State Department: U.S. Will Welcome Truncated Ukraine In NATO

November 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Interfax-Ukraine
November 21, 2014

U.S. open-door policy with respect to Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic prospects unchanged – State Department

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Washington does not object to Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership, U.S. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said at a briefing on Friday.

“With respect to their security policy and their calls for ties with NATO, our policy is that the door remains open, and the countries that are willing to contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic alliance, in the Euro-Atlantic space are welcome to apply for membership,” he said.

When asked by a journalist, how Washington assesses Moscow’s objection to Ukraine’s joining the Alliance, the spokesman said: “Ukrainians have the right to make their own decisions about what policies they want to pursue [sic]. That’s really their responsibility.”

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Estonia: NATO Conducts Largest-Ever Cyber Warfare Exercise

November 22, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation

November 21, 2014

NATO’s largest Cyber Defence Exercise Concludes

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NATO’s largest annual Cyber Defence exercise concluded today in Tartu, Estonia. Exercise “Cyber Coalition 2014″ (CC14) included participants from 26 NATO member nations as well as five Partnership for Peace (PfP) nations.

As the exercise was being held in Estonia, this year’s event was NATO’s first official use of the Estonian Defence Force’s Cyber Range since the Wales Summit. There, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) and the Estonian Minister of Defence signed a Memorandum of Understanding which formalised NATO’s use of the Estonian capability.

While this was a cyber-defence exercise, the exercise objectives went far beyond items such as malware analysis and other strictly technical challenges.

The specific objectives for this year’s exercise were to hold decision-making and exercise coordination between NATO entities and national cyber defence capabilities, also in PfP nations, information sharing, and to challenge collective technical capabilities…

In response to the recognised need to garner increased industry involvement in NATO Cyber Defence measures, the exercise was opened up to representatives form industry, academia, and scientific institutes as observers.

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Ambrose Bierce: Selections on war

November 22, 2014 Leave a comment
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Poland: 1,000 British Troops, 100 Armored Vehicles In NATO War Games

November 21, 2014 Leave a comment

BBC News
November 21, 2014

British army in Nato Black Eagle exercise

The British army is taking part in its largest armoured deployment to Eastern Europe in six years, in a show of support, the Ministry of Defence says.

More than 1,000 military personnel and 100 armoured vehicles have joined Nato’s Black Eagle exercise in Poland.

The MoD said it showed the British army’s ability to deploy “at short notice anywhere in the world” in support of its allies.

The exercise comes amid tensions with Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

The British army’s “lead armoured battle group” of 1,350 troops and 100 armoured vehicles from the 3rd UK Division are taking part – making it the UK’s largest commitment to the region since 2008.

It’s been almost a decade since British tanks were last seen rolling across the plains of Eastern Europe.

In northern Poland they have been back in force in a scene reminiscent of the Cold War era.

This is the furthest east in Europe British tanks have been.

And it’s a direct response to the actions of a near neighbour – Russia’s intervention in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

But Defence Secretary Michael Fallon says it’s not Nato but President Putin who’s fuelling talk of a new Cold War by violating international law.

Britain is planning more exercises like this, as part of a Nato response to reassure allies on its eastern flank.

The irony is that it comes at a time when British forces that were stationed in Germany to deal with the threat of the former Soviet Union are slowly pulling out.

As part of the exercise, The King’s Royal Hussars (KRH) have operated 20 Battle Tanks and conducted live battlefield scenarios alongside Polish counterparts.

Meanwhile the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh have provided troops on the ground.

The MoD said the exercise marked “a significant demonstration of the UK’s support to the region” as well as “the British army’s ability to deploy an armoured battle group at short notice anywhere in the world in support of the nation’s allies”.

Exercise Black Eagle follows the early departure of Russian President Vladimir Putin from the G20 summit of world leaders in Australia on Sunday.

Prime Minister David Cameron said those at the summit had sent a “very clear message” to President Putin about the West’s readiness to ramp up sanctions unless he took action to defuse the current crisis in Ukraine.

When the UK announced its commitment to the exercise in July this year, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon criticised Russia’s “illegal annexation of Crimea and its destabilisation of eastern Ukraine”.

He said: “It is right that Nato members and partners demonstrate our commitment to the collective security of our allies in Eastern Europe.”

The exercise will finish later on Friday when the Chief of the General Staff, Commander Land Forces Lieutenant and high-ranking Polish officials will be shown a display of battlefield manoeuvres.

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Ukraine: U.S.-Appointed Coaltion Makes NATO Membership Priority

November 21, 2014 1 comment

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
November 21, 2014

New Ukraine Coalition Agreed, Sets NATO As Priority

Ukraine’s newly agreed five-party ruling coalition has reportedly set the country’s membership of NATO as its major goal.

The coalition comprises the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, the Popular Front, Samopomich (Self-Rule), the Radical Party, and Batkivshchyna (Fatherland).

The five pro-Western parties that passed the 5 percent threshold in last month’s parliamentary elections control a total of 288 seats in 421-seat parliament.

They reportedly hammered out a draft agreement early on November 21, after hours — and indeed weeks — of negotiations.

The official signing of the coalition agreement is expected to take place at the first session of the new parliament scheduled for November 27.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said at a ceremony to initial the document that the coalition would be made up of 300 legislators out of a total of 450 seats.

He also said that new Cabinet would be established in 10 days, adding that preparation of the agenda of the new government was under way.

Ukrainian media reports cite participants as saying that besides joining NATO the coalition also agreed that the return of Russian-occupied Crimea under Ukrainian control will be one of its major goals.

It also mentioned as a priority the protection of the legal interests of Crimean Tatars, as well as all Ukrainian citizens living in “occupied territories.”

The parties also agreed on working together toward Ukraine’s integration into the European Union.

The coalition also called for permanent military bases in the country’s east, where the Ukrainian army is fighting a pro-Russia insurgency,and for the allocation of at least 3 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product for defense.

The agreement is expected to be officially presented in parliament later on November 21.

Out of a total of 421 candidates elected to the Verkhovna Rada in the October 26 polls, 225 were elected based on party lists, and 196 in districts using a first-past-the-post electoral system.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who arrived to Kyiv on November 20, is holding talks with President Petro Poroshenko in the Ukrainian capital on November 21.

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Biden Orders Ukrainian Vassals To Hasten Formation Of New Junta

November 21, 2014 Leave a comment

Interfax-Ukraine
November 21, 2014

U.S. expects Ukraine to form new govt in next few days – Biden

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United States Vice President Joe Biden has said that the new Ukrainian government must be formed over the next few days.

At a press conference held jointly with Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv on Friday he told Ukrainians to create a new government over the next few days, not weeks.

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Ukrinform
November 21, 2014

Yatseniuk meets with Biden

KYIV: Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk has held talks with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who is on a visit to Kyiv, the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers has told Ukrinform.

According to the press service, Yatseniuk told Biden that a coalition agreement had already been initialed and that Ukraine expected the speedy formation of a new Cabinet of Ministers “to implement the association and free trade agreement with the EU, move forward, change the country and implement real reforms.”

The U.S. vice president stressed the importance of yesterday initialing of the coalition agreement. He said that it was important for the whole world to see that Ukraine had completed this process, appointed all ministers appointed and started to work.

He said that Ukraine had already made significant steps in the fight against corruption and in attempts to stabilize the economy in this very difficult situation. The United States wants to help Ukraine, Biden said.

In the afternoon Biden is to hold talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

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Baltics: NATO Chief Tours Next Projected War Zone

November 21, 2014 1 comment

Stars and Stripes
November 20, 2014

NATO chief reassures allies on Baltic tour
By Matt Millham

Touring through the Baltics for the first time as NATO’s civilian chief, Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that Russian military activity in the region was reminiscent of the Cold War, noting that the number of intercepts of Russian planes this year had dramatically increased.

Stoltenberg was in Estonia on the first leg of a tour through NATO countries most concerned about the spread of Russian aggression from Ukraine to the alliance’s eastern reaches.

The U.S. deployed paratroopers to the Baltics in April, sending a company each to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. NATO and alliance leaders have made regular stops in the region to offer reassurances as Moscow’s meddling in Ukraine and aggressive maneuvers on NATO’s borders continue.

NATO aircraft have already intercepted Russian military planes in the Baltics more than 100 times this year, Stoltenberg said at a news conference at Estonia’s Amari air base. That is a threefold increase over the previous year, he said.

I would say [Russia’s] military posture right on the alliance borders has been a very powerful wake-up call for us all,” said Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas, who met with Stoltenberg Thursday.

Stoltenberg, who took over as NATO’s secretary-general Oct. 1, said his top priority is implementing the action plan alliance members agreed to at a summit in September. The plan includes building a quick-reaction force capable of deploying within days.

Stoltenberg declined to take a position on France’s sale of amphibious assault ships to Russia — a deal that was postponed after the downing in July of a civilian airliner over an area held by pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine.

A group of U.S. lawmakers last month urged Stoltenberg to buy the ships to prevent an alliance member from bolstering Russia’s military capabilities.

“NATO doesn’t possess, NATO doesn’t sell military equipment,” Stoltenberg said. “That’s something the nations are doing or not doing.”

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“Defending NATO Territory” German Warplanes Deployed Near Russian Border

November 21, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

November 21, 2014

German Eurofighters Assigned to NATO Air Policing Busy In Estonia

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Having completed half their rotation, German pilots and crew assigned to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission have been extremely busy. NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission has conducted over 100 intercepts in 2014 to date, which is about three times more than were conducted in 2013. The vast majority of these intercepts occurred in international air space, over the Baltic Sea, in the air corridor between Kaliningrad and mainland Russia.

“We have seen a large increase in Russian Aircraft in international Airspace, said Lieutenant-Colonel Rauno Sirk, the Commander of Amari Air Base in Estonia, who believes that the Russian military may be trying to send a message by increasing flights over the Baltic Sea. “As a result, we have executed numerous defensive intercepts,” he added.

…When an unknown aircraft approaches NATO airspace the Alliance launches fighter jets to intercept, indentify and escort the aircraft.

“It is very important to demonstrate our responsiveness and our reaction on all aspects of the Air Policing Mission,” said Lt. Col Gordon Schnittker, the Mission leader of the German Air Detachment . “[It] is very important that our presence has reinforced our resolve to defend NATO territory,” he added.

Since the arrival of the German Eurofighters, the Wing has also been able to conduct various types of aviation training with Canadian and Dutch fighters currently on assignment in the region. This training has included advanced air-to-air flying between Allies as well as additional training for ground crews and support staff.

The German detachment is scheduled to complete its rotation at the end of the year, and will be replaced by a Spanish detachment in January 2015.

