"Cold War Shivers": War Preparations in the Middle East and Central Asia
by Michel Chossudovsky
October 6, 2006
It is essential that people across America and around the World take cognizance of the dangers of a Middle East war directed at 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 humanity.
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 .
The entire Middle East Central Asian region is on a war footing.
US-NATO naval deployment is taking place in two distinct theaters: the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean. (See Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, October 2006).
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.
In this context, the war on Lebanon must be viewed as a stage of the broader US sponsored military road-map, which targets Syria.
In 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 coast.
France has dispatched armored vehicle and infantry units. (Chars Leclerc see below).
The 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 with Israel.
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 operational implementation of the Global Strike. It is described as "an actual plan that the Navy and the Air Force translate into strike package for their submarines and bombers,'
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.
(For further details on the US nuclear option, see Michel Chossudovsky, Nuclear War against Iran, January 2006, The Dangers of a Middle East Nuclear War, February 2006, Is the Bush Administration Planning a Nuclear Holocaust , February 2006)
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