By Rick Rozoff, Global Research
NATO's Allied Command Transformation, established at the 1999 fiftieth anniversary summit in Washington, D.C. and the first alliance command based in the U.S. (in Norfolk, Virginia), reported that participation came from "numerous partnership nations that came from all over the world including South America, North Africa, the South Pacific and East Asia" and that attending nations were members of the bloc's Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative and other military partnerships.
The first of the above three includes 21 nations in Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.) The Partnership for Peace program was employed to prepare the twelve nations incorporated as full members between 1999 and 2009: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Mediterranean Dialogue members are Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. As will be seen below, Libya is scheduled to be the next partner.
Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are members of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, with Saudi Arabia and Oman being groomed as new members and perhaps Iraq and Yemen behind them.
The nations in attendance at the NATO meeting in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, subtitled Current and Future Challenges, would have included what were formerly referred to as Contact Countries - Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea - and which are now included in a new category called Partners Across the Globe along with Afghanistan, Iraq, Mongolia and Pakistan.
The South American nation(s) were not identified, but NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Admiral James Stavridis, recently identified El Salvador in Central America and Colombia in South America, respectively, as current and future NATO partners and troop contributors in Afghanistan. This March Stavridis told Congress that Brazil and India also were potential NATO partners.
Before assuming the joint roles of NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander of U.S. European Command in 2009, Stavridis was commander of U.S. Southern Command and as such in charge of American military operations and military-to- military relations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean. In 2007 the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 conducted "presence operations" in the Caribbean Sea, the first time that alliance warships deployed there.
The inclusion of South America marks the crossing of a new threshold for NATO: It now has members and partners on all six inhabited continents, accounting for over a third of the nations in the world.
Monday, June 25, 2012
By Rick Rozoff, Global Research
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