United States War Machine

Revving the engines of World War II

by Michael Chossudovsky

CovertAction Quarterly magazine, Fall 2002


The 1999 war in Yugoslavia-which coincided with the formation of GUUAM (an alliance of Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova) and NATO enlargement into Eastern Europe-marked an important turnaround in East-West relations. Aleksander Arbatov, deputy chairman of the Defense Committee of the Russian State Duma, described the war in Yugoslavia as the "worst, most acute, most dangerous juncture since the U.S.-Soviet Berlin and Cuban missile crises.''

According to Arbatov:

START 11 is dead, co-operation with NATO is frozen, co-operation on missile defense is out of the question, and Moscow's willingness to co-operate on nonproliferation issues is at an all-time low. Moreover, anti-U.S. sentiment in Russia is real, deep and more widespread than ever, and the slogan describing NATO action- "today Serbia, tomorrow Russia," is "deeply planted in Russians' minds."

Russia's military establishment had openly expressed its distrust of the U.S.: "the bombing of Yugoslavia could turn out in the very near future to be just a rehearsal for similar strikes on Russia."


Meanwhile in Washington, a major buildup of America's military arsenal was in the making. The underlying objective was to achieve a position of global military hegemony: Defense spending in 2002 was hiked up to more than $320 billion, an amount equivalent to the entire Gross Domestic Product of the Russian Federation (approximately $325 billion). An even greater increase in U.S. military spending was set in motion in the wake of the October 2002 bombing of Afghanistan:

More than one-third of the $65 billion allocated for new weapons in the 2003 budget is for cold war type weapons. Several billion dollars are allocated for cluster bomb systems that have been condemned by human rights groups around the world. There is no rationale for this level of military spending other than a clear intent for the United States to be the New World Empire, dominating the globe economically and militarily including the militarization of space...

In the largest military buildup since the Vietnam War, the Bush administration plans to increase military spending by $120 billion over a five-year period, "bringing the 2007 military budget to an astounding $451 billion."

This colossal amount of money allocated to America's war machine does not include the enormous budget of the Central Intelligence Agency allocated from both "official" and undisclosed sources to finance its covert operations. According to Jane's Defense Weekly, the total FY 2003 intelligence budget is "an estimated $38 billion" (13 percent of Russia's GDP). This amount excludes the multibillion dollar earnings from narcotics accruing to CIA shell companies and front organizations.

From the overall defense budget, billions of dollars have been allocated to "refurbishing America's nuclear arsenal." A new generation of "cluster missiles"- with multiple nuclear warheads-has been developed, capable of delivering (from a single missile launch) up to ten nuclear warheads directed at ten different cities. These missiles are now targeted on Russia. In this context, Washington has clung to its so-called "first strike" policy, in principle intended to deal with so-called "rogue states," but in fact largely directed against Russia and China.

Meanwhile, the U.S. had developed a new generation of so-called "tactical nuclear weapons" or "mininukes" to be used in conventional war theaters. Already during the Clinton administration, the Pentagon was calling for the use of the "nuclear" B61-11 bunker buster bomb, suggesting that because it was "underground," there was no toxic radioactive fallout which could affect civilians:

Military officials and leaders of America's nuclear weapon laboratories are urging the U. S. to develop a new generation of precision low-yield nuclear weapons. . . which could be used in conventional conflicts with Third-World nations.

In the 2002 war in Afghanistan, the U.S. Air Force was using GBU-28 "bunker buster bombs" capable of creating large-scale underground explosions. The official story was that these bombs were intended to target "cave and tunnel complexes" in mountainous areas in southern Afghanistan, used as a hideaway by Osama bin Laden.

Dubbed by the Pentagon as "the Big Ones," the GBUs ("guided bomb unit") are 5,000-pound laser-guided bombs with improved BLU-113 warheads, capable of penetrating several meters of reinforced concrete. The BLU-113 is the most powerful conventional "earth-penetrating warhead" ever created.

While the Pentagon's "Big Ones" are classified as "conventional weapons," the official statements fail to mention that the same "bunker buster bombs" launched from a B-52, a B-2 stealth bomber, or an F-16 aircraft can also be equipped with a nuclear device. The B61-11 is the "nuclear version" of its "conventional" BLU-113 counterpart.

