Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bases in Bulgaria, Romania for U.S

NATO Bases For War In The East

Written by RickRozoff

U.S efforts in Romania and Bulgaria are part of a global redeployment
strategy started in the early years of the Bush administration to
shift U.S. forces out of Germany and move them eastward.""The number
of US military men at the two bases is not going to be large, but who
can say that it will not be doubled, tripped or quadrupled in the
future? Furthermore, the appearance of NATO bases on the Black Sea
coast will come as an addition to the US military [deployments] in the
Baltic region. As a result, Russia will find itself trapped.""[T]he
new land, sea and airbases along the Black Sea will provide much
improved contingency access for deployments into Central Asia, parts
of the Middle East and Southwest Asia."Last week was an eventful one
in Eastern Europe.The two top foreign policy veterans in the current
U.S. administration, Vice President Joseph Biden and Defense Secretary
Robert Gates, visited the capitals of Poland, the Czech Republic,
Romania and Slovakia. Biden was in Warsaw, Prague and Bucharest to
recruit all three nations into the new U.S.-led, NATO-wide interceptor
missile system and to make arrangements for the deployment of American
Patriot missiles and troops to Poland, the first foreign soldiers to
be based in that nation since the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact
eighteen years ago.Gates was in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia,
for a two-day meeting of NATO and partner states' defense chiefs which
also focused on the establishment of a missile shield to encompass the
entire European continent as well as the unparalleled escalation of
the U.S.'s and NATO's war in Afghanistan.A few days earlier the U.S.
armed forces publication Stars and Stripes announced that the Pentagon
will spend an additional $110 million to upgrade two of the seven
military bases in Bulgaria and Romania it acquired the use of in
agreements signed in 2005 and 2006.The report led to political fallout
in the two host countries with Bulgarian and Romanian officials
scrambling to qualify the news and pretend that somehow their own
subservient governments would retain control over the expanded bases.
Sofia and Bucharest have no more say in how the Pentagon and NATO have
used and will intensify the use of air fields and other bases in their
nations than they do in determining which war zones their nations'
troops are deployed to, which of late include Bosnia, Kosovo,
Afghanistan and Iraq.The NATO defense chiefs meeting in Slovakia on
October 22-23 endorsed the demands of the top American and NATO
commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, for as many as
85,000 more U.S. troops to be added to the 68,000 American and 38,000
NATO and partner forces already in the South Asian war theater, and
Poland immediately pledged 600 more troops with other Alliance states
soon to follow. Combined U.S.-NATO troop strength in Afghanistan may
reach 200,000.Even during the peak of the American troop "surge" in
Iraq at the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008 there was a total of
186,000 U.S. troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently there are
an estimated 130,000 in Iraq and 68,000 in Afghanistan. In all
198,000. There were 34,000 American troops in Afghanistan on January
20th of this year when Barack Obama moved into the White House; there
are twice that many now.The figure of 85,000 additional American
troops is what McChrystal reportedly termed his "low-risk" preference,
with 40,000 the smallest and "higher risk" number bandied about in
recent weeks.The recently concluded NATO defense ministerial seems to
have put to rest that false debate as well as another that has
occupied the U.S. press corps in recent days, whether the dramatically
expanding war in South Asia, Pakistan as well as Afghanistan, is to
concentrate on "counterinsurgency" or "counterterrorism." That is,
whether the Pentagon and NATO will limit their military actions to
hunting down alleged al-Qaeda survivors or wage full-scale warfare
against all insurgent forces identified as Taliban on both sides of
the Afghan-Pakistani border.The second option of course would make the
85,000 figure not only likely but unavoidable.McChrystal delivered a
fifteen minute presentation at the NATO meeting and the Alliance's
secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said "What we did today was to
discuss General McChrystal's overall assessment, his overall approach,
and I have noted a broad support from all ministers of this overall
counterinsurgency approach." [1]The Los Angeles Times of October 24
wrote that "America's NATO allies signaled broad support Friday for an
ambitious counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, adding to the
momentum building for a substantial U.S. troop increase."NATO defense
ministers meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia, endorsed the strategy put
