Mahboob A. Khawaja;Western Imperialism and the Unspoken Tyranny of Colonization

Global Research, January 11, 2012
 

Arnold Toynbee (A Study of History) clarified the European paradoxes of history that when political, moral and intellectual values come close to stagnation, “warriors become dreamers” to overrun the world.  European colonization of the racially inferior herds was a planned scheme of things not an accidental history – an obsessive political belief that Europeans were superior in their intellect, ethnicity, race, color and human configuration than the other people of the globe.

Britain embarked on invading and conquering the fertile heartlands of Asia and Africa to occupy their natural resources and use human beings as slave trade – a business ran efficiently across the seas unto the making of new America. Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and other followed the suit. Strangely enough, none seemed to have challenged the other Europeans in their domain of business enterprise, military control and imperialist quest for political supremacy. Many Europeans interpret it – a history making events for the emerging liberal democracy, industrialization and cheap labor sweat of Asian and African origins. Lord Macaulay, a British Viceroy of India spelled out the futuristic education policy in clear terms: “Indian in color but British in taste, thinking and behavior” – the new neo-colonial generations of future Indians seen from the British eyes and mindset. After centuries of warfare and killings of million and millions of fellow human beings, they claim to be civilized nation – the nuisance baggage you will hear often referred to at global academic conferences and at the redundant UNO Security apparatus.  Were all the European imperial forces acts as terrorism or peacemaking across the globe?  Racially conscientious Europeans forced by the nature and compulsion of the self-image went on to global conquests by radiating aggressive and violent acts as a deliberate policy – a political engine to encroach the Asian and African continents for centuries.

 

H.G. Wells (Outline of History, Bk 5) said it right:  “So began the first of the most wasteful and disastrous series of wars that has ever darkened the history of mankind.”

 

Terrorism originates from the Western colonial powers but none would dare to concede it for the FEAR of unknown intellectual, moral and political consequences in contemporary history. When the European businessmen explored  new world markets for diminishing resources and their armed forces invaded and occupied the vast Islamic world, there were no television, internet, video cameras and stone throwing public and voices of reason to call them foreign mercenaries, aggressors and terrorists. The colonization scheme of things was not outcome of the Western democratic values to spread freedom, liberty and justice but ferocity of violence and killings of millions and millions of human lives for the Empires to be built on colored bloodbaths. The European crusaders crossed the channels and unknown time zones to subjugate the much divided Muslim people as part of their superior nationalism perception and values that Muslims were inferior to the European race and could be used as subjects without human identity and as raw material to build the new Empires. Many centuries past, if there was a UNO, it would not have dared to call the European intruders as terrorists because it would have been their own organization as Muslims lived in slavery and denial of basic human rights and identity. In an information age, knowledge–driven global culture of reason, ignorance is no longer a requisite to learn from the living history.

 

 

India under the Mughal Empire prior to British imperialist designs and subjugation had enjoyed an enriched culture, educational institutions, monetary currencies, social and economic development, and a viable system of governance suitable to the interest of the people.  With British onslaught, business deceits and occupation of India, these public institutions were dismantled and their foundations destroyed and replaced by force with British system of educational indoctrination, thinking modes and behaviors, laws and justice, morals, organizations and imported culture. The Indians were compelled to assume new identities and to learn English and assimilate into European style culturally manifested landscape of India. Was this imperialism a choice in democracy and civilization?

 

 

Throughout human history the destitute and poor people of Asia and Africa never had the thinking or capacity to threaten the European by any means. Until European incursions into their lands, they had peaceful societal outlook, educational institutions, industrial development, human freedom, public institutions and viable system of governance. Take India for instance, it had a history of almost thousand years of rule by Mughal Empire and major  advancements in economic and intellectual progressive domains. British went there as businessmen and through intrigues, tactful deceptions and backdoor conspiracies worked hard to divide and disintegrate the unity of the local people. They divided them by force of treachery and ruled over them. In 1857 at the last war inDelhi, it is said almost two millions Indian mostly Muslims were killed by the British armies to link India as a jewel to the British crown. The last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled to Burma and his son’s head chopped off and presented to him on a breakfast plate. British historians call it a mutiny, the succeeding generations of Muslims narrate it as an episode of freedom movement crushed by the British colonial invaders. Perhaps, the British Queen should take initiatives to address these inhuman atrocities against the Asian and African people and forced colonization, more so when she is set to celebrate her golden jubilee soon. Would the British Crown apologize from the Muslims for its killing and aggressive war and occupation of India under the Mughal Empire?

 

 

Now, the Europeans identify themselves as civilized people but the effective date for this claim remains a mystery. The previous Empires knew their geography and limits, but the newly articulated American Empire in its infancy, is challenging to the limits of the Laws of God and appears obsessed with “fear” of being replaced by the new emerging economically productive nations of Asia such as China, Japan and India and combination of others. In a reactionary and irrational impulse, President George W. Bush invoked the “War on Terrorism” against Muslims as a dictum of power, not reason and wisdom, to camouflage the prospective future with acts of barbarity and to dispel the notion of accountability in global affairs. Historically, people and nations pursuing this path of behavior have ended up in self-delusion and self-destruction.

 

 

 

The 9/11 attacks in the US were carried out by individuals and not inspired or supported by the religion of Islam or Muslims. Some hourly paid intellectuals turned guardian of the approved truth, allege that Islam breeds terrorism. The Western mass media complements the self crafted notion to poison the public thinking and perceptions and source of judgments against the Arabs and Muslims as “terrorists” making the treacherous claim as if Islam was at the threshold of the paradigm. The US Neo-Conservatives gang helped to rob the mankind of its human heritage. The perception of ‘radical Islam’ was invented and enhanced by the ‘fear’ of terrorism as if Arabs and Muslims were born in the eye of the storm and terrorism was an exclusive domain of the Islamic religious tenets.

 

Gwynne Dyer, the London based prominent writer (The International Terrorist Conspiracy”) points out that “Terrorism is a political technique, not an ideology and any group willing to use violence in pursuit of its political goals may resort to it.” He explains that “there are left-wing terrorists and right-wing terrorists; national terrorist and international terrorist; Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and atheist terrorists. In theory, you could have a “war against terrorism”, but it would involve trying to kill everybody who uses this technique anywhere in the world. The United States is not trying to do that, so it is not fighting a “war against terror.”  In reality, what the United States leadership is doing is fighting its own articulated war against the people and nations who had no animosity, nor did any perceive capability to threaten the US as a global power.

