Home > Uncategorized > Stop NATO News February 23, 2011

Stop NATO News February 23, 2011

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1. Fidel Castro Says U.S. Plans NATO Invasion Of Libya

2. NATO-Ukraine Annual National Program Nears Completion

3. Afghan Capital: Explosion Hits District Near NATO Headquarters

4. Push For NATO Partnership Fuels Discord In Cyprus

5. Afghanistan: Georgian Soldier Killed, Two Wounded

6. Pakistan: U.S. Resumes Drone Slaughter In Tribal Areas

7. Expanded Ballistic Missile Range: S. Korea Presidential Aide To U.S.

8. Russian LDP MP: Mideast Turmoil To Reach Central Asia, Russia

9. Kyrgyzstan Marks Anniversary Of Bloodstained “Tuilp Revolution” II

10. President: Mideast Unrest To Have “Direct Impact” On Russia

11. U.S. Exacerbates Japanese-Russian Territorial Dispute

12. California: U.S., Israel Successfully Test Anti-Missile System

13. USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group Certified Combat Ready

14. Egypt Expands Military Presence On Libyan Border

15. ALBA Shuns OAS Intrusion In Venezuelan Affairs

16. Otpor Offshoot Has Trained “Dissidents” In 37 Countries

17. Georgia Approves Deploying Artillery Instructors To Afghanistan

18. NATO Offers Greek Missile Firing Site To UAE, Other Arab States

19. U.S. Military In Australia Able To Withstand Chinese Counterattack

20. U.S. Urges Australia To Unite Military Efforts Against China

21. Kosovo: NATO’s Top Commander Inspects NATO, Kosovo Troops

22. Germany: NATO Exercises Practice For “Fictitious Air Insertion”

23. Kurils Conflict: Japan-Russia Relations At “Worst Point In Decades”

24. Kurils: U.S., Japan Could Cut Off Russian Fleet From Pacific

25. New Stealth Bomber Could Control Drones, Fire Lasers, Bust Bunkers

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1. Fidel Castro Says U.S. Plans NATO Invasion Of Libya

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/22/AR2011022202291.html

Associated Press
February 22, 2011

Fidel Castro says US plans NATO invasion of Libya

HAVANA: Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro says it’s too early to criticize Libya’s government – but just the moment to denounce something says is planned: A U.S.-led invasion of the North African nation.

Castro uses a column published in Cuban media on Tuesday to accuse the United States of planning a NATO invasion of Libya to control its oil. He says that might happen “in a question of hours or very short days.”

He says the plan “has to be denounced.”

The Communist revolutionary is more cautious about reports by Arab and Western news media that troops loyal to…Moammar Gadhafi have slaughtered civilian protesters. Castro says, “We have to wait the necessary time to know with rigor how much is fact or lie.”

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2. NATO-Ukraine Annual National Program Nears Completion

http://www.interfax.com.ua/eng/main/61658/

Interfax-Ukraine
February 22, 2011

Government approves draft annual cooperation program between Ukraine, NATO

The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers has approved the draft annual national program of cooperation between Ukraine and NATO, which will be submitted to Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych.

According to the project, Ukraine will develop constructive partnership with the Alliance as stipulated by the law of Ukraine on the principles of domestic and foreign policy in the areas set out in the relevant bilateral documents, in compliance with the principles laid down in the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization dated July 9, 1997 and the declaration to complement the charter dated August 21, 2009, the government’s press service reported.

The implementation of Ukraine-NATO annual national cooperation programme will contribute to domestic reforms in security, defense, economic, legal sector and other fields, as well as help involve the expertise and other resources of NATO member states into these processes.

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3. Afghan Capital: Explosion Hits District Near NATO Headquarters

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/22/explosion-hits-kabul-district-near-nato-hq.html

Reuters
February 22, 2011

Explosion hits Kabul district near Nato HQ

KABUL: An explosion rocked a Kabul district that is home to the headquarters of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force and near the presidential palace and many embassies, a police source said on Tuesday.

“The explosion was in Shashdarak district. We don’t know whether it was a bomb,” the source told Reuters. He asked not to be named as he is not authorised to talk to the media.

ISAF said they were not immediately aware of any explosion.

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4. Push For NATO Partnership Fuels Discord In Cyprus

http://www.cyprus-mail.com/cyprus/partnership-peace-cause-discord/20110222

Cyprus Mail
February 22, 2011

Partnership for Peace a cause of discord
By Jacqueline Agathocleous

Ruling party AKEL yesterday refused to confirm reports that it was planning a demonstration outside parliament on Thursday to protest against a proposal by the other parties for Cyprus to join NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP).

Even though an MP unofficially admitted at the House yesterday that discussions were being held to consider the possibility, a spokesman for the party said the reports were unsubstantiated and no such news would be confirmed.

The House Plenum will discuss on Thursday a proposal that was made on the opposition DISY’s initiative last week, which was signed by government partner DIKO, as well as EDEK and EVROKO, to force the administration to apply for membership in PfP – a NATO programme aimed at promoting [cooperation] between the alliance and other states.

The party leaders had been told of DISY’s intention to table the draft on the morning before last week’s plenary session.

The move has riled President Demetris Christofias and AKEL, which has always been against the idea on ideological grounds.

Government Spokesman Stefanos Stefanou last week said it violated the separation of powers, was unconstitutional and would create problems for the state’s smooth operation in the future.
….

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5. Afghanistan: Georgian Soldier Killed, Two Wounded

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23169

Civil Georgia
February 22, 2011

Georgian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

Tbilisi: One Georgian serviceman was killed and two others wounded in Afghanistan as a result of a mine explosion, the Georgian Defense Ministry said on February 22.

Corporal Giorgi Avaliani, who died, as well as two other corporals, Nikoloz Deisadze and Ednra Abuladze, who were wounded, was serving in the 32nd battalion in the province of Helmand.

The latest death brings to six the number of Georgian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, since joining the NATO-led operation in November, 2009. Georgia suffered its first casualty in early September 2010.

The 32nd battalion of the 3rd infantry brigade rotated with the 31st infantry battalion in Afghanistan in November, 2010. Georgia has up to 950 soldiers serving in Afghanistan and plans to send a team of 11 artillery instructors to train the Afghan army.

