Theodore Dreiser: If he went he might be shot, and what would his noble emotion amount to then? He would rather make money, regulate current political, social and financial affairs

October 24, 2014 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

Theodore Dreiser and Smedley Butler: War is a Racket

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Theodore Dreiser
From The Financier (1912)

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There came in this period the slow approach, and finally the declaration, of war between the North and the South, attended with so much excitement that almost all current minds were notably colored by it…Cowperwood was only twenty-five at the time, a cool, determined youth, who thought the slave agitation might be well founded in human rights – no doubt was – but exceedingly dangerous to trade. He hoped the North would win; but it might go hard with him personally and other financiers. He did not care to fight. That seemed silly for the individual man to do. Others might – there were many poor, thin-minded, half-baked creatures who would put themselves up to be shot; but they were only fit to be commanded or shot down. As for him, his life was sacred to himself and his family and his personal interests. He recalled seeing, one day, in one of the quiet side streets, as the working-men were coming home from their work, a small enlisting squad of soldiers in blue marching enthusiastically along, the Union flag flying, the drummers drumming, the fifes blowing, the idea being, of course, to so impress the hitherto indifferent or wavering citizen, to exalt him to such a pitch, that he would lose his sense of proportion, of self-interest, and, forgetting all – wife, parents, home, and children – and seeing only the great need of the country, fall in behind and enlist. He saw one workingman swinging his pail, and evidently not contemplating any such denouement to his day’s work, pause, listen as the squad approached, hesitate as it drew close, and as it passed, with a peculiar look of uncertainty or wonder in his eyes, fall in behind and march solemnly away to the enlisting quarters. What was it that had caught this man, Frank asked himself. How was he overcome so easily? He had not intended to go. His face was streaked with the grease and dirt of his work – he looked like a foundry man or machinist, say twenty-five years of age. Frank watched the little squad disappear at the end of the street round the corner under the trees.

This current war-spirit was strange. The people seemed to him to want to hear nothing but the sound of the drum and fife, to see nothing but troops, of which there were thousands now passing through on their way to the front, carrying cold steel in the shape of guns at their shoulders, to hear of war and the rumors of war. It was a thrilling sentiment, no doubt, great but unprofitable. It meant self-sacrifice, and he could not see that. If he went he might be shot, and what would his noble emotion amount to then? He would rather make money, regulate current political, social and financial affairs. The poor fool who fell in behind the enlisting squad – no, not fool, he would not call him that – the poor overwrought working-man – well, Heaven pity him! Heaven pity all of them! They really did not know what they were doing.

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Readiness Action Plan: U.S. Army, NATO Hold Joint Training Conference

October 23, 2014 Leave a comment

U.S. Army
October 23, 2014

U.S. Army Europe, NATO Allied Land Command co-host Combined Training Conference
By Jesse Granger, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

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OBERAMMERGAU, Germany: U.S. Army Europe and NATO Allied Land Command co-hosted the Combined Training Conference, a semi-annual event held at NATO School Oberammergau, Germany, to plan combined training and exercises, Tuesday.

Topics of focus for the multinational military planners included the NATO Connected Forces Initiative to deliver the training and exercise element of the Readiness Action Plan agreed to at the 2014 Wales Summit, improving the quality and efficiency of combined training, and maintaining the relationships and interoperability forged between NATO allies and partners through operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The Combined Training Conference will shape the training and exercises conducted between NATO nations for years to come, and is a demonstration of U.S. and NATO commitment to regional security.

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1,000 features, 400 writers: Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

October 23, 2014 Leave a comment

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

Georg Brandes (1916)

Each human life represents a value. Mankind is not alike. There is slight consolation in the fact that our losses were one thousand, and the enemy’s ten.

Who knows if among those one thousand there was not a man who would have been the honour of his country, the benefactor of humanity throughout the centuries?

There may have been a Shakespeare or a Newton, a Kant or a Goethe, a Moliere or a Pasteur, a Copernicus, a Rubens, a Tolstoi among the hundreds of thousands of twenty-year-old English, French, German, Polish, Belgian, or Russian soldiers who have fallen.

The press, in belligerent countries, has taken upon itself to excite hatred against the enemy in order to create war enthusiasm. It should remember that the destroying hatred it calls into existence will live long after the war, and will inevitably give birth to new wars. The longer the war lasts, the shorter the coming peace will be.

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NATO Commander: Ready To Mobilize Georgian Military

October 23, 2014 1 comment

Trend News Agency
October 23, 2014

NATO ready to mobilize efforts for further development of Georgian armed forces
By Nana Kirtzkhalia

Nato_Georgia_flags_Album

Tbilisi: NATO’s supreme allied commander and head of U.S. European Command Gen. Philip Breedlove expressed readiness to mobilize the efforts for the further development of the Georgian armed forces.

Breedlove made this statement during a joint press conference with Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania.

“We will spare no effort for the great development of the Georgian armed forces and for the cooperation between NATO and Georgia to be closer,” he said. “It is necessary to participate in international missions. I am sure that it is possible to cope with the problems on the basis of cooperation. The partnership and joint work are the NATO main keynotes.”

A package of measures encouraging Georgia in its strive for membership in the alliance was approved during the NATO summit, held in Wales on September 4-5.

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Civil Georgia
October 22, 2014

Top NATO Commander: ‘Partnership with Georgia Rock Solid’

Tbilisi: Implementation of package of enhanced cooperation offered by NATO to Georgia at the summit in Wales was discussed in meetings between top NATO commander, General Philip Breedlove, and the Georgian leadership in Tbilisi on October 22, officials said after the talks.

U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, who is NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander of U.S. forces in Europe, met Defense Minister Irakli Alasania and then also held talks with PM Irakli Garibashvili with participation of other senior officials, including interior and justice ministers.

“The partnership that Georgia has made with NATO remains rock solid,” Gen. Breedlove said after the meeting with the Defense Minister.

Defense Minister Alasania said after the meeting: “We have discussed timely implementation of establishment of joint [NATO-Georgia] training center in Georgia; we have also discussed how we are going to jointly plan regular military exercises together with NATO. Of course we have also discussed regional security, especially in the context of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and developments in Syria and Iraq; we also spoke about how NATO and Georgia will continue joint efforts to address these threats.”

Gen. Breedlove said that the “substantial package” agreed at the NATO summit in Wales will help Georgia “advance in its preparation towards membership” in the Alliance. Key initiatives include, he said, establishment of defense capacity building mission in Georgia with the particular focus on the Ministry of Defense and assistance to Georgia in continued reform and modernization of its defense and security sector. He said that the package will also help Georgia to increase its interoperability with NATO through “more Georgian participation in NATO exercises and military exercises in Georgia.”

Alasania said that Georgian Deputy Defense Minister, Mikheil Darchiashvili, presented implementation plan of the package at the NATO headquarters this week. He said that the plan, which also includes setting up of a joint NATO-Georgian training center, will be presented to NATO foreign ministers tentatively in December and then the plan is expected to be finally approved when NATO defense ministers meet in February, 2015. Alasania said that for the proposed training center, an assessment team from NATO will arrive to examine infrastructure available in Georgia.

Gen. Breedlove said that the issue of training center was discussed “at the operational level.”

In his opening remarks at a news conference after the meeting with the Georgian Defense Minister, the top NATO commander stressed on security challenges in the region.

“As Georgians know better than most these are very difficult times in Europe as Russia has again moved into a sovereign nation, illegally annexed a part of it and used military force to impose its will,” Gen. Breedlove said.

“NATO is keenly aware of this persistent threat and is taking actions now to ensure that NATO nations can respond rapidly to these sorts of threats in the future,” he added.

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Christopher Morley: No enthusiasm for hymns of hate

October 23, 2014 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

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Christopher Morley
From Ingo (1918)

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The first night we sat down at the inn table for supper I lost my heart to Ingo! Ingo was just ten years old. He wore a little sailor suit of blue and white striped linen; his short trousers showed chubby brown calves above his white socks; his round golden head cropped close in the German fashion. His blue eyes were grave and thoughtful. By great good fortune we sat next each other at table, and in my rather grotesque German I began a conversation. How careful Ingo was not to laugh at the absurdities of my syntax! How very courteous he was!…

There is a particular poignance in looking back now on those happy days two years before the war. Nowhere in all the world, I suppose, are there more cordial, warmhearted, simple, human people than the South Germans. On the front of the inn there was a big yellow metal sign, giving the military number of the district, and the mobilization points for the Landsturm and the Landwehr, and we realized that even here the careful organization of the military power had numbered and ticketed every village. But what did it mean to us? War was a thing unthinkable in those days…

I wonder if he thinks of me as often as I do of him? He gave me a glimpse into the innocent heaven of a child’s heart that I can never forget. By now he is approaching sixteen, and I pray that whatever the war may take away from me it will spare me my Ingo…

If I love anybody in the world, I love Ingo. And that is why I cannot get up much enthusiasm for hymns of hate.

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From Fall Fever (1920)

Only last Sunday we saw this ad in a paper:

HEIRS WANTED: The war is over and has made many news heirs. You may be one of them. Investigate. Many now living in poverty are rich, but don’t know it.

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From Thoughts in a Subway (1921)

He is but a poor and mean-spirited lover – whether of his city, his country, or anything else – who loves her only because he has known no other. We are shy of vociferating patriotiism because it is callow and empty, sprung generally from mere ignorance.

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Ukraine-U.S. Joint Commission: Pentagon Assistance For 190-Day War

October 22, 2014 Leave a comment

U.S. European Command
October 21, 2014

Readout of Ukraine-US Joint Commission
By U.S. European Command Media Operations Division

Stuttgart, Germany: “Senior representatives from Ukraine’s General Staff and U.S. European Command recently concluded the inaugural Ukraine-U.S. Joint Commission in Kyiv, Ukraine, Oct 17.

“The Ukraine-U.S. Joint Commission meeting is a part of a deliberative, constructive dialogue to build an achievable, sustainable engagement plan to institute fundamental reform, build capability, grow capacity, and develop a transformed Ukrainian Armed Forces.

“The Joint Commission is a new construct to conduct the types of bilateral security and defense cooperation the U.S. and Ukraine have been conducting for years. The Joint Commission is co-chaired by the director of Ukraine’s General Staff and U.S. European Command’s director of Policy, Strategy, Partnering and Capabilities (J5/8) . The committee oversees and guides a subordinate, cross-functional, bilateral staff structure with representatives from the U.S Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Joint Staff, U.S. European Command and its service components, and the California National Guard.

“The goal of the inaugural meeting of the Joint Commission was to bilaterally develop near, mid-, and long-term transformation measures and to validate priorities as expressed by Ukraine and the United States.

“Assistance the U.S. has either provided or will be providing includes more than $100 million U.S. dollars in military security assistance – from different funding sources – to provide for Ukraine’s near, mid-, and long-term needs.

“The Joint Commission is part of a months long bi-lateral, pro-active, comprehensive assessment which looked across a wide range of Ukrainian military functional areas that resulted in a prioritized list of requirements which will inform future assistance and cooperative efforts aimed at promoting the professional transformation of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.

“The cross-functional bi-lateral staff has teamed to review and make recommendations for the improvement and growth of the following areas:

•medical
•logistics
•institution building
•maritime
•ground forces
•air forces
•special operations
•communications
•information
•border security”

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Algeria: NATO Marks Twentieth Anniversary Of Mediterranean Military Partnership

October 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Algerian Press Service
October 22, 2014

Algeria Celebrates 20th Anniversary of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue

Algiers: Algeria on Tuesday celebrated the 20th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)’s Mediterranean Dialogue in the presence of parliamentarians, representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Algiers and academics.

The celebration ceremony of the Dialogue, initiated in 1994, was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Algeria became a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue in March 2000.

This anniversary is an opportunity to assess of the achievements made by NATO and to examine the challenges and opportunities facing the NATO, said the Diplomatic Institute and International Relations (IDRI) and the Military Institute of Documentation, Evaluation and Prospect, organizers of the event.