The "nuclear" B61-11 is categorized as a "deep earth-penetrating bomb" capable of "destroying the deepest and most hardened of underground bunkers, which the conventional warheads are not capable of doing." Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has stated that while the "conventional" bunker buster bombs "'are going to be able to do the job,'...he did not rule out the eventual use of nuclear weapons."

The Pentagon is saying that these "lowyield" nuclear weapons do not affect civilians, therefore justifying their use in the same way as conventional weapons. Also, the administration is hinting that the use of nuclear bunker busters may be justified as part of "the campaign against international terrorism," because Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda allegedly possesses nuclear capabilities and could use them against us. America's tactical nuclear weapons are said to be "safe" in comparison to those of Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda. Administration statements suggest, in this regard, that a so-called "low-yield" earth penetrating tactical nuclear weapon such as the B61-11 would "limit collateral damage" and therefore be relatively safe to use.

These new buzzwords are being spread by the U.S. media to develop public support for the use of "tactical nuclear weapons."...Yet the scientific evidence on this issue is unequivocal: The impact on civilians of the "low yield" B61-11 would be devastating "because of the large amount of radioactive dirt thrown out in the explosion, the hypothetical 5-kiloton weapon...would produce a large area of lethal fallout.''

The military build-up initiated during the Clinton administration has gained a new momentum. A new "legitimacy" has unfolded. Increased military spending is said to be required "to uphold freedom" and defeat "the axis of evil":

It costs a lot to fight this war. We have spent more than a billion dollars a month-over $30 million a day-and we must be prepared for future operations. Afghanistan proved that expensive precision weapons defeat the enemy and spare innocent lives, and we need more of them. .. My budget includes the largest increase in defense spending in two decades-because while the price of freedom and security is high, it is never too high. Whatever it costs to defend our country, we will pay.

The Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars") not only includes the controversial "Missile Shield" but also a wide range of "offensive" laser-guided weapons with the capability of striking anywhere in the world, not to mention instruments of weather and climatic warfare under the High Altitude Auroral Research Program (HAARP). The latter has the ability to destabilize entire national economies through climatic manipulations, without the knowledge of the enemy, at minimal cost and without engaging military personnel and equipment as in a conventional war.

Long-term planning pertaining to advanced weapons systems and the control of outer space is outlined in a U.S.

Space Command document released in 1998, entitled "Vision for 2020." The underlying objective consists of: "dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect U.S. interests and investment...The emerging synergy of space superiority with land, sea and air superiority will lead to Full Spectrum Dominance."


In the wake of September 11, the so-called "war on terrorism" is also being used by the Bush administration to redefine the assumptions underlying the use of nuclear weapons. The concept of "nuclear deterrence" has been scrapped. According to John Isaacs, President of Council for a Livable World: "They're trying desperately to find new uses for nuclear weapons....''

The new approach became evident when the Los Angeles Times published portions of the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). The leaked report states that nuclear weapons "could be used in three types of situations: against targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack; in retaliation for attack with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons..." or "...in the event of surprising military developments.''

In this top-secret domain, there has always been an inconsistency between America's diplomatic objectives of reducing nuclear arsenals and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, on the one hand, and the military imperative to prepare for the unthinkable, on the other.

Nevertheless, the Bush administration plan reverses an almost two-decade-long trend of relegating nuclear weapons to the category of weapons of last resort. It also redefines nuclear requirements in hurried post-9/11 terms.

While identifying a number of so-called "rogue states," the not-so-hidden agenda of the Bush administration is to deploy and use nuclear weapons against Russia and China in the context of America's expansionary policy into Central Asia, the Middle East and the Far East.

The report says the Pentagon should be prepared to use nuclear weapons in an Arab-lsraeli conflict, in a war between China and Taiwan, or in an attack from North Korea on the south. They might also become necessary in an attack by Iraq on Israel or another neighbor. The report says Russia is no longer officially an "enemy." Yet it acknowledges that the huge Russian arsenal, which includes about 6,000 deployed warheads and perhaps 10,000 smaller "theater" nuclear weapons, remains of concern. Pentagon officials have said publicly that they were studying the need to develop theater nuclear weapons, designed for use against specific targets on a battlefield, but had not committed themselves to that course.

The thrust of the NPR, presented to the U.S. Congress in early 2002, has been endorsed by the Republican Party:

[C]onservative analysts insisted that the Pentagon must prepare for all possible contingencies, especially now, when dozens of countries, and some terrorist groups, are engaged in secret weapon development programs... They argued that smaller weapons have an important deterrent role because many aggressors might not believe that the U.S. forces would use multi-kiloton weapons that would wreak devastation on surrounding territory and friendly populations.

