Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
Geopolitical developments continue at a pace that likely makes most peoples’ heads spin, and for good reason.
The confrontation between the West and Russia over the missile shield in Europe and Turkey only continues to get more heated, especially with the Russian announcement of new radar systems. The fact that Russia is also butting heads with the West over Syria definitely does not help defuse the situation.
There is also the matter of the United States, European Union and NATO bringing the Balkan states into the Western sphere of influence.
If you have not done so already, I highly recommend that you take a few moments to read parts one and two of this series in order to familiarize yourself with this complex web of multilateral relations and geopolitical developments spanning the entire globe.
Yesterday at a hearing of the U.S. Helsinki Commission in Washington, it was stated that, “All Western Balkan countries should become members of the European Union and NATO, and the U.S.A. should continue to offer support to this process,” according to EMG.
The hearing, called “The Western Balkans and the 2012 NATO Summit” included Congressman Christopher Smith saying that the violence in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina prove NATO must remain in the region.
Similarly, Congressman Eliot Engel said that American troops should not leave Kosovo, but instead should use the drawdown in Iraq as an opportunity to step up their presence.
Engel said that all of the nations in the region should become integrated in the EU and NATO, a move which is likely aimed at further isolating, encircling and indirectly threatening Russia.
He said that Serbia’s membership must not be accepted before that of Kosovo, because it might block Kosovo’s entry, adding that Belgrade needs to accept that the division of Kosovo is not possible in order to create regional peace.
Present at the hearing was Ivan Vejvoda, the Executive Director of the Balkan Trust for Democracy who stated that while the Serbian parliament was neutral about NATO membership in 2006, it now votes against it.
Vejvoda claims that the situation in Kosovo has calmed down, all involved parties have assumed more moderate positions adding that supposedly dialogues between Belgrade and Pristina will begin soon.
Despite this claim, Vejvoda said that the level of KFOR troops present in Kosovo should not be reduced, indicating that it is not nearly as calm as he is attempting to make it out to be.
Daniel Serwer of Johns Hopkins University also said that both Montenegro and Macedonia should be integrated into NATO at the Chicago Summit coming up in May; however, Serwer believes that Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo are all not ready to join NATO.
He acknowledged that it is ultimately Belgrade’s decision, “but in order to become a NATO member Serbia should respect territorial integrity and sovereignty of its neighbors.”
I find this assertion quite laughable given that NATO is an egregious violator of territorial integrity and sovereignty, exemplified most obviously by invasions of Pakistani airspace along with the bloody Libyan operation.
Nida Gelazis from Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars also thinks that NATO should have an extended presence in the region, saying that the Kosovo police cannot replace KFOR “for a long time to come.”
Georgia is also a key variable in this equation, especially given the nation’s strategic positioning relative to Russia.
Yesterday, the Azerbaijani Trend News Agency reported that Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian President, is set to meet with Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, to “underline the special relations of both countries,” according to Temur Yakobashvili, Georgia’s Ambassador to the United States.
The latter is arguably one of the most important given Georgia’s critical geographic location and the role it can play in the United States and NATO’s effort to surround Russia and China.
Yesterday, Trend also reported that the Georgian president’s press secretary, Manana Manjgaladze made a statement to reporters in conjunction with Saakashvili’s official visit with Obama on January 30.
“In the two decades since Georgia gained independence, U.S. support has been crucial for Georgia’s sovereignty, its democratic transformation, its economic development and its progress towards NATO membership,” Manjgaladze said.
Another article published in Trend yesterday covered a meeting between an official from the United States Department of State and the Defense Minister from Azerbaijan.
The meeting was between Eric Rubin, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and Azerbaijani Defense Minister Colonel-General Safar Abiyev.
The Defense Ministry told Trend that they discussed the successful military cooperation between Azerbaijan and the United States along with the development of ties in different fields.
Rubin said that it is in the United States’ interest to protect “Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity to establish peace in the region.”
Rubin said that the United States recognizes that Azerbaijani territories are occupied while the Azerbaijani Defense Minister said that Armenia is continuing their aggressive policy and “that protraction of the peaceful settlement creates favorable conditions to resume the war in the region.”
New Europe reports that NATO has announced that it will continue its support of Montenegro’s defense reforms, along with their intention to join NATO.
On January 17, Commandant of Strategic Operations Command ,Admiral James Stavridis, and the Montenegrin Chief of Joint Staff, Admiral Dragan Samardzic, met in Brussels to discuss what is in store for Montenegro’s defense.
