U.S. Still Plans Assault on Latin America. Will We Stop this Madness?
Washington Alters U.S. Air Force Document to Hide Intentions Behind Military Accord with Colombia
November 27th 2009, by Eva Golinger
In an explicit attempt to hide Washington’s military objectives in South America, a U.S. Air Force document submitted to Congress in May 2009 that provoked deep concerns in the region has been modified and re-published on November 16, 2009. The official U.S. Air Force document, revealed and denounced by this author on November 4th, explained the justification for a million request to improve the military installations in one of the seven bases Washington will occupy under the military accord signed on October 30th between Colombia and the United States. The modified document has eliminated all mention of war and military operations in the region, as well as offensive language directed at Colombia’s neighbors, Venezuela and Ecuador. Nevertheless, Washington’s intentions remain the same.
The original Air Force document dated May 2009 outlined the importance of the military base in Palanquero, Colombia to enable “full spectrum military operations” in South America. The original military document also detailed the necessity of investing million to improve the airfield, ramps and other essential installations on the base, converting it into a Cooperative Security Location (CSL) for U.S. military missions in the region.
Original U.S. Air Force document, May 2009:
“Establishing a Cooperative Security Location (CSL) in Palanquero best supports the COCOM’s (Command Combatant’s) Theater Posture Strategy and demonstrates our commitment to this relationship. Development of this CSL provides a unique opportunity for full spectrum operations in a critical sub-region of our hemisphere where security and stability is under constant threat from narcotics funded terrorist insurgencies, anti-U.S. governments, endemic poverty and recurring natural disasters.”
The U.S. Air Force document dated November 16, 2009 and sent to the Congress under the title, “Addendum to reflect terms of the U.S.- Colombia Defense Cooperation Agreement signed on 30 October 2009,” alters the original controversial language, eliminating key terms and references that provoked grave concerns in the region. The November 16th Air Force document makes no mention of establishing a Cooperative Security Location (CSL) in Palanquero, Colombia, however it does consistently refer to Palanquero as a “location”, retaining the original intentions. Furthermore, the monetary request is reduced by a mere million to million, evidencing that the original project remains almost 100% in tact. Congress had previously approved the initial million request made by the Pentagon last Spring, conditioning the funds on the final signing of the U.S.- Colombia military accord, which was solidified on October 30th. But the November 16th U.S. Air Force document makes a clear attempt to disguise the original intentions by eliminating the provocative language referring to “full spectrum military operations in a critical sub-region… where security and stability is under constant threat from… anti-US governments.” That language in particular sparked immediate concerns and accusations regarding Washington’s intentions to utilize Colombia as a launching pad to attack countries such as Venezuela, considered erroneously “anti-U.S.” by many.
The modified U.S. Air Force document of November 16, 2009:
“This project at Palanquero best supports the Combatant Command’s (COCOM) Theater Posture Strategy and demonstrates our commitment to this relationship [with Colombia]. Development of this project provides a unique opportunity to support an important partner in a region of the western hemisphere where security and stability are under constant threat from narcotics funded terrorist insurgencies, endemic poverty and recurring natural disasters.”
The original U.S. Air Force document identified Palanquero as the perfect place to enable the implementation of the U.S. global mobility strategy because it “provides access to the entire South American continent.”
Original U.S. Air Force document from May 2009:
“Palanquero is unquestionably the best site for investing in infrastructure development within Colombia. Its central location is within reach of…operations areas…its isolation maximizes Operational Security (OPSEC) and Force Protection and minimizes the U.S. military profile. The intent is to leverage existing infrastructure to the maximum extent possible, improve the U.S. ability to respond rapidly to crisis, and assure regional access and presence at minimum cost. Palanquero supports the mobility mission by providing access to the entire South American continent with the exception of Cape Horn…”
The modified document dated November 16, 2009 eliminates all references and language referring to the “mobility mission” and “access to the entire South American continent”. However, the global mobility strategy remains an official military policy and defense strategy of the Pentagon, evidenced in the White Paper: Global en Route Strategy of the Air Mobility Command of the U.S. Air Force, and the Pentagon’s budget request and justification submitted in early 2009. Both documents specifically refer to the urgency and necessity of occupying the Palanquero base in Colombia in order to guarantee U.S. global mobility for military operations and missions.
