By Wayne Madsen
The 9/11 attacks on the United States undoubtedly benefited a number of actors, including the American military-intelligence complex, Israel, and most definitely, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Cold War-era, the area of responsibility for which had long been confined to Europe and North America, used the provisions of Article 5 of the NATO Charter – which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all – to extend NATO’s power deep into Eurasia, particularly in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
After engaging in out-of-area invasions and occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, and Syria and, again in Iraq, against the Islamic State, the North Atlantic military bloc has transformed itself from a Cold War defensive alliance into a global offensive axis of nations that acts with or without United Nations authorization.
NATO has also become an instrument of neo-colonialism.
Under its umbrella or the European Union, NATO established quasi-colonial governments in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, and Libya, as well as a Syrian government-in-exile in Turkey. Political advisers from NATO nations have acted as virtual viceroys, exercising veto authority over the governments installed with Western military might.
The first nation to come under NATO occupation was Bosnia-Herzegovina, created from the ashes of the former Yugoslavia. After NATO’s Stabilization Force (SFOR) was dissolved, the European Force (EUFOR) was created. EUFOR’s OPERATION ALTHEA authorizes 1600 troops from mostly NATO nations, including France, Italy, Turkey, and Germany, to occupy Bosnia-Herzegovina. EUFOR’s main base is at Camp Butmir, a former Yugoslav air base outside of Sarajevo. Additional troops can be deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina from NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) in neighboring Kosovo, carved by NATO out of Serbia. Camp Butmir also permits troops from non-NATO members of the EU, particularly Austria, Finland, Ireland, and Sweden, to interface with NATO troops assigned to the base.
EUFOR is also supplemented by a European Police Mission (EUPM), comprising police forces from mostly NATO nations. The European Union Special Representative (EUSR) acts as a political viceroy with effective control over the government in Sarajevo.
NATO exercises political and military control over Kosovo through NATO’s KFOR, which is based at Camp Film City in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, a nation which remains unrecognized by UN Security permanent members Russia and China. While most NATO nations are opposed to UN membership for Palestine, they wholeheartedly support UN membership for Kosovo, a nation governed by remnants of the Kosovo Liberation Army, once recognized as a terrorist group by the United States and which has been accused of running a number of criminal enterprises, including human organ, narcotics, cigarette, nuclear material, weapons, and stolen automobile smuggling.
KFOR mainly comprises troops from NATO countries Germany, France, the United States, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Romania, and Turkey. Under NATO KFOR command are troops from Ukraine, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Morocco, Armenia, Finland, and Ireland. There is little doubt that NATO’s integration of non-NATO troops in theaters like Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Libya is an attempt to integrate through the back door the armed forces of neutral and non-European nations, yet another indication of NATO’s global expansion.
NATO is on a fast track to becoming a worldwide military force for a de facto one-world, largely unelected, government.
KFOR’s commander reports to the NATO Commander of Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy. KFOR’s political adviser exercises de facto veto authority over the independent government of Kosovo. The U.S. Army’s main base in Kosovo is at Camp Bondsteel in Ferizaj. The base, built by former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s former company, Kellogg, Brown and Root, is a mini-city complete with American fast-food restaurants like Burger King and Taco Bell, as well as a Cool Beans Coffee Shop. In other words, Camp Bondsteel is a virtual U.S. colony in the middle of the Balkans putting on display all of the excesses of America’s trash culture.
KFOR troops are engaged in asserting Kosovo control over majority Serbian communes in northern Kosovo and the troops have used non-lethal force, including rubber bullets, on Serbs who want to be integrated with Serbia. The plight of the Serbs in northern Kosovo in dealing with Kosovo government criminal syndicates in Pristina is just as dire as the fate of Russian-speakers in eastern Ukraine who are under threat from neo-Nazi and Ukrainian Jewish oligarch militia forces intent on retaliatory carnage and ethnic cleansing in the Donbass region. NATO has adopted the recalcitrant regimes in Pristina and Kiev as virtual vanguards against Serbia and Russia, respectively.
Although NATO’s presence in Iraq ended with the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition forces in 2011, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, housed in America’s largest embassy, continues to play a major political role in Iraq. The most recent example was forcing Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step down from his office in favor of the more pro-Western Haider al-Abadi. Thousands of U.S. military personnel and contractors continue to be based at the Baghdad embassy and U.S. consulates in Basra, Erbil, and Kirkuk.
The advance of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from Syria into Iraq has permitted NATO to restore its presence in Iraq with U.S., Canadian, British, and French aircraft taking part in offensive operations against ISIL forces in the country. U.S. forces have ordered civilians to evacuate the Herir airport in Iraqi Kurdistan so the facility can be transformed into an airbase for U.S. and NATO forces. U.S. and NATO forces are also using Erbil International Airport as a base from which to launch attacks on ISIL forces.
NATO, through the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), maintains de facto control over the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia via the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which consists mostly of troops from Uganda and Burundi. In addition, the TFG is supported by Ethiopian military forces and CIA operatives. The CIA operates from a secret base at Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport. CIA officers direct the activities of AMISOM’s Ugandan and Burundian forces in Somalia and conduct drone attacks against suspected Islamist guerrillas in the country. The CIA base in Mogadishu also coordinates drone attacks throughout the Horn of Africa and Yemen with other CIA drone facilities in Djibouti, Seychelles, and Oman.
NATO’s Counter-Piracy Task Force 508 (CTF-508), which, ostensibly, operates in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean to counter Somali-based pirates, is also involved in counter-insurgency operations in Yemen directed against Shi’a Houthi rebels and South Yemen independence restoration forces. Such NATO operations are thinly veiled as «anti-Al Qaeda» operations. However, NATO sees Yemeni instability as a reason for it to turn the country into yet another NATO occupied nation. And NATO and its Pentagon masters have long yearned to turn the Yemeni strategic island of Socotra into an Indian Ocean version of Hawaii, a massive U.S. military base in the region that would dwarf the smaller base at Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory far to the south.
The NATO political adviser in Libya, a post pushed by the CIA-backed American Libyan Council, coordinates NATO’s military operations in Libya with Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Morocco. NATO’s military training role in Libya is handled by an advisory team based in Brussels but which makes frequent visits to Libya. NATO’s outreach to Arab monarchies in the Gulf, Jordan, and Morocco to become de facto associate members of NATO are conducted through the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. NATO’s outreach to Jordan and Morocco, as well as Egypt, Israel, Algeria, Mauritania, Tunisia, and now, Libya, is conducted through the Mediterranean Dialogue.
NATO is also expanding into the Southern Hemisphere. NATO and Colombia have signed a partnership agreement, the first such agreement with a Latin American nation. Colombia reportedly agreed to facilitate the stationing of additional NATO troops in Central America and the Caribbean, including European colonies and ex-colonies such as Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, St. Maarten, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Belize. NATO controls over 400 islands as overseas territories in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean alone, many inhabited with several uninhabited, but all of which could be transformed into military bases.
NATO is no longer a European or North Atlantic entity. However, its supporters prefer to retain the bogus acronym in order to mask NATO’s actual intentions of global military domination and occupation.