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Europe versus the Anglo-American Alliance. New Political Alignments and the "Big Game".
What lies behind the diplomatic rift at the UN Security Council?
The second text is an excerpt from War and Globalisation, the Truth behind September 11 by Michel Chossudovsky
The first text is a brief update which examines the broader significance of the rift in the UN Security Council.
The Rift in the UN Security Council
The "disagreements" within the US Security Council pertaining to Iraq are casually presented by the media as a mere diplomatic rift.
In fact we are dealing with something far more complex. The Bush Administration's war plans have nothing to do with "Saddam's weapons of mass destruction" or his alleged links to Osama bin Laden.
The proposed invasion of Iraq is intended to exclude rival European, Russian and Chinese interests from the Middle-East and Central Asian oil fields. While in the Balkans, the US "shared the spoils" with Germany and France, in the context of military operations under NATO and UN auspices, the invasion of Iraq is intended to establish US hegemony, while weakening Franco-German and Russian influence in the region.
The clash between Great Powers ("Old Europe" versus and the Anglo-American military axis) broadly pertains to:
1 Defense and the military-industrial complex,
2. Control over Oil and Gas Reserves,
3. Money and currency systems: clash between the Euro and the Dollar.
1. Defense and the military-Industrial complex
Beneath the gilded surface of international diplomacy, fundamental changes in the structure of military alliance have occurred. Since 1999, France and Germany have established military cooperation agreements with Russia.
NATO is divided. While Britain and the US have joined hands through the so-called "Atlantic Bridge" in defense production, coupled with close cooperation in military and intelligence operations, significant divisions have developed between the US and several of its "European partners". The Anglo-American axis in weapons production is clashing with its powerful Franco-German rival, the European Aerospace and Defence Corporation (EADS). The Western defense industry is split down the middle with British Aerospace systems now firmly aligned with the big five US weapons producers against the competing Franco-German conglomerate EADS.
2. Control over Oil and Gas Reserves
The broader Middle East-Central Asian region encompasses more than 70% of the World's reserves of oil and natural gas. According to U.S. Central Command: "The purpose of U.S. engagement... is to protect U.S. vital interest in the region - uninterrupted, secure U.S./Allied access to Gulf oil." In other words, this is a war of conquest, which also targets rival oil conglomerates including those of Russia and France which have sizeable oil interests in Iraq and Iran.
In turn, the Anglo-American oil giants (BP-Amoco, Chevron-Texaco, Exxon-Mobil, Shell) – supported by the Anglo-American military axis are clashing with Europe's oil giant Total-Fina-Elf and Italy's ENI, which have sizeable interests in Iraq, Iran, and Central Asia. Washington has in recent years attempted to break France's deal with Teheran on the grounds that it openly contravened the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act. What this suggests is that Europe's largest oil conglomerate dominated by French, Belgian and Italian oil interests – in association with their Iranian and Russian partners – are potentially on a collision course with the dominant Anglo-American oil consortia, which in turn are backed by the Anglo-American military axis:
"Iraq currently possesses 11% of the world's oil and ranks only second to Saudi Arabia in the size of its reserves (112 billion barrels). Exploitation costs are less than half those of deep sea drilling. Direct access to the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean ensures strategically secure oil supply routes. The Anglo-american oil giants (BP, Chevron-Texaco, Shell, Exxon) are all absent from Iran and Iraq, which have signed oil contracts and production sharing agreements with French, Russian and Chinese oil companies. Because of the UN sanctions on Iraq, the agreements signed by Baghdad are not ("officially") operational." (Eric Waddell, The Battle for Oil, Global Outlook, Issue. No. 3, Winter 2003).
According to the Washington Post (15 September 2002): "A U.S.-led ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein could open a bonanza for American oil companies long banished from Iraq, scuttling oil deals between Baghdad and Russia, France and other countries, and reshuffling world petroleum markets… A proposed $40 billion Iraqi-Russian economic agreement also reportedly includes opportunities for Russian companies to explore for oil in Iraq's western desert. The French company Total Fina Elf has negotiated for rights to develop the huge Majnoon field, near the Iranian border, which may contain up to 30 billion barrels of oil."
