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Halifax International Security Forum: US officially integrates Harper war government into Asia pivot strategy

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

131113-PhilippinesQuezonCityNDRRMCDemo-KMU-02EVEN before the US and NATO generals, admirals, think tank gurus, opinion makers and media pundits open the Halifax International Security Forum (HISF) aka the Halifax War Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia this afternoon, a dangerous new military agreement was announced this morning by the United States and Canada.

Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence, and the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, met on the margins of the HISF to discuss the “Canada-U.S. defence relationship”, and signed a new Canada-U.S. Asia-Pacific Defense Policy Cooperation Framework. The agreement revises the “relationship” and formally incorporates Canada deeper into the aggressve Asia Pivot strategy, also called “rebalancing,” which is aimed not only against China and Korea but against all peoples of the region.

According to the DND announcement, “The Framework will enhance the coordination of Canadian and American engagement activities in the Asia-Pacific region, build capability and capacity amongst Asian partners by coordinating training activities and exercises, and support regional forums to strengthen dialogue and cooperation.”

DND also used the occasion to publish Canada’s defence relations in the Asia-Pacific region as a so-called backgrounder.

The first point about the “Policy Cooperation Framework” is that it is a secret agreement forged between the military ministers of two governments involved in as many as five wars at the present time, and the terms are simply not released. That this is being decided behind the backs of the people is a matter of added concern. Why is the content so dark that it cannot see the light of day? No honest and democratic government that carries an enlightened foreign policy conducts secret diplomacy with its method of intrigues, codes, lies and disinformation that has caused so much damage in the world.

As everyone knows there is no place in the world that the Canadian Forces go where they are not under the command of the United States. The “relationship” is defined by over 200 military agreements such as NATO and NORAD that bind the annexed Canadian military to the Pentagon hand and foot. Any number are secret. It was through such dirty mechanisms that weapons of mass destruction such as U.S. nuclear bombs were placed on Canadian soil and bio-chemical weapons tested in Gagetown, NB and Suffied, AB – and on Canadians.

But when press releases go on to use coded phrases such as “enhance the coordination of Canadian and American engagement activities in the Asia-Pacific region” and “build(ing) capability” and “coordinating training activities and exercises” only the gullible can fail to see this is an agreement to intensify war preparations in that vast region and the suppression of the struggles of its peoples. This should be a matter of grave concern for not only the Canadian and American people but of peace-loving people the world over.

The cynical declaration by Hagel and Nicholson to deceive the public that “Canada and the U.S. are demonstrating their ongoing commitment to the Asia-Pacific region by contributing significant resources to humanitarian and relief efforts in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan” can be dismissed as pretense and duplicity. The massive influx of warships and marines has triggered mass protests from the Filipinos, who demand food and water, not troops on the ground.

The greed of these powers is such none of them would gratuitously send a naval armada to the Philippines out of humanitarian instincts. As TML Daily has pointed out in a trenchant editorial:

“The U.S., Japan (the U.S. closest economic and military ally in East Asia), Britain and Canada are sending troops into the disaster area in the name of humanitarian intervention and militarizing the relief operation to serve their own interests. These include the U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington with 5,000 troops aboard, the sending of the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious from Britain, Japan’s preparation to send 1,000 troops to the hurricane area and Canada’s deployment of the Disaster and Relief Team (DART), as well as military helicopters, plus the November 15 announcement that the Royal Canadian Air Force is sending a CC-150 Polaris military transport plane.

“This covers up that the U.S. and its allies, including Canada, are part and parcel of U.S. imperialist Chieftain Obama’s Pivot Strategy to move more U.S. troops from around the world into East Asia to threaten China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and to establish U.S. hegemony in East Asia.”

Thus the Canada-U.S. Asia-Pacific Defense Policy Cooperation Framework concretizes what Obama and Harper have being putting into place gradually for some time now. The Philippines, Australia and other parts of the region had already seen an increase in the number of U.S. warships, planes and personnel since Obama announced his “pivot” in foreign, economic and security policy towards Asia in Australia in November 2011, and as it attempts to replace U.S. and Canadian troops in Afghanistan with troops from NATO bloc countries in Europe.

