is a growing contention between Russia and the West
over the oil wealth of the Caspian Sea basin. This was manifested
not only in the NATO war against Yugoslavia, but also increasingly
in the Baltics, the Ukraine, the region of the Caucasus Mountains,
and among all the littoral nations of the Caspian Sea. The main
pipelines for the Central Asian oil, the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline
and the Baku-Supsa pipeline, pass through the Caucasus. In the
mounting disputes, Russia allies itself with Armenia and, it is
suspected, with the Abkhaz separatists, to counterbalance NATO
influence in Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Chechnya and Dagestan are also critical in this struggle as
the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline passes through its territory. Recently
separatist military actions by Dagestan against Russia have flared
up in Dagestan and in Chechnya. Dagestan is located between Chechnya
and the Caspian Sea.
"For Russia, Dagestan retains an important strategic
value. Dagestan commands 70 percent of Russia's shoreline to the
oil-producing Caspian Sea and its only all-weather Caspian port
at Makhachkala. It provides the crucial pipeline links from Azerbaijan,
where Russia maintains important oil interests...."
The recently opened Baku-Supsa route through Georgia, favored
by the West, bypasses Russia altogether, undermining Russian influence
on the region's oil and Russian revenue from that oil. This route
was opened following military maneuvers for training to defend
the line by Ukrainian, Georgian, and Azen troops, as part of the
Intensifying competition between Russia and NATO has escalated
after a battle with heavy losses, June 14, between Azerbaijan
and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Another pipeline route favored by the U.S. is the one between
Baku and Ceyhan passing through Turkey However this is more expensive
and transverses the area of intense struggles by the Kurdish people.
This is leading the U.S. oil companies to revive their interest
in other routes. One of these is through western Afghanistan,
the other, south through Iran.
Richard Morningstar, former special adviser to the President
and Secretary of State for Caspian Basin energy issues, said it
was essential that the two Caspian states-Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan-
agree as soon as possible about a trans-Caspian gas pipeline to
transport oil from Turkmenistan to Turkey via the Caspian Sea.
Washington has urged these governments to ignore Russian and Iranian
hostility and move ahead with this pipeline even if it means violating
the existing legal status of the Caspian Sea in which all the
littoral states are to be consulted about its future. Russia and
Iran "feel increasingly irritated by the U.S. activities
in Central Asia, aimed at preventing Moscow and Teheran from reasserting
their economic and political grip over the former Soviet republics
in the Caspian region."
Also at stake in this region is the growing competition from
China which recently has established significant military and
economic ties with Turkmenistan. China's National Petroleum Company
has helped rebuild over 100 wells in Turkmenistan resulting in
an increase in the nation's export production. It is estimated
that Turkmenistan soon will be the third largest gas exporter
in the world.
China, the second largest energy consumer in the world, is
expected to require 40 percent of its oil through imports by 2010
up from less than 20 percent today.
According to a report in the Journal of Commerce: "A
bitter ethnic battle in the Caucasus spilled over into Congress
this week as U.S. corporate and oil interests won a key vote on
aid to the region in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The
panel approved the Silk Road Strategy Act...[which] would 'target
assistance to support the economic and political independence
of the countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia.' But
behind the measure's bland title is a widening web of international
and U.S. business alliances with stakes in the outcome of a 10-year
So once again we can expect that oil interests will lead to
interventions predicated on "national liberation" or
"human rights concerns."
NEW WORLD ORDER ONSLAUGHT
This information age of high technology communications and
transportation is catapulting globalization forward at warp speed.
A borderless world is increasingly attractive to profit-driven
corporations seeking to extend their tentacles without impediment
into every conceivable niche on Planet Earth. Indeed the pundits
of the "new world order" speak openly now about the
demise of national sovereignty as necessary and inevitable to
permit capital to flow anywhere free of restrictions. The U.S./NATO
destruction of Yugoslavia established the desired precedent for
military attack, cloaked in a democracy and human rights disguise,
against any sovereign country that might have the temerity to
stand up to the encroachment of the transnational corporations
The U.S. and NATO will thus be vastly emboldened by their
latest "success" in the Balkans, continuing to destabilize
what's left of the federal structure, while disciplining the breakaway
states of Croatia and Slovenia. We can also expect the new declared
mission of nuclear-armed NATO- its commitment to override the
principle of national sovereignty and intervene in the name of
"humanitarian concerns,"-to be implemented elsewhere,
possibly in the Caspian Sea/Caucasus areas of the former Soviet
Burgeoning military alliances, with the U.S. at the helm,
will similarly target North Korea, China, Congo, Colombia, and
elsewhere. Any country refusing to be incorporated into the "New
World Order" by allowing its wealth and labor power to be
plundered by the transnational corporations will be vulnerable
to attack. The assault against Yugoslavia threw open the floodgates
for new wars, including wars of competition among the industrial
powers, with nuclear weapons part of the equation.
