excerpted from the book
Full Spectrum Dominance
Totalitarian Democracy in the
New World Order
by F. William Engdahl
Third Millennium Press, 2009,
Allen Weinstein, who helped create the National Endowment for
A lot of what we do today was done covertly
25 years ago by the CIA.
A major application of Washington's new human rights offensive
against China focused on Myanmar, on Tibet, and on Darfur in oil-rich
... The tragedy of Myanmar/Burma ... was
being used as a human stage prop in a drama that had been scripted
in Washington. The spectacle unfolding on CNN had been written
and produced by the combined efforts of the National Endowment
for Democracy (NED), George Soros's Open Society Institute, Freedom
House, and Gene Sharp's Albert Einstein Institution. These NGOs
functioned as US military and intelligence-connected assets. They
were used to train cadre in 'non-violent' regime change around
the world on behalf of the US strategic agenda. They were the
same NGOs and organizations that had been used in the Color Revolutions
surrounding Russia - in Georgia, Ukraine, and Serbia.
Burma's 'Saffron Revolution,' like Ukraine's
'Orange Revolution' or Georgia's 'Rose Revolution,' was a well-orchestrated
exercise in Washington-run regime change. It replicated the methods
and gimmicks of prior Color Revolution.
The NED was a US Government-funded 'private' entity whose activities
were designed to support US foreign policy objectives. The idea
was to accomplish what the CIA had done during the Cold War, but
under the cover of a seemingly innocent NGO.
On October 30, 2003 the State Department
issued a formal Press Release stating:
The restoration of democracy in Burma
is a priority US policy objective in Southeast Asia. To achieve
this objective, the United States has consistently supported democracy
activists and their efforts both inside and outside Burma... The
United States also supports organizations such as the National
Endowment for Democracy, the Open Society Institute and Internews,
working inside and outside the region on a broad range of democracy
The US State Department had recruited and trained key opposition
leaders from numerous antigovernment organizations in Myanmar...
The US regime change operation, its 'Saffron Revolution,' was
run - according to the State Department's own admission - primarily
out of the US Consulate in nearby Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The State Department and the NED funded
key opposition media, including the New Era Journal, Irrawaddy
and the Democratic Voice of Burma radio.'
The concert-master - or more correctly
perhaps, theoretician - of the non-violent regime change by Saffron-clad
monks was Gene Sharp, founder of the deceptively-named Albert
Einstein Institution in Cambridge Massachusetts. [Gene] Sharp's
Albert Einstein Institution was... funded by an arm of the US
Congress' NED; its purpose was to foster US-friendly regime change
in key spots around the world.
Once it became clear to China that the US was embarked on a unilateral
militarization of Middle East oil fields beginning in 2003, Beijing
quite lawfully stepped up its engagement in Myanmar. Chinese energy
and military security, not human rights concerns, drove their
Beijing poured billions of dollars of
military assistance into Myanmar, including fighter and transport
aircraft, tanks and armored personnel carriers, naval vessels
and surface-to-air missiles. China built up Myanmar's railroads
and roads and won permission to station its troops in Myanmar.
... Myanmar was an integral part of what
some in the Pentagon referred to as China's 'string of pearls,'
its strategic design of establishing military bases in Myanmar,
Thailand and Cambodia in order to counter US control over the
Strait of Malacca chokepoint. There was also energy on and offshore
Myanmar, and lots of it.
Pentagon Office of Net Assessments ... report called "The
India-US Military Relationship: Expectations and Perceptions."
It was released in October 2003. Approximately forty senior officials
and around the same number of serving and retired Indian officials
were interviewed for the study. Among the report's observations
was that Indian armed forces could be used "for low-end operations
in Asia such as peacekeeping operations, search and rescue operations
...." The study concluded:
We want a friend in 2020 that will be
capable of assisting the US military to deal with a Chinese threat.
We cannot deny that India will create a countervailing force to
That October 2002 Pentagon report stated
further that the reason for the India-USA defense alliance would
be to have a "capable partner who can take on more responsibility
for low-end operations" in Asia, i.e. low-end operations
directed at China, and to "ultimately provide basing and
access for US power projection," also aimed at China. Washington
was quietly negotiating a base on Indian territory as part of
the new deal, a severe violation of India's traditional non-aligned
The Pentagon Report echoed the September
2002 Bush Administration National Security Strategy document declaring
that the US would not allow any other country to equal or surpass
its military strength. It announced that the US would use its
military power to dissuade any potential aspirant. The strategic
review pointed to China as the potential power that could threaten
US hegemony in the region.
