......Indian analyst and former diplomat M. K. Bhadrakumar stated in a recent article entitled "NATO weaves South Asian web" that after its summit in Lisbon, Portugal last month NATO "is well on the way to transforming into a global political-military role" and "is by far today the most powerful military and political alliance in the world." Speaking about long-term U.S. and NATO strategy in Asia, he added: "It is within the realm of possibility that NATO would at a future date deploy components of the US missile defense system in Afghanistan. Ostensibly directed against nearby 'rogue states', the missile defense system will challenge the Chinese strategic capability."  Regarding the long-planned agreement on constructing a Turkmenistan- Afghanistan- Pakistan- India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline concluded earlier this month , the author said: "TAPI is the finished product of the US invasion of Afghanistan. It consolidates NATO's political and military presence in the strategic high plateau that overlooks Russia, Iran, India, Pakistan and China. TAPI provides a perfect setting for the alliance's future projection of military power for 'crisis management' in Central Asia. "The pipeline signifies a breakthrough in the longstanding Western efforts to access the fabulous mineral wealth of the Caspian and Central Asian region. Washington has been the patron saint of the TAPI concept since the early 1990s when the Taliban was conceived as its Afghan charioteer. The concept became moribund when the Taliban regime was driven out of power from Kabul. "Now the wheel has come full circle with the project's incremental resuscitation since 2005, running parallel with the Taliban's fantastic return to the Afghan chessboard. TAPI's proposed commissioning coincides with the 2014 timeline for ending the NATO 'combat mission' in Afghanistan. The US 'surge' is concentrating on Helmand and Kandahar provinces through which the TAPI pipeline will eventually run. What an amazing string of coincidences! "  Last week NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen affirmed that "as the long-term partnership that President Karzai and I signed at Lisbon demonstrates, our commitment to Afghanistan will continue well beyond 2014."  On December 22 U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry confirmed that the Pentagon "will retain a 'sizable mission' in Afghanistan beyond 2014" and that a troop withdrawal, if it ever occurs, would be "conditions- based; not calendar-based. " American troops "could also stay on to carry out counter-terrorism operations," added the retired general and former deputy chairman of the NATO Military Committee.  In a recent interview, American analyst Gareth Porter asserted that NATO troops are killing and dying in Afghanistan "because bureaucrats in Brussels, in the NATO headquarters, wanted more responsibility, [they] wanted a job for NATO to be able to take on in order to justify the continued existence of that organization. "  The U.S. and NATO require and are exploiting the endless war in Afghanistan and Pakistan for more reasons than simply to justify the continued existence, even the global expansion, of the world's only military bloc. As Bhadrakumar has pointed out, far more is at stake: The military encirclement of Russia, China and Iran and control of Eurasia's strategic energy resources...... www.globalresearch.ca Like Vietnam was McNamara's insane scheme for oil and drugs the lust for Eurasian energy dominance, regardless of how long it takes ot how many troops and civilian lives lost and destroyed is the brainchild of the Rockeffelor aponitee to the Trilateral Commission Zbigniew Brzezinski, in fact the knucka spells it out in his book, "The Grand Chessboard"