It is essential that people across America and
around the World take cognizance of the dangers of a Middle East
war directed against Iran and act decisively to challenge the US
military agenda and reverse the tide of war.
The World is at the crossroads of the most
serious crisis in modern history. The US has embarked on a
military adventure, "a long war", which threatens the future of
This article documents recent developments,
focusing on military deployment and preparations in the event of a US
led war on Iran. This text follows a number of earlier reports
published by Global Research pertaining to the War on Iran (See Iran dossier, Nuclear War dossier, Lebanon dossier )
The entire Middle East Central Asian region is on a war footing.
The naval armada in the Persian Gulf is largely
under US command, with the participation of Canada. Both the USS
Enterprise and Eisenhower Strike groups have been dispatched to the
Persian Gulf in a a massive display of US military might.
USS Enterprise Strike Group
The militarization of the Eastern Mediterranean (on
land and sea) is under the control of several NATO member countries
including France, Germany and Turkey. This military build-up is
conducted under the façade of a UN peace-keeping mission (UNIFIL)
pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
context, the war on Lebanon must be viewed as a stage of the broader US
sponsored military road-map, which targets Syria.
September, Germany dispatched a fleet of eight ships including 2
frigates, with up to 2,400 personnel aboard. The German navy will be in
charge of the multinational naval force, which has, under
its official UNIFIL mandate "to prevent arms shipments to
Hezbollah". The German naval force will operate out of the Cyprus port
of Limassol, located within less than 100 km.
from the Lebanon-Syria coastline. The Cyprus based
multinational naval force could eventually be used to encroach on
maritime trade with Syria.
In early October, Turkey dispatched several
warships, which will join the multinational naval force under German
command. While Turkey is formally part of the UN international force
(UNIFIL), it is also a close military ally of Israel. Greek, Bulgarian
and Italian warships have also been dispatched to the Lebanese
France has dispatched armored vehicle and infantry units. (Chars Leclerc see below).
nature of the military equiipment and weapons systems being deployed
has little to do with "peace-keeping". Moreover, NATO established
a close military partnership with Israel in 2005, which in practice
binds NATO member countries involved in Lebanon to fully cooperate
German Brandenburg Class Frigate dispatched to Lebanese Coast
French Armored Vehicles (Chars Leclerc) en route to Lebanon. The Leclerc armored vehicles were used in Kosovo in 1999
The naval buildup has been coordinated with the
planned air attacks on Iran. The latter were outlined in mid-2004,
following the formulation of CONCEPT PLAN CONPLAN 8022 (early 2004).
The air attacks on Iran would involve a "shock and awe" blitzkrieg on a scale similar to the 2003 air war on Iraq.
In November 2004, US Strategic Command conducted a
major exercise of a "global strike plan" entitled "Global Lightening".
The latter involved a simulated attack using both conventional and
nuclear weapons against a "fictitious enemy" [Iran]. Following the
"Global Lightening" exercise, US Strategic Command declared an advanced
state of readiness.
CONPLAN is the operational plan pursuant to the
Global Strike Plan. It is described as "an actual plan that the Navy
and the Air Force translate into strike package for their submarines
CONPLAN 8022 is 'the overall umbrella plan for sort of the pre-planned strategic scenarios involving nuclear weapons.'
'It's specifically focused on these new types of
threats -- Iran, North Korea -- proliferators and potentially
terrorists too,' he said. 'There's nothing that says that they can't
use CONPLAN 8022 in limited scenarios against Russian and Chinese
targets.' (According to Hans Kristensen, of the Nuclear Information Project, quoted in Japanese economic News Wire, op cit)
The use of tactical nuclear weapons is contemplated
under CONPLAN 8022 alongside conventional weapons, as part of the
Bush administration's preemptive war doctrine. In May 2004, National
Security Presidential Directive NSPD 35 entitled Nuclear Weapons Deployment Authorization
was issued. While its contents remains classified, the presumption is
that NSPD 35 pertains to the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in
the Middle East war theater in compliance with CONPLAN 8022.
Moreover, barely acknowledged by the Western media,
both China and Russia have conducted war games in Central Asia, in
collaboration with their coalition partners. In late September, Russia
conducted air war exercises over a large part of its territory,
extending from the Volga to the frontiers of Alaska and North America.
These war games prompted the scrambling of NORAD fighter planes.
Military exercises involving the participation of
Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan under the Collective
Security Treaty Organization, (CSTO) were launched in August. These war
games, officially described as part of a " counter terrorism program",
were held barely a week before those conducted by the Iranian military.