 

British author and producer Adam Curtis (The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear: BBC documentary challenging the American version of the “War on Terrorism”), spells out the myth with clarity: “international terrorism is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services and the international media.” Remember, after the 9/11 attacks, the US official statements made no mention of involvement of the government or people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran in the accused list of the 9/11 perpetrators.  In 1997, many leading architects of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), did include the name of Iraq, Saudi Arabia,Syria, PLO as selected targets to impose the American liberal democracy and throw out the authoritarian regimes. It was a strategic stunt to inject the fear into people’s mind. Paul Craig Roberts, in his recent article (“The High Price of American Gullibility”, ICH), makes a logical assertion: Bush’s rhetoric “you are with us or against us” is perfectly planned to influence the common masses. Emotional appeals to fear and to patriotism have led close to half of the population to accept unaccountable government in the name of “the war on terrorism.” What a contradiction it is that so many American have been convinced that safety lies in their sacrifice of their civil liberties and accountable government.” Obviously, human intelligence, emotions and perceptions, superficially turned antagonistic with compelling impulse of media propaganda strategies to view Arabs and Muslims as the qualified candidates for extreme militancy.

 

Truth is one and indivisible. When it comes to terrorism and the Arabs or Muslims, the North American and European mass media portrayals enforce two distinct order of truth – one for the general public and one reserved for the Muslims. In all human affairs, facts are considered to reach the conclusion. End cannot be assumed to play with the facts, nor based on dogmas to explain the facts of human life. Under the guise of the Anti-Terrorist legislation, America,Britain and Canada have misused the logic of power to arrest, defame and punish people of Arabian and Islamic origin who had no linkage to the terrorism myth. The strategy dictates that selected groups should be detained and tortured indefinitely, to drain out their moral, intellectual and creative energies, making them incapable to survive socially or professionally credible citizens of the country. Consequently, the public will view them as crazy and undesirable people to be counted as numbers and digits in economic terms, but not dignified human beings.

 

 

Divergent scenarios flourish to manifest lies and deception about the real aims of the “War on Terror.” When the Western leaders play with words, it is known and often acknowledged, but when the Muslim leaders offer ignorant excuses, they are masked under willful lies and deceptions without any accountability.  Many Western scholars wonder, why leaders of the Arab countries and the masses appear disinterested in the post 9/11 affairs when it had direct impacts on the entire Arab and Muslim world. Foremost reasons being that the Arabs and the Muslim countries in general, do not have educated and responsible leaders to represent the masses and their interests. The West and its scheme of political subjugation institutionalized the neo-colonial authoritarianism. Arabs and Muslim societies are devoid of public institutions for thinking, change and policy development. In the made–run politics of wars, Arabs-Muslims have no weight on the scale except being digits and numbers.

 

Muslim world is politically weak, intellectually and morally divided and leaderless. The Arab League is just a written name on paper in dry ink and nothing else. The recent events and authoritarian warmongering across the Arabian Peninsula clearly demonstrates that Arab dictators are disconnected rulers with the mainstream of their societies and people’s movement for change and freedom from the tyranny of neo-colonialism.  Most of them are puppets installed by the former Western imperial masters to ensure the oil pumping and safe delivery of the oil supply lines to Western markets. When the Muslim Ummah (nation), looks for intellectual security, it fails to get any logical support – all authoritarian leaders operate under the dictates of Western masters, namely the American and British leaders. Islam is One and so should be the believing folks, but there is no unity of thought and actions across the Muslim world, a typically neo-colonial landscape governed by ignorant and intellectually bankrupt rulers, subservient to the West. For ages, the Arabs and Muslims masses continue to pray to Almighty God for change, reformation and democratically elected governments without public demonstrations.

 

 

Europeans invaded the rich and morally and spiritually advanced people of the Arab-Islamic world several times in unsuccessful attempts to take control and establish political and religious hegemony over them. The true history of the European Crusades has never ended to any decisive conclusion. In 2001, President Bush made it known that it was a “crusade” against the Islamic world after the 9/11 tragedies in the US. It is undetermined what other titles and names would the imperialist European assign to their continuous crusades against the Muslims in Asia, Middle East, North Africa and other vital strategic locations.  Many pretend that it was a “democracy at work.”  Rational observers would call it democracy at home and barbarity abroad. The distinction is self-explanatory.

 

 

Would the American and British political leaders learn any lessons for their failure in the on-going wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? While the rest of the so called Islamic world was complacent and coward, an International War Tribunal in Malaysia concluded the public proceedings and unanimously charged Tony Blair and George W. Bush as guilty of crimes against the humanity in Iraq. Would the masses in Europe and America pursue the guilty verdicts and asked the officials concerned to arrest these sadistic criminals? John Laughland (“The Mask of Altruism Disguising a Colonial War: The Guardian: Aug 2, 2004), offers a real world perspective: “Just an old fashioned colonial war – the reality of killing and escalation of violence, disguised with the hypocritical mask of altruism. If Iraq has not taught us that, then we are incapable of ever learning anything.”  Every beginning has its end. It is just that most transgressors do not know about it when they cross over the limits of the Laws of God. The Roman, Austro-Hungarian and British Empires collapsed after they violated the limits. Nazis claimed to run the world for thousands of years, but ended up in just 12 years after killing millions of human beings throughout the Western hemisphere. Fascism met resistance at its early stages. The beginning envisions the end. The USSR was defeated, the day it raided the destitute people ofAfghanistan and disturbed the dead in graveyards with continuous bombing. The American and British surrendered the day the international community learned about the Guantanamo Bay prisoners and photos of the Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq. An estimated three million civilians have been killed by the American-British war in Iraq since March 2003.

 

 

After waging a decade old bogus wars of terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, America and some of its hired European allied policy makers and military strategists seem to have exhausted their rational THINKING and failed miserably to understand or differentiate between the myth of power and realities on the ground that they cannot win any wars against Islam and Muslims. Of all the forbidden truth that the Western news media does not exhibit and the political leaders failed to grasp is that the US and its former colonial allies do not have the will nor weapons to fight against God and Islam. If time and history could reawaken their conscience and give them a space for self-reflection, would they ever learn this compelling reality from the undeniable recorded history of the Nature of things?