The war is not only being carried out with a view to taking over Iraq's oil reserves, it is intended to cancel the contracts of rival Russian and European oil companies as well as exclude France, Russia and China from the region.
3. Money and currency systems: clash between the Euro and the Dollar.
What is at stake is the rivalry between two competing global currencies: the Euro and the U.S. dollar, The process of European monetary integration has encroached upon the hegemony of the US dollar.
The process of dollarisation, which is ultimately an instrument of economic conquest is undermined by the Euro.
Wall Street is clashing with competing Franco-German financial interests. The war in Iraq pertains not only to control over reserves of petroleum, the control over money creation and credit is an integral part of the process of economic conquest. .
The Anglo-American Military Axis
The 1999 war in Yugoslavia contributed to reinforcing strategic, military and intelligence ties between Washington and London. After the war in Yugoslavia, U.S. Defence Secretary William Cohen and his British counterpart, Geoff Hoon, signed a "Declaration of Principles for Defence Equipment and Industrial Cooperation" so as to "improve cooperation in procuring arms and protecting technology secrets" while at the same time "easing the way for more joint military ventures and possible defence industry mergers." 25
Washington’s objective was to encourage the formation of a "trans-Atlantic bridge across which DoD [U.S. Department of Defence] can take its globalisation policy to Europe. …Our aim is to improve interoperability and war fighting effectiveness via closer industrial linkages between U.S. and allied companies." 26
In the words of President Clinton’s Defence Secretary William Cohen:
[The agreement] will facilitate interaction between our [British and American] respective industries so that we can have a harmonized approach to sharing technology, working cooperatively in partnership arrangements and, potentially, mergers as well.27
The agreement was signed in 1999 shortly after the creation of British Aerospace Systems (BAES) resulting from the merger of British Aerospace (BAe) with GEC Marconi. British Aerospace Systems was already firmly allied to America’s largest defence contractors Lockheed Martin and Boeing. 28
The hidden agenda behind the Anglo-American "trans-Atlantic bridge" is to eventually displace the Franco-German military conglomerates and ensure the dominance of the U.S. military industrial complex (in alliance with Britain’s major defence contractors).
Moreover, this integration in the area of defence production has also been matched by increased cooperation between the CIA and Britain’s MI5 in the sphere of intelligence and covert operations, not to mention the joint operations of British and U.S. Special Forces.
The United States and Germany
The British military-industrial complex has become increasingly integrated into that of the U.S. In turn, significant rifts had emerged between Washington and Berlin. Franco-German integration in aerospace and defence production is ultimately directed against U.S. dominance in the weapons market. The latter hinges upon the partnership between America’s Big Five and Britain’s defence industry under the trans-Atlantic bridge agreement.
Since the early ‘90s, the Bonn government had encouraged the consolidation of Germany’s military industrial complex dominated by Daimler, Siemens, Krupp. Several important mergers in Germany’s defence industry took place in response to the mega-mergers between America’s aerospace and weapons producers.29
Already in 1996, Paris and Bonn had set up a joint armaments agency with the mandate "to manage common programs [and] award contracts on behalf of both governments." 30 Both countries had stated that they "did not want Britain to join the agency."
In turn, France and Germany now control Airbus industries which is competing against America’s Lockheed-Martin. (Britain’s BAES owns the remaining 20 per cent). The Germans are also collaborating in the Ariane Space satellite-launching program in which Deutsche Aerospace (DASA) is a major shareholder.
In late 1999, in response to the ‘alliance’ of British Aerospace with Lockheed Martin, France’s Aerospace-Matra merged with Daimler’s DASA forming the largest European defence conglomerate. And the following year, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (EADS) was formed integrating DASA, Matra and Spain’s Construcciones Aeronauticas, SA. EADS and its Anglo-American rivals are competing for the procurement of weapons to NATO’s new Eastern European members. (Europe’s third largest defence contractor is Thomson, which in recent years has several projects with U.S. weapons producer Raytheon.)
