Camp Bondsteel and America's plans to control Caspian oil - February, 2008

This mammoth military complex in the middle of nowhere reminds me somewhat of the great fortresses that were constructed by European Crusaders in the name of "God and Christ" in strategic locations throughout the Near East with the sole intent of controlling the region's vital trade routes and containing the spread of Islam. And now, these great western military complexes constructed in the name of "Freedom and Democracy" in strategic locations throughout the world with the sole intent of controlling the region's vital oil/gas routes and containing Russia.

History repeats itself because history is not linear, it's circular.

I now also clearly see the Western urgency in recognising Kosovo's independence. In essence, this was a race against time between the West and Russia. It all makes perfect sense. I simply had not realized just how firmly entrenched US forces had become in the region. It's now obvious that the US will not be leaving Kosovo for the foreseeable future. This base is part and parcel of Washington's longterm geostrategic plans for the region in question: a string of modern military bases setup in strategically sensitive areas ringing the Russian Federation with the primary intent of containing Moscow and securing vital oil and gas routs.

It's now obvious why Serbian and Russian politicians are making it clear that they will not seek a military solution to the Kosovo problem. The reality is that any armed attempt to retake Kosovo by Serbian and/or Russian forces will bring them into direct confrontation with US forces, a situation Serbia nor Russia can afford to risk at this time. There are also indicators that Russia and the US have most probably come to an understanding over Kosovo: Kosovo goes to the US camp despite Moscow's pubic disapproval, and Serbia goes more-or-less to Russia, despite West's public disapproval. However, in the longterm, this situation may actually end up working in Russia's favor because this will give Moscow better leverage in the disputed autonomous regions of the Caucasus as it also ensures Serbian dependence on Russia.

Thus, the battle for Kosovo, in the foreseeable future, will be primarily economic and diplomatic - that is if extremists on either side don't ignite the volatile powder keg.

The danger here is that any armed confrontation in Kosovo could easily turn into a Third World War. I think this is also the reason why Russia, as well as the West obviously, preferred to see a moderate politician in power in Serbia. Russia cannot afford to get into a major war at this time, nor does Serbia. As we have already begun to see, Moscow will resort to diplomatic and economic warfare. In other words, Moscow will resort to using their favorite WMD, Gazprom, and the political situations regarding Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

There is high probability that what Washington is doing in Kosovo they will eventually attempt to do in Georgia as well. Washington may be currently looking for an excuse/pretext, such as perhaps Moscow's recognition of Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's independence to set up bases in Georgia. Recently there were reports in Western media sources that sugested: Russia is in no position to do anything about Abkhazia and South Ossetia other than talk, clearly insinuating that the US will get directly involved on the side of Georgia in such a conflict.

In my opinion, the scenario would be similar to what happened in Kosovo in 1999: Abkhazia/Ossetia proclaim independence, the West pushes Saakashvili to send in the army. In the ensuing clash of arms, using the pretext of protecting the "territorial integrity" of Georgia, Washington sends in significant military forces to protect Tbilisi from Russian "aggression." Thereafter, US forces will stay.

In such a scenario, Russia will find itself in a serious strategic knot: Escalate the war and draw into Georgia US forces, or abandon the region and retreat in the face of aggression?

These types of situations may explain why Moscow has been so seriously concerned about recent developments such as the proposed missile defense system in eastern Europe, Kosovo's independence by Western powers and NATO's expansion into Ukraine and the Caucasus.

It comes as no surprise that the Armenian republic ties in with all this as well. It is highly probable that had Western powers been successful in breaking Armenia away from Russia and Iran and managed to imposed their terms and conditions on the isolated and fledgling Armenian state, the entire south Caucasus region would turn into one great US military base for the purpose of exploiting regional energy reserves and undermining Russia and Iran.

In my opinion, such a situation in the Caucasus would threaten the very survival of the Armenian state.

A prosperous and a powerful Armenian state can potentially threaten the geostrategic agenda that the West has for the region. It is obvious that in such a scenario Armenia would be kept impoverished and dependent on its immediate neighbors for survival. And, needles to say, Armenia will be forced to "reconcile" with Turkey and Azerbaijan, to the detriment of its national interests. The fact if the matter is, Armenia does not have the natural resources that are in demand, it does not have direct access to the outside world, nor does it control of vital oil/gas routes. As a result, the Armenian state, in the eyes of the Western elite, is simply in the way, an obstacle.

This is a very dangerous game indeed and we are living in dangerous times. I pray for peace but I am mentally preparing myself for a worst case scenario.

I must reiterate, the Russian Federation can be the savior. It simply needs to pull together and consolidate its national resources - natural, financing, economic, political and military - and find the courage to stand up to the West. I am convinced there is still hope. Similar to how the Crusader fortresses fell one by one, eventualy, sooner or later, Western powers will be chased out of the region as well. I just hope that there will be minimal death and destruction in the process. Time will tell.