 

 

President Obama dashed away all the optimism for ANew America – different than the perpetuated insanity of the Bush era,  more akin to peace and co-existence with the rest of the global community in particular, the Arab-Muslim world.  It was a political myth that Obama used to get elected, not to govern and work out a new way of thinking for the future of the US policy behavior and relationships. All the impartial observations clearly point out that Obama has been a blind follower of the Bush administration political inconsistency between thoughts and behavior. Who is going to write the closing chapter of the history of the “War on Terrorism?” Is the history going to wait for the cessation of the aggressive hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan? Would the American-led war achieve its agenda priorities or meet the same destiny as it happened to the Romans, German Nazis and the USSR Empires? Obviously, history will judge the nations and leaders by their actions, not by their claims.

In his farewell address to the American people (01/17/1961), President D. Eisenhower made the following foresight known to the masses:

…. Together we must learn how to compose difference, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent, I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and lingering sadness of war – as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years…… We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied, that those who denied the opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full…….. That the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.”

 

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations and author of several publications including the latest one: Arabia at Crossroads: Arab People Strive for Freedom, Peace and New Leadership. VDM Publishers Germany-UK, September 2011. Comments are welcome at: kmahboob@yahoo.com

 

Regime Change in the Russian Federation? Why Washington Wants ‘Finito’ with Vladimir Putin

Global Research, January 10, 2012
Washington clearly wants ‘finito’ with Russia’s Putin as in basta! or as they said in Egypt last spring, Kefaya–enough!.  Hillary Clinton and friends have apparently decided Russia’s prospective next president, Vladimir Putin, is a major obstacle to their plans. Few however understand why. Russia today, in tandem with China and to a significant degree Iran, form the spine, however shaky, of the only effective global axis of resistance to a world dominated by one sole superpower.

On December 8 several days after election results for Russia’s parliamentary elections were announced, showing a sharp drop in popularity for Prime Minister Putin’s United Russia party, Putin accused the United States and specifically Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of fuelling the Russian opposition protesters and their election protests. Putin stated, “The (US) Secretary of State was quick to evaluate the elections, saying that they are unfair and unjust even before she received materials from the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (the OSCE international election monitors-w.e.) observers.”[1]

Putin went on to claim that Clinton’s premature comments were the necessary signal to the waiting opposition groups that the US Government would back their protests. Clinton’s comments, the seasoned Russian intelligence pro stated, became a “signal for our activists who began active work with the US Department of State.” [2]

Major western media chose either to downplay the Putin statement or to focus almost entirely on the claims of an emerging Russian opposition movement. A little research shows that, if anything, Putin was downplaying the degree of brazen US Government interference into the political processes of  his country. In this case the country is not Tunisia or Yemen or even Egypt. It is the world’s second nuclear superpower, even if it might still be an economic lesser power. Hillary is playing with thermonuclear fire.
Democracy or something else?

No mistake, Putin is not a world champion practitioner of what most consider democracy. His announcement some months back that he and current President Medvedev had agreed to switch jobs after Russia’s March 4 Presidential vote struck even many Russians as crass power politics and backroom deal-making. That being said, what Washington is doing to interfere with that regime change is more than brazen and interventionist. The same Obama Administration which just signed into law measures effectively ripping to shreds the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution for American citizens[3] is posing as world supreme judge of others’ adherence to what they define as democracy.

Let’s examine closely Putin’s charge of US interference in the election process. If we look, we find openly stated in their August 2011 Annual Report that a Washington-based NGO with the innocuous name, National Endowment for Democracy (NED), is all over the place inside Russia.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is financing an International Press Center in Moscow where some 80 international NGOs can hold press briefings on whatever they choose. They fund numerous “youth advocacy” and leadership workshops to “help youth engage in political activism.” In fact, officially they spent more than $2,783,000 in 2010 on dozens of such programs across Russia. Spending for 2011 won’t be published until later in 2012. [4]

The NED is also financing key parts of the Russian “independent” polling and election monitoring, a crucial part of being able to claim election fraud. They finance in part the Regional Civic Organization in Defense of Democratic Rights and Liberties “GOLOS.” According to the NED Annual Report the funds went “to carry out a detailed analysis of the autumn 2010 and spring 2011 election cycles in Russia, which will include press monitoring, monitoring of political agitation, activity of electoral commissions, and other aspects of the application of electoral legislation in the long-term run-up to the elections.”[5]

In September, 2011, a few weeks before the December elections the NED financed a Washington invitation-only conference featuring the Russian “independent” polling organization, the Levada Center. According to NED’s own website Levada, another recipient of NED money, [6] had done a series of opinion polls, a standard method used in the West to analyze the feelings of citizens. The polls profiled “the mood of the electorate in the run up to the Duma and presidential elections, perceptions of candidates and parties, and voter confidence in the system of ‘managed democracy’ that has been established over the last decade.”

One of the featured speakers at that Washington conference was Vladimir Kara-Murza, member of the federal council of Solidarnost (“Solidarity”), Russia’s democratic opposition movement. He is also “advisor to Duma opposition leader Boris Nemtsov” according to NED. Another speaker came from the right-wing neo-conservative Hudson Institute. [7]

Nemtsov, one of the most prominent figures of the Putin opposition today is also co-chairman of Solidarnost, a name curiously enough imitated from the Cold War days when the CIA financed the Polish Solidarnosc workers’ opposition of Lech Walesa. More on Nemtsov later.

And on December 15, 2011, again in Washington, just as the series of US-supported protests were being launched against Putin, led by Solidarnost and other organizations, the NED held another conference titled, Youth Activism in Russia: Can a New Generation Make a Difference? The featured speaker was Tamirlan Kurbanov, who according to the NED, “most recently served as a program officer at the Moscow office of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, where he was involved in developing and expanding the capacities of political and civic organizations; promoting citizen participation in public life, youth engagement in particular.” [8] The National Democratic Institute is an arm of the NED.
The Shady History of The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

Helping youth engage in political activism is precisely what the same NED did in Egypt over the past several years in the lead up to the toppling of Mubarak. The same NED was instrumental by informed accounts in the US-backed “Color Revolutions” in 2003-2004 in Ukraine and Georgia that brought US-backed pro-NATO surrogates to power. The same NED has been active in promoting “human rights” in Myanmar, in Tibet, and China’s oil-rich Xinjiang province. [9]

As careful analysts of the 2004 Ukraine “Orange revolution” and the numerous other US-financed color revolutions discovered, control of polling and ability to dominate international media perceptions, especially major TV such as CNN or BBC is an essential component of the Washington destabilization agenda. The Levada Center would likely be in a crucial position in this regard to issue polls showing discontent with the regime.