(See Michel Chossudovsky, 24 August 2006)
Broadly coinciding with both the Iranian and CSTO
military exercises, China and Kazakhstan also conducted military
exercises in August under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Iran is an observer member in the SCO. (For Timeline of War Games see Table below)
Members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Observer States including Iran are indicated in Green
In late September, China and Tajikistan held a joint
military exercise, code-named "Cooperation-2006", according to a
memorandum of understanding signed between the two governments.
Tajikistan has a 500 km. border with Afghanistan. These war games
directly address US-NATO military presence in neighboring
In early October, in the latest round of Central
Asian war games under CSTO auspices, joint Russian-Kyrgyz war exercises
were held (starting on October 2nd) at Russia's Kant airbase located
some 30 km. from the Kyrgyz capital. Officially described as an
"anti-terror drill", these high profile exercises involved the
deployment of Russian and Kyrgyz special forces units. Russia's top
brass and defense minister Sergei Ivanov were in attendance for the
launching of the event:
"About 350 servicemen from special forces units,
combat vehicles, artillery, Su-25 Frogfoot ground support aircraft and
Mi-8 Hip multipurpose helicopters are participating in the active phase
of the maneuvers, which include the firing of live ammunition at the
Osh practice range.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, who is
currently on a visit to the Central Asian state, Kyrgyzstan Prime
Minister Felix Kulov and Defense Minister Ismail Isakov are attending
Russia and Kyrgyzstan are both members of the
Collective Security Treaty Organization, a post-Soviet security
grouping that also includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and
Tajikistan. They are also in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a
regional security body in Central Asia that includes China, Uzbekistan,
Kazakhstan and Tajikistan." (Novosti 5 0ctober 2006)
Russian Su-25 Frogfoot ground support aircraft in Russia-Kyrgyz war exercises
Meanwhile, in late September, Russia also conducted
military exercises in Dagestan, involving the 136th Brigade. The
exercise held at the Buynakskiy training ground involved an unnamed
"foreign State" which was attacking Russia. According to one
Russian press report: "Given the scale [of the simulated enemy
attack], this can be compared with WWII. The [unnamed] enemy is artful,
well armed and well trained."
Also in early October, Belarus and Russia announced
that they will be hold training sessions for the two countries' command
and control bodies, with a view to coordinating their military
activities. (Belarus TV, October 1, 2006)
The overall significance of these military drills
must be assessed in relation to the sequence of Russian, Chinese and
Iran war exercises conducted since late August.
There is a consistent pattern. These war games are
not isolated events. They are part of a carefully coordinated endeavor,
in response to the US-NATO military build-up. They should also be
considered as acts of deterrence, intended to display military capabilities to deter military action by US led coaltion.
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.
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
China and Russia are major actors in Central Asian
oil. They have significant strategic and economic interests in the
Central Asian region and 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
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
"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
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)
"Cold War Shivers"
In addition to the various CSTO and SCO war games
carried out in Central Asia in the course of the last two months,
Russia's air force also conducted a major military exercise in late
September, which extended over a large part of its territory, from the
Volga to the Alaskan border, extending from the Volga military District
to the Far East Military District (see map below). The war drill
involved the dropping of bombs as well as missile launches against an
unnamed "notional enemy":
Long before dawn, more than ten Tu-160 and Tu-95
cruise missile carriers of the long-range aviation regiment based in
[the town of] Engels set course for Russia's northern borders. The
aircraft were on the mission to reach the Arctic Ocean and launch
several practice cruise missiles at the Khalmer-Yu range near Vorkuta.
This was the last training sortie from a military airfield near
Saratov. Bombs were dropped and missiles fired throughout almost the
entire Northern hemisphere.
[Correspondent] One of the most important and most
difficult phases of the exercise involved bomb dropping at the
Guryanovo training range in Saratov Region. Eight Tu-22 strategic
bombers were tasked with destroying an airfield of the notional enemy.
Even from the command centre 10 km away, the explosions made by 250-kg
bombs appeared to be enormous. (Transcript of Russian TV Report,
Channel One TV, Moscow, Russian 0600 GMT 30 September 2006)
Russia's TU-22 Strategic bomber
In a scenario reminiscent of the Cold War era, US
and Canadian fighter aircraft intercepted Russian Tu-160 planes off the
U.S. and Canadian fighter aircraft intercepted
Russian planes off the Alaska coast, but it was not considered a
hostile incident, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said on
NORAD said the aircraft never violated U.S. or
Canadian airspace... But fighters were launched because the Russians
had entered a zone around North America in which NORAD considers
uninvited aircraft to be potential threatening.