forward by Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the U.S. and allied
commander. The alliance rejected competing proposals to narrow the
military mission to fighting the remnants of Al Qaeda." [2]Pentagon
chief Robert Gates walked away from the two-day conference assured
that "a number of allies...were thinking about increasing their own
military or civilian contributions." [3]As though a war of such
monumental proportions was not enough for self-styled 21st Century
NATO to manage, its chief Rasmussen delivered an inventory of
additional missions while addressing the bloc's new Strategic Concept,
including "nuclear matters," "cyber defence," "the difficult economic
climate," "the effects of disruption in energy supply" and "perhaps
the most global of challenges - climate change." [4]But his main focus
was on two related subjects, both with Russia as prime antagonist. On
the first topic Rasmussen asserted:"Energy security is [an] emerging
challenge. Indeed, many countries...have already felt the effects of
disruption in energy supply, and in the next few years, the
competition for energy will only get more intense. This means that we
need to think about how to protect our supply lines, our transit
routes, and our critical infrastructure."His allusion was to
collective NATO-U.S.-EU efforts to "lessen Europe's energy dependency"
on Russia and to continue developing alternative routes for Caspian
Sea and Middle East oil to enter Europe by circumventing Russia (and
Iran). What, if the situation were reversed, would be condemned in
Western capitals as an energy war.In mentioning "the meaning of
Article 5," Rasmussen affirmed that "NATO's core task was, is, and
will remain, the defence of our territory and our populations. For our
Alliance to endure, all members must feel that they are safe and
secure. NATO has never failed in this respect."There is only one
nation on earth against whom NATO can "defend its territory":
Russia.His comments concerning "the challenge of cyber-attacks -
which, as we saw in Estonia two years ago, can seriously destabilise a
country" made the point even more indisputable.Rasmussen's address,
finally, rehashed the 1989 George H.W. Bush speech A Europe Whole and
Free [5] with the pledge that "our new Strategic Concept must reaffirm
a long-standing NATO objective: to help complete the consolidation of
Europe as a continent that is whole, free and at peace. NATO's open
door policy will continue. It will continue because it contributes to
Euro-Atlantic security, and it provides a strong incentive, for
aspirants, to get their house in order."The small and diminishing
handful of nations in Europe not already in NATO supplying troops and
military equipment for the war in Afghanistan and the three countries
in the South Caucasus - Armenia's defense minister was at the NATO
meeting to offer troops - are to be dragged into the Alliance, Russian
apprehensions and objections notwithstanding.What being fully
integrated into NATO portends for the countries so affected and for
their neighbors has been indicated and will be explored in greater
depth later with the cases of Bulgaria and Romania.What it has meant
for three other nations recruited into the bloc in the same year,
2004, as Bulgaria and Romania - the former Soviet Baltic republics of
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - was demonstrated earlier in the week
when Rasmussen called for "a clear, visible NATO presence in the
Baltic states" and said he "would not exclude military exercises in
the future" to assert the Alliance's "visible presence" in the Baltics
on and near Russia's borders. [6]Recently U.S. Assistant Secretary of
State Philip Gordon - formerly of the Brookings Institution,
International Institute for Strategic Studies in London and German
Society for Foreign Affairs in Bonn and who was "instrumental in
developing and coordinating NATO policy in the run-up to the
Alliance's 50th Anniversary summit in Washington, D.C." [7] - was in
Estonia where he met with Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, who "called for
Georgia, Ukraine, and Bosnia and Herzegovina to be included in NATO's
Membership Action Plan, a program of assistance to countries seeking
to join NATO...." [8]Nothing on this level of geopolitics - absorbing
former Soviet republics and Russian neighbors like Georgia and Ukraine
into a U.S.-controlled military bloc - is coincidental. The Estonian
foreign minister's statement was seconded with precise fidelity by
Senator John Kerry shortly after his recent tour of inspection of the
Afghan war front. Kerry said "[W]hile the world has changed, we are
still dealing with some of the same geostrategic and ideological
concerns that brought NATO into being in particular, a deep and
durable commitment by like-minded democracies to cooperate closely and
deter aggression with a promise to rise up in defense of any NATO
member under attack."I hope we can...address the prospects for future
NATO enlargement to include Balkan nations, Georgia, and Ukraine."
