[dehai-news] Control Of the World's Oceans. Prelude To War?

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From: wolda002@umn.edu
Date: Mon Feb 02 2009 - 21:52:35 EST

Control Of the World's Oceans. Prelude To War?
Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and the US 1,000-Ship Navy

By Rick Rozoff

Global Research, January 30, 2009

In of the most monumental and sweeping, though frequently overlooked,
efforts by the former Bush administration to project worldwide military
dominance and in so doing further vitiate international relations is what
its initiator, John Bolton, in his capacity of Under-Secretary of State for
Arms Control and International Security at the time called the
Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).

Officially launched on May 31, 2003, the PSI was the broadest application
of international power projection by the US in the post-Cold War era,
entailing as it does nothing less than the ability to conduct naval
surveillance, interdiction and eventually unbridled military action in all
the world's oceans.

Following and supplementing Operation Enduring Freedom and its six areas of
responsibility from South Asia to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean
to the Caribbean Sea, and the NATO prelude to and prototype of the
Proliferation Security Initiative, so-called Operation Active Endeavor
which has for over seven years now placed the entire Mediterranean Sea
under its control, the PSI is a military operation unilaterally devised and
implemented by Washington without prior consultation with the nations and
peoples in the targeted areas.

And like Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Active Endeavor (in the
second category that follows), its self-proclaimed mission is unlimited in
geographical scope and in historical time.

The PSI was announced with the alleged objective to, according to the ever
complacent New York Times, "interdict nuclear materials and contraband". A
broad enough charter to include most any naval operation anywhere and for
any actual purpose Washington wants to employ it.

One that, though, right off paralleled Washington's manipulative conflation
of weapons of mass destruction with 'global terrorism,' as will be seen
further on.

And simply to extend US and allied naval presence and war fighting
capabilities to geostrategically vital and coveted sea lanes, waterways,
coastal regions, energy and military transit routes and into whichever seas
at whichever times doing so meets current political and strategic

The main focus of the PSI in the preponderance of allusions to it in its
early days was North Korea.

Later Iran would be increasingly identified as a putative rationale for
extending it into the Persian Gulf and, if the US and its allies could
devise some method of getting there, the landlocked Caspian Sea. Indeed
former Defense Secretary Donald Misfield was an avid advocate of what he
deemed a Caspian Guard.

The Caspian Sea is, of course, an inland body and not accessible to navies
except for those of its five littoral states.

As will be demonstrated below, the PSI didn't take long to hunt for 'North
Korean contraband' in the Aegean and Black Seas, the Persian Gulf and the
South China Sea, inter Alia, if its main concentration remains Asia.

The same May 22, 2006 New York Times article from which the earlier
citation emanates also included this revealing addendum: "The initiative
also involves efforts to restrict financing and suspect commercial
transactions for Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba and other countries."

The countries mentioned are four of the seven indicted by the US government
immediately after the 9/11/2001 attacks as "state supporters of terrorism,"
to wit Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria, and Sudan.

The current author wrote on September 12, 2001 that of the above seven
states, only one, Sudan, had any previous connection with Osama bin Laden,
one severed over five years before; that none of them had recognized the
Taliban order in Afghanistan (though firm US allies Pakistan, Saudi Arabia
and the United Arab Emirates had, and the Emirates is the only Arab nation
with a military contingent in Afghanistan to compound the irony); and that
three of the seven targeted countries - Iran, Iraq and Syria - had been
victims of the very extremism that they were accused of supporting.

The "state supporters of terrorism" were supplemented and in most cases
superseded by then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice during her
Senate confirmation hearing for Secretary of State in January of 2005 when
she unveiled the new hit list, the "outposts of tyranny": Belarus, Cuba,
Iran, Myanmar (Burma), North Korea and Zimbabwe.

Of the above nations, some have multi-party parliamentary systems; some are
one party states; five have secular governments, one has a religious one;
regarding religious background, three are predominantly Christian, two
Buddhist and one Muslim.

The sole conceivable link they have in common is that each has been the
subject of intense and unrelenting efforts by the US and the West in
general to isolate it locally and stigmatize it internationally preparatory
to intended 'regime change.'

And all six have close state-to-state relations with both Russia and China.

One has to assume that an adversary, a 'threat' is required in each
continent and critical region, so Europe has Belarus; Africa, Zimbabwe;
Latin America, Cuba; the Middle East, Iran; and Asia, presumably because of
its comparative size, Myanmar and North Korea.

Cuba, Iran and North Korea are the only states to have been passed on from
"state supporters of terrorism" to "outposts of tyranny."