"We need to have a credible deterrence against regimes involved in international terrorism and development of weapons of mass destruction," said Jack Spencer, a defense analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington. He said the contents of the report did not surprise him and represent "the right way to develop a nuclear posture for a post-Cold War world."


In the wake of the 1999 war in Yugoslavia, the Clinton administration boosted its military support to Taiwan against China, leading to a significant military buildup in the Taiwan Straits. Taiwan's Air Force had previously been equipped with some 150 F16A fighter planes from Lockheed Martin. In this regard, the Clinton administration had argued that military aid to Taiwan was required to maintain "a military balance with the People's Republic of China" as part of Washington's so-called policy of "peace through deterrence.''

U.S.-built Aegis destroyers equipped with state-of-the-art surface-to-air missiles, ship-to-ship missiles, and Tomahawk cruise missiles were delivered to Taiwan to boost its naval capabilities in the Taiwan Straits. Beijing responded to this military buildup by taking delivery in 2000 of its first Russian-built guided missile destroyer, the Hangzhou, equipped with SS-N-22 Sunburn antiship missiles, "capable of penetrating the state-of-the-art defenses of a U.S. or Japanese naval battle group."

Military assumptions have been radically changed since September 11. The Bush administration has scrapped the "peace through deterrence" doctrine. The post-9/11 military buildup in the Taiwan Straits is an integral part of Washington's overall military planning, which now consists of deploying "on several fronts."

Supported by the Bush administration, Taiwan has been "conducting active research aimed at developing a tactical ballistic missile capable of hitting targets in mainland China...The alleged purpose of these missiles is to degrade the PLA's [People's Liberation Army] strike capability, including missile infrastructure and non-missile infrastructure (airfields, harbors, missile sites, etc.)." In turn, U.S. military presence in Pakistan and Afghanistan (and in several former Soviet republics) on China's western border, are being coordinated with Taiwan's naval deployment in the South China Sea.

China has been encircled: The U.S. military is present in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Straits, in the Korean Peninsula and the Sea of Japan as well as in the heartland of Central Asia and on the western border of China's Xinjiang-Uigur autonomous region. So-called "temporary" U.S. military bases have been set up in Uzbekistan (which is a member of the GUUAM agreement with NATO), in Tadjikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, where airfields and military airport facilities have been made available to the U.S. Air Force.

The 2002 NPR states the Bush administration's willingness to use nuclear weapons against China if there were a confrontation in the Taiwan Straits. China, because of its nuclear forces and "developing strategic objectives," is listed as "a country that could be involved in an immediate or potential contingency." Specifically, the NPR lists a military confrontation over the status of Taiwan as one of the scenarios that could lead Washington to use nuclear weapons.


The 1999 war in Yugoslavia contributed to reinforcing strategic, military and intelligence ties between Washington and London. After the war in Yugoslavia, U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen and his British counterpart, Geoff Hoon, signed a "Declaration of Principles for Defense Equipment and Industrial Cooperation" so as to "improve cooperation in procuring arms and protecting technology secrets" while at the same time "easing the way for more joint military ventures and possible defense industry mergers."

Washington's objective was to encourage the formation of a "trans-Atlantic bridge across which DOD [U.S. Department of Defense] can take its globalization policy to Europe...Our aim is to improve interoperability and war fighting effectiveness via closer industrial linkages between U.S. and allied companies." (The agreement was signed, according to a Pentagon official, shortly after the creation of British Aerospace Systems (BAES) which resulted from the merger of BAe with GEC Marconi. British Aerospace (BAe) was already firmly allied to America's largest defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

In the words of President Clinton's Defense Secretary, William Cohen, the agreement "will facilitate interaction between our [British and American] respective industries so that we can have a harmonized approach to sharing technology, working cooperatively in partnership arrangements and, potentially, mergers as well" BAES was already firmly allied with America's largest defense contractors, Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

The hidden agenda behind the AngloAmerican "trans-Atlantic bridge" is to eventually displace the Franco-German military conglomerates and ensure the dominance of the U.S. military industrial complex (in alliance with Britain's major defense contractors).

Moreover, this integration in the area of defense production has also been matched by increased cooperation between the CIA and Britain's Ml-5 in the sphere of intelligence and covert operations, not to mention the joint operations of British and U.S. Special Forces.