As far as India was concerned, the report
The United States has undertaken a transformation
in its bilateral relationship with India based on a conviction
that US interests require a strong relationship with India. We
are the two largest democracies, committed to political freedom
protected by representative governments. India is moving towards
greater economic freedom as well.
To sweeten the military ties, the Bush
Administration offered India to N end its 30 year nuclear sanctions
and to sell advanced US nuclear technology, legitimizing India's
open violation of the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty. This, at
the same time Washington accused Iran of violating the same, an
exercise in political hypocrisy to say the least.
A curious thing about the human rights campaign against what Secretary
of State, Cohn Powell termed 'genocide' in the southern Sudan
province of Darfur, near the border with Chad, was its timing.
The massive, Hollywood-backed 'human rights' campaign began soon
after the Sudanese Government in Khartoum announced it had discovered
huge potential new oil reserves in that region. Chinese oil companies
had been involved in the discovery.
Prior to that oil discovery, the United
States had been arming and training anti-Khartoum rebels in southern
Sudan, including the late John Garang, trained at the notorious
School of the Americas, Fort Benning, Georgia." It was that
region where, in 1999, the Chinese state oil company began building
a major pipeline to bring oil to a new harbor at Port Sudan. From
Port Sudan it was destined to fuel China's economic growth.
Neither the discovery of huge oil reserves
in Darfur nor the fact that Khartoum had granted major exploration
rights to China's state oil company were ever mentioned in US
Government pronouncements or US mainstream media.
By 2007 China was drawing an estimated 30% of its crude oil imports
The Beijing Government began using no-strings-attached dollar
credits to gain access to Africa's vast raw material wealth, leaving
Washington's typical control game via the World Bank and International
Monetary Fund (IMF) out in the cold. Who needed the painful medicine
of the IMF Len China would give easy terms, and build roads and
schools to boot?
... China was very generous in dispensing
its aid to some of the poorest debtor states of Africa; it did
so via soft loans at no interest, or as outright grants. The loans
went into infrastructure, including highways, hospitals, and schools
- in stark contrast to the brutal austerity demands of the IMF
and World Bank. In 2006 China committed more than $8 billion to
Nigeria, Angola and Mozambique. Meanwhile, Ghana was negotiating
a $1.2 billion Chinese electrification loan.
By contrast, the World Bank loaned just
$2.3 billion to all of sub-Saharan Africa. Unlike the World Bank,
a de facto arm of US foreign economic policy, China wisely attached
no strings to its loans.
China's oil-related diplomacy in Africa
led to the bizarre accusation from Washington that Beijing was
trying to "secure oil at the sources," something Washington
foreign policy had itself been preoccupied with for at least a
century. No source of oil was more the focus of China-US oil conflict
than Sudan, home of Darfur's vast reserves.
The [Sudan] oil fields were concentrated in the south, site of
a long-simmering civil war - a civil war covertly financed, in
part, by the United States to divide the oil-rich south Sudan
from the Islamic Khartoum-centered north.
... By 2006, Sudan had become China's
fourth largest foreign oil source; by 2007, 8% of China's oil
came from southern Sudan. China took 65-80% of Sudan's 500,000
In 2006 China surpassed Japan as the world's
second largest importer of oil after the United States, importing
6.5 million barrels a day of the black gold. With its oil demand
growing by an estimated 30% a year, China would clearly pass the
US in oil import demand in a few years. That reality was the driving
force behind Beijing's foreign policy in Africa, as well as the
Pentagon's AFRICOM counter strategy, and the State Department's
'genocide' campaign in Darfur.
Failing in its attempt to pressure Sudan to break its ties with
China, Washington turned its human rights and other guns on Khartoum
directly. They launched a massive campaign to save Darfur.
The Pentagon had been busy training African military officers
in the US, much as it had trained Latin American officers and
their death squads for decades. Its International Military Education
and - Training program recruited military officers from Chad,
Ethiopia, Eritrea, Cameroon and the Central African Republic.
... US development aid for all Sub-Saharan
Africa, including Chad, had been cut sharply in recent years while
its military aid rose. Oil and the scramble for strategic raw
materials were clearly the reason. It turned out that the enormous
oil reserves of southern Sudan, from the Upper Nile to the Chad
border, had been known to American oil executives long before
they were known to the Sudanese government.
US oil majors had known about Sudan's
vast oil wealth at least since the early 1970s.
