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While the world focuses on the US's position in the Mid East and Central
Asia, and its very public attempts to secure its strategic interests in those two
geostrategically vital regions of Eurasia, in a less noticed feat this week,
it's also securing the third key region - Eastern Europe and particularly the
former Soviet Union...(see analysis by Stratfor below)
 
From the Draft Political Resolution:
 
"The US strategy is to dominate the global economy by blunting the
development of its various economic competitors, particularly the European Union, China
and Russia. To do this, it is trying to strangle the development of their
economies through the control of the access to oil. This requires more than
economic power, however. The US must also position itself geopolitically throughout
the world to accomplish these goals. The establishment of US-controlled
regimes in the Middle East and Central Asia, the encirclement of China, and the
undermining of Russia in its historical sphere of influence are all part of this
strategy. The US has already made clear its intention to further develop its
nuclear arsenal, raising the specter of nuclear pro-liferation and war."
-----------------
 

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Subject: Premium Global Intelligence Report - March 29, 2004
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 11:58:01 -0500
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Stratfor.com
3/29/04
1254 GMT -- UNITED STATES -- The prime ministers of Romania, Bulgaria,
Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will meet in Washington,
D.C., on March 29 to mark their official entry into NATO, which will expand
to 26 members with the seven new members. Weapons manufacturers expect to
make billions of dollars in new arms sales to these countries as they bring
their military forces up to NATO readiness levels.
 
----------------------------
Full Analysis
NATO: Expansion and Power Consolidation
 
Summary
 
Seven European states -- Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,
Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia -- have joined the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization. For all seven countries, NATO membership andpending accession to the European Union are about leaving the
East and joining the West. However, in the long run, the
expansions of both groups will ensure that Europe as a whole will
be a much more reliable U.S. ally -- even as Europe splits along
a new dividing line.
 
Analysis
 
NATO's second post-war expansion became reality March 29, when
the world's strongest military alliance accepted Bulgaria,
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia as
members. The previous expansion, in 1999, brought Poland, the
Czech Republic and Hungary into the NATO fold.
 
This expansion consolidates Western gains on the territory of the
former Soviet empire, but more importantly, the expansion of NATO
-- and the impending expansion of the European Union -- will form
Europe into the most reliable ally the United States has ever
enjoyed in the region.
 
From a geopolitical standpoint, NATO's expansion is a huge coup
for the West as a whole. Although the 1999 expansion extended
Western power toward the east, it did so in a very haphazard way
-- Hungary, for example, shared no boundaries with its NATO
allies. The 2004 expansion consolidates and rationalizes NATO's
eastern border, bringing in a swathe of states that will stretch
that dividing line fom the Gulf of Finland in the north to the
Black Sea and Adriatic Sea in the south.
 
This also will be NATO's last eastward expansion for at least a
decade. The next likely membership candidates will not be Moldova
or Ukraine -- two former Soviet republics that have expressed an
interest in joining -- because their militaries are simply too
ramshackle and pervious to Russian intelligence to make them
viable members. Instead, nonmember countries that already are
within NATO's territorial fold are likely to queue up; Croatia,
Macedonia and Albania are the most likely candidates, in that
order. European neutrals Austria and Finland also have, at times,
expressed a desire to join and would be shoo-ins should they ever
commit to an application.
 
Moscow, of course, views NATO's expansion and consolidation with
trepidation. Just as the United States fears the emergence of a
single Eurasian power bloc as a rival, Moscow (rightly) sees NATO
as a vehicle for American power that has now absorbed all of thebuffer states Russia established on its eastern flank in the
aftermath of World War II.
 
But the real news is not about Russian insecurity or cultural
advance or retreat; it is about U.S. power projection. The NATO
expansion is only the first of the major European institutional
advances to occur in 2004. On May 1, 10 states -- Estonia,
Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia,
Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus -- will join the European Union as
well, with Bulgaria and Romania widely expected to follow in 2007
or 2008.
 
With the exception of tiny Malta, Cyprus and Slovenia, all of
these states are strongly pro-American in their geopolitical
outlook, primarily because of the 50 years they spent as part of
the Soviet empire. For them, EU accession is about economic
divorce from Russia, while NATO membership is about being
sheltered by the U.S. nuclear umbrella as a hedge against Moscow.
 
The admittance of these states into the Western structures gives
the United States a huge leg up -- not just against Russia, but
also over the "old Europe" states of France and Germany, which
have striven to turn the EU into a global power-player that is
independent of the United States. That effort has always been
difficult, considering the traditionally pro-U.S. stance of the
United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands and Italy. With the
addition of a swathe of new pro-American Central European states,
it will become impossible. The net effect will be the
emasculation of the European Union as a political entity,
although as an economic force it can and will counter U.S.
economic domination.
 
That frees the United States to use NATO -- which it has always
dominated -- as a political and military tool at the times and
places of its choosing. France and Germany will certainly attempt
to preserve their sovereignty by acting independently of Europe -
- but as NATO and the EU expand, the United States is emerging as
the continent's dominant political force.
 

(c) 2004 Strategic Forecasting, Inc. All rights reserved.
 
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