Thinking the Unthinkable: NATO's
Global Military Roadmap
by Rick Rozoff
Not content with expanding from 16 to
28 members over the past decade in a post-Cold War world in which
it confronts no military threat from any source, state or non-state,
and not sufficiently occupied with its first ground and first
Asian war in Afghanistan, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- the world's only military bloc - is eager to take on a plethora
of new international missions.
With the fragmentation of the Warsaw Pact
and the breakup of the Soviet Union between 1989 and 1991 NATO,
far from scaling back its military might in Europe, not to mention
returning the favor and dissolving itself, saw the opportunity
to expand throughout the continent and the world.
Beginning with the bombing campaign in
Bosnia in 1995, Operation Deliberate Force and its 400 aircraft,
and the deployment of 60,000 troops there under Operation Joint
Endeavor, the Alliance has steadily and inexorably deployed its
military east and south into the Balkans, Northeast Africa, the
entire Mediterranean Sea, Central Africa, and South and Central
Asia. It has also extended its tentacles into the South Caucasus,
throughout Scandinavia including Finland and Sweden, and into
the Asia-Pacific region where it has formed individual partnerships
with Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea along with
recruiting troops from Mongolia and Singapore to serve under its
command in the eight-year war in Afghanistan.
With the upgrading of its Mediterranean
Dialogue program (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania,
Morocco and Tunisia), with the Persian Gulf component of the 2004
Istanbul Cooperation Initiative partnership underway and planned
for the Gulf Cooperation Council states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman,
Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and with the
deployment of U.S.-trained Colombian counterinsurgency forces
for its Afghan war, a military bloc ostensibly formed to protect
the nations of the North Atlantic community now has armed forces
and partnerships in all six inhabited continents.
It has waged war in Europe, against Yugoslavia
in 1999, and in Asia, in Afghanistan (with intrusions into Pakistan)
from 2001 to the present and into the indefinite future, and is
currently conducting military operations off the coast of Africa
in the Gulf of Aden. The "Soviet menace" invoked sixty
years ago to create even at the time the world's largest and most
powerful military alliance receded into history a generation ago
and the gap provided by the disappearance of the Warsaw Pact and
the USSR has been filled by a military machine that can call upon
two million troops and whose member states account for over 70
percent of world arms spending.
But the past fifteen years' expansion
is not sufficient for NATO's worldwide ambitions. It is now in
the process of elaborating a new Strategic Concept to replace
that of 1999, introduced during the air war against Yugoslavia
and the first absorption of nations in the former socialist bloc.
One which NATO described at the time as the Alliance's Approach
to Security in the 21st Century. In the decade-long interim the
bloc has come to refer to itself as 21st Century NATO, global
NATO and expeditionary NATO. (The first Strategic Concept was
formulated in 1991, the year of the breakup of the Soviet Union
and the Operation Desert Storm war against Iraq.}
The updated version was deliberated upon
at NATO's sixtieth anniversary summit this April, the first held
in two nations: Strasbourg in France and Kehl in Germany.
Over a year in advance the bloc's Secretary
General at the time, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, "called on the
transatlantic military alliance to develop a new, long-term strategy
designed to tackle third-millennium concerns such as cyber attacks,
global warming, energy security and nuclear threats" and
demanded that it increase its budget to address a "growing
list of responsibilities." 
If upon its founding in 1949 NATO justified
the launching of a military bloc in a Europe still nursing the
wounds of the deadliest and most destructive war in human history;
if after the end of the Cold War it transformed its self-defined
mission to encompass military intervention in the Balkans to prove
its ability to enforce peace, however one-sided; if after September
21, 2001 it obediently adjusted to Washington's agenda of a Global
War On Terror and efforts against weapons of mass destruction
everywhere but where they actually exist; in the past few years
NATO has announced new roles and missions that will allow, in
fact necessitate, its intrusion into any part of the globe for
a near myriad of reasons.
If fact myriad is the exact word used
on October 1 at a conference jointly organized by NATO and Lloyd's
of London - "the world's leading insurance market" as
it describes itself - by the latter's chairman, Lord Peter Levene,
in reference to NATO's new "third millennium" Strategic
Levene's address included these words:
"Our sophisticated, industrialised and complex world is under
attack from a myriad of determined and deadly threats. If we do
not take action soon, we will find ourselves, like Gulliver, pinned
to the ground and helpless, because we failed to stop a series
of incremental changes while we still could."