“The Dialogue: Achievements and Prospects” and “the security challenges in the region” are the most important topics which will be discussed at this meeting.

NATO’s assistant general secretary for the political affairs and security policy Ambassador Thrasyvoulos Terry Stamatopoulos voiced, in a statement to the press that this meeting, “his recognition” to the “steadfast contribution” of Algeria within NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue.

“I recognize the very important role and the contribution of Algeria as part of the multilateral framework of the NATO Mediterranean Dialogue,” he added, while expressing the wish to further develop the NATO relations with Algeria.

He expressed his “deep satisfaction” with the recent conclusion of the first individual programme of partnership and cooperation (IPCP) between NATO and Algeria.

“This document is a strong signal of our joint determination to foster our partnership to hoist it to higher level,” he declared.

On that occasion, Stamatopoulos reaffirmed NATO attachment to the Mediterranean Dialogue and to the principles on which it is founded.

He stressed the “intense interest” of NATO to pursue the reinforcement of the political dialogue and the practical cooperation with its Mediterranean partners, including Algeria, to face the security challenges in the region.

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Ambrose Bierce: Chickamauga

October 22, 2014 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

Ambrose Bierce: Warlike America

Ambrose Bierce: Killed At Resaca

Ambrose Bierce: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Ambrose Bierce: War as parricide

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Ambrose Bierce
Member of the Anti-Imperialist League
Chickamauga (1889)

bierce-lieutenant-b

One sunny autumn afternoon a child strayed away from its rude home in a small field and entered a forest unobserved. It was happy in a new sense of freedom from control, happy in the opportunity of exploration and adventure; for this child’s spirit, in bodies of its ancestors, had for thousands of years been trained to memorable feats of discovery and conquest – victories in battles whose critical moments were centuries, whose victors’ camps were cities of hewn stone. From the cradle of its race it had conquered its way through two continents and passing a great sea had penetrated a third, there to be born to war and dominion as a heritage.

The child was a boy aged about six years, the son of a poor planter. In his younger manhood the father had been a soldier, had fought against naked savages and followed the flag of his country into the capital of a civilized race to the far South. In the peaceful life of a planter the warrior-fire survived; once kindled, it is never extinguished. The man loved military books and pictures and the boy had understood enough to make himself a wooden sword, though even the eye of his father would hardly have known it for what it was. This weapon he now bore bravely, as became the son of an heroic race, and pausing now and again in the sunny space of the forest assumed, with some exaggeration, the postures of aggression and defense that he had been taught by the engraver’s art. Made reckless by the ease with which he overcame invisible foes attempting to stay his advance, he committed the common enough military error of pushing the pursuit to a dangerous extreme, until he found himself upon the margin of a wide but shallow brook, whose rapid waters barred his direct advance against the flying foe that had crossed with illogical ease. But the intrepid victor was not to be baffled; the spirit of the race which had passed the great sea burned unconquerable in that small breast and would not be denied. Finding a place where some bowlders in the bed of the stream lay but a step or a leap apart, he made his way across and fell again upon the rear-guard of his imaginary foe, putting all to the sword.

Now that the battle had been won, prudence required that he withdraw to his base of operations. Alas; like many a mightier conqueror, and like one, the mightiest, he could not

curb the lust for war,
Nor learn that tempted Fate will leave the loftiest star.

Advancing from the bank of the creek he suddenly found himself confronted with a new and more formidable enemy: in the path that he was following, sat, bolt upright, with ears erect and paws suspended before it, a rabbit! With a startled cry the child turned and fled, he knew not in what direction, calling with inarticulate cries for his mother, weeping, stumbling, his tender skin cruelly torn by brambles, his little heart beating hard with terror – breathless, blind with tears – lost in the forest! Then, for more than an hour, he wandered with erring feet through the tangled undergrowth, till at last, overcome by fatigue, he lay down in a narrow space between two rocks, within a few yards of the stream and still grasping his toy sword, no longer a weapon but a companion, sobbed himself to sleep. The wood birds sang merrily above his head; the squirrels, whisking their bravery of tail, ran barking from tree to tree, unconscious of the pity of it, and somewhere far away was a strange, muffled thunder, as if the partridges were drumming in celebration of nature’s victory over the son of her immemorial enslavers. And back at the little plantation, where white men and black were hastily searching the fields and hedges in alarm, a mother’s heart was breaking for her missing child.

Hours passed, and then the little sleeper rose to his feet. The chill of the evening was in his limbs, the fear of the gloom in his heart. But he had rested, and he no longer wept. With some blind instinct which impelled to action he struggled through the undergrowth about him and came to a more open ground – on his right the brook, to the left a gentle acclivity studded with infrequent trees; over all, the gathering gloom of twilight. A thin, ghostly mist rose along the water. It frightened and repelled him; instead of recrossing, in the direction whence he had come, he turned his back upon it, and went forward toward the dark inclosing wood. Suddenly he saw before him a strange moving object which he took to be some large animal – dog, a pig – he could not name it; perhaps it was a bear. He had seen pictures of bears, but knew of nothing to their discredit and had vaguely wished to meet one. But something in form or movement of this object – some – thing in the awkwardness of its approach – told him that it was not a bear, and curiosity was stayed by fear. He stood still and as it came slowly on gained courage every moment, for he saw that at least it had not the long, menacing ears of the rabbit. Possibly his impressionable mind was half conscious of something familiar in its shambling, awkward gait. Before it had approached near enough to resolve his doubts he saw that it was followed by another and another. To right and to left were many more; the whole open space about him was alive with them – all moving toward the brook.

They were men. They crept upon their hands and knees. They used their hands only, dragging their legs. They used their knees only, their arms hanging idle at their sides. They strove to rise to their feet, but fell prone in the attempt. They did nothing naturally, and nothing alike, save only to advance foot by foot in the same direction. Singly, in pairs and in little groups, they came on through the gloom, some halting now and again while others crept slowly past them, then resuming their movement. They came by dozens and by hundreds; as far on either hand as one could see in the deepening gloom they extended and the black wood behind them appeared to be inexhaustible. The very ground seemed in motion toward the creek. Occasionally one who had paused did not again go on, but lay motionless. He was dead. Some, pausing, made strange gestures with their hands, erected their arms and lowered them again, clasped their heads; spread their palms upward, as men are sometimes seen to do in public prayer.

Not all of this did the child note; it is what would have been noted by an elder observer; he saw little but that these were men, yet crept like babes. Being men, they were not terrible, though unfamiliarly clad. He moved among them freely, going from one to another and peering into their faces with childish curiosity. All their faces were singularly white and many were streaked and gouted with red. Something in this – something too, perhaps, in their grotesque attitudes and movements – reminded him of the painted clown whom he had seen last summer in the circus, and he laughed as he watched them. But on and ever on they crept, these maimed and bleeding men, as heedless as he of the dramatic contrast between his laughter and their own ghastly gravity. To him it was a merry spectacle. He had seen his father’s negroes creep upon their hands and knees for his amusement – had ridden them so, “making believe” they were his horses. He now approached one of these crawling figures from behind and with an agile movement mounted it astride. The man sank upon his breast, recovered, flung the small boy fiercely to the ground as an unbroken colt might have done, then turned upon him a face that lacked a lower jaw – from the upper teeth to the throat was a great red gap fringed with hanging shreds of flesh and splinters of bone. The unnatural prominence of nose, the absence of chin, the fierce eyes, gave this man the appearance of a great bird of prey crimsoned in throat and breast by the blood of its quarry. The man rose to his knees, the child to his feet. The man shook his fist at the child; the child, terrified at last, ran to a tree near by, got upon the farther side of it and took a more serious view of the situation. And so the clumsy multitude dragged itself slowly and painfully along in hideous pantomime – moved forward down the slope like a swarm of great black beetles, with never a sound of going – in silence profound, absolute.

Instead of darkening, the haunted landscape began to brighten. Through the belt of trees beyond the brook shone a strange red light, the trunks and branches of the trees making a black lacework against it. It struck the creeping figures and gave them monstrous shadows, which caricatured their movements on the lit grass. It fell upon their faces, touching their whiteness with a ruddy tinge, accentuating the stains with which so many of them were freaked and maculated. It sparkled on buttons and bits of metal in their clothing. Instinctively the child turned toward the growing splendor and moved down the slope with his horrible companions; in a few moments had passed the foremost of the throng – not much of a feat, considering his advantages. He placed himself in the lead, his wooden sword still in hand, and solemnly directed the march, conforming his pace to theirs and occasionally turning as if to see that his forces did not straggle. Surely such a leader never before had such a following.

Scattered about upon the ground now slowly narrowing by the encroachment of this awful march to water, were certain articles to which, in the leader’s mind, were coupled no significant associations: an occasional blanket, tightly rolled lengthwise, doubled and the ends bound together with a string; a heavy knapsack here, and there a broken rifle – such things, in short, as are found in the rear of retreating troops, the “spoor” of men flying from their hunters. Everywhere near the creek, which here had a margin of lowland, the earth was trodden into mud by the feet of men and horses. An observer of better experience in the use of his eyes would have noticed that these footprints pointed in both directions; the ground had been twice passed over – in advance and in retreat. A few hours before, these desperate, stricken men, with their more fortunate and now distant comrades, had penetrated the forest in thousands. Their successive battalions, breaking into swarms and re-forming in lines, had passed the child on every side – had almost trodden on him as he slept. The rustle and murmur of their march had not awakened him. Almost within a stone’s throw of where he lay they had fought a battle; but all unheard by him were the roar of the musketry, the shock of the cannon, “the thunder of the captains and the shouting.” He had slept through it all, grasping his little wooden sword with perhaps a tighter clutch in unconscious sympathy with his martial environment, but as heedless of the grandeur of the struggle as the dead who had died to make the glory.

The fire beyond the belt of woods on the farther side of the creek, reflected to earth from the canopy of its own smoke, was now suffusing the whole landscape. It transformed the sinuous line of mist to the vapor of gold. The water gleamed with dashes of red, and red, too, were many of the stones protruding above the surface. But that was blood; the less desperately wounded had stained them in crossing. On them, too, the child now crossed with eager steps; he was going to the fire. As he stood upon the farther bank he turned about to look at the companions of his march. The advance was arriving at the creek. The stronger had already drawn themselves to the brink and plunged their faces into the flood. Three or four who lay without motion appeared to have no heads. At this the child’s eyes expanded with wonder; even his hospitable understanding could not accept a phenomenon implying such vitality as that. After slaking their thirst these men had not had the strength to back away from the water, nor to keep their heads above it. They were drowned. In rear of these, the open spaces of the forest showed the leader as many formless figures of his grim command as at first; but not nearly so many were in motion. He waved his cap for their encouragement and smilingly pointed with his weapon in the direction of the guiding light – a pillar of fire to this strange exodus.

Confident of the fidelity of his forces, he now entered the belt of woods, passed through it easily in the red illumination, climbed a fence, ran across a field, turning now and again to coquet with his responsive shadow, and so approached the blazing ruin of a dwelling. Desolation everywhere! In all the wide glare not a living thing was visible. He cared nothing for that; the spectacle pleased, and he danced with glee in imitation of the wavering flames. He ran about, collecting fuel, but every object that he found was too heavy for him to cast in from the distance to which the heat limited his approach. In despair he flung in his sword – a surrender to the superior forces of nature. His military career was at an end.

Shifting his position, his eyes fell upon some outbuildings which had an oddly familiar appearance, as if he had dreamed of them. He stood considering them with wonder, when suddenly the entire plantation, with its inclosing forest, seemed to turn as if upon a pivot. His little world swung half around; the points of the compass were reversed. He recognized the blazing building as his own home!

For a moment he stood stupefied by the power of the revelation, then ran with stumbling feet, making a half-circuit of the ruin. There, conspicuous in the light of the conflagration, lay the dead body of a woman – the white face turned upward, the hands thrown out and clutched full of grass, the clothing deranged, the long dark hair in tangles and full of clotted blood. The greater part of the forehead was torn away, and from the jagged hole the brain protruded, overflowing the temple, a frothy mass of gray, crowned with clusters of crimson bubbles – the work of a shell.