Story by: SHAPE Public Affairs

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Cornwall: 22-Nation NATO Rapid Reaction Corps War Games (Video)

November 21, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

November 20, 2014

Video: Review of Exercise ARRCADE FUSION 2014

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George Bernard Shaw: Soldiering is the coward’s art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and keeping out of harm’s way when you are weak

November 21, 2014 Leave a comment

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

George Bernard Shaw: Selections on war

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George Bernard Shaw
From Arms and the Man (1894)

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MAN. You never saw a cavalry charge, did you?

RAINA. How could I?

MAN. Ah, perhaps not — of course. Well, it’s a funny sight. It’s like slinging a handful of peas against a window pane: first one comes; then two or three close behind him; and then all the rest in a lump.

RAINA (her eyes dilating as she raises her clasped hands ecstatically). Yes, first One! — the bravest of the brave!

MAN (prosaically). Hm! you should see the poor devil pulling at his horse.

RAINA. Why should he pull at his horse?

MAN (impatient of so stupid a question). It’s running away with him, of course: do you suppose the fellow wants to get there before the others and be killed? Then they all come. You can tell the young ones by their wildness and their slashing. The old ones come bunched up under the number one guard: they know that they are mere projectiles, and that it’s no use trying to fight. The wounds are mostly broken knees, from the horses cannoning together.

***

CATHERINE. You look superb — splendid. The campaign has improved you. Everybody here is mad about you. We were all wild with enthusiasm about that magnificent cavalry charge.

SERGIUS (with grave irony). Madam: it was the cradle and the grave of my military reputation.

CATHERINE. How so?

SERGIUS. I won the battle the wrong way when our worthy Russian generals were losing it the right way. That upset their plans, and wounded their self-esteem. Two of their colonels got their regiments driven back on the correct principles of scientific warfare. Two major-generals got killed strictly according to military etiquette. Those two colonels are now major-generals; and I am still a simple major.

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SERGIUS. I am no longer a soldier. Soldiering, my dear madam, is the coward’s art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and keeping out of harm’s way when you are weak. That is the whole secret of successful fighting. Get your enemy at a disadvantage; and never, on any account, fight him on equal terms. Eh, Major!

PETKOFF. They wouldn’t let us make a fair stand-up fight of it. However, I suppose soldiering has to be a trade like any other trade.

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Georgia: U.S. Marine Commander Oversees New NATO Integration Plan

November 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
November 19, 2014

Lieutenant General Robert B. Neller visits MoD

Commander of the U.S. Marines Corps Europe Lieutenant General Robert B. Neller paid a three-day official visit to Georgia. Today, the Defence Minister of Georgia Mindia Janelidze and Chief of General Staff of GAF Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze hosted the U.S. General. The Deputy Chief of Staff Colonel Giorgi Kbiltsetskhlashvili, The United States Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland, U.S. Defence Attaché Colonel Matthew Dimmick and high-level official attended the meeting as well.

The sides discussed significance of the NATO Substantial Package for Georgia and perspectives of future cooperation. During discussions, a special attention was attributed to Georgia’s participation in the ISAF operation and engagement in the “Resolute Support” mission from 2015. Lieutenant General Neller thanked the Georgian side for its contribution to the NATO operation in Afghanistan as well as expressed desire about maintaining a close cooperation between the U.S. Marine Forces and the Georgian military in future.

The sides also discussed different aspects of bilateral cooperation in defence sphere between Georgia and the United States. One of the topics of discussion was also a regional security and Ukrainian crisis.

Commander of the U.S. Marines Corps Europe Lieutenant General Robert B. Neller will leave Georgia tomorrow.

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U.S. Air Force Returns Georgian Mountain Troops From NATO’s Asian War

November 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
November 20, 2014

Special Mountain Battalion Returned to Homeland

Military servicemen of the Special Mountain Battalion returned home from Afghanistan today. Georgian battalion was carrying out ISAF mission in Kandahar province during 7 months.

Commander of Special Operation Forces welcomed 146 military servicemen home on Alekseevka Airfield. LTC DImitri Kiknadze congratulated them on peaceful completion of their service and thanked them for successful mission.

Military servicemen were performing full spectrum of operations along with the coalition forces in Afghanistan. The battalion did not suffer any casualties. Special Mountain battalion is the last Georgian unit that carried out ISAF mission under the Georgian flag on the Kandahar Base.

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Estonia: NATO Chief Touts War Resolve On Russian Border

November 20, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
November 20, 2014

‘’All for one, one for all’’: NATO Secretary General stresses solidarity in Estonia

The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg started a trip to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with a visit to Estonia’s Ämari Airbase on Thursday (20 November 2014), where he stressed Alliance solidarity. “NATO’s greatest responsibility is to protect and defend our Allies. And NATO is here to protect and defend Estonia,” he said. On his way, Mr Stoltenberg’s plane was escorted by two Dutch fighter jets based in Poland as part of NATO’s air policing mission, while at Amari, he met with US, German and Estonian troops. He made clear the presence of jets and troops from many nations demonstrates “the resolve of all Allies to stand with the Baltic nations. All for one. One for all.”

During their meeting, the Secretary General and Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas discussed security challenges to the East stemming from Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine.

Referring to increase Russian air activity, Mr Stoltenberg said: “Our Baltic air police mission has conducted over 100 intercepts this year – three times more than last year. In fact, Russian air activity has increased all over Europe. As a result, NATO jets have been scrambled over 400 times close to NATO airspace – 50 percent more than last year. This pattern is risky and unjustified. So NATO remains vigilant. We are here. And we are ready to defend all Allies against any threat.”

Mr Stoltenberg described the Readiness Action Plan agreed at the Wales Summit as “the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War” and stressed that the Alliance is working to implement it in full and on time.

Secretary General Stoltenberg also praised Estonia for spending 2% of its GDP on defence – a key NATO benchmark – despite tough economic circumstances. “Estonia is leading by example,” he said. Calling Estonia “a strong and committed Ally,” Mr Stoltenberg also thanked Estonia for its role in NATO operations, and praised the country’s “leading role in strengthening the Alliance’s cyber defences”.

The Secretary General’s agenda also includes a visit to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn, as Estonia holds this week Cyber Coalition 2014, NATO’s biggest ever cyber exercise, as well as meetings with President Toomas Henrik Ilves, Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, and Defence Minister Sven Mikser.

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Poroshenko: 220-Day War No Obstacle To European Path

November 20, 2014 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
November 20, 2014

Poroshenko: War in Donbas doesn’t stop Ukrainian progress along European path

Ukraine will carry on its European integration course, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said.

“The ongoing war in Ukraine is not an excuse for stopping reforms. There is the presidential strategy, Ukraine 2020, which aims at further integration between Ukraine and the European Union. This strategy has been partially included in the document setting up a ruling coalition in Ukraine. I am confident we can succeed. Ukraine is on the verge of drastic transformations which will create a clear European prospect for the country,” Poroshenko said in Chisinau on Thursday at a joint press conference with the presidents of Moldova and Poland.

It is important for Ukraine that Moldova continues its progress along the European integration path after the Moldovan parliament election on November 30, he stated.

“Ukraine is forming a coalition. The government will support the policy of reforms. I am confident that Moldova will stay by our side. We have lots of problems to solve together, among them the Transdniestrian settlement, the promotion of European integration and the joint fulfillment of regional and international cooperation projects,” Poroshenko said.

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Strategic Partners: NATO, EU To Wage War Jointly

November 20, 2014 Leave a comment

NATO Review
November 20, 2012

Deterring hybrid warfare: a chance for NATO and the EU to work together?
Peter Pindják

Edited by RR

In response to the conflict in Ukraine, NATO has decided to take on an ambitious task: developing a set of tools to deter and defend against adversaries waging hybrid warfare.

As the conflict in Ukraine illustrates, hybrid conflicts involve multilayered efforts designed to destabilise a functioning state and polarize its society…Without a credible smoking gun, NATO will find it difficult to agree on an intervention.

Undoubtedly, prevailing in hybrid warfare presents NATO with an institutional challenge. To effectively counter irregular threats, the Alliance will need to strengthen cooperation with international organisations, particularly with the EU.

NATO has a wide range of instruments at its disposal. The Alliance has expended a great deal of effort in recent years to stay abreast of new threats, especially in cyberspace. Nevertheless, NATO, as a military alliance, will never embrace the full spectrum of challenges embodied in hybrid warfare.

Why two is better than one

The current NATO deterrence policy for hybrid warfare is based on a rapid military response…To deal with irregular threats, NATO cannot simply revive the strategy of massive retaliation, or rely exclusively on one course of action.

…By partnering with the EU and expanding its set of instruments, the Alliance will be able to tackle the threat from multiple angles…

The EU seems the organisation best suited to complement NATO’s crisis management efforts, as it offers a diversity of instruments that can be employed in hybrid warfare. NATO and the EU could create an effective institutional tandem that has a wide range of both political and military instruments at its disposal. The NATO Summit in Wales acknowledged the EU as a strategic partner of the Alliance. And the common threat of hybrid warfare within the Euro-Atlantic area presents a solid opportunity to develop this partnership even further.

NATO and the EU should intensify consultations and engage in joint planning, especially in implementing the EU Council decisions on security in December 2013. The inter-institutional cooperation should become more systematic and pragmatic.

Events in Ukraine have changed the threat perception in Europe. Recent pledges to reverse declining defence budgets confirm this. NATO and the EU should take advantage of this momentum. Through close coordination in defence planning, both organisations can avoid duplication and achieve greater convergence. The European Council meeting in June 2015 will offer a good opportunity to review and possibly adjust the future course of cooperation. NATO’s Secretary General should not miss the opportunities this meeting will bring.

An opportunity not to be missed

To effectively defend against hybrid warfare, I believe the Alliance will need to expand its capabilities and strengthen its cooperation with the EU. Through a comprehensive approach, NATO and the EU will be able to employ an entire palette of instruments to an emerging conflict…The two organisations should not miss out on this chance to advance their partnership to a new level. By more closely coordinating their efforts, NATO and the EU could not only avert irregular threats, but could help secure peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area for the foreseeable future.

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Homer: The great gods are never pleased with violent deeds

November 20, 2014 Leave a comment

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

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Homer
From The Odyssey
Translated by William Cullen Bryant

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The great gods are never pleased
With violent deeds; they honor equity
And justice. Even those who land as foes
And spoilers upon foreign shores, and bear
Away much plunder by the will of Jove,
Returning homeward with their laden barks,
Feel, brooding heavily upon their minds,
The fear of vengeance.

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Georgia: NATO Stronghold On Russia’s Southern Border

November 19, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
November 17, 2014

NATO Secretary General hails Partnership with Georgia

The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili to NATO Headquarters on Monday (17 November). After their meeting, the Secretary General thanked Prime Minister Garibashvili for his nation’s valuable contributions to the Alliance, saying Georgia, a country that aspires for NATO membership ”is one of our most committed partners” and ”plays an outstanding role in our operations.”

