U.S. imperialism has sent a firm message to potential rivals in Europe and Asia: the vast wealth of the central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union belongs to Wall Street. At least, that's what the generals would want everyone to believe.
Six hundred twenty U.S. paratroopers flew 7,700 miles from Fort Bragg, N.C., to drop into Kazakhstan on Sept. 15. The deployment was ostensibly part of a six-nation military operation called "Exercise Centrazbat."
"The message I would leave is that there is no nation on the face of the earth that we cannot get to," blustered Gen. John Sheehan, commander of the U.S. Atlantic forces. The maneuvers were coordinated by NATO and the so-called "Partnership for Peace"--which involves some members of the former socialist camp in Eastern Europe. The exercises, scheduled to continue through Sept. 21, will involve some 1,600 troops.
NATO operations in the former socialist countries have been the target of mass protests. Thousands demonstrated in Ukraine in August against NATO maneuvers in that country. With the Pentagon's triumphalistic militarism stoking the rage of workers and peasants in Russia and the rest of the former Soviet republics--millions of whom are owed months of back wages while millions of dollars are spent on war games- -will the generals someday wish they could get out as easily as they went in?
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