Two days ago Carolina Toha, spokeswoman for Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, stated that "Chile has developed strategic ties with the United States since long ago" and expressed her government’s eagerness to expand them. 
Employing the standard rationale of sharing "more similarity with the Obama administration" than with its predecessor, a pose adopted by world politicians of all stripes since the US presidential election of last November 4th – including conservatives like France’s Nicholas Sarkozy – the Chilean statement could be seen as nothing more than desiring to be on the winning side and to curry favor with the new Planitarchis (lord of the planet), as Greek demonstrators who curtailed a proposed three-day visit to Athens in November of 1999 of Obama’s predecessor once removed, Bill Clinton, described the post of US president.
Even if so, however, Chile’s stance is at variance with the prevailing trend throughout South and all of Latin America, with nations like Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Argentina and most recently El Salvador moving away from a "special relationship" with Washington, especially in the military sphere, and promoting multilateral international ties, notably defense agreements with Russia and a general orientation toward new multipolar international security and economic arrangements.
An equally revealing news report surfaced two weeks ago concerning an agreement signed by the foreign ministers of Chile and the Czech Republic on creating a legal framework for cooperation in Antarctica, to which Chile lays both longstanding and expanding claims.
The Czech Republic is no ordinary European nation but a post-Cold War zealot, full of new convert fervor, devotedly serving American and NATO interests in the Eastern and Central sections of the continent and acting as the intermediary for Washington and Brussels in several international capacities, from waging information and diplomatic offensives against countries like Belarus and Cuba to offering to host US third position interceptor missile radar and providing troops for the war in Afghanistan, there serving under NATO (International Security Assistance Force) and direct US (Operation Enduring Freedom) commands.
A battle royal is in progress for securing control over the vast Antarctic region and its hitherto untapped oil, gas, mineral, fresh water and fishing resources and potential. The Antarctic’s strategic military value is increasing in importance commensurately, as is that of the Arctic Circle on the opposite end of the earth. The subject has been explored in an earlier article in this series, Scramble For World Resources: Battle For Antarctica. 
The four countries directly north of the Antarctic Ocean are Chile, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and all four are to varying degrees being integrated into Western military alliances; all four have bilateral military ties to the United States and with other NATO states, three directly with NATO itself.
With Britain filing a claim with the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf on May 11th of this year for one million square kilometers of the South Atlantic and Antarctic Oceans and Australia being granted 2.5 million more square kilometers in the Antarctic Ocean by the same UN Commission last year (the Australian Antarctic Territory takes in 42% of Antarctica) the region is now arguably one of the most closely contested territorial – and resource and strategic – disputes in the world.
Seven countries have formal claims to Antarctica: Three NATO states in Europe, two British Commonwealth nations in the South Pacific and two South American countries, respectively Britain, France and Norway; Australia and New Zealand; and Argentina and Chile. The Argentine, British and Chilean claims all overlap at places.
Peru, Russia, South Africa and the United States have reserved the right to future claims on Antarctic territory and Brazil has designated what it refers to as a zone of interest in the region.
Of the seven official claimants, five are members of what is generally considered the Western world, geography aside, leaving only Chile and Argentina as rivals to them.
Latin America: Chile And Argentina
Two months ago Argentina and Chile united their efforts to counter the unprecedented million square kilometer British claim, based largely as it is on the disputed Falklands/Malvinas Islands. In early March of this year Argentine and Chilean parliamentarians visited the Chilean Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva and the Argentine Jubany military bases on the Antarctic continent to demonstrate their mutual resolve not to cede either the continent or its outlying shelf to British claims.
But Argentina and Chile have had and still have their own territorial conflicts of interest. In 1978 a dispute over three islands in the Beagle Channel led to both countries dispatching troops to the Patagonia border where a war was narrowly averted.
Boundary issues in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field are still a bone of contention between the two nations. In 2006 Argentine President Nestor Kirchner offered Chile a plan to define the border, which the Bachelet government declined.