While EADS still cooperates with Britain’s BAES in missile production, and has business ties with the U.S. "Big Five", including Northrop Grumman, the Western defence and aerospace industry tends to be split into two distinct groups: EADS dominated by France and Germany on the one hand, the Anglo-US "Big Six", which includes the U.S. Big Five contractors (Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing and Northrop Grumman), plus Britain’s powerful BAES.
Integrated into U.S. Department of Defence procurement under the Atlantic bridge arrangement, BAES was in 2001, the Pentagon’s fifth largest defence contractor. Under the Anglo-American "transatlantic bridge", BAES operates freely in the U.S. market through its subsidiary BAE Systems North America.31
Franco-German Integration in Nuclear Weapons
The Franco-German alliance in military production under EADS opens the door for the integration of Germany (which does not officially possess nuclear weapons) into France’s nuclear weapons program. In this regard, EADS already produces a wide range of ballistic missiles, including the M51 nuclear-tipped ballistic submarine-launched ICBMs for the French Navy.32
Euro versus Dollar: Rivalry Between Competing Financial Conglomerates
The European common currency system has a direct bearing on strategic and political divisions. London’s decision not to adopt the common European currency is consistent with the integration of British financial and banking interests with those of Wall Street, not to mention the Anglo-American alliance in the oil industry (as in BP-Amoco) and weapons production ("Big Five" plus BAES). In other words, this shaky relationship between the British pound and the US dollar is an integral part of the new Anglo-American axis.
What is at stake is the rivalry between two competing global currencies: the Euro and the U.S. dollar, with Britain’s pound being torn between the European and the U.S.-dominated currency systems. In other words, two rival financial and monetary systems are competing worldwide for the control over money creation and credit. The geopolitical and strategic implications are far-reaching because they are also marked by splits in the Western defence industry and the oil business.
In both Europe and America, monetary policy, although formally under State jurisdiction, is largely controlled by the private banking sector. The European Central Bank based in Frankfurt — although officially under the jurisdiction of the European Union — is, in practice, overseen by a handful of private European banks including Germany’s largest banks and business conglomerates.
The U.S. Federal Reserve Board is formally under State supervision — marked by a close relationship to the U.S. Treasury. Distinct from the European Central Bank, the 12 Federal Reserve banks (of which the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is the most important) are controlled by their shareholders, which are private banking institutions. In other words, "the Fed" as it is known in the U.S., which is responsible for monetary policy and hence money creation for the nation, is actually controlled by private interests on Wall Street.
Currency Systems and ‘Economic Conquest’
In Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union the Balkans extending into Central Asia, the dollar and the Euro are competing with one another. Ultimately, control over national currency systems is the basis upon which countries are colonized. While the U.S. dollar prevails throughout the Western Hemisphere, the Euro and the U.S. dollar are clashing in the former Soviet Union, Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.
In the Balkans and the Baltic States, central banks largely operate as colonial style "currency boards" invariably using the Euro as a proxy currency. What this means is: German and European financial interests are in control of money creation and credit. That is, the pegging of the national currency to the Euro — rather than to the U.S. dollar — means that both the currency and the monetary system will be in the hands of German-EU banking interests.
More generally, the Euro dominates in Germany’s hinterland: Eastern Europe, the Baltic States and the Balkans, whereas the U.S. dollar tends to prevail in the Caucasus and Central Asia. In GUUAM countries (which have military cooperation agreements with Washington) the dollar tends (with the exception of the Ukraine) to overshadow the Euro.
The ‘Dollarisation’ of national currencies is an integral part of America’s Silk Road Strategy (SRS). The latter consists in first destabilizing and then replacing national currencies with the American greenback over an area extending from the Mediterranean to China’s Western border. The underlying objective is to extend the dominion of the Federal Reserve System — namely, Wall Street — over a vast territory.
What we are dealing with is an ‘imperial’ scramble for control over national currencies. Control over money creation and credit is an integral part of the process of economic conquest, which is in turn supported by the militarisation of Eurasian corridor.