Camp Bondsteel and America's plans to control Caspian oil

February, 2008

Camp Bondsteel, the biggest 'from scratch' foreign US military base since the Vietnam War is near completion in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo. It is located close to vital oil pipelines and energy corridors presently under construction, such as the US sponsored Trans-Balkan oil pipeline. As a result defence contractors, in particular Halliburton Oil subsidiary Brown & Root Services, are making a fortune. In June 1999, in the immediate aftermath of the bombing of Yugoslavia, US forces seized 1,000 acres of farmland in southeast Kosovo at Uresevic, near the Macedonian border, and began the construction of a camp. Camp Bondsteel is known as the 'grand dame' in a network of US bases running both sides of the border between Kosovo and Macedonia. In less than three years it has been transformed from an encampment of tents to a self sufficient, high tech base-camp housing nearly 7,000 troops?three quarters of all the US troops stationed in Kosovo.

There are 25 kilometres of roads and over 300 buildings at Camp Bondsteel, surrounded by 14 kilometres of earth and concrete barriers, 84 kilometres of concertina wire and 11 watch towers. It is so big that it has downtown, midtown and uptown districts, retail outlets, 24-hour sports halls, a chapel, library and the best-equipped hospital anywhere in Europe. At present there are 55 Black Hawk and Apache helicopters based at Bondsteel and although it has no aircraft landing strip the location was chosen for its capacity to expand. There are suggestions that it could replace the US airforce base at Aviano in Italy. According to Colonel Robert L. McClure, writing in the engineers professional Bulletin, "Engineer planning for operations in Kosovo began months before the first bomb was dropped. At the outset, planners wanted to use the lessons learned in Bosnia and convinced decision makers to reach base-camp 'end state' as quickly as possible." Initially US military engineers took control of 320 kilometres of roads and 75 bridges in the surrounding area for military use and laid out a base camp template involving soldiers living quarters, helicopter flight paths, ammunition holding areas and so on.

McClure explains how the Engineer Brigade were instructed "to merge construction assets and integrate them with the contractor, Brown & Root Services Corporation," to build not one but two base camps [the other is Camp Monteith] for a total of 7,000 troops. According to McClure, "At the height of the effort, about 1,000 former US military personnel, hired by Brown & Root, along with more than 7,000 Albanian local nationals, joined the 1,700 military engineers." From early July and into October [1999], construction at both camps continued 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Brown & Root Services provides all the support services to Camp Bondsteel. This includes 600,000 gallons of water per-day, enough electricity to supply a city of 25,000 and a supply centre with 14,000 product lines. It washes 1,200 bags of laundry, supplies 18,000 meals per day and operates 95 percent of the rail and airfield facilities. It also provides the camps firefighting service. Brown & Root are now the largest employers in Kosovo, with more than 5,000 local Kosovan Albanians and another 15,000 on its books.

Staff at Camp Bondsteel rarely venture outside the compound and their activities are secretive. Whilst other KFOR patrols are small and mobile with soldiers wearing soft caps and instructed to integrate with the local population, US military personnel leave Bondsteel in either helicopters or as part of infrequent but large heavily armed convoys. In unnamed interviews US troops complain that hostility to their presence is growing as local inhabitants compare the investment in Camp Bondsteel with the continuing decline in their own living standards. Those visiting Camp Bondsteel describe it as a journey through 100 years in time. The area surrounding the camp is extremely poor with an unemployment rate of 80 percent. Then Bondsteel appears on the horizon with its mass of communication satellites, antennae and menacing attack helicopters circling above. Brown & Root pay Kosova workers between $1 and $3 per hour. The local manager said wages were so low because, "We can't inflate the wages because we don't want to over inflate the local economy."

The escalating US presence at Bondsteel was accompanied by increased activity by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Since its appearance most Serbs, Roma and Albanians opposed to the KLA have been murdered or driven out. Those remaining dare not leave their houses to buy food at the local stores and the need for military escorts stretch from children's swimming pools to tractors taken away for repair. According to observers the KLA continue to act with virtual impunity in the US sector despite the high tech military intelligence facilities at Bondsteel. When US troops arrive at Camp Bondsteel, they are more likely to be met by a Brown & Root employee directing them to their accommodation and equipment areas. According to G. Cahlink in Government Executive Magazine (February 2002), Army peace keepers joke that they're missing a patch on their camouflage fatigues. We need one that says Sponsored by Brown & Root, says a staff sergeant, who, like more than nearly 10,000 soldiers in the region, has come to rely on Brown and Root Services, a Houston based contractor, for everything from breakfast to spare parts for armoured Humvees. The contract to service Camp Bondsteel is the latest in a string of military contracts awarded to Brown & Root Services. Its fortunes have grown as US militarism has escalated. The company is part of the Halliburton Corporation, the largest supplier of products and services to the oil industry.