The British military-industrial complex has become increasingly integrated into that of the U.S. In turn, significant rifts emerged between Washington and Bonn. Franco-German integration in aerospace and defense production is ultimately directed against U.S. dominance in the weapons market. The latter hinges upon the partnership between America's Big Five and Britain's defense industry under the trans-Atlantic bridge agreement.

Since the early 1990s, the Bonn government had encouraged the consolidation of Germany's military industrial complex dominated by Daimler, Siemens and Krupp. Several important mergers in Germany's defense industry took place in response to the mega-mergers between America's aerospace and weapons producers. Already in 1996, Paris and Bonn had set up a joint armaments agency with the mandate "to manage common programs [and] award contracts on behalf of both governments." Both countries had stated that they "did not want Britain to join the agency."

In turn, France and Germany now control Airbus Industrie which is competing against America's Boeing. (Britain's BAES owns the remaining 20 percent). The Germans are also collaborating in the Ariane Space satellite-launching program in which Deutsche Aerospace (DASA) is a major shareholder.

In late 1999, in response to the "alliance" of British Aerospace with Lockheed Martin, France's AerospaceMatra merged with Daimler's DASA forming the largest European defense conglomerate. And the following year, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (EADS) was formed integrating DASA, Matra and Spain's Construcciones Aeronauticas SA. EADS and its Anglo-American rivals are competing for the procurement of weapons to NATO's new Eastern European members. Europe's third largest defense contractor is Thomson, which in recent years has several projects with U.S. weapons producer Raytheon.

EADS still cooperates with BAES in missile production and has business ties with the U.S. "Big Five" including Northrop Grumman. However, the Western defense and aerospace industry tends to be split into two distinct groups: first EADS, dominated by France and Germany, and second, the Anglo-U.S. "Big Six": (Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and BAES).

Integrated into U.S. Department of Defense procurement under the Atlantic bridge arrangement, BAES was in 2001 the Pentagon's fifth largest defense contractor. Under the Anglo-American "transatlantic bridge, BAES operates freely in the U.S. market through its subsidiary BAE Systems North.

The Franco-German alliance in military production under EADS opens the door for the integration of Germany (which does not officially possess nuclear weapons) into France's nuclear weapons program. In this regard, EADS already produces a wide range of ballistic missiles, including the M51 nuclear-tipped ballistic submarine-launched ICBMs for the French Navy.


The European common currency system has a direct bearing on these strategic and political divisions. London's decision not to adopt the common European currency is consistent with the integration of British financial and banking interests with those of Wall Street, not to mention the AngloAmerican alliance in the oil industry (as in BP-Amoco) and weapons production ("Big Five" plus BAES). The shaky relationship between the British Pound and the Dollar is an integral part of the new AngloAmerican axis.

What is at stake is the rivalry between two competing global currencies: the Euro and the Dollar, with Britain's pound being torn between the European and the U.S. dominated currency systems. Two rival financial and monetary systems are competing worldwide for control over money creation and credit. The geopolitical and strategic implications are far-reaching, because they are also marked by splits in the Western defense industry and the oil business.

In both Europe and America, monetary policy, although formally under state jurisdiction, is largely controlled by the private banking sector. The European Central Bank based in Frankfurt-although officially under the jurisdiction of the European Union-is in practice overseen by a handful of private European banks including Germany's largest banks and business conglomerates.

The U.S. Federal Reserve Board is formally under state supervision-marked by a close relationship to the U.S. Treasury. Distinct from the European Central Bank, the 12 Federal Reserve banks (of which the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is the most important) are controlled by their shareholders, which are private banking institutions. In other words, "the Fed" as it is known in the U.S., which is responsible for monetary policy and hence money creation for the nation, is actually controlled by private interests on Wall Street.

In Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Balkans and Central Asia, the Dollar and the Euro are competing. Ultimately, control over national currency systems is the basis upon which countries are colonized. While the Dollar prevails throughout the Western Hemisphere, the Euro and the Dollar are clashing in the former Soviet Union, Central Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

In the Balkans and the Baltic States, central banks largely operate as colonial-style "currency boards" invariably using the Euro as a proxy currency. What this means is that German and European financial interests are in control of money creation and credit. That is, the pegging of the national currency to the Euro-rather than to the Dollar-means that both the currency and the monetary system will be in the hands of German-EU banking interests.