... Chevron, had moved to neighboring
Chad, across the border from the Darfur region of Sudan. Early
in 2007, together with ExxonMobil, Chevron completed a $3.7 billion
oil pipeline that would carry 160,000 barrels per day from Doba
in central Chad, near Darfur, via Cameroon to Kribi on the Atlantic
Ocean. The oil was destined for US refineries.
To accomplish the pipeline, the US oil
giants worked with Chad's 'President for life' Idriss Deby, a
corrupt despot who had been accused of feeding US-supplied arms
to the Darfur rebels. Deby joined Washington's Pan Sahel Initiative
run by the Pentagon's US-European Command, to train his troops
to fight 'Islamic terrorism.' The Pan Sahel Initiative, a precursor
of the AFRICOM command, used US Army Special Forces to train military
units from Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad.
Supplied with US military aid, training
and weapons, and using his elite Presidential Guards recruited
from Darfur, Deby launched the initial assault in 2004 that triggered
the major conflict in Darfur. Borders between Chad and Darfur
are virtually non-existent. Deby provided the elite troops with
all-terrain vehicles, arms and anti-aircraft guns to aid Darfur
rebels fighting the Khartoum government in southwestern Sudan.
Thus, US military support to Deby had been the trigger for the
Darfur bloodbath. Khartoum retaliated, and the ensuing debacle
was unleashed with full, tragic force.
Washington and its NGOs then swung into
full action, charging Khartoum with genocide, as a pretext for
bringing UN/NATO troops into the oil fields of Darfur and southern
Sudan. Oil, not human misery, was behind Washington's new interest
The 'Darfur genocide' campaign began,
significantly, the same time Chevron's Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline
began to flow. The US now had a military base in Chad from which
to go after Darfur oil and, potentially, to take over China's
new oil sources if NATO 'peacekeeper troops' could be brought
US military objectives in Darfur-and the
Horn of Africa more widely-were being served by US and NATO backing
for African Union (AU) troops in Darfur, the successor organization
to the Organization of African Unity that included more than 50
African states as members. NATO provided ground and air support
for AU troops who were categorized as 'neutral' and 'peacekeepers.'
By early 2008 Sudan was at war on three
fronts-against Uganda, Chad, and Ethiopia. Each had a significant
US military presence and ongoing US military programs. The war
in Sudan involved both US covert operations and US trained 'rebel'
factions coming in from south Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia and Uganda.
The US and World Bank-financed oil pipeline from Chad to the Cameroon
coast was one part of a far grander Washington scheme to control
the oil riches of Central Africa from Sudan to the Gulf of Guinea.
The geological belt was rumored to hold oil reserves on a scale
that would rival the oil-rich region of the Persian Gulf.
Chad and Darfur were part of a significant Chinese effort to secure
oil at the source, all across Africa. Oil - or, more precisely,
control of oil at its sources - was also the prime factor determining
US-Africa policy as China's activity expanded.
US actions in Darfur and Chad were extensions of US Iraq policy,
but with other means- instead of direct military assault, a callous
enflaming of internal violence. But the control of oil - all oil,
everywhere - was the goal. China was challenging that control
'everywhere,' especially in Africa. It was an undeclared, but
very real, New Cold War-over oil.
By early 2008, the US establishment had determined that it was
time for] major escalation of pressure on China, this time unleashing
destabilization within Chinese territory, in the Tibet Autonomous
... The Tibet operation clearly got the
green light in October 2007, when George Bush agreed to meet the
Dalai Lama for the first time publicly in Washington. The President
of the United States was well aware of the enormity of such an
insult to China, its largest trading partner. Bush then deepened
the affront to Beijing, by attending Washington's ceremony awarding
the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal.
The decision by Bush, son of a former
US Ambassador to Beijing, was deliberate. He would have been well
aware that the presence of the President of the United States
at an official US Government ceremony honoring the Dalai Lama
would be seen as a signal of growing US backing for the Tibetan
As the Chinese government itself was quick to point out, the sudden
eruption of anti-Chinese violence in Tibet, a new phase in the
movement led by the exiled Dalai Lama, was suspiciously timed.
It was clearly an attempt to try to put the spotlight on Beijing's
human rights record on the eve of the August 2008 Olympics, an
event seen in China as a major affirmation of the arrival of a
newly prosperous China on the world stage.
The background actors in Tibet's attempted
'Crimson Revolution' confirmed that Washington had been preparing
another of its infamous Color Revolutions, this time fanning public
protests designed to inflict maximum embarrassment on Beijing.
