“Cold War Shivers”: War Preparations in the Middle East and Central Asia

The issue of war preparation has been carefully avoided by the Western media. The sequence and interrelationship between these war games is not mentioned.

While the war exercises are casually acknowledged in separate wire service reports, the Western media fails to address the broader implications of these military exercises.

Military Alliances

The SCO and CSTO war games must also be examined in relation to the structure of military alliances. Both China and Russia are allies of Iran, involved in extensive military cooperation agreements.

China and Russia are major actors in Central Asian oil. They have significant strategic and economic interests in the Central Asian region and in the Caspian sea basin. They also have economic cooperation agreements with Iran’s State oil company.

US Sponsored Military Build-Up

The Cold War although officially over has not quite reached its climax.

The US military agenda is not limited to gaining control over Iran’s oil and gas reserves, (using the “campaign against international terrorism” as a pretext). Reminiscent of the Cold war era, the objective of US military intervention also consists in weakening and ultimately displacing China and Russia from playing a significant role in Central Asia.

Most Western press reports have failed to acknowledge the seriousness of the US-NATO- Israeli military build-up. Underlying what is normally understood as a Middle East war, the conflict could evolve towards a clash between former competing super powers of the Cold War era.

Directed against Iran and Syria, the US sponsored military operation, if it were to be launched, could result in a broader conflict marked by the indirect involvement of Russia and China and their central Asian allies. In fact that indirect involvement is already established through Iran’s observer status to the SCO, various bilateral military cooperation agreements as well as the sale of Chinese and Russian weapons systems to Iran.

The US is involved in covert operations throughout Central Asia with a view to essentially displacing Russia. The tensions in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are the direct result of US geopolitical encroachments within what used to be within Moscow’s traditional sphere of influence. Georgia and Azerbaijan have become de facto US protectorates.

In the recent showdown between Russia and Georgia, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili “pledged to continue Georgia’s efforts to join NATO as well as secure the speedy withdrawal of Russian forces from Georgian territory.

Moscow responded by putting Russian forces inside Georgia on high alert, following the accusation by Tbilisi that Russian military officers inside Georgia were involved in spying. The withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia opens the way for the stationing of NATO forces, which are already present in neighbouring Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile, in relation to the issue of NATO enlargement, Moscow warned the Atlantic Alliance in early October that it would take “appropriate measures” if Poland were to deploy “elements of the missile defense systems of the United States or NATO on its territory”, (Interfax News Agency, 4 Oct 2006)

“We continue to treat these plans critically. Our opinion is that [these plans] along with the possible deployment of NATO’s European missile defense system can produce a negative effect on strategic stability, security in the region and relations between the states,” Kamynin said. “A new situation like this one will objectively require us to take appropriate measures because we cannot rely in such matters solely on statements that the missile defense systems of the U.S. and NATO in Europe ’are not aimed’ against Russia,” the official added.”(Ibid)

Known and documented, China is also supporting Iran in the development of its air defense system. Moreover, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph (5 October 2006), Washington has acknowledged that China has been involved in

“secretly fired powerful laser weapons designed to disable American spy satellites by “blinding” their sensitive surveillance devices, it was reported yesterday.

The hitherto unreported attacks have been kept secret by the Bush administration for fear that it would damage attempts to co-opt China in diplomatic offensives against North Korea and Iran.

Sources told the military affairs publication Defense News that there had been a fierce internal battle within Washington over whether to make the attacks public. In the end, the Pentagon’s annual assessment of the growing Chinese military build-up barely mentioned the threat. (Daily Telegraph, 5 October 2006 read full article

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