Mr. Stoltenberg also praised Georgia’s reform efforts and promised continuing Allied support: “Georgia has made impressive progress in recent years. And we will support you as you continue to take forward democratic reforms. That includes further strengthening the rule of law, including the independence and professionalism of the judiciary. The Georgian people has made it clear that they want Euro-Atlantic integration to continue”.

During their meeting, the Secretary General and Prime Minister Garibashvili discussed the package of support for Georgia agreed at the Wales Summit. “The Substantial NATO-Georgia Package will strengthen your country’s defence capabilities. And it will help you to move closer to NATO,” Mr Stoltenberg said. The Secretary General welcomed Georgia’s agreement to host a new NATO-Georgia Training Centre, and noted that the Alliance will support defence capacity-building with embedded trainers. The Secretary General underlined that Georgia has also been invited to join NATO’s initiative to enhance interoperability with key partners who make significant contributions to the Alliance.

The Secretary General reiterated that NATO will stand by Georgia’s side as it works towards membership in the Alliance. “Georgia has moved closer to NATO in recent years. We stand by the decision we took at the NATO Summit in Bucharest in 2008. Georgia will be a member of NATO, provided it fulfils the necessary criteria. And we will continue to assist you in on this path.”

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NATO Trains Strike Force For Article 5 War-Fighting In Europe

November 19, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation

November 18, 2014

Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 14 concludes
Inci Kucukaksoy, JWC PAO

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NATO’s Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 14 concluded November 17th following nine days of intense training with Joint Force Command Naples (JFC Naples) and its subordinate Component Commands.

TRIDENT JUNCTURE 14 (TRJE 14) is a three-level (strategic, operational and tactical) Command Post Exercise/Computer Assisted Exercise (CPX/CAX), with the primary purpose of certifying command and control elements of the NATO Response Force 2015 (NRF 15).

Led by JFC Naples, participating HQs included one German/Netherlands Corps, French Joint Force Air Component Command, Spanish Maritime Force and Polish Special Operations Forces Command. All in all, a total of 1,455 military and civilian personnel, coming from 33 Nations, participated to the exercise.

German Army Major General Reinhard Wolski, Commander Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) and Exercise Director said TRJE 14 had been very productive and thought provoking; “TRJE 14 fully reflected NATO’s Level of Ambition to fulfil Collective Defence, Crisis Management and Cooperative Security. It will contribute significantly to NATO’s new readiness requirements and ensure our forces are more efficient and effective into the future,” he added.

Training aims at high readiness to deal with any situation in any environment. Led by Allied Command Transformation (ACT), coordinated by JFC Naples and directed by JWC, exercise TRJE 14, which began on 8 November tested NATO’s ability to coordinate and execute a NATO-led Article 5 Collective Defence operation in a multinational environment.

It tested NRF 15 under high-intensity, war-fighting conditions and demonstrated Visible Assurance that NATO is committed to the defence of its Member States against a potent and technically advanced peer adversary.

TRJE 14 was conducted at various locations across Europe, in Belgium, Italy, Norway, France, Poland and at sea, on board the Spanish Landing Platform Dock Castilla (L52).

The conceptual premise of the exercise was the fictitious SKOLKAN scenario where the focus of effort was on the territorial defense of NATO member states in the Baltic Sea region, particularly Estonia, which was seriously attacked by a fictional country and required large-scale assistance from the Alliance for the restoration of its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

The scenario exposed the NRF 15 Training Audience to many challenges in a variety of areas, including hybrid warfare, theatre-ballistic missile defence, cyber defence, Strategic Communications, and chemical, biological and radiological defence.

Structured around three major themes derived from the exercise Training Objectives, TRJE 14 resulted in over 850 injects drafted by 300 participants, all using the Joint Exercise Management Module (JEMM), which is a Master Events List/ Master Incidents List (MEL/MIL) database that allows Exercise Control (EXCON) to control the tempo of exercise play.

Lieutenant Colonel Rick Williams, Chief TRJE 14 MEL/MIL, said: “The EXCON team delivered a MEL/MIL which focused on meeting all the Training Objectives for the Joint Headquarters in their preparation to support all NRF tasks.”

“The exercise has given us the opportunity to demonstrate both the NRF’s readiness to provide Collective Defence to a threatened Alliance Member and JFC Naples’ ability to Command and Control forces in excess of a Major Joint Operation,” Lieutenant Commander Scott “Taz” Simpson, TRJE 14 Officer of Primary Responsibility (OPR) for JFC Naples, noted.

“Exercises like TRJE 14 enhance the interoperability of NATO Members and improve our ability to integrate non-NATO forces should the need arise,” he added.

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Kiev: Cardinal Biden (U.S. Grey Eminence), “Dr. Jill,” Expletive Deleted Nuland To Give New Marching Orders To Puppetshenko Regime

November 19, 2014 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
November 19, 2014

Biden to visit Ukraine, to hold talks with Poroshenko, Yatseniuk

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U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden will visit Ukraine on November 20-21, the U.S. embassy to Kyiv reported.

A statement available on the embassy website says that Biden will meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk on November 21.

“In these meetings, the Vice President will convey his congratulations for Ukraine’s successful democratic elections while also noting the need to quickly move ahead with forming a new government. The Vice President will also discuss Russia’s ongoing violations of the September 5th Minsk agreement,” it said.

Before departing the country, Biden will take part in an anti-corruption roundtable with Verkhovna Rada and civil society members “to discuss the challenges of fighting corruption in Ukraine,” it said.

The vice president’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, will visit a local Adventist Development and Relief Agency (“ADRA”) site, where she will meet with internally displaced persons. “Then, she will drop by and deliver brief remarks at a Humanitarian Assistance Working Group meeting,” it said.

Jill Biden and First Lady of Ukraine Maryna Poroshenko also plan to visit wounded Ukrainian soldiers at a military hospital in Kyiv.

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Interfax-Ukraine
November 19, 2014

Biden to signal U.S. support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity – Pyatt

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, during his visit to Ukraine, will give a signal to the Ukrainian authorities on continuing U.S. support for the Ukrainian authorities and the territorial integrity of Ukraine, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt has said.

He told reporters in Kyiv on Wednesday that Biden would focus on a decisive signal on continuing to express U.S. support for the Ukrainian people, the president and the Ukrainian government.

Pyatt said that Biden’s visit would also be dedicated to cases of the constant violation by Russia of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, the holding by the Ukrainian authorities of economic reform and the fight against corruption.

As reported, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden will visit Ukraine on November 20-21. He will meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk on November 21. Biden will also take part in an anti-corruption roundtable with Verkhovna Rada and civil society members to discuss the challenges of fighting corruption in Ukraine.

The U.S. Department of State reported that Biden, during his trip to Kyiv and Istanbul on November 20-23, would be accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland.

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Video: U.S., NATO Cover Own Buildup With Russia Accusations

November 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Press TV
November 19, 2014

US, NATO lie about Russia military buildup in, near Ukraine: Analyst

Video

The US and NATO “lie” about the deployment of Russian military forces inside and near Ukraine in order to provide a smokescreen for their own buildup of forces targeted against Russia, a commentator tells Press TV.

Rick Rozoff, the manager of Stop NATO Network, said in an interview with Press TV from Chicago on Tuesday that reports of a Russian military buildup in Ukraine are “lies” and that “it is camouflage to disguise what is in fact an incontestable buildup by the United States and NATO along Russia’s entire Western border.”

He pointed to examples of US and NATO buildup by referring to “the rotation of F-16s capable of carrying a nuclear payload… accompanied by US paratroopers; the deployment of US Special Forces; Operation Atlantic Resolve, which is aimed specifically at Russia; the development of a 25,000-troop NATO Response Force aimed at Russia; and coming out of the NATO Wales Summit a high-readiness task force to be deployed in eastern Europe aimed at Russia.”

Rozoff added, “What we see is a monumental buildup against Russia… and at the same time accusing the victim of being the perpetrator.”

The US-led NATO has expressed concern over what it described as a “very serious” buildup of Russian troops and equipment inside Ukraine and on the border with the east European country.

The West has accused Moscow of having sent troops to Ukraine to support pro-Russia forces in the east of the country.

Tensions between Russia and the West heightened after Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea separated from Ukraine and joined the Russian Federation following a referendum in March 2014.

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Frank Swinnerton: Aerial bombardment, the most stupid and futile aspect of war

November 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Frank Swinnerton
From Young Felix (1923)

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It was already the time for air-raids, and Felix lived in the studio with the glass roof nearly in the centre of London. He was very frightened when the air-raids occurred; but he went on working in his studio during their course because he was still more frightened if he was in company with other people in a shelter. The crowd, the fears, the smells and discomforts, were worse to him than the danger of annihilation. In the studio he could die once; in these crowds he died a thousand times. And so when the first bangs of the defensive guns sounded, Felix swore explosively and continued to work. The whole of the war seemed to him stupid and futile; and in no particular was it more stupid and futile than in that of air-raids. But in that matter Felix was conventional, and thought no differently from those directly above from whose houses all the air-battles regularly and by miracle took place. He knew nothing about the war but the details which were published in the newspapers and those which received even greater publicity by word of mouth – until the time when he was used by the Government as a military artist, when he knew even less than he had known before.

***

And as they sat thus, above the music and racketting of the orchestra, Felix’s sharp ears caught a sinister thud. Almost at that instant, Mary turned to him and said:

“What’s the time? D’you think we better go now?”

As they were at the end of a row near one of the exit doors it was easy to creep out unobserved; and by the time they reached the door they had both heard another ominous thud, and a third. They turned to each other. Felix’s heart was like water, not from personal fear but from fear upon Mary’s account. He was horrified at the thought that he had brought her into danger. He trembled.

“Was that…something?” Mary whispered, as if she dared not think it true.

“Afraid so,” Felix acknowledged. He in turn did not dare to look at her for an instant. Mary’s face turned white. As they were now beyond the auditorium they could stop and listen. Thud, thud…thud, thud, thud…thud…Unmistakable. Felix turned to a commissionaire. Other people were walking unconcernedly upon the stairs, evidently deaf to these noises, or without fear of their significance.

“Is there a raid on?” he asked, in a low voice.

The commissionaire backed to the wall, looking surreptitiously at those who were near, and giving cautious glances of warning at Felix. He was a little alarmed, but his duty was to prevent a panic; and he was upheld by his duty.

“I’ll tell you,” he muttered. “Keep it dark. See? Yes, there is. You can’t go out. Best thing’s to go up to the saloon. Part of the roof’s concrete. You’ll be all right there…Only, don’t make a…see what I mean?”