The actors on the ground in and outside
Tibet were the usual agencies involved in US-sponsored regime
destabilizations, including the State Department's proxy, the
National Endowment for Democracy (NED). In the case of Tibet,
the CIA's Freedom House was also involved. Its chairman, Bette
Bao Lord - wife of Winston Lord, former US Ambassador to China
and President of the Council on Foreign Relations played a role
in the International Committee for Tibet.
It had been revealed in official US Government documents that
since 1959, the Dalai Lama had been surrounded and financed, in
significant part, by various US and Western intelligence services
and their gaggle of NGOs.
author Michael Parenti noted in his study, Friendly Feudalism:
The Tibet Myth
During the 1950s and 60s, the CIA actively
backed the Tibetan cause with arms, military training, money,
air support and all sorts of other help.
According to Parenti, the US-based American
Society for a Free Asia, a CIA front, publicized the cause of
Tibetan resistance by enlisting the Dalai Lama's eldest brother,
Thubtan Norbu, to play an active role in the group. The Dalai
Lama's second-eldest brother, Gyalo Thondup, established an intelligence
operation together with the CIA in 1951. It was later upgraded
into a CIA-trained guerrilla unit whose recruits parachuted back
Declassified US intelligence documents released in the late 1990s
For much of the 1960s, the CIA provided
the Tibetan exile movement with $1.7 million a year for operations
against China, including an annual subsidy of $186,000 for the
In 1959, the CIA helped the Dalai Lama to flee to Dharamsala,
India where he has lived ever since. He continued to receive millions
of dollars in backing up to 2008, not from the CIA but from the
more innocuous-sounding CIA front organization, the National Endowment
for Democracy (NED) funded by the US Congress.
The NED [National Endowment for Democracy] had been founded by
the Reagan Administration in the early 1980s... The NED was designed
to pose as an independent NGO, one step removed from the CIA and
Government agencies, so as to be less conspicuous
The NED played an important role in the
Iran-Contra affair of the 1980s, funding key components of Oliver
North's shadowy and illegal ''Project Democracy.' That network
privatized US foreign policy, waged war, ran arms and drugs, and
engaged in other equally illegal activities.
The most prominent pro-Dalai Lama Tibet independence organization
in the destabilization attempt of 2008 was the International Campaign
for Tibet (ICT), founded in Washington in 1988. Since at least
1994 the ICT had been receiving funds from the NED [National
Endowment for Democracy] .
[A] very active anti-Beijing organization was the US-based Students
for a Free Tibet (SFT), founded in 1994 in New York City as a
project of the US Tibet Committee and the NED-financed ICT.
... The SFT was among five organizations
which on January 4, 2008 proclaimed the start of a 'Tibetan people's
uprising' and set up a special temporary office in charge of coordinating
and financing the uprising.
... Among related projects,[-the US Government-financed
NED also supported the Tibet Times newspaper, run out of the Dalai
Lama's base in exile at Dharamsala, India. The NED also funded
the Tibet Multimedia Center for what they described as, "information
dissemination that addresses the struggle for human rights and
democracy in Tibet." They were also based in Dharamsala.
NED also financed the Tibetan Center J for Human Rights and Democracy."
Tibet was of strategic import to China not only for its geographical
location astride the border with India - Washington's newest anti-China
ally in Asia - but also because Tibet was a treasure of minerals
and oil. Tibet contained some of the world's largest uranium and
borax deposits, one half of the world's lithium, the largest copper
deposits in Asia, enormous iron deposits, and over 80,000 gold
mines. Tibet's forests contained the largest timber reserve at
China's disposal. As of 1980, an estimated $54 billion worth of
trees had been felled there. Tibet also contained some of the
largest oil reserves in the region.
... Most strategically, it was perhaps
the world's most valuable water source. Situated as it was on
the 'roof of the world,' Tibet was the source of seven of Asia's
greatest rivers that provided water for 2 billion people.
... The actions around Tibet were part
of a well -orchestrated destabilization effort on the part of
Washington. Repeating the same pattern as in earlier US-instigated
and manipulated destabilizations, the mainstream media made no
mention of the involvement of the ubiquitous NED.
Washington's attempt at destabilizing China by using Tibet was
part of a clear pattern. In addition to their efforts at a 'Saffron
Revolution' in Myanmar and the attempt to get NATO to seize China's
oilfields in Darfur and block China's access to strategically
vital oil resources there and elsewhere in Africa, it included
attempts to foment problems in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, as well
as to disrupt China's vital new energy pipeline to Kazakhstan.