By their description, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a “private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, with funding from the US Congress, NED supports more than 1,000 projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries.”[10]

It couldn’t sound more noble or high-minded. However, they prefer to leave out their own true history. In the early 1980’s CIA director Bill Casey convinced President Ronald Reagan to create a plausibly private NGO, the NED, to advance Washington’s global agenda via other means than direct CIA action. It was a part of the process of “privatizing” US intelligence to make their work more “effective.” Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, said in a Washington Post interview in 1991, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”[11] Interesting. The majority of funds for NED come from US taxpayers through Congress. It is in every way, shape and form a US Government intelligence community asset.

The NED was created during the Reagan Administration to function as a de facto CIA, privatized so as to allow it more freedom of action. NED board members are typically drawn from the Pentagon and US intelligence community. It has included retired NATO General Wesley Clark, the man who led the US bombing of Serbia in 1999. Key figures linked to clandestine CIA actions who served on NED’s board have included Otto Reich, John Negroponte, Henry Cisneros and Elliot Abrams. The Chairman of the NED Board of Directors in 2008 was Vin Weber, founder of the ultraconservative organization, Empower America, and campaign fundraiser for George W. Bush. Current NED chairman is John Bohn, former CEO of the controversial Moody’s rating agency which played a nefarious role in the still-unraveling US mortgage securities collapse. As well today’s NED board includes neo-conservative Bush-era ambassador to Iraq and to Afghanistan, Afghan-American Zalmay Khalilzad.[12]
Putin’s well-rehearsed opposition

It’s also instructive to look at the leading opposition figures who seem to have stepped forward in Russia in recent days. The current opposition “poster boy” favorite of Russian youth and especially western media is Russian blogger Alexei Navalny whose blog is titled LiveJournal. Navalny has featured prominently as a quasi-martyr of the protest movement after spending 15 days in Putin’s jail for partaking in a banned protest. At a large protest rally on Christmas Day December 25 in Moscow, Navalny, perhaps intoxicated by seeing too many romantic Sergei Eisenstein films of the 1917 Russian Revolution, told the crowd, “I see enough people here to take the Kremlin and the White House (Russia’s Presidential home-w.e.) right now…”[13]

Western establishment media is infatuated with Navalny. England’s BBC  described Navalny as „arguably the only major opposition figure to emerge in Russia in the past five years,” and US Time magazine called him „Russia’s Erin Brockovich,” a curious reference to the Hollywood film starring Julie Roberts as a researcher and legal activist. However, more relevant is the fact that Navalny went to the elite American East Coast Yale University, also home to the Bush family, where he was a “Yale World Fellow.” [14]

The charismatic Navalny however is also or has been on the payroll of Washington’s regime-destabilizing National Endowment for Democracy (NED). According to a posting on Navalny’s own blog, LiveJournal, he was supported in 2007-2008 by the NED. [15] [16]

Along with Navalny, key actors in the anti-Putin protest movement are centered around Solidarnost which was created in December 2008 by Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Ryzhkov and others. Nemtsov is hardly one to protest corruption. According to Business Week Russia of September 23, 2007, Nemtsov introduced Russian banker Boris Brevnov to Gretchen Wilson, a US citizen and an employee of the International Finance Corporation, a financing arm of the World Bank. Wilson and Brevnov married. With the help of Nemtsov Wilson managed to privatize Balakhna Pulp and Paper mill at the giveaway price of just $7 million. The enterprise was sucked dry and then sold to the Wall Street-Swiss investment bank, CS First Boston bank. The annual turnover of the mill was reportedly $250 million. [17]
CS First Boston bank also paid for Nemtsov’s trips to the very expensive Davos World Economic Forum. When Nemtsov became a member of the cabinet, his protégé Brevnov was appointed the chairman of the Unified Energy System of Russia JSC. Two years later in 2009 Boris Nemtsov, today’s “Mr anti-corruption,” used his influence reportedly to get Brevnov off the hook for charges of embezzling billions from assets of Unified Energy System. [18]

Nemtsov also took money from jailed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 1999 when the latter was using his billions to try to buy the Russian parliament or Duma. In 2004 Nemtsov met with exiled billionaire oligarch Boris Berezovsky in a secret gathering with other exiled Russian tycoons. When Nemtsov was detailed by Russian authorities for allegations of foreign funding of his new political party, “For Russia without Lawlessness and Corruption,”  US Senators John McCain and Joe Liberman and Mike Hammer of the Obama National Security Council came to support of Nemtsov. [19]

Nemtsov’s close crony, Vladimir Ryzhkov of Solidarnost is also closely tied to the Swiss Davos circles, even founding a Siberian Davos. According to Russian press accounts from April 2005, Ryzhkov formed a Committee 2008 in 2003 to “draw” funds of the imprisoned Khodorkovsky along with soliciting funds from fugitive oligarchs such as Boris Berezovsky and western foundations such as the Soros Foundation. The stated aim of the effort was to rally “democratic” forces against Putin. On May 23, 2011 Ryzhkov, Nemtzov and several others filed to register a new Party of Peoples’ Freedom to ostensibly field a presidential candidate against Putin in 2012.[20]

Another prominent face in the recent anti-Putin rallies is former world chess champion turned right-wing politician, Garry Kasparov, another founder of Solidarnost. Kasparov was identified several years ago as being a board member of a Washington neo-conservative military think-tank. In April 2007, Kasparov admitted he was a board member of the National Security Advisory Council of Center for Security Policy, a „non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security.” Inside Russia Kasparov is more infamous for his earlier financial ties to Leonid Nevzlin, former Yukos vice-president and partner of Michael Khodorokvsky. Nevzlin fled to Israel on being charged in Russia on charges of murder and hiring contract killers to eliminate “objectionable people” while Yukos vice-president. [21]

In 2009 Kasparov and Boris Nemtsov met with no less than Barack Obama to discuss Russia’s opposition to Putin at the US President’s personal invitation at Washington’s Ritz Carlton Hotel. Nemtsov had called for Obama to meet with opposition forces in Russia: “If the White House agrees to Putin’s suggestion to speak only with pro-Putin organizations… this will mean that Putin has won, but not only that: Putin will become be assured that Obama is weak,” he said. During the same 2009 US trip Nemtsov was invited to speak at the New York Council on Foreign Relations, perhaps the most influential US foreign policy think-tank. Significantly, not only has the US State Department and US-backed political NGOs such as NED poured millions into building an anti-Putin coalition inside Russia. The President personally has intervened into the process.[22]

Ryzhkov, Nemtzov, Navalty and Putin’s former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin were all involved in organizing the December 25th Moscow Christmas anti-Putin rally which drew an estimated 120,000.[23]
Why Putin?