While American and German-EU banking interests are clashing over the control of national economies and currency systems, they seem to have also agreed on "sharing the spoils" — i.e. establishing their respective "spheres of influence." Reminiscent of the policies of ‘partition’ in the late 19th Century, the U.S. and Germany have agreed upon the division of the Balkans: Germany has gained control over national currencies in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo where the Euro is legal tender. In return, the U.S. has established a permanent military presence in the region (i.e. the Bondsteel military base in Kosovo).
Cross-cutting Military Alliances
The rift between Anglo-American and Franco-German weapons producers — including the rifts within the Western military alliance — seem to have favoured increased military cooperation between Russia on the one hand, and France and Germany on the other.
In recent years, both France and Germany had entered into bilateral discussions with Russia in the areas of defence production, aerospace research and military cooperation. In late 1998, Paris and Moscow agreed to undertake joint infantry exercises and bilateral military consultations. In turn, Moscow has been seeking German and French partners to participate in the development of its military industrial complex.
In early 2000, Germany’s Defence Minister Rudolph Sharping visited Moscow for bilateral consultations with his Russian counterpart. A bilateral agreement was signed pertaining to 33 military cooperation projects including the training of Russian military specialists in Germany. 33 This agreement was reached outside the framework of NATO, and without prior consultation with Washington.
Russia also signed a "long term military cooperation agreement" with India in late 1998 which was followed a few months later by a defence agreement between India and France. The agreement between Delhi and Paris included the transfer of French military technology, as well as investment of French multinationals in India’s defence industry. The latter includes facilities for the production of ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads in which the French companies have an expertise.
This Franco-Indian agreement has a direct bearing on Indo-Pakistani relations. It also impinges upon U.S. strategic interests in Central and South Asia. While Washington has been pumping military aid into Pakistan, India is being supported by France and Russia.
Visibly, France and the U.S. are on opposite sides of the India-Pakistan conflict.
With Pakistan and India at the brink of war, in the wake of September 11, the U.S. Air Force had virtually taken control of Pakistan’s air space, as well as several of its military facilities. Meanwhile, barely a few weeks into the 2001 bombing of Afghanistan, France and India conducted joint military exercises in the Arabian Sea. Also in the immediate wake of September 11, India took delivery of large quantities of Russian weapons under the Indo-Russian military cooperation agreement.
Moscow’s New National Security Doctrine
U.S. post-Cold War era foreign policy has designated Central Asia and the Caucasus as a "strategic area." Yet this policy no longer consists of containing the "spread of communism", but rather in preventing Russia and China from becoming competing capitalist powers . In this regard, the U.S. has increased its military presence along the entire 40th parallel, extending from Bosnia and Kosovo to the former Soviet republics of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, all of which have entered into bilateral military agreements with Washington.
The 1999 war in Yugoslavia and the subsequent outbreak of war in Chechnya in September 1999 was a crucial turning point in Russian-American relations. It also marked a rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, and the signing of several military cooperation agreements between Russia and China.
U.S. covert support to the two main Chechen rebel groups (through Pakistan’s ISI) was known to the Russian government and military. (For further details, see Chapter II.) However, it had previously never been made public or raised at the diplomatic level. In November 1999, the Russian Defence Minister, Igor Sergueyev, formally accused Washington of supporting the Chechen rebels. Following a meeting held behind closed doors with Russia’s military high command, Sergueyev declared that:
The national interests of the United States require that the military conflict in the Caucasus [Chechnya] be a fire, provoked as a result of outside forces", while adding that "the West’s policy constitutes a challenge launched to Russia with the ultimate aim of weakening her international position and of excluding her from geo-strategic areas.34
In the wake of the 1999 Chechen war, a new "National Security Doctrine" was formulated and signed into law by Acting President Vladimir Putin, in early 2000. Barely acknowledged by the international media, a critical shift in East-West relations had occurred. The document reasserted the building of a strong Russian State, the concurrent growth of the Military, as well as the reintroduction of State controls over foreign capital.
