#12 - JRL 7065
February 15, 2003
NATO'S BAGHDAD PACT
The CIA relies on Putin
Author: Marina Kalashnikova, Viktor Kalashnikov
[from WPS Monitoring Agency, www.wps.ru/e_index.html]
NEWSPAPERS PREDICT THAT IF IT COMES TO A VOTE, THE UNITED STATES AND BRITAIN WILL SUPPORT GIVING THEMSELVES CARTE BLANCHE FOR ACTION IN IRAQ; FRANCE, CHINA, RUSSIA, AND GERMANY WILL ABSTAIN. BUT THE QUESTION REMAINS: WILL ANY THE PROPOSED ACTION HAVE A REAL IMPACT ON INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM?
US experts and the press have started talking about the upcoming "Baghdad Hiroshima", meaning a series of mass threatening strikes on the Iraqi capital. The US will not necessarily use nuclear missiles, although recently the Congress research service presented a report on the advantages of using deep destruction nuclear mini-bombs against "rogue states" and terrorists. The idea is that each strike of this kind sets an "international precedent" and firmly settles new rules for the game, as well as demonstrates "who is who". Apparently, the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki played this role. Now it is the turn of Baghdad.
It is only unclear whether all these efforts will weaken international terrorism. In particular, this concerns the forces that carried out September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. Many leading experts think they will not - moreover, they are likely to intensify and toughen the terrorist war. The "Hiroshima" concept will be opposed by the "Pearl Harbor" concept in modern performance. The US administration understands it very well and is preparing the country for repulsing new terrorist acts. Since the territorial defense super-ministry was established last year, the US vulnerability has substantially decreased. At the same time, the US Western European allies are not prepared so well, and this is said to be the main motive of their "divisive behavior". Unlike the US, Germany, France, and other countries are open to the terrorist threat both from the outside and inside their countries. They are unwilling to launch conflicts with Muslim regimes and groups. Public disagreements with Washington, NATO splitting, and all other propaganda tactics are good to protect Western Europe from attacks, as well as the most important US facilities in the Old World.
There are other factors. For instance, latest German generations have been raised with deep reverse to militarism. They have to change themselves to participate in global wars. That is why German authorities can retain contacts with the public opinion and their political ability in this complicated situation only appealing to the present anti-military mass culture. Besides, Germany, as well as the overwhelming majority of European states, does not have enough forces to fight in Iraq and adjacent deserts. However, this week Buderswehr headed the peacekeeping contingent in Afghanistan in order to relieve Britain and the US of some of this burden.
A week ago, accompanying with vehement anti-American rhetoric, France sent its best aircraft-carrier and other forces to the Eastern Mediterranean area, having taken place in the second echelon of the prepared anti-Iraqi operation. Even the threats of some American senator not to drink French wine or mineral water any longer did not break the feeling of Atlantic friendship in Paris.
As for the dramatic "crisis" concerning the refusal of Berlin and Paris to render ally aid to Turkey, last Thursday President Jacques Chirac and German Defense Minster Peter Struk personally confirmed Ankara of their decisiveness to defend it in the upcoming conflict. So this incident has also been closed.
According to the current data, the planned voting on the UN resolution on Iraq will be rather heterogeneous. The Times reports that the United States and Britain will support giving carte blanche to themselves for action in Iraq; France, China, Russia, and Germany will abstain. The US team headed by Condoleezza Rice will have to secure the necessary number of votes from the "unstable" members of the Security Council. Time will tell what the results of their efforts will be.
The Washington-London military tandem is still leading the scenario. They are bearing the main burden of military expenses and risks. They will also yield the main fruit of the victory in Iraq: including oceans of crude oil...
An additional guarantee of the success is a recently installed lever for controlling Russia's oil policy in the form of a medium- sized contract with British Petroleum. However, this concerns not only oil. At the Tuesday hearing at the Senate intelligence committee, CIA Director George Tenet especially reminded that raw materials make up 80% of Russia's exports. All Russia's economy, and in fact all Russia's regime, is based on raw material exports. So this method for working with Moscow is undoubted and reliable.
Of course, Tenet admitted, the war in Chechnya has entered a "new cruel phase" in the last year. Putin has centralized the power and is using his "substantially influence" in the federal parliament and the media. However, Putin has "passed the main test" being "reserved and pragmatic" in terms of NATO expansion to the East and US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty. Besides, he behaved rather well in terms of preparing for the anti-Iraqi war and while voting in the UN. According to Tenet's estimation, Russia and US continue becoming closer. So this area does not cause any special concerns at the CIA. It is always possible to put up with details...
(Translated by Arina Yevtikhova)