Stavridis highlighted the Montenegrin efforts to join NATO along with their advancements in their defense systems and NATO’s commitment to help them in these efforts.
Also emphasized was the participation of Montenegrin troops in the NATO ISAF operation in Afghanistan, which Montenegro appears to be a part of for the long haul as Samardzic presented Stavridis with future plans for their participation in the ISAF operation and other plans to integrate Montenegro in Euroatlantic structures.
India is playing a large role in this global growth of the U.S.-NATO Empire with a strategic location, immense land mass and large population, it is the perfect ally for the West to use to extend their hegemony over the region.
India is part of the growing multilateral relationship between the United States, Australia, Japan and India – which, like all of the other alliances emerging now – acts to encircle and isolate both Russia and China.
Now the United States is trying to work with India to expand the missile shield that is currently dominating Europe and making the Russians quite concerned.
This comes just weeks after the United States offered to sell the fifth generation F-35 fighter jets to India.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Robert Scher characterized the Indian-American defense ties as not only valuable but critical for the security and stability of the region and the world at large.
Scher emphasized that the United States “is and will be a dependable weapons supplier to India.”
The United States is also dependably turning a blind eye to the Indian nuclear program along with the trade of natural uranium from Australia to India – allowing India to devote their more locally obtained uranium to their nuclear weapons program.
Scher said that Washington is awaiting a response from India while saying that they had already been involved in discussions surrounding the missile shield project.
Obviously Russia is not part of the global growth of NATO, but instead represents one of the most vocal and powerful opponents to said growth and thus plays a large part in this equation.
Dmitry Rogozin, the Vice-Premier of Russia, said in an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station that the new U.S.-NATO missile defense system includes around one thousand missiles.
Russian President Medvedev has also warned that Russia very well might back out of the START agreement entirely if the United States continues down this path with no regard for Russia’s legitimate concerns.
This dovetails with Rogozin’s statement that the actions of the United States, NATO and allied states could bring about a new arms race.
Rogozin said that the United States is pressuring allies in Europe to obtain warships which are outfitted with Aegis missile interception systems.
He also pointed out that there is no guarantee that the United States will stop developing the missile defense system after the set date of 2020.
I can understand his concerns, especially since there is not so much as a guarantee that the United States will not target Russia, Russian interests or Russian allies with the so-called defense system.
South China Sea
The South China Sea is one of the focal points of this cold war between the West and China with the United States and NATO increasingly trying to draw in allies in the region in order to further isolate China.
Obviously the United States does not side with China in the dispute, and some previous actions on the part of the United States have made me wonder if this is all an attempt to goad China into attacking.
China has repeatedly told the United States that no country without a direct interest in the South China Sea dispute should be meddling in the issue, but the United States has taken no heed whatsoever.
A recent conference in Beijing was held between senior officials from China and ASEAN member nations in which they discussed the problems surrounding the implementation of the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) and the nations were actually able to come to an agreement on some key issues.
Meanwhile, a conference in Washington was held by the Center for a New American Security, coinciding with the release of their report, “Cooperation from Strength: The United States, China and the South China Sea.”
According to China’s Global Times, the Beijing meeting “sent a signal that countries directly concerned with regional disputes want peace,” while the Washington conference’s signal “was mixed with some hostility.”
They likely take this position because the CNAS study argues that the South China Sea is a geopolitical epicenter which will determine whether the United States can hold on to a dominant role in the Asia-Pacific region, which is precisely what the Pentagon’s new strategy intends to do.
During the conference, the United States’ Chief of Naval Operations, Jonathan Greenert, said that certain aspects of the report would be integrated into military planning; adding that he believes the United States Navy can hold a predominant influence in the West Pacific.
The CNAS study advised that the United States lead a multilateral security mechanism which is aimed at countering China’s growing power and influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
This is precisely what is happening, as I outlined in part one of this series.
The new multilateral alliance would include Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Australia, which is exactly what is happening as I write this.
Interestingly, the Global Times writes, “the US cannot force others to recognize them as the leader. It no longer has the power to play such an important role, nor do countries in the region need Uncle Sam’s care. Any strategic attempt to form an alliance against China would be against the will of the countries in the region, and the last thing those countries want to do is pick a side between the US and China.”
Indeed I find this to be a very pertinent point as many nations are being pulled both ways between a waning power (the United States) and rising powers (Russia and China).
It will be interesting to see if the United States can hold on to the influence they have in the Asia-Pacific region or expand their power as the Pentagon is hoping to do.
This article first appeared at EndtheLie.com