[9]As was repeatedly stated at the NATO meeting in Slovakia, although
the bloc is increasingly conducting military operations outside its
area of responsibility in the Balkans, South Asia, Northeast and
Central Africa and the entire perimeter of the Mediterranean Sea, its
"core," fundamental role remains what it has been for sixty years,
confronting Russia.Which is how Russia and its then president Vladimir
Putin and foreign minister Sergey Lavrov reacted to the U.S. takeover
of seven military bases in Bulgaria and Romania. In 2007 the first
stated "[A] new base in Bulgaria, another in Romania, a site in
Poland, radar in the Czech Republic. What are we supposed to do? We
cannot just observe all this." [10]Shortly afterward the second,
Lavrov, stated "Russia finds it hard to understand some decisions of
NATO like, for example, the deployment of US military facilities in
Bulgaria and Romania." [11]Regarding the recent disclosure that the
Pentagon is going to allot $110 million to modernize and expand
military bases in both countries - "a $50 million military base in
Romania that could house 1,600 U.S. troops, and another $60 million
facility for 2,500 troops in Bulgaria" [12] - no small sum in the
impoverished nations, James Robbins, a senior fellow in national
security affairs with the Washington-based American Foreign Policy
Council think tank, said "the U.S. efforts in Romania and Bulgaria are
part of a global redeployment strategy started in the early years of
the Bush administration to shift U.S. forces out of Germany and move
them eastward." [13]The same news source also reported that "the U.S.
intends to deploy troops to Poland at some point in the near future,"
according to the State Department's undersecretary of state for arms
control and international security Ellen Tauscher. [14]Bulgaria's
investment in turning its military bases over to the Pentagon and NATO
is a bad one, though. While the U.S. is to spend $60 million expanding
one of its military bases, the country's Defense Minister Nikolay
Mladenov announced earlier this week that "Afghanistan is Bulgaria's
largest military mission, costing taxpayers about BGN 90 million
(about USD 68.7 million) each year." [15] A net loss of $8.7 million.
More if Mladenov delivers on a recent promise to increase his nation's
troop contingent in Afghanistan.The Bulgarian base that will soon
house 2,000 U.S. troops is the Novo Selo Military Training Ground and
will be upgraded "so that it could accommodate more rangers and be
used for military exercises conducted by several countries, not just
US and Bulgarian forces." [16]That is, it will be used for
multinational NATO combat instruction for current wars, that in
Afghanistan in particular, and for potential use elsewhere in the
Broader Middle East, in the former Soviet Union and in Africa.It will
especially focus on the integration of expeditionary forces from
nations arising from the ruins of the Soviet Union and
Yugoslavia.Earlier this month Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov
escorted high-ranking U.S. military officers to the Novo Selo base and
on the occasion stated "Bulgaria would continue its military
cooperation with the USA, and that Serbia and Ukraine had also
expressed expressed interest in joint drills." [17]During a meeting of
the Southeastern Europe Defense Ministerial (SEDM) on October 22 in
Bulgaria Defense Minister Mladenov "offered his counterparts from
neighboring countries to use the joint Bulgarian-U.S. military
training facilities in Novo Selo....The annual meeting was attended by
the defense ministers of all countries which have the status of
observers - Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia." [18] Montenegro
and Serbia were incorporated as full members of the SEDM during the
meeting which was also attended by "representatives of NATO Allied
Joint Force Command, Naples, and NATO Allied Joint Force Command,
Brunssum, as well as the General Manager of NATO Consultation, Command
and Control Agency," according to the NATO Partnership for Peace
website. [19]This year's meeting of SEDM, which overlaps with other
NATO transitional programs like the Adriatic Charter and the
Partnership for Peace, also established a Multilateral Peace Force
Southeastern Europe. The twelve previous full members of the SEDM are
the United States, Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy,
Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.The nations Bulgarian
officials listed as ones invited to be trained by the Pentagon's Joint
Task Force - East, about which more later, were mentioned again
recently by U.S. Vice President Biden in Romania on October 22, as
they were at the same time by Biden's former Senate colleague John
Kerry, in the latter case as future NATO members.Biden stated in
Bucharest, "As President Obama has said, there are no old members,
there are no new members of NATO; there are just members. Under
Article 5, an attack on one is an attack against all" [20] and "Our
military serve together in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in the West Balkans
zone...." [21]A Romanian news source quoted the American vice
president as also saying, "We share a desire that Romania's neighbors
including Moldova will continue along the path to democracy and...that
they will be integrated into European institutions when they are
ready. That's why we have to sustain this bid to economically
stabilize Moldova." [22]Moldova was the scene of a so-called Twitter
Revolution in April of this year, one modeled after earlier "color"
uprisings in Yugoslavia, Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan from
2000-2005, and now has a new government ready to merge with Romania,
which would mean dragging the former Soviet republic into NATO.It is
that process Biden in bent on completing.Moldova also has an
unresolved, "frozen," conflict with Transdniester where Russia
deployed peacekeepers in 1992 after thousands were killed and injured
in fighting between the two states. There are still 365 Russian troops
in the republic and last week a Transdniester official requested more
Russian forces in anticipation of increased tensions with Moldova's
new pro-NATO government.Were Moldova to join NATO, either in its own
right or as part of an expanded Romania, the Alliance would be in a de
facto state of war with Transdniester, which is supported by Russia.
