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.
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.
The State Department’s top Eurasia hand addressed the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’s Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia on April 26 to present Washington’s perspective on and expectations of next month’s summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
In a presentation titled “The Chicago Summit and U.S. Policy,” the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Tina Kaidanow, laid out what the military alliance’s main powerhouse and financial backer demands of its 27 allies and in so doing indicated many of the top geopolitical objectives of her department and the U.S. government as a whole for the upcoming years.
Updated: Sept. 17, 2011; added Part 3. Sept. 6, 2011; added Part 2 of the interview
This is Part I of our three-part one-of-a-kind interview series with author and researcher Paul Thompson. For additional background information please visit the complete 9/11 Timeline Investigative Project at HistoryCommons.Org and Richard Clarke’s interview by John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski at SecrecyKills.Com.
(ROME-BELGRADE) NATO seems to find Serbia’s autonomy outrageous, its semi-neutrality unacceptable, its modernity anomalous and above all its path to progress dangerous. For North Atlantic Treaty planners and schemers, Serbia—maverick, outsider, rebel—is an infectious disease to be eradicated. Serbia must be chained, normalized and integrated with the rest of Europe as are most southeastern European lands. Serbia’s neutral existence is an affront, an obstacle to a final solution of the thorny Balkan conundrum.
This week plans for U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization military intervention in the Baltic Sea region gained attention after information from American State Department cables released by WikiLeaks were published in Britain’s Guardian newspaper.
Details include the alleged military defense of new NATO members Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania against Russia by nine NATO divisions composed of troops from the U.S., Britain, Germany and Poland – as many as 100,000-200,000 or more depending on the size of the divisions – U.S. and British warships and assault forces, and warplanes from the U.S. and other NATO nations.
With the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into Eastern Europe from 1999-2009, the U.S.-led military alliance has grown by 75 percent, from 16 to 28 members.
By 2009 all former non-Soviet Warsaw Pact member states had been incorporated into NATO, the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) being absorbed with its merger into the Federal Republic in 1990. The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland joined NATO in 1999 and Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia in 2004. Albania, which suspended participation in the Warsaw Pact six years after its founding, in 1961, was brought into the Alliance last year.
The 2004 expansion included seven nations in all, the three mentioned above, the first former Yugoslav republic, Slovenia, and the first former Soviet republics: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Bosnia and Montenegro being incorporated as full NATO members and Macedonia following suit would expand the world’s only military bloc to 31 nations, almost twice that of ten years ago when it first began its drive into Eastern Europe. And with Serbia and Kosovo, which even before becoming a member is the world’s first NATO political entity, included the Alliance’s numbers will have more than doubled since 1999, a decade after the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. All seventeen new acquisitions would be in Eastern Europe, and the majority of NATO member states would be former Warsaw Pact members or Yugoslav republics and a province.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited the capital of Montenegro on November 26 and that of Bosnia the following day.
A Balkans news source wrote of the visits that Rasmussen would “discuss the possibility of approving Montenegro’s action plan for NATO membership” and “discuss strengthening NATO and BiH [Bosnia and Herzegovina] cooperation.” 
The century’s longest war continues to rage in South Asia with no sign of abating. Instead, the invasion of Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 has exploded into endless armed hostilities that have spread across the length and breadth of the nation, with U.S. and NATO military forces fighting an intensified counterinsurgency conflict in the north, south, east and west of Afghanistan, now paralleled by equally brutal and even larger-scale combat operations in neighboring Pakistan.
With over 100,000 Western troops and rumors of perhaps a doubling of that number in the works, and with Washington spending billions of dollars in expanding bases to accommodate those reinforcements, the Afghanistan-Pakistan campaign under the direction of U.S. and NATO military commander General Stanley McChrystal and Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke portends yet greater violence, bloodshed and imperiling of regional stability.
“U.S. efforts in Romania and Bulgaria are part of a global redeployment strategy started in the early years of the Bush administration to shift U.S. forces out of Germany and move them eastward.”
“The number of US military men at the two bases is not going to be large, but who can say that it will not be doubled, tripped or quadrupled in the future? Furthermore, the appearance of NATO bases on the Black Sea coast will come as an addition to the US military [deployments] in the Baltic region. As a result, Russia will find itself trapped.”
“[T]he new land, sea and airbases along the Black Sea will provide much improved contingency access for deployments into Central Asia, parts of the Middle East and Southwest Asia.”
Last week was an eventful one in Eastern Europe.
In the face of total global economic collapse, the prospects of a massive international war are increasing. Historically, periods of imperial decline and economic crisis are marked by increased international violence and war. The decline of the great European empires was marked by World War I and World War II, with the Great Depression taking place in the intermediary period.
Currently, the world is witnessing the decline of the American empire, itself a product born out of World War II. As the post-war imperial hegemon, America ran the international monetary system and reigned as champion and arbitrator of the global political economy.
Oct. 14, 2009
“Stripping Bare the Body: Politics, Violence, War”: Groundbreaking Journalist Mark Danner on Haiti, the Balkans, Iraq and Torture
Award-winning journalist, writer and professor Mark Danner has just released a new collection of dispatches about Haiti, the Balkans, Iraq and the use of torture in the US war on terror. It’s called Stripping Bare the Body: Politics, Violence, War. We speak to Danner about torture in the so-called war on terror and his career of chronicling US-backed human rights abuses abroad. [includes rush transcript]
by Rick Rozoff
September 16, 2009
Tensions are mounting in the Black Sea with the threat of another conflict between U.S. and NATO client state Georgia and Russia as Washington is manifesting plans for possible military strikes against Iran in both word and deed.
Referring to Georgia having recently impounded several vessels off the Black Sea coast of Abkhazia, reportedly 23 in total this year, the New York Times wrote on September 9 that “Rising tensions between Russia and Georgia over shipping rights to a breakaway Georgian region have opened a potential new theater for conflict between the countries, a little more than a year after they went to war.” 
by Rick Rozoff
September 14, 2009
On September 11 a Balkans news source cited the chairman of the South East Europe Center at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, DC, John Sitilides, as claiming that “Although the United States is not focused on the Balkans as it was in the 1990s, the challenges in this region are still reviewed at a very high level in Washington.” 
Sitilides founded and was executive director of the Western Policy Center in the U.S.’s capital in 1998 which specialized “in U.S. foreign and security policies in the eastern Mediterranean, Balkan and Black Sea regions,” before merging it with the Woodrow Wilson Center and is a “regular speaker on foreign policy at the Pentagon’s National Defense University and the National Foreign Affairs Training Center.”