Hey it is better to be clued in, then clueless!
Oh yeah, sorry, it is going to be in 3 parts. As silverfish would say "my bad"
"The other two contested zones and already current battlegrounds between the West and Russia and other emerging nations in this regard are the Arctic Circle and the northern part of South America and the Caribbean. Southeast Asia may be soon be another candidate for the role."
(and the Artic Circle has Canada all fired up and ready to go, as per instructions from the masters)
The drive into Africa, from the Mediterranean north to the South African way station to Antarctica and its offshore environs (the sixth key global energy chess piece) and from the war-torn northeast to the oil-rich Atlantic west, is thus integrally linked to the concomitant US and NATO military expansion into the Black and Caspian Seas and Persian Gulf regions.
Mind, this is not a direct, reductionist 'war for oil'; it is rather an international strategic bid by a consortium of declining Western powers united under the NATO aegis to seize and dominate world energy resources and transportation lines to in turn maintain and expand global economic and political hegemony. (Indeed, the two nations most central to Western plans for trans-Eurasian oil transit plans, Azerbaijan and Georgia, have recorded the largest per capita and percentile increases in military spending in the world over the past five years. A case of oil for war rather than the reverse.)
(Oops and there is Georgia, so why did they attack Ossettia? Was it testing preparedness, testing weapons, what?)
Jones' resume as top military commander of both US European Command and of NATO gave him, and still gives him, a pivotal role in what the State Department of Condoleezza Rice (herself with a doctorate degree in Sovietology and Russian studies) has referred to for years as the "push east and south."
As the US armed forces newspaper Stars and Stripes reported a year and a half ago: "Five years ago, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sent marching orders to Marine Gen. James L. Jones, telling him that the U.S. European Command needed an overhaul to meet the unique challenges of the 21st century. "Jones’ plan, started in 2002, called for the moving of thousands of troops from Europe back to the United States, moving troops into Eastern Europe and setting up forward operating sites in Africa."
What has occurred in the interim regarding the first trajectory, the push to the east, is that the Pentagon and NATO have selected seven military bases in Bulgaria and Romania, after the latter two's NATO accession in 2004, for land, naval and air 'lily pads' on the Black Sea for operations in the Caucasus, Ukraine, Central and South Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf.
The US and its Alliance cohorts have similarly turned another Black Sea, and Caucasus, nation - Georgia - into a military and strategic energy corridor heading both east and south.
In fact Georgia is the central link in what Western officials for years have touted as the "project of the century": The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline transporting oil from the Caspian to the Mediterranean Seas.
(So will the West be willing to lost Georgia to Russia? I don't think so)
Along with its sister projects, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline and the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku ("China to London") railway, the West envisions plans to export oil and natural gas from as far east as Kazakhstan on the Chinese border over, around and under the Caspian Sea to the South Caucasus and from there north to Ukraine and Poland to the Baltic Sea and onto Western Europe, and south along the Mediterranean to Israel to be shipped on tankers through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea and across the Arabian Sea to countries like India and Japan. That is, back to East Asia where much of it originated.(So the security agreement that Canada signed with Israel, could this be part of the reason? Could it all be part and parcel of this grand strategy?)
If any more grand (or grandiose) and far-reaching geopolitical design has ever been contemplated, history fails to record it.
Chinese military analyst Lin Zhiyuan summed up the general stratgey over two years ago: "[N]ew military bases, airports and training bases will be built in Hungary, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria and other nations to ensure "gangways" to some areas in the Middle East, African and Asia in possible military actions in the years ahead. "More important, the United States will successfully move eastward the gravity and frontline of its Europe defense, go on beefing up its military presence in the Baltic states and the central Asia region, and also raise its capability to contain Russia by stepping into the backyard of the former Soviet Union. "James L. Jones, commander of the European command of the US army [EUCOM, as well as NATO], acknowledged that EETAF [Eastern European Task Force] would "greatly upgrade" the capacity of coordinating the forces of the U.S. and its allies, and the capacity of training and operation in Eurasia and the Caucasian region, so that they are able to make faster responses in some conflict areas...." (People's Daily, December 5, 2006)
The author was perhaps referring to an earlier statement by James Jones, one reported on the US State Department's website on March 10, 2006: "[Jones] discussed ongoing shifts in troop levels, the creation of rotational force hubs in Bulgaria and Romania, and initiatives in Africa....Those forces remaining in Europe will focus on being able swiftly to deploy to temporary locations in southeast Europe, Eurasia and Africa. Along the Black Sea, recent basing agreements will allow U.S. forces to start establishing an Eastern European Task Force [which will] “significantly increases” the ability of U.S. and partner forces to coordinate and conduct training and missions in Eurasia and the Caucasus....
Jones also described Caspian Guard, a program to improve the capabilities of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in a strategic region that borders northern Iran. “Africa’s vast potential makes African stability a near-term global strategic imperative.”
In the past week the Pentagon's Central Command chief General David Petraeus visited Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan and Turkmenistan, the first and third on both ends of the Caspian Sea and the two largest producers of oil and natural gas in Central Asia.
This is the further implementation of Jones' plan which he bluntly articulated well over three years ago: "NATO's top military commander is seeking an important new security role for private industry and business leaders as part of a new security strategy that will focus on the economic vulnerabilities of the 26-country alliance.
(can you feel the global goodwill, the peace and harmony for humankind??
Or are you, like me, getting a whiff of fascism, hardline fascism?)
"Two immediate and priority projects for NATO officials to develop with private industry are to secure the pipelines bringing Russian oil and gas to Europe...to secure ports and merchant shipping, the alliance Supreme Commander, Gen. James Jones of the U.S. Marine Corps said Wednesday. "A further area of NATO interest to secure energy supplies could be the Gulf of Guinea off the West African coast, Jones noted...'a serious security problem.' Oil companies were already spending more than a billion dollars a year on security in the region, he noted, pointing to the need for NATO and business to confer on the common security concern."
(United Press International, October 13, 2005)
On the far western end of what British geographer and proto-geostrategist Halford Mackinder called the World Island (Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East) lies the Atlantic Coast of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea.
It is here that then EUCOM and NATO top military commander Jones arranged the foundation of the future AFRICOM. Though not without attending to the rest of the continent as well during his dual tenure from 2003-2006.
In April of 2006 he already advocated the following: "Jones...raised the prospect of NATO taking a role to counter piracy off the coast of the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, especially when it threatens energy supply routes to Western nations." (Associated Press, April 24, 2006)
Two and a half years before NATO initiated the Atlanta interdiction operation in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden last autumn (NATO warships even docked at the Kenyan port city of Mombasa), Jones was laying the groundwork for the NATO cum European Union mission of today.
As the Horn of Africa region was the only part of Africa not formerly in EUCOM's area of responsibility (in was in Central Command's), Jones was clearly speaking of an AFRICOM that wouldn't appear for another 30 months
(AFRICOM, announced in 2008. Yet Jones was speaking of it in 2006, this has me rethinking the Ethiopian invasion and two year occupation of Somalia)