The salient question is why Putin at this point? We need not look far for the answer.

Washington and especially Barack Obama’s Administration don’t give a hoot about whether Russia is democratic or not. Their concern is the obstacle to Washington’s plans for Full Spectrum Dominance of the planet that a Putin Presidency will represent. According to the Russian Constitution, the President of the Russian Federation head of state, supreme commander-in-chief and holder of the highest office in the Russian Federation. He will take direct control of defense and foreign policy.

We must ask what policy? Clearly strong countermeasures against the blatant NATO encirclement of Russia with Washington’s dangerous ballistic missile installations around Russia will be high on Putin’s agenda. Hillary Clinton’s “reset” will be in the dustbin if it is not already. We can also expect a more aggressive use of Russia’s energy card with pipeline diplomacy to deepen economic ties between European NATO members such as Germany, France and Italy, ultimately weakening the EU support for aggressive NATO measures against Russia. We can expect a deepening of Russia’s turn towards Eurasia, especially with China, Iran and perhaps India to firm up the shaky spine of resistance to Washington’s New World Order plans.

It will take more than a few demonstrations in sub-freezing weather in Moscow and St. Petersburg by a gaggle of corrupt or shady opposition figures such as Nemtsov or  Kasparov to derail Russia. What is clear is that Washington is pushing on all fronts—Iran and Syria, where Russia has a vital naval port, on China, now on Russia, and on the Eurozone countries led by Germany. It has the smell of an end-game attempt by a declining superpower.

The United States today is a de facto bankrupt nuclear superpower.  The reserve currency role of the dollar is being challenged as never since Bretton Woods in 1944. That role along with maintaining the United States as the world’s unchallenged military power have been the basis of the American Century hegemony since 1945.

Weakening the role of the dollar in international trade and ultimately as reserve currency, China is now settling trade with Japan in bilateral currencies, side-stepping the dollar. Russia is implementing similar steps with her major trade partners. The primary reason Washington launched a full-scale currency war against the Euro in late 2009 was to preempt a growing threat that China and others would turn away from the dollar to the Euro as reserve currency. That is no small matter. In effect Washington finances its foreign wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and elsewhere through the fact that China and other trade surplus nations invest their surplus trade dollars in US government Treasury debt. Were that to shift significantly, US interest rates would rise substantially and the financial pressures on Washington would become immense.

Faced with growing erosion of her unchallenged global status as sole superpower, Washington appears now to be turning increasingly to raw military force to hold that. For that to succeed Russia must be neutralized along with China and Iran. This will be the prime agenda of whoever is next US President.

F. William Engdahl is the author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, He may be reached via his website atwww.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net 

Notes

[1] Alexei Druzhinin, Putin says US encouraging Russian opposition, RIA Novosti, Moscow, December 8, 2011
[2] Ibid.
[3] Jonathan Turley, The NDAA’s historic assault on American liberty, guardian.co.uk, 2 January 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/jan/02/ndaa-historic-assault-american-liberty.
[4] National Endowment for Democracy, Russia, from NED Annual Report 2010, Washington, DC, published in August 2011, accessed in http://www.ned.org/where-we-work/eurasia/russia.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] NED, Elections in Russia: Polling and Perspectives, September 14, 2011, accessed in http://ned.org/events/elections-in-russia-polling-and-perspectives.
[8] NED, Youth Activism in Russia: Can a New Generation Make a Difference?, December 15, 2011, accessed in http://ned.org/events/youth-activism-in-russia-can-a-new-generation-make-a-difference.
[9] F. William Engdahl, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order, 2010, edition. Engdahl press. The book describes in detail the origins of the NED and various US-sponsored “human rights” NGOs and how they have been used to topple regimes not friendly to a larger USA geopolitical agenda.
[10] National Endowment for Democracy, About Us, accessed in 
www.ned.org.
[11] David Ignatius, Openness is the Secret to Democracy, Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 30 September-6 October,1991, 24-25.
[12] F. William Engdahl, Op. Cit., p.50.
[13] Yulia Ponomareva, Navalny and Kudrin boost giant opposition rally, RIA Novosti, Moscow, December 25, 2011.
[14] Yale University, Yale World Fellows: Alexey Navalny, 2010, accessed in 
http://www.yale.edu/worldfellows/fellows/navalny.html.
[15] Alexey Navalny, emails between Navalny and Conatser, accessed in Russian (English summary provided to the author by http://www.warandpeace.ru) on 
http://alansalbiev.livejournal.com/28124.html.
[16] Ibid.
[17] Business Week Russia, Boris Nemtsov: Co-chairman of Solidarnost political movement, Business Week Russia, September 23, 2007, accessed in
http://www.rumafia.com/person.php?id=1648.
[18] Ibid.
[19] Ibid.
[20] Russian Mafia.ru, Vladimir Ryzhkov: Co-chairman of the Party of People’s Freedom, accessed in 
http://www.rumafia.com/person.php?id=1713.
[21] Russian Mafia.ru, Garry Kasparov: The leader of United Civil Front, accessed in 
http://www.rumafia.com/person.php?id=1518.
[22] The OtherRussia, Obama Will Meet With Russian Opposition, July 3, 2009, accessed in 
http://www.theotherrussia.org/2009/07/03/obama-will-meet-with-russian-opposition/.
[23] Yulia Ponomareva, op. Cit.
 

Energy Wars 2012

Last week, the president made a rare appearance at the Pentagon to unveil a new strategic plan for U.S. military policy (and so spending) over the next decade.  Let’s leave the specifics to a future TomDispatchpost and focus instead on a historical footnote: Obama was evidently the first president to offer remarks from a podium in the Pentagon press room.  He made the point himself — “I understand this is the first time a president has done this.  It’s a pretty nice room.  (Laughter)” — and it was duly noted in the media.  Yet no one thought to make anything of it, even though it tells us so much about ourAmerican world.