An article by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times entitled
"What the World Needs Now" tells it all. Illustrated
by an American Flag on a fist it said, among other things: "For
globalism to work, America can't be afraid to act like the almighty
superpower that it is.... The hidden hand of the market will never
work without a hidden fist-McDonald's cannot flourish without
McDonnell-Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist
that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies is
called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps."
There could not be a better description of how the U.S. armed
forces are seen as the military arm of the globalizing TNCs.
President Clinton, in a speech delivered the day before his
televised address to Americans about Kosovo, admitted: "If
we're going to have a strong economic relationship that includes
our ability to sell around the world, Europe has got to be a key...
That's what this Kosovo thing is all about.
After the war, Clinton praised NATO for its campaign in Kosovo,
saying the alliance could intervene elsewhere in Europe or Africa
to fight repression. "We can do it now. We can do it tomorrow,
if it is necessary somewhere else," he told U.S. troops at
the Skopje, Macedonia, airport. However, it soon became clear
that, even though we can do it, we would like Europe to bear more
of the cost. At the September NATO defense chiefs' meeting, U.S.
Secretary of Defense William Cohen, with British support, pressed
Europe to spend more money on defense, to close the "growing
technology gap" between Europe's lagging forces and the state
of the art U.S. military British Minister of Defense Lord George
Robertson's pitch was blunt: "Kosovo has shown people for
real that this world is going to be more dangerous and that defense
is not some luxury that can be cut in times of trouble."
Despite this push for more spending by Europe, a clear objective
of the Kosovo campaign has also been to add more billions to the
already bloated U.S. military budget and to fill the coffers of
the military-industrial corporations with super-profits. Congress,
with bipartisan fervor, approved a $20 billion increase for the
Pentagon, with a total of $290 billion for fiscal year 2000, with
an extra $15 billion appropriated for the war against Yugoslavia.
At the same time, all other domestic discretionary spending, including
education, job training, housing, environment, and health, totals
$245 billion, "the biggest disparity in modern times,"
according to the Center for Defense Information.
AN END TO NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY ?
In today's world, TNCs, and governments running interference
for them, are pushing for an end to national sovereignty and democracy
in order to achieve total unimpeded access for investments, cheap
labor, and consumers in every nook and cranny of the globe. This
is being accomplished, among other ways, through mechanisms like
multilateral agreements on investment, free trade agreements like
NAFTA, and the dictates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF),
World Bank, and World Trade Organization (WTO).
Globalization fever is running rampant. It is epitomized by
the feeding frenzy taking place across the Asia-Pacific region
among U.S.-based transnationals and banks as they gobble up assets
at bargain basement prices-in Japan facing a prolonged recession
and in other nations stricken by the Asian economic crisis. In
the early weeks of that economic tsunami, the New York Times described
U.S. banks and corporations as poised to "snap up some corporate
bargains.... Chase Manhattan, General Electric, General Motors,
and J.P Morgan are all said to be looking at ailing companies
in the region."
To achieve maximum profits, these transnationals will stop
at nothing. After all, they are non-human institutions that must
expand through ever-greater profits, or go out of business. In
so doing they have shown willingness to violate human rights-particularly
workers' rights-to throw millions out of work, destroy unions,
use sweatshops and slave labor, destroy the environment, destabilize
governments, and install and bolster tyrants who oppress, repress,
torture and kill with impunity.
Is it surprising, then, that wars and military intervention,
including attacks on civilians, are waged on behalf of corporations?
It has been an integral part of the history of imperialist powers.
Why should we believe it is any different today?
THE COSTS, AND THE PROFITS, OF WAR
NATO nations spent an estimated $65 million daily on the war.