His allusion to the character who lends
his name to Jonathan Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels invites
the opportunity of quoting a paragraph from it about the protagonist's
- and Levene's - native land, Great Britain.
After Gulliver boasts to a foreign king
of among other matters Britain's vast colonial domains and its
military prowess, his interlocutor responds:
"As for yourself, who have spent
the greatest part of your life in travelling, I am well disposed
to hope you may hitherto have escaped many vices of your country.
But by what I have gathered from your own relation, and the answers
I have with much pains wrung and extorted from you, I cannot but
conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race
of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon
the surface of the earth."
Lord Levene hosted the conference on the
Alliance's updated Strategic Concept, one which was attended by
what were described as "200 high-level representatives from
the security and business community." 
This past July NATO announced that a "group
of experts" would be convened to discuss and plan its new
strategy. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, as
much as anyone responsible for the Alliance's first prolonged
armed conflict, the 78-day air war against Yugoslavia, chairs
the group. The co-chairman is Jeroen van der Veer, who until June
30 was chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell.
NATO's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
and Lord Levene co-authored a column in The Telegraph of October
1, so accommodating is the Western "free press," to
coincide with the conference of the same day.
They provided a litany of joint NATO-private
business sector collaborations to protect the interests of the
second party, Western-based transnational corporations, including
but by no means limited to information technology, the melting
of the polar ice cap, risk management for overseas investments
and "storms and floods."
The article states that "industry
leaders, including those from Lloyd's, have been involved in the
current process to develop NATO's new guiding charter, the Strategic
Concept; indeed, the vice-chair of the group is the former chief
executive of Shell, Jeroen van der Veer." 
It also lays out far-reaching plans for
military responses to a veritable host of non-military issues.
"[G]overnments need to do some contingency planningincluding
focusing intelligence assessments on climate change, tasking military
planners to incorporate it into their planning as well.They also
need to step up their cyber-defences, as NATO has done in creating
a deployable cyber-defence capability that can help its members
if they come under attack."
The last item is an allusion to events
in Estonia in 2007, cyber attacks variously ascribed by Western
government and NATO officials to Russian hackers or the Russian
government itself. No proof has been offered for the accusations,
though that hasn't prevented major American elected officials
from threatening the use of NATO's Article 5 collective military
force provision for use in similar cases.
That is precisely what Levene and Rasmussen
meant by endorsing NATO's "creating a deployable cyber-defence
capability that can help its members if they come under attack."
The urgency of the demand of Lord Levene
of Portsoken and former Danish prime minister Rasmussen for history's
largest military bloc to protect Western commercial investments
was expressed in an unadorned manner by the writers when they
stated "Humans have always fought over resources and land.
But now we are seeing those pressures on a bigger scale.
"We must be prepared to think the
unthinkable. Lloyd's developed its 360 Risk Insight programme
and its Realistic Disaster Scenarios, and NATO its Multiple Futures
project, precisely to lift our eyes from the present and scan
the horizon for what might be looming."
There will be no lack of opportunities
for implementing what appears to be the heart of the new Strategic
Levene mentioned a thousand "determined
and deadly threats" during his speech at the conference and
Rasmussen started identifying them.
In his presentation at the conference
the NATO chief framed his inventory of "deadly threats"
by saying, "[T]he challenges we are looking at today cut
across the divide between the public and private sectors.NATO,
the EU and many Governments have had to send navies to try to
defend against attacks. And it has cost insurance companies -
many of which are part of the Lloyd's market - millions."
The implication is inevitable that NATO
and European Union warships are operating in among other locales
the Horn of Africa so that firms like Lloyd's will have to settle
Rasmussen's speech included these pretexts
for NATO interventions, these future casus belli, all in his own
Extreme weather events - catastrophic
storms and flooding
Sea levels will rise
Populations will movein large numbersalways
into where someone else lives, and sometimes across borders
Food production is likely to drop
Arctic ice is retreating, for resources
that had, until now, been covered under ice
Reinforcing factories or energy stations
or transmission lines or ports that might be at risk of storms
Energy, where diversity of supply is a
Natural and humanitarian disasters
Big storms, or floods, or sudden movements
Fuel efficiency, reduc[ing] our overall
dependence on foreign sources of fuel
None of the seventeen developments mentioned
can even remotely be construed as a military threat and certainly
not one posed by recognized state actors.