Chile and Argentina, in addition to Britain, claim the entirety of the Antarctic Peninsula, the northernmost part of the continent.
Should Chile ally itself with the West and against Argentina, the latter would be isolated and could become a potential victim of a Falklands War-style defeat should it continue to press its claims. Russia would also be excluded from the battle for the Antarctic.
On the latter score, this January a Russian icebreaker and cargo ship traveled to Antarctica to deliver equipment to six Argentine polar stations and the previous month Argentina expressed interest in obtaining Russian helicopters as "their performance characteristics make them perfectly suitable for Antarctic expeditions." 
The purchase of Russian helicopters would be in line with recent trends in South America. In addition to Venezuela purchasing 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles along with plans for jet fighters, submarines and air defenses, Nicaragua announced three weeks ago its plan to obtain Russian helicopters and aircraft  and eight days ago Bolivia signaled its intention to conclude a multi-million dollar arms deal with Russia, including the purchase of military helicopters. Last October Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, visited the Argentine capital and met with the nation’s foreign and defense ministers and its secretary of intelligence.
"Patrushev indicated that the two countries have identical viewpoints on all issues and especially ones pertaining to international policies, and this has a good effect on bilateral relations."
"Patrushev named a host of areas where Russia and Argentina have mutual interests –” the nuclear power industry, power engineering, nanotechnologies, oil and gas exploration and production, and the use of the Russian icebreaker fleet.
"He also mentioned plans to develop relations between the two countries’ Defense Ministries.
"More specifically, Patrushev said that his Argentine hosts and he had discussed a possibility of joint military exercises and joint training of defense cadres." 
This diversification by major Latin American states of ties in all areas, but particularly in the defense realm and especially with Russia, a European nation, has been heralded as the effective demise of the 186-year-old Monroe Doctrine.
In contradistinction to this pattern though, Argentina’s neighbor Chile has been arming itself to the teeth with weaponry from the United States and other NATO nations.
During the last four years, beginning with the Ricardo Lagos presidency and continuing with its Bachelet successor, Chile has been amassing a formidable armory of advanced weapons that has alarmed its neighbors Argentina, Bolivia and Peru.
And with more than sufficient justification, as the last three countries would have to be nervous about Chile acquiring or soon to acquire by late 2005:
- 200 state-of-the-art German Leopard 1 tanks.
- 60 French AMX-30 tanks.
- 60 American M-41 light tanks.
- 10 US F-16 multirole jet fighters.
- 18 used F-16s provided by the Netherlands.
- Four Dutch and three British destroyers.
- Two French Scorpion submarines.
The source from which the above information was obtained commented, "Foreign analysts have said that Chile is seeking hegemonic military power in Latin America vis-a-vis Peru, Argentina and Bolivia in order to defend Chilean economic interests in those countries and, in case of armed conflict, to expand its territory in the way it has done in the past." 
The last reference is to the War of the Pacific of 1879-1884 which led to Chile’s defeat of Bolivia and Peru and the annexation of both defeated nations’ territory, leaving Bolivia landlocked.
In March of 2006 Chile signed an agreement with Germany to purchase 118 Leopard 2 tanks.
"The Leopard 2 is one of the most up-to-date battle tanks in the world. These tanks are similar to the M-1 Abrams Main Battle Tank, which has figured in the Iraq War." 
Press reports following the announcement of the agreement included the observation that "Chile’s acquisitions of military hardware in recent years have stirred criticism among neighbors, especially Peru, who say Chile is upsetting the equilibrium of military power in the Southern Cone region of South America." 
The preceding month the Pentagon delivered the first F-16s to Chile, part of an arms build-up which also included "two submarines made by a Spanish-French consortium, eight secondhand frigates from Britain and Holland, 100 German-made Leopard tanks and 18 more secondhand F-16s from the Dutch air force." 