In his heart, Feliz was afraid…afraid. He must not be afraid. His heart was fluttering; his mouth was dry. But the fear was physical only: his head was clear.

“Damn it, I mustn’t be afraid,” he muttered. “Simply mustn’t

“May as well make ourselves comfortable,” he said, with painstaking unconcern.

“Yes – oh, what was that?” She half sprang to her feet as a deep roaring crash, which seemed near at hand, drowned everything. Felix knew that it must be a bomb. He knew that at any instant such another crash might end their lives. It was intolerable. He saw horror growing in Mary’s eyes, a fear, a panic. At all costs that must be stopped. At all costs.

“The whole thing’s ridiculous,” he cried. “It’s such a farce, isn’t it? All this uncomfortable feeling we have, because of a bang. Only nerves: nothing decently in the way of alarm. It’s only the noise really, not the danger, that makes us sick. There’s practically no danger at all, you know.”

“No?” Again she looked at him like a child, and their hands sprang together. The warmth began to steal back to her cheeks, and the trustfulness to her eyes. She was caught up in the inexhaustible loquaciousness of Felix. Thud, thud, thud…overhead…thud…thud, thud. Louder, louder…Felix was desperate. He must go on talking. He must go on talking and talking until the bomb fell that might destroy both and mash them to bloody fragments.

“I will now,” he said, with a supreme effort to master his excitement, “I will now tell you the story of my life.”

Entirely absorbed, Mary frowned for an instant, forgetful of the thuds.

“Oh, but haven’t I heard that?” she objected.

“This is another one,” said Felix. “Listen!”

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NATO Moves More Personnel, Infrastructure Into Georgia

November 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Civil Georgia
November 17, 2014

Georgian PM, NATO Chief Discuss Implementation of ‘Substantive Package’

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Tbilisi: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met Georgia’s PM Irakli Garibashvili in Brussels on November 17 and discussed implementation of the “substantive package” of cooperation, which NATO offered to Georgia at its summit in Wales in September.

Speaking at a news conference after the meeting, Stoltenberg said that the plan is to start implementing various elements of the package by the NATO defense ministerial meeting in February, 2015. He also said that more details would also be available by that time.

Among those elements of the package are assisting defense capacity building in Georgia through, as Stoltenberg put it, “embedded trainers” and setting up of a joint training center in Georgia.

“Today we discussed how to translate these initiatives into actions,” Stoltenberg said.

“We are pleased that Georgia will also host NATO-Georgia Training Center. The Center will help the Georgian forces to maintain their ability to work with NATO and it will prepare Georgia and other partners for future contributions to NATO Response Force,” the NATO Secretary General said.

Asked about Russia’s concerns over planned NATO-Georgia Training Center, the NATO Secretary General responded: “We have decided to establish the training center, it’s going to be established, because Georgia is a sovereign nation and NATO is an organization that works together with a strong and committed partner, Georgia.”

“We are going to continue to impalement the package we agreed in Wales,” Stoltenberg.

PM Garibashvili said that the Georgian government is “committed to timely and effectively implement the substantial NATO-Georgia package.”

At the press conference, Georgian journalists asked twice the NATO Secretary General if he had any “concerns” or “doubts” about Georgia’s commitment to NATO integration. The question stems from a recent cabinet reshuffle, which involved firing of defense minister Irakli Alasania and resignations of foreign minister and state minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

“The Prime Minister was very strong, very clear” about Georgia’s NATO integration commitment, Jens Stoltenberg responded and added that he has “no reason to doubt” about it.

“I want to underline that the Prime Minister strongly underlined in talks that we had that Georgia is continuing on its path towards more Euro-Atlantic integration and I very much welcome this commitment; it is a strong commitment and it is an important commitment,” the NATO Secretary General said.

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Interview: U.S. Unleashes Dogs Of War Against Syria

November 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Press TV
November 18, 2014

US unleashes the dogs of war upon Syria: Rick Rozoff

Audio

An American peace activist says the United States has unleashed “the dogs of war” upon Syria by officially announcing the training and arming of anti-government militants.

Rick Rozoff, manager of the Stop NATO International Network, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Tuesday.

The Pentagon said on Monday that the US will train thousands of “moderate” militants in Turkey to fight against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

According to a recent report in the Hurriyet Daily News, US and Turkish military officials reached an agreement that the Pentagon would begin training and arming some 2,000 insurgents from the so-called Free Syrian Army at a training center in central Turkey in December.

Rozoff said that it is “the latest in a series of gross infringements of international law, of the territorial integrity and certainly the national sovereignty of the nation of Syria and its people; and it’s an outrage that demands global condemnation.”

“In the midst of the horror [that] is being wreaked in Iraq and Syria by the so-called Islamic State, for the US to officially announce that it’s training – what I am sure will be several thousand – armed figures in Syria, who knows of which nationality, incidentally, we have to recall that even so-called moderate groups like the Free Syrian Army, certainly the al-Nusra Font, and some others include the mercenaries from around the world, these are what used to be called not too flatteringly but perhaps accurately the dogs of the war, which is to say the paid soldiers of fortune, and extremists of almost of every stripe — that the US/the Pentagon is officially training them and its NATO ally Turkey is hosting the training of these forces, could only further contribute to the destabilization of the Levant – Syria and Iraq,” he added.

“It is an armed belligerent in the war within Syria, that’s arming and training and deploying terrorist forces against a legitimate government; the government, that is, of Syria,” the anti-war activist said. “Again, that’s an outrage and it’s one that in a saner and a better world would be roundly denounced in the United Nations and in the press of countries around the world.”

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. Nearly 200,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by the militants.

The United States and its regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — have been supporting the militants operating inside Syria since the beginning of the crisis.

The Obama administration has already outlined a $500 million program to train and arm 5,000 “moderate” militants in Syria to fight against ISIL and the Assad government, but according to the Pentagon, the number would be something between 12,000 and 15,000.

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Global NATO Gears Up For Conflicts In “Eastern, Southern Neighborhoods”

November 18, 2014 Leave a comment

U.S. Department of Defense
November 17, 2014

NATO Official Discusses Southern Flank, Mediterranean Dialogue
By Jim Garamone

[Edited by RR]

WASHINGTON: Russia’s blatant disregard of international norms in Ukraine is just one example of its attempts to reject an international order that promotes democracy, sovereignty and the rule of law, NATO’s deputy secretary general said in La Hulpe, Belgium, today.

Alexander Vershbow told the conference on NATO-Israel cooperation that challenges from Russia and from NATO’s southern flank share many of the same attributes.

Russia’s continued attempts to destabilize Ukraine “have blatantly breached international agreements and confidence-building measures,” Vershbow said.

And on NATO’s southern flank, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant continues to spew its hatred, “pouring oil on the fire of extremism and sectarianism that is already burning across the Middle East and North Africa,” he said.

ISIL is working to overthrow rules-based and values-based order that is the guarantor of freedom, security and prosperity for all nations, Vershbow said, and NATO is determined to play its part to defeat this threat and those like it.

“The capabilities and forces that we are now developing are very clearly aimed at enhancing NATO’s overall resilience,” the deputy secretary general said. “We want to be able to deploy them quickly not only whenever, but also wherever, threats emerge – whether it’s in our eastern or our southern neighborhoods.”

At NATO’s summit held in Wales in September, the alliance also decided to strengthen cooperation with partner nations. The summit also launched an initiative to help partners strengthen their ability to address security challenges.

“This initiative builds upon NATO’s extensive expertise in defense capacity building – for instance, in Kosovo and Afghanistan,” Vershbow explained. “And we made clear that we stand ready to assist Iraq in strengthening its security sector, if the new government so requests.”

Risk of Extremism Has Grown on NATO’s Southern Flank

The risk of extremism on NATO’s southern flank has grown and produced more fertile territory since the Arab Spring, the deputy secretary general said. The Mediterranean Dialogue – a NATO initiative celebrating 20 years – is more valuable than ever, he added.

“The Mediterranean Dialogue [is] the only structured framework where the 28 NATO allies, Israel and key Arab countries sit together on a regular basis,” he said.

More Focus on Capability Building

Vershbow said he would like to see more focus on capability building. “We want to help the countries of the region to be better able both to address security concerns in their own region and to participate in international peacekeeping and crisis management operations – including those led by NATO,” he said.

This, he added, could involve greater military-to-military cooperation, and invitations to participate in NATO training, exercises and education programs.

“But it could also involve more structured cooperation between NATO and organizations like the African Union and the Arab League,” he said.

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Upton Sinclair: After war, the color revolution cleanup

November 18, 2014 Leave a comment

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

Upton Sinclair: Selections on war

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Upton Sinclair
From Boston (1928)

Upton Sinclair

“…From this time on , I take the dear ‘mob’ to my heart; I am only afraid of dashing young gentlemen in gaudy uniforms, and elderly diplomats and business men in dinner-jackets. There isn’t a country in Central Europe where the Whites haven’t killed ten for every one the Reds have killed, and in many cases it has been a hundred for one.

“And the worst is, Grannie, these White dictatorships are all American-made – with guns and uniforms from our army and dollars from our bankers. They have got an American loan here in Hungary, and I am wondering if father is in on it…”

***

…Rupert Allen had to interview agents of the banking and manufacturing interests of Italy, and listen to plans for the coup d’eat which was to turn that country into a dictatorship of big capital. No possible way to avoid it – unless the money that had been loaned to Italy during and since the war was to be lost. The bankers of Boston and New York and Philadelphia and Chicago had to get together and do for Italy what they had already done for Hungary and Roumania and Czechoslovakia and Finland ans Esthonia and Latvia and Lithuania – so many miserable bonded states that it gave a hundred percent American a headache to learn their names.

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Estonia: U.S., NATO Practice Bombing Runs Near Russia Border

November 17, 2014 Leave a comment

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
U.S. Air Force Africa

November 15, 2014

Estonian JTACs take lead in historic training
By Senior Airman Matthew Lotz
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

AMARI AIR BASE, Estonia: With grey clouds flooding the skies overhead and poor visibility, Estonian air force joint tactical air controllers, or JTACs, communicated coordinates for airstrikes to U.S. pilots during the first-ever Estonian-led close air support exercise, Nov. 13-14, here.

This latest round of interoperability training under the umbrella of Operation Atlantic Resolve enabled two 555th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots to execute air-to-ground training with Estonian JTACs. While the JTACs honed their proficiency at calling in simulated precision airstrikes, the pilots leveraged this new milestone in interoperability training to enhance the readiness of NATO combat air forces.

