This article by Manlio Dinucci is republished from his “Art of War” column in the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto of July 29. Translated by Workers World managing editor John Catalinotto.
There’s no holiday this summer for NATO; it’s working overtime. In preparation for the Summit of Heads of State and Government on Sept. 4-5 in Newport, Wales, NATO will set down its blueprint for “strategic adaptation” to move against Russia. As already announced by U.S. Gen. Philip Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, it “will cost money, time and effort.” The work has already begun.
In Ukraine, while NATO intensifies its training of Kiev’s armed forces — financed by Washington with $33 million — it is reactivating three military airports in the southern region that jet fighter-bombers of the alliance can use. In Poland it has just carried out an exercise of U.S., Polish and Estonian paratroopers, jumping from C-130J military transport aircraft that arrived from the German base at Ramstein. In Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Lithuania, various NATO military operations are going on, with AWACS radar planes, F-16 fighters and warships in the Black Sea.
In Georgia, where a delegation from the NATO Parliamentary Assembly visited to accelerate Georgia’s entry into the alliance, U.S. instructors are retraining troops returned from Afghanistan to operate in the Caucasus. In Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Armenia they are training forces chosen because they are operating under command of NATO, in whose headquarters officers from these countries are already present. In Afghanistan, NATO is reconverting the war, turning it into a series of “covert operations.”
The “North Atlantic Treaty Organization,” after its extension into Eastern Europe (even into the territory of the former Soviet Union) and to Central Asia, is now focusing on other regions.
In the Middle East, NATO, without appearing officially, infiltrated forces to lead a covert military operation against Syria and is preparing for other operations, as shown by the shift to Izmir, Turkey, of LANDCOM, the command unit for all the land forces of the alliance.
In Africa, after waging a war to demolish Libya in 2011, NATO signed an agreement last May in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that increases military assistance provided to the African Union, in particular for the education and training of brigades of the African Standby Force, which also provides “planning and naval air transport.” It thus has a determining voice in decisions on where and how to deploy them. Another tool is the Ocean Shield “anti-piracy” operation in the Indian Ocean and the strategically important Gulf of Aden.
Italian warships participated in this operation, conducted in concert with the U.S. Africa Command. The Italians’ task was to forge relationships with the armed forces of the seacoast countries: for this purpose the guided missile destroyer Mimbelli made a stopover at Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania from July 13 to 17.
In Latin America, NATO signed a “Security Agreement” in 2013 with Colombia, which was already involved in military programs of the alliance; Colombia may soon become a partner. In this context, the U.S. Southern Command in Colombia is holding an exercise of South and North American Special Forces, with the participation of 700 commandos.
In the Pacific, Rimpac 2014 is now taking place. This is the world’s largest maritime exercise, directed against China and Russia. Under U.S. command, 25,000 soldiers from 22 countries with 55 ships and 200 warplanes are participating. NATO is present through the naval forces of the U.S., Canada, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Norway, plus Italy, Germany and Denmark as observers. The “North Atlantic Treaty Organization” has been extended to the Pacific.