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6. Pakistan: U.S. Resumes Drone Slaughter In Tribal Areas

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=4150&Cat=13&dt=2/22/2011

The News International
February 22, 2011

14 killed in drone, missile attacks in SWA, NWA
By Malik Mumtaz Khan, Irfan Burki & Mushtaq Yusufzai

-Many people thought the CIA had stopped missile attacks in the Pakistani tribal areas after the arrest of its agent in Pakistan.
-Villagers and official sources said 10 US spy planes were seen hovering over various villages in Mir Ali and Miramshah throughout the day on Monday. According to villagers in Mir Ali, the drones fired four missiles and hit two rooms and a car parked inside the mud house.
The villagers claimed all the victims were local tribes people and had no affiliation with the militants… The tribesmen who pulled out bodies from the debris of the house said the bodies of majority of the slain people were mutilated and beyond recognition.
-[T]here were more than a dozen spy planes flying over various villages in the tribal region at low altitude on Monday and the angry tribesmen were seen firing at them. “The Americans don’t care for others and they will continue killing us.”

MIRAMSHAH/WANA/PESHAWAR: Eight people were killed and some others wounded Monday in a US drone strike on a house in a village near Mir Ali town in North Waziristan.

Earlier late Sunday, six people were killed and a few were injured in a missile strike by US drones in Azam Warsak village near Wana in South Waziristan. The death toll was 14 in the two separate attacks by the CIA-operated spy planes in South and North Waziristan tribal regions on Sunday and Monday nights.

The two attacks by the US drones in the Pakistani tribal areas were the first ones after the arrest of CIA spy Raymond Davis for killing two Pakistanis in Lahore. The last time the drones conducted missile attacks in Pakistani tribal areas was in Mir Ali in North Waziristan on January 23.

Many people thought the CIA had stopped missile attacks in the Pakistani tribal areas after the arrest of its agent in Pakistan. The news had sent a wave of joy among the tribes people of militancy-torn North Waziristan tribal region as they were hoping there would no more drone attacks on their villages and towns.

But their happiness was short-lived as the drones on the night between Sunday and Monday fired two missiles and struck a house at Azam Warsak village near Wana, the main town of South Waziristan tribal region.

Tribal sources said six people were killed in the attack and few others were injured. It was the first attack by the US drones in South Waziristan this year. The sources said the drone hit the house of tribesman Hukam Khan, who belongs to the Sarkikhel Wazir tribe. The identity of the slain people could not be ascertained, but local tribesmen claimed all of them were tribal people.

In another attack, eight people were killed and some others sustained injuries when the drones pounded a house at Malik Ashdar village of Mir Ali subdivision, 12 kilometers east of Miramshah, the principal town of North Waziristan.

Villagers and official sources said 10 US spy planes were seen hovering over various villages in Mir Ali and Miramshah throughout the day on Monday. According to villagers in Mir Ali, the drones fired four missiles and hit two rooms and a car parked inside the mud house.

The villagers claimed all the victims were local tribes people and had no affiliation with the militants. They said the injured people were rushed to a nearby hospital in Mir Ali town, where the doctors said condition of some of them was critical. The tribesmen who pulled out bodies from the debris of the house said the bodies of majority of the slain people were mutilated and beyond recognition.

Official sources said it was the eighth attack by the US spy aircraft in North Waziristan in 2011. Some officials and tribesmen said one of the main reasons behind the pause in drone attacks in North Waziristan could be cloudy weather in the region. “We were so excited when we heard there would be no more drone attacks in North Waziristan after the arrest of CIA agent Raymond Davis, reported to be the key player behind these strikes,” a disappointed tribesman, Noor Kalam Dawar said in Miramshah.

He said there were more than a dozen spy planes flying over various villages in the tribal region at low altitude on Monday and the angry tribesmen were seen firing at them. “The Americans don’t care for others and they will continue killing us,” Kalam felt.

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7. Expanded Ballistic Missile Range: S. Korea Presidential Aide To U.S.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-02/22/c_13743817.htm

Xinhua News Agency
February 22, 2011

South Korea’s key presidential aide to visit U.S. for missile talks

SEOUL: A key presidential aide to South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will visit the United States for talks over revising guidelines on Seoul’s missile development, local media reported Tuesday.

Kim Tae-hyo, presidential secretary for national security strategy, will leave for Washington this weekend to meet with U.S. officials, including Jeffrey Bader, the National Security Council’ s director for Asian affairs, according to Seoul’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper.

The two sides will reportedly discuss revising current guidelines limiting the firing range of South Korea’s ballistic missiles to 300 kilometers, stipulated under the Missile Technology Control Regime aimed at restricting proliferation of missiles and missile technology.

South Korea has sought authorization to develop longer-range missiles to better deal with potential missile threats from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The trip is at the request of the U.S. government, according to Chosun.

Related:

S Korea, U.S. to hold drills on western border islands: media

SEOUL, Feb. 22 : South Korea and the United States plan to hold drills this year on islands near a disputed western sea border between South Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), local media reported Tuesday citing an unspecified military source.

The allies are currently discussing details of the exercise and planning to hold a separate landing drill off eastern and western coasts of the Korean peninsula this year, Seoul’s Yonhap News Agency quoted an unnamed military official as saying. Full story

S. Korea seeks to double number of anti-submarine drills with U.S.

SEOUL, Jan. 7: South Korea’s Navy chief said Friday he is planning to double the number of joint anti-submarine drills with the United States this year, Navy officials said.

South Korea is seeking to hold twice as many anti-submarine drills with the U.S. as they did last year and increase the overall number of combined exercises between the two allies, Navy officials said quoting Navy chief Kim Sung-chan.
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8. Russian LDP MP: Mideast Turmoil To Reach Central Asia, Russia

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=5&id=224183

Interfax
February 22, 2011

Riots in Middle East may reach Russia this summer – Liberal Democratic Party

MOSCOW: Sergei Abeltsev, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party faction in the State Duma, has expressed concerns about the possibility of the Middle Eastern situation spreading to Central Asia and Russia.

Riots are currently taking place in Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, Libya, and Morocco, Abeltsev said in a speech devoted to the upcoming Defender of the Fatherland Day at a ‘government hour” meeting in the State Duma on Tuesday. “Obviously, this infection will spread to Central Asia in the spring and will reach Russia in the summer and this threat can only be combated by the Armed Forces,” the parliamentarian said.

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9. Kyrgyzstan Marks Anniversary Of Bloodstained ‘Tuilp Revolution’ II

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15979701&PageNum=0

Itar-Tass
February 22, 2011

Kyrgyzstan to mark anniversary of deposing Kurmanbek Bakiyev

BISHKEK: Kyrgyzstan’s interim President Roza Otunbayeva ordered to carry out events marking the first anniversary of the ousting of former leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Otunbayeva has signed the relevant decree, the presidential press service told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

Her decree sets up an organizing committee, with the view of preparing and marking the anniversary of the April People’s Revolution, which happened at the cost of human lives….The decree notes the revolution’s historical significance for the country.