If, as with the above contrived designations, the initial rationale for the
PSI was both nebulous enough to serve any purpose and sufficiently
malleable to adjust to the desire for planned deployments against new
adversaries of convenience, the evolution and extension of it gave the lie
to its foundation myth and revealed its advocates' real intentions.

A brief chronology of the PSI since its infancy and into its current state
will illustrate that its purview is far broader than chasing cargo coming
out of and heading to North Korea.

As the Initiative started to gain steam into its second year, veteran
Indian journalist Siddharth Varadarajan emphasized the skepticism if not
suspicion it aroused among major world, and especially Asian, powers:

"Rather than extra-legal instruments to check proliferation like the
Proliferation Security Initiative, Russia and China are emphasizing the
need for multilateral legal systems. And anticipating that the U.S.
programme of missile defence will very soon lead to the militarisation of
space, the two countries are demanding a ban on any arms race in outer
space." (The Hindu, July 4, 2005)

The above is an inspired linking and juxtaposition of genuine proliferation
concerns versus largely phantom versions serving ulterior geopolitical

That is, the US regularly thwarts otherwise unanimous opposition in the
United Nations to the militarization of space while raising the specter of
smuggling in often obscure corners of the world which other, including
local, nations fail to observe or register concerns about.

A major Indian daily commented on PSI three days before the above quote

"The PSI [Proliferation Security Initiative] is a controversial U.S.-led
multinational initiative involving the interdiction of third-country ships
on the high seas. Apart from its dubious legality, the PSI explicitly
undercuts a genuinely multilateral and balanced approach to the problem of
proliferation. Among the major countries in Asia opposed to the PSI are
China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Iran." (The Hindu, July 1, 2006)

That two of the four countries just mentioned border the Strait of Malacca
which connects the Indian to the Pacific Ocean is not a coincidence.

The significance of the Strait has been commented upon by major US military
leaders in relation to the US's 1,000-ship global navy plan examined later
in this article.

Less than a year after the inauguration of the PSI, Malaysia's then deputy
prime minister and defense minister Najib Razak said of a regional
manifestation of the PSI that "this touches on the question of our national
sovereignty. "

The London Financial times characterized the concern as follows:

"Malaysia and Indonesia oppose a proposal by Washington to deploy US
marines with high-speed boats to guard the Malacca Straits, one of the
world's busiest shipping lanes.... "The Regional Maritime Security
Initiative was disclosed during congressional testimony last week by
Admiral Thomas Fargo, head of the US Pacific Command. "The proposal grows
out of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)...." (Financial Times,
April 5, 2004)

Almost two years later Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda, in
rejecting participation in the PSI, explained his nation's opposition:

"'If Indonesia joined the initiative, the United States or others big
countries can conduct an interdiction to check whether the ships passing
the waters carrying out materials links to mass destruction weapon,' said
[FM Hassan Wirajuda] "In addition, the initiative was not initiated through
a multilateral process, but only a group of nations that have a common goal
to conduct a certain initiatives, Wirajuda said. "The initiative was
against the convention of international law on marine, the United Nations
Convention on the Law on the Sea of 1982, Wirajuda stressed." (Xinhua News
Agency, March 17, 2006)

It didn't take much time to confirm Indonesia's and Malaysia's

In August of 2005 the US, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Japan
conducted Exercise Deep Sabre as part of the Proliferation Security
Initiative from Singapore's Changi Naval Base in the South China Sea.

China's Xinhua News Agency provided this description:

"Exercise Deep Saber (XDS)...involves some 2,000 personnel from the
military, coast guard, customs and other agencies of 13 PSI countries
including Singapore, the United States, Britain and Australia, as well as
ten surface vessels and six maritime patrol aircraft." (Xinhua News Agency,
August 15, 2005)

Another nation in the Far East that has refused to join the PSI, which now
has 70 affiliated countries, is South Korea.

It fears that its neighbor to the north will interpret a unilateral naval
blockade of its shoreline and forcible storming and impounding of its
vessels as what they are - acts of war - and that a new full-scale
peninsular war might ensue.

Three years ago North Korean state media raised just such a prospect.

"North Korea warned South Korea against sparking a 'nuclear war' by joining
a US-led international drill aimed at intercepting weapons of mass
destruction, state media reported. "South Korea said last month it would
send a team to 'observe' a US-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)
drill off Australia in April "Minju Joson, the North's government-publishe
d newspaper, also warned Saturday that Seoul's joining the drill would 'bar
the inter-Korean relations from favorably developing and entail ... a
nuclear war to the Korean Peninsula.'" (Agence France-Presse, February 12,

Today's Agence France-Presse reports on a 'study' by the American Council
on Foreign Relations which states "The United States and its allies might
have to deploy up to 460,000 soldiers to North Korea to stabilize the
country if it collapses and an insurgency erupts, a private U.S. study said
Jan. 28."

