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Thursday, October 06, 2005

An Unnoticed Menace - The Shanghai Cooperation Organization

While our attention has been focused on the "War on Terror," and Iraq, a new organization has been quietly assembling, arming, maneuvering, and, perhaps, preparing for war.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will celebrate its fifth anniversary in June 2006. This is not a cause for celebration for us in the West.

What is the ultimate mission of the SCO and its potential impact on Central Asia and the Middle East? What are the long-term goals and objectives for the region and for the world? The member and observer states are an unlikely crew. Members: Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikisan; Observers: India, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan.

Russia and China already have completed joint exercises and are exchanging technology and personnel in an "evolving relationship."

Immediately after the completion of their historic joint military exercises, Russia and China announced plans to hold additional joint exercises in 2006. Both countries anticipate expanding the exercises to include SCO member states Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as observer states India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan. “It is possible by the time we decide to hold such exercises with China; other SCO countries would be willing to join, like India,” one Russian official said. Russian Defense Minister Ivanov concurred, “I think that future Russia-China military exercises will be held and other members of the SCO will probably take part in them.”   
Russia and India are scheduled to hold their first joint army drill next month, with mock raids on terrorist facilities taking place in the Indian province of Rajastahn, on the border with Pakistan. Andrei Kokoshin, a former secretary of the Russian Security Council and a member of parliament said the impending follow-up to the Peace Mission 2005 exercises could be part of a Russia-China-India triangle which supports the increased activity of the SCO. “The exercise might focus on maintaining stability in Central Asia and ensuring the security of oil supplies via sea routes,” Kokoshin said.
Chinese, Indian and Russian naval assets working in unison to protect oil supplies in the Persian Gulf? This comment shows another disturbing aspect of the emerging confederacy, an increased willingness to use its combined military strength to secure strategic energy reserves located in the Middle East. The mere thought of the Persian Gulf clogged with warships enforcing multilateral allegiances and interests is enough to make any analyst stay up all night.

General Yury Baluyevskiy, Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, further elaborated on the topic of SCO military cooperation, “I do not rule out that, if a decision is made by the SCO, of which Russian and China are members, the armed forces of our countries may be involved in performing certain tasks.” General Baluyevskiy failed to elaborate on what those “certain tasks” would include. 
Observer country Pakistan is also becoming more active in the military aspects of the SCO. In September, Chinese General Liang Guanglie, a member of the Central Military Commission and Chief of Staff of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), met with Pakistani General Ehsan Ul Haq, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to strengthen military-to-military ties. During the meeting in Beijing, the two generals exchanged views on issues of common global and regional interest, as well as army building.
The most troubling development of the past month related to the SCO is the growing prospect of a nuclear-obsessed Iran joining the organization as a permanent member. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the newly elected conservative President of Iran, is a proven U.S. antagonist and a firm believer in spreading revolutionary Islamist ideology throughout the Muslim world. His recent comments at the U.N. concerning the U.S. show a preparation for confrontation with the U.S. Making matters worse, Iran is planning to build up its military forces. Iran had planned to double its military budget by 2010, but thanks to record oil revenues, that timetable has been adjusted to 2008.

What Does This Mean?
This is a menacing and frightening group of states whose interest is inimical with that of the West, especially of America.

The SCO is a menacing confederacy of powerful nations arising out of the shadows of the Cold War that could cause tremendous global instability and even lead to world war. Geopolitics aside, the SCO has the potential to become the most powerful alliance on earth, combining Russia’s energy, military and technology expertise; China and India’s economic and human capital; and Iran’s enormous energy resources and growing military capabilities. This unique combination makes the SCO a formidable adversary for the U.S.
In February, Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) chief of staff General Liang Guanglie said the Peace Mission 2005 exercises would, “protect the peace and stability in our region and the world.” The world? The world has been led to believe that the SCO is a regional alliance designed to address issues of mutual concern such as terrorism, separatism and extremism - whatever they may mean at the moment for the members of the SCO. With military operations scheduled for 2006 and an expanded list of participating nations, the military threat posed by the SCO is starting to take shape.

Leaders and analysts all over the world are now coming to the realization that they have been mislead. I know that my level of concern has been raised.
Read the rest.


  • At Fri Feb 03, 11:32:00 AM PST, Blogger stevesadlov said…

    Let us suppose that one were to create the perfect plan for a cabal of modern day Cyruses to realize Cyrus' original dream of conquest. One would want to start by creating the perfect Axis. This perfect Axis would include the world's largest arsenal of nuclear weapons and the world's largest army.

    It would have, within the territories of its core nations, most of the world's supply of oil. It would undertake a crash program to construct, over the course of a mere 10 years, a 21st century superhighway system, linking the temperate and semi tropical southern half of its core lands together and radiating spokes into and through its vassal states along its southern and western periphery, which, at some future date, would serve as the routes via which blitzkrieg would be launched.

    This axis would use brash rhetoric to create doubts about Western power amongst the World's community of so called "non aligned" nations and would PR itself as "the better alternative to [supposed!] Western hegemony."

    Now, we see that such an Axis does indeed exist and has done, or soon will do, all of the things described above.

    We who are aware enough to perceive it live in a state of combined exhilaration due to the amazing tibre of these times, and horror, at the approach of a mennace unlike any other ever seen before in human experience.

    Steve Sadlov


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