Romania is a NATO member and if it intervened on behalf of Moldova
against its neighbor could invoke NATO's Article 5 against
Transdniester - where, again, Russian troops are based.Addressing his
Romanian hosts on October 22, Biden said, "In Eastern Europe, there
are countries still struggling to establish fully functioning
democracies and vibrant market economies. You can help guide Moldova,
Georgia and Ukraine along the path to stability and prosperity...There
is much work to be done in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus." [23]The
six nations he mentioned are exactly those targeted by the European
Union's Eastern Partnership program to be weaned from the post-Soviet
Commonwealth of Independent States and integrated into the EU and
NATO.Biden also touched on the main subject of his preceding visits to
Poland and the Czech Republic: The European wing of the U.S.'s new
global missile shield system.His comments on that score at Bucharest
University included:"I really appreciate your government's embrace of
the new missile defense architecture we are bringing into Europe. It
is a better architecture. It has the benefit of protecting you
physically, as well as the United States." [24]He further touted a
"new missile defense architecture" that "will protect all NATO allies,
including all central European NATO members" and would provide
"stronger, smarter and swifter defenses." [25] (Central Europe is the
term now used in the West for most of the area referred to as Eastern
Europe during the Cold War. The new designation is political and not
geographical.)That Biden laid such particular stress on this topic in
Romania indicates that the U.S. has plans to extend its interceptor
missile system into the Black Sea region.The day after the American
vice president left Romania a U.S. military official spoke of the
Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base - where the $50 million investment is to
occur and which has been used for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -
near the port city of Constanta on the Black Sea and said that it
"will become a permanent facility in the spring and be jointly used
with Romanian forces." [26]The progressively more aggressive U.S. and
NATO military penetration of the Black Sea region has been examined in
previous articles in this series [27]. A Russian report of October 23
included this background information:"Over 4,000 US military men are
expected to serve at the two bases: 1,600 in Romania and 2,500 in
Bulgaria. The authorities of the two nations expect that the US
military men will settle there for a long time."It goes along with the
Pentagon's intention to cut its 55,000-strong group in Germany and
redeploy a part of the troops in several countries of Eastern Europe,
including Bulgaria and Romania."The same source quoted a Russian
analyst:"The number of US military men at the two bases is not going
to be large, but who can say that it will not be doubled, tripped or
quadrupled in the future? Furthermore, the appearance of NATO bases on
the Black Sea coast will come as an addition to the US military
[deployments] in the Baltic region. As a result, Russia will find
itself trapped." [28]The relocation of American combat and
expeditionary forces from Germany and Italy to Romania and Bulgaria
has been underway for the past two years.In June of 2007 a Bulgarian
news agency revealed that "The Bezmer military airport...will be
transformed into one of the six new strategic airbases outside US
borders." [29]Slightly afterwards another Bulgarian source announced
that "NATO will move aircraft from the US air base in Aviano,
northeastern Italy, to Bulgaria's Graf Ignatievo air base...." [30]A
year before a third news site in the nation detailed that "[T]he new
land, sea and airbases along the Black Sea will provide much improved
contingency access for deployments into Central Asia, parts of the
Middle East and Southwest Asia." [31]Beginning in 2007 the Pentagon's
new Joint Task Force - East (JTF-East), during its formative stage
known as the Eastern Europe Task Force, started operating in Bulgaria
and Romania and last year established its headquarters at the Mihail
Kogalniceanu base in Romania.Its main purpose is to conduct joint
combat training with U.S., Bulgarian and Romanian troops for the war
in Afghanistan and for others in the future.JTF-East has just
completed an almost three-month-long series of trainings in Bulgaria
and Romania which began on August 7 and ended on October 24. It has
two heavy brigade combat teams and the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment
assigned to it and may acquire the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team
currently based in Vicenza, Italy.The Stryker is the Pentagon's
state-of-the-art 21st Century armored combat vehicle, first tried out
in Iraq in 2003 and introduced in Afghanistan earlier this year.