The precise number of troops stipulated suggests the CFR analysis is hardly
an academic one.

And it rather blithely mentions in passing that:

"'North Korea abuts two great powers - China and Russia - that have
important interests at stake in the future of the peninsula. That they
would become actively engaged in any future crisis involving North Korea is
virtually guaranteed.' "

Not that the US has not recklessly ignored South Korea's concern in
pressuring Seoul on the matter.

The PSI is the international naval component of a far larger US-dominated
effort to expanded Western military domination worldwide through NATO.

An article called "U.S. Wants Korea to Forge Military Ties With NATO,"

    "[A South Korean official] said Washington aims to prevent
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by North Korea by taking
advantage of NATO in addition to the PSI...." (Chosun Ilbo, November 23,

In a news dispatch titled "Incoming administration may consider joining
U.S. missile defense program," a South Korean newspaper reported that:

    "South Korea has been reluctant to join the PSI in the past for fear of
inciting the North, though it was recently reported that the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Trade proposed to the transition team that the matter
be given serious consideration. " (Hankyoreh, January 21, 2008)

The PSI has also been exploited to shore up other components of Asian NATO,
including Australia and New Zealand.

In April of 2006 the US, Australia, Britain, Japan, New Zealand and
Singapore held a three-day "international anti-terror exercise" in northern

In July of last year a similar exercise was held in New Zealand, which once
prided itself on its alleged neutrality, that was reported on by a local

    "In what will be seen as another step in breaking down the 20-year
freeze by the Americans on joint participation in routine military
exercises, its military will be strongly represented in a contingent of
more than 30 coming to Auckland for Exercise Maru. "The exercise...is being
organised as part of New Zealand's commitment to the Proliferation Security
Initiative." (The Dominion Post, July 22, 2008)

In the interim between the Australian and New Zealand PSI military
exercises a 41-nation drill, Pacific Shield 07, was conducted off Japan:

    "Ships and planes from Australia, Britain, France, Japan, New Zealand,
and the United States were deployed on day one of the three-day drill in
the Sea of Sagami off Tokyo Bay...under the Proliferation Security
Initiative put forward by US President George W. Bush in 2003."

As an element of India's incorporation into both Asian and Global NATO, it
too has been targeted for inclusion in the PSI.

An Indian commentary from 2007 remarks:

    "In recent years, New Delhi seems to be bending over backwards to
accommodate the "strategic interests" of Washington. Joint military
exercises involving the armies of the two countries have intensified in
scope and magnitude since they began in the mid-1990s. "Washington' s
desire to encircle China with a pro-US alliance is well known. The Japanese
leadership has been calling on New Delhi to join in Washington-inspired
projects such as the Proliferation Security Initiative." (Frontline, July
14-27, 2007)

And in the same year Siddharth Varadarajan wrote:

    "Though India remains opposed to the Proliferation Security Initiative
(PSI), the last two ‘Malabar’ naval exercises have seen PSI-related
drills such as maritime interdiction and VBSS (visit-board- search-seizure)
operations." (The Hindu, July 5, 2007)

The worldwide and ever expanding search for "North Korean contraband" has
followed a curious path from the Indian Ocean into the Persian Gulf and the
Mediterranean and the Black Seas.

In October of 2006 warships from US, Britain, France, Italy, Australia and
Bahrain participated in a PSI exercise off the Iranian coast in the Persian

John Bolton's successor in the State Department Robert Joseph had prepared
the groundwork earlier by having "recently visited Iran's neighbors,
Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, in
addition to Egypt, for discussions about how to handle the threat from
Iran. The consultations dealt with working together within the context of
the Proliferation Security Initiative.. .." (U.S. Department of State,
April 21, 2006)

Five months before the Persian Gulf exercise the US led Anatolian Sun-2006,
a multinational naval exercise off the Mediterranean coast of Turkey.

An Italian news source issued this report:

    "Turkey will host a joint military exercise with US troops in the
eastern Mediterranean beginning on Wednesday - a show of strength that
comes as Washington is increasing pressure on Tehran over its nuclear
programme. "Ostensibly part of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)
against Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), US officials cited in the New
York Times newspaper described the manoeuvres as a sign of Washington's
determination to stop missile and nuclear technology from reaching Iran."
(ADN Kronos International, May 23, 2006)

In reference to the same operation the New York Times added that, "The
United States is trying to persuade friendly countries near the Persian
Gulf, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean to join in the exercises... ." (New York
Times, May 22, 2006)

Moving further west, the US recruited Cyprus to the PSI in April of 2005.