The U.S. paid the bulk of this cost, estimated to be $1.65 billion
in the first 57 days. The second largest funder was Britain, which
spent an estimated $120-$180 million 2s
Tapping into this lucrative bottomless well of funds, the
"Big Three" weapons makers-Lockheed Martin, Boeing,
and Raytheon-now receive among themselves over $30 billion per
year in Pentagon contracts. Companies like Lockheed Martin are
actively engaged in shaping U.S. foreign and military policies.
Their efforts have yielded among other things: the "payoffs
for layoffs" subsidies for defense industry mergers such
as the Lockheed/Martin Marietta merger; the elimination of royalty
fees that foreign arms customers had been paying to reimburse
the U.S. Treasury for the cost of weapons developed at taxpayer
expense (this adds up to a loss for taxpayers of roughly $500
million per year); and the creation of billions of dollars of
new grants and government-guaranteed loans to support the export
of U. S. weaponry Pentagon contractors, conservative think tanks
and advocacy groups lobbied heavily and successfully for the "Star
Wars" missile defense program.
The bombing and missile strikes are, more than ever, giant
bazaars for selling the wares of the armaments manufacturers.
An article in USA Today said: "The USA's defense equipment,
such as the satellite-guided smart bombs, has stolen the international
spotlight as NATO air forces pound Serbian forces. That could
mean increased foreign interest in U.S. military equipment...."
Raytheon spokesperson David Shea was quoted: "We are expecting
the Kosovo conflict to result in new orders downstream."
Then in early June, just after President Clinton signed the bill
appropriating $12 billion in emergency military funding, officials
at Raytheon announced that replacing munitions used in the Balkans
could lead to about $1 billion in new contracts.
No wonder stock of the large military manufacturers shot up.
Since the beginning of the war against Yugoslavia, March 24, 1999,
the stock price of Rockwell International (maker of the Lancer,
B-1 bomber, etc.) was up 48 percent; Boeing Aircraft (maker of
the B-52 Stratofortress, etc.) up 30 percent; Raytheon Systems
(maker of the Tomahawk cruise missile, HARM missile, etc.) up
37 percent; Lockheed Martin (maker of the F- 117 Nighthawk, F-16
Falcon, etc.), up 18 percent; and Northrop Grumman (maker of the
B-2 bomber, etc.) up 16 percent 29 Jaynatha Dhanapala, U.N. Under-Secretary-General
for Disarmament Affairs, said recently that "television coverage
of modern warfare has effectively created an 'advertising dividend'
for the manufacturers of high-tech weaponry and the countries
and alliances that use such weapons... He observed that during
the 1991 war in the Persian Gulf and the recent NATO bombing of
Yugoslavia, tiny video cameras enabled hundreds of millions of
viewers to "experience vicariously" the flight paths
of attacking missiles to their intended targets.
Defense and aerospace companies have either announced or completed
mergers and acquisitions amounting to nearly $60 billion in just
the first half of 1999. That amount is already well above the
total for all of 1998.
HEIGHTENED ANTAGONISMS BETWEEN THE U.S. AND EUROPE
Another factor driving U.S. policies is economic competition
with the European Union, which is surfacing increasingly in spite
of cooperation and commonality of interests on other levels. This
is epitomized by the recent banana trade wars in which the World
Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in favor of U.S. TNCs, as well
as the rivalry over such prizes as the oil riches of the Caspian
Sea basin and access to the markets and resources of Eastern Europe.
The U.S. has warned openly that it will not tolerate a purely
European military alliance to take the place of NATO. The military
might of the U.S. must prevail.
This was clearly spelled out in "The Defense Planning
Guide," which said, among other things: "We must account
sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations
to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking
to overturn the established political and economic order.... We
must [deter] potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger
regional or global role.... We must seek to prevent the emergence
of European-only security arrangements which would undermine NATO."
Nevertheless, on the very day that Yugoslavia adhered to the
G-8 agreement, the leaders of 15 European countries announced
the European Union would establish an independent military force.
Commerce up the Danube was completely disrupted by the bombing
of bridges in Novi Sad which infuriated Europeans whose economies
continue to be adversely affected. It was perceived as a manifestation
of the intensifying economic rivalry between the U.S. and Europe.
Indeed, two world wars were fueled by such competition.