The child moved his little hands, making wild, uncertain gestures. He uttered a series of inarticulate and indescribable cries – something between the chattering of an ape and the gobbling of a turkey – startling, soulless, unholy sound, the language of a devil. The child was a deaf mute.

Then he stood motionless, with quivering lips, looking down upon the wreck.

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NATO-Georgia Commission Discusses Russia And Abkhazia

October 21, 2014 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
October 21, 2014

NATO-Georgia Commission Session

The implementation plan of the NATO-Georgia Substantial Package was discussed in the NATO HQ. Deputy Defence Minister of Georgia Mikheil Darchiashvili familiarized the allies with the plan details at the session in 28+1 format. Ministry of Defence of Georgia developed the document together with NATO International Staff.

NATO appreciated the plan offered by the Georgian side and expressed full readiness to engage in a timely and effective implementation of the package. It was underlined that accomplishment of the aspects of the implementation plan will promote Georgia`s integration into NATO, maximally enhance national defence capabilities and will further strengthen interoperability with the Alliance.

Regional security environment and the current developments between Russia and the occupied region of Abkhazia were highlighted at the meeting. A special focus was made on Russia`s attempt to conclude the document on “Integration and Cooperation” with Abkhazia, which is the violation of a ceasefire agreement and fundamental principles of the International Law. The Georgian side provided the allies with complete information on the current situation and called on the international Community for an adequate reaction.

In the framework of the visit, the MoD delegation also held meetings with the representatives of Alliance member nations, NATO International Staff and International Military Service.

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Top NATO Military Commander Arrives In Georgia

October 21, 2014 Leave a comment

Civil Georgia
October 21, 2014

Top NATO Commander Visits Georgia

Tbilisi: U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, who is NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander of U.S. forces in Europe, arrived on Tuesday for a two-day visit to Georgia.

He will meet PM Irakli Garibashvili, Defense Minister Irakli Alasania and will deliver a speech at the Tbilisi State University on October 22, according to the Georgian Ministry of Defense.

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Ministry of Defence of Georgia
October 21, 2014

General Philip Breedlove visits Georgia

General Philip Breedlove NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander of U.S. European Command has paid visit to Georgia. Deputy Minister of Defence Mikheil Darchiashvili welcomed the General at the Tbilisi International Airport and wished him successful visit in Georgia. Head of the NATO Liaison Office William Lahue and NATO Military Liaison Officer COL Maximilian Eder also arrived at the Airport to welcome the NATO official.

Tomorrow, Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania will receive NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Philip Breedlove in the Ministry of Defence. Meeting is also scheduled with the Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. Towards the end of the visit, General Philip Breedlove will visit Tbilisi Ivane Javakhishvili State University to deliver a lecture for students and answer their questions.

NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Philip Breedlove will leave Georgia tomorrow.

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Sinclair Lewis: Selections on war

October 21, 2014 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized

Turkey: NATO Holds War Games With Twelve Partnership Nations, Including Ukraine

October 20, 2014 2 comments

Associated Press of Pakistan
October 20, 2014

Turkey to host NATO war games

ISLAMABAD: Turkey will host NATO drills between October 20 and 24 that will include participation from 12 other countries, the Turkish general staff announced in a statement.

The war games will take place in Istanbul and gather military personnel from Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Moldova, Jordan, Ukraine, Mauritania, Algeria, and Pakistan, Anadolu News Agency Reported.

The drills aim to enhance the capacity of the countries to work together and cooperate, the statement said. Turkey is expected to participate in the games with 84 personnel.

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Henry Blake Fuller: Killed and wounded on the fields of hate

October 20, 2014 1 comment

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts
 
American writers on peace and against war

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Henry Blake Fuller
Member of the Anti-Imperialist League
From On the Stairs (1918)

H_B_Fuller

The Great War waged more furiously than ever, and came more close. The country had first said, “You may,” and, later, “You must.”

***

In his own body there was not one drop of martial blood; in his being not an iota of the bellicose spirit. Why men fight, even why boys fight – all this had been a mystery which he must take on faith, with little help from the fisticuffs and brawls of school-days, or even from the gigantic, agonizing closing-in of whole peoples, now under way.

***

McComas’s bank, like others, put its office-machinery at the disposal of the Government, when the first war-loan was in the making…McComas himself felt no promptings to subscribe to this loan; but his directors thought that a reasonable degree of participation was “indicated.” The bank’s name went down, with the names of some others; and the clerks who had been working over hours on the new and exacting minutiae of the undertaking were given a chance to divert their savings toward the novel securities. The bank displayed the Nation’s flag, and the flags of some of the allies. It all made a busy corner…

His wife, who had been flitting from veranda to veranda in their pleasant suburban environment, and been doing, with other ladies of her circle, some desultory work for the wounded soldiers of the future, now came down to the centre of the town and took up the work in good earnest…”Why, it’s the most delightfully absorbing thing I’ve ever done!” she declared. A new world was dawning – a red world that not all of us have been fated to meet so young.

***

A few brief months ended the foreign service of both our young men. Albert came home invalided, and Tom McComas along with others, lay dead between the opposing lines of trenches. His father would not, at first, credit the news. His son’s very strength and vigor had helped build up his own exuberant optimism. It simply could not be; his son, his only remaining son, a happy husband, a gratified parent…But the truth bore in, as the truth will, and McComas had his days of rebellious – almost of blasphemous – protest.

Albert, whose injuries had made him appear as likely to be a useless piece on the board for longer than the army surgeons thought worth while, was sent back home and made his convalescence under the care of his mother; within her house, indeed – for his father had no quarters to offer him. Among McComas’s flower-beds and garden-paths he enjoyed the ministrations of a physician other and better than any that practices on those fields of hate…

Those few months comprised his contribution to the cause. He mended more rapidly than might have been expected, and soon began to feel the resurgence of those belligerencies which are proper to the nature of the healthy young male. But his belligerencies were not at all militaristic. He had seen war at short range, knew what it was, and desired it no more.

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Interoperability Platform: NATO Strengthens Partnerships In Persian Gulf

October 19, 2014 2 comments

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 19, 2014

Strengthening NATO-Gulf cooperation
Intervention by NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow at the Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi

[Edited by RR]

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First, let me thanking Dr. Al Ketbi and the Emirates Policy Center for their kind invitation. I’m honored to represent NATO at the first Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate. It couldn’t be more timely, given the multitude and complexity of the challenges facing our nations.

We had a NATO Summit in Wales just over a month ago. This time last year, it looked as though that Summit was going to be a fairly routine event, focusing on our engagement in Afghanistan. But when NATO leaders met in Wales, they had to grapple with the greatest challenges to our security since the end of the Cold War – not only Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, but multiple threats on NATO’s Southern doorstep, the broader Middle East and Gulf regions.

…[I]t represents a fundamental threat to the security and stability of all our countries, and to the very fabric of our societies.

…We need urgent military action…and to rebuild the capacity of Iraqi and other local security forces…And we need a sustained effort across the region…

[I]t’s especially important that regional countries, among them the UAE, are part of that effort, including the air campaign…

NATO is playing its part too. We all stand with our Ally Turkey, which is literally on the front line. And while the air campaign is not a NATO operation, NATO Allies provide the bulk of the military assets that are now being deployed to degrade ISIL.

At our Summit last month, Allies also underlined our readiness to help Iraq, a NATO partner country, to strengthen its defense capacity. NATO experts have just visited CENTCOM headquarters in Florida to see where NATO might complement coalition efforts…

At Wales, we also took a number of other decisions in response to the new risks and threats in our Eastern and Southern neighborhoods – in particular to help our partners in these regions to face these risks and threats.

One new initiative is aimed at strengthening the interoperability between NATO forces and those of interested partners. At Wales, our Defense Ministers met with 24 especially interoperable partners, including the UAE, which is a founding member of our new Interoperability Platform. We are keen to follow up be expanding our practical cooperation on interoperability issues, and we hope others in the region will seek to participate as well.

The Wales Summit also launched a new initiative to help partners to strengthen their ability to address security challenges in their own region. This initiative builds upon NATO’s extensive expertise in defense capacity building, including in places like Kosovo and Afghanistan. We’re initially working with Jordan, Georgia and Moldova, but we’re ready to cooperate with other interested partners and organizations as well.

NATO has a solid record of cooperation with countries here in the Gulf. The launch of our Istanbul Cooperation Initiative ten years ago was a strong demonstration that the security and stability of this region is of strategic interest to NATO – just as the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area matter to the Gulf region.

The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain have all made good use of the opportunities for dialogue and practical cooperation under the ICI. Saudi Arabia and Oman haven’t formally joined (although the door is open!), but we’re glad they have gradually stepped up their relations with NATO as well.

We’re also very pleased that our Gulf partners have proved increasingly effective security providers, including well beyond this region. They made valuable contributions to our mission in Afghanistan. They took an active part in our operation [in] Libya three years ago. And they are again playing a major role in the international coalition to counter ISIL.

First, NATO and its regional partners should intensify our political dialogue and practical cooperation. Bilateral contacts (28+1) will remain important. They are an opportunity for each of our individual Gulf partners to share their concerns, for NATO to tailor its assistance to those concerns, and for us all to develop a shared outlook on the key security challenges of this region.

I also see scope for closer multilateral relations between NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council. We have already held exploratory talks. I believe we would all benefit from a more regular political dialogue, as well as a greater exchange of information between our organizations. That can run from strategy and doctrine to very practical issues about military planning.

NATO has considerable expertise with different forms of structured cooperation among two or more of its members, such as the Lancaster House Treaty between France and Britain, or the Visegrad-4. I believe that experience could be of particular interest to the GCC as it develops its own, regional security role, as well as integrated defense structures.

Second, we should work together to strengthen maritime security. Many European NATO Allies are highly dependent on energy from the Gulf region. And Gulf countries depend on the secure transport of their energy exports. So we have a clear, common interest in the safety of shipping lanes in this part of the world.

In recent years, Gulf countries have worked with NATO and other navies on several occasions. I would encourage them to step up that engagement by joining NATO’s counter-piracy operation in the western Indian Ocean – operation “Ocean Shield”. This would showcase their growing contribution to stability in the region and beyond. And it would help address a common threat to the security and well-being of all our nations.

Finally, we should further strengthen interoperability between our forces. During our Libya operation three years ago, this country and Qatar were able to contribute impressive air assets quickly and effectively. And in recent weeks, several of our Gulf partners have again demonstrated that ability to plug into a complex, multinational military operation very smoothly.

This didn’t happen by chance. It was the result of years of military-to-military contacts with NATO Allies, including training and exercises. We should continue to strengthen that interoperability between our soldiers, sailors and airmen, because it will be critical to our ability to meet common security challenges together in the future.

Categories: Uncategorized

Eugene Field and Thorne Smith: Bacchus disables Mars

October 19, 2014 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

Thorne Smith: Make statues of war’s wholesale butchers before they strike

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Eugene Field
Let Us Have Peace

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In maudlin spite let Thracians fight
Above their bowls of liquor;
But such as we, when on a spree,
Should never brawl and bicker!

These angry words and clashing swords
Are quite de trop, I’m thinking;
Brace up, my boys, and hush your noise,
And drown your wrath in drinking.

Aha, ‘t is fine, – this mellow wine
With which our host would dope us!
Now let us hear what pretty dear
Entangles him of Opus.

I see you blush, – nay, comrades, hush!
Come, friend, though they despise you,
Tell me the name of that fair dame, -
Perchance I may advise you.

O wretched youth! and is it truth
You love that fickle lady?
I, doting dunce, courted her once;
Since when, she’s reckoned shady!

***

Thorne Smith
From Night Life of the Gods (1931)

james

“Live and let live, say I.”

“That’s all very well for you…but with us, our span is so short it’s almost die and let die. What you meant to say is, drink and let drink.”