More generally, the Euro dominates in Germany's hinterland: Eastern Europe, the Baltic States and the Balkans, whereas the Dollar tends to prevail in the Caucasus and Central Asia. In GUUAM countries (which have military cooperation agreements with Washington), the Dollar tends (with the exception of the Ukraine) to overshadow the Euro.

The "dollarization" of national currencies is an integral part of America's Silk Road Strategy (SRS). This strategy consists of first destabilizing and then replacing national currencies with the American greenback over an area extending from the Mediterranean to China's western border. The underlying objective is to extend the dominion of the Federal Reserve System- namely Wall Street-over a vast territory. What we are witnessing is an inter-imperial scramble for control over national currencies and credit. These are battles for economic conquest which are in turn supported by the militarization of the Eurasian corridor.

While American and German-EU banking interests are clashing over the control of national economies and currency systems, they seem to have also agreed on "sharing the spoils,"-i.e., establishing their respective "spheres of influence." Reminiscent of the policies of "partition" of the late 19th Century, the U.S. and Germany have agreed on the division of the Balkans: Germany has gained control over national currencies in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, where the Euro is legal tender. In return, the U.S. has established a permanent military presence in the region (i.e., the Bondsteel military base in Kosovo).

The rift between Anglo-American and Franco-German weapons producers- including the rifts within the Western military alliance-seem to have favored increased military cooperation between Russia, France and Germany. Russia also signed a "long-term military cooperation agreement" with India in late 1998 which was followed a few months later by a defense agreement between India and France.

This Franco-lndian agreement has a direct bearing on Indo-Pakistani relations. It also impinges upon U.S. strategic interests in Central and South Asia. While Washington has been pumping military aid into Pakistan, India is being supported by France and Russia. France and the U.S. are visibly on opposite sides of the IndiaPakistan conflict.

With Pakistan and India at the brink of war in the wake of September 11, the U.S. Air Force had virtually taken control of Pakistan's air space as well as several of its military facilities. Meanwhile, barely a few weeks into the 2001 bombing of Afghanistan, France and India conducted joint military exercises in the Arabian Sea. Also in the immediate wake of September 11, India took delivery of large quantities of Russian weapons under the IndoRussian military cooperation agreement.


U.S. post-Soviet era foreign policy has designated Central Asia and the Caucasus as a "strategic area." Yet this policy no longer consists of containing the "spread of communism," but rather in preventing Russia and China from becoming capable of competing with the U.S. In this regard, the U.S. has increased its military presence along the entire 40th parallel, extending from Bosnia and Kosovo to the former Soviet republics of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, all of which have entered into bilateral military agreements with Washington.

The 1999 war in Yugoslavia and the subsequent outbreak of war in Chechnya in September 1999 was a crucial turning point in Russian-American relations. It also marked a rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing and the signing of several military cooperation agreements.

U.S. covert support to the two main Chechen rebel groups (through Pakistan's ISI) was known to the Russian government and military. However, it had previously never been made public or raised at the diplomatic level. In November 1999, Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergueyev formally accused Washington of supporting the Chechen rebels. Following a meeting held behind closed doors with Russia's military high command, Sergueyev declared that "...the national interests of the United States require that the military conflict in the Caucasus [Chechnya] be a fire, provoked as a result of outside forces," while adding that "the West's policy constitutes a challenge launched to Russia with the ultimate aim of weakening her international position and of excluding her from geostrategic areas."

In the wake of the 1999 Chechen war, a new "National Security doctrine" was formulated and signed into law by Acting President Vladimir Putin in early 2000. Barely acknowledged by the international media, a critical shift in East-West relations had occurred. The document reasserted the building of a strong Russian state, the concurrent growth of the military, as well as the reintroduction of state controls over foreign capital.

The document carefully spelled out what it described as "fundamental threats" to Russia's national security and sovereignty. More specifically, it referred to "the strengthening of military-political blocs and alliances [namely GUUAM], as well as to "NATO's eastward expansion" while underscoring "the possible emergence of foreign military bases and major military presences in the immediate proximity of Russian borders."

The document confirms that "international terrorism is waging an open campaign to destabilize Russia." While not referring explicitly to CIA covert activities in support of armed terrorist groups, such as the Chechen rebels, it nonetheless calls for appropriate "actions to avert and intercept intelligence and subversive activities by foreign states against the Russian Federation."

The cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy has been to encourage-under the disguise of "peace-keeping" and so-called "conflict resolution"-the formation of small pro-U.S. states which lie strategically at the hub of the Caspian Sea basin, which contains vast oil and gas reserves:

The U.S. must play an increasingly active role in conflict resolution in the region. The boundaries of the Soviet republics were intentionally drawn to prevent secession by the various national communities of the former USSR and not with an eye towards possible independence. .. Neither Europe, nor our allies in East Asia, can defend our [U.S.] mutual interests in these regions. If we [the U.S.] fail to take the lead in heading off the kinds of conflicts and crises that are already looming there, that will eventually exacerbate our relations with Europe and possibly Northeast Asia. And it will encourage the worst kind of political developments in Russia. This linkage, or interconnectedness, gives the Transcaucasus and Central Asia a strategic importance to the United States and its allies that we overlook at huge risk. To put it another way, the fruits accruing from ending the Cold War are far from fully harvested. To ignore the Transcaucasus and Central Asia could mean that a large part of that harvest will never be gathered.

Alongside the articulation of Moscow's National Security doctrine, the Russian state was planning to regain economic and financial control over key areas of Russia's military-industrial complex. For instance, the formation of "a single corporation of designers and manufacturers of all anti-aircraft complexes" was envisaged in cooperation with Russia's defense contractors.

This proposed "recentralization" of Russia's defense industry in response to national security considerations, was also motivated by the merger of major Western competitors in the areas of military procurement. The development of new production and scientific capabilities was also contemplated, based on enhancing Russia's military potential as well as its ability to compete with its Western rivals in the global weapons market. The National Security Doctrine also "eases the criteria by which Russia could use nuclear weapons...which would be permissible if the country's existence were threatened."

In response to Washington's "Star Wars" initiative, Moscow developed "Russia's Missile and Nuclear Shield." The Russian government announced in 1998 the development of a new generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles, known as Topol-M (SS-27). These new single-warhead missiles (based in the Saratov region) are currently in "full combat readiness," against a "pre-emptive first strike" from the U.S., which (in the wake of September 11) constitutes the Pentagon's main assumption in an eventual nuclear war. "The Topol M is lightweight and mobile, designed to be fired from a vehicle. Its mobility means it is better protected than a silo-based missile from a pre-emptive first strike."

Following the adoption of the National Security Document (NSD) in 2000, the Kremlin confirmed that it would not exclude "a first-strike use" of nuclear warheads "if attacked even by purely conventional means."


Since the very outset of his term in office, President Vladimir Putin-following in the footsteps of his predecessor Boris Yeltsin- has contributed to reversing the National Security Doctrine. Its implementation at a policy level has also been stalled.

At the moment, the foreign policy directions of the Putin administration are confused and unclear. There are significant divisions within both the political establishment and the military. On the diplomatic front, the new president has sought a rapprochement with Washington and the Western military alliance in the so-called "war on terrorism." Yet it would be premature to conclude that Putin's diplomatic openings imply a permanent reversal of Russia's 2000 National Security Doctrine.

In the wake of September 11, a significant turnaround in Russian foreign policy has occurred. The Putin administration, acting against the Russian Duma, has accepted the process of "NATO Enlargement" into the Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) implying the establishment of NATO military bases on Russia's western border. Meanwhile, Moscow's military cooperation agreement signed with Beijing after the 1999 war in Yugoslavia is virtually on hold:

China is obviously watching with deep concern Russia surrendering these positions. China is also concerned by the presence of the U.S. Air Force close to its borders in Uzbekistan, Tadjikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic...Everything that Mr. Putin has eamed through the spectacular improvement of Russia's relations with China, India, Vietnam, Cuba and some other countries collapsed nearly overnight. What has surfaced is a primitive Gorbachev concept of 'common human values,' i.e., the subordination of Russia's interests to those of the West.

Ironically, the Russian President was supporting America's "war on terrorism," which is ultimately directed against Moscow. Washington's hidden agenda is to dismantle Russia's strategic and economic interests in the Eurasian corridor, close down or take over its military facilities, while transforming the former Soviet republics (and eventually the Russian Federation) into American protectorates.


Michel Chossudovsky is professor of Economics at Toronto University and a frequent contributor to CovertAction Quarterly. His work has received five Project Censored awards. He has been an outspoken critic of U.S. policy in the Balkans for many years.

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