... Geopolitical control of Uzbekistan,
Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan would enable the United States to control
any potential pipeline routes between China and Central Asia,
just as the encirclement of Russia was aimed at controlling pipeline
and other ties between Russia and Western Europe.
Moreover, China depended on uninterrupted
oil flows from Iran, Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries. The
US militarization of Iraq and threats to attack Iran militarily
jeopardized China's access to oil. By late 2007 it was becoming
evident that China, along with Russia, loomed high on the list
of strategic targets for hostile operations by the US Pentagon,
State Department, and Intelligence agencies.
Zbigniew Brzezinski's 1997 article in Foreign Affairs
Eurasia accounts for 75 percent of the
world's population; 60 percent of its GNP, and 75 percent of its
energy resources. Collectively, Eurasia's potential power overshadows
... A power that dominated Eurasia would
exercise decisive influence over two \ of the world's three most
economically productive regions, Western Europe and East Asia.
A glance at the map also suggests that a country dominant in Eurasia
would almost automatically control the Middle East and Africa.
With Eurasia now serving as the decisive geopolitical chessboard,
it no longer suffices to fashion one policy for Europe and another
for Asia. What happens with the distribution of power on the Eurasian
landmass will be of decisive importance to America's global primacy..."
China long ago had surpassed Japan as the world's largest holder
of foreign currency reserves. By July 2008, China's US dollar
reserves were estimated to be well over $1.8 trillions, most of
it invested US Treasury debt instruments or bonds of Fannie Mae
or Freddie Mac.
By the end of 2008 the global superpower, the United States of
America, was looking more and more like the British Empire of
the late 1930s - a global imperium in terminal decline. The US
empire, however, despite spiraling into its gravest financial
crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, still seemed determined
to impose its will on a world increasingly moving away from such
The world - or at least its major players
outside Washington, from Russia to China to Venezuela to Bolivia
and beyond - was beginning to think of better alternatives. To
the Pentagon, such stirrings made the work of Full Spectrum Dominance
more urgent than ever. The declining power of the American Century
depended increasingly on direct military control, a control the
Pentagon tried to establish through a worldwide network of its
Private memo from the Council on Foreign Relations to the US State
Department, 1941, in CFR War & Peace Studies ~archives.
If war aims are stated which seem to be
solely concerned with AngloAmerican imperialism, they will offer
little to people in the rest of the world. The interests of other
peoples should be stressed. This would have a better propaganda
Russia's Putin, February 2007 in Munich
NATO has put its frontline forces on our
borders... (I/we?) think it is obvious that NATO expansion does
not have any relation with the modernisation of the Alliance itself
or with ensuring security in Europe. On the contrary, it represents
a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust.
And we have the right to ask: against whom is this expansion intended?
And what happened to the assurances our western partners made
after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact?'
Russian strategist and military expert, Yevgeny Primakov, former
Prime Minister under Yeltsin and a close adviser to Vladimir Putin
NATO today is ... moving outside the European
continent and conducting military operations far beyond its bounds.
From the Russian point of view, NATO's eastward expansion since
the end of the cold war had been in clear breach of an agreement
between former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President
George H.W. Bush, which had opened the way for a peaceful unification
of Germany in 1990. NATO's expansion policy was a continuation
of a Cold War attempt to surround and isolate Russia.
In June 1999, the expansion of US bases around the world took
on a qualitatively new dimension. Following the bombing of Yugoslavia,
US forces began construction of Camp Bondsteel, on the border
between Kosovo and Macedonia. It was the lynchpin in what was
to be a new global network of US bases.
Bondsteel put US air power within easy
striking distance of the oil-rich Middle East and Caspian Sea,
as well as of Russia. Camp Bondsteel, at the time it was installed,
was the largest US military base built since the Vietnam War.
... Camp Bondsteel was but the first in
a vast chain of US bases that would be built during the decade.
The US military went on to build military bases in Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Albania and Macedonia, in addition to Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo,
then still legally part of Yugoslavia.
On August 16, 2004, President Bush announced what was described
as the most comprehensive restructuring of US military forces
overseas since the end of the Korean War.
... New bases would be established in
Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Africa.
During the Vietnam War the CIA and special units of the US military
worked with the Meo tribesmen in Laos to secure control over the
heroin routes of South East Asia. The CIA then used the drug revenues,
laundered through CIA bank (proprietary front companies like the
Nugan Hand Bank in Australia, to finance other covert operations
and intelligence activities. Strong evidence emerged from Interpol
and US surveys and reports that US forces in Afghanistan had more
than a passing interest in the explosion of opium cultivation
in Afghanistan after 2001. Along with the opium cultivation came
an explosion in permanent US military bases as well.