At the same time, rivalry is tempered increasingly by the
corporate imperative to survive at all costs and to make maximum
profits, including through mergers and partnerships. Lockheed
Martin, maker of missiles and high-tech weaponry, has created
Lockheed Martin UK Limited, based in London. Its largest U.K.
operation is the Royal Navy Merlin helicopter program, among many
other military programs. In fact, Lockheed Martin has more than
200 international partnerships around the world
U.S. aerospace companies are determined not to be locked out
of the lucrative profits to be had from the establishment of a
separate European military alliance. This pressure has led to
a shift in policy by the Pentagon. Mergers between U.S. and European
defense contractors are being given the go-ahead. "U.S. Undersecretary
of Defense Jacques Gansler has admitted being in talks not only
with European governments such as the U.K., Germany, France, and
Italy but also with leading defense companies including British
Aerospace, France's Aerospatiale Matra SA and Germany's Dasa."
THE NEW NATO
The giant corporations especially the military-industrial
corporations-have been pushing vigorously for expanding and extending
the role of NATO. Their blatant salivating over potential profits
was indisputable during NATO's 50th Anniversary celebrations which
became "the ultimate marketing opportunity" as described
in the Washington Post. The host committee included the chief
executives of Amentech, Daimler/Chrysler, Boeing, Ford Motor,
General Motors, Honeywell, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Nextel,
SBC Communications, TRW and United Technologies. These companies
sell weapons but also other products. They have been busy lobbying
for the expansion of NATO to avail themselves of the lucrative
markets in Eastern European nations which have been pressed to
join NATO. In order to be a part of the Alliance these nations
must spend billions to upgrade their military forces.
The Ukraine, part of the NATO-sponsored Partnership for Peace,
held joint naval exercises with the United States in July Perceiving
this as a threat, Russian Prime Minster Sergei Stepashin was quoted
by Interfax Ukraine news agency as telling the officers and men
of Russia's Black Sea fleet to prepare for a naval exercise to
imitate the military action in Yugoslavia during the Kosovo crisis.
The Ukraine, along with Georgia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and
Moldova, are members of GUUAM, a bloc of "western-oriented"
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) members. Moldova and
Uzbekistan joined during the NATO anniversary summit in April,
and a charter was established encompassing military cooperation
within the group and with NATO. GUUAM members have opted out of
the CIS Collective Security Treaty.
"The pendulum of Ukrainian foreign policy swung closest
to the West on June 12, when Kiev briefly closed Ukrainian airspace
to Russian aircraft trying to reinforce Russian troops at Slatina
airbase in Kosovo.... Russia's military commanders were furious.
It was bad enough that NATO convinced ostensibly neutral Romania
and Bulgaria to deny their airspace to Russian aircraft, but Ukraine
was a step too far. Ukraine had to clarify its relationship with
NATO and with Russia."
Moreover, NATO has repeatedly deflected protest over its possession
of nuclear armaments and its refusal to renounce first use of
NATO, then, is projecting its new role as action "out
of area" and intervening anywhere on the basis of "humanitarian
concerns," regardless of national sovereignty and international
law. The purpose is to send a message to nations of the entire
world that if they do not do the U.S. bidding, they too could
be a victim of the kind of devastation unleashed upon Yugoslavia
and Iraq. They too could be divided up, balkanized, turned into
banana republics or emirates. Especially vulnerable are those
countries involved over the oil riches of the Caspian Sea basin-Russia,
Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia-and where there
are already related conflicts including over Chechnya, Nagoro-Karabakh,
Dagestan, and Abkhazia.
U.S.-LED GLOBAL MILITARY ALLIANCES
NATO expansion pertains to what Washington calls a "new
strategic concept," an expensive new program to have NATO,
under U.S. Ieadership, become the key player globally This new
blueprint for NATO not only sees it extending throughout Eastern
and Baltic Europe, possibly taking in Russia itself, it goes considerably
beyond this, as indicated by Zbigniew Brzezinski in his new book,
The Grand Chessboard. He defines the alliance as part of an "integrated,
comprehensive and long-term geostrategy for all of Eurasia,"
in which NATO would eventually reach Asia, where another U.S.-led
military alliance would connect Pacific and Southeast Asian states.
The unfolding events in Indonesia and East Timor appear to
be closely related to plans for establishing a U.S.-controlled
NATO-type military alliance in that region to counter a purely
Asian military association.
Steps are well under way for new relations with Southeast
Asia in which the U.S. is acquiring access to military bases in
Asian countries in exchange for financial help to buy U.S. arms.
The Pentagon's East Asian Strategy Report defines this program
as offering the United States "a credible power projection
capability in the region and beyond."