“The U.S. is committed to international security and through this bilateral training with our NATO partners, we are able to counter a range of regional and global threats,” said Maj. Benjamin Couchman, 555th FS pilot and exercise mission commander. “We will continue participating in these joint readiness training events that build partnership capacity and at the same time ensure the security of our allies and partners.”

Although cloud cover restricted visibility between ground and air, according to the Estonian JTACs, the training was highly successful.

“We are training daily to stay proficient with Estonian aircraft, but the capabilities of a U.S. F-16 bring a whole new dimension to our efforts to train like we fight,” said an Estonian air force JTAC. “It’s so important for us to be able to work with U.S. forces and we look forward to additional opportunities in the future.”

As was the case during recent exercises Platinum Eagle and Ample Strike, this deployment of Aviano’s F-16s to Estonia was in keeping with America’s commitment to ensuring the security of U.S. and NATO allies. While transiting to Estonia, the pilots were also able to train with a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England.

“All of the training we were able to accomplish in these two days strengthened our relationships within NATO, enhanced our interoperability and reassured our European allies of our commitment to peace and stability in the region,” Couchman said. “Because we are ‘forward, ready, now,’ we can support our allies and quickly respond to emerging threats.”

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Romania: U.S. Paratroopers In NATO Military Exercise

November 17, 2014 Leave a comment

Romanian News Agency
November 12, 2014

Over 400 Romanian military participate in the ‘RUBICON 2014′ training module

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Military of units and large units under the command of the General Staff of Land Forces and of units of the US 173rd Airborne Brigade participate in the ‘RUBICON 2014′ training module, led by ‘Mihai Viteazul’ Special Operations Brigade 6, in Campia Turzii and Cincu, in the period November 11 – 24.

‘The over 400 military who will be training together will participate in flying and parachuting drills, firing drills with different weapon categories and tactical exercises,’ informs a National Defence Ministry (MApN) release remitted to AGERPRES on Tuesday.

“RUBICON 2014′ represents a major activity of the Atlantic Resolve operation, meant to prove the commitment of the United States of America and Romania for supporting NATO’s collective security and is aimed at increasing the interoperability level between the participating forces, the experience exchange and the harmonisation of techniques, tactics and procedures in the area.

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George Santayana: If dreadful outer world became troublesome, it would be necessary to make war on it and teach it a lesson

November 17, 2014 Leave a comment

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

George Santayana on war and militarism

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George Santayana
From The Last Puritan: A Memoir in the Form of a Novel (1935)

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Her moral ideal was democracy, but a democracy of the elect. There could be no oppression in imposing uniformity on people who were really all alike; and such a society exacted from its members only what, if they were honourable, they would exact from themselves. She couldn’t conceive life except in a clan, where all the peers should have equal rights and similar virtues. Beyond the pale there could be nothing but utter darkness – an alien, heathen, unintelligible world, to be kept as remote as possible. If they couldn’t grow tea at home, she supposed they must get it from China or Ceylon. And she supposed that if occasionally that dreadful outer world became troublesome, it would be necessary to make war on it and teach it a lesson: but by far the best thing was to ignore it altogether. It ought never to have existed.

***

“It is unfortunate to have been born at a time when the force of human character was ebbing, while the tide of material activity and material knowledge was rising so high as to drown all moral independence. I have been a victim of my environment: but I have not surrendered to it. I have surrendered only to my own limitations.”

***

“Poor prodigal world, let us not insult it: let us pray for it. But meantime, we must remain ourselves, as Emerson remained himself, only not on those stilts of his, not with that self-worship; because the world was no more made to serve us by illustrating our philosophy than we were made to serve the world by licking its boots…

“Boston and Harvard have need now of fresh blood, of fresh spiritual courage. They are becoming too much like the rest of the country, choked with big business, forced fads, and merely useful knowledge. Our fearless souls of other days have left no heirs. We need to break away again – were we not always come-outers? – from intellectual professionalism, from the slough of wholesale standardised opinion, from the dulcet mendacity of the pulpits, from the sheepish, ignorant, monotonous, epidemic mind of our political rulers…America is the greatest of opportunities and the worst of influences…

“You look shocked and a bit offended: why do I say that America is the worst of influences? Because it imposes vices which regard themselves as virtues, from which therefore there is no repentance at hand. It imposes optimism, imposes worldliness, imposes mediocrity. Bur our mediocrity, with our resources, is a disgrace, our worldliness a sin, our optimism a lie…”

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New Ukrainian Junta Pushes NATO Membership, War Budget Boost, Conquest Of Crimea

November 16, 2014 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
November 15, 2014

Draft coalition agreement stipulates annulment of Ukraine’s non-aligned status

Participants in negotiations on setting up a coalition at the Ukrainian parliament are considering the annulment of Ukraine’s non-aligned status and the country’s membership of NATO in a draft coalition agreement.

The Petro Poroshenko Bloc’s website reported that the draft coalition agreement envisions the development and adoption of new versions of the Ukrainian National Security Strategy and Military Doctrine.

The draft agreement says that, among other things, “the Military Doctrine should contain the term ‘potential enemy’ and clearly determine criteria for recognizing a certain state or a group of states as a potential enemy.”

In addition, the draft coalition agreement suggests amending the laws on the foundations of domestic and foreign policy and on the foundations of national security, including “the annulment of Ukraine’s non-aligned status, the resumption of a political course toward integration into the Euro-Atlantic security space and membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and also the restoration of Ukraine’s national sovereignty over the territory of Crimea as one of the strategic goals.”

The draft coalition agreement stipulates that Ukraine’s defense expenses must amount to at least 3% of its GDP.

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Pentagon Reviews Nuclear Global Strike Force Capabilities

November 16, 2014 Leave a comment

U.S. Air Force
November 14, 2014

DOD, Air Force nuclear force reviews consistent with force improvement efforts

WASHINGTON: The Secretary of Defense announced the results of the Nuclear Enterprise Review during a press briefing at the Pentagon, Nov. 14.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, who ordered the comprehensive reviews of the entire nuclear enterprise earlier this year, said the reviews found systemic problems based on a lack of focus and resources.

“America’s nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective,” Hagel assured, stating the DOD has been taking action on the challenges over the past several months. “The nuclear mission plays a critical role in ensuring the nation’s safety. No other enterprise we have is more important.”

The findings and recommendations from that review are consistent with the actions the Air Force and Air Force Global Strike Command are, and have been taking to improve its nuclear enterprise.

In May, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James announced 100 percent manning for eight critical nuclear specialties by skill and location; assignment incentive pay and special duty assignment pay for select total-force nuclear career fields, approval of the Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal, and has proposed elevating the AFGSC commander from a three-star to a four-star position and elevating the assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration to a three-star position.

(Information courtesy of Air Force Public Affairs Agency Operating Location – P)

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C.P. Snow: Hiroshima, the most horrible single act so far performed

November 16, 2014 Leave a comment

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

C.P. Snow: As final product of scientific civilization, nuclear bomb is its ultimate indictment

C.P. Snow: Even if moral judgments are left out, it’s unthinkable to drop the bomb

C.P. Snow: Hope it’s never possible to develop superbomb

C.P. Snow: Worse than Genghiz Khan. Has there ever been a weapon that someone did not want to let off?

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C.P. Snow
From The New Men (1954)

C._P._Snow (1)

He opened the wallet, and with his neat deliberate fingers unfolded a sheet of office paper. He leant across and put it on my blotter. The words were written in his own handwriting. There were no corrections, and the letter looked like a fair copy. It read:

“To the Editor of ‘The Times’ (which failing, ‘Daily Telegraph,’ ‘Manchester Guardian’). Sir, As a scientist who has been employed for four years on the fission bomb, I find it necessary to make two comments on the use of such a bomb on Hiroshima. First, it appears not to have been relevant to the war: informed persons are aware that, for some weeks past, the Japanese have been attempting to put forward proposals for surrender. Second, if this had not been so, or if the proposals came to nothing, a minimum respect for humanity required that a demonstration of the weapon should be given, e.g. by delivering a bomb on unpopulated territory, before one was used on an assembly of men, women, and children. The actual use of the bomb in cold blood on Hiroshima is the most horrible single act so far performed. States like Hitler’s Germany have done much wickedness over many years, but no State has ever before had the power and the will to destroy so many lives in a few seconds…”

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U.S. Pushes NATO Expansion For Confrontation With China: Russian MP

November 15, 2014 Leave a comment

Sputnik News
November 15, 2014

US Needs NATO Expansion for Possible Confrontation With China: Lawmaker

MOSCOW: The United States seeks North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) eastward expansion in a bid to prepare for the possible confrontation with China, a senior Russian lawmaker Alexei Pushkov said Saturday.

“The United States is trying to consolidate European region, believing that it would enter a serious confrontation with China. Therefore, the United States needs NATO enlargement, its eastward expansion. In other words, major expansion is needed for the final fight with China for the global leadership,” Pushkov, Head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian State Duma (lower house of the parliament), told Russia’s TVC broadcaster.

Since its establishment in 1949, NATO military alliance has seen several enlargements, with the major ones following the end of the Cold War and involving the states of the former Soviet sphere of influence. Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic joined the alliance in 1999, seven Central and Eastern European countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania) acceded in 2004, and Albania and Croatia joined NATO in 2009. Moreover, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Georgia have stated the goal of becoming NATO members.

Moreover, following Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March 2014, NATO has boosted its military presence close to Russia’s border, specifically in Poland and the former Soviet Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

Russia views NATO expansion as a threat to its national security, as well as to the stability in the whole region of Eastern Europe.

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NATO Conducts 5,000-Troop War Games In Lithuania

November 15, 2014 Leave a comment

1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division
November 15, 2014

US Cavalry Soldiers, NATO allies demonstrate commitment in Iron Sword 2014
Story by Staff Sgt. Keith Anderson

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U.S. Soldiers from the Fort Hood, Texas-based 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and the Vilseck, Germany-based 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, participate in closing ceremonies for Iron Sword 2014 in Pabrade, Lithuania, Nov. 13. More than 2,500 troops from nine NATO countries, including Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the United States and the United Kingdom, participated in the two-week, multinational combined arms exercise, aimed at enhancing interoperability and ensuring readiness to complete offensive and defensive operations.

PABRADE, Lithuania – U.S. Cavalry soldiers joined soldiers from eight other nations to complete the inaugural Iron Sword 2014, a multinational combined arms exercise involving nearly 2,500 military personnel in the Republic of Lithuania from Nov. 2–14.

Soldiers from B Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and Soldiers from C Troop, 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, joined Soldiers from Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom for the Lithuanian Land Forces exercise.

“The theme of this exercise is to train together and ensure we achieve interoperability while conducting military operations,” said Maj. Gen. Almantas Leika, commanding general, Lithuanian Land Forces. “Besides this, we are building and developing trust and confidence amongst our soldiers, commanders and units. We are strong when we stand united.”