"While the Chilean government has not disclosed the total cost of its recent military purchases, published reports indicate that the F-16s alone will cost $745 million.
"Air Force Commander Gen. Osvaldo Sarabia said the F-16s, which will replace the force’s French-made Mirages, will be stationed in the northern port city of Iquique," close to both Peru and Bolivia. .
"Peru and Chile disagree over their 200-mile maritime boundary, while many Peruvians and Bolivians still hold a grudge over territory lost to Chile in the 1879-84 War of the Pacific." [Ibid]
As does Argentina, which recalls the role of the Pinochet junta in providing surveillance and logistics support to Britain during the 1982 Falklands War.
A month ago Chile finalized a deal with the Netherlands to acquire 18 more F-16s at a cost of $278 million.
Defense Minister Francisco Vidal said, "The deal is closed – only the signatures are missing."
"The F-16 fighters will replace Chile’s aging F-5 jets, which have been in use since 1976. ‘Chile has acquired a new fleet of F-16 planes,’ Vidal announced…." 
This steady escalation of advanced arms acquisitions was commented on in a press release by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs of August 8, 2007 which pointed out that "Chile’s aggressive military arms purchases are ruffling the region, alarming in particular Bolivia, Peru and Argentina" and further detailed:
"Despite the fact that Chile has not engaged in a conflict with another state since the War of the Pacific in the late nineteenth century, the Chilean military has been carrying out aggressive weapons purchases in recent years.
"Long known for having an almost semi-autonomous military force, Chile, in recent years, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade its armed forces, transforming them into the most consequential military establishment in the subcontinent.
"From a practical point of view, the country is not facing any conceivable external military threat. The wide range of military purchases over the past few years demonstrates that the previous Socialist-led administrations of Ricardo Lagos as well as the current one of President Michelle Bachelet, for all their leftist rhetoric, are reluctant to confront the country’s powerful military establishment over how it should spend its budget, and would far rather appease it." 
Chile’s integration into a worldwide military network led by the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, however, is not limited to weapons purchases.
The nation was one of only five non-NATO states to provide troops for the first-ever NATO out-of-area military deployment, Implementation Force (IFOR) in Bosnia, in 1995 along with the Argentina of President Carlos Menem, Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand.
It has since participated in regular military exercises under the command of the United States and its NATO allies.
As other nations in Latin America are increasingly distancing themselves from war games and military planning that they see as potentially directed against themselves at some point in the future, with even more cause for concern as the US Navy reactivated its 4th Fleet in the Caribbean and Central and South America last year after being disestablished in 1950, Chile stands alone with nations like Colombia in breaking ranks.
It participates in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military exercises led by the United States and Britain, the largest naval exercises in the world.
For the 2006 exercise – a US Navy website designed for the occasion is subtitled "Wargames on a global scale"  – only one other Latin American nation, Peru, joined Chile in war games consisting of 40 warships, 160 aircraft, six submarines and 19,000 troops from the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, Japan and South Korea.  Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico also border the Pacific Ocean but didn’t participate.
In 2008 the RIMPAC exercise included 35 ships, six submarines, over 150 aircraft and 20,000 troops from Chile, the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Peru, South Korea and Singapore, a NATO/Asia Pacific NATO/Latin American NATO nexus in embryo.
In October of 2007 Pentagon chief Robert Gates visited Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Peru and Suriname and announced that the US was planning to build a jungle base in the last-named nation.  Suriname borders Guyana to the west, another nation marked by the West as part of a South American military bloc to compensate for the recent loss of bases and deployments in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina, and Guyana in turns borders Venezuela to its west.
In recent year Bolivia has accused the US of constructing new bases in Paraguay and Peru.
Just this week Ecuadorian Defense Minister Javier Ponce Cevallos reiterated his nation’s resolve to close the US military airbase at Manta. US Ambassador to Colombia William Brownfield last month said that Washington will relocate its base to Ecuador’s northern neighbor, whose narcotrafficking- and death squad-linked government is more compliant in that respect.
