With the prodding of the United States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) appears to be making another long-leap to the east. Already extending its influence in the Mediterranean and North Africa through the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Middle East through the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, NATO now looks set to extend its North Atlantic Charter well into the Indian Ocean. The «North Atlantic» Treaty Organization may one day be expanded to be called NATO- «IOTO», or the NATO – Indian Ocean Treaty Organization.
The United States has just been admitted to the Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) as a «dialogue partner». In essence, the United States has received the same type of membership in the thirteen-year old Indian Ocean regional bloc as NATO has afforded to countries like Australia and Japan. There is little doubt that NATO and Washington see American associate status in IOR-ARC as a vehicle for bringing more nations to the East into the NATO fold. The United States joins NATO nations France, Britain, and NATO «global partners» Japan, Pakistan, and Egypt as an associate partner of the IOR-ARC.
India, which has served as chair of IOR-ARC since 2011, will turn over the chair to Australia in 2013. Under India’s chairmanship, the United States became a dialogue partner, and with close U.S. military ally Australia in charge from 2013-2015, IOC-ARC cooperation with NATO can be expected to grow even closer. The other IOR-ARC dialogue partner is China, and the politics behind America’s entry into Indian Ocean regional bloc politics can only be seen as a further attempt by Washington and its allies to resurrect the old George F. Kennan Cold War-era anti-Soviet «containment» policy and apply it to China.
By island-hopping through the Indian Ocean, NATO can eventually use the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN’s) regional forum, in which NATO members Canada, the United States, and NATO members in the European Union, as well as U.S. NATO global partner allies Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea, have dialogue partner status, to extend NATO’s reach from the Indian Ocean into the Asia-Pacific region. It is clear that NATO intends to become a global security bloc that would see the world in two-dimensional «NATO versus anyone else» terms.
Currently there are 28 members of NATO. Other nations in Europe waiting in the wings for full membership are Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Montenegro. Adding NATO global partners Iraq, Afghanistan, and Mongolia to the Mediterranean Dialogue countries of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and perhaps, soon, Libya and the ICI countries of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, and the true «road map» of NATO expansion comes into sharper focus.
IOR-AOC partner status will give the United States the diplomatic offices to convince the group to align itself with NATO, just as a joint Turkish-American initiative convinced the Gulf Cooperation Council countries of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and the UAE to sign up for the ICI.
With Australia at the helm of the IOR-ARC from 2013 to 2015 and considering the fact that the Australian Labor Party of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the Liberal-National Coalition of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott outdo each other in following the dictates of Washington, NATO will be in a commanding position to bring IOR-ARC nations into the western alliance’s firm grip. The easiest nations to convince will be those having an existing military relationship with the United States and/or Britain: Kenya, Oman, Seychelles, Mauritius, Thailand, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Nations where France has influence, Madagascar and Comoros, will quickly fall into line.
Indonesia, India, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Mozambique will see the economic benefits of cooperating with NATO. That will leave Malaysia, South Africa, and more interestingly, Iran, left out of the equation. However, NATO’s propaganda arm, which cleverly disguises its operations and those of the Central Intelligence Agency through the financing of non-governmental organizations associated with George Soros’s Open Society Institute, has trained its sights on the governments of Malaysia, South Africa, and Iran. The goal is to replace the governments of the three nations with more subservient regimes that will follow Washington’s and NATO’s orders.
It is clear that Washington is relying on the Gillard government in Canberra to extend NATO’s and America’s military influence in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. After attending the NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012, Gillard agreed to a major presence of U.S. naval and air bases in Darwin and Perth, as well as the establishment of a drone base on the Australian-administered Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean. There have been suggestions that Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was ousted in a parliamentary coup organized by the CIA and its Australian counterparts because Rudd was not keen on Australia’s closer military ties with the United States and NATO. Rudd reportedly favored a more independent and Asia-oriented foreign policy. If Rudd was a victim of a «perfectly-democratic» CIA coup, he would not have been the first victim. Independent-minded Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam was deposed in a CIA-initiated constitutional coup in 1975. Whitlam was replaced by Liberal leader Malcolm Fraser, who, like Gillard, was more in synch with Washington’s wishes.
To be fair, Fraser, who is now 82, was one of the first Australian leaders who came out against the U.S. base expansion in Australia. In 2009, Fraser left the Liberal Party, criticizing its leader, Abbott, as a «conservative» and not a «liberal». Earlier, Fraser’s denunciation of Bush’s war policies, earned him the wrath of neo-cons in the Liberal Party, one of whom called the former prime minister a «frothing-at-the-mouth leftie» who supported Islamic fundamentalists. The criticism was similar to other knee-jerk character assassinations launched against anyone who disagreed with the neo-con, Israel-genuflecting, globalized NATO crowd. Whitlam, who is 96, patched things up with Fraser long ago. In 1996, they united to support Australia breaking its ties with the British crown and becoming a republic. Both were keenly aware that it was the Queen’s appointed Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, a longtime CIA asset, who engineered Whitlam’s ouster in 1975.
Expansion of NATO into a global military pact has its roots in the George W. Bush administration and, specifically, in a 2006 proposal floated by Bush’s ambassador to NATO, Ivo Daalder. Writing in the Council on Foreign Relations publication Foreign Affairs, Daalder proffered a neo-conservative dream: a «Global NATO» bringing into full membership South Africa, Japan, Brazil, and Australia. Arch-neocon publisher Rupert Murdoch has made no secret of his desire for his home country of Australia to become a full member of NATO. Many leading Zionists in the United States, Canada, and Britain have called for full NATO membership for Israel. Other neo-cons see a NATO with Singapore, New Zealand, South Korea, and India as full members.
The Mediterranean, ICI, and IOR-ARC moves by the United States are laying the groundwork for global NATO expansion. There is one development that could stand in NATO’s way: the fragmentation of NATO members from within, The possibilities of an independent Scotland splitting from England, an independent Quebec separating from Canada, and arising from the potentially failed states of Belgium, Spain, and Italy, independent Flanders, Catalonia, and Venice, may be the internal cancer that finally metastasizes into a disease that kills off NATO, once and for all.