In December 2004, during a visit to Kabul,
US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld finalized plans to build
nine new bases in Afghanistan in the provinces of Helmand, Herat,
Nimrouz, Balkh, Khost and Paktia. The nine were in addition to
the three major US military bases already installed in the wake
of its occupation of Afghanistan in winter of 20012002, ostensibly
to isolate and eliminate the terror threat of Osama bin Laden.
Afghanistan had historically been the heartland for the British-Russia
Great Game, the struggle for control of Central Asia during the
19th and early 20th Centuries. British strategy then was to prevent
Russia at all costs from controlling Afghanistan and thereby threatening
Britain's imperial crown jewel, India.
Afghanistan was similarly regarded by
Pentagon planners as highly strategic. It was a platform from
which US military power could directly threaten Russia and China,
as well as Iran and other oil-rich Middle East lands. Little had
changed geopolitically over more than a century of wars.
Afghanistan was in an extremely vital
location, straddling South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle
East. Afghanistan also lay along a proposed oil pipeline route
from the Caspian Sea oil fields to the Indian Ocean.
By 2006 the US had constructed no fewer than 14 permanent bases
in Iraq ... making a mockery of Presidential pledges to plan a
US troop withdrawal. Fourteen bases built in Iraq by the US after
March 2003 suggested that the US 'liberation' of Iraq from Saddam
Hussein ... seemed mainly to be freedom for Washington to build
its military garrisons along Iraqi oil fields and on the Iraq
border with Iran.
[A] major US goal in the Philippines [was] to fully re-establish
US military basing rights, which had ended when the Philippine
Senate terminated US control of Clark Air Base and Subic Naval
Base after the Cold War ended, and after a volcanic eruption damaged
A US return to the Philippines, like Bush's
threats against North Korea, was seen by many in the region as
an effort to assert even greater US influence in East Asia, just
when China was rising as a global power and other Asian economies
were recovering from financial crises. A growing US military role
throughout Asia could also raise fears in China of a US sphere
of influence intruding on its borders. Additionally, the new US
air base in the ex-Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan was, for China,
too close for comfort.
Just as Cold War propaganda had recast leftist rebels in South
Vietnam and El Salvador as puppets of North Vietnam or Cuba, US
'War on Terror' propaganda recast Colombian rebels as allies of
neighboring oil-rich Venezuela. The Venezuelan President, Hugo
Chavez, was described as 'sympathetic' to Bin Laden and Fidel
Castro, and as possibly turning OPEC against the US. Chavez could
serve as an ideal new US enemy if Bin Laden were ever eliminated.
By 2007 it was becoming clear for much of the world that Washington
was instigating wars or conflicts with nations all across the
globe, and not merely to control oil - though strategic control
of global oil flows had been at the heart of the American Century
since the 1920's. The ultimate aim of the various conflicts and
military actions was to control the economies of any and all of
potential contenders for rival power, any nation or group of nations
that might decide to challenge America's uncontested primary role
as master in world affairs.
The 1990s ended with US military intervention in the Balkans and
extensive US support for counterinsurgency operations in South
America as part of 'Plan Colombia'. Conveniently, Colombia gave
US troops a base next door to another potential target: Venezuela.
Through 'Plan Colombia'-aimed principally, or nominally at least,
against guerrilla forces in Colombia but also against the Chavez
government of Venezuela and the massively popular movement opposing
neoliberalism in Ecuador-the United States was also in the process
of expanding its base presence in the Latin American and Caribbean
Puerto Rico replaced Panama as the hub
for the region. Meanwhile the United States had been busy establishing
four new military bases in Manta, Ecuador; Aruba; Curaçao;
and Comalapa, El Salvador-all characterized as forward operating
locations (FOLs). Since September 11, 2001 the United States had
set up military bases housing 60,000 troops in Afghanistan, Pakistan,
Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, along with Kuwait, Qatar,
Turkey, and Bulgaria. Crucial in the operation was a major US
naval base at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
In some ways the official number of bases
abroad was deceptively low. All issues of jurisdiction and authority
with respect to bases in host countries were spelled out in what
are called Status of Forces Agreements. During the Cold War years
those were normally public documents. But now they were often
classified as secret-for example, those with Kuwait, the United
Arab Emirates, Oman, and in certain respects Saudi Arabia.
According to Pentagon records, the United
States by 2007 had formal agreements of that kind with 93 countries."