The document carefully spelled out what it described as " fundamental threats" to Russia’s national security and sovereignty. More specifically, it referred to "the strengthening of military-political blocs and alliances" [namely GUUAM], as well as to "NATO’s eastward expansion" while underscoring "the possible emergence of foreign military bases and major military presences in the immediate proximity of Russian borders." 35
The document confirms that "international terrorism is waging an open campaign to destabilize Russia." While not referring explicitly to CIA covert activities in support of armed terrorist groups, such as the Chechen rebels, it nonetheless calls for appropriate "actions to avert and intercept intelligence and subversive activities by foreign states against the Russian Federation." 36
Undeclared War Between Russia and AmericaThe cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy has been to encourage — under the disguise of "peace-keeping" and so-called "conflict resolution" — the formation of small pro-U.S. States which lie strategically at the hub of the Caspian Sea basin, which contains vast oil and gas reserves:
The U.S. must play an increasingly active role in conflict resolution in the region. The boundaries of the Soviet republics were intentionally drawn to prevent secession by the various national communities of the former USSR and not with an eye towards possible independence. … Neither Europe, nor our allies in East Asia, can defend our [U.S.] mutual interests in these regions. If we [the U.S.], fail to take the lead in heading off the kinds of conflicts and crises that are already looming there, that will eventually exacerbate our relations with Europe and possibly Northeast Asia. And it will encourage the worst kind of political developments in Russia. This linkage, or interconnectedness, gives the Transcaucasus and Central Asia a strategic importance to the United States and its allies that we overlook at huge risk. To put it another way, the fruits accruing from ending the Cold War are far from fully harvested. To ignore the Transcaucasus and Central Asia could mean that a large part of that harvest will never be gathered.37
Russia’s Military Industrial Complex
Alongside the articulation of Moscow’s National Security doctrine, the Russian State was planning to regain economic and financial control over key areas of Russia’s military industrial complex. For instance, the formation of "a single corporation of designers and manufacturers of all anti-aircraft complexes" was envisaged in cooperation with Russia’s defence contractors.38
This proposed ‘re-centralization’ of Russia’s defence industry in response to national security considerations, was also motivated by the merger of major Western competitors in the areas of military procurement. The development of new production and scientific capabilities was also contemplated, based on enhancing Russia’s military potential as well as its ability to compete with its Western rivals in the global weapons market.
The National Security Doctrine also "eases the criteria by which Russia could use nuclear weapons … which would be permissible if the country’s existence were threatened." 39
Russia reserves the right to use all forces and means at its disposal, including nuclear weapons, in case an armed aggression creates a threat to the very existence of the Russian Federation as an independent sovereign state. 40
In response to Washington’s "Star Wars" initiative, Moscow had developed "Russia’s Missile and Nuclear Shield". The Russian government announced in 1998, the development of a new generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles, known as Topol-M (SS-27). These new single-warhead missiles (based in the Saratov region) are currently in "full combat readiness", against a "pre-emptive first strike" from the U.S., which, (in the wake of September 11), constitutes the Pentagon’s main assumption in an eventual nuclear war. "The Topol M is lightweight and mobile, designed to be fired from a vehicle. Its mobility means it is better protected than a silo-based missile from a pre-emptive first strike."41
Following the adoption of the National Security Document (NSD), in 2000, the Kremlin confirmed that it would not exclude "a first-strike use" of nuclear warheads "if attacked even by purely conventional means." 42
Political ‘Turnaround’ under President Vladimir Putin
Since the very outset of his term in office, President Vladimir Putin — following in the footsteps of his predecessor Boris Yeltsin in the Kremlin — has contributed to reversing the National Security Doctrine. Its implementation at a policy level has also been stalled.
At the moment, the foreign policy directions of the Putin Administration are confused and unclear. There are significant divisions within both the political establishment and the Military. On the diplomatic front, the new President has sought [to establish] a ‘rapprochement’ with Washington and the Western Military Alliance in the so-called "war on terrorism." Yet, it would be premature to conclude that Putin’s diplomatic openings imply a permanent reversal of Russia’s 2000 National Security Doctrine.