El Salvador has been lost to the Pentagon’s plans for Latin America with this March’s election victory by the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, but Panama has been regained after this month’s election victory by multi-millionaire conservative Ricardo Martinelli.
Pentagon Ties To Reclaim Latin America
Chile remains a steadfast ally of the US and its NATO allies.
Earlier this year the head of the US military, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, visited five Latin American nations, four in South America – Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Mexico – returning to state, "The U.S. military is ready to help Mexico in its deadly war against drug cartels with some of the same counter-insurgency tactics used against militant networks in Iraq and Afghanistan." 
Like Chile, Brazil has been purchasing large quantities of European arms, and currently stands between those South American nations moving away from subordination to the West and those continuing to play a subaltern role toward it. Paraguay and Uruguay possess a similar status.
Chile is in the second category and in fact is expanding collaboration with the US Defense Department. In April of 2008 the Pentagon’s Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) conducted an exercise with the Chilean Air Force.
"Chile boasts one of the most modern air forces in South America [while] many of the [other] U.S. allies in the region bought their military aircraft in the 1970s…."
"Air Forces Southern has scheduled a number of exercises with more advanced militaries in the region –” the goal of building relationships between U.S. airmen and their foreign counterparts.
"U.S. crews spent three days alternating between hook-ups with Air Force fighters and Chilean jets as part of the NEWEN exercise." 
The following month a US Navy battle group arrived in Chile for ten days of military exercises.
The nuclear supercarrier USS George Washington visited the Port of Valparaiso in central Chile where it linked up with the Chilean Navy "to improve the navies’ capabilities in anti-air and anti-submarine warfare."
"More than 3,000 U.S. Marines [participated] in the annual drill, which [was] coded ‘Partnership of the Americas.’" 
Last December the US held an international drill at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona – "For many of the military participants, the drills will serve as pre-deployment training for missions in Iraq and Afghanistan" – with "troops from Germany, Chile, Colombia and observers from Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Pakistan." 
Last month the US’s recently reactivated 4th Fleet led the Unitas exercise, the world’s longest-running multinational naval drils, off the coast of Florida which this year featured "live-fire exercises, undersea warfare, helicopter and amphibious operations, among other training" and "more than 25 ships, four submarines, 6,500 sailors and 50 aircraft." 
In addition to the US and its Canadian and German NATO allies, Chile joined fellow Latin American nations Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.
In the words of the commander of the ships participating in the exercises, "We’re helping each other to train the future navies of the world." 
Chile’s true value lies in its proximity to Antarctica but can also be employed to anchor the southern end of its continent for US plans to retain and expand its military presence there.
Clinton’s New Cold War
This May 1 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the State Department about Latin America and in the course of her talk identified Washington’s new "axis of evil": Russia, China and Iran.
The US was going to "reach out" to Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador who have strayed from the Monrovian fold to "counter growing Iranian, Chinese and Russian influence in the Western Hemisphere."
"We see a number of countries and leaders – Chavez is one of them but not the only one – who over the last eight years has become more and more negative and oppositional to the United States." 
This triad of malignancy model is old hat to the US State Department. In addition to the George W. Bush axis of countries to be bombed – Iraq, Iran and North Korea – it was also used by the Reagan administration during its Contra war against Nicaragua in the 1980s. After the Russia-Cuba-East Germany bugbear had been used for all the mileage it could be exploited for, the US attempted to add Libya (a main villain at the time, bombed by Reagan in 1986), Khomeini’s Iran and the Palestine Liberation Organization as another trio of unmentionable malefactors.
Clinton dug deep in Foggy Bottom’s files for her scare tactics, dusted them off and added China for good measure.
Though perhaps this is genuinely hers:
"We are looking to figure out how to deal with Ortega. [T]he Iranians are building a huge embassy in Managua. You can only imagine what it’s for." 
