A version of this feature will appear in the forthcoming volume Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks Global War, edited by Stephen Lendman and to be issued by Clarity Press. As more information becomes available it will be posted at Stephen Lendman’s website.
With almost 1,500 miles of land and sea connecting the two nations, the border with Ukraine is the longest along the western frontier of Russia, with that of Finland next in length.
Until the end of the Cold War only one member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization directly adjoined Russia: Norway, and that for only 135 miles, land and sea. (Though Turkey bordered other Soviet republics.) Continue reading →
One of the most significant developments of the post-Cold War era, and certainly the most ominous, is the transformation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military bloc created by the United States during the genesis of the Cold War in 1949, into one that has grown to encompass the entirety of Europe, has expanded military partnerships throughout the world and has waged war on three continents.
One of the Boston Marathon bombers praised U.S.-backed-terrorists operating in Syria against President Bashar Al-Assad shortly before he set off the bombs which tore through the crowds at the finish line in Boston. Rick Rozoff considers the implications of the fact that these Chechen-born terrorists were given asylum by the United States. For the U.S., terrorism is okay when it happens to other countries, especially if it assists in attaining geopolitical goals. Continue reading →
In the middle of her three-nation tour of the South Caucasus, on June 5 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with fellow short-term New Yorker Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia. The latter is a preeminent, a greatly favored, a nonpareil American satrap, for whom the doors of the White House and the op-ed pages of the major U.S. dailies are always open. For eight and a half years he has been president of his nation after winning 96 percent of the vote on January 6, 2004 in a spurious election following standing head of state Eduard Shevardnadze being manhandled and deposed in the so-called Rose Revolution of the preceding November. The sort of election the State Department is always willing to endorse if the result advances American geostrategic interests.
Ahead of, during and after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 25th summit in Chicago on May 20-21, the Pentagon has continued expanding its permanent military presence in the former Yugoslavia and the rest of the Balkan region.
The military bloc’s two-day conclave in Chicago formalized, among several other initiatives including the initial activation of its U.S.-dominated interceptor missile system and Global Hawk-equipped Alliance Ground Surveillance operations, a new category of what NATO calls aspirant countries next in line for full Alliance membership. Continue reading →
Though infrequently acknowledged if even given consideration, the current historical period remains what it has been for a quarter century, the post-Cold War era.
Beginning in earnest in 1991 with the near simultaneous disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – instantaneous in the first case, comparatively slower in the second, only complete with the independence of Montenegro in 2006 – the bipolar world ended with the demise of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact and the nonaligned one with the fragmentation of Yugoslavia, a founder of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Have American and Israeli efforts to pin international terrorism on Iran just gone global? A series of bomb attacks apparently on Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia are now being linked with blasts in the Thai capital, Bangkok, for which it is reported that three Iranian men have been arrested.
On January 30 President Barack Obama met with his Georgian counterpart Mikheil Saakashvili in the Oval Office at the White House for an unprecedented private meeting between the heads of state, a tête-à-tête initiated by Washington.
Details of the discussions were not divulged, though Obama is reported to have confirmed American support for Georgia’s full integration into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and expressed appreciation for Saakashvili almost doubling his nation’s troop strength in NATO’s International Security Assistance Force Continue reading →
Recent reports in the Russian news media have detailed plans by the U.S. to provide the Mikheil Saakashvili government in Georgia with tens of millions of dollars worth of anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons.
The Russian government’s Itar-Tass news agency and Voice of Russia have confirmed the arms package with officials from the Russian special services and the Joint Staff of the armed forces.
On September 15 U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov signed a memorandum of understanding on military cooperation in Washington, D.C.
The two defense chiefs also issued a joint declaration committing their respective states to establishing a defense working group which will meet annually.
According to a spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, the two officials discussed what is euphemistically referred to as missile defense and ratification of the updated Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) agreement. In addition, “The parties also plan[ned] to focus on some problems of regional security, including the situation in Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Caucasus,” according to Itar-Tass.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton completed a four-day, five-nation tour of Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus by sharing a press conference with Georgia’s erratic president Mikheil Saakashvili and delivering what in effect was a harsh ultimatum to Russia.
A stern and even provocative admonishment which clearly defines the narrow parameters within which the current U.S. administration has “pushed the reset button” with Moscow.
As Clinton’s own comments best illustrate, Russia is a partner of the United States when it assists in levying onerous sanctions against Iran, provides support for the nine-year American and NATO war in Afghanistan (and neighboring Pakistan), and timidly accedes to the Pentagon taking over military bases and stationing interceptor missile batteries along Russia’s Western flank from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.
Since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization took control of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in 2003 the amount of troops serving under that command has grown from 5,000 to over 100,000.
There are currently 134,000 foreign troops in the nation counting U.S. soldiers serving separately with Operation Enduring Freedom, although the aggregate number is to reach 150,000 by the summer and most American troops not now under NATO command will soon be. There are 47,000 troops from NATO member and partner countries in the nation.
U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan will soon outnumber those in Iraq.
Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was deposed five years after and in the same manner as he came to power, in a bloody uprising.
Elected president two months after the so-called Tulip Revolution of 2005 he helped engineer, he was since then head of state of the main transit nation for the U.S. and NATO war in Afghanistan.
The Pentagon secured the Manas Air Base (as of last year known as the Transit Center at Manas) in Kyrgyzstan shortly after its invasion of Afghanistan in October of 2001 and in the interim, according to a U.S. armed forces publication last June, “More than 170,000 coalition personnel passed through the base on their way in or out of Afghanistan, and Manas was the transit point for 5,000 tons of cargo, including spare parts and equipment, uniforms and various items to support personnel and mission needs.