In May of last year the US and Poland officiated over another PSI
operation, Adriatic Shield 08, hosted by Croatia, which included
participation from Bosnia, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia.

Seven months later the US Congress would praise Croatia - it of the
notorious US-directed Operation Storm of 1995 and of lingering nostalgia
for the Nazi collaborationist Ustasha - with a resolution expressing the
US's certitude that "Croatia can give a significant contribution to NATO
and that it has already sent its contingent to Afghanistan "as part of
NATO-led International Security Assistance Force [and] Croatia "is
participating in the Proliferation Security Initiative with like-minded
nations across the world...." (Hina, December 15, 2005)

At last year's NATO summit in Romania, Croatia was invited to join the
Alliance as a full member and will be inducted as one at the April 3-4 60th
Anniversary NATO summit.

Likewise the Ukraine's American proxy Viktor Yushchenko, NATO's ticket to a
2,400 kilometer border with Russia, a year ago vowed that "Ukraine actively
interacts with NATO member-states within the new mechanisms of cooperation
in the compliance and implementation of fundamental treaties related to
international security. In particular, our state has acceded to the
Proliferation Security Initiative.. .." (ForUm, January 16, 2008)

Regarding the general issue of the relationship of the PSI with Global
NATO, these excerpts from a 2005 speech by Secretary General Jaap de Hoop
Scheffer in Japan will clarify matters:

    "[W]e want to ensure that a much larger proportion of our military
forces are readily available for operations far away from home. "We also
realize full well that tackling today’s global threats requires the
broadest possible international cooperation and so we are enhancing
relations with our partner countries across Europe, the Caucasus, and
Central Asia, and in North Africa and the Middle East. "And like many NATO
Allies, you [Japan] are also an active participant in the Proliferation
Security Initiative.. .." (NATO International, April 4, 2005)

The preceding accounts establish that, just as with Washington's stationing
of third position, potential first strike, interceptor missile sites in
Eastern Europe, North Korea and Iran are pretext rather than cause.

And the underlying, unremitting, ruthless strategy is for expanding and
maintaining global military deployments for both blackmail and attacks.

If the US's Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan aims at insuring among
other tasks US and allied naval control of the Indian Ocean; if Operation
Enduring Freedom - Philippines brings Western naval power into Southeast
Asia; if Operation Enduring Freedom - Horn of Africa solidifies control of
the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, with recent assistance
from NATO and the EU in Operation Atalanta; if NATO's Operation Active
Endeavor controls all navigation into and throughout the Mediterranean,
complemented by the German and other NATO nations' naval blockade of
Lebanon, soon to be replicated with Gaza; if all these operations secure
domination of critical parts of the world's oceans and seas, the
Proliferation Security Initiative is increasingly the overarching structure
that integrates them all.

And lying behind and underpinning the PSI is what the current Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US armed forces Michael Mullen, while
developing this strategy as Chief of Naval Operations, called the
Thousand-Ship Navy in an October 29, 2006 column in the Honolulu

The 1,000-Ship Navy, Mullen said, “[Is] a global maritime partnership
that unites maritime forces, port operators, commercial shippers, and
international, governmental and nongovernmental agencies to address mutual

The following year the US Navy publication Navy Newsstand summarized the

    "Vice Adm. John G. Morgan, Jr., deputy chief of Naval Operations for
Information, Plans and Strategy and Rear Adm. Michael C. Bachman, commander
of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, explained that the
1,000-ship Navy is a network of international partner navies who will work
together to create a force capable of standing watch over all the seas.
"Vice Adm. John G. Morgan, Jr., deputy chief of Naval Operations for
Information, Plans and Strategy and Rear Adm. Michael C. Bachman, commander
of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, explained that the
1,000-ship Navy is a network of international partner navies who will work
together to create a force capable of standing watch over all the seas. "'A
new naval era is coming and we’re doing exciting things in preparation
for it,' Morgan said. 'The Navy is being challenged.. ..The Navy’s
traveling around and getting the idea of a 1,000-ship Navy to patrol the
seas, out to the world.” “'This 1,000-ship Navy idea is all about a
global maritime network, a huge network of sharing,' said Morgan. 'That’s
the biggest challenge we’re facing: a network of many integrated
countries’ navies with one goal in mind of patrolling the world’s

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