Surely no "rogue states" or
"outposts of tyranny" or "international terrorists"
are responsible for climate change, yet Rasmussen's proposals
for contending with it are military ones.
"[T]he security implications of climate
change need to be better integrated into national security and
defence strategies - as the US has done with its Quadrennial Defence
Review. That means asking our intelligence agencies to look at
this as one of their main tasks. It means military planners should
assess potential the impacts, update their plans accordingly and
consider the capabilities they might need in future."
He additionally advocated the inclusion
of the over forty nations the 28-member bloc has individual and
collective partnerships with in adding, "We might also consider
adapting our Partnerships to take climate change into account
as well. Right now, NATO engages in military training and capacity
building with countries around the world. We focus on things like
peacekeeping, language training and countering terrorism. What
about also including cooperation that helps build capacity in
the armed forces of our Partners to better manage big storms,
or floods, or sudden movements of populations?" 
Rasmussen's Pandora's box of NATO concerns
were for years adumbrated by his predecessor, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer,
who two years ago said that "[T]he subjects that the Alliance
leaders are expected to discuss at the Bucharest Summit (Spring
2008) [are] NATO enlargement, missile defence, military capabilities,
energy security, maritime situation awareness, cyber defence and
other new security threats"  in one statement, and in
another in the same period "emphasised the importance of
such issues as enlargement, partnerships, energy security, the
fight against global terrorism, energy security, cyber and missile
defence which he expects to be discussed at the Bucharest summit."
In March of 2008 Scheffer was quoted in
a news report titled "NATO Chief Calls for `Atlantic Charter'
to Define Strategy" as saying, "Challenges are multifaceted,
interlinked and can arise from anywhere. We need to do a better
job of scanning the strategic horizon. We can't just be reactive.If
NATO is to be capable to act anywhere in world, we will need more
global partners." 
During a visit to Israel this past January
Scheffer expounded on the theme: "NATO has transformed to
address the challenges of today and tomorrow. We have built partnerships
around the globe from Japan to Australia to Pakistan and, of course,
with the important countries of the Mediterranean and the Gulf.
We have established political relations with the UN and the African
Union that never existed until now. We've taken in new [countries],
soon 28 in total, with more in line.[W]e are looking at playing
new roles, as well, in energy security and cyber defence."
In a speech on March 22, "The Future
of NATO," he spoke of "long-term, costly and risky engagement
far away from our own borders" and interventions "to
cover a wider range of concerns and interests - from territorial
defence, through regional stability, all the way to cyber defence,
energy security, and the consequences of climate change.
"From just 12 member states we went
to 26 - and soon 28. And from a purely 'eurocentric' Alliance
NATO has evolved into a security provider that is engaged on several
continents, working with a wide range of other nations and institutions."
His earlier reference to the African Union
is to NATO's deployment to the Darfur region of Sudan in 2005,
its first African operation, and that to "political relations
with the UN" to a backroom deal reached in September of 2008
between Scheffer and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
that bypassed permanent Security Council members Russia and China.
Indeed, the growing list of excuses for
NATO involvement and intervention, that of Scheffer and now of
Rasmussen, is a dangerous arrogation of responsibility and functions
that are properly those of the UN and not that of a non-elected
military cabal whose combined member states' populations are a
small fraction of the human race.
NATO's expansion and its progressively
broader operations over the past ten years indicate in a glaring
manner the Alliance's intention to circumvent, subvert and jeopardize
the very existence of the United Nations, a theme dealt with in
a previous article, West Plots To Supplant United Nations With
Global NATO. 
In addition to "guaranteeing energy
security" by establishing military beachheads in the Balkans,
Central and South Asia, the Caucasus, the Persian Gulf, the Horn
of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea and retaining U.S. nuclear weapons
in Europe and participating in the American-led drive for a global
missile shield, NATO has claimed for itself the exclusive mandate
to address virtually all problems confronting humanity. In conjunction
with Western arms manufacturers and the likes of Lloyd's of London
and Royal Dutch Shell.
1) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, March 16,
2008_2) NATO, October 1, 2009_3) The Telegraph, October 1, 2009_4)
NATO, October 1, 2009]_5) Ibid_6) NATO, October 9, 2007_7) NATO,
October 9, 2007_8)Bloomberg News, March 15, 2008_9) Haaretz, January
10, 2009_10) NATO, March 22, 2009_11) Stop NATO, May 27, 2009_http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/29/154
Rick Rozoff is a frequent contributor
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