The Tu-95 Bear heavy bombers had been participating
in an annual Russian air force exercise near the coast of Alaska and
Canada, NORAD said. It did not specify how many Russian planes were
involved. (Reuters, 2 October 2006)
Russian TU 160 cruise missile carrier
Russian TU-95 Bear Bomber
Both Russian and Western press reports dismissed
these major air exercises as routine, without examining the broader
framework and sequence of Russian sponsored war games
A NORAD spokesperson stated that while they did not
consider the Russian war games as "hostile", they, nonetheless
wanted the Russians to know that "NORAD is alive and well":
"This wasn't treated as a hostile. It was just being
vigilant and letting them know that NORAD is alive and well," said
Canadian Air Force Capt. Jennifer Faubert, a spokeswoman for NORAD's
Canadian Region. (Reuters, 2 October 2006)
ELMENDORF AIR FORCE
BASE, Alaska--An F-15C Eagle from the 12th Fighter Squadron at
Elmendorf Air Force Base flies next to a Russian Tu-95 Bear Bomber
during a Russian exercise Sept. 28, which brought the Bear near the
west coast of Alaska. The Eagle took off as part of North American
Aerospace Defense Command’s reaction to this training opportunity
provided by the Russian 137th Air Army. Photo courtesy 12th Fighter Squadron, Elmendorf Air Force base.(Source NORAD website)
Beyond the scope of a Middle East war, the broader
US military agenda, which includes the strategic defense initiative,
threatens global security. The various war games conducted by Iran,
Russia and China are not only intended to prepare for war, they are
also a demonstration of military capabilities to a potential aggressor.
They are also intended to act as a deterrent.
Reversing the Tide of War
The World is at the crossroads of the most serious
crisis in modern history. The US has embarked on a military
adventure, "a long war", which threatens the future of humanity.
This article has attempted to document the various preparations for war.
While there a number of factors which may prevent
this war from occurring, including divisions within the US
adminstration and military, behind the scenes negotiations with
China, Russia, Iran, etc., the risk of an extended Middle
East -Central Asian war must be forcefully addressed.
devastation and loss of life which could result from this proposed
military agenda would be incalculable, particularly if the conflict
escalates to the broader region.
The possible use of
tactical nuclear weapons by the US, ironically in retalation
for Iran's non-compliance to suspend uranium enrichment (in its
civilian nuclear energy program) raises the specter of a a nuclear
The economic disruptions resulting from a broader
Middle East war would not be limited to spiraling oil prices, following
a blockade of the Straits of Hormuz.
crisis would immediately backlash on freight prices and costs of
production in virtually all sectors of economic activity. It would also
contribute to disrupting financial markets Worldwide.
if China were to become involved in the conflict, the large scale
commodity trade in manufactured products out of China, which supplies
Western markets with vast array of consumer goods, would be
The issue is not whether the war will or will not take place but what are the instruments at our disposal which will enable us to shunt and ultimately disarm this global military agenda.
In the weeks and months ahead, it is essential that
citizens' movements around the world act consistently to confront
their respective governments and reverse and dismantle this military
Dismantling the network of war propaganda is
essential. This war can not conducted without the support of the
corporate media, which ultimately upholds the US led war against Iran.
What is needed is to break the conspiracy of silence,
expose the media lies and distortions, confront the criminal nature of
the US Administration and of those governments which support it, its
war agenda as well as its so-called "Homeland Security agenda" which
has already defined the contours of a police State.
It is essential to bring the US war project to the
forefront of political debate, particularly in North America and
Western Europe. Political and military leaders who are opposed to the
war must take a firm stance, from within their respective institutions.
Citizens must take a stance individually and collectively against war.
War criminals occupy positions of authority. The
citizenry is galvanized into supporting the rulers, who are "committed
to their safety and well-being". Through media disinformation, war is
given a humanitarian mandate.
The legitimacy of the war must be addressed. Antiwar
sentiment alone does not disarm a military agenda. High ranking
officials of the Bush administration, members of the military and the
US Congress have been granted the authority to uphold an illegal war.
corporate backers and sponsors of war and war crimes must also be
targeted including the oil companies, the defense contractors, the
financial institutions and the corporate media, which has become an
integral part of the war propaganda machine.
1. The role of media disinformation in sustaining the military agenda is crucial.
We will not succeed in our endeavors unless the
propaganda apparatus is weakened and eventually dismantled. It is
essential to inform our fellow citizens on the causes and
consequences of the US-led war, not to mention the extensive war
crimes and atrocities which are routinely obfuscated by the media. This
is no easy task. It requires an effective
counter-propaganda program which refutes mainstream media assertions.
is essential that the relevant information and analysis reaches the
broader public. The Western media is controlled by a
handful of powerful business syndicates. The media conglomerates
which control network TV and the printed press must be challenged
through cohesive actions which reveal the lies and falsehoods.