For Clinton and the US State Department it is inconceivable that an embassy would not serve the purpose of conducting surveillance and subversion in a host country. An understandable case of attributing one’s motives to others.
Chile And Global NATO
The ultimate plan for Chile was divulged this January by someone Hillary Clinton is quite familiar with, Will Marshall.
He was one of two staff members for the Democratic Leadership Council after it was established in 1985 and is the president of its think tank, the Progressive Policy Institute. The two organizations have given the world New Democrats, "triangulation" between liberalism and conservatism, President Bill Clinton, "humanitarian" war and NATO expansion.
The Democratic Leadership Council and the Progressive Policy Institute – the second’s website is called Progressive Policy Institute: Defining the Third Way – have played a major role in reconciling the US Democratic Party and much of the world to Reaganism.
Marshall’s own recent history is emblematic: "He recently served on the board of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, an organization chaired by Joe Lieberman and John McCain designed to build bipartisan support for the invasion of Iraq. Marshall also signed, at the outset of the war, a letter issued by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) expressing support for the invasion. Marshall signed a similar letter sent to President Bush put out by the Social Democrats USA on Feb. 25, 2003, just before the invasion.
"The SDUSA letter urged Bush to commit to ‘maintaining substantial U.S. military forces in Iraq for as long as may be required to ensure a stable, representative regime is in place and functioning.’" 
In a January 19, 2009 article for the Progressive Policy Institute called "Taking NATO Global" Marshall, in feigning a direct address to then soon-to-be-inaugurated president Barack Obama, told his intended interlocutor:
"You should seize the opportunity to lead NATO’s transformation from a North American-European pact into a global alliance of free nations. By opening its doors to Japan, Australia, India, Chile, and a handful of other stable democracies, NATO would augment both its human and financial resources. What is more, NATO would enhance its political legitimacy to operate on a global stage." 
He added to the roster of global NATO candidates with the following:
"This alliance would be stronger still if expanded to include free nations in other, more volatile parts of the world. Likely candidates include Japan and South Korea, which have entrenched market democracy in East Asia; India, which is modernizing rapidly and dominates South Asia; Australia and New Zealand, liberal bastions in the South Pacific; and Chile and Brazil, which have stood against a rising tide of authoritarianism in South America. More controversially, some Italian leaders have even broached the idea of offering NATO membership to Israel." 
He recommended an equivalent of the NATO Partnership for Peace program which prepared the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania and Croatia for their current full membership status.
Marshall speaks for forces in the United States and Europe with the ability to implement this directive and ones which – considering the replication of the New Democrat/Third Way model in Britain with Tony Blair’s New Labour, in Germany with Gerhard Schroeder’s Die Neue Mitte (The New Middle) Social Democrats and in less-noted examples throughout the world, including in Chile, South Africa and Australia – are willing to follow his lead.
In 2003 British Prime Minister Tony Blair hosted and presided over an international "third way" summit that included the other two successful specimens of the strategy, Bill Clinton and Gerhard Schroeder, and also then South African President Thabo Mbeki and Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva.
Blair’s chief lieutenant and major architect of New Labour – Peter Mandelson, now Lord and even Baron – remarked at the time, "What unites the conference delegates is their belief that conservatism on the left must not be allowed to undermine attempts to modernise and reform."  By conservatism on the left Mandelson meant opposition to neoliberalism, in fact to global Reaganism.
Tony Blair and South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki jointly authored – or had published under their names – an article in the British press celebrating their shared commitment to the Third Way.
Even the African National Congress proved not to be immune to the virus.
During the apartheid years South Africa’s main military partners and arms suppliers were, in addition to Israel, NATO states: The United States, Britain, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy and Belgium.
Though no NATO military deployments occurred then.
However, in August of 2007 a NATO naval group, the Standing Naval Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1), circumnavigated the African continent and after a stay in the strategic oil-rich Gulf of Guinea its six ships – from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal – arrived in Cape Town.
The NATO force held a series of joint exercises with South Africa including with the nation’s newly acquired German warships and its submarines.
The exercises marked "the first time that South Africa engage[d] its newly acquired frigates as well as its submarines in a training exercise with foreign forces in local waters." 
"Other South African Navy ships as well as aircraft of the South African Air Force will also be involved in taking on NATO’s Maritime Group One." 
The South African armed forces’ first direct contact with NATO started in 2005 with the Alliance flying African Union troops into the Darfur region of Western Sudan.
Earlier this week South Africa hosted a NATO Submarine Escape and Rescue Work Group (SMERWG) Meeting in Cape Town. The importance of the submarine component for future plans in the South Atlantic and the Antarctic Ocean is worth noting.
"South Africa as a submarine-operating nation has been a member of the SMERWG with a permanent status for a number of years.
"More than 100 delegates from NATO and non-NATO nations are expected to attend the SMERWG meeting in Cape Town.
"As a non-NATO Navy, the hosting of this important meeting by the South African Navy contributes significantly to cooperation and interoperability within and between non-NATO and NATO navies." 
Perhaps in part to remind post-apartheid South Africa that is was far more indebted to Russia as the Soviet Union’s successor state than to its new Western military partners, this January Russia sent the Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered missile cruiser to the port of Cape Town, the first time a Russian warship had ever visited the country. 
The role of Australia in expanding US and NATO influence throughout the Asia Pacific area has been dealt with extensively in an earlier piece, Australian Military Buildup And The Rise Of Asian NATO. 
Briefly, Australia like its neighbor New Zealand is a NATO Contact Country and with over 1,000 troops in Afghanistan and another 400 on the way is the largest non-member contributor to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force waging war in that country and across the border into Pakistan.
It has become the major military force in its region, deploying troops to East Timor (Timor-Leste) and the Solomon Islands as well as farther afield in Afghanistan and Iraq, and has naval forces in the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman and the Horn of Africa and a military base in the United Arab Emirates.
The same NATO Standing Naval Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) that conducted war games in South Africa two years ago was heading to Australia earlier this year when it was diverted to operations off the shores of Somalia.
Australia will soon host a US military base and is an active partner with Washington in its global interceptor missile system and its international naval Proliferation Security Initiative. The nation recently announced that it will "launch its own…spy satellites [and], more importantly, it wants to create a new cadre of military space experts inside the Australian Defence Forces." 
That is, Australia is to coordinate plans with the US and Japan for the weaponization of space with anti-missile satellites as well as with anti-missile deployments, land- and sea-based, for the worldwide US and allied anti-ballistic missile network.
This March 2nd the Australian Department of Defence unveiled its Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific century: force 2030 white paper which proposed the largest military build-up since World War II and includes adding 100 US F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighters, doubling and upgrading its submarine fleet, and acquiring 46 Tiger multi-role combat helicopters, Hercules and other new generation military transport planes, 100 armored vehicles, and cruise missiles with a range of up to 2,500 kilometers.
New Zealand has a bilateral partnership with NATO, has troops serving under the Alliance in Afghanistan and has indicated that it is reconsidering its 25-year ban on nuclear-armed ships in its ports and waters.
Last October New Zealand Defense Minister Phil Goff visited Washington and indicated closer bilateral military cooperation with his host by saying, "The defense relationship with the United States has undergone a major shift over the past nine years." 
The end of the Cold War, a generation ago, has brought neither global peace and disarmament nor the abolition of military alliances and blocs.
On the contrary, the alleged victors, the United States and its allies around the world, have only intensified the consolidation of an international military network extending to all compass points, not only East and West but also North and South, the Far North and the Far South.
Notes:. Xinhua News Agency, May 28, 2009
. Media Monitors Network, May 17, 2009
. RIMPAC 2006, Rim of the Pacific Exercise
. Media Monitors Network, May 7, 2009