After all, when was the last time the president appeared at a podium at the Environmental Protection Agency to announce a 10-year plan for a “leaner, meaner” approach to the environment, or at the Education Department to outline the next decade of blue-skies thinking (and spending) for giving our children a leg-up in a competitive world?  Or how about at a State Department podium to describe future planning for a more peaceable planet more peaceably attained?  Unfortunately, you can’t remember such moments and neither can America’s reporters, because they just aren’t part of Washington life.  And strangest of all, no one finds this the tiniest bit odd or worth commenting on.

Over the last decade, this country has been so strikingly militarized that no one can imagine 10 years of serious government planning or investment not connected to the military or the national security state.  It’s a dangerous world out there — so we’re regularly told by officials who don’t mention that no military is built to handle the scariest things around.  War and the sinews of war are now our business and the U.S. military is our go-to outfit of choice for anything from humanitarian action todiplomacy (even though that same military can’t do the one thing it’s theoretically built to do: win a modern war). And if you don’t believe me that the militarization of this country is a process far gone, check out the last pages of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent piece, “America’s Pacific Century,” in Foreign Policy magazine.  Then close your eyes and tell me that it wasn’t written by a secretary of defense, rather than a secretary of state — right down to the details about the “littoral combat ships” we’re planning to deploy to Singapore and the “greater American military presence” in Australia.

Of course, the irony of this American moment is that the Republicans, those supposed advocates of “small government,” are the greatest fans we have of the ever increasing oppressive powers of the biggest of governments.  In recent years, have they seen a single enhanced power they didn’t put their stamp of approval on or enhance further? Predictably, no sooner did the president’s Pentagon press briefing end than assorted Republicans began attacking Obama and his relatively modest Pentagon plan for reshuffling military funds — from House Armed Services Committee ChairmanHoward P. “Buck” McKeon (“a lead from behind strategy for a left-behind America”) and Senator John McCain (“greatest peril”) to presidential candidate Mitt Romney (“inexcusable, unthinkable”) — as if it were a program for unilateral disarmament.

So when the U.S. faces a problem in the world — say, keeping the energy flowing on this planet — the first thing that’s done is to militarize the problem.  It’s the only way Washington now knows how to think.  As Michael Klare — whose upcoming book The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources will certainly be a must-read of the season — makes clear, a further militarization of oil and gas policy is underway with an eye to the Pacific, and we have another anxious year on the horizon. (To catch Timothy MacBain’s latest Tomcast audio interview in which Klare discusses the crisis in the Strait of Hormuz, click here, or download it to your iPod here.) Tom

Danger Waters
The Three Top Hot Spots of Potential Conflict in the Geo-Energy Era 

By Michael T. Klare

Welcome to an edgy world where a single incident at an energy “chokepoint” could set a region aflame, provoking bloody encounters, boosting oil prices, and putting the global economy at risk.  With energy demand on the rise and sources of supply dwindling, we are, in fact, entering a new epoch — the Geo-Energy Era — in which disputes over vital resources will dominate world affairs.  In 2012 and beyond, energy and conflict will be bound ever more tightly together, lending increasing importance to the key geographical flashpoints in our resource-constrained world.

Take the Strait of Hormuz, already making headlines and shaking energy markets as 2012 begins.  Connecting the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, it lacks imposing geographical features like the Rock of Gibraltar or the Golden Gate Bridge.  In an energy-conscious world, however, it may possess greater strategic significance than any passageway on the planet.  Every day, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, tankers carrying some 17 million barrels of oil — representing 20% of the world’s daily supply — pass through this vital artery.

So last month, when a senior Iranian official threatened to block the strait in response to Washington’s tough new economic sanctions, oil prices instantly soared. While the U.S. military has vowed to keep the strait open, doubts about the safety of future oil shipments and worries about a potentially unending, nerve-jangling crisis involving Washington, Tehran, and Tel Aviv have energy experts predicting high oil prices for months to come, meaning further woes for a slowing global economy.

The Strait of Hormuz is, however, only one of several hot spots where energy, politics, and geography are likely to mix in dangerous ways in 2012 and beyond.  Keep your eye as well on the East and South China Seas, the Caspian Sea basin, and an energy-rich Arctic that is losing its sea ice.  In all of these places, countries are disputing control over the production and transportation of energy, and arguing about national boundaries and/or rights of passage.

In the years to come, the location of energy supplies and of energy supply routes — pipelines, oil ports, and tanker routes — will be pivotal landmarks on the global strategic map.  Key producing areas, like the Persian Gulf, will remain critically important, but so will oil chokepoints like the Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Malacca (between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea) and the “sea lines of communication,” or SLOCs (as naval strategists like to call them) connecting producing areas to overseas markets.  More and more, the major powers led by the United States, Russia, and China will restructure their militaries to fight in such locales.

You can already see this in the elaborate Defense Strategic Guidance document,“Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership,” unveiled at the Pentagon on January 5th by President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.  While envisioning a smaller Army and Marine Corps, it calls for increased emphasis on air and naval capabilities, especially those geared to the protection or control of international energy and trade networks.  Though it tepidly reaffirmed historic American ties to Europe and the Middle East, overwhelming emphasis was placed on bolstering U.S. power in “the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean and South Asia.”

In the new Geo-Energy Era, the control of energy and of its transport to market will lie at the heart of recurring global crises.  This year, keep your eyes on three energy hot spots in particular: the Strait of Hormuz, the South China Sea, and the Caspian Sea basin.

The Strait of Hormuz

A narrow stretch of water separating Iran from Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the strait is the sole maritime link between the oil-rich Persian Gulf region and the rest of the world.  A striking percentage of the oil produced by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE is carried by tanker through this passageway on a daily basis, making it (in the words of the Department of Energy) “the world’s most important oil chokepoint.”  Some analysts believe that any sustained blockage in the strait could trigger a 50% increase in the price of oil and trigger a full-scale global recession or depression.