Dr. Joseph Gerson succinctly describes the developing situation
in Asia and the Pacific:
"In the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. is enforcing its
21st century "Open Door" policy by means of the IMF,
the World Bank, APEC, bases and forward deployments, the Seventh
Fleet and its nuclear arsenal; as it seeks to simultaneously contain
and engage China, to dominate the sea lanes and straits through
which the region's trade and supplies of oil must travel (the
"jugular vein" of Asia Pacific economies), and to "cap"
Japanese militarism and nationalism.
Since 1951, the hub of this strategic architecture has been
the Mutual Security Treaty with Japan (MST). During the Clinton
years, the MST has been "redefined" to reconsolidate
U.S., and to a lesser extent, Japanese power."
A "U.S.-Japan Joint Declaration on Security Alliance
for the 21st Century" proclaimed at the April 1996 Summit
between President Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Hashimoto,
cited "the alliances, new enemies and public rationales:
tensions and instability on the Korean Peninsula, China's nuclear
arsenal, and territorial disputes with China."
The regular gigantic war games conducted in the Korean region
by the U.S. and South Korea have been stepped up substantially
in the recent period.
Echoing the Gulf of Tonkin provocation used to justify U.S.
intervention in Vietnam, South Korean warships sank a North Korean
boat and badly damaged another allegedly over a dispute about
a crab-fishing area of the Yellow Sea.
Plans for U.S. deployment of Theater Missile Defenses (TMDs)
around China, sensationalized and unproven allegations of Chinese
nuclear spying, claims of Chinese nuclear panty with the U.S.,
the blocking of China's entry to the WTO, the bombing of the Chinese
embassy in Belgrade, and recent independence moves by Taiwan encouraged
by U.S. Congress members, place the world on the brink of a U.S.-orchestrated
confrontation with China. Taiwan is "the most likely trigger
for U.S.-Chinese nuclear confrontation and war," according
With the bombing of Yugoslavia barely over and with continuing
and escalating air strikes against Iraq, the U.S. appears to be
moving rapidly toward such a confrontation with China over Taiwan.
In mid-July, Taiwan's President, Lee Teng-hui, announced the island
wants "special state-to-state relations" with China,
meaning a rejection of the "one China" policy that has
kept the peace for many years. This led Chinese President Jiang
Zemin to tell President Clinton, July 18, that China would not
rule out using force regarding Taiwan.
Washington is regaining even greater access to ports and bases
throughout the Philippines under the "Visiting Forces Agreement."
Considerable attention is also being focused on Indonesia, to
prevent the U.S. Ioss of access to its natural resources and markets,
and its control of the strategically important shipping lanes.
Recent events in Indonesia and East Timor will undoubtedly be
used as strong leverage for the establishment of a NATO-type military
alliance in that region with the U.S. in control.
Nothing could describe U.S. military goals better than the
British American Security Information Council's recently published
partially declassified text of the U.S. Strategic Command's 1995
"Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence":
" [T]he United States should have available the full
range of responses, conventional weapons, special operations,
and nuclear weapons. Unlike chemical or biological weapons, the
extreme destruction from a nuclear explosion is immediate, with
few if any palliatives to reduce its effect. Although we are not
likely to use nuclear weapons in less than matters of the greatest
national importance.... Nuclear weapons always cast a shadow over
any crisis or conflict in which the U.S. is engaged. Thus, deterrence
through the threat of use of nuclear weapons will continue to
be our top military strategy...That the U.S. may become irrational
and vindictive if its vital interests are attacked should be a
part of the national persona we project to all adversaries....
The Americas are not to escape this buildup of U.S.-controlled
military alliances. The U.S. Army War College has urged a "NAFTA
for the military," with joint command between Canada, Mexico,
and the U.S."
CALL TO RESIST
Resistance to war, to the corporate globalization offensive,
and to their manifestations at home, is needed today more than
ever in history, as events move at astounding speed. Such a movement
is bound to grow every day
Multitudes of the world's poor and working people are resisting
in rapidly growing numbers. In the process they are coming to
understand the commonality of interests they share with all those
victimized by the corporations and the policies of the U.S. and
other governments the U.S. sword and dollar marching hand in glove-in
the brutal, relentless drive for ever-higher profits. Nothing
is more important than to quicken the pace and strengthen the
unity to resist this imperialist onslaught toward global corporate