“Well, it comes to the same thing. There’re altogether too many crimes attributed to drink which rightly belong to natures that would be a lot more vicious without it. Drink doesn’t create crime. It modifies it.”

“Makes it more democratic,” suggested Hunter Hawk. “Spreads it over a wider area and reduces its velocity.”

“Absolutely,” agreed Ludwig with enthusiasm. “If the world kept itself staggering drunk for a couple of centuries there wouldn’t be any wars. Armies would fall down and go to sleep before they could reach each other.”

“And when they woke up,” Mr. Hawk amplified, “the soldiers’ hands would be so unsteady they wouldn’t be able to do much damage.”

“You’ve got it,” said the little man. “You’ve gotten my point exactly. Instead of going over the top the soldiers would barely be able to crawl along on their bottoms.”

“An inspiring picture.”

“War has no inspiring pictures that cannot find their counterparts in peace,” Mr. Turner looked exceedingly solemn when he brought forth this one.

“Them as I understand it,” summed up Hawk, “you hate war and love drink.”

“Exactly, sir. Exactly.”

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Recruits Georgia To Energy “Security” Center

October 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Trend News Agency
October 16, 2014

Georgia to join NATO’s energy security centre
By Nana Kirtzkhalia

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Georgia will join the NATO Energy Security Centre for Excellence (ENSEC COE), the Defense Ministry of Georgia said.

The official ceremony will be held Oct. 16 in Vilnius, Lithuania and the document on Georgia’s accession to the ENSEC COE will be signed by the Georgian Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the Lithuanian Defence Minister Juozas Olekas, the ENSEC COE officials and military attaches.

As part of Georgia’s accession to the NATO ENSEC COE, the Georgian State Military Scientific-Technical Center Delta will on Nov. 12-14 hold an exhibition titled the “Innovative Energy Solutions for Military Applications” (IESMA 2014).

The ENSEC COE currently employs Estonian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, French and Turkish experts.

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Italian writers on war and militarism

October 18, 2014 1 comment

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

Italian writers on war and militarism

Vittorio Alfieri: The infamous trade of soldier, the sole basis of all arbitrary authority

Vittorio Alfieri: Thousands immolated on the altar of despotism, slaves born but to fertilize the soil

Giuseppe Berto: Selections on war

Giuseppe Berto: Bombing produced cities of the dead

Giuseppe Berto: A fable: The war was going well, the war was going badly

Giuseppe Berto: It was a good night for an air raid. Somewhere or other there would be terror and death and destruction.

Giuseppe Berto: No one truly survives war

Giuseppe Berto: One of the fruits of war, that people should feel so alone and desolate

Giuseppe Berto: Orphaned by the bombs

Giuseppe Berto: The sound of the bombs whistling, the sounds of human suffering, the groans, the screams, the agonized appeals

Giuseppe Berto: Stop destroying so many good things that existed on earth simply in order to slaughter each other

Giuseppe Berto: Then the war passed over our countryside

Giuseppe Berto: A universal evil has given them the power to kill unknown people, people very like themselves

Giuseppe Berto: War destroys the soul even when it spares the body

Eugenio Montale: Poetry in an era of nuclear weapons and Doomsday atmosphere

Alberto Moravia: Selections on war

Alberto Moravia: “Ah well, war is war, you know”

Alberto Moravia: Even in uniform and with a chest covered with medals, always a thief and a murderer

Alberto Moravia: That is what war is like, the war is everywhere

Alberto Moravia: Torn colored posters inciting people to war

Alberto Moravia: War destroys all things seen and unseen

Alberto Moravia: War survives in our souls long after it is over

Cesare Pavese: Every war is a civil war

Cesare Pavese: A moment of peace, to be reborn into a bloodless world

Petrarch: Wealth and power at a bloody rate is wicked, better bread and water eat with peace

Salvatore Quasimodo: In every country a cultural tradition opposes war

Ignazio Silone: Resorting to the bloody diversion of war

Ignazio Silone: They have been warned of wars and rumors of wars

Ignazio Silone: War with today’s hereditary enemy

Giovanni Verga: The Mother of Sorrows

Elio Vittorini: Dialogue between a dead soldier and his brother

Elio Vittorini: Slaughter perpetrated in the world; one man cries and another laughs

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U.S. Army Leads NATO Confrontation With Russia

October 17, 2014 1 comment

U.S. Department of Defense
October 16, 2014

Reassurance, Interoperability Key for U.S. Army in Europe
By Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON: Exercises and the promise of more exercises in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine has reassured America’s European allies, the deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Europe said here today.

Speaking at a Defense Writers Group breakfast, Maj. Gen. Walter E. Piatt said the command is well-situated to answer threats to security in the region and to further interoperability among NATO allies and partner nations.

The exercises mean the United States takes its commitment to NATO and to allies very seriously, Piatt said. The exercise program is not new, he stressed, noting that the U.S. Army wanted to continue to build on interoperability with NATO allies gained from more than a decade of war in Afghanistan. But the program has grown with Russia’s actions in Ukraine, he added.

Shifting to preparedness

U.S. Army Europe had been training U.S. and multinational troops for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for years at state-of-the-art facilities in Grafenwohr and Hohenfels, Germany. “So we were meeting the operational demand,” the general said. “We needed to shift from meeting the operational demand to meeting operational preparedness.”

Coalition forces — very well-schooled in counterinsurgency — had to learn again the full range of operations, Piatt said. “We didn’t know what was next, but we knew we wouldn’t do it alone,” he said. “If we’re going to deploy together, we need to train together.”

The first series of NATO exercises under this new plan took place in November. Officials were going to rotate a unit from the United States to Germany for Exercise Combined Resolve, but sequestration spending cuts quashed that, Piatt said, so U.S. Army Europe used local units and went forward.
Proof of principle for multinational brigade

The exercise combined U.S., Czech and Slovenian forces making up most of a brigade. Nine countries participated with about 3,000 service members. Piatt called it the “proof of principle” in creating a multinational brigade.

“What we learned was our allies are very competent,” he said. “There are experienced forces throughout Europe.”

This was followed by Combined Resolve 2 and Sabre Junction, and the command is ramping up for Combined Resolve 3. Soldiers from the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, are arriving in Europe with their tanks, armored personnel carriers and other accouterments for the exercise.

Going forward, U.S. Army Europe would like to bring over a heavy brigade combat team, Piatt said, and when the exercise is finished, it would leave its equipment in Europe for follow-on forces.

U.S. Army Europe has roughly 31,000 soldiers — a far cry from the more than 300,000 assigned to the command at the height of the Cold War. Yet these forces — plus rotational units — will be a seed for NATO interoperability, the general said.

Interoperability is about relationships

At its core, Piatt told the defense writers, interoperability is all about relationships. Building trust and understanding each other’s capabilities and procedures are key to coalition operations — from disaster response to full-out war, he said.

“You don’t want to meet the team on the ground for the first time,” Piatt said. “We saw this many times in Afghanistan, … where you would be meeting forces from other nations for the first time when you have a real operational demand. We’re doing that now so the relationships and trust are in place before deployment.”

He spoke of a recent exercise in which a Hungarian joint tactical air controller called in a German Tornado to provide fire for a U.S. armored battalion. “That’s how it works. That’s interoperability. That’s how the alliance works,” the general said.

Categories: Uncategorized

Interview: Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group Arrives In Middle East

October 17, 2014 Leave a comment

Press TV
October 16, 2014

Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group arrives in Middle East

Audio

The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group arrived Wednesday in the Middle East to replace the George H.W. Bush, which has been heavily engaged in the bombing campaign against ISIL militants in Iraq and Syria.

The strike group consists of aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, along with the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill, the guided-missile destroyers USS Gridley, USS Sterett, and USS Dewey, according to Stars and Stripes.

Warplanes from the Bush aircraft carrier have been bombing ISIL targets since August 8.

The US-led coalition began conducting airstrikes on ISIL terrorists in August, after they seized large swaths of western Iraq and threatened to move onto Baghdad. Last month, the military campaign was extended to Syria.

“The US is deploying a carrier strike group which probably includes dozens of bombers and advanced multi-role combat aircraft which are being used in the bombing in Iraq and presumably within Syria as well,” said Rick Rozoff, manager of Stop NATO International Network.

“This is simply another exemplification of the US’s willingness and ability to deploy lethal force around the world with or without the permission of the affected countries,” he told Press TV Thursday.

“It’s hard for me to believe that the government in Baghdad, certainly not that in Damascus, has been consulted about the transfer and rotation of US aircraft carrier strike groups in the area, nor are the affected governments in Iraq and Syria necessarily even consulted about where the strikes are and against whom,” Rozoff noted.

“So the US acts in a rather arbitrary manner.”

President Barack Obama has ruled out the possibility of American boots on the ground in Iraq or Syria. However, top military officials say the president might eventually be forced to send US troops into combat.

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Randall Jarrell: In bombers named for girls, we burned the cities we had learned about in school

October 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

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Randall Jarrell
Losses (1948)

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It was not dying: everybody died.
It was not dying: we had died before
In the routine crashes – and our fields
Called up the papers, wrote home to our folks,
And the rates rose, all because of us.
We died on the wrong page of the almanac,
Scattered on mountains fifty miles away;
Diving on haystacks, fighting with a friend,
We blazed up on the lines we never saw.
We died like aunts or pets or foreigners.
(When we left high school nothing else had died
For us to figure we had died like.)

In our new planes, with our new crews, we bombed
The ranges by the desert or the shore,
Fired at towed targets, waited for our scores -
And turned into replacements and woke up
One morning, over England, operational.

It wasn’t different: but if we died
It was not an accident but a mistake
(But an easy one for anyone to make.)
We read our mail and counted up our missions -
In bombers named for girls, we burned
The cities we had learned about in school -
Till our lives wore out; our bodies lay among
The people we had killed and never seen.
When we lasted long enough they gave us medals;
When we died they said, ‘Our casualties were low.’

They said, ‘Here are the maps'; we burned the cities.

It was not dying – no, not ever dying;
But the night I died I dreamed that I was dead,
And the cities said to me: ‘Why are you dying?
We are satisfied, if you are; but why did I die?’

Categories: Uncategorized

Horn Of Africa: NATO Trains Somali Coast Guard

October 16, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Maritime Command

October 15, 2014

Operation Ocean Shield trains Somali Coast Guard

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SOMALI BASIN- Task Force 508 of NATO’s counter-piracy Operation Ocean Shield has conducted training with Somali Coast Guard personnel. The training took place off the coast of the town of Hobyo on October 12th and 13th and marks the first time Somali maritime forces have trained in their territorial waters.

Following the training activities, the Commanding Officer of HDMS ESBERN SNARE, Commander Henrik Holck Rasmussen, handed out certificates to 15 Somali Coast Guard personnel.

The Coast Guard trainees, hailing from the Galmudug Region on Somalia’s east coast, were trained in criminal investigation procedures, first aid, and motor engine maintenance and repair. There are a number of specialists in these fields on board ESBERN SNARE.

“We could see that the pupils came with proficiency already obtained from training with other international units,” said the manager of the two day course, Lieutenant Heino Kristensen. “We were able to build on this and heighten their skills.”

The graduation ceremony on board ESBERN SNARE was honoured by being attended by several senior members of the local authorities, including the Vice Governor of Galmudug and the Vice Mayor of Hobyo.

Story by HQ MARCOM Public Affairs Office

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NATO Begins Large-Scale Naval Drills In Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean

October 16, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 16, 2014

NATO Naval Drills Begin in Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean

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A large fleet of naval vessels is taking part in the multinational “Noble Justification” military exercise which is underway in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. More than twenty warships, and several submarines and aircraft, are involved in the drills. “The exercise Noble Justification is a substantial opportunity for NATO to develop force integration, multinational inter-operability and enhance readiness, by using of an improved technology”, said NATO’s Maritime Commander, Vice Admiral Peter Hudson.

