STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
NATO Sets for Long War
By Staff News & Analysis - November 19, 2010

Nato must continue operations 'beyond our borders' … Nato must be prepared to launch new military operations outside its own territory after it pulls out of Afghanistan, its secretary general has said. … Anders Fogh Rasmussen said alliance members must be willing and able to exercise military power "beyond our borders" to combat threats such as terrorism and missile attacks. Mr. Rasmussen spoke to The Daily Telegraph as Nato members prepared to gather today in Lisbon to plan the future role of the alliance. After almost a decade of military operations in Afghanistan, some European Nato members have suggested that the alliance should focus on defending its home territory. By contrast, Britain and the US believe that to remain relevant, Nato must be prepared to tackle potential security threats beyond its members' borders. Mr. Rasmussen supported that view, urging alliance members to accept that new security threats may have to be met. – UK Telegraph

Dominant Social Theme: NATO has the war under control and everything is getting better – and NATO is getting bigger.

Free-Market Analysis: NATO brass are meeting in Brussels (where else) to formulate further plans to win the war in Afghanistan and reshape NATO into a kind of worldwide rapid response force that will fight on behalf of democracy wherever it is needed. We have spoken before of the emergent world government that the Anglo-American axis is rapidly putting the finishing touches on. The UN, IMF and World Bank are all intimately connected at a global economic and political level, and it seems that NATO has now been designated as the West's "world army." Or that is the plan, anyway. The article excerpted above promotes NATO in this new role, though with certain reservations.

The struggle in Afghanistan and environs is helping to flesh out NATO's new role. What is being created in our view is a potential long war against predominantly Islamic tribes that might offer resistance to further Anglo-American expansion. We can see the outlines of the long war if we look carefully at what is developing. The war in Afghanistan has begun to creep into Pakistan and now threatens Yemen as well. Yemen is a tribal culture and Pakistan is inhabited by 120 million Punjabi tribes-people with no special affinity for the West.

But these are not the only countries that are being mentioned more prominently in Western military conversations. There are increasing reports of tribal militancy in Nigeria and Somalia. A whole swath of disputed real estate is being contested, increasingly, in this area; it is perfectly possible that NATO, under the direction of the Anglosphere, has in mind military expanding operations in the region for another decade or more, depending on how the Afghan struggle resolves itself.

There is of course Iran, but we are not sure how aggressively the West intends to confront Iran, which has its own plans for the Middle East and Africa. The current wars are of the low-intensity variety and an attack on Iran would be a much different affair. One could speculate that the Iranian regime might eventually be overturned internally and that patience is a more effective tool as regards Iran than military confrontation. The West has penetrated Iran before, and thoroughly.

Not so with the tribal entities with which the West (or at least the power elite) is currently at war. The Afghan Pashtuns for instance have occupied the same land for several thousands years (no one knows how long). Similarly the Pakistan Punjabis have been in the same regions apparently for millennia. The same longevity can be ascribed to tribes in Yemen and certainly to the Somali culture which has a distinguished past and once constituted an empire much larger than the country's present boundaries.

NATO's new, planned role will no doubt be critical to realizing certain ambitions in this expanded theatre. NATO's troop disbursements have always been characterized as part of a "grand coalition" – and this is one reason why the powers-that-be have had to ensure that Western wars are seen as crusades. Without the "war on terror" justification, there would be reason for other countries to join Anglo-American aggressions. This is important strategically as the American imperial army (as it is currently constituted) can only be stretched so far. The contributions of other countries are vitally important as the West enters the next phase of imperial expansion in the Middle East and Africa.

This is not to say, however, that the power elite will be successful imposing this latest military iteration for the long term. Our perspective is that the truth-telling of the Internet is increasingly interfering with the Western imperial ambitions and that its military adventures are not immune. in fact, we have charted the difficulties that the West will have in subduing the Pashtuns (from which the Taliban are drawn) without attacking tribal havens in Pakistan where the Pashtun Taliban go to regroup and resupply.

Lacking the ability to pursue the Taliban into Pakistan, the Western alliance has taken to building up the Afghan army and police force. This will likely result in a civil war, however, when the Western alliance finally does abandon Afghanistan – and we believe it probably will and, perhaps, not entirely voluntarily. The "alliance" itself – countries outside of the core Anglosphere – are increasingly restive. The war has been going on too long and victory is not in sight, nor can it be without widening the war to Pakistan.

Afghanistan is important not only because it has been intended to serve as a proving ground for NATO but because it is Britain's second try at subduing the tribal Pashtuns. About 100 years ago, the British went to war against the Pashtuns and ended in a bloody stalemate that signaled the high point of the British empire. The Pashtuns might be said to represent everything that the Anglo-American elites cannot control. The Pashtuns are not "civilized." Many cannot read or write. Much of the economy likely runs on barter and families are tribes are more important than a central government.

It was and is this last point that is perhaps the most distressing to the Anglo-American banking elite that seems to create, design and run these wars. This small intergenerational, familial group has thrived for centuries via mercantilism, the ability to control both government and private enterprise and to legislate laws and regulations to further its private interests. Without a social and cultural consensus that centralized government is appropriate to civil society, the elite loses control, or at least is not able to penetrate new geographical regions.

There are of course numerous tribal areas in the Middle East and Africa but the Pashtuns have the logistical mass and cohesive culture to pose a formidable challenge to elite plans to create ever more cohesive world governance. It is no coincidence in our view that the West has fought hard on the ground in Iraq, Afghanistan and increasingly in Pakistan. This is the penultimate war for global control in our view, a struggle that will determine how fast the Anglo-American elite realizes its larger goals (if it does) in the early 21st century.

From our point of view it is ironic that what may be characterized as a struggle for world domination is playing out once again against the rugged terrain of Afghanistan. If one accepts that the Chinese, and the BRICs generally, will go along with some variant of the West's "New World Order," (increasingly centralized global governance) then one might make the argument that these hard-headed tribes are among the only remaining impediments.

After Thoughts

The West has upped the ante by involving NATO in the Afghan war as part of a deliberate strategy to turn it from a Western defensive vehicle into a truly international enforcer of the Anglosphere's vision of democracy, for better or worse. There is thus a lot at stake in Afghanistan, which is why we continually return to it. The war is being waged against ragged men in funny turbans but, really, there is nothing funny at all about the war in Afghanistan.

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