The modified U.S. Air Force document of November 16, 2009 additionally erases all original language referring to Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance operations that would take place from the Palanquero base. Furthermore, all references to “regional access”, “theater security cooperation” and “expeditionary warfare capability” in the region have been eliminated.
Original U.S. Air Force document, May 2009:
“Development of this CSL will further the strategic partnership forged between the U.S. and Colombia and is in the interest of both nations…A presence will also increase our capability to conduct Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), improve global reach, support logistics requirements, improve partnerships, improve theater security cooperation and expand expeditionary warfare capability.”
Modified U.S. Air Force document, 16 November 2009:
“Access to Colombia will further its strategic partnership with the United States. Palanquero is unquestionably the best site for investing in infrastructure development within Colombia. Its central location is within reach of counter narco-terrorist operations areas; the runway and existing airfield facilities will reduce construction costs; its isolation maximizes Operational Security (OPSEC) and Force Protection and minimizes the U.S. military profile. The intent is to leverage existing infrastructure to the maximum extent possible, improve the U.S. ability to respond rapidly to crises, and assure access and presence at minimum cost. The taxiway and ramp/apron areas are deficient and in their current configurations severely limit the operational capabilities of this location. Additionally, the operations and support facilities need to be expanded to service a wide array of aircraft that mutually agreed activities may entail.”
Despite the modifications to the U.S. Air Force document more than six months after the original was sent to Congress, the intentions behind the U.S. military agreement with Colombia remain the same. No evidence exists demonstrating a change in the Pentagon’s global mobility strategy - it is an official state policy included in the Global Defense Posture Strategy, in place at the present time. The military base in Palanquero, Colombia has been identified several times in different Pentagon documents as the perfect site – a unique opportunity – to guarantee continental access in South America, facilitating “full spectrum military operations” in Latin America.
Original U.S. Air Force document, May 2009, in English: http://www.centrodealerta.org/documentos_desclasificados/original_in_english_air_for.pdf
Traducción no oficial al español: http://www.centrodealerta.org/documentos_desclasificados/traduccion_del_documento_de.pdf
Modified U.S. Air Force document, 16 November 2009 original and translation available at: http://www.centrodealerta.org/noticias/ultima_hora_washington_alte.html
The Instigators of War: Venezuela or the Colombian Government?
November 27th 2009, by Camilo Moreno - Rebelión
For several weeks the main Colombian media outlets have intensified their campaign against Venezuela, wanting to make the Bolivarian Republic appear as the instigator of a possible war between the two countries. The ideological operation is simple: to put a smokescreen in front of the unfortunate decision of the Colombian government to increase the shameful presence of North American troops and mercenaries in our territory, which puts regional security in grave danger, and at the same time caricaturing the legitimate protests of the Venezuelan government against the expansion of the bases and its denunciation of the threat they represent. They want to confuse the victim with the aggressor.
Who represents the real danger to regional peace? It isn’t Venezuela who for more than a century has promoted division in the continent, who has invaded the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean innumerable times with different excuses to defend “the interests of North American citizens.” Neither the Monroe doctrine nor “manifest destiny,” which the U.S. allots itself in order to intervene into any place in America if they consider it necessary, were born in Venezuela. For more than a century, the countries of America have been victims of the direct interventions of the U.S. army (Dominican Republic, Panama, Haiti, Puerto Rico…); the promotion, financing and training of local mercenaries and death squads to destablise adverse governments or revolutionary processes (Cuba, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Colombia...); the financing of opposition parties, terrorist acts and massive destabilisation campaigns (Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador...); and the support of coup d’états and military or civilian dictatorships (Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Honduras...).
For more than 50 years the United States has learnt that the best way of guaranteeing its investments, the massive plundering and the raw materials in the continent, is through the development of a comprehensive war, where the fundamental component is ideological. Developing a vast, multimillion dollar network of media outlets, submissive leaders, local shock groups, regional allies, and the majority of armed forces under U.S. training, added to a massive and constant bombardment of culture and the U.S. “way of life,” it manages to penetrate itself into many aspects of the life of our countries, guaranteeing massive dispossession with almost total impunity.
Today, facing the world crisis and the relative decline of its economic power, the U.S. needs to guarantee its control with a strong military presence in the region. Seven Colombian bases, airports to land warplanes, the deployment of intelligence, ultimately a force of occupation in our territory, added to what has already existed since the 1962 doctrine of National Security, convert our country into a true beachhead of U.S. military deployment and bury any hope of building a democratic nation.