The organizing committee includes chief of the presidential staff Emilbek Kaptagayev, Cabinet officials, lawmakers and public figures.

On April 7, 2010, several thousand supporters of the Kyrgyz Opposition rallied in Bishkek. Later, the rally moved to the central square where the government building is located. The guards at the entrance to the building opened fire at the protesters who tried to force their way in, killing some 90 people and wounding hundreds more.

In the evening, the Opposition took control of the republic’s main administrative building. Bakiyev fled Bishkek and hid in the native village in the Jalalabad region. Later, he left Kyrgyzstan for Belarus.

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10. President: Mideast Unrest To Have “Direct Impact” On Russia

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15979231&PageNum=0

Itar-Tass
February 22, 2011

Fanatics may rise to power in Arab world – Medvedev

-“We may see the disintegration of big populous states” and the breakup of these countries “into small pieces.”
-“They had prepared such a scenario for us, and now they will try to implement it, but in any case, this scenario will not work.”
-“This is going to be a very long period, we are talking about an outlook for decades, let’s be honest with ourselves, let us not deceive ourselves, or mislead the people. It is a big, complicated problem, and for solving it we will have to exert very serious efforts for a very long time.”

VLADIKAVKAZ: The situation in the Middle East and the Arab world in general may be fraught with disintegration of populous states and the fanatics’ rise to power, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said.

“Look at the situation that has taken shape in the Middle East and the Arab world. It is the gravest, there are very great difficulties ahead,” he said on Tuesday at a meeting of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAC). In some cases, according to Medvedev, “we may see the disintegration of big populous states” and the breakup of these countries “into small pieces.”

“And these states are no simple ones, it is likely that there will be complex events ahead, including the rise of fanatics to power – this would mean the fires there will rage for decades and the spread of extremism in the future, we must face the truth,” said the president. He added: “They had prepared such a scenario for us, and now they will try to implement it, but in any case, this scenario will not work.”

Nevertheless, Medvedev said, the ongoing events in the Middle East will have a “direct impact” on the situation in Russia.

“This is going to be a very long period, we are talking about an outlook for decades, let’s be honest with ourselves, let us not deceive ourselves, or mislead the people. It is a big, complicated problem, and for solving it we will have to exert very serious efforts for a very long time,” said Medvedev. He believes that no one, except the Russians themselves, “will be able to restore order.”

Common approaches to solving the problem of extremism and terrorism in Russia spell comprehensive development of regions, in particular, the North Caucasus, the development of social programs, creation of jobs, development of educational programs, support for education and the broadest possible support for Russian Islam, the president added.

“Those who are prepared to change should be given a chance, but those who want bloodshed will choke on their own blood,” he said. There can be no other approaches, he added.

“I would like to say one thing: this is our country and our land, we must put it in order, for all of us and especially for our children, and we shall do that,” said Medvedev.

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11. U.S. Exacerbates Japanese-Russian Territorial Dispute

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/02/22/45579622.html

Voice of Russia
February 22, 2011

Russia-Japan-US – three’s a crowd

The US has interfered in the “war of words” between Russia and Japan over the territorial sovereignty of the South Kuril Islands. Amid anti-Russian campaigns held by Japanese nationalists, a spokeswoman for the US State Department, Joanne Moore, said that the US government supports Japan and recognizes its sovereignty over the Islands, which Japan calls the Northern Territories.

On the one hand there is nothing new about the position of Washington on the Islands’ issue. Last November, when during his tour of the Far East President Dmitry Medvedev visited Kunashir, one of the four South Kuril Islands, official spokesperson for the US State Department Philip Crowley spoke in support of Tokyo’s territorial claims. But the current statements of the US State Department amid growing threats from Japanese radicals look like outright instigation.

This is not for the first time that the US has tried to drive a wedge between Russia and Japan, Valery Kistanov, head of the Center for Japanese Studies at the Far East Institute, said in an interview with the “Voice of Russia”.

In 1955-1956, the USSR and Japan held talks on a peace treaty which resulted in the adoption of a Soviet-Japanese declaration. This declaration envisaged the restoration of diplomatic ties and the end of military action but did not resolve the territorial issue.

At that stage Japan was considering abandoning its claims to the four South Kuril Islands. But Washington threatened Tokyo that if it did so, the US would not return Okinawa to Japan, the country’s southernmost island, which was occupied by the US at that time.

Since then this problem in Russian-Japanese relations has remained unsolved. But the fact that the US contributed to the existence of this territorial conflict does not give it the right to interfere now. The territorial dispute between Russia and Japan is the executive prerogative of these two states.

On Monday, US Ambassador in Russia John Beyrle was invited to the Foreign Ministry where he met with Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin. During the meeting, Borodavkin reasserted Moscow’s sovereignty over the southern Kuril islands.

Here is a comment made by Alexander Boldarev, the Deputy Head of the Foreign Ministry’s mass media department:

“We drew Mr. Beyrle’s attention to recent statements made by officials of the US State Department and the US embassy in Moscow, in which they expressed their support for Japan’s territorial claims to Russia. In this respect the Foreign Ministry reiterated Russia’s categorical and unwavering and unchanged position regarding its sovereignty over the South Kuril Islands.”

Meanwhile Russia’s embassy in Japan is preparing a diplomatic note to the Japanese Foreign Ministry demanding the prosecution of people who desecrated the Russian flag.

On February 7, mass media the world over showed a footage of members of an ultra-right dragging a torn Russian flag on the ground in front of the Russian embassy in Tokyo. Under Japanese legislation the desecration of a foreign state symbol is a criminal office and Russia demands the observance of the provisions of the Japanese law.

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12. California: U.S., Israel Successfully Test Anti-Missile System

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/israel/1833702.html

Trend News Agency
Febraury 22, 2011

Israel and US successfully test anti-missile system

Israel and the United States successfully carried out a test of Israel’s Arrow anti-missile system off the coast of California on Tuesday morning, the newspaper Haaretz reported.

Israeli Defense Ministry says the Arrow detected, intercepted and destroyed a target missile launched from an offshore platform late Monday inside a U.S. Navy firing range.

The test was held in order to see if the missile would be successful against Iran’s advanced missile, the Shahab 3, which could be used to hit Israel and regional U.S. bases.

Jointly developed by Israel and the U.S., the Arrow detects an incoming missile and destroys it with a second missile….