 

In parallel, the DND had launched a search to establish a new military base or “hub” in Southeastern Asia, such as Malaysia, for the Canadian Forces to complement a new military “hub” that it has already announced will be located in South Korea. Canadian Forces participate in major naval and land exercises and its military training programmes extend to Mongolia, Thailand, Philippines (since 1998), etc. Naval visits to the Indian Ocean commenced shortly after the anti-imperialist revolution in Iran in 1979. It is instructive of Harper’s imperialist geography that the DND backgrounder places Mongolia and Pakistan in the Pacific.

Thus, the so-called Framework agreement is not merely a ratification of the status quo but creates the “framework” for further escalation, but with the direction and command of all Canadian military initiatives and programmes in the Pacific centralized under the United States and concentrated in the hands of its generals and admirals.

Regional Implications for Atlantic Canada

Different analysts have also underlined different economic factors behind this offensive, as China has now become the major trading partner of ASEAN. The big banks and oil-energy and mining monopolies in Canada have their own self-serving interests to expropriate the resources of foreign workers and lands. The ports of Halifax, Saint John and Maritimes Canada, though bordering the Atlantic Ocean, are not remote from the aggressive offensive of these vested interests in the Pacific and Indian oceans.

Map of the sea routes that the Atlantic Gateway is contending for reveals the extent of the global ambitions of the Irving empire and the political and economic elite.

Map of the sea routes that the Atlantic Gateway is contending for reveals the extent of the global ambitions of the Irving empire and the political and economic elite.

It is no accident that the major military-naval port of Halifax was chosen as the venue for the announcement of the new secret military agreement, in the same way it was chosen by the U.S. in 2009 as the venue for the Halifax War Conference.

In its maritime dimension, the Asia Pivot is not just about the Pacific oceanic region; it is a two ocean strategy including the Indian Ocean. The U.S. Navy has been a “two ocean” navy officially since 1940, when the U.S. Congress passed the Two-Ocean Navy Act – in effect creating one navy for the Atlantic and a second for the Pacific. But the second ocean is now the Indian Ocean. It’s more accurate to say the naval forces of the U.S. empire are pivoting from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.

The Irving empire, an official corporate sponsor of the US-NATO conference, together with other monopolies and other vested interests, are championing a new trade and sea-route called the Atlantic Gateway to capture an increasing share of Asian trade with North America; a geo-strategic route linking Mumbai and ports in the Indian Ocean basin, the Suez Canal, the ports of Halifax, Saint John and smaller harbours and overland through Moncton and Maine to the New England states and the industrial heartland of the U.S. empire. To this end the Halifax Port Authority has opened a promotional office in Mumbai, India. The “Asia Pivot” strategy enhances their prospects for a bigger share of the pie in the trafficking of goods and resources plundered from that region.

In parallel, secret arrangements have been made with the New England Governors as part of integrating the Canadian Maritimes and the New England provinces in the scheme called Atlantica.

And the military component

Further, is it not fortuitous that from Oct. 26 to Nov. 5 the Canadian Armed Forces participated in an annual U.S.-Canada military exercise termed Exercise Frontier Sentinel 2013. The major focus was on harbours and ports in various locations throughout the Maritime provinces, notably Halifax, Pictou, and Port Hawkesbury, N.S., P.E.I., and along parts of the U.S. eastern seaboard.

The major exercise – little publicized, yet one more in the series of “baby steps” – involved all three elements of the Canadian Armed Forces – the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force – in addition to the naval forces of the United States, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and several other government agencies such as Homeland Security. Frontier Sentinel was carried out under North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command.

That such an exercise is staged to “improve mutual security” of these harbours – as if from the infiltration of Arab dhows or Chinese junks – is to cover up the seditious nature of the Harper government’s actions – the placement of foreign troops in Canadian territory and the aim: military domination of the region.

All these dangerous intrigues and hotchpotch of lies under the fine-sounding phrases of “humanitarian intervention”!

All the more reason the unfolding machinations between the war ministers of the U.S., Canada and the NATO bloc now underway in Halifax deserve the utmost vigilance and condemnation.

No to Secret Deals!

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Slightly revised November 23.

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