The real danger for the region is constituted by an army capable of intervening in any place in the world, capable of destroying entire civilizations (Iraq). An army that has increased the troops in Afghanistan, that threatens to intervene in Iran, that is complicit in the Israeli genocide of the Palestinian people, which continues maintaining its world supremacy. “Until when the barbarity in the name of liberty?” asked the writer Eduardo Galeano, with just reason.
Venezuela has reason to feel threatened. The U.S. has financed opposition parties and shock groups there, through various “non-governmental” organizations (like the “NED”, National Endowment for Democracy). It supported the coup d’état in April 2002, the oil sabotage, and the discrediting and destabilisation campaigns.
Colombia has infiltrated paramilitary groups that traffic drugs and generate terror in the border zones, and they have uncovered various assassination attempts against President Chavez by paramilitary groups supported by sectors of the opposition.
It’s no secret to anybody that Venezuela is trying to promote a different model of development to neo-liberalism, with social reforms, large state investments, improvement of the productive apparatus and sustainable growth; policies which are intolerable for the Colombian and U.S. ruling classes.
Any country in the world that tries to swim against the current, that tries to promote reforms that might pose a challenge to the privileges of the powerful, has to find a way to defend itself in the face of the ever present external and internal threats. It isn’t new. The development of urban and rural militias to defend against a possible invasion; of a professional, well trained and prepared army; of appropriate armaments; the people’s training in the methods of defense; and the general mobilization capable of devoting everything to defending the dignity of their nation and the revolutionary process that is underway. Cuba did it decades ago and that’s why the U.S. doesn’t dare to invade it directly.
Preparing for the worst is an old lesson of history that if one forgets, it can cost the people dearly. And Venezuela has the duty of preparing for its defense.
It’s time to say it clearly. The plutocracy that governs Colombia doesn’t represent the nation. Its army is an army of occupation, at the service of imperialism. The true threat to the Colombian people is represented by its ruling class, whose warmongering delirium have lead it to seize the nation in order to maintain its privileges. They have already pawned Colombia and surrendered its sovereignty with the most shameless cynicism; they will be capable of sacrificing their own people if the strategic plans of the U.S. demand it.
For decades, the Colombians who yearn for peace have seen the biggest obstacle to it in the ruling elite of the country. They have suffered massive displacement, campaigns of extermination, criminalization, and they have felt the severity of an internal war that doesn’t end. Between the Colombia of the powerful and the privileged and the Colombia of the great majority there exists a massive gulf. There are the few who defend foreign interests, and the rest suffer the consequences of the plundering and the war that the oligarchies insist on maintaining.
Only the massive mobilization of the Colombian people will impede our country from being used as a platform of harassment and invasions. Only regaining the sovereignty from the hands of those that betrayed the homeland by handing it over to the U.S. will be able to impede a fratricidal war. But if even in this way they insist on bringing it about, we know on what side of the barricade we will be. It won’t be with the imperialists.
Translated by Sean Seymour-Jones for Venezuelanalysis.com
-1. 17/11/2009: Chavez Rejects U.S. Mediation in Venezuela-Colombia Spat, U.S. Withdrawal is “Only Solution”
-1. 17/11/2009: US Bases: A Step Backward for the Hemisphere
-1. 15/11/2009: Venezuela Declares Commitment to Peace and Dialogue, Prepares Defense of Natural Resources
Tags: Colombia-Venezuela Relations | Venezuela-U.S. Relations
Part of this hemispheric awakening is being fostered by independent media artists/sources who you can easily follow. Some are:
Please join this struggle for justice and true freedom. Our brothers and sisters across the Americas are doing their parts from conditions of extreme hardship and danger. Surely it is time for us to “step up” from here. Please spread this note everywhere. General Joe
"In an explicit attempt to hide Washington’s military objectives in South America, a U.S. Air Force document submitted to Congress in May 2009 that provoked deep concerns in the region has been modified and re-published on November 16, 2009. The official U.S. Air Force document, revealed and denounced by this author on November 4th, explained the justification for a million request to improve the military installations in one of the seven bases Washington will occupy under the military accord signed on October 30th between Colombia and the United States. The modified document has eliminated all mention of war and military operations in the region, as well as offensive language directed at Colombia’s neighbors, Venezuela and Ecuador."