The aim of the event is to test the collective defence and crisis response capabilities of NATO’s Response Force. It will also test NATO naval forces to respond to crisis situations anywhere in the world, at short notice. More than five thousand military personnel are taking part from fourteen NATO nations: Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. Two partner nations, Finland and Sweden, are also involved.

“It exercises a high-density, high-threat scenario in which NATO responds to a threat to its integrity, and the sovereignty, of its member states,“ said Vice Admiral, Peter Hudson. The event is being directed from NATO’s Maritime Command at Northwood in the United Kingdom. The exercise is running from 13-26 October.

A wide variety of aircraft are participating, including U.S. B-52 bombers. Anti-submarine and electronic warfare units are also taking part.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Helicopters Violate Pakistan’s Airspace

October 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Pak Tribune
October 16, 2014

NATO helicopters violate Pakistan’s airspace

KHYBER AGENCY: Two gunship helicopters belonging to the NATO-led international coalition forces have violated the airspace of Pakistan, according to security officials.

The officials quoted by local media agencies have said that the helicopters remained in the Pakistani territory for at least ten minutes. The two helicopters that violated the Pakistani airspace were among five which were patrolling along the Pak-Afghan border in Torkham and Pasidkhel, the officials said.

This comes as the NATO-led coalition security forces have increased drone strikes in tribal regions of Pakistan during the recent days.

At least 29 suspected militants were reported killed following a series of drone strikes in North and South Waziristan tribal regions last week.

In the meantime, the Pakistani officials are saying a major air assault was carried out by NATO on Taliban positions recently in Shamshad mountains located between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Categories: Uncategorized

John William De Forest: Uncivil war

October 16, 2014 Leave a comment

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts
 
American writers on peace and against war

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John William De Forest
Miss Revenel’s Conversion (1867)

jwdf

[M]en still endeavored to convince each other by argument while holding the pistol to each other’s heads; but from the St. Lawrence to the Gulf there was a spiritual preparedness for slaughter which was to end in such murderous contests as should make ensanguined Europe rise from its thousand battlefields to stare in wonder.

***

How many such marriages took place during the War, sweet flowers of affection springing out of the mighty carnage! How many fond girls forgot their womanly preference for long engagements, slow preparations of much shopping and needlework, coy hesitations and gentle maidenly tyrannies, to fling themselves into the arms of lovers who longed to be husbands before they went forth to die! How many young men in uniform left behind them weeping brides to whom they were doomed never to return!

***

Deep in the profound and solemn woods, a full mile and a half from the fighting line, they came to the field hospital of the division. It was simply an immense collection of wounded men in every imaginable condition of mutilation, every one stained more or less with his own blood, every one of a ghastly yellowish pallor, all lying in the open air on the bare ground, or on their own blankets, with no shelter except the friendly foliage of the oaks and beeches. In the centre of this mass of suffering stood several operating tables, each burdened by a grievously wounded man and surrounded by surgeons and their assistants. Underneath were great pools of clotted blood, amidst which lay amputated fingers, hands, arms, feet and legs, only a little more ghastly in color than the faces of those who waited their turn on the table. The surgeons, who never ceased their awful labor, were daubed with blood to the elbows; and a smell of blood drenched the stifling air, overpowering even the pungent odor of chloroform. The place resounded with groans…One man, whose leg was amputated close to his body, uttered an inarticulate jabber of broken screams, and rolled, or rather bounced from side to side of a pile of loose cotton, with such violence that two hospital attendants were fully occupied in holding him. Another, shot through the body, lay speechless and dying, but quivering from head to foot with a prolonged though probably unconscious agony. He continued to shudder thus for half an hour, when he gave one superhuman throe, and then lay quiet for ever.

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Sixth Fleet Flagship Docks In Georgian Port

October 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Civil Georgia
October 14, 2014

U.S. 6th Fleet Flagship Makes Port Visit in Batumi

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Tbilisi: The amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20) in port of Batumi, October 14, 2014.

USS Mount Whitney, flagship for the Europe-headquartered U.S. 6th Fleet, docked into Georgia’s Black Sea port of Batumi on October 14, where it will stay till October 18.

“Mount Whitney’s visit reaffirms the United States’ commitment to strengthening ties with NATO allies and partners like Georgia, while working toward mutual goals of promoting peace and stability in the Black Sea region,” the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi said.

It is the third port visit to Georgia by the USS Mount Whitney, the U.S. 6th Fleet’s amphibious command and control ship. It delivered humanitarian aid to the port of Poti in early September 2008, less than a month after Georgia-Russia war; at the time Russian military forces were still maintaining two outposts in the outskirts of Poti. The last time when Mount Whitney made port visit to Georgia was in November, 2013. Mount Whitney was previously in the Black Sea in February, 2014.

“While in Georgia, Mount Whitney will conduct routine combined training with the Georgian Coast Guard, provide ship tours, hold a public concert for the local community, and host a reception for local officials. Mount Whitney’s port visit will build on previous U.S. Navy visits to Georgia that enhance the professional and personal relationships between the United States and its allies and regional partners,” the U.S. embassy said…

Categories: Uncategorized

Marianne Moore: I must fight till I have conquered in myself what causes war

October 14, 2014 1 comment

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts
 
American writers on peace and against war

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Marianne Moore
From In Distrust of Merit (1944)

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Hate-hardened heart, O heart of iron
iron is iron till it is rust.
There never was a war that was
not inward; I must
fight till I have conquered in myself what
causes war, but I would not believe it.
I inwardly did nothing.
O Iscariot-like crime!
Beauty is everlasting
and dust is for a time.

Categories: Uncategorized

Interview on Ukraine: Global, uncontested power is its own justification

October 13, 2014 1 comment

Rick Rozoff, Open University of the Left, 10-11-2014, Chicago, IL

Categories: Uncategorized

Robinson Jeffers: Eagle Valor, Chicken Mind

October 13, 2014 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

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Robinson Jeffers
Eagle Valor, Chicken Mind (1947)

RobinsonJeffers_NewBioImage

Unhappy country, what wings you have! Even here,
Nothing important to protect, and ocean-far from the nearest enemy,
what a cloud
Of bombers amazes the coast mountain, what a hornet-swarm of fighters,
And day and night the guns practicing.
Unhappy, eagle wings and beak, chicken brain,
Weep (it is frequent in human affairs), weep for the terrible magnificence
of the means.
The ridiculous incompetence of the reasons, the bloody and shabby
Pathos of the result.

Categories: Uncategorized

Germany: U.S. Trains 18 NATO Allies, Aspirants For War In Europe

October 12, 2014 Leave a comment

U.S. Army Europe
October 12, 2014

What is Combined Resolve III?

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The U.S. Army’s European Rotational Force will participate in a major exercise alongside NATO allies and partner-nation forces at the Army’s Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training Areas in southeastern Germany, Oct – Nov, 2014.

Exercise Combined Resolve III will include more than 4,000 participants from Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the U.S.

The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division (Ironhorse), stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas, is the brigade combat team designated as the Army’s regionally-aligned force for the U.S. European Command.

Combined Resolve III is designed to provide the Ironhorse Brigade with multinational training and partnership opportunities that will enhance the flexibility, agility and ability to better operate alongside NATO allies and partners in Europe.

The first phase of Combined Resolve III will include gunnery training at the Army’s Grafenwoehr Training Area. The exercise will then move to the Hohenfels Training Area for a combat maneuver training before returning to Grafenwoehr of the culminating multinational, live-fire exercise that will blend virtual, simulated and maneuver forces to replicate a complex combat environment.

European Activity Set

Combined Resolve III will also use the Army’s European Activity Set, a group of combat equipment and vehicles pre-positioned at the Grafenwoehr Training Area to outfit and support rotational forces when they arrive in Europe. The set includes the most updated versions of the Army’s M1A2 Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles.

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Joel Barlow: War after war his hungry soul require, each land lie reeking with its people’s slain

October 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

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Joel Barlow
Advice To A Raven In Russia (1812)

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Black fool, why winter here? These frozen skies,
Worn by your wings and deafen’d by your cries,
Should warn you hence, where milder suns invite,
And day alternates with his mother night.
You fear perhaps your food will fail you there,
Your human carnage, that delicious fare
That lured you hither, following still your friend
The great Napoleon to the world’s bleak end.
You fear, because the southern climes pour’d forth
Their clustering nations to infest the north,
Barvarians, Austrians, those who Drink the Po
And those who skirt the Tuscan seas below,
With all Germania, Neustria, Belgia, Gaul,
Doom’d here to wade thro slaughter to their fall,
You fear he left behind no wars, to feed
His feather’d canibals and nurse the breed.
Fear not, my screamer, call your greedy train,
Sweep over Europe, hurry back to Spain,

You’ll find his legions there; the valliant crew
Please best their master when they toil for you.
Abundant there they spread the country o’er
And taint the breeze with every nation’s gore,
Iberian, Lussian, British widely strown,
But still more wide and copious flows their own.
Go where you will; Calabria, Malta, Greece,
Egypt and Syria still his fame increase,
Domingo’s fatten’d isle and India’s plains
Glow deep with purple drawn from Gallic veins.
No Raven’s wing can stretch the flight so far
As the torn bandrols of Napoleon’s war.
Choose then your climate, fix your best abode,
He’ll make you deserts and he’ll bring you blood.
How could you fear a dearth? have not mankind,
Tho slain by millions, millions left behind?
Has not CONSCRIPTION still the power to weild
Her annual faulchion o’er the human field?
A faithful harvester! or if a man
Escape that gleaner, shall he scape the BAN?

The triple BAN, that like the hound of hell
Gripes with three joles, to hold his victim well.
Fear nothing then, hatch fast your ravenous brood,
Teach them to cry to Bonaparte for food;
They’ll be like you, of all his suppliant train,
The only class that never cries in vain.
For see what mutual benefits you lend!
(The surest way to fix the mutual friend)
While on his slaughter’d troops your tribes are fed,
You cleanse his camp and carry off his dead.
Imperial Scavenger! but now you know
Your work is vain amid these hills of snow.
His tentless troops are marbled thro with frost
And change to crystal when the breath is lost.
Mere trunks of ice, tho limb’d like human frames
And lately warm’d with life’s endearing flames,
They cannot taint the air, the world impest,
Nor can you tear one fiber from their breast.
No! from their visual sockets, as they lie,
With beak and claws you cannot pluck an eye.
The frozen orb, preserving still its form,
Defies your talons as it braves the storm,
But stands and stares to God, as if to know
In what curst hands he leaves his world below.
Fly then, or starve; tho all the dreadful road
From Minsk to Moskow with their bodies strow’d
May count some Myriads, yet they can’t suffice
To feed you more beneath these dreary skies.
Go back, and winter in the wilds of Spain;
Feast there awhile, and in the next campaign
Rejoin your master; for you’ll find him then,
With his new million of the race of men,
Clothed in his thunders, all his flags unfurl’d,
Raging and storming o’er the prostrate world.
War after war his hungry soul requires,
State after State shall sink beneath his fires,
Yet other Spains in victim smoke shall rise
And other Moskows suffocate the skies,
Each land lie reeking with its people’s slain
And not a stream run bloodless to the main.
Till men resume their souls, and dare to shed
Earth’s total vengeance on the monster’s head,
Hurl from his blood-built throne this king of woes,
Dash him to dust, and let the world repose.

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Global Bloc: Japanese Delegation Visits NATO Military Headquarters

October 11, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

October 10, 2014

JAPANESE DELEGATION VISITS SUPREME HEADQUARTERS ALLIED POWERS EUROPE

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SHAPE, Belgium: A delegation of four high-ranking military officials from NATO Partner Japan visited SHAPE on Thursday, 9 October. Rear Admiral Hiroshi and his team provided SHAPE’s Military Partnership Delegation a briefing on Japan’s international military strategy. The delegation then headed for the CCOMC, SHAPE’s Crisis Management Centre, where they received complete explanations on how NATO analyses and assesses crisis situations.