Fort Hood, Texas-based soldiers from 2nd Bn., 8th Cav. Regt., in Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and Vilseck, Germany-based soldiers from 1st Sqdn., 2nd Cav. Regt., in Strykers, conducted hasty defense and attack maneuvers, dismounted patrols and other missions, alongside infantry units from the Canada, Estonia, Hungary and the U.K., an air defense unit from the Czech Republic and reconnaissance units from Luxembourg and Germany.

The exercise, organized under the NATO Military Training and Exercise Program, is designed to strengthen multinational military cooperation and interoperability.

“This exercise has become a true symbol of our flexibility, solidarity and unity,” said Juozas Olekas, Lithuanian Minister of Defense. “Iron Sword demonstrates the resolve and commitment of all those allies contributing to the neighbors of NATO and collective defense.”

In 1990, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare independence, and became a full member of NATO in 2004. Iron Sword 2014 is the first large-scale NATO exercise hosted in the Baltic nation of nearly three million people that borders the Russian Kalingrad Oblast to the southwest.

“Being in a former Soviet republic, and training in military installations and ranges that were used by the Soviets has been an interesting experience,” said Staff Sgt. Dusin Vinyard, section leader, B Co., 2nd Bn., 8th Cav. Regt., and native of Hutto, Texas…

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė attended the closing ceremonies for Iron Sword 2014, and addressed service members and attendees.

“Collective defense is the basis of the united and strong NATO,” said Grybauskaitė. “The Wales Summit agreed on concrete collective defense measures for the Baltic States. This exercise is a good proof that NATO is placing special focus on our security and taking concrete measures to ensure it.”

Iron Sword 2014 also served to certify units of the Lithuanian Land Forces for standby for the NATO Response Force in 2015 and 2016.

U.S. Soldiers participated in Iron Sword 2014 as part of the larger U.S. Army Europe-led Atlantic Resolve, a multinational combined arms exercise involving the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and host nations, taking place across Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to enhance multinational interoperability, to strengthen relationships among allied militaries, to contribute to regional stability and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to NATO.

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Mark Twain: The Battle Hymn of the Republic (Brought Down to Date)

November 15, 2014 Leave a comment

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

Mark Twain: Selections on war

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Mark Twain
Member of the Anti-Imperialist League
The Battle Hymn of the Republic (Brought Down to Date) (1901)

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Mine eyes have seen the orgy of the launching of the Sword;
He is searching out the hoardings where the stranger’s wealth is stored;
He hath loosed his fateful lightnings, and with woe and death has scored;
His lust is marching on.

I have seen him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded him an altar in the Eastern dews and damps;
I have read his doomful mission by the dim and flaring lamps —
His night is marching on.

I have read his bandit gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my pretensions, so with you my wrath shall deal;
Let the faithless son of Freedom crush the patriot with his heel;
Lo, Greed is marching on!”

We have legalized the strumpet and are guarding her retreat*;
Greed is seeking out commercial souls before his judgement seat;
O, be swift, ye clods, to answer him! be jubilant my feet!
Our god is marching on!

In a sordid slime harmonious Greed was born in yonder ditch,
With a longing in his bosom — and for others’ goods an itch.
As Christ died to make men holy, let men die to make us rich —
Our god is marching on.

* NOTE: In Manila the Government has placed a certain industry under the protection of our flag. (M.T.)

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CrossTalk: Cycle of Violence (Ukraine)

November 14, 2014 Leave a comment

RT
November 14, 2014

CrossTalk: Cycle of Violence

Ukraine on tender hooks: The ceasefire brokered last September to stop Ukraine’s civil war is collapsing. Both sides in this conflict appear to be preparing for more hostilities. This is at a time when the country’s economy is facing meltdown. CrossTalking with Rick Rozoff, David Speedie and Michael O’Hanlon.

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NATO Readies 25,000-Troop Strike Force Against Russia

November 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Stars and Stripes
November 13, 2014

Naples command trains to lead NATO response force
By Steven Beardsley

NAPLES, Italy: Ground forces in Germany, air assets in France, maritime forces off the coast of Spain — assembling NATO’s parts into a single fighting force is complicated by distance and communication.

The events of the past year have added new challenges as the NATO command staff here prepares to assume control of the 25,000-strong NATO Response Force, which is viewed as a counterweight to expanded Russian operations in the east.

NATO Joint Forces Command Naples is in the middle of a two-week exercise testing its ability to direct the response force, a ready-to-assemble force comprised of units set aside by member states and commanded on a rotational basis by staffs in Naples and Brunssum, the Netherlands. The exercise, called Trident Juncture, is a capstone to a year of training for the smaller tactical units — the air, sea, land and special operations commands — that will become part of the reaction force in 2015 and fall under Naples’ control.

During the September NATO summit in Wales, the alliance’s member states placed more emphasis on the response force and underlined the need for it to become faster and more flexible.

Trident Juncture “places a premium on the readiness and responsiveness of the force,” said Navy Adm. Mark Ferguson, commander of JFC Naples and U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.

The annual exercise is using simulations to test JFC Naples’ control of the subordinate units across Europe during a series of operations in a rapidly evolving crisis.

The scenario — an invasion of the Baltic nation of Estonia by a fictitious, neighboring nation-state — mirrors the concerns of nations on NATO’s eastern flank, who, like Ukraine, were once part of the Soviet Union and have considerable populations of Russian speakers.

The conflict evolves over time, officials say, changing from a large-scale ground war to stability operations and irregular warfare. Threats will often overlap or reinforce one another, mimicking the kind of hybrid warfare seen in Ukraine, where NATO officials have said Russia employs special operations, cyberwar and information operations.

“It’s not just 10 individual threat streams,” said Canadian Forces Lt. Gen. D. Michael Day, deputy commander of JFC Naples and head of the command staff for the exercise. “It’s 10 of them facing us together at one time.”

Complicating matters is the act of managing incoming reports from, and disseminating outgoing orders to, six subordinate commands across Europe, ranging from a shipboard command of a Spanish maritime force to a Polish staff in Krakow in charge of special operations.

“There are many, many, many moving parts and there is a great deal of uncertainty,” said British Army Lt. Gen. Robert Weighill, deputy chief of staff for operations at JFC Naples. “So exercising command in this type of environment is very challenging.”

Staff at NATO’s Joint Warfare Center in Stavanger, Norway, will role-play the forward headquarters and logistical arm of the effort, taking all traffic from component commands to provide a clear battlefield picture to Naples.

An evaluation team from the JWC will also grade the performance of the Naples command staff, submitting its report to Ferguson, who will decide whether to certify his team for the next year.

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James Fenimore Cooper: Is there a star where war and bloodshed aren’t known?

November 14, 2014 Leave a comment

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

James Fenimore Cooper: Oppression and injustice the natural consequences of military power uncurbed by restraints of civil authority

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James Fenimore Cooper
From The Spy (1821)

Cooper

“Archibald, do you deem that moon to be a world like this, containing creatures like ourselves?”

“Nothing more probable, dear John; we know its size and, reasoning from analogy, may easily conjecture its use. Whether or not its inhabitants have attained to that perfection in the sciences which we have acquired, must depend greatly on the state of its society, and in some measure upon its physical influences.”

“I care nothing about their learning, Archibald; but ’tis a wonderful power that can create such worlds, and control them in their wanderings. I know not why, but there is a feeling of melancholy excited within me as I gaze on that body of light, shaded as it is by your fancied sea and land. It seems to be the resting place of departed spirits!”

“‘Tis a glorious heaven to look upon,” continued the trooper, in the same tone, disregarding the offer of Betty, “and ’tis a thousand pities that such worms as men should let their vile passions deface such goodly work.”

“You speak the truth, dear John; there is room for all to live and enjoy themselves in peace, if each could be satisfied with his own. Still, war has its advantages; it particularly promotes the knowledge of surgery; and – “

“There is a star,” continued Lawton, still bent on his own ideas, “struggling to glitter through a few driving clouds; perhaps that too is a world, and contains its creatures endowed with reason like ourselves. Think you that they know of war and bloodshed?”

***

“The savages!” exclaimed the divine, instinctively placing the trooper in the rear.

“More than savages; men who, under the guise of patriotism, prowl through the community, with a thirst for plunder that is unsatiable, and a love of cruelty that mocks the ingenuity of the Indian – fellows whose mouths are filled with liberty and equality, and whose hearts are overflowing with cupidity and gall…”

***

“…Ah! here are those monsters, who have come to witness the death of a fellow creature, moving around yon field, as if life was, to them, nothing but a military show.”

“It is but little more to the hireling soldier,” said Henry, endeavoring to forget his uneasiness.

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NATO’s Deputy Secretary General Boasts Of Largest Reinforcement Of Collective Warfighting Capability In Post-Cold War Era

November 13, 2014 1 comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
November 13, 2014

Opening remarks
by NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow at the 2014 NATO Industry Forum, Croatia

[Edited]

The key objective of this forum is to discuss long-term, strategic issues in relation to the development of NATO capabilities. It is a unique opportunity to discuss the security challenges our nations face, and how we can meet those challenges. And we in NATO view industry as a key partner in that endeavor.

In the face of these complex challenges, our NATO Summit in Wales two months ago sent a strong signal: that we will keep NATO strong, ready and capable to meet any threat to any Ally; that we will work more closely with our partners to keep both our Eastern and our Southern neighborhoods stable; and that we will make sure that the vital bond between Europe and North America stays rock solid.

The Readiness Action Plan that we agreed at Wales is the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War. We are making our forces more agile, and able to deploy quickly, whenever and wherever threats emerge. We are maintaining a continuous NATO presence in the Eastern part of our Alliance, on a rotational basis, to reassure our Allies and to deter anyone who might wish to challenge us.

We are also setting up a rapid reaction “Spearhead Force,” the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force. We are putting in place elements of a robust command and control structure on the territory of our Eastern Allies. And we are looking at how we might pre-position equipment and supplies so that we can send reinforcements there rapidly, if we need to.

As part of the Readiness Action Plan, we will also ensure that NATO is able to address effectively the challenges posed by the kind of hybrid warfare that we have seen in Ukraine – “little green men” without national insignia, regular troops allegedly “on vacation,” overt and covert support for separatists trained and equipped across the border…

Implementing our Readiness Action Plan, and keeping NATO strong for the future, will require effort and commitment. But of course there will be a price to pay as well. At Wales, NATO leaders made a solemn pledge to halt the decline that we have seen in defence budgets across the Alliance for several years. And they agreed that they would aim to increase defence spending in real terms over the coming decade, moving towards the NATO benchmark of two percent of GDP.