In 1992 xxxx Cheney, as Secretary of Defence in the senior Bush administration, awarded the company a contract providing support for the US army's global operations. Cheney left politics and joined Halliburton as CEO between 1995 and 2000. He is now US vice president in the junior Bush administration. In 1992 Brown & Root built and maintained US army bases in Somalia earning $62 million. In 1994 Brown & Root built bases and support systems for 18,000 troops in Haiti doubling its earnings to $133 million. The company received a five-year support contract in 1999 worth $180 million per-year to build military facilities in Hungary, Croatia and Bosnia. It was Camp Bondsteel, however, that was dubbed "the mother of all contracts" by the Washington based Contract Services Association of America. "There, We do everything that does not require us to carry a gun," said Brown & Roots director David Capouya. The aim of outsourcing military support and services to private contractors has been to free up more soldiers for combat duties. A US Department of Defence (DoD) review in 2001 insisted that the use of contractors would escalate: "Only those functions that must be done at DoD should be kept at DoD."

In sectors controlled by other Western powers, KFOR soldiers who are living in bombed out apartment blocks and old factories joke, "What are the two things that can be seen from space, One is the Great Wall of China, the other is Camp Bondsteel." More seriously a senior British military officer told the Washington Post, "It is an obvious sign that the Americans are making a major commitment to the Balkan region and plan to stay." One analyst described the US as having taken advantage of favourable circumstances to create a base that would be large enough to accommodate future military plans. Camp Bondsteel has become a key venue for important policy speeches by leading officials of the Bush administration. On June 5, 2001 US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld explained to troops at Camp Bondsteel what role they played in the new administration's economic strategy. He declared, "How much should we spend on the armed services"... "My view is we don't spend on you, we invest in you. The men and women in the armed services are not a drain on our economic strength. Indeed you safeguard it. You're not a burden on our economy, you are the critical foundation for growth."


In related news:

U.S. can attack Russia in 2012-2015 - Russian military analyst

After 2012-2015, the U.S. will be able to annihilate Russian strategic nuclear forces by a non-nuclear preemptive strike, said Konstantin Sivkov, the first vice president of the Russian Academy of Geopolitical Problems. "I declare that the likelihood of a military threat is great as never before now," Sivkov told Interfax on Saturday. Western military experts have recently started to talk about the possibility of attacking Russia and annexing its territory, Sivkov said. "Russia is supposed to be dismembered into three parts, with the Western part going to the European Union, the central part and Siberia to the U.S., and the eastern to China. This is a rough scenario," he said. Russian armed forces will be unable to successfully counter an aggression, Sivkov said. "At the present time, the conventional armed forces cannot properly perform their duties in a regional war, like the Great Patriotic War, even in theory. Even if fully deployed, their potential is limited even in local wars. The only factor that deters [the U.S.] now is the nuclear arsenal," he said.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Dear reader,

Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will henceforth be posted on an irregular basis. The comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis.

The last 20 years or so has also helped me see Russia as the last front against scourges of Westernization, Globalism, American expansionism, Zionism, Islamic extremism and pan-Turkism. I have also come to see Russia as the last hope humanity has for the preservation of classical western civilization, Apostolic Christianity and the traditional nation-state. This realization compelled me to create this blog in 2010. Immediately, this blog became one of the very few voices in the vastness of cyberia that dared to preach about the dangers of Globalism and the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance, and the only voice preaching the strategic importance of Armenia remaining within Russia's orbit. From about 2010 to 2015 I did monthly, at times weekly, commentaries about Russian-Armenian relations and Eurasian geopolitics in general. It was very difficult as I had no assistance in this endeavor. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling inside me urged me to keep going; and I did.

When Armenia finally joined the EEU and integrated its armed forces into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago, I finally felt a deep sense of satisfaction and relaxation, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt that my personal mission was accomplished. I therefore felt I could take a step back, as I really needed the rest. Simply put: I have lived to see the institutionalization of Russian-Armenian alliance. Also, I feel more confident now that Armenians are collectively recognizing the strategic importance of Armenia's ties with Russia. Moreover, I feel satisfied knowing that, at least on a subatomic level, I had a hand in the outcome. As a result, I feel a strong sense of mission accomplished. I therefore no longer have the urge to continue as in the past. In other words, the motivational force that had propelled me in previous years has been gradually dissipating because I feel that this blog has lived to see the realization of its stated goal. Going forward, I do not want to write merely for the sake of writing. Also, I do not want to say something if I have nothing important to say. I feel like I have said everything I needed to say. Henceforth, I will post seasonal commentaries about topics I find important. I will however continue moderating the blog's comments section on a regular basis; ultimately because I'm interested in what my readers have to say and also because it's through readers here that I am at times made aware of interesting developments.

To limit clutter in the comments section, I kindly ask all participants of this blog to please keep comments coherent and strictly relevant to the featured topic of discussion. Moreover, please realize that when there are several anonymous visitors posting comments simultaneously, it becomes very confusing (not to mention extremely annoying) trying to figure out who is who and who said what.Therefore, if you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or simply attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself. Moreover, please appreciate the fact that I have put an enormous amount of information into this blog. In my opinion, most of my blog commentaries and articles, some going back ten-plus years, are in varying degrees relevant to this day and will remain so for a long time to come. Articles in this blog can therefore be revisited by longtime readers and new comers alike. I therefore ask the reader to treat this blog as a depository of important information relating to Eurasian geopolitics, Russian-Armenian relations and humanity's historic fight against the evils of Globalism and Westernization.

Thank you as always for reading.