American leaders have long viewed the Strait as a strategic fixture in their global plans that must be defended at any cost.  It was an outlook first voiced by President Jimmy Carter in January 1980, on the heels of the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan which had, he told Congress, “brought Soviet military forces to within 300 miles of the Indian Ocean and close to the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway through which most of the world’s oil must flow.”  The American response, he insisted, must be unequivocal: any attempt by a hostile power to block the waterway would henceforth be viewed as “an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America,” and “repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”

Much has changed in the Gulf region since Carter issued his famous decree, known since as the Carter Doctrine, and established the U.S. Central Command(CENTCOM) to guard the Strait — but not Washington’s determination to ensure the unhindered flow of oil there.  Indeed, President Obama has made it clear that, even if CENTCOM ground forces were to leave Afghanistan, as they have Iraq, there would be no reduction in the command’s air and naval presence in the greater Gulf area.

It is conceivable that the Iranians will put Washington’s capabilities to the test.  On December 27th, Iran’s first vice president Mohammad-Reza Rahimi said, “If [the Americans] impose sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, then even one drop of oil cannot flow from the Strait of Hormuz.”  Similar statements have since been made by other senior officials (and contradicted as well by yet others).  In addition, the Iranians recently conducted elaborate naval exercises in the Arabian Sea near the eastern mouth of the strait, and more such maneuvers are said to be forthcoming.  At the same time, the commanding general of Iran’s army suggested that the USS John C. Stennis, an American aircraft carrier just leaving the Gulf, should not return.  “The Islamic Republic of Iran,” he addedominously, “will not repeat its warning.”

Might the Iranians actually block the strait?  Many analysts believe that the statements by Rahimi and his colleagues are bluster and bluff meant to rattle Western leaders, send oil prices higher, and win future concessions if negotiations ever recommence over their country’s nuclear program.  Economic conditions in Iran are, however, becoming more desperate, and it is always possible that the country’s hard-pressed hardline leaders may feel the urge to take some dramatic action, even if it invites a powerful U.S. counterstrike.  Whatever the case, the Strait of Hormuz will remain a focus of international attention in 2012, with global oil prices closely following the rise and fall of tensions there.

The South China Sea

The South China Sea is a semi-enclosed portion of the western Pacific bounded by China to the north, Vietnam to the west, the Philippines to the east, and the island of Borneo (shared by Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia) to the south.  The sea also incorporates two largely uninhabited island chains, the Paracels and the Spratlys.  Long an important fishing ground, it has also been a major avenue for commercial shipping between East Asia and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.  More recently, it acquired significance as a potential source of oil and natural gas, large reserves of which are now believed to lie in subsea areas surrounding the Paracels and Spratlys.

With the discovery of oil and gas deposits, the South China Sea has been transformed into a cockpit of international friction.  At least some islands in this energy-rich area are claimed by every one of the surrounding countries, including China — which claims them all, and has demonstrated a willingness to use military force to assert dominance in the region.  Not surprisingly, this has put it in conflict with the other claimants, including several with close military ties to the United States.  As a result, what started out as a regional matter, involving China and various members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has become a prospective tussle between the world’s two leading powers.

To press their claims, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines have all sought to work collectively through ASEAN, believing a multilateral approach will give them greater negotiating clout than one-on-one dealings with China. For their part, the Chinese have insisted that all disputes must be resolved bilaterally, a situation in which they can more easily bring their economic and military power to bear.  Previously preoccupied with Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has now entered the fray, offering full-throated support to the ASEAN countries in their efforts to negotiate en masse with Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi promptly warned the United States not to interfere.  Any such move “will only make matters worse and the resolution more difficult,” he declared.  The result was an instant war of words between Beijing and Washington.  During a visit to the Chinese capital in July 2011, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen delivered a barely concealed threat when it came to possible future military action.  “The worry, among others that I have,” he commented, “is that the ongoing incidents could spark a miscalculation, and an outbreak that no one anticipated.”  To drive the point home, the United States has conducted a series of conspicuous military exercises in the South China Sea, including some joint maneuvers with ships from Vietnam and the Philippines.  Not to be outdone, China responded with naval maneuvers of its own.  It’s a perfect formula for future “incidents” at sea.

The South China Sea has long been on the radar screens of those who follow Asian affairs, but it only attracted global attention when, in November, President Obama traveled to Australia and announced, with remarkable bluntness, a new U.S. strategy aimed at confronting Chinese power in Asia and the Pacific.  “As we plan and budget for the future,” he told members of the Australian Parliament in Canberra, “we will allocate the resources necessary to maintain our strong military presence in this region.”  A key feature of this effort would be to ensure “maritime security” in the South China Sea.

While in Australia, President Obama also announced the establishment of a new U.S. base at Darwin on that country’s northern coast, as well as expanded military ties with Indonesia and the Philippines.  In January, the president similarly placed special emphasis on projecting U.S. power in the region when he went to the Pentagon to discuss changes in the American military posture in the world.

Beijing will undoubtedly take its own set of steps, no less belligerent, to protect its growing interests in the South China Sea.  Where this will lead remains, of course, unknown.  After the Strait of Hormuz, however, the South China Sea may be the global energy chokepoint where small mistakes or provocations could lead to bigger confrontations in 2012 and beyond.

The Caspian Sea Basin

The Caspian Sea is an inland body of water bordered by Russia, Iran, and three former republics of the USSR: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan.  In the immediate area as well are the former Soviet lands of Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.  All of these old SSRs are, to one degree or another, attempting to assert their autonomy from Moscow and establish independent ties with the United States, the European Union, Iran, Turkey, and, increasingly, China.  All are wracked by internal schisms and/or involved in border disputes with their neighbors.  The region would be a hotbed of potential conflict even if the Caspian basin did not harbor some of the world’s largest undeveloped reserves of oil and natural gas, which could easily bring it to a boil.

This is not the first time that the Caspian has been viewed as a major source of oil, and so potential conflict.  In the late nineteenth century, the region around the city of Baku – then part of the Russian empire, now in Azerbaijan — was a prolific source of petroleum and so a major strategic prize.  Future Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin first gained notoriety there as a leader of militant oil workers, and Hitler sought to capture it during his ill-fated 1941 invasion of the USSR.  After World War II, however, the region lost its importance as an oil producer when Baku’s onshore fields dried up.  Now, fresh discoveries are being made in offshore areas of the Caspian itself and in previously undeveloped areas of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

According to energy giant BP, the Caspian area harbors as much as 48 billion barrels of oil (mostly buried in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan) and 449 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (with the largest supply in Turkmenistan).  This puts the region ahead of North and South America in total gas reserves and Asia in oil reserves.  But producing all this energy and delivering it to foreign markets will be a monumental task.  The region’s energy infrastructure is woefully inadequate and the Caspian itself provides no maritime outlet to other seas, so all that oil and gas must travel by pipeline or rail.