2. There is opposition within the political establishment in the US as well as within the ranks of the Armed Forces.
this opposition does not necessarily question to overall direction of
US foreign policy, it is firmly opposed to military adventurism,
including the use of nuclear weapons. These voices within the
institutions of the State, the Military and the business establishment
are important because they can be usefully channeled to discredit and
ultimately dismantle the "war on terrorism" consensus. The
broadest possible alliance of political and social forces is,
therefore, required to prevent a military adventure which in a very
real sense threatens the future of humanity.
3. The structure of military alliances must be
addressed. A timely shift in military alliances could
potentially reverse the course of history.
France and Germany are broadly supportive of the US led war, there are
strong voices in both countries as well as within the European Union,
which firmly oppose the US led military agenda, both at the grassroots
level as well within the political system itself.
essential that the commitments made by European heads of
government and heads of State to Washington be cancelled or
nullified, through pressure exerted at the appropriate political
levels. This applies, in particular, to the unbending support of the
Bush administration, expressed by President Jacques Chirac and
Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The weakening of the system of
alliances which commits Western Europe to supporting the Anglo-American
military axis, could indeed contribute to reversing the tide.
Washington would hesitate to wage a war on Iran without the support of
France and Germany.
4. The holding of large antiwar rallies is important
and essential. But in will not in itself reverse the tide of war
unless it is accompanied by the development of a cohesive antiwar
network. What is required is a grass roots antiwar
network, a mass movement at national and international levels, which
challenges the legitimacy of the main military and political actors,
as well as their corporate sponsors, and which would ultimately be
instrumental in unseating those who rule in our name. The construction
of this type of network will take time to develop. Initially, it should
focus on developing an antiwar stance within existing citizens'
organizations (e.g. trade unions, community organizations, professional
regroupings, student federations, municipal councils, etc.).
5. 9/11 plays a crucial and central role in the propaganda campaign.
threat of an Al Qaeda "Attack on America" is being used profusely
by the Bush administration and its indefectible British ally to
galvanize public opinion in support of a global military agenda. Known
and documented, the "Islamic terror network" is a creation of the US
intelligence apparatus. Several of the terror alerts were based on fake
intelligence as revealed in the recent foiled "liquid bomb attack". There
is evidence that the several of the terrorist "mass casualty events"
which have resulted in civilian casualties were triggered by the
military and/or intelligence services. (e.g Bali 2002).
"war on terrorism" is bogus. The 911 narrative as conveyed by the 911
Commission report is fabricated. The Bush administration is involved in
acts of cover-up and complicity at the highest levels of
Revealing the lies behind 911 would
serve to undermine the legitimacy of the "war on terrorism" which
constitutes the main justification for waging war in the Middle East.
911, the war criminals in high office do not have a leg to stand on.
The entire national security construct collapses like a deck of cards.
TIMELINE OF WAR GAMES (IRAN, RUSSIA, CHINA AND THEIR COALITION PARTNERS) (August -October 2006)
19 August 2006-- Iran: Zarbat-e Zolfaqar
military exercises, in major regions of the country. These war games
were slated to continue until late September.
24- 29 August: Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan (observer status) under the Collective Security Treaty Organization, (CSTO) The Rubezh-2006 exercise at the Kazak port city of Aktau .
24 August: China and Kazakhstan held under SCO auspices. Held simultaneously and in liaison with the CSTO war exercise in Kazakhstan.
22- 24 September: China and Tajikistan: first joint military exercise, code-named "Cooperation-2006".
27 September: Iran. Amphibious war game
named Payambar-e A'zam [Great Prophet] staged in Esfahan. A number of
battalions belonging to Brigade 1 of Imam Husayn Division 14 staged the
Payambar-e A'zam war game in the Zayandeh River.
30 September: Russian Long Range Air War Games
out of the Saratov Air Base, extending to the Far East, the Artic and
the Russia-Alaska border. These war games prompted the scrambling of
NORAD fighter planes.
30 September: Russia, Dagestan war games involving the 136th brigade, held at the Buynakskiy training ground
2 October Kyrgyz war games, Russian and Kyrgyz Special Forces.
4 October Russian Navy Exercises in the
Black Sea near Georgia's coastline, in response to recent events in
Georgia and following an economic embargo on Georgia imposed by Russia.
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