In the wake of September 11, a significant turnaround in Russian foreign policy, largely orchestrated by President Putin, has nonetheless occurred. The Putin Administration, acting against the Russian Duma, has accepted the process of "NATO Enlargement" into the Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) implying the establishment of NATO military bases on Russia’s Western border. Meanwhile, Moscow’s military cooperation agreement signed with Beijing after the 1999 war in Yugoslavia is virtually on hold:
China is obviously watching with deep concern Russia surrendering these positions. China is also concerned by the presence of the U.S. Air Force close to its borders in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and the Kyrghyz Republic. … Everything that Mr. Putin has earned through the spectacular improvement of Russia’s relations with China, India, Vietnam, Cuba and some other countries, collapsed nearly overnight. What has surfaced is a primitive Gorbachev concept of ‘common human values’ — i.e. the subordination of Russia’s interests to those of the West.43
Ironically, the Russian President was supporting America’s "war on terrorism", which is ultimately directed against Moscow. Washington’s hidden agenda is to dismantle Russia’s strategic and economic interests in the Eurasian corridor, close down or take over its military facilities, while transforming the former Soviet republics (and eventually the Russian Federation) into American protectorates:
It becomes clear that the intention to join NATO expressed by Mr. Putin in an offhand manner last year , reflected a long matured idea of a far deeper (i.e. in relation to the positions previously taken by Gorbachev or Yeltsin) integration of the Russian Federation into the so-called "international community." In fact, the intention is to squeeze Russia into the Western economic, political and military system. Even as a junior partner. Even at the price of sacrificing an independent foreign policy.44
The above text is an excerpt from the later part of Chapter 5 of War and Globalisation . The numbering of the notes indicated below is the same as in the original chapter 5 from which the excerpt was taken.
25. Reuters, 5 February 2000
26. For further details see Vago Muradian, "Pentagon Sees Bridge to Europe", Defence Daily, Vol. 204, No. 40, Dec. 01, 1999
28. Vago Muradian, "Pentagon Sees Bridge to Europe", Defence Daily, Vol. 204, No. 40, Dec. (See also Michel Collon’s analysis in Poker Menteur, Editions EPO, Brussels, 1998, p. 156
29. See also Michel Collon’s analysis in Poker Menteur, Editions EPO, Brussels, 1998, p. 156
30. American Monsters, European Minnows: Defence Companies. The Economist, 13 January 1996
31. British Aerospace Systems’ home page at: http://www.BAESystems.com/globalfootprint/northamerica/northamerica.htm
32. BAES, EADS Hopeful That Bush Will Broaden Transatlantic Cooperation, Defence Daily International, 29, 2001
33. Interfax, 1 March 2000
34. See The New York Times, 15 November 1999; see also the article of Steve Levine, The New York Times, 20 November 1999
35. To consult the document see Federation of American Scientists (FAS), http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/doctrine/gazeta012400.htm
37. Joseph Jofi, Pipeline Diplomacy: The Clinton Administration’s Fight for Baku- Ceyhan, Woodrow Wilson Case Study, No. 1. Princeton University, 1999
38. Mikhail Kozyrev, the White House Calls for the Fire Vedomosti, Nov. 1, 1999, p.1
39. See Andrew Jack, Russia Turns Back Clock, Financial Times, London , 15 January 2000, p.1
40. Quoted in Nicolai Sokov, Russia’s New National Security Concept: The Nuclear Angle, Centre for Non Proliferation Studies, Monterrey, http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/reports/sokov2.htm, January 2000
41. BBC, Russia Deploys New Nuclear Missiles, London, 27 December 1998.
42. Stephen J. Blank, Nuclear Strategy and Nuclear Proliferation in Russian Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, Appendix III: Unclassified Working Papers, Federation of American Scientists (FAS), http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/missile/rumsfeld/toc-3.htm. Washington DC, undated.
43. V. Tetekin, Putin’s Ten Blows, Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) http://globalresearch.ca/articles/TET112A.html, 27 December 2001.
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