Admiral Hiroshi raised important questions on NATO exercises and was particularly impressed by NATO’s quick implementation of Patriot missiles in Turkey. Most importantly, the Delegation stressed Japan’s willingness to strengthen its bonds with NATO by increasing Japan’s involvement in NATO exercises.

Although not a NATO Member, Japan has been a key partner of the Alliance since the early 1990s, when Japan’s important contribution to NATO operations in the Balkans…

More recently, Japan’s Navy and NATO ships have conducted exercises in the Gulf of Aden, within the Operation Ocean Shield. This was the first time ever that the two fleets had collaborated so extensively. Japan’s Maritime Self Defence Force’s expertise was a most valuable asset in the fight against piracy.

Story by Martin Gourgue, SHAPE

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Amy Lowell: A pattern called a war. Christ! What are patterns for?

October 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

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Amy Lowell
Patterns (1916)

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I walK down the garden paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jewelled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden paths.

My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whale-bone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime tree. For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep;
For the lime tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.

And the plashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground.

I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths,
And he would stumble after,
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing from his sword hilt and the buckles on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover,
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon —
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun shifts through the shade.

Underneath the fallen blossom
In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke.
“Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell
Died in action Thursday se’nnight.”
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
“Any answer, Madam?” said my footman.
“No,” I told him.
“See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer.”
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun,
Each one.
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.

In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern;
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing.
And I answered, “It shall be as you have said.”
Now he is dead.

In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down,
In my gown.
Gorgeously arrayed,
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.

For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?

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U.S., NATO: Cyberspace Is Battlefield For 21st Century

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

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

October 9, 2014

Digital battlefield: 423rd CS shines during CCRI
By Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton
501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs

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RAF ALCONBURY, United Kingdom:

U.S. Air Force Maj. John Riester, 423rd Communications Squadron commander, leaned back in his chair – allowing the gravity of his words to sink in. He was right. At any given moment a government, organization, terrorist group or hacker could launch a digital offensive against the United States.

…According to the U.S. Cyber Command, cyberspace is a battlefield for the 21st Century. Recently, Airmen from the 423rd CS scored a major victory in that battle when their network defense programs were tested and evaluated as the best among U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa bases, and third in the Air Force, during the fiscal year 2014 Command Cyber Readiness Inspection.

According to Riester, a large part of the inspection intent was to ensure the network at RAF Alconbury was monitored and protected at all times. This involved looking at both digital and physical aspects of the communication infrastructure.

Even though hardening the network and cyber-defense is typically passive at the squadron level, Riester said the Airmen involved in this inspection went above and beyond to ensure the hundreds of criteria for each device and machine at RAF Alconbury, United Kingdom, were well within compliance.

“This is the most dynamic environment you can work in,” Riester said. “There are both internal and external threats to our network that we guard against, because information is ultimately power. We need to leverage an adversary’s vulnerabilities while simultaneously securing our own.”

Through the innovative and dedicated efforts of 423rd CS Airmen, Riester said the squadron currently has the lowest vulnerability numbers in the entire Air Force. However, he also understands the nature of cyber-warfare – which means a cutting edge threat today could be obsolete tomorrow.

“Nothing will ever be perfect, because this landscape is ever-changing,” he said. “However, the Airmen at the 423rd have proven their steadfast commitment to securing our digital borders. This inspection showcased a phenomenal team effort that reaches back to each and every Airman coming to work with a desire to make things better every day.”

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NATO Aspirants: Top Swedish Military Commander Meets With Counterparts In Georgia

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
October 9, 2014

Visit of Chief of Swedish Staff Army

In the framework of bilateral cooperation Commander of Swedish Staff Army pays official visit to Georgia. Deputy Defence Minister Mikheil Darchiashvili and Deputy Chief of the GS of GAF Brigadier-General Vladimer Chachibaia hosted the Major-General Anders Brännström.

The sides discussed ongoing defence reforms, bilateral cooperation between two countries and prospects of future development between Georgian and Swedish Defence Ministries.

During visit a meeting was held with the rector and the leadership of the National Defence Academy. Swedish guest got acquainted with the work of academy and toured the campus. Today, Major-General Brännström plans to visit the Fourth Mechanized Brigade and the National Training Center “Krtsanisi”.

The two-day visit of the Chief of Swedish Staff Army will be over tomorrow.

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NATO Liaison Office, Member State Attaches Meet With Georgian Military

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
October 10, 2014

Meeting with defence attaches

Today, Director of LEPL Cyber Security Bureau of Ministry of Defence of Georgia Andria Gotsiridze hosted defence attaches of foreign countries accredited in Georgia. The representatives of NATO Liaison Office in Georgia attended the meeting.

Chief of the Bureau Projects Management Division Tamar Gamkhrelidze delivered the presentation about the Bureaus` functions and objectives. The need of developing cyber security capabilities in Georgia and sharing foreign experience in this direction were focused during the meeting.

The meeting went on in an interactive format. Leaders of the Bureau answered the attaches` questions and listened to their recommendations. The sides expressed desire of close cooperation in the cyber security sector.

The fight against cyber security threats is a critical challenge for the modern world. The cyber security thematic became actual in Georgia after the cyber attack carried out against Georgia in August 2008.

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Turkey: NATO Chief Inspects NATO Interceptor Missile Batteries

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 10, 2014

NATO Secretary General thanks Patriot crews protecting Turkey

NATO Secretary General visits Patriot unit in Turkey

Visiting the Patriot deployment at Gaziantep, the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked personnel from the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, host nation Turkey and other Allies on Friday (10 October) for their contribution to reinforcing Turkey’s air defence. “Your mission is more important than ever, and Allies remain committed to this vital mission,” the Secretary General said.

…”What you do keeps NATO strong. What you do keeps Turkey safe”, the Secretary General said.

The Secretary General received briefings from military commanders on NATO’s Patriot mission and had the opportunity to see batteries from the US Patriot Unit deployed at the Turkish military base in Gaziantep.

On Thursday, Mr Stoltenberg held talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and other senior Turkish officials focusing on the crisis on NATO’s southern border.

Since January 2013, NATO’s Patriot deployment has reinforced Turkey’s air defences to help protect Turkey’s territory and citizens against missile attacks from Syria. Germany, the Netherlands and the United States currently provide two Patriot batteries each for the mission, located in Kahramanmaras, Adana and Gaziantep.

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New NATO Chieftain Holds Talks In Turkey

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 9, 2014

NATO Secretary General shows Alliance solidarity in Turkey

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Thursday (9 October) in Ankara and said that he came to hear Turkey’s views and concerns on the situation in the region. At the start of his second trip as NATO Secretary General, Mr. Stoltenberg held a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu and said that NATO is closely monitoring events close to Turkey’s southern border.

“ISIL poses a grave threat to the Iraqi people, to the Syrian people, to the wider region, and to NATO nations”, the Secretary General said. “So it is important that the whole international community stays united in this long-term effort. I welcome the decisive actions taken by the United States, with many Allies and partners. And I welcome the recent vote in the Turkish Parliament to authorize an even more active role of Turkey in the crisis”.

Mr. Stoltenberg said that NATO is playing its role helping protect Turkish territory and citizens against missile attacks. “Our Patriot deployment reinforces Turkey’s air defences”, he said. “NATO stands ready to support all Allies in defending their security”.

The NATO Secretary General praised Turkey’s role as a steadfast Ally contributing to the Alliance’s collective defence and to the stability of the region and Turkey’s significant contribution in Kosovo and in Afghanistan.

“We will continue to count on Turkey in Afghanistan. Next year, you will be one of the framework nations as part of our new mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces. And we are working together to ensure that we can launch the mission on January 1st, as planned”, he said.

The Secretary General said that Allies took important decisions at the Wales Summit and are now turning those decisions into reality. “So I look forward to continue working with Turkey to keep NATO the bedrock of our security”, he added.

Mr. Stoltenberg also met with Defence Minister Yılmaz, with the Chief of General Staff General Necdet Őzel and with other high-level officials.

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

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

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Washington Irving
From Westminster Abbey (1820)
The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.

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It seems as if the awful nature of the place presses down upon the soul, and hushes the beholder into noiseless reverence. We feel that we are surrounded by the congregated bones of the great men of past times, who have filled history with their deeds, and the earth with their renown.

And yet it almost provokes a smile at the vanity of human ambition, to see how they are crowded together and jostled in the dust; what parsimony is observed in doling out a scanty nook, a gloomy corner, a little portion of earth, to those, whom, when alive, kingdoms could not satisfy…

I passed some time in Poet’s Corner, which occupies an end of one of the transepts or cross aisles of the abbey. The monuments are generally simple; for the lives of literary men afford no striking themes for the sculptor. Shakespeare and Addison have statues erected to their memories; but the greater part have busts, medallions, and sometimes mere inscriptions. Notwithstanding the simplicity of these memorials, I have always observed that the visitors to the abbey remained longest about them. A kinder and fonder feeling takes place of that cold curiosity or vague admiration with which they gaze on the splendid monuments of the great and the heroic. They linger about these as about the tombs of friends and companions; for indeed there is something of companionship between the author and the reader. Other men are known to posterity only through the medium of history, which is continually growing faint and obscure: but the intercourse between the author and his fellow-men is ever new, active, and immediate. He has lived for them more than for himself; he has sacrificed surrounding enjoyments, and shut himself up from the delights of social life, that he might the more intimately commune with distant minds and distant ages. Well may the world cherish his renown; for it has been purchased, not by deeds of violence and blood, but by the diligent dispensation of pleasure. Well may posterity be grateful to his memory; for he has left it an inheritance, not of empty names and sounding actions, but whole treasures of wisdom, bright gems of thought, and golden veins of language.

***

There is a sad dreariness in this magnificence; this strange mixture of tombs and trophies; these emblems of living and aspiring ambition, close beside mementos which show the dust and oblivion in which all must sooner or later terminate. Nothing impresses the mind with a deeper feeling of loneliness, than to tread the silent and deserted scene of former throng and pageant. On looking round on the vacant stalls of the knights and their esquires, and on the rows of dusty but gorgeous banners that were once borne before them, my imagination conjured up the scene when this hall was bright with the valor and beauty of the land; glittering with the splendor of jewelled rank and military array; alive with the tread of many feet and the hum of an admiring multitude. All had passed away; the silence of death had settled again upon the place, interrupted only by the casual chirping of birds, which had found their way into the chapel, and built their nests among its friezes and pendants – sure sign of solitariness and desertion.

When I read the names inscribed on the banners, they were those of men scattered far and wide about the world; some tossing upon distant seas; some under arms in distant lands; some mingling in the busy intrigues of courts and cabinets; all seeking to deserve one more distinction in this mansion of shadowy honors: the melancholy reward of a monument.

***

History fades into fable; fact becomes clouded with doubt and controversy; the inscription moulders from the tablet; the statue falls from the pedestal. Columns, arches, pyramids, what are they but heaps of sand; and their epitaphs, but characters written in the dust? What is the security of a tomb, or the perpetuity of an embalmment? The remains of Alexander the Great have been scattered to the wind, and his empty sarcophagus is now the mere curiosity of a museum…

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NATO Chief To Visit Ukraine To Discuss Membership

October 9, 2014 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
October 8, 2014

NATO secretary general to visit Ukraine after elections – foreign minister

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is interested in the attitude of Ukrainian politicians and the public to the issue of the country’s possible membership of the North Atlantic Alliance, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said.

“Mr. Stoltenberg showed an interest in sentiments in Ukraine’s political spectrum, and he will pay particular attention to this issue, in particular, after the [parliamentary] elections, when he plans to visit Ukraine,” he said after a meeting with Stoltenberg in Brussels on Wednesday.

Klimkin also said that Ukraine and NATO plan to further strengthen cooperation in the near future, including in the alliance’s military and technical aid to Ukraine, in the use of trust funds to help the country implement defense reform, as well as part of a program of enhanced opportunities .