Bulgaria and Romania are its testing grounds.The two Black Sea
nations, in hosting the Joint Task Force - East and the 2nd Stryker
Cavalry Regiment, are the preeminent "forward operating bases" for the
war in South Asia and are poised to play a similar role in conflicts
that may erupt in the Black Sea area, the Caucasus and the Persian
Gulf.It was reported that as part of the August-October joint military
exercises "Soldiers of the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment based in
Vilseck, Germany, have been training for the past three months in
Romania and Bulgaria as part of their preparations for an upcoming
deployment to Afghanistan this spring."U.S. Soldiers offloaded 30
Stryker combat vehicles in early August at the Mihail Kogalniceanu
Airfield in eastern Romania and have since been conducting combined
training with their host-nation counterparts."Soldiers from the 2nd
SCR have been rotating every three weeks to Romania and Bulgaria since
the second week of August and will continue through the end of
October." [32]At the aforementioned Novo Selo Training Area in
Bulgaria, "Bulgarian Land Forces and U.S. Army troops demonstrated
their interoperability and combat skills Oct. 8 during distinguished
visitors' day here. The training exhibition consisted of both
militaries engaging an enemy where the coalition neutralized the
opposing force."Units of both countries enhance their
troops' individual combat skills and improve their coalition
cooperation."Joint Task Force-East, a combined partnership effort of
leaders, special staff and logistics support, facilitates select units
rotating through training cycles. The JTF-E exercises consist of
tactical field and simulation training including, but not limited to:
squad- to company-level size attacks; assault rifle, mortar and
rocket-propelled grenade live fire; Stryker and BMP-1 armored infantry
carrier vehicle movements and combat lifesaver training." [33]An
American newspaper account of one of the joint exercises added,
"Soldiers from all three countries trained together in individual and
company-level movements as well as with armored vehicles, a variety of
weapons and combat lifesaving skills. They also practiced the
coordination needed to go into and clear a hostile urban area." [34]A
Bulgarian news story mentioned: "The joint Bulgaria-US military
exercise at the Novo Selo ground is part of a three-week long practice
to include reconnaissance and target shooting."Bulgarian and US
soldiers on Thursday conducted a joint drill of fighting the enemy in
an urban setting at the Novo Selo training ground."[The] drill
involved combat tactics used in Afghanistan." [35]A Bulgarian news
site reported in early October that "High ranking officers from both
armies are taking part Thursday [October 8] in the Novo Selo VIP Day
and are observing tactical demonstrations of the US and Bulgarian land
forces, Black Hawk helicopters, Stryker armored vehicles and Bulgarian
armored equipment." [36]On the day of Joseph Biden's stay in the
country Romania announced that it had signed an Access Agreement with
the Pentagon: "According to a release of the Ministry of National
Defense, under this Agreement Romania gives U.S. forces access for use
of the facilities approved under Law 268/2006, Annex A, often referred
to in foreign and Romanian media as 'American military bases,' and not
as 'facilities made available to U.S. forces.'"Attending the
discussions on the agreement "on behalf of the United States were
representatives of U.S. European Command (USEUCOM), the U.S. Army
Europe (USAREUR) Major Command, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAF)
and the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest...." [37]On the same day an
international conference on NATO and the New Strategic Concept was
held in the Romanian capital. A report of the event stated "Romania
wishes the reaffirmation of Article 5 from the North-Atlantic Pact.