Tuesday’s statement said the test provides confidence in operational Israeli capabilities to defeat the developing ballistic missile threat.

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13. USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group Certified Combat Ready

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=58721

Navy NewsStand
February 22, 2011

USS George H.W. Bush Strike Group Certified Combat Ready
By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW) Misty Trent, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Public Affairs

-During COMPTUEX, the GHWB Strike Group entered into an intensive training scenario loosely based on geo-political conditions from around the globe. The scenarios, designed and executed by Strike Force Training Atlantic (SFTL), simulated many real-world situations that the GHWB Strike Group could encounter on deployment….
-The Spanish frigate Borbón and its 240 sailors were fully integrated throughout both exercises….Because Borbón will participate in the early stages of the Strike Group’s deployment, full engagement of crews, systems and protocol was critical. French navy assets, including the destroyer FS Primauguet (D 644) and the submarine FS Perle (S606), joined the Strike Group for JTFEX as well.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: The George H.W. Bush (GHWB) Carrier Strike Group is certified ready for combat operations after successfully completing its first Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) and Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX), Feb. 21.

The Strike Group assets departed their various homeports on or about Jan. 19 to begin final exercises before embarking on its first overseas deployment scheduled for spring of this year.

“This Strike Group was absolutely ready for these exercises, and our Sailors hit the ball out of the park,” said Commander, Carrier Strike Group Two, Rear Adm. Nora W. Tyson. “This is America’s newest strike group in America’s newest aircraft carrier, and our team is strong and ready to go. At the end of the day, COMPTUEX and JTFEX are really tests of our ability to work as a team, and we nailed it….”

During COMPTUEX, the GHWB Strike Group entered into an intensive training scenario loosely based on geo-political conditions from around the globe. The scenarios, designed and executed by Strike Force Training Atlantic (SFTL), simulated many real-world situations that the GHWB Strike Group could encounter on deployment, including small boat attacks, mines, strait transits in hostile waters and aerial, surface and sub-surface threats. Each scenario built on the one before, testing both the individual components of the GHWB Strike Group, as well as its collective effectiveness.
….
COMPTUEX was a 23-day evolution, and included all assets within the Strike Group, from the flagship George H.W. Bush to the squadrons of Carrier Air Wing EIGHT (CVW-8), the guided-missile cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG 64), USS Monterey (CG 61), and USS Anzio (CG 68), Destroyer Squadron 22 ships USS Mitscher (DDG 57) and USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and the Spanish frigate ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbón (F 102). All told, nearly 7,500 Sailors played a direct role in the evolution.
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During COMPTUEX, boarding teams from ships throughout the Strike Group performed more than 20 practice visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) evolutions, and the eight squadrons assigned to the embarked air wing flew nearly 3,800 hours during 1,800 sorties.
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The Strike Group returned to sea Feb. 14 to begin the final exam – JTFEX. For nearly 10 days, SFTL evaluated the overall combat readiness of the GHWB Strike Group, specifically focusing on the Strike Group’s ability to interact and operate with other U.S. military and coalition forces.

The Spanish frigate Borbón and its 240 sailors were fully integrated throughout both exercises, including several exchange visits between Borbón and George H.W. Bush Sailors. Because Borbón will participate in the early stages of the Strike Group’s deployment, full engagement of crews, systems and protocol was critical. French navy assets, including the destroyer FS Primauguet (D 644) and the submarine FS Perle (S606), joined the Strike Group for JTFEX as well.

“The scenarios [the crew] experienced during COMPTUEX/JTFEX are based on real-world operations today’s carrier strike groups can expect to face in the deployed environment,” said FitzPatrick. “Geo-political situations are fluid and ever-changing across the globe, and leadership needs the multi-mission flexibility a strike group brings to their area of responsibility. The mission of our carrier strike groups can change at a moment’s notice depending on real time events, and the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group Sailors are ready to deploy and accept any mission given to them.”

“The Navy’s carrier strike groups are critical to the nation’s maritime strategy,” said Tyson. “Our combined capabilities allow us to deploy to any region around the globe….”

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14. Egypt Expands Military Presence On Libyan Border

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=141273

Agence France-Presse
February 22, 2011

Egypt beefs up military presence on Libya border

Baku: Egypt is beefing up its military presence on the Libyan border in response to an influx of refugees and the evacuation of Egyptian nationals, a security source told AFP on Tuesday, AFP reported.

“The army has sent extra units to ensure security along the northern frontier with Libya at the Soloum border crossing and to allow Egyptians fleeing Libya to safely return,” the source said.

Some 10,000 Egyptians are already at the border, waiting to cross, after 5,000 compatriots came over on Monday, she added.

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15. ALBA Shuns OAS Intrusion In Venezuelan Affairs

http://www.insidecostarica.com/dailynews/2011/february/21/latinamerica11022101.htm

Inside Costa Rica
February 22, 2011

ALBA Shuns OAS Intrusion in Venezuelan Affairs

Caracas: The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) irked with OAS General Secretary Jose Miguel Insulza intrusion in Venezuela”s affairs.

Chilean Insulza said this week “he still waits for the Venezuelan Government’s green light for his visit to probe human rights violation denunciations.”

The communiqué of the member countries of ALBA – Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ecuador, Antigua and Barbuda and Venezuela – “rejects the OAS Secretary’s reiterated intrusions in the internal affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela” and urged him to stop attacking the government of President Hugo Chavez.

“Insulza uses his office to support the strategy of a political minority of Venezuelans who challenge Venezuela’s current democracy and governance. The General Secretary of a regional body is to serve its member countries and should never act as referee or court to judge domestic political affairs,” stresses the document.

They also urged the remaining members of the Washington-based OAS “to rein in such dangerous retrogression to the times when the OAS served as an instrument for interventionism and colonialism in our continent.”

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a)

16. Otpor Offshoot Has Trained “Dissidents” In 37 Countries

http://www.rferl.org/content/exporting_nonviolent_revolution_eastern_europe_mideast/2316231.html

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
February 21, 2011

Exporting Nonviolent Revolution, From Eastern Europe To The Middle East
By Courtney Rose Brooks, Milos Teodorovic

Srdja Popovic has a dream: a world where political change comes through nonviolent struggle.

He started out as a pro-democracy activist in his native Serbia by founding the group “Otpor” (Resistance), which led the protests that drove…President Slobodan Milosevic from power more than a decade ago.

Popvic then exported his nonviolent methods, helping train the activists who spearheaded Georgia’s Rose Revolution in 2003 and Ukraine’s Orange Revolution in 2004.