Since the launch of the Smart Defence initiative at our previous summit in Chicago two years ago, a growing number of multinational projects have helped Allies to achieve tangible benefits, both in terms of operational effectiveness and cost efficiency. It is vital now that we build on that progress and make multinational cooperation the preferred choice of more of our member nations. This applies, in particular, to capabilities that will increase NATO’s readiness and adaptability.

The Wales Summit highlighted a number of these capabilities, including joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance – or JISR. Work is on track to deliver an initial JISR capability from 2016 onwards. Our Alliance Ground Surveillance system will become available for operational deployment in 2017. NATO’s Airborne Early Warning and Control Force will continue to be modernized to maintain its full operational capability. And the North Atlantic Council has already directed work – including with contributions from industry – to ensure the longer-term future of this vital asset for our Alliance.

At Wales we also endorsed the Framework Nations Concept, which encourages groups of Allies to work together to develop and deploy mutually reinforcing, complementary capabilities guided by a framework nation. For example, facilitated by the United Kingdom, seven Allies are contributing to the Joint Expeditionary Force, which is a rapidly deployable force capable of conducting the full spectrum of operations, including high-intensity operations.

Work in all these areas will help to provide NATO with more coherent sets of forces and capabilities. It should also lead to a fairer sharing of the defence burden between the United States and its Allies, as well as among the European Allies.pledge to halt the decline that we have seen in defence budgets across the Alliance for several years. And they agreed that they would aim to increase defence spending in real terms over the coming decade, moving towards the NATO benchmark of two percent of GDP.

One initiative seeks to build on our experience in joint missions and operations and further develop the ability of NATO forces to operate together with those of our partners. At Wales, our Defence Ministers met with 24 especially interoperable partners to launch an Interoperability Platform. And we are keen to take forward our dialogue and cooperation with these partners on interoperability issues, including increased participation in NATO training and exercises.

The Wales Summit also launched a Defence Capacity Building Initiative. This is aimed at streamlining our efforts to assist partners with the development of their own defence capacity, so that they can better cope with security challenges in their own regions. By building our partners’ capacity, we can project stability without having to deploy large forces of our own.

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Maxim Gorky: War, cunning in its stupidity

November 13, 2014 Leave a comment

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Russian writers on war

Maxim Gorky: Selections on war

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Maxim Gorky
From The Specter (1938)
Translated by Alexander Bakshy

gorky

“That cannot be true,” Samghin declared sternly. “Refugees are given free transportation.”

“Your precursor, Misha Lokstev, thought that, too. He actually started an argument about this disagreement. So the gendarmes took him off and put him in a cellar – I think that’s it. Then they swooped down on us with questions: Did Mikhail Loktev incite you to mutiny? So you can see how…this business is managed.”

“He probably told you – some nonsense.”

“We didn’t notice it,” replied the old man.

But the handsome giant, Alexey, reminded him reprovingly:

“He said that the war was an all-national stupidity, and that the Germans are fools, too.”

“You should hold your tongue, you fool, instead of butting into the conversation of your elders. War is no stupidity. It 1905 it plowed up the people mighty bad. It’s likely to do the same this time. War is a terrible business – “

***

“No good will come from this war. No. Where I live, in Old Ash, we harvested the grain and burned it all – the same in Khalomery, and in Udroy – all of it. So the Germans wouldn’t get it. The menfolk cry. The womenfolk cry. But what’s the use? You won’t put out a fire with tears.”

***

“We were retreating from Galicia, and all the time, all along the way, the grain was burning – flour, groats, food-supply depots, villages – it was all blazing. On the fields we trampled crops without end. Dear Lord! What is the cause of this ruination of life?”

Samghin rose on his toes, craning his neck to see over the heads. Leaning against the wall was a tall soldier with a bandaged head and a crochet under his arm; beside him stood a stout nurse, with dark spectacles on her great white face. She was silent, wiping her lips with the corner of her handkerchief.

“Folks,” appealed the soldier, tugging at the collar of his coat and thereby baring his Adam’s apple. “We must look for the cause of this ruination. We must understand its cause. What does it mean – war?”

***

“…As contrast, here’s another letter, by a private,” he said, and began reading, his voice louder:

“The war drags on, we keep retreating, and where we’ll land nobody understands. There is talk that the soldiers themselves must stop the war. Some of the prisoners can speak Russian. One of them worked in a factory in Petrograd four years ago. He was proving to us absolutely that there is no other way to end the war. If this one ends, there will positively be another. There is profit in war. Officers get promoted. Civilians make money. So all the authorities must be disarmed and people will regulate life all together and with their own hands.”

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Euro-Atlantic Integration: Georgian Defense Chief Meets Military Attaches

November 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
November 11, 2014

Defence Minister meets defence attaches

Today, Minister of Defence of Georgia Mindia Janelidze hosted defence attaches of foreign countries accredited to Georgia in the Ministry of Defence. Chief of the General Staff of Georgian Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Vakhtang Kapanadze, his deputy COL Giorgi Kbiltsetskhlashvili and other top officials of the MoD attended an introductory meeting.

During the meeting, Minister stressed that Georgia`s foreign policy course is irrevocable and it aspires towards Euro-Atlantic integration. Minister highlighted the MoD priorities in the process of army build up and stated that a close cooperation with foreign partners promotes development of the armed forces of Georgia. The sides referred to the future cooperation aspects too.

“Today, we`ve had the meeting with foreign defence attaches accredited to Georgia. The meeting was led in a warm and business environment. We`ve made the message for our foreign partners about our priorities during development of army. We have referred to our tasks and working directions and listened to our partners` viewpoints. Certainly, international relations and communication with defence attaches are and will be one of the key directions of the MoD that will be used for advancement of the MoD and army capabilities.

Defence Attaché of France, Andrèe Evrard who heads foreign defence attachés accredited to Georgia stressed importance of the meeting with Defence Minister: “It was nice meeting. In the name of defence attaches to Georgia I would like to thank the new Minister of Defence as he is newly appointed and found some time to meet with us, which was very pleasant. He shared his assessment about the MoD, the priorities of MoD and the armed forces. I would like to thank new Minister to finding some time, sharing us his vision on the MoD and thank him for the trust he puts into the partner countries because he intends not to change the course of Euro-Atlantic and European integration, work hard on that. So we are very looking forward to continue our cooperation with the Georgian MoD and the Georgian Armed Forces”.

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Sinclair Lewis: Inevitable war with Canada, Mexico, Russia, Cuba, Japan, or perhaps Staten Island

November 12, 2014 Leave a comment

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

Sinclair Lewis: Selections on war

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Sinclair Lewis
From It Can’t Happen Here (1935)

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It seemed worse than futile, it seemed insane, to risk martyrdom in a world where…every statesman and clergyman praised Peace and brightly asserted that the only way to get Peace was to get ready for War.

***

When the inevitable war should come, when the government should decide whether it was Canada, Mexico, Russia, Cuba, Japan, or perhaps Staten Island that was “menacing her borders,” and proceed to defend itself outwards, then the best women flyers of the Corps were to have Commissions in an official army auxiliary. The old-fashioned “rights” granted to women by the Liberals might (for their own sakes) be taken from them, but never had they had more right to die in battle.

***

Mary took her sixth solo flight on a November morning gray and quiet under snow clouds. She had never been very talkative with the ground crew but this morning she said it excited her to think she could leave the ground “like a reg’lar angel” and shoot up and hang around that unknown wilderness of clouds. She patted a strut of her machine, a high-wing Leonard monoplane with open cockpit, a new and very fast military machine, meant for both pursuit and quick jobs of bombing . . . quick jobs of slaughtering a few hundred troops in close formation.

***

In his two years of dictatorship, Berzelius Windrip daily became more a miser of power. He continued to tell himself that his main ambition was to make all citizens healthy, in purse and mind, and that if he was brutal it was only toward fools and reactionaries who wanted the old clumsy systems. But after eighteen months of Presidency he was angry that Mexico and Canada and South America (obviously his own property, by manifest destiny) should curtly answer his curt diplomatic notes and show no helpfulness about becoming part of his inevitable empire.

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Permanent War: Ukraine To Triple Military Spending

November 11, 2014 1 comment

Ukrinform
November 11, 2014

Army funding will be tripled in 2015 – Defense Ministry

KYIV: Funding of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for 2015 is envisaged at 3% of gross domestic product (GDP).

This was announced during a roundtable “Battle for Ukraine: banks are at war” at Ukrinform by representative of the Finance Department of the Defense Ministry Colonel Viacheslav Salakhov, a Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“The final decree of the President of Ukraine approved the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, which clearly defines the objectives of the Finance Ministry for 2015 – to provide the funding of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the level of 3% of GDP,” he informed.

According to Salakhov, the Defense Ministry counts on these funds. “The Armed Forces of Ukraine should not be financed according to the left-over principle, but by the principle of priority and the need to address the problems of national defense,” he said.

Recall that under the program of reforms “Strategy 2020,” it is planned to increase the military spending in Ukraine up to 5% of GDP in 2020.

Currently the financing of the army is 1.02% of GDP.

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211-Day War: Over 1,000 Ukrainian Troops Killed, 800 Missing, Captured

November 11, 2014 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
November 11, 2014

NSDC says 1,052 Ukrainian soldiers killed in east since April

Five Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and another ten have been injured in the army operation area in eastern Ukraine over the past 24 hours, National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) spokesman Andriy Lysenko said at a press briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday.

“Five Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and another ten have been injured as a result of shelling in the past 24 hours,” he said.

A total of 1,052 Ukrainian army soldiers have been killed since fighting broke out in Ukraine’s eastern regions in April, he added.

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Ukrinform
November 11, 2014

400 Ukrainian military missing, same number in captivity

KYIV: In captivity of terrorists there are still 400 Ukrainian servicemen, the fate of another 400 military is still unknown.

Spokesman of the NSDC Information-Analytical Center Andriy Lysenko told a briefing, a Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“We have more than 400 people missing, another 399 are being held hostage,” Lysenko said.

He added that for the duration of the ATO, 4,079 military were injured.

It is known that as of November 11, total number of deaths of Ukrainian military for the duration of the ATO is 1,052 persons.

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Turkmenistan: NATO On The Caspian

November 11, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
November 10, 2014

NATO and Turkmenistan consult on regional security and enhanced cooperation

A NATO delegation visited Ashgabat, Turkmenistan from 27 to 30 October for meetings with government authorities. They also took part in events to commemorate the country’s 23rd Independence Day. The visit also marked the 20th anniversary of the Alliance’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) Programme, of which Turkmenistan is a founder member.

NATO Liaison Officer in Central Asia Alexander Vinnikov and officer for Turkmenistan at NATO Headquarters, Steffen Elgersma, met with Turkmenistan’s First Deputy Foreign Minister, Vepa Hajiev. They discussed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation within the PfP framework and regional security developments of mutual interest, including Afghanistan and Ukraine.