Categories: Uncategorized

Romania: U.S. Navy Commissions NATO Interceptor Missile Base

October 9, 2014 Leave a comment

Stars and Stripes
October 9, 2014

Navy to commission missile defense base in Romania
By Steven Beardsley

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NAPLES, Italy: The Navy will commission its new missile defense base in southern Romania on Friday, one of two European land-based interceptor sites for a NATO missile shield vehemently opposed by Russia.

The base represents a rare expansion of the U.S. footprint in Europe, and the even rarer construction of a new Navy base from the ground up.

The base in Deveselu will be the first to feature the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense system, a land-based version of the sophisticated radar tracking system installed on U.S. warships since 2004. Scheduled to become operational by the end of next year, the base — which is housed within a larger Romanian military installation — will be staffed by several hundred U.S. military, civilian and contract employees. A second site, in Poland, is scheduled to become operational by 2018.

Capt. William Garren will become the site’s first commander on Friday, officials said.

The site is part of a NATO missile defense shield pursued by two U.S. administrations…Russia has long criticized the project, claiming it was aimed against its own ballistic missile arsenal. The dispute has taken on new significance with recent fighting between Ukraine and separatists near the Russian border and the sharp deterioration of relations between the West and Moscow.

First announced by the George W. Bush administration in 2007, plans for an extensive missile shield focused on long-range interceptor sites, were cut back by the Obama administration in favor of an emphasis on short- and medium-range missiles.

The current “phased, adaptive approach” for missile defense in Europe will be based on ship-borne interceptors until the permanent land sites in Romania and Poland become fully operational. It calls for regular upgrades to interceptor technology and relies on an improving network of land- and space-based sensors.

U.S. warships equipped with Aegis systems began making regular patrols in the Mediterranean in 2011, and the U.S. is moving four of the destroyers to Rota, Spain, for the missions. An advanced radar system in Turkey was completed in 2012.

The site at Deveselu, part of the second phase, will host an Aegis SPY-1 radar and hold 24 Standard Missile-3 interceptors of the Block IB variant. A four-story radar deckhouse, similar to those used on a warship, will be moved to the site from the U.S. East Coast as part of construction.

The third and fourth phases were to focus on medium- and longer-range missile threats, with construction of the second land-based site in Poland and development of two new SM-3 variants. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel canceled the fourth phase last year, which called for development of the long-range SM-3 variant by 2020.

The U.S. conducted the first test flight of its Aegis Ashore system on May 21 in Hawaii.

Naval Support Facility Deveselu officially entered the books last week with the start of the new fiscal year, according to Capt. Eric Gardner, officer in charge of the project in Naples. A small Friday ceremony will formally mark the turnover, he said. Construction at the site continues under a $134 million contract awarded by the military last year.

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U.S. To Provide Lethal Weapons To Ukrainian Client Regime

October 9, 2014 Leave a comment

Ukrinform
October 9, 2014

United States planning to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine – Lysenko

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KYIV: The United States is planning to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine.

National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) information and analytical center spokesman Andriy Lysenko said this at a briefing on Thursday, citing U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Derek Chollet, a Ukrinform correspondent reported.

“Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Derek Chollet said that the United States is working on a program to provide lethal assistance to Ukraine,” Lysenko said.

However, he did not mention what kind of weapons the United States is to send to Ukraine. “The issue does not currently concern the amount, quality and technical data of these weapons, at least in public, because negotiations are now underway,” he said.

Categories: Uncategorized

Moscow Belatedly Realizes NATO Buildup In Georgia A Dangerous Developemnt

October 9, 2014 1 comment

Civil Georgia
October 9, 2014

Moscow Warns Against ‘NATO Infrastructure’ in Georgia

Tbilisi: In response to Russian Foreign Ministry’s warning that deploying NATO “infrastructure” in Georgia would undermine stability in the region, Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said that the only “huge threat” to the region is Russia and “NATO infrastructure” will be created in Georgia “as agreed” by the alliance members at the Wales summit.

In a press statement on the twenty-ninth round of Geneva talks, held on October 8, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that at the meeting the Russian side “expressed concern in connection to the Georgian media reports about plans to deploy military infrastructure on the territory of Georgia in the interests of NATO.”

“Such actions would create threat to emerging stability in the Transcaucasus region,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The statement does not specify “infrastructure” in question, but reference is apparently made to a purported NATO training center on which Georgian and NATO officials were speaking about as part of the package that was offered to Georgia at the NATO Wales summit in September.

Commenting on Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement, Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania told journalists on October 9 that “the only huge threat to the region is Russian occupying forces in our country”, stationed in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and “ongoing aggression carried out by Russia against Ukraine.”

“NATO infrastructure will be created in Georgia,” Alasania said. “This is an agreement that was reached at the NATO summit [in Wales]. NATO-Georgia package serves this purpose – to open NATO infrastructure in Georgia in order to conduct joint military exercises and by doing so to boost deterrent factor against aggression, which is coming from Russia, and also to increase our defense capabilities. This is already decided and it will only contribute to the stability in our region,” he said.

He also said that Tbilisi has handed over its proposals on implementation of the package to NATO earlier this week and is now waiting for the response from the Alliance, expected within a month.

The Defense Minister said that the plan is to set up a “joint Georgian-NATO training center” which would be available for both Georgian and Alliance member states to provide training to their troops, as well as to servicemen from NATO partner states.

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David Graham Phillips: Captains of industry, industrial warfare, marauders and renegade generals

October 9, 2014 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

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David Graham Phillips
From The Deluge (1905)

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[O]nly a fool commits crimes that put him in the power of others. The crimes of the really big captains of industry and generals of finance are of the kind that puts others in their power.

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But while our country’s industrial territory is vast, the interests of the few great controllers who determine wages and prices for all are equally vast, and each plutocrat is tormented incessantly by jealousy and suspicion; not a day passes without conflicts of interest that adroit diplomacy could turn into ferocious warfare.

***

That small and exclusive circle, into which I was seeing myself admitted without the usual arduous and unequal battle, was what may be called the industrial ring – a loose, yet tight, combine of about a dozen men who controlled in one way or another practically all the industries of the country. They had no formal agreements; they held no official meetings. They did not look upon themselves as an association. They often quarreled among themselves, waged bitter wars upon each other over divisions of power or plunder. But, in the broad sense, in the true sense, they were an association – a band united by a common interest, to control finance, commerce and therefore politics; a band united by a common purpose, to keep that control in as few hands as possible. Whenever there was sign of peril from without they flung away differences, pooled resources, marched in full force to put down the insurrection. For they looked on any attempt to interfere with them as a mutiny, as an outbreak of anarchy. This band persisted, but membership in it changed, changed rapidly. Now, one would be beaten to death and despoiled by a clique of fellows; again, weak or rash ones would be cut off in strenuous battle. Often, most often, some too-powerful or too-arrogant member would be secretly and stealthily assassinated by a jealous associate or by a committee of internal safety. Of course, I do not mean literally assassinated, but assassinated, cut off, destroyed, in the sense that a man whose whole life is wealth and power is dead when wealth and power are taken from him.

Actual assassination, the crime of murder – these “gentlemen” rarely did anything which their lawyers did not advise them was legal or could be made legal by bribery of one kind or another. Rarely, I say – not never. You will see presently why I make that qualification.

I had my heart set upon membership in this band – and, as I confess now with shame, my prejudices of self-interest had blinded me into regarding it and its members as great and useful and honorable “captains of industry.” Honorable in the main; for, not even my prejudice could blind me to the almost hair-raising atrocity of some of their doings. Still, morality is largely a question of environment. I had been bred in that environment. Even the atrocities I excused on the ground that he who goes forth to war must be prepared to do and to tolerate many acts the church would have to strain a point to bless. What was Columbus but a marauder, a buccaneer? Was not Drake, in law and in fact, a pirate; Washington a traitor to his soldier’s oath of allegiance to King George? I had much to learn, and to unlearn.

***

[Y]ou don’t look for character in the proprietors, servants, customers and hangers-on of dives. No more ought you to look for honor among any of the people that have to do with the big gilded dive of the dollarocracy. They are there to gamble, and to prostitute themselves. The fact that they look like gentlemen and have the manners and the language of gentlemen ought to deceive nobody but the callow chaps of the sort that believes the swell gambler is “an honest fellow” and a “perfect gentleman otherwise,” because he wears a dress suit in the evening and is a judge of books and pictures. Lawyers are the doorkeepers and the messengers of the big dive; and these lawyers, though they stand the highest and get the biggest fees, are just what you would expect human beings to be who expose themselves to such temptations, and yield whenever they get an opportunity, as eager and as compliant as a cocotte.

***

In every office of the down town district – merchant, banker, broker, lawyer, man of commerce or finance – was not every busy brain plotting, not self-preservation but pillage and sack – plotting to increase the cost of living for the masses of men by slipping a little tax here and a little tax there on to everything by which men live? All along the line between the farm or mine or shop and the market, at every one of the toll-gates for the collection of just charges, these big financiers, backed up by the big lawyers and the rascally public officials, had an agent in charge to collect on each passing article more than was honestly due. A thousand subtle ways of levying, all combining to pour in upon the few the torrents of unjust wealth. I laugh when I read of laboring men striking for higher wages. Poor, ignorant fools – they almost deserve their fate. They had better be concerning themselves with a huge, universal strike at the polls for lower prices. What will it avail to get higher wages, as long as the masters control and recoup on the prices of all the things for which those wages must be spent?

***

I looked about me in Wall Street; in my mind’s eye I all in an instant saw my world as it really was. I saw the great rascals of “high finance,” their respectability stripped from them; saw them gathering in the spoils which their cleverly-trained agents, commercial and political and legal, filched with light fingers from the pockets of the crowd, saw the crowd looking up to these trainers and employers of pickpockets, hailing them “captains of industry”! They reaped only where and what others had sown; they touched industry only to plunder and to blight it; they organized it only that its profits might go to those who did not toil and who despised those who did. “Have I gone mad in the midst of sane men?” I asked myself. “Or have I been mad, and have I suddenly become sane in a lunatic world?”

***

Until I opened fire, the public thought, in a general way, that a bank was an institution like Thornley’s Discount and Deposit National – a place for the safe-keeping of money and for accommodating business men with loans to be used in carrying on and extending legitimate and useful enterprises. And there were many such banks. But the real object of the banking business, as exploited by the big bandits who controlled it and all industry, was to draw into a mass the money of the country that they might use it to manipulate the markets, to wreck and reorganize industries and wreck them again, to work off inflated bonds and stocks upon the public at inflated prices, to fight among themselves for rights to despoil, making the people pay the war budgets – in a word, to finance the thousand and one schemes whereby they and their friends and relatives, who neither produce nor help to produce, appropriate the bulk of all that is produced.

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NATO Chief To Visit Ukraine To Discuss Membership

October 8, 2014 Leave a comment

Interfax-Ukraine
October 8, 2014

NATO secretary general to visit Ukraine after elections – foreign minister

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is interested in the attitude of Ukrainian politicians and the public to the issue of the country’s possible membership of the North Atlantic Alliance, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said.

“Mr. Stoltenberg showed an interest in sentiments in Ukraine’s political spectrum, and he will pay particular attention to this issue, in particular, after the [parliamentary] elections, when he plans to visit Ukraine,” he said after a meeting with Stoltenberg in Brussels on Wednesday.

Klimkin also said that Ukraine and NATO plan to further strengthen cooperation in the near future, including in the alliance’s military and technical aid to Ukraine, in the use of trust funds to help the country implement defense reform, as well as part of a program of enhanced opportunities .

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U.S., NATO Step Up Aid For Ukraine’s 177-Day War

October 8, 2014 2 comments

Interfax-Ukraine
October 8, 2014

US to provide $46 mln in additional defensive security assistance to Ukraine – embassy

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U.S. President Barack Obama has approved more than $46 million in additional defensive security assistance to Ukraine since August, in addition to $70 million of security assistance announced earlier, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv said in a statement posted on its Web site on Wednesday.

“The United States is working to bolster Ukraine’s ability to secure its borders and preserve its territorial integrity and sovereignty in the face of Russian occupation of Crimea and a concerted effort by Russian-backed separatists to destabilize eastern Ukraine,” reads the statement.