Russia, long the dominant power in the region, is pursuing control over the transportation routes by which Caspian oil and gas will reach markets.  It is upgrading Soviet-era pipelines that link the former SSRs to Russia or building new ones and, to achieve a near monopoly over the marketing of all this energy, bringing traditional diplomacy, strong-arm tactics, and outright bribery to bear on regional leaders (many of whom once served in the Soviet bureaucracy) to ship their energy via Russia.  As recounted in my book Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet, Washington sought to thwart these efforts by sponsoring the construction of alternative pipelines that avoid Russian territory, crossing Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey to the Mediterranean (notably the BTC, or Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline), while Beijing is building its own pipelines linking the Caspian area to western China.

All of these pipelines cross through areas of ethnic unrest and pass near various contested regions like rebellious Chechnya and breakaway South Ossetia.  As a result, both China and the U.S. have wedded their pipeline operations to military assistance for countries along the routes.  Fearful of an American presence, military or otherwise, in the former territories of the Soviet Union, Russia has responded with military moves of its own, including its brief August 2008 war with Georgia, which took place along the BTC route.

Given the magnitude of the Caspian’s oil and gas reserves, many energy firms are planning new production operations in the region, along with the pipelines needed to bring the oil and gas to market.  The European Union, for example, hopes to build a new natural gas pipeline called Nabucco from Azerbaijan through Turkey to Austria.  Russia has proposed a competing conduit called South Stream.  All of these efforts involve the geopolitical interests of major powers, ensuring that the Caspian region will remain a potential source of international crisis and conflict.

In the new Geo-Energy Era, the Strait of Hormuz, the South China Sea, and the Caspian Basin hardly stand alone as potential energy flashpoints. The East China Sea, where China and Japan are contending for a contested undersea natural gas field, is another, as are the waters surrounding the Falkland Islands, where both Britain and Argentina hold claims to undersea oil reserves, as will be the globally warming Arctic whose resources are claimed by many countries.  One thing is certain: wherever the sparks may fly, there’s oil in the water and danger at hand in 2012.

Michael T. Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College, a TomDispatch regular, and the author, most recently, ofRising Powers, Shrinking Planet. His newest book, The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources, will be published in March.  To listen to Timothy MacBain’s latest Tomcast audio interview in which Klare discusses the crisis in the Strait of Hormuz, click here, or download it to your iPod here.

http://www.ikners.com/?p=45075

China pregateste o noua RACHETA BALISTICA impotriva PORTAVIOANELOR nucleare ale SUA



Portavionul USS Gerald Ford avea menirea de a permite Statelor Unite să deţină pentru încă jumătate de secol supremaţia navală. Nava gigant ce prinde formă în portul Newport News va avea o capacitate de a transporta un echipaj de 4.660 de persoane şi un arsenal formidabil, scrie The Wall Street Journal.
Dar de la planşă la livrarea acestuia în 2015 a apărut o problemă neprevăzută: China construieşte o nouă gamă de rachete balistice ce vor putea călători prin stratosferă şi au capacitatea de a exploda pe puntea unui portavion omorând soldaţii şi distrugând pista de lansare.
Începând cu 1945, SUA au dominat apele Pacificului de Vest în mare parte datorită flotei de portavioane de 97.000 de tone descrise drept “4,5 acri de teritoriu american“. În toată această perioadă, China nu a putut decât să asiste la parada navelor americane în apele de lângă coastele sale.
Dar acum Beijingul îşi construieşte un adevărat arsenal. Iar o parte din eforturi sunt îndreptate către împingerea navelor americane mai departe de ţărmul său, spun analiştii militari chinezi. În aceste condiţii SUA îşi ajustează propriul plan, iar cele două superputeri se înscriu într-o adevărată cursă a tehnologiilor militare. Miza este păstrarea unui echilibru al puterii într-o zonă maritimă ce devine tot mai importantă.
Oficialii de la Pentagon se feresc să vorbească deschis despre un posibil conflict cu China. Spre deosebire de Uniunea Sovietică în timpul Războiului Rece, Beijingul nu este un inamic declarat. În timpul unei vizite în China a subsecretarului american pe probleme de apărare Michele Fluornoy, aceasta i-a spus unui general de top al armatei chineze că “SUA nu încearcă să contracareze China” şi că “noi nu vedem China ca pe un adversar“.
Cu toate acestea, oficialii militari americani vorbesc des despre pregătirile pentru un conflict în Pacific, fără a menţiona însă cu cine se vor lupta.
Presa de stat chineză a scris că noua rachetă, numită DF-21D, a fost concepută pentru a lovi o navă aflată în mişcare la o distanţă de 1.700 de mile (2.700 km). Analiştii americani spun că racheta este făcută astfel încât să zboare la o altitudine prea mare pentru a putea fi lovită de sistemul de apărare american împotriva rachetelor cu traiectorie joasă şi prea mică pentru sistemele de apărare împotriva altor tipuri de rachete.
Şi chiar dacă sistemele de apărare pot doborî una sau două, experţii spun că China ar putea lansa mai multe rachete o dată. Astfel, racheta, ce nu este încă dată în folosinţă, ar putea împinge portavioanele americane mai departe de coastele chineze, ceea ce ar face mai grea misiunea avioanelor de luptă ale SUA de a penetra spaţiul aerian chinez sau de a crea superioritate aeriană în cazul unui conflict în apropierea graniţelor Chinei.
Drept răspuns, Marina americană dezvoltă drone fără pilot cu o autonomie mai mare, iar forţele aeriene vor o flotă de bombardiere fără pilot care să poată acoperi distanţe mari.
Comparatie intre puterile militare ale celor doua tari:

 
Forţe terestre SUA CHINA
Militari activi 1.477.896 2.285.00
Tancuri 9.573 7.470
Transportatoare şi vehicule uşoare de luptă 26.653 5.000
Lansatoare mobile de rachete 1.430 2.600
Forţe aeriene
Avioane de luptă şi de transport 18.234 4.092
Elicoptere 6.417 1.389
Forţe navale
Portavioane 11 0
Distrugătoare 53 26
Submarine 75 55
Fregate 30 58
Arme nucleare
Focoase active 1950 180
Total focoase 8500 240

Sursă: globalfirepower.com