And now, Popovic is deploying his new organization, called Canvas, even farther afield – assisting the pro-democracy activists who recently brought down despotic regimes in Egypt and Tunisia.

“We are simply trying to convince the world that the only right way to make a change is to fight strategically and in a nonviolent way,” Popovic says.

“I think that those young, secular people that we see these days in the demonstrations all around the Middle East are one new face of that region. I want to believe that they are strong enough and smart enough to beat any extremism, including the Islamic one.”

The work of groups like Canvas, combined with the proliferation of social-networking websites like Facebook and Twitter, and the coming of age of a wired — and increasingly disaffected — young generation have combined to create a perfect storm threatening…regimes from Europe to North Africa, to the Middle East.
….
Canvas was founded in 2003 and has trained dissidents in 37 countries, including Zimbabwe, North Korea, Belarus, and Iran, Popovic says. He declines to reveal whether the organization had trained activists in countries that are now protesting against their authoritarian governments, such as Algeria and Yemen, unless the activists do so themselves.
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In the late summer of 2009 the group collaborated with other NGOs to bring approximately 20 Egyptian activists — including some of those who later founded the April 6 movement that spearheaded the recent antigovernment protests — to Belgrade for a week of training on tactics they could use to promote change in Egypt.

Petar Milicevic, the founder of Alternative to Europe NGO, helped with the training. He says he talked to the Egyptians about organizing campaigns, the importance of galvanizing youth support, and how to use social media to reach both of these goals.
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One of Otpor’s main methods in overthrowing Milosevic was to win public support through humor by mocking the regime. They once famously rolled an oil barrel with Milosevic’s face on it down a street while people took turns whacking it with a bat. Activists were often arrested and roughed up, but reportedly rarely held overnight in prison.

But while training dissidents from regimes such as Egypt, Iran, and Belarus, Canvas has had to recognize that it is teaching activists who could spend years in jail for their activities.

Nini Gogoberidze, a Georgian citizen who participated in Georgia’s Rose Revolution in 2003, is a Canvas trainer who has worked primarily with Iranian dissidents. She says that while each struggle is different, the level of violence the regime is likely to use on dissidents is what separates them the most.
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Canvas’s teachings are now spreading around North Africa and the Middle East through word of mouth and social media.
….
Slobodan Kostic and Ena Stevanovic of RFE/RL’s Balkan Service contributed to this report, as did RFE/RL’s Georgian Service
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b)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/387463.stm

BBC News
July 6, 1999

‘CIA ordered to topple Milosevic': US report

[Photo:
'Down with Milosevic!': Protest rallies are increasing in size]

-The US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright – who has presided over the administration’s Balkan strategy – has been whipping up European political support for Serbian opposition groups.
Robert Gelbard, US Special Envoy to the Balkans, brought 20 opposition figures together last month to try to hammer out a more unified opposition.

President Clinton has authorised an all-out campaign to topple Slobodan Milosevic, according to sources close to the US Government.

Earlier this spring, Mr Clinton signed a secret presidential “finding” giving the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) the green light to try to bring down the Yugoslav president, said sources quoted in the US news-magazine Time.

The reported campaign has two tracks, overt and covert.

New secret initiatives

The CIA is expected to try to “disrupt Mr Milosevic’s private financial transactions” and use computer hackers to drain his overseas bank accounts electronically, according to the Time report.

Covert operations within Yugoslavia itself are also reported to be planned, aimed at fomenting greater anti-Milosevic feeling.

But adminstration officials are well aware that the Yugoslav president is still strong.

Nato’s Supreme Allied Commander (Europe), General Wesley Clark, told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that Mr Milosevic “remains in firm control of his military and is working hard at refurbishing his image”.

Funding and support for opposition

In terms of open diplomacy, the Clinton administration’s approach has been clear.

The US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright – who has presided over the administration’s Balkan strategy – has been whipping up European political support for Serbian opposition groups.

Robert Gelbard, US Special Envoy to the Balkans, brought 20 opposition figures together last month to try to hammer out a more unified opposition.

Now, six new radio transmitters outside Serbian territory will beam a 24-hour diet of pro-Western broadcasts to bolster dissident elements.

Large reward

Washington has also put a $5 million bounty on Mr Milosevic’s head.

On 24 June, Mrs Albright announced the War Criminals Rewards Programme for the former Yugoslavia.

Under the scheme, information leading to the arrest or conviction of anyone indicted by the International War Crimes Tribunal will receive a handsome reward.

Mr Milosevic has been indicted on several counts – though the US announcement did not identify him by name.

But with street protests now taking place in growing numbers – and with the Serbian Orthodox church instructing its priests to blame Serbian forces for the Kosovo war – the Americans clearly believe that now could be the time to add to the pressure on Mr Milosevic.

====

17. Georgia Approves Deploying Artillery Instructors To Afghanistan

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23171

Civil Georgia
February 22, 2011

MPs Approve Sending Artillery Instructors to Afghanistan

Tbilisi: Parliament approved on February 22 a proposal to send a team of Georgian artillery instructors to Afghanistan to train Afghan forces.

The team of trainers, according to the officials, will consist of 11 servicemen.

Georgia is already contributing up to 950-strong combat unit in Afghanistan.

Just hours before the approval of additional deployment, the Ministry of Defense reported that one Georgian soldier was killed and two others wounded in a mine explosion in the Helmand province.

====

18. NATO Offers Greek Missile Firing Site To UAE, Other Arab States

http://gulfnews.com/business/technology/nato-offers-greek-missile-testing-facility-to-uae-1.766132

Gulf News
February 23, 2011

Nato offers Greek missile testing facility to UAE
Namfi will be used for training and weapon evaluation
By Himendra Mohan Kumar

Dhabi: The Nato Missile Firing Installation (Namfi) is offering its facility in Greece to the UAE and other Arab nations to test their weapon systems, Nato officials told Gulf News on the sidelines of the ongoing International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex-2011) here yesterday.

Major General George A. Somaras said upon acceptance that Namfi offers a 50 per cent discount to users the first time on the overall cost of testing.

“Since the end of the Cold War, around nine countries which aren’t Nato members have conducted tests at Namfi.

“As well, several companies have used Namfi’s range for target testing and testing weapons systems,” Somaras added.
….
Evaluating weapons

Countries need a range to evaluate a weapons system, conduct training and firing in a controlled environment and Namfi provides all of that, he added.

“At Namfi, all types of missiles can be tested — surface to surface, surface to air and air to air,” said Kallergis.