The NATO delegation then met senior representatives of Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Defence, Executive Office of the President, Committee on Emergency Situations and State Border Service, followed by interviews with national television.

The NATO officials also met with representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Turkmenistan and the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), the European Union (EU) Liaison Office in Turkmenistan, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Centre in Ashgabat.

They then briefed Allied embassies on their visit at an event organised by the United States Embassy, which is the NATO Contact Point Embassy in Turkmenistan.

During a visit to the Institute of International Relations in Ashgabat, the NATO representatives met with the Rector and senior staff to discuss future public diplomacy cooperation opportunities. They also presented copies of NATO publications in English, Russian and Turkmen to the Institute’s library.

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Washington Irving: Most pacific nation in the world? Rather the most warlike

November 11, 2014 Leave a comment

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

Washington Irving: The renown not purchased by deeds of violence and blood

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Washington Irving
From Salmagundi (1807)

uewb_05_img0365

Although the dervishes differ widely in the particulars…yet they all agree in terming their government one of the most pacific in the known world. I cannot help pitying their ignorance, and smiling, at times, to see into what ridiculous errors those nations will wander who are unenlightened…To call this nation pacific! most preposterous! It reminds me of the title assumed by the sheik of that murderous tribe of wild Arabs that desolate the villages of Belsaden, who styles himself “star of courtesy – beam of the mercy-seat!”

The simple truth of the matter is, that these people are totally ignorant of their own true character; for, according to the best of my observation, they are the most warlike, and, I must say, the most savage nation that I have as yet discovered among all the barbarians. They are not only at war, in their own way, with almost every nation on earth, but they are at the same time engaged in the most complicated knot of civil wars that ever infested any poor unhappy country…

***

Among the various plans that have been offered, the most conspicuous is one devised and exhibited, as I am informed, by the notable confederacy, “The North River Society.”

Anxious to redeem their reputation from the foul suspicions that for a long time have overclouded it, these aquatic incendiaries have come forward, at the present alarming juncture, and announced a most potent discovery which is to guarantee our port from the visits of any foreign marauders. The society have, it seems, invented a cunning machine, shrewdly yclept a Torpedo; by which the stoutest line of battleship, even a “Santissima Trinidada,” may be caught napping and decomposed in a twinkling; a kind of submarine power-magazine to swim under water, like an aquatic mole, or water-rat, and destroy the enemy in the moments of unsuspicious security.

This straw tickled the noses of all our dignitaries wonderfully; for to do our government justice, it has no objection to injuring and exterminating its enemies in any manner – provided the thing can be done economically.

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NATO Holds Article 5 “High Intensity Combat” Drills Throughout Europe

November 10, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Joint Warfare Centre

November 10, 2014

NATO begins Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 14

Led by Joint Force Command Naples (JFC Naples), exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 14 (TRJE 14), which began on Saturday, 8 November, will test NATO’s ability to coordinate and execute a NATO-led Article 5 Collective Defence operation in a multinational environment. It also serves to certify the 15th rotation of the NATO Response Force (NRF) under high-intensity, war fighting conditions.

TRJE 14 Director and Commander Joint Warfare Centre (JWC), Major General Reinhard Wolski addressed the assembled staff before the start of the exercise. He highlighted the critical importance of NATO exercises and training events, stressing that both activities are relevant and substantially challenging in the face of developing real-world threats.

“The real-world developments give us the full mandate and obligation for robust exercises in the Alliance. There is no doubt that these exercises are a major part of NATO’s Visible Assurance and will contribute significantly to our new readiness requirements. The Wales Summit in September has tasked the military authorities with a Readiness Action Plan, which points out to an enhanced exercise programme with an increased focus on exercising Collective Defence and TRIDENT JUNCTURE 14, the first NATO exercise after the Wales Summit, is a part of this endeavor”, said General Wolski.

Exercise TRJE 14 is being conducted at various locations across Europe. Participating in this exercise are units and troops from JFC Naples in Italy; JWC in Stavanger and National Joint HQ in Bodo, Norway; French Joint Force Air Component Command in Lyon, France; Headquarters Commander Spanish Maritime Forces (HQ COMSPMARFOR) on board the LPD Castilla; Polish Special Operations Forces Command in Krakow, Poland, and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium.

All in all a total of some 1,255 military and civilian personnel will participate to the exercise.

TRJE 14 aims to enhance joint and combined interoperability between NATO/Partner and national units in a federated, multinational environment integrating the Connected Forces Initiative (CFI). It also trains those units on the principles of Collective Defence in an Article 5 high-intensity combat action, and demonstrates Visible Assurance that NATO is committed to the defence of its Member States.

The challenges presented in the fictional SKOLKAN scenario include hybrid warfare, theatre-ballistic missile defence, cyber defence and chemical, biological and radiological defence.

The exercise concludes on 17 November 2014.

Story by Joint Warfare Centre Public Affairs Office

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U.S. Ambassador Commends Armenia On NATO Week

November 10, 2014 2 comments

Public Radio of Armenia
November 10, 2014

US Ambassador congratulates Armenia on the conduct of NATO Week

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US Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern has congratulated Armenia on the conduct of the NATO Week in Armenia from 10 to 14 November.

Speaking in Armenian, Heffern said in his vide block: “Partnership with NATO means security, defense reforms and actions,” he said.

“NATO is not engaged in the negotiations on Nagorno Karabakh, but supports the Minsk Group efforts. On the path towards peaceful settlement NATO encourages mutual concessions and flexibility,” Amb. Heffern said.

Within the framework of the NATO Week, a spacebridge between Armenian peacekeepers on mission in Kosovo and Afghanistan and their families will be organized. A visit to the peacekeeping brigade of the Armenian Ministry of Defense is also planned.

On November 12 the Ambassadors of a number of NATO member states to Armenia will hold a meeting with the faculty and students of the Yerevan State University.

The “Cooperation platform” initiative and a roundtable discussion on UN Resolution on “Women, Peace and Security” will also be held during the week.

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John Addington Symonds: Nation with nation, land with land unarmed shall live as comrades free

November 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

John Addington Symonds
A Vista (1880)

220px-John_Addington_Symonds_(poet)_by_Myers

Sad heart, what will the future bring
To happier men when we are gone?
What golden days shall dawn for them,
Transcending all we gaze upon?

Will our long strife be laid at rest,
The warfare of our blind desires
Be merged in a perpetual peace,
And love illume but harmless fires?

Shall faith released from forms that chain
And freeze the spirit while we pray,
Expect with calm and ardent eyes
The morning of death’s brighter day? -

These things shall be! A loftier race
Than e’er the world hath known shall rise
With flame of freedom in their souls
And light of science in their eyes.

They shall be pure from fraud, and know
The names of priest and king no more;
For them no placeman’s hand shall hold
The balances of peace and war.

They shall be gentle, brave, and strong,
To spill no drop of blood, but dare
All that may plant man’s lordship firm
On earth and fire and sea and air.

Nation with nation, land with land,
Unarmed shall live as comrades free;
In every heart and brain shall throb
The pulse of one fraternity.

They shall be simple in their homes,
And splendid in their public ways,
Filling the mansions of the state
With music and with hymns of praise.

In aisles majestic, halls of pride,
Groves, gardens, baths, and galleries,
Manhood and youth and age shall meet
To grow by converse inly wise.

Woman shall be man’s mate and peer
In all things strong and fair and good,
Still wearing on her brows the crown
Of sinless sacred motherhood.

High friendship, hitherto unknown,
Or by great poets half divined,
Shall burn, a steadfast star, within
The calm clear ether of the mind.

Man shall love man with heart as pure
And fervent as the young-eyed joys
Who chaunt their heavenly songs before
God’s face with undiscordant noise.

New arts shall bloom of loftier mould,
And mightier music thrill the skies,
And every life shall be a song,
When all the earth is paradise.

There shall be no more sin, no shame,
Though pain and passion may not die;
For man shall be at one with God
In bonds of firm necessity.

These things – they are no dream – shall be
For happier men when we are gone:
Those golden days for them shall dawn,
Transcending aught we gaze upon.

Categories: Uncategorized

Poland: British Forces In NATO War Games

November 9, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

November 7, 2014

Manoeuvre exercise Black Eagle, tests responsiveness

1_Black Eagle 9

Exercise ‘Black Eagle’ is a significant manoeuvre exercise involving both Polish and United Kingdom land forces in Poland. The exercise will test responsiveness, inter-operability enhancement, and provide demanding opportunities to conduct small to medium sized armour and mechanized infantry field training. The exercise will also practice advanced battle drills and enable live firing exercises through CPX and FTX scenarios. The exercise began in October and will continue to take place in the Żagań Karliki training area up to early December.

Over 2000 Polish and British soldiers are involved in the exercise with the official opening ceremony on the 3rd of November 2014 being conducted by the Polish Commander of the 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, Colonel Maciej Jablonski and the British battle unit Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Justin Kingsford from the 3rd Armoured Division.

‘’This is an excellent opportunity to conduct integrated and extensive field training against multi scenarios and capabilities” said Lt Cdr M Nieswand NATO Exercise Planning. ‘’It clearly demonstrates our focussed resolve in conducting a wide range of military activity, both in supporting assurance measures and in defending the Alliance and its territory’’ he said.

Story by: SHAPE Public Affairs Office

Categories: Uncategorized

Maurice Hewlett: In the Trenches

November 9, 2014 Leave a comment

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Maurice Hewlett
In the Trenches

220px-Portrait_of_Maurice_Hewlett

As I lay in the trenches
Under the Hunter’s Moon,
My mind ran to the lenches
Cut in a Wiltshire down.

I saw their long black shadows,
The beeches in the lane,
The gray church in the meadows
And my white cottage—plain.

Thinks I, the down lies dreaming
Under that hot moon’s eye,
Which sees the shells fly screaming
And men and horses die.

And what makes she, I wonder,
Of the horror and the blood,
And what’s her luck, to sunder
The evil from the good?

’T was more than I could compass,
For how was I to think
With such infernal rumpus
In such a blasted stink?

But here’s a thought to tally
With t’other. That moon sees
A shrouded German valley
With woods and ghostly trees.

And maybe there’s a river
As we have got at home
With poplar-trees aquiver
And clots of whirling foam.

And over there some fellow,
A German and a foe,
Whose gills are turning yellow
As sure as mine are so,

Watches that riding glory
Apparel’d in her gold,
And craves to hear the story
Her frozen lips enfold.

And if he sees as clearly
As I do where her shrine
Must fall, he longs as dearly,
With heart as full as mine.

Categories: Uncategorized
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