Another field in which the Romanian side seems to be interested in is
energy security."One of the hosts of the event said, "Romania is one
of the [active] states of the energy security component. For the time
being NATO has accepted it and introduced in its final documents
specific operations directed to the protection of critical
infrastructure on land and water. Currently, some formulas are being
planned including other elements of energy security strategy NATO
should assume." [38]While meeting with Biden the day before, Romania's
President Traian Basescu sounded the same note: "The liquid gas
terminal in Constanta is still a common project of Romania and the US,
as is the Constanta-Trieste oil pipeline." [39]On the eastern end of
the Black Sea, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International
Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow - former American ambassador to
NATO and to Russia - was in Georgia earlier this week to discuss
"modernization of defense systems, participation of the Georgian
military contingent in Afghan peace operations, security in the region
and other urgent issues." [40]While in the nation Vershbow stated
"Georgia's forward movement towards NATO is very important for us and
we are ready to develop a special program to achieve this goal."
[41]Frequent comments of a similar tenor by the Pentagon official led
a Russian new source to recount that "He said the US administration is
helping Georgia to build armed forces that would meet the requirements
of the day and would be capable of cooperating with NATO."Washington
has been doing its utmost to this effect. Hundreds of US experts,
including marines, are currently in Georgia training Georgian soldiers
who are to join the US-led contingent in Afghanistan on President
Saakashvili's orders. A total of 700 Georgian servicemen are expected
to be moved to Afghanistan by early next year at a time when coalition
losses grow by the day....It looks like President Saakashvili is
prepared to go any lengths, up to sacrificing young lives, to please
Washington and get into NATO." [42]Four days after Vershbow's
departure, on October 24 U.S. Marines in Georgia kicked off a two-week
joint military exercise, the latest one to be code-named Immediate
Response, which the American embassy in Tbilisi described as
"specifically designed to enhance Georgia's ability to conduct joint
counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan together with US
forces."Immediate Response 2008, which included the largest-ever
deployment of U.S. armed forces to Georgia, concluded on September 4,
three days before the U.S.-trained Georgian army bombarded and invaded
South Ossetia, triggering a war with Russia. Many of the U.S. troops
and much of their military equipment stayed behind after the war
games.The current Immediate Response drills are providing Washington's
proxy army with training for aggression against South Ossetia and
Abkhazia - and another armed conflict with Russia - as well as for war
in Afghanistan.The true war theater begins in the Balkans and the
Black Sea region and stretches along the Russian to the Chinese
border. Bulgaria and Romania are key links in that chain.1) New York
Times, October 23, 20092) Los Angeles Times, October 24, 20093) Ibid4)
NATO, October 22, 20095) Bloomberg News,
October 19, 20097) U.S. State Department, March 16, 20098) Interfax,
October 17, 20099) Boston Globe, October 22, 200910) New Europe
[Belgium], Week of June 2, 200711) Standart News, December 7, 200712)
Stars and Stripes, October 17, 200913) Ibid14) Ibid15) Focus News
Agency, October 19, 200916) Sofia News Agency, October 8, 200917)
Sofia News Agency, October 8, 200918) Xinhua News Agency, October 22,
200919) Partnership for Peace Information Management System, October
23, 200920) U.S. Department of Defense, October 22, 200921)
Financiarul, October 23, 200922) Nine O'Clock News, October 23,
200923) Deutsche Welle, October 22, 200924) Nine O'Clock News, October
23, 200925) Deutsche Welle, October 22, 200926) Associated Press,
October 23, 200927) Black Sea: Pentagon's Gateway To Three Continents
And The Middle East Stop NATO, February 21, 2009 Black Sea Crisis
Deepens As Threat To Iran Grows Stop NATO, September 16, 2009
Black Sea, Caucasus: U.S. Moves Missile Shield South And East Stop
NATO, September 19, 2009 Pravda, October 23,
200929) Standart News, June 6, 200730) Sofia News Agency, October 6,
200731) Sofia Echo, November 17, 200632) United States European
Command, October 22, 200933) United States European Command, October
13, 200934) Battle Creek Enquirer, October 22, 200935) Sofia News
Agency, September 17, 200936) Sofia News Agency, October 8, 200937)
Financiarul, October 24, 200938) Financiarul, October 24, 200939) Nine
O'Clock News, October 23, 200940) Trend News Agency, October 19,
200941) Trend News Agency, October 20, 200942) Voice of Russia,
October 16, 2009