It notes that this assistance includes funds for the provision of body armor, night vision goggles, armored SUVs and patrol vehicles, and additional communications equipment.

“This is in addition to the approximately 300,000 Meals Ready to Eat (delivered in March), as well as assistance for the provision of materiel using Foreign Military Financing to support Ukraine’s armed forces with medical supplies, service member equipment (e.g., helmets, sleeping mats, water purification units), explosive ordnance disposal equipment, and handheld radios,” the statement says.

In addition, the United States is providing equipment and training for a number of counter-mortar radar sets, intended to enhance the defensive capabilities of Ukrainian forces.

“Counter-mortar radars will help Ukrainian forces provide warning of incoming artillery fire,” the embassy said.

The United States has also allocated additional Cooperative Threat Reduction funding to support Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service with supplies.

“To date, Embassy Kyiv has purchased and delivered dozens of shelters, heavy engineering equipment (bulldozers, excavators, graders), diesel generators, fuel trucks, cargo trucks, small patrol craft, hand-held day/night optics, security fencing, patrol flashlights, perimeter alarm systems, fuel pumps, concertina wire, critical vehicle spares (tires, batteries, replacement engines), food storage freezers, field stoves, light armored patrol vehicles, secure communications, expert document search systems, passport inspection portable devices, technical endoscopes, handheld metal detectors/mirrors, camouflage suits, patrol caps, tactical boots, external (ballistic) knee and elbow protection pads, and waterproof suits to the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service for use in monitoring and securing their borders,” the report says.

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Interfax-Ukraine
October 8, 2014

Ukraine hopes NATO trust funds will start working this year – Klimkin

Some of the four NATO trust funds that were formed to help Ukraine reform the security sector are ready for practical cooperation, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said.

“We have four funds, and certain contributions will be made by the end of this year. But all trust funds, as we expect, will start working by the end of this year or early next year,” he said in Brussels on Wednesday after a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

He noted that Kyiv was currently trying to determine specific projects that will be implemented as part of these funds.

However, Klimkin declined to specify which amounts of money the issue may concern.

As reported, at the NATO summit in Wales in early September this year, it was decided to establish four trust funds to support reforms in Ukraine’s defense sector. The funds will work on projects in the field of logistics, defense sector management, cyber security and rehabilitation of wounded soldiers.

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Virginia: NATO Military Committee Advances Readiness Action Plan Against Russia

October 8, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation

October 8, 2014

NATO Military Committee discusses Transformation in Norfolk
Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Hendrick L. Dickson

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In Norfolk, Virginia, more than 100 of NATO’s most prominent military leaders met at Headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT) October 7-8, to discuss the Alliance’s transformational agenda and plans to take on future security challenges.

Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), French Air Force General Jean-Paul Paloméros hosted NATO’s Military Committee (MC) as an opportunity to update the leaders on Allied Command Transformation’s (ACT) current and future programme of work and provide a platform for the MC to provide the most current direction and guidance for ACT’s future path.

Just a few months removed from the NATO Summit this past September, ACT will be influential in the implementation of many decisions from Wales, including the Readiness Action Plan (RAP) which will improve the collective defence of the Alliance and provide a very high readiness force able to deploy in short notice.

Discussions during the visit focused on how current programmes such as the Connected Forces Initiative (CFI), the NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP) and the Framework for Future Alliance Operations (FFAO) will be used to execute those decisions.

General Paloméros told the senior leaders that he and his staff are embracing the opportunity of laying the education and training framework that will shape the future of the military force.

“From my perspective the Wales Summit was a success,” said General Paloméros. “But now the real success will be to implement what came out of the Wales Summit. From ACT’s point of view it was a great acceptance to carry on a very dynamic transformation.”

The most senior NATO military official, the Chairman of the Military Committee, Danish Army General Knud Bartels, reiterated the importance of ACT carrying forward the Summit’s momentum through the initiatives that ACT has the lead on.

“We have to bring together CFI, the Smart Defence initiative and all those programmes in front of us, bring them together and align them with what we took away from the Wales Summit in order to take full advantage of our military capability and ensure we’re properly equipped to take on all challenges decisively,” General Bartels said.

The MC is composed of senior military officers from all 28 NATO member countries and headed by the Chairman. The committee advises NATO’s political leaders on military policy and strategy and direct NATO’s strategic commanders. The MC plays a key role in the development of NATO’s military policy and doctrine.

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Anaconda: NATO Completes Large-Scale War Games In Poland

October 8, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum

October 8, 2014

EXERCISE ANAKONDA 2014 COMES TO AN END

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BRUNSSUM, The Netherlands: Exercise Anakonda 2014 in Poland ended on 3 October after multiple live-fire demonstrations that highlighted the readiness and responsiveness of 12,500 Polish and 750 multinational forces from Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The first demonstration in Ustka, on the Polish shores of the Baltic Sea, took place 1 October and was attended by Brig. Gen. Torben Moller, the Director of Management at JFC Brunssum who served as the Anakonda Exercise Deputy Director of Coalition Forces and the leader of the JFC Brunssum NATO Exercise Integration Team who observed the exercise. The event, attended by defence attaches from more than a dozen countries around the world and international media, demonstrated defense capabilities and defensive tactics against enemy forces landing from the sea.

“This dynamic exercise demonstrated a wide spectrum of defense capabilities and it was extremely well executed by Poland and the other participating nations. It was very beneficial for myself and the NATO Exercise Integration Team to be here and observe the training firsthand in order to rapidly assess lessons learned and apply them to our upcoming NATO Response Force exercises,” said Brig. Gen. Torben Moller, JFCBS Director of Management. “I believe there is great potential to expand Exercise Anakonda even further for 2016 to include more nations and additional NATO support from Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum.”

The second demonstration in Orzysz, about 90 kilometers south of the border with Russia’s territory of Kaliningrad, was part of the Distinguished Visitor’s Day on 2 October that was attended by multinational officials including Poland’s President and the JFCBS Commander, General Hans-Lothar Domrose. The event featured a combined tactical arms scenario at the Battle Group level that highlighted close air support, search and rescue and other Polish Army assets.

“I was very impressed by the live-fire demonstration of ground forces and close air support that showed the capability, interoperability and readiness of multinational forces participating in this Polish led exercise,” said Gen. Hans-Lothar Domrose, JFCBS Commander. “I have already received positive feedback from our NATO Exercise Integration Team and I will meet with Polish military officials in the weeks ahead to discuss options for increasing NATO cooperation and participation for the next Anakonda exercise in 2016.”

Story and photos by Major Richard Komurek, JFCBS Public Affairs Office

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Poland: New Chief Praises NATO’s Air Forces Near Russian Border

October 8, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 7, 2014

NATO Secretary General thanks Allied pilots, crews in visit to Polish airbase

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked air force personnel from Poland and many other Allied countries on Monday (06 October 2014) for their service and for protecting the airspace over the Eastern part of the Alliance during a visit to the Łask airbase in central Poland. “You are doing an important job,” the Secretary General said. He stressed that “you come from many countries across the Alliance but you send one clear message: NATO is here. NATO is here to protect you. NATO is here to protect all Allies.”

At the airbase, Mr. Stoltenberg met pilots and air crews from across the Alliance. He had the opportunity to see several fighter jets used in NATO’s Baltic air-policing mission as well as tour a NATO E-3A ‘Sentry’ Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) aircraft. The Secretary General also received briefings from military commanders on NATO’s air-policing and AWACS missions. Earlier on Monday, Mr Stoltenberg was in Warsaw for talks with Polish President Bronisław Komorowski, Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz and other senior Polish government officials.

Since the start of the Ukraine crisis NATO has significantly strengthened the Alliance’s collective defence on its eastern borders. At the Wales Summit, Allies decided to maintain a continuous air, land, and sea presence and military activity in the eastern part of the Alliance on a rotational basis. This includes increased NATO air patrols over the Baltics, AWACS flights over Poland and Romania, and the rotation of forces throughout the region for exercises.

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Interview: White House Itching For Military Intervention In Middle East

October 8, 2014 Leave a comment

Press TV
October 8, 2014

President Obama itching for military intervention in Mideast: Activist

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[Correction: Leon Panetta was Defense Secretary in the Obama administration]

An American peace activist says US President Barack Obama is “itching” for another military intervention in the Middle East by war against ISIL.

Obama is “itching for military intervention in another part of the world and this is particularly strategic, but also a sensitive part of the world, the Middle East,” Rick Rozoff, manager of the Stop NATO International Network, told Press TV on Tuesday.

“[T]he US has a large military presence in nations like Jordan [and] has increasingly been trying to insinuate itself militarily in Lebanon,” he added.

He also noted that the United States wants to increase its military presence throughout the region by using ISIL as “the pretext or as the excuse.”

Rozoff said the US and its allies are supporting armed groups against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Rozoff said “that’s what not be limited to Iraq and it certainly includes activities in Syria as I indicated may be up to including joining the ragtag army of mercenary and other opposition armed groups that the US and its NATO allies have been supporting against the legitimate government of Damascus.”

He made the comments after former defense secretary Leon Panetta, who is critical of Obama’s ISIL strategy, said that Washington could keep troops in Iraq beyond 2011 and start arming Syrian rebels even sooner than they did.

Panetta said the president’s backtrack harmed his credibility internationally, adding that confronting the ISIL terrorist group now could give Obama a chance to “repair the damage” after having “lost his way.”

Panetta said he still believes that Obama can still turn the situation around, not just for the country, but for himself during his remaining time in the White House.

“He may have found himself again with regards to this ISIS (or ISIL) crisis. I hope that’s the case,” Panetta said.

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Sinclair Lewis: Don’t much care what kind of war they prepare for

October 8, 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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One of the few times when Mrs. Candy, their housekeeper, was permitted to enter his hermit’s cell was to leave there, on the long table, his mail. He picked it up and started to read briskly, standing by the table. (Time to go to bed! Too much chatter and bellyaching, this evening! Good Lord! Past midnight!) He sighed then, and sat in his Windsor chair, leaning his elbows on the table and studiously reading the first letter over again.

It was from Victor Loveland, one of the younger, more international-minded teachers in Doremus’s old school, Isaiah College.

DEAR DR. JESSUP:

(“Hm. ‘Dr. Jessup.’ Not me, m’ lad. The only honorary degree I’ll ever get’ll be Master in Veterinary Surgery or Laureate in Embalming.”)

A very dangerous situation has arisen here at Isaiah and those of us who are trying to advocate something like integrity and modernity are seriously worried – not, probably, that we need to be long, as we shall probably all get fired. Where two years ago most of our students just laughed at any idea of military drilling, they have gone warlike in a big way, with undergrads drilling with rifles, machine guns, and cute little blueprints of tanks and planes all over the place. Two of them, voluntarily, are going down to Rutland every week to take training in flying, avowedly to get ready for wartime aviation. When I cautiously ask them what the dickens war they are preparing for they just scratch and indicate they don’t care much, so long as they can get a chance to show what virile proud gents they are.

Well, we’ve got used to that. But just this afternoon – the newspapers haven’t got this yet – the Board of Trustees, including Mr. Francis Tasbrough and our president, Dr. Owen Peaseley, met and voted a resolution that – now listen to this, will you, Dr. Jessup – “Any member of the faculty or student body of Isaiah who shall in any way, publicly or privately, in print, writing, or by the spoken word, adversely criticize military training at or by Isaiah College, or in any other institution of learning in the United States, or by the state militias, federal forces, or other officially recognized military organizations in this country, shall be liable to immediate dismissal from this college, and any student who shall, with full and proper proof, bring to the attention of the President or any Trustee of the college such malign criticism by any person whatever connected in any way with the institution shall receive extra credits in his course in military training, such credits to apply to the number of credits necessary for graduation.”

What can we do with such fast exploding Fascism?

VICTOR LOVELAND.

And Loveland, teacher of Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit (two lone students) had never till now meddled in any politics of more recent date than A.D. 180.

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