In June 1964 the multilateral agreement on the use and operation of Namfi was signed by Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway and the US.

All firings at Namfi’s range are conducted over a sea area 166 kilometres long and 87 kilometres wide.

US-based integrated defence systems provider Raytheon plans to deliver the first set of components of the Patriot air and missile defence system to the UAE this year.

In December 2008, the UAE and the US signed an agreement under which the UAE will get delivery of the Patriot system in a $3.3 billion (Dh12.11 billion) deal.

The Patriot delivers a long-range, all-altitude, all-weather system to defeat advanced threats, including aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

====

19. U.S. Military In Australia Able To Withstand Chinese Counterattack

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/44342.html

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
February 22, 2011

Conflict looms over US military presence in Australia
91 Comments
Adam Lockyer and Rob Muir

[Excerpts]

For two decades, the issue of US bases in Australia has remained dormant. The Government and community seem to have become comfortable with their presence, as long as they are perceived as passive.

There was barely a whimper when, in 2007, approval was given for a new joint communications centre in Geraldton, WA. This was mirrored in late 2010, when arrangements were made to share training facilities.

Nevertheless, the issue of US bases might be about to re-emerge as a hot-button political issue.

This month has witnessed a radical change in the tone used in defence discourse. It was triggered by a new paper by Professor Ross Babbage, calling upon Australia to completely reconfigure its defence strategy in order to deter China, or in his previous parlance, to prepare to “rip an arm off” China. The paper called for: the purchase of 12 nuclear powered Virginia-class submarines, instead of the locally-made conventional submarines currently planned; increased cyber-warfare capabilities; the acquisition of ballistic and cruise missiles with 20 “arsenal” ships to fire them; the reconfiguration of the army to perform long-range strike missions; and, most importantly, to increase the number of US military bases in Australia.

Defence hawks flocked to the idea. The Australian’s Greg Sheridan proclaimed it: “one of the most important, deeply considered and logically compelling strategic documents ever seen in Australia. It should be the starting point of a broad national debate.”

Given the level of support it has received, and the prominence of American bases within the plan, it might be timely to evaluate this element.

There are three reasons offered for why more bases should be established in Australia: 1) to improve the survivability of US forces, 2) to strengthen the alliance, and 3) to provide support for the proposed nuclear submarines.

Improve Survivability.

Babbage highlights that US bases in Guam, Japan, South Korea and Hawaii are now within range of Chinese missiles. According to Sheridan, bases in Australia would make “the US presence in Asia more dispersed, harder to hit, more survivable.”
….
Strengthen the Alliance.

The second argument is that US bases would strengthen the US-Australian defence partnership, for two reasons.

There is the widely held view that US bases would act as a ‘tripwire’. America’s extended deterrence becomes more creditable when its forces are in harm’s way. This is the reason why US forces are currently on the border between the Koreas. These forces would be among the first casualties in any conflict, which would compel the President (whoever it is) to come charging to South Korea’s aid.
….
….
Dr Adam Lockyer is a lecturer in US Politics and Foreign Policy at the United
States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and Rob Muir is a post graduate research student in the Department of War Studies at Kings College, London.

====

20. U.S. Urges Australia To Unite Military Efforts Against China

http://world.globaltimes.cn/asia-pacific/2011-02/625595.html

Global Times
February 22, 2011

Australia urged to deter China
By Wang Zhaokun

Former senior Pentagon official Thomas Mahnken said Monday that Australia should strengthen its military cooperation with the US in an effort to counter the growing challenge from China.

Mahnken told the Australian daily newspaper that Asia- Pacific countries, including Australia, should focus on gathering and sharing intelligence and surveillance on China with Washington.

The former deputy assistant secretary of defense for policy planning was in Australia to participate in a Lowy Institute workshop on Asian maritime security with senior Australian naval officers.

Chen Hu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times that Mahnken was encouraging confrontation in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The fact is that many regional countries are focusing on economic recovery at the moment. It is inappropriate and wrong to assert military competition at this time,” Chen said.

Mahnken’ comments came two weeks after the major Australian think tank Kokoda Foundation proposed that Canberra purchase 10 to 12 nuclear-powered attack submarines from Washington to offset “the dramatic expansion of China’s military capabilities.”

Kokoda founder Ross Babbage said, “China’s military buildup” is designed to “force the US and its allies out of the western Pacific.”

Babbage’s proposal was echoed by Mahnken as the latter urged Monday that the US and Australia conduct “greater undersea cooperation” to strengthen regional deterrence.

“Recent calls for closer military cooperation between Canberra and Washington came against the backdrop of the rapid buildup of China’s economic power,” Ni Feng, director of the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times, noting that China recently overtook Japan as the world’s second-largest economy.

Ni said some Western countries, especially smaller ones, may become uneasy as China keeps growing.

“Therefore, they will look to other big powers to offset or counter China’s increasing political and military influence,” he added. “But at the same time, they also hope to gain interests from the Chinese prosperity economically.”

In a separate report, US Vice Admiral Scott Van Buskirk, who commands the US Navy’s 7th Fleet, said Monday that Washington would continue to upgrade its military hardware in the Pacific to “boost their ability to detect and kill enemy submarines,” while urging China’s growing navy to avoid provocation.

Agencies contributed to this story

====

21. Kosovo: NATO’s Top Commander Inspects NATO, Kosovo Troops

http://www.aco.nato.int/page424204115.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation
February 22, 2011

SACEUR visits KFOR

Admiral James Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander United States European Command travelled to Kosovo on Friday, February 18th to visit KFOR troops and receive an update on current operations. He was accompanied by Ambassador Bozo Cerar, Slovenia, Ambassador Artur Kuko, Albania, Major General Arian Zauini, Albanian Military Representative, and Major General Wosolsobe, Austrian Military Representative.

The SACEUR was met by Major General Erhard Buhler, Commander, KFOR, who escorted Admiral Stavridis to the KFOR headquarters…..

KFOR is in the deliberate process of reducing forces and reorganizing command structure as they move to a deterrent posture also known as “GATE 2”. Currently the drawdown is on schedule and it is projected that the reduction in troops from approximately nine thousand troops in 2010 to five thousand will be complete by the end of March….

In the afternoon the SACEUR toured the city of Mitrovica and stopped to visit KFOR troops and members of the Kosovo Security Forces at one of the remaining checkpoints in the city.
….

====

22. Germany: NATO Exercises Practice For “Fictitious Air Insertion”

http://www.aco.nato.int/page424202653.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation
February 22, 2011

Exercise Ramstein Dynamo 2011 to take place in Germany

Ramstein: From 4 to 15 April 2011 the NATO Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) Uedem will conduct Exercise Ramstein Dynamo 2011 (RADO 11) in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, in the Uedem, Kalkar, Weeze and Mönchengladbach area.

RADO 11 is a Deployment Readiness Exercise (DEPREX) designed to train Joint Force Air Component (JFAC) staff in their functional roles in order to maintain currency and to validate readiness for deployed operations. This collaborative exercise involves NATO, United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) and national staffs.

The RADO11 scenario is fictitious and specifically designed to provide the necessary backdrop for a two-part exercise. It assumes a United Nations primacy with NATO participating as a result of international agreement and national request.

Two distinct “moments in time” have been designed into the scenario to best achieve training objectives. Part 1 sees lead JFAC elements deploying into a theatre of operations.

On 4 April the exercise starts with an air insertion at Weeze Airport by the 435th U.S. Air Ground Operations Wing followed by the JFAC’s Air Operations Liaison Reconnaissance Team (AOLRT)….

Part 2 of the exercise trains personnel of CAOC Uedem in their functional roles in a deployed mode in a fictitious theatre of operations. These elements will plan and execute air operations from the military installation at Kalkar. RADO 11 Part 1 involves approximately 100 participants in the exercise area and Part 2 sees some 200 personnel.

“RADO 11 is conducted according to NATO’s philosophy to maintain forces capable to respond to all operational needs,” says General Dieter Naskrent, DEU Air Force, who commands CAOC Uedem, “RADO 11 brings together nations’ and NATO’s air expertise. During both exercise parts the participating organisations will demonstrate their air capabilities and improve interoperability.”

The exercise provides training for staff from the key participants: NATO’s Headquarters Allied Air Command (HQ AC) Ramstein, the Alliance’s Deployable CAOC Uedem, 435th U.S. Air Ground Operations Wing, 603rd U.S. Air Operations Centre, and 86th U.S. Airlift Wing.

====

23. Kurils Conflict: Japan-Russia Relations At “Worst Point In Decades”

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-02/22/c_13744160.htm

Xinhua News Agency
February 22, 2011

Deadlock in Russia-Japan islands row hard to break

-Russia is unlikely to back off as ensuring control over those islands is an important part of its overall strategy in the Far East and even the Asia-Pacific region….According to Kamitsuki Toyohisa, counselor for European Affairs at the Japanese Foreign Ministry, the relationship between Japan and Russia is currently “at its worst point in decades.”

BEIJING: Analysts say the Russia-Japan deadlock over four disputed Pacific islands is unlikely to end in the near future, with neither side apparently willing to budge.

On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador in Moscow over a recent statement from Washington in support of Japan’s territorial claims on the islands.

On Saturday, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano inspected the disputed northern islands off Hokkaido from the air.

Edano, who is also Japan’s minister in charge of Northern Territories issues, has thus become the first top Japanese government official to view the islands, known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia.

LOCKED HORNS

Analysts and observers said Edano’s aerial inspection was a gesture aimed at reasserting Tokyo’s claims to the disputed chain.

However, they believe Russia is unlikely to back off as ensuring control over those islands is an important part of its overall strategy in the Far East and even the Asia-Pacific region.

Edano told reporters after the inspection the islands were closer to Hokkaido than he had thought, adding “people will show more interest in the issue once they understand this proximity.”

He also said Japan would like to have further discussions with Russia in “a calm environment.”

Earlier, Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara reiterated his government’s stance on the disputed islands, saying they were legally sovereign Japanese territory.

Maehara told a press conference that regardless of how many Russian dignitaries visited the islands or how much Russia’s military presence grew in the area, the islands were originally Japanese territory from an international legal standpoint.

In a statement released Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Russia hoped Japan would engage in calm discussions on the possible conclusion of a long-awaited peace treaty.

“Russia hopes that Tokyo will overcome this ambiguity, which can only disorient public opinion, and make a staunch final choice in favor of a calm, non-preconditioned, free from ostentatious public relations campaigns and reciprocal historical references, discussion on the peace treaty,” the statement said.

Russia and Japan have long been at odds over the islands, namely Iturup, Kunashiri, Shikotan and the Habomai rocks.

The territorial dispute has prevented the two countries from signing a peace treaty following the end of World War II.

In recent months, the row has escalated following a series of visits to the islands by top Russian officials, including President Dmitry Medvedev.

BILATERAL TIES AT “WORST POINT IN DECADES”

Maehara’s hardline attitude on the northern islands has only incurred a counter-productive reaction from Russia. His Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov warned that “when radical approaches to signing a peace treaty take over in Japan …then talks have no prospects.”

In the hope of breaking the deadlock on the border issue, Maehara visited Russia on Feb. 10 and held talks with Lavrov, achieving no result except reiterating Japan’s consistent stance on the issue.

The islands have long been a choke point for the comprehensive development of Russia-Japan relations.

Though both sides have shown a positive approach to their border negotiations, including some proposed solutions since the end of World War II, the dispute has basically remained unsettled.

According to Kamitsuki Toyohisa, counselor for European Affairs at the Japanese Foreign Ministry, the relationship between Japan and Russia is currently “at its worst point in decades.”

====

24. Kurils: U.S., Japan Could Cut Off Russian Fleet From Pacific

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-02/22/c_13744452.htm

Xinhua News Agency
February 22, 2011

Disputed islands: crux of Russia’s regional strategy
by Zheng Haoning, Wei Lianglei

-The islands are located in a key geographic position where they secure the entrance into the Pacific Ocean for Russia’s Pacific Fleet.
If the four islands were regained by Japan and used as a natural barrier by Japan and the United States, Russia’s Pacific Fleet would be cut off from the Pacific and may face direct military threats from the two.
-[T]he neighbouring Kamchatka Peninsula and Sakhalin region, both strategic to Russia’s ability to respond to attacks, would also be exposed.

MOSCOW: The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador Monday to reiterate Russia’s sovereignty over four Pacific Islands after Washington recently supported a rival claim by Japan.

Analysts say Russia will never make concessions to Japan on the islands, which it calls the Southern Kurils and Japan calls the Northern Territories, as they are the crux of Russia’s strategy for its Far East and beyond that to the Asia-Pacific region.

STRATEGIC CRUX

In recent months, the row between Russia and Japan over the islands has escalated following a series of visits to the islands by top Russian officials, including President Dmitry Medvedev.

Earlier in February, Medvedev ordered the deployment of sufficient weaponry to secure the disputed Southern Kurils as “an integral territory of the Russian Federation” and vowed to take all necessary measures to strengthen its presence.

The islands are located in a key geographic position where they secure the entrance into the Pacific Ocean for Russia’s Pacific Fleet.

If the four islands were regained by Japan and used as a natural barrier by Japan and the United States, Russia’s Pacific Fleet would be cut off from the Pacific and may face direct military threats from the two.

Analyst said the “butterfly effect” could mean the neighbouring Kamchatka Peninsula and Sakhalin region, both strategic to Russia’s ability to respond to attacks, would also be exposed.

Local media held that the fairly sudden renewed interest in the Southern Kurils was a major move in Russia’s east-oriented strategy against the backdrop of the ongoing global readjustment in a new era.

With the Asia-Pacific region’s increasing influence in the world, the Southern Kurils are being developed as a platform to display the muscle of Russia in East Asia. The islands could help Russia to increase its voice in the region and maintain its position as a big power there.

UNALIENABLE PART

Russia also sees the Southern Kurils as an inalienable part of its zone of economic interests. But for years, the regional capital Sakhalin has lacked reliable communications with the Russian mainland, leading to an growing outflow of people.

For Russia, development on the islands would constrain separation threats in the Far East and salve residents’ pain caused by the inferior local economy.

Reports said, if the islands were regained by Japan, it would encourage other countries to pursue claims in other Russian regions and accomplish their conspiracy of altering the history of World War II.

Russia is equally keen to retain access to the islands’ abundant fishery and natural resources, including the important strategic metal rhenium.

Due to parliamentary elections this year and presidential elections in 2012, the Russian leadership is even less likely to make concessions to Japan, some reports say.

However, the two countries are still eyeing bilateral cooperation on the islands despite the conflicting claims, and are likely to continue military cooperation, as the two cannot afford the possible consequences of conflict.

So far, there are no signs the dispute will be resolved soon. The most likely scenario came in a statement from Russia’s Foreign Ministry, which said Russia had control the islands for years and called on Japan to adopt “a sober and balanced attitude to the realities.”

That is why Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano could only inspect the disputed northern islands off Hokkaido from the air.

====

25. New Stealth Bomber Could Control Drones, Fire Lasers, Bust Bunkers

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/02/new-stealth-bomber-could-control-drones-fire-lasers-bust-bunkers/

Wired
February 22, 2011

New Stealth Bomber Could Control Drones, Fire Lasers, Bust Bunkers
By David Axe

The Air Force’s new stealth bomber might do more than just drop bombs, top generals said in recent days. The so-called “Long-Range Strike” plane — likely to be designated B-3 — could also carry bunker-busting, rocket-boosted munitions, high-powered lasers for self-defense and datalinks, and consoles for controlling radar-evading drones.

These add-ons, described by Air Force generals Philip Breedlove, William Fraser and David Scott, are meant to make the new bomber more lethal and harder to shoot down, even in the face of rapidly-modernizing air defenses such as China’s. “The purpose of this aircraft is to survive in an Anti-Access Area Denial environment,”Scott said, using the latest Pentagon term for defended airspace.

To that end, the bomber’s lasers might zap incoming missiles and fighters; the drones could fly ahead to scout and disable air-defense radars; the bunker-busters should ensure the bomber can actually destroy the enemy’s facilities once it breaks through the defenses.

With just $3.7 billion budgeted over the next five years to develop the bomber, lasers, bunker-busters, and drone-controls might seem unaffordable. And risky, considering the Air Force has said it must stick with “proven” technologies to keep the new bomber on-budget.

In fact, the bomber and its enhancements could be surprisingly far along the development process. The airframe itself might already be flying in prototype form, according to an investigation by ace reporter Bill Sweetman. Each of the add-on capabilities already exists, too, though not all in the same aircraft.

For years, the Air Force has been working on a chemical laser installed in the fuselage of a 747 freighter and fired from a turret mounted to the airliner’s nose. The Airborne Laser was originally meant for a combat role intercepting ballistic missiles, but in 2009 Secretary of Defense Robert Gates downgraded it to a strictly test asset, citing its high cost, short firing range and vulnerability. Future military lasers will dispense with the chemicals in favor of solid crystals, potentially making them much smaller, safer and more reliable. That’s the kind of laser we can expect to see on the new bomber.

Bunker-busting bombs have been around since World War II. In their modern form, they date back to the 1991 Gulf War. Today’s 5,000-pound GBU-28 bunker-buster can be carried by the F-15E and by bombers. For more deeply-buried targets, the Pentagon is working on the 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator, which is so big only the B-2 and B-52 can haul it.

To save on cost, the new bomber will be smaller and therefore carry less ordnance than the B-2. MOP probably won’t fit. Noting that penetrating-capability is a function of mass and velocity, the Air Force Research Laboratories is working on a rocket-boosted bunker-buster that would be a fraction of the MOP’s size while being just as lethal against underground targets.

Drone controls might seem the most futuristic of the new bomber’s enhancements, but in many ways they’re the farthest along in development. Boeing is installing datalinks and consoles for robot-control in its new “Block III” Apache helicopters. Last fall, the Air Force demonstrated it could control Scan Eagle drones from inside an airborne E-3 radar plane.

And in 2009, the Air Force started fitting B-52s and F-16s with the Raytheon-built Miniature Air-Launched Decoy, a missile-size drone that can spoof or jam enemy radars. The current decoy model is autonomous — you fire it and forget about it — but Raytheon has offered to install a datalink allowing the decoy to “talk” to the launching plane. Refined a bit further, the same technology could be applied to the new bomber’s scout drones.

It’s not clear if these scout drone will be new designs or something already in service. Our money’s on an existing drone. In any event, there will be two different scout bots associated with the new bomber, according to Breedlove. These “utility infielders,” as Breedlove called them, must be “very stealthy” and capable of a range of missions, from radar-jamming to network-hacking and spying.

In an event, the add-ons don’t all have to be ready before the bomber’s scheduled debut in the mid-2020s. The Air Force wants to field the 100-or-so bombers in “spirals” — that is, small batches of increasing sophistication. The first models might not have bunker-busters, lasers or drone controls. Those systems would be inserted as soon as they’re ready — and as soon as the Air Force can afford them.

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  1. Spielmann
    March 29, 2011 at 10:00 am

    The exercise Ramstein Dynamo 2011 (RADO 11) in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, in the Uedem, Kalkar, Weeze and Mönchengladbach area scheduled from 4 to 15 April 2011 conducted by NATO Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) Uedem is postponed until further notice.

    ThD

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