US Military Bases in the Black Sea Region
Date: Tuesday, November 22 2005
Power and Interest News Report, November 21, 2005
Intelligence Brief: U.S. Military Bases in the Black Sea Region
On November 17, Romania and the United States agreed on installing American military bases near the Black Sea. The same day, Washington started a new round of talks with Bulgaria in order to finalize a deal granting the United States use of Bulgarian military bases (the Bezmer airfield and the Novo Selo firing range).
As expected, the positive trend in political and strategic relations between the U.S. and the two southeastern European countries of Romania and Bulgaria is continuing. During the 2003 preparation of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and in the middle of a serious European diplomatic split in front of the U.S.-led intervention in Iraq, Bucharest and Sofia openly said that Washington could count on them for future strategic cooperation. [See: "Bulgaria, Romania and the Changing Structure of the Black Sea's Geopolitics"]
The 2005 advancement in establishing a U.S. military presence in the two countries signals the consolidation of the new American geostrategic initiative in the Black Sea region and will have important consequences for the European Union, U.S.-Russian relations, and the West's strategy toward the "Greater Middle East." Moreover, it also confirms that Washington now seeks small, flexible bases for the possible deployment of forces in Europe, instead of Cold War-style bigger, permanent facilities.
Western Europe will hastily become aware that integrating southeastern and Balkan countries will likely produce a further advancement of pro-Atlantic, pro-U.S. European